- Leveraged BlackBerry® WebWorks™ SDK to develop BlackBerry apps with native functionality.
- Won a Mobile App Hackathon in July 2012 using BlackBerry WebWorks SDK.
- Uses Ripple™ emulator tool to package and sign applications.
- Impressed by BlackBerry® 10 Dev Alpha Device.
BlackBerry Developer Success Story - Zukini Mobile
Over the past 10 years, software developer George McKinney has gained extensive experience developing mobile applications across numerous platforms. As the founder of California's Zukini Mobile, he's often worked with mobile web frameworks for cross-platform development. But last year, he discovered the power of the BlackBerry WebWorks SDK and the way it can add native functionality to HTML5 applications. McKinney has developed apps for the BlackBerry® smartphone and BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet that take advantage of BlackBerry-specific features.
McKinney spoke to us about working with the BlackBerry WebWorks SDK, the company's winning title at a recent Mobile App Hackathon, and his thoughts on the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha Device.
Q: Why is the BlackBerry WebWorks platform such an important development environment?
George: I think HTML5 has really become the standard in mobile app development technology and there's been a strong emphasis from Research In Motion® (RIM®) on making this sort of open development available to developers. I feel the BlackBerry WebWorks SDK also allows you to add more complete native functionality to your HTML5 application than other platforms I've worked with. We've shown a number of developers the ease and power of developing for a BlackBerry smartphone and BlackBerry PlayBook tablet app using the BlackBerry WebWorks SDK and they quickly became converts.
Although we often use mobile web frameworks for cross-platform development, I think you're more limited in terms of exposing native capabilities. By using the BlackBerry WebWorks SDK you gain access to the APIs as well as better customization possibilities.
Q: How did developing with the BlackBerry WebWorks SDK benefit you during a recent Mobile App Hackathon?
George: At that Hackathon, we were developing Flashcard Kid, a voice-based children's application that would take advantage of the host company's new Speech API. The device's microphone captured audio that was recorded into an AMR file, then sent it to a server application and then to the host company's Speech application server. Quite simply, the full capability was only exposed in the BlackBerry WebWorks SDK. To accomplish the same thing with other platforms, you had to use plug-ins that were difficult to configure. But the challenge was solvable using the BlackBerry WebWorks SDK.
Q: Describe why the Ripple emulator tool is a useful tool?
George: I've been using the Ripple emulator tool for more than a year and RIM has continued to improve it, especially by adding packaging capabilities. I tend to do command-line development and usually there's a lag between the creation of the SDK and the development of the tools to manipulate it. But you can use the Ripple emulator tool to package and sign your application as soon as you've installed the BlackBerry WebWorks SDK. The Ripple emulator tool is very useful because it acts as a bridge between your code and getting an app out.
Q: What are your initial thoughts on the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha Device?
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