Fling Soft LLC
- Founded in 2008 and based in Portland, Oregon
- Develops white-label, real-time streaming apps for other app publishers
- Movie Vault app ranked #2 of top paid apps on the BlackBerry® World™ storefront in its first two days of release
- Uses Adobe® AIR® and Adobe® Flash® for the BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet
BlackBerry Developer Success Story - Fling Soft
The arena of video streaming can be highly competitive, but developer Fling Soft LLC (Fling Soft) has quickly made its mark through 3G and Wi-Fi® devices. The three-year-old shop developed Movie Vault, an app that streams a selection of over 1,000 classic feature movies to customers. Its team includes not only client app developers, but also experienced back-end infrastructure experts. Fling Soft recognized the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet as an ideal solution to expand its customer base and leverage advantages in user interface.
Fling Soft co-founder Jeremy Krall is responsible for the back-end infrastructure and technology used by Fling Soft. He shares with us the advantages he found developing for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.
Q: What was your motivation to develop your app for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet?
Jeremy: We wanted to ensure we had a well-rounded customer base. If you want to be a successful video provider, you need to meet the needs of customers on multiple platforms. From a business perspective, with Research In Motion® (RIM®) we saw significant traction. We were able to quickly differentiate ourselves and become a premiere app. Personally, I've started to push the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet more with customers and clients than other platforms and one reason is that there's less competition. This means that if you have good clients, good partners and good content you can potentially become really successful. As a developer in streaming video, we like the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet because it's a very visual, media-oriented device.
Q: How was your development experience with the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet?
Jeremy: From a front-end perspective, we tweaked the app slightly to better leverage the BlackBerry PlayBook UI. There was a small learning curve, but it was also easy to find good developers who were familiar with the platform, since Adobe AIR and Adobe Flash have been around for quite some time. Getting developers up and running and familiar with the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet SDK was very smooth and in a couple days we were rolling.
Q: How have users responded to the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet UI?
Jeremy: Some platforms are doing good things with their UI's, but it's sporadic and updates are not always quickly picked up by users, so we can't build for them. With the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, updates are nearly immediate for both users and the developer community. BlackBerry PlayBook tablet usability is very high; I actually wish there were more of its features in other platforms.
I find it interesting that users are only now becoming excited about user experiences on other platforms that have been available on the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet for months. As a technical person, I definitely see superiority right now in the product.
Q: How has RIM's development support compared to other platforms?
Jeremy: In my opinion, with some other platforms, the developer community itself has served as their support, but there was nothing direct. When I need to reach out to the RIM Development team with a specific question, I get a response. Inside of a couple days someone gives me something I can work with, and that's almost unheard of anywhere else. And it's not just coding. If I have an administrative question, it gets the same kind of quick response level. Both of those are major pain points on a lot of other platforms that I have had an experience with.
Q: Tell me about your experience with the BlackBerry World storefront. How is your app monetized?
Jeremy: Right now, our app is a one-time paid app. This seems to be the model that works best for us, based on our needs and costs. We've found the uptake of paid apps on BlackBerry World to be especially good during the initial launch and during holidays and it performs better and more profitably than some other major platforms. Although there are a lot of apps in other app stores, many of them are free and the quality isn't always there.
People are becoming more discerning and I think the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet has more professionals using it because of the BlackBerry reputation, and those are people who are willing to spend money. BlackBerry World also gives us a cohesive ecosystem for distribution - it's all in one place. On other platforms there can be five different stores, payment and reporting systems.
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