- Uses BlackBerry® Java® Plug-in for Eclipse®
- BlackBerry® smartphone Super Apps allow for seamless integration with native features
- Impressed by the BlackBerry® 7 smartphones' advanced Augmented Reality and Near-Field Communications capabilities
BlackBerry Developer Success Story - PinGdev
Paul Haenel enjoys developing on the BlackBerry platform so much that he not only works on BlackBerry apps for his own company, PinGdev Ltd. (PinGdev), but also as a software engineer at a personal media technology company in Melbourne, Australia. Whether developing for enterprise clients or for the consumer, Paul is quick to point out just how easy he thinks it is to develop for the BlackBerry platform.
Paul spoke to us about the benefits of working with the Java Plug-in for Eclipse, the importance of building a Super App experience and why he sees Research In Motion Limited (RIM®) as the leader in the emerging technologies of Augmented Reality (AR) and Near-Field Communications (NFC).
View details in BlackBerry World
Q: Why do you enjoy using the BlackBerry Java Plug-in for Eclipse?
Paul: I think that the Java Plug-in for Eclipse is simply the easiest and best tool to use. It's really important that we can draw on our past experience with Eclipse which is the tool that most of us learned when we first started developing in Java. If you can stay in the same environment and just pick up a new language it's much easier than having to learn an entirely new tool.
With Eclipse, everything is in one package, so you don't have to learn multiple programs. This allows you to have different perspectives at the same time, which means you don't have to switch between programs. It's a massive advantage having everything in one package.
With iOS for example, the development environment is completely different. You have to use separate programs for writing / editing source code, debugging and to develop the application User Interface (UI).
Q: How does the BlackBerry platform allow you to integrate your apps with the native features and functions of the smartphone itself?
Paul: The Super App concept is something that is definitely a differentiator between the BlackBerry platform and other platforms. Full integration of the app with the device's features provides a great experience for the user. The calendar, email and address book can all be seamlessly integrated together. Things like that definitely give the developer the chance to open up the applications to a ton of possibilities.
Take BlackBerry® Messenger (BBM™) for example. When we integrated our Manly Ferry application with BBM, which took no time at all, it allowed the user to post their timetable info to their BBM profile and send it to a BBM contact. With those two simple features, the usage increase was phenomenal - we found instead of using it two or three times a day, some people were using it ten times a day.
Q: Describe your experience working with AR on the BlackBerry platform.
Paul: With regards to AR we are in the process of creating prototypes and experimenting with an AR SDK quite a bit. Based on my experience so far, I believe the BlackBerry platform is optimized for this type of technology. There were a lot of things that other platforms didn't cover that the BlackBerry platform did.
Working with the AR SDK has been very straightforward and very advanced - I could take all of my prior AR knowledge and easily apply it to the developmental apps I'm working on.
Q: How advanced are the BlackBerry platform's NFC capabilities?
Paul: From my experience, if you compare the BlackBerry NFC features and functionality with what you can do on the other operating systems, I think it's arguably one of the more advanced platforms. I've worked with the technology for quite a while, including a couple prototypes a few months ago. I had to tell my clients that I could not do it on one of the other platforms alone, but I could do it with a mix of platforms including the BlackBerry platform, which sustained the features that the other platforms didn't.
Developers can upload the NFC Controller Simulator application off of BlackBerry DevZone and start building NFC based applications right away.
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