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BlackBerry Developer Success Story - Tafasa
Tarek tells us about using his experience with Java® to develop, the value of BlackBerry APIs and the importance of working with the Research In Motion (RIM) development team and the broader BlackBerry community.View details in BlackBerry World
Q: How has your past experience with Java helped you develop for BlackBerry smartphones?
Tarek: I'm really comfortable working with Java. If I were to develop for iOS there would be a language barrier in learning Objective C, but for me it was an easy transition to take what I know and develop for the BlackBerry platform. It's also beneficial that Java is a universal language tool because there are a lot of developers available to help you.
Even if you fall back on the more core mobile edition code, you can get code examples from developers on other platforms that translate easily to BlackBerry platform development.
Q: Why is it important for you to integrate your applications with BlackBerry smartphone's native features and functions?
Tarek: From my experience, the average BlackBerry smartphone user likes applications to offer a seamless, integrated experience. The more you can do this, the more engaged they'll be. Features, like a flashy user interface will most likely excite the user, but what makes it a good app depends on how functional it is with their device. When you develop for BlackBerry smartphones you can integrate your apps with the device's features as well as with other applications.
The integration you find on a BlackBerry device is the result of a more open platform and APIs. That openness translates to the development community in general.
Q: What development tools have found particularly useful?
Tarek: I have found the API documentation has been precise and detailed. I've never really had any difficulty understanding the APIs. The location-based API was really useful for me to implement with one of my applications, Pattern Lock. The app locks the phone after you reach a certain distance from a designated place. It runs in the background and simply knows where you are and reacts based on that, without the user having to do anything.
The notification API is also pretty powerful. It allows the app to show you when you have a BBM™ notification or a phone call, even when the phone is locked. Having the ability to integrate with the phone application and interact with it is something that you don't find on a lot of platforms.
Q: How important is your relationship with the RIM development team and BlackBerry community?
Tarek: RIM actually reached out to me before I contacted them. In other platforms, it's easy to develop an application that gets lost in the crowd, but RIM has always helped me market my applications. Having spoken to a number of developers, it appears that this outreach is a common experience for BlackBerry developers. The RIM development team takes a hands-on approach, maintains a great partnership and wants you to succeed.
Being able to communicate with the BlackBerry community and forums also allows me to design better apps, since the people involved are very engaged and very vocal about helping you test and develop. It's pretty invaluable.
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