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Few questions

Pratik Goswami
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 02, 2009
Posts: 136

Hello Friends,

I am having few queries in my mind..

1. How will I develop BlackBerry application on MAC OS?
2. Which things need to be in the consideration while developing an application irrespective to screen size/resolution in a single build?
3. Does BlackBerry supports 3D gaming engine (OpenGLES)?
4. Are the APIs provided by RIM are stable? I mean API differences are major for all versions?
5. Is there any unique mechanism for binary distribution like Apple (iTunes)?
6. What is the application approval duration on market (approx) ?

Thanks
Pratik Goswami

iOS * Android Developer
Carol Hamer
author
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 17, 2010
Posts: 26
Pratik Goswami wrote:1. How will I develop BlackBerry application on MAC OS?

Windows is the only development environment OS that RIM really supports. It is theoretically possible to develop for BlackBerry on Linux or MacOS, but it doesn't work well. After wasting a certain amount of time trying to get it to work on my Linux machine, I finally just installed a VirtualBox VM and installed Windows inside it for BlackBerry development. I also use VirtualBox on my Mac OS development machine.

If you go this route, I have one piece of advice to keep in mind before you start: You'll want to be able to connect your device directly to the Virtual Machine with a USB cable. When you create a new Virtual Box VM, USB is not activated by default. Be sure to activate it before installing the Windows OS in the virtual machine (otherwise you'll have to re-install Windows after setting it to accept USB connections -- the Windows installation can't handle the switch). Also note that the VirtualBox open source edition (OSE) doesn't support USB connections, but the Oracle/SUN version of VirtualBox is free and works well on both Linux and Mac OS.

Pratik Goswami wrote:2. Which things need to be in the consideration while developing an application irrespective to screen size/resolution in a single build?

It depends on what strategy you're using. Do you want to compile a single binary and have it calculate the dimensions at runtime? Or build different binaries for different screen sizes? If you have a lot of image files to pack into your jar, the latter strategy will help keep your jar size down. I wrote about how to do that with an automated Ant build in Chapter 4.

Pratik Goswami wrote:3. Does BlackBerry supports 3D gaming engine (OpenGLES)?

Yes, later models support OpenGLES. Andrew wrote a chapter on it, see here.

Pratik Goswami wrote:4. Are the APIs provided by RIM are stable? I mean API differences are major for all versions?

They're pretty stable, in that games I've written for earlier models can compile and run on the latest models. There weren't any major paradigm changes that force you to overhaul your old code. It's just that the later models have a lot of additional features that the earlier models don't have. Also, if you want to really take advantage of the touch screen of some models, you will probably want to write a special version for those models.

Pratik Goswami wrote:5. Is there any unique mechanism for binary distribution like Apple (iTunes)?

You can sell your application through BlackBerry App World, but you're not required to. You can distribute your app on your own site or through another distributor if you like (see Chapter 5).

Pratik Goswami wrote:6. What is the application approval duration on market (approx) ?

What do you mean? You mean how long does it take to get your App listed on BlackBerry App World, available to customers?


Learn BlackBerry Games Development
Pratik Goswami
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 02, 2009
Posts: 136

Thanks a lot Carol,
Pratik Goswami wrote:6. What is the application approval duration on market (approx) ?

Yes, I was asking that is there any review process from RIM once after you submit application to App world? If yes then is there any case where your application get rejection?
Again thanks for all the answers.

Thanks
Pratik Goswami
Carol Hamer
author
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 17, 2010
Posts: 26
In order to sell BlackBerry applications, you first need to get digital signing credentials from RIM so that you can digitally sign your applications. This is necessary even if you plan to sell your apps outside of BlackBerry App World -- there are a number of important functions that an application can't call on a device without being signed with signing credentials from RIM. (You don't need the signature to run the app on the simulator, though.) To get the credentials cost $20 when I did it, and you can do it online -- and it was pretty fast, maybe a day or so.

Then, to sell an application on BlackBerry App World, you need to make a vendor account. When I did it, it cost $200 for the privilege of selling 10 applications on BlackBerry App World. (To sell more apps after that, you need to pay again.) You also need to provide proof of your identity by sending in a notarized form. It takes about a week for them to process your application.

Then, once you submit an application to sell, it takes BlackBerry App World about two weeks to inspect it and validate it so that you can set it to be available to customers on the portal. Their QA engineers actually install your application on a BlackBerry smartphone and run it at least once to make sure it works reasonably well and doesn’t crash the device. It can be rejected if it doesn't meet quality standards, but they don't have a system like the iPhone (where an app can get rejected just for performing ordinary services that Apple just doesn't want third-party apps performing). I think there are also some legal questions about import/export of apps that use certain cryptography APIs, but for the most part, anything you can write an app to do on BlackBerry is fair game to sell.

If your app is rejected for quality reasons, you can resubmit it (after fixing whatever issue they found). Resubmitting a rejected app does not count as a separate application (against the 10 you've paid to list with your initial $200 fee). Also, you can submit different versions of the app for different BlackBerry models, and they don't count as separate apps.
Nikos Pougounias
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 16, 2008
Posts: 110
Carol Hamer wrote:
If you go this route, I have one piece of advice to keep in mind before you start: You'll want to be able to connect your device directly to the Virtual Machine with a USB cable. When you create a new Virtual Box VM, USB is not activated by default. Be sure to activate it before installing the Windows OS in the virtual machine (otherwise you'll have to re-install Windows after setting it to accept USB connections -- the Windows installation can't handle the switch). Also note that the VirtualBox open source edition (OSE) doesn't support USB connections, but the Oracle/SUN version of VirtualBox is free and works well on both Linux and Mac OS.


Hello Carol,

Do you think having a real device from the first place is an essential part for game development in BlackBerry?

In the RIM site there quite a few emulators for various models. How important do you consider testing the game on real devices during the development phase?


Nikos' Java blog
Carol Hamer
author
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 17, 2010
Posts: 26
Nikos Pougounias wrote:Do you think having a real device from the first place is an essential part for game development in BlackBerry?


Yes, I do. The emulators are good for most of your development cycle, but there are unexpected behaviors that will only show up on the actual device.

The same is true for other mobile devices. You need to have at least one representative device. There are important technical issues (especially, but not confined to, network communications) that will only show up on a target device.
Carol Hamer
author
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 17, 2010
Posts: 26
p.s. here are a couple of blog entries that give examples of points where I learned something from the device that didn't show up in the emulator: Experimenting with BlackBerry Graphics! and The BlackBerry Red Key!
 
 
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