The user interface is key in all development platforms. Research In Motion (RIM), the maker of BlackBerry smart phones and BlackBerry Playbook tablets on Wednesday provided more than 50 Kenyan mobile developers with an opportunity to learn more about the unique capabilities of BlackBerry 10. Developers were questioned on how they brand their applications ready for the market.
Various insights of the BlackBerry 10 device were highlighted in terms of usability and the development platform using tools from various open source spaces and libraries. Kenyan developers to be among the growing list of partners around the world creating apps for the new platform were encouraged to focus on fluid workflows, and treat user content as king while packaging their applications.
"Application development is about the quality, if an app is not used for 3 months after launch, then it's not worth it", says Michael Weitzel, Program developer, BlackBerry. He says developers should integrate apps with users' core experience.
Waldi Wepener, Regional Director for East, West and Central Africa at RIM said: "The BlackBerry platform already provides significant opportunities for the developer community in Kenya. There is high demand for more tools and knowledge to create local services and apps, but also, a strong desire to reach a global audience of millions of BlackBerry customers."
He also added that it was a fantastic experience to see the level of excitement among Kenyan mobile developers for the BlackBerry® 10 platform and re-affirmed the company's commitment towards providing an enabling environment for local developers to use their best skills to quickly create apps with great user experience.
Various development architectures were showcased during the event for example the Cascades Builder, Ripple HTML5 emulator, Visual Studio Plug-in tools behind the Black Berry 10 architectural engine. Michael says Black Berry development users QNK Kernel which has been used for close to 10 years in nuclear plants, and 25 million different car makes use this kernel too.
To date, RIM has brought BlackBerry 10 developer events to cities across North America, Europe, the Asia Pacific and now in Africa, bringing developers around the world the latest information about BlackBerry 10 and the opportunities the new platform offers for creating powerful apps.
RIM has transformed the developer experience with BlackBerry 10, creating an open platform to enable developers to leverage their range of existing skills, while at the same time providing them with powerful new tools to simplify the development process.
The event afternoon session was filled with application ideas, pitched by different developers for further uptake and mentorship. David Owino from Strathmore University presented an idea of a news reader app, iAfya a medical app was also presented on how it will be integrated on Kenya's community health systems.
George Murage, Business Developer and Blogger for Juuchini, who pitched an app concept of smart scanning and comparing fat content in foods before purchase said: "The one-on-one expert guidance on creating BlackBerry 10 apps from the RIM team will enable local developers to build better mobile apps in various languages, and more importantly, help build an ecosystem to support Kenyan consumers when BlackBerry 10."
Currently in beta, the BlackBerry 10 developer toolkit includes the BlackBerry® 10 Native SDK with Cascades, which allows developers to create graphically rich, high performance native applications in C/C++. The Native SDK for BlackBerry 10 has a rich set of APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) that give developers access to core device features and a range of BlackBerry application services, such as Push and Payment services.