BlackBerry

Have BlackBerry all but confirmed BlackBerry 10 is going into Support Mode?

With the upcoming release of the BlackBerry Priv, BlackBerry’s first ever smartphone powered by Android, there has been a lot of talk about the future of BlackBerry 10.

It is well-known, and acknowledged by BlackBerry, that they have failed to sell BlackBerry 10 devices in the quantities that they expected or hoped for.

BlackBerry took to their developer blog yesterday to provide an update for BlackBerry 10 Developers, which appears to be aimed at attempting to convince developers (and users) that BlackBerry 10 still has a future for developers and users outside of the enterprise.

I decided to sit on writing this article as tons of BlackBerry users reading this were happy and believe that BlackBerry 10 will still have a future outside of the enterprise. This totally bemused me and I read and re-read BlackBerry’s article over and over again, looking for the hidden positivity that I just couldn’t see.

This is what BlackBerry had to say:

“We’re excited about the future of BlackBerry as our strategy unfolds.  The end-to-end BlackBerry environment offers the highest level of security for our enterprise customers and our commitment to BlackBerry 10 remains strong.  We’ll continue to invest in and evolve the platform.  As we move forward, we want to provide more details on our app platform for our developer community.

BlackBerry 10.3.3

We will keep developing and enhancing the BlackBerry 10 operating system. In fact, we are confirming plans to release platform updates focused on security and privacy enhancements, with version 10.3.3 scheduled to be available in early 2016.

App Development

BlackBerry will continue to support our current development environments for Native, Cascades and Web app development. Additionally, new BlackBerry 10 OS releases will be tested against our current toolset to ensure you can continue to build BlackBerry apps.

  • Native – Our current development environment is robust and, as such, there are no plans to schedule releases of new SDKs and APIs. New APIs will be released as required.
  • Cascades – We currently support Qt 4.8 on BlackBerry 10. There are no plans to move to Qt 5.x.
  • Web – WebWorks applications are supported through the latest updates to Apache Cordova. Cordova is an open source project under the Apache Foundation, with significant community support. WebWorks 2.0 is based on an older version of Cordova, but you can update your applications to the newest Cordova and BlackBerry platform with minimal impact, using just two commands. Your existing applications will continue to work on future BlackBerry 10 releases.  Any further updates to our web platform/plugins will go into Apache’s Cordova project.
  • Android Runtime for BlackBerry 10 – BlackBerry 10 will continue to support the current release of the Android Runtime (ART) and packaging tools to create a .bar file to submit to BlackBerry World. There are no plans to remove the Android Runtime from BlackBerry 10.

App distribution

BlackBerry will also continue to support BlackBerry World for distributing apps for BlackBerry 10 and BlackBerry OS subscribers. It is the place to find business and productivity apps.

The Amazon Appstore is the place for the latest apps and games on BlackBerry 10*.

As always, developers can choose to distribute their apps through whichever store they wish.

Ready for Work

BlackBerry will continue to support BlackBerry 10 app development for enterprises through BES12 to securely connect mission-critical systems and data behind the firewall. The corporate apps managed through a BES environment will continue to support deployment and management of new and existing BlackBerry 10 apps.

We also provide a secure approach to managing and distributing native Android and iOS apps using Secure Work Space, Samsung KNOX, and Androidâ„¢ for Work. As always, BES can be relied upon to easily manage cross-platform devices.

BES12.2+ support for Android for Work means fast, simple and secure integration with your enterprise environment. Seamless integration with Google Playâ„¢ for Work allows for easy access to IT-managed apps through BES12.

We still love our Devs!

While there are many changes for BlackBerry, our commitment to our developer community is unwavering. We’ve recently refreshed Developer Zone at http://developer.blackberry.com to provide easy access to all the different types of developers visiting the site.

For enterprise developers, our BlackBerry Enterprise Partner Program provides the tools, resources and support to help Independent Software Vendors build enterprise apps and help corporate app developers build in-house apps for their organization.

Finally, we continue to support all developers on our support forums, developer blog, BBM Developer Channel and other social channels to keep important information flowing between us and the committed BlackBerry developer community.

*The Amazon Appstore is available on BlackBerry 10.2.1 devices and higher.””

It is only fair to point out that Rapid are a BlackBerry Platinum Enterprise Partner and I am a BlackBerry Developer Elite, so the fact that BlackBerry 10 will still be targeted for the enterprise and enterprise developers is great for us as a company and as developers.  It is also great for our clients.

However, after reading what BlackBerry had to say, everything is pointing to the fact that BlackBerry 10 is now going into support mode.

While they kick off with “We’ll continue to invest in and evolve the platform.”, let’s take a look at what they said in more detail:

We will keep developing and enhancing the BlackBerry 10 operating system. In fact, we are confirming plans to release platform updates focused on security and privacy enhancements, with version 10.3.3 scheduled to be available in early 2016.

While they use the words developing and enhancing BlackBerry 10, they merely confirm what they have already told us – that 10.3.3 will focus on security and privacy enhancements. There is not a word about 10.4 or even actually producing a major upgrade to BlackBerry 11.

When it comes to development environments, they repeatedly use the word “current”.

BlackBerry will continue to support our current development environments for Native, Cascades and Web app development. Additionally, new BlackBerry 10 OS releases will be tested against our current toolset.

They have no current plans to release new SDKs or APIs.

there are no plans to schedule releases of new SDKs and APIs. New APIs will be released as required.

There were a number of APIs on the BB10 Developer Roadmap, a Roadmap which is no longer publicly available. Upcoming APIs for BBM Channels, BBM chat history and full duplex recording for calls appear to have vanished into the ether.

The fact that the company will not implement Qt 5 in Cascades is terrible news for native developers. Qt 4.8 is EOL this year and most mobile platforms have already moved to Qt5.

We currently support Qt 4.8 on BlackBerry 10. There are no plans to move to Qt 5.x.

When it comes to the Android Runtime, it becomes a little bit clearer that BlackBerry 10 will be stagnant in the consumer space.

While it was expected that BlackBerry would remove the Android Runtime from BlackBerry 10, they clearly state that this won’t be the case but once again, it is the word “current” here that is concerning, as the company state they will continue to support the current release of the Android Runtime.

This infers it will be stuck where it is and users won’t see an update to Android 5 support, never mind Android 6.

BlackBerry 10 will continue to support the current release of the Android Runtime (ART) and packaging tools to create a .bar file to submit to BlackBerry World. There are no plans to remove the Android Runtime from BlackBerry 10

As more and more android apps are updated to support newer versions of the android os, this could leave the Android Runtime on BlackBerry 10 so old that it becomes redundant.

As a developer, BlackBerry’s article left me more disillusioned than ever about developing for BlackBerry 10 in the consumer space. Whether it is simply a badly written article or not, is something that we will need to wait and see.

However, the fact that BlackBerry are taking to their blogs to “update” developers is not a good sign.  BlackBerry’s developer support has been going downhill faster than their BlackBerry 10 sales.

If they want to stop avoiding confusion, they need to get back to the days of updating developers directly and answering our questions directly.  Ambiguous blog posts only add to the confusion and any incorrect perceptions.

As BlackBerry developers we need honesty and transparency from the company.  More importantly, we need direct communication and something to inject enthusiasm into developing for the BlackBerry 10 platform.

Rapid Mobile

Rapid Mobile uses cookies, tokens, and other third party scripts to recognise visitors of our sites and services, remember your settings and privacy choices, and - depending on your settings and privacy choices - enable us and some key partners to collect information about you so that we can improve our services and deliver relevant ads.

 

By continuing to use our site or clicking I Accept, you agree that Rapid Mobile and our key partners may collect data and use cookies for personalised ads and other purposes, as described more fully in our privacy policy.

 

You can change your settings at any time by clicking Manage Settings or by visiting our Privacy Centre for more detailed information.

 

Privacy Settings saved!
Cookie Services

When you visit any website, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. Because we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer.

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources, so we can measure and improve the performance of our site.

We track anonymized user information to improve our website.
  • _ga
  • _gid
  • _gat

Decline all Services
Accept all Services