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BlackBerry Live 2013

Next week Kii will be going to the BlackBerry Live 2013 in Orlando, Florida. The journey is going to take us more than two thousand kilometers, but the team members can’t wait to share what we have been working on since we got our first Z10.

Since our trip to the BlackBerry Jam in Amsterdam earlier this year, we have dedicated some of our best developers to test drive the new development platform from BlackBerry. Since we work a lot on video on demand apps, we build one of our apps completely from the ground up using the Cascade framework. Based on our experiences, live TV is almost always the most challenging part (UI wise) of building a video on demand app. The live TV guide is a two dimensional scrolling grid with varying length of cells to represent shows, hundreds of rows to represent the insane number of TV channels we have these days, and infinite number of columns to represent time slots. To continuously process the data and present them in a beautiful and highly responsive UI is not a trivial task. Usually the first implementation on any platform we worked on usually will take about two weeks or more so we can iterate until we got the desired performance out of it. On the BlackBerry Z10, we were able to do it within three days plus a weekend. This speaks truly to both our team’s expertise and the device’s outstanding computation power. Needless to say we will be bringing our demo with us and share the lessons learned with fellow attendees.

LIVE TV GRID ON THE Z10

LIVE TV GRID ON THE Z10

In addition to the Cascade framework, we also tested out the WebWorks framework for our HTML5 apps. On that front, we are happy about how easy it is to build a hybrid HTML5 app with native extensions. This is critical to us because in our apps we need to do extensive amount of work in native code for video playback with DRM. We were happy and relieved that within minutes of setting up the development environment, we already got our javascript code hooked up to our native extensions. We are sure that we will be developing more and more apps as HTML5 and native hybrids.

So we are looking forward to learning the cool things others have built with the new BlackBerry 10 platform, and sharing our experiences as well. In addition, there’s bunch of sessions we have signed up for that really intrigues us, from enterprise apps to apps in vehicles. We are hoping to soak up as much knowledge as we can and bring them back to our customers. Stay tuned!