Alec Saunders and Chris Smith rocking BB10 Jam

As I told you my main reason to travel to Orlando was the BB10Jam Developer Conference.

After getting an overview from BlackBerry World General Sessions the BB10Jam Conference starts also with a General Session presented by Alec Saunders (Vice President of Developer Relations), Chris Smith (Vice President of Application Platform and Tools), and others.

The term “jam” is associated with some musicians “jamming” on stage. Alec Saunders has introduced the “BlackBerry Jam” – concept last year at BBDevCon in San Francisco in order to demonstrate that we are all working together, have fun and produce creative results.

The Session was opened by a Video where Alec, Chris and others are rocking the stage with “The Waiting Is The Hardest Part” Some impressions of the jam session here.

The waiting is the hardest part” – yes. At the conference we were all happy that RIM delivered the first beta of BB10 SDK including Cascades and also the BB10 Alpha Device for Developers. No one was knowing that some weeks later the launch of BB10 would be delayed by Thorsten Heins. …so the song still remains true 😉

Alec and his colleagues have not only rocked, of course, but brought the BB10 architecture and API’s a bit closer to us developers. This included many presentations of software vendors like SAP who built first BB10 applications. Macadamian presented a Cascades + OpenGL application and put it open source on GitHub.

As always, Alec Saunders has posted his email address and I can confirm that he actually reads his mail and responds. Alec is also very active on Twitter (@asaunders).

Impressions from BB10 Jam Conference in Orlando

From the bird’s-eye-view…

image: (c) 2012 ekke at island of kos (greece)

Perhaps you got now an overview what happened at RIM last months and what is BB10 in general.

It’s always good to take a look from a bird’s-eye-view before getting into the detail.

As a developer the marketing guys can tell me nice words – I want to see the API, grab the SDK and hack first code.

…down deep into Sourcecode

image ‘binary code’: from dreamstime.com (click to see the source)

Let’s go into the detail to see if BB 10 really is not only a promise for the future, but exists in reality and can be downloaded and that there’s really a API for the new features.

Looking at the Session catalog of BB10Jam Conference the decision wasn’t easy what sessions to attend – more cool stuff then hours of time available.

Here is my very subjective small excerpt from the conference program on native development for BB10. There was also a vast number of sessions for HTML 5 / Web development.

  • DEV 175: Creating Intelligent Applications with BlackBerry 10
  • COM 114: Building Connected Apps with Cascades
  • DEV 153: The Anatomy of a BlackBerry 10 App
  • DEV 179: Introduction to the Native C Camera API
  • DEV 120: Developing NFC Applications for BlackBerry 10
  • DEV 132: Location Based Services and Sensors
  • DEV 117: BlackBerry 10 Flow and The Invocation Framework

My reports below perhaps will give you some hints which session could be worth for you to attend at next BlackBerry developer conferences if you become interested into BB10.

BB10Jam Session: Creating Intelligent Applications with BlackBerry 10

image: from dreamstime.com (click to see the source)

Shaun Johansen and Dean Tsaltas initially gave a general overview of what constitutes a “intelligent application“:  Applications should be built to help users intelligently – many of
the points raised are valid on all platforms. Developers should think about their Apps in a slightly different way to create intelligent apps.

Be aware of:

  • location-related context: time zone update, local search, augmented reality (AR), support lost devices, show locations of friends devices …
  • time-related context: consideration of lunch time (lunch specials at restaurants nearby), working hours, meetings (reduce audio automatically if user is in meeting) …
  • date / day related context: use custom themes (weekend vs working day), reminders of gift buying, weekend mode, activities at the end / beginning of the month …
  • battery level: use of intelligent algorithms to reduce power consumption, reduction of features, prompt for battery-hungry tasks, …
  • connectivity: prompt for power-hungry tasks if roaming or low connectivity, detect often used WiFi (home, work) …

Alone on these points, I could write a long article. The goal is to program your own applications to be so intelligent that they behave optimally at different conditions. Real-time sensor data must be evaluated continuously, analyzed and relevant data should be stored to be able to make decisions.

In addition, you should analyze user behavior and recognize patterns. Based on the results there can be actions to reduce or mute audio, to respond with visual effects to inform the user etc. This is a considerable effort for you as a developer, which also is not visible at first glance. But in the long term users will appreciate it though.

What opportunities offers BlackBerry 10 to implement these requirements to provide intelligent applications ? The speakers presented the sample application “Smart Signals” and demonstrated live:

  • QML file with instructions to intercept native device events
  • BlackBerry Platform Services to control: audio (concurrency, device, mixer), clock, geolocation, LED, locale, navigator, orientation, NFC, network status, multimedia renderer, payment service, keyboard …
  • BlackBerry 10 sensors to respond to: accelerometer, magnetometer, gyroscope, altimeter, temperature, light, proximity, Gravity, Face Detection, …

A small QML code example:

Container {
	onCreationCompleted: {
		faceDetectService.setEnableSkipDuplicates(true);
		bpsMonitor.start();
	}
	BPSMonitor {
		id: bpsMonitor
		FaceDetectService {
			id: faceDetectService
			onFaceDetectData: console.log
				(detected ? "face nearby" : "no face detected");
		}
	}
}

more Infos

Last part of the session was on “Neural Networks” to enable intelligent decisions, self-learning, detect anomalies, improve user interfaces and more.

next page →


  1. Intro
  2. Death Spiral’. Why developing BB, Who on Earth…
  3. How it all began, Farewell Java ME, the ‘old’ RIM vs. ‘not your fathers’ RIM, I’m independent
  4. BB10 is a Platform, Cascades more then a UI Framework
  5. Thorsten Heins: the hard Way to BB10, BlackBerry 7 is alive
  6. Alec + Chris rockin’ …, BB10Jam Conference, Creating intelligent Apps
  7. Connected Apps with Cascades, Anatomy of a BB10 App
  8. Native Camera API, NFC Apps
  9. Location-Based-Services
  10. Flow + Invokation Framework
  11. Party, SDK, AlphaDevice, Keyboard, Magic Moments
  12. Markets: Consumer, Enterprise, Government, Automobile
  13. BB10 around the World, Apps Apps Apps…, Open Source
  14. Mission RIM possible ?, Empower People like never before ?, Three Wishes

next page →

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