BlackBerry PlayBook Webcast 5 of 5

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This post contains notes taken during the PlayBook webcast on December 9, 2010, not necessarily understandable out of context.

  1. BlackBerry Payment Service
    • can use for digital stuff, in-app only
    • not for physical goods, shared across apps, or virtual currencies
    • one approach: free app with paid upgrade/turn-on of features
    • 70% share to developer
  2. BlackBerry Advertising Service
    • RIM partnership with many ad agencies
    • 60% share to developer (supposedly standard in industry, but AdSense is 68%. - Ed)
    • device-side SDK simplifies it all
    • HTML 5, rich media, app world click-throughs
    • mediation platform: can customize to e.g. exclude an advertiser/network
    • can specify keywords to exclude certain ads that don't fit your app
    • full schedule available "soon"
  3. BlackBerry Analytics Service
    • powered by Webtrends
    • see who is using your app how, when, where
  4. Free BlackBerry PlayBook Offer
    • one tablet per vendor
    • free marketing around the apps
  5. App World Approval Process
    • 10-day turnaround
    • submitted, reviewed by RIM, then approved (or feedback)
    • vendor then lists app in App World
    • code-signing apps: Dec 15 will open new servers, free, no cost for keys
    • differences for PlayBook from regular BlackBerry: just the .bar files
  6. Questions (long but incomplete list)
    1. BlackBerry/PlayBook app sharing? No
    2. Monthly subscriptions in-app: how? Alex outlines an approach.
    3. When will simulator have sound? Later...?
    4. Can users opt out of analytics service? No.
    5. Czech Republic: is free PlayBook offer available there? Yes.
    6. To register as vendor? No promo or code needed now, need PayPal to offer app for sale.
    7. Is there a Bluetooth API in AIR to connect PBs together? APIs not solidified yet.
    8. When will Payment SDK be avail? For BlackBerries, now. For PB will have sched "shortly".
    9. SWF decompilation risks? "Theoretical maybe but risk is limited by security features, e.g. code-signing. Major risk is loss of IP, consider other tools to help." (paraphrased)
    10. In-game currency, can I use third-party system for that? Yes.
    11. What are in-app credits? Buy something to use in future, effectively virtual, so no.
    12. PlayBook has existing gestures, how do we add others? Swipe down is only app-wide gesture available to developer. Can role own but have to be within screen, not from bezel. (So you can't override app-switch side-swipe in your app, but you can do one within your own app.) See qnx.application class or forum for more.
    13. How do I get code-signing keys? Go to portal, need credit card to validate identity.
    14. Can I use GPS from Torch in PB app? Not defined yet.
    15. Will Flex Mobile apps compiled with Hero be approved by App World? Should be. Reasons you might get rejected won't be related to the technology used.
    16. What is cost for registration? Waived... free for now to register or submit apps.
    17. Timeline on app approvals etc? 10 biz days. For PB apps will be longer. Should see some approved before end of year. Should be 10 days by launch.
    18. Can we provide app for free and charge for use? Yes.
    19. Will PB support USB storage etc? At launch: USB slave not host (so no).
    20. Does PB have native text-to-speech API? Not yet.
    21. Are there plans for Adobe Flash Pro to publish for PB? Yes, planned.
    22. Will PB support SilverLight? Not planned.
    23. Will AIR support geolocation soon? GPS will be on device... (?)
    24. Can we reserve app id etc ahead of time? Yes, can do in advance...
    25. What is cost to publish on App World? Today everything is free...
    26. If more than 10 days to approve app (so it's past launch date), can we still get free PB? Yes!
    27. Support USB On The Go (USB OTG) in future? Can't answer that today. (But note Mike L's clear indication that they can support an Ethernet interface via USB, so it's clearly more than a simple USB slave, in hardware.)
    28. When does WebWorks for BB training start? As soon as tool gets out.
    29. If app approved, when will freebie ship? Mike says ahead of launch... contradicts web.
    30. Can we get full schedule for release of unsupported APIs? Yes, will get it together and Renaun says there's some info in release notes already.
    31. Does existing PB have GPS? Yes! (We have yet to hear another confirmation of this, which was clearly stated but still may possibly have meant just "using GPS on tethered phone". -Ed)
    32. Will external KBs etc be supported? Yes, intended, not sure of details.
    33. Can PB tether to non-BB phone? No answer at this point.
    34. Next steps for simulator, cookies, etc? Next version will have browser support etc.
    35. Is there much hardware access in PB AIR SDK? Clock etc? Yes, not supported in simulator yet. Renaun says standard APIs supported.
    36. Sensors supported? Accelerometer, GPS two biggest. (Note: again a clear mention of GPS on the unit, as a "sensor". -Ed)
    37. Does RIM have online training for newbies? No real rookie stuff but lots of docs. On Adobe side, Adobe Developer Connection lots of resources for AIR.
    38. Same BB id active on phone and PB? Yes, same on PB for AppWorld etc.
    39. Since App World may reject, could a proposed app get reviewed before code developed? Answer: should be no real need, no, but don't worry about it.
    40. Hello World avail? Yes. Also "Full RSS Reader" app.
    41. Orientation in AIR? Get event, need to adjust height/width etc. If app lays itself out properly it won't actually have to do anything (other than perhaps listening to an event).
    42. Can RIM announce when new stuff available on forums? Developer blog used heavily, but maybe they'll get the info into the forums as well.
    43. For early approvals, how much will RIM assist in troubleshooting problems since we don't have PBs? Yes, RIM will have to help initially of course. If not using QNX stuff, can test on desktop on webcam etc if there's AIR support for it.
    44. What dimension should screenshots be? Will get back to us.
    45. Print from PB? Not in core product, will look to community for help.
    46. Can you explain digital rights when submitting apps etc? Basically do we have the rights to submit content with an app. User-generated content, e.g. content or stories... do we have safeguards to reject objectionable content etc? Example: keeping porn away from kids.
    47. Possible to lock orientation of app? Yes, in application descriptor file (XML).
    48. Wire transfer to receive money for apps? Other options being looked at, yes, including wire transfer, direct deposit, etc.
    49. In BB dev days in Mexico, would only give away 50 PBs: true? No, the overall offer is for all registered App World vendors, no limits.
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