Maybe John Chen would benefit from learning what it's like to make a cross-platform app. The CEO of BlackBerry raised eyebrows recently by making the unusual argument that definitions of "net neutrality"--the notion that Internet traffic should be treated equal regardless of its source or user--be extended to mobile apps and games.
BlackBerry swears it's not for sale, but reports that Samsung offered to buy the troubled smartphone maker ignited a ton of buzz from developers on social media.
App developers love giving more to their customers--more features, more levels in a mobile game, more titles to choose from--but it's unlikely any of them wanted to increase the amount they tax them for their purchases. On Jan. 1, however, the European Union introduced a value-added tax (VAT) aimed specifically at sellers of "digital goods," including app developers.
It may not have quite the punch of Apple's iPhone 6 launch, but BlackBerry's attempt to re-ignite interest in its platform by bringing out an updated version of one of its most popular smartphone designs got some surprising reactions from app developers.
Hold the Fire phone: Amazon is bringing its Appstore to BlackBerry? At a moment when most developers were focusing more on the online juggernaut's launch of its Fire smartphone, BlackBerry momentarily stole the spotlight by announcing that some 200,000 Android apps from the company's app store would be available on its own devices later this summer.
As if it wasn't difficult enough for BlackBerry to get more apps created for BB10, recent controversy over a botched developer contest probably will not help matters. The contest snafu is just another sign the company hasn't quite gotten its act together.
BlackBerry managed to surprise onlookers by launching two new devices of its own at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Spain. Developers on Twitter didn't take long to render their verdict on the prospect of new BlackBerry hardware.
They came, they saw, they downloaded. Well, some of them downloaded. Consumer interest in apps continued to climb in 2013, but for the developers who created them, the year was filled with a variety of platform changes, concerns over how user data is handled, an emphasis on analytics and more than a few surprising mergers and acquisitions. Thus, FierceDeveloper is taking a look back on the year that was to put some of the biggest stories in perspective.
For several years now, it's felt as though most developers had their eyes focused on Apple and Google, while BlackBerry was someone on the side, within their peripheral vision. Now I can't imagine the company is in their line of sight at all.
It's reaching the point where most developers probably can't look at the news online without seeing a headline along the lines of, "More trouble for BlackBerry." The notion that its selection of apps has contributed to its troubles has been a particularly hot topic on Twitter.