[Translation] Differences in development for BlackBerry and Android

    From a translator: this text should help commentators from this and this topic who want to know how things are going with development for BlackBerry 10.

    I want to share with you my own development experience for Android and BlackBerry. This will focus not only on programming, but also on the analysis of statistics and profit.

    In no case do I want to judge the platforms, I just share my impressions and facts.

    About me
    In order to better imagine the situation, I’ll briefly tell you about myself: I’m 20 years old, I live in Potsdam, Germany. I am currently studying at the Hasso Plattner Institute, majoring in Systems Engineering. I have been fond of Android development since 2011, and in 2012 BlackBerry was added to the list. That's when I started doing my own business. My main projects for BlackBerry are bb10bars.net and BB10 Sideloading Tool .

    As a basis for comparison, I will take my own application Remote Control Collection. This Android programexists since November 2011. At the moment, it contains more features than the version for BlackBerry, so I will not use the most current version and statistics on it.

    Remote Control Collection for BlackBerry is a "native" application written using the Cascades framework, following all the guidelines for Built for BlackBerry. It has been available since March 2013 and provides much better performance than the Android version. Before the launch of BB10, the application was also available for the PlayBook tablet in the form of an Android port.

    The first steps in programming for Android were pretty easy. Until that moment, I did not know Java, and I was not particularly familiar with Eclipse. A huge number of source code examples allowed me to use almost any opportunity for my development. In the event of a problem, dozens of developers have already managed to discuss and solve it on StackOverflow before me.

    When I started programming for BB10 using the first versions of the SDK and the DevAlpha device, I was aware that I could not count on a large number of resources on this topic, as well as the development community. The beta version of the development environment was quite difficult to get to work correctly and I had to solve most of the problems myself. By today, everything has changed and the final versions of the SDK have the necessary stability. In addition, the BlackBerry Developer Support Forums provide assistance in solving the most common problems. Due to the lack of available source programs, it was quite difficult to start development, since the examples provided by the Canadian company can be used only for some cases.

    Unfortunately, the description of the API and the general documentation on BB10 were just a joke compared to Android, BlackBerry will have to significantly improve it and it is better for the company not to delay it.

    In principle, software development is quite comfortable for both platforms, if you do not encounter any problems. The QNX Momentics development environment resembles Eclipse and is only slightly inferior to Android Studio. In the case of developing mobile applications, BlackBerry has a significant advantage: excellent wireless debugging tools and a faster emulator than that for the Google OS. True, I miss the ability to view logs through logcat, implemented in Android.

    The first thing, of course, that the developer should do is create an appropriate account. In the case of registering as an Android developer, Google will require $ 25 to verify your identity. Creating a similar account for BlackBerry is free. Unlike Apple, Google and BlackBerry do not require annual fees to renew registration.

    Before publishing the application must be signed. Android uses keystore for this; BlackBerry has its own keys. After completing this procedure, you can create an entry in the application store.

    Google provides a “Developer Console” for these purposes. Adding an application or updating it is quite simple, exactly as I expected. Changes take effect after 3-5 hours.

    BlackBerry calls its system the “Vendor Portal”. Adding a new version of the application is quite inconvenient, but I'm already used to it. The main difference is the need to verify each release by Canadian company employees before it can be published. This feature is good for users, but it can annoy developers. I had a case when, as a result of a five-day check, I was refused only because the description contained the word "Android".

    As the application becomes available to users, there are other differences. I want to focus on the user comments / reviews system. Recently, Android allows the developer to directly respond to reviews. In addition to this, other users can rate comments as positive or negative, and mark them as spam.

    While BlackBerry does not allow voting for comments, the developer can independently approve or reject user reviews.

    Statistics is an important thing and both platforms provide this feature in their developer portals. Android statistics have been significantly improved since 2011 and today contain all the necessary information.

    As for BlackBerry, their analytics section has not been improved since 2012, when I first met her. Everything would be fine if it provided a comprehensive overview, but the graphics provided are hardly informative. The vendor can generate so-called "download reports." I can set the start and end date, select the necessary applications and indicate the display of downloads or purchases.

    Here is a list of what I am missing:
    • Number of daily installations / uninstallations
    • Total number of users
    • Average rating
    • OS
    • Application version • Device model
    • Error reports
    • Country and language of the user
    • His age and gender

    For both Android and BlackBerry, there are paid and free versions of the Remote Control Collection. The application contains the same features for both operating systems. The BlackBerry version was featured at BlackBerry World for three days. The Android application has never been awarded this benefit. I understand that the comparison of absolute numbers is not very objective, since it does not take into account many factors that somehow affect the indicators. I will not analyze anything, I just want to give you an idea of ​​my own results.

    First I want to talk about the free version. Despite the fact that the user does not need to buy anything, it still brings me income. The application has no ads, but when installing the server side for Windows, the user must visit the program’s website, which contains the banner. Therefore, the number of users using the application for the first time is important to me, which essentially represents the daily number of downloads.

    • The average number of daily installations for BlackBerry is 250 downloads
    • For Android, this parameter is equal to 4000 installations

    Users of the free version are the basis of those who subsequently pay for the Pro version of the program, which, of course, generates more revenue than banner ads. The application for BlackBerry costs 2.69 €, for Android - 2.49 €. Like Google, BlackBerry takes 30% of each purchase. I don’t want to disclose my income here, but I’ll disclose the following:
    • The highest daily profit for the BlackBerry version was 80 € (when the application was advertised in the featured category)
    • For Android, this figure was 470 € (without getting into featured)
    • For every 100 € from BlackBerry World, I get 4000 € from sales on the Google Play Store

    The following is a list of the alleged advantages that led me to decide to start developing for BB10 (what I think now is indicated in brackets):
    • A much smaller number of users (True)
    • Users are much more likely to be ready to make purchases (Not in my case)
    • Less competitors (True)
    • The advantage of releasing the application at the same time as BB10 (Not very important)

    I don’t want to discourage those plans to start developing for BlackBerry, I like this platform and developing applications for it. I just hope that you will not have false hopes after making this decision.

    Original translation: forums.crackberry.com/developers-lounge-f9/developing-blackberry-vs-android-843473

    P.S.In order not to create a separate publication, I want to inform about the next competition held by BlackBerry. The other day, the company announced improvements to the Bilt for BlackBerry program . Among the innovations are the “developer checklist” with a list of requirements for the application to meet this status, the expansion of language support, the simplified process of sending software for review, as well as additional marketing opportunities in BlackBerry World. The first 250 developers who managed to submit their game or application and received Bilt for BlackBerry status before October 21, 2013 will be awarded the red BlackBerry Z10. More details here .

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