At 12:20 PM on Tuesday (two days ago), a BlackBerry PlayBook arrived on my door step.
I bought it with the suspicion that it would not be too difficult to target BlackBerry’s new QNX-based platform. At 11:16 this morning, I was glad to announce that NME was running (albeit in software), and at 6:45 this evening, I was glad to announce two happy but simple words:
Some features remain to be supported, such as the accelerometer, or checking the screen DPI, but otherwise NME is alive and running on RIM’s platform. Fonts, animation, bitmaps, sound, filters, hardware acceleration — the “Pirate Pig” sample works flawlessly.
Some of you may feel that adding another target is investing time in something which is not as valuable as perfecting the targets which already exist, and which arguably have larger market share. I was recently told that BlackBerry App World grosses #2 in the world for mobile markets. There may be a lot of Android devices, but that does not necessarily mean that developers are reaping large profits. I was also told that only 1% of iOS developers make more than $1000 a year. If you take into account the cost of becoming a developer or purchasing Apple hardware, that becomes even less, so App World might be even more profitable for you than the App Store.
In my mind, one of the greatest strengths of NME is having options. I don’t want your business to be limited by your technology. Opening the doors to native applications on the BlackBerry platform opens doors for you to have more options when you decide how to market and sell your applications. Since the target uses SDL, just like webOS, Windows, Mac and Linux, it only helps to make NME more flexible, and does not pull our time into creating a lot of unique code for only one platform.