Posted October 30th 2009 under Uncategorized
We’re giving the final touches to the Blackberry version of j1ck.tweet, our Twitter client, and we will hopefully be able to release it very soon. Meanwhile, here is some preliminary info and screenshots to whet your appetite!
The J2ME version for general Java phones is already out there and being used quite extensively. The public version is Beta 1, and we’re finalizing some fixes to officially release 1.0 (very soon!). For the Blackberry, we could have used a simply adapted version: Blackberries support J2ME apps. But that would never let us create a great user experience on a Blackberry, so we decided to go the extra mile and implement a native BB version.
In the last couple of weeks we’ve finished integrating native Blackberry menus and a UI that respects platform conventions. We’ve also been able to make camera support work seamlessly. The main remaining point is getting RIM’s help to provide BIS-B connectivity: it’s quite surprising that app connectivity is so confusing on the Blackberry, and that you need to pay hefty fees and get RIM’s approval to provide a decent user experience connectivity-wise. Anyhow, we hope to jump over this last remaining hurdle shortly.
We support all Blackberry form factors: the older side-thumbwheel models like the 8700, the newer trackball ones, Pearl models with half-QWERTY keyboards, and the latest touch-screen Storm models. It’s proved to be quite some effort, but we’re really happy with the result. Seamless user-experience is our goal, and good input support is half of this. The other half is display, and we hope the captures below speak for themselves. We’ve had to require a minimum version 4.2 of the RIM Blackberry OS, which should be met by nearly all modern Blackberries out there (and you can upgrade at least some of the others!). 4.1 was giving us too much trouble with poor rendering support and it didn’t seem worthwhile fighting that battle.
There are already several good Blackberry Twitter clients out there, and we don’t really want to compete with them: our focus is different. We aim for a simple and clear user experience, and we hope to appeal to the segment of the market that values most the beauty of simplicity.
With regards to the remaining steps, if anyone can get us a good contact at RIM to help with the BIS-B approval process, we will be very grateful. And meanwhile, we’ll keep navigating the Canadian labyrinth, and hope to announce a public beta 1 soon!
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