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With BB10, RIM Tries To Break Out of the 'Mobile Ecosystem' Model

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the since-it's-obviously-working-so-well-for-them dept.

Blackberry 143

Alt-kun writes "This past week has seen a couple of interesting articles about Research In Motion's strategic plans for BlackBerry 10. The Globe and Mail thinks that by pushing HTML5 for app development, they want to make mobile applications platform-neutral, which would let them sell devices purely on the strength of the hardware and OS, rather than on the ecosystem. And the Guelph Mercury notes that they also plan to push BB10 as the basis for a whole range of mobile and embedded devices, not just phones and tablets. One example shown off at the recent developer conference was a Porsche with a BlackBerry entertainment system."

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Why HTML5 apps suck on mobile (4, Informative)

WhiteArmor (2637119) | more than 2 years ago | (#39965935)

Native apps will always work better and be less resource intensive than HTML5 based apps. You will never be able to match native code or get even close. Even Google understands this on mobiles, even though they still use the crappy Java. This is especially important on mobile phones not only for limited CPU and memory and the lack of good GPU, but because battery life is really important and already not that great.

RIM just wants to do this because they don't have the vibrant app economy than Apple and even Microsoft has. They want others to do the work for them.

Re:Why HTML5 apps suck on mobile (2, Insightful)

redemtionboy (890616) | more than 2 years ago | (#39965977)

" even though they still use the crappy Java"

I was going to award you some points, and then I read that. Now I dislike you.

Re:Why HTML5 apps suck on mobile (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39965995)

Learn a modern language and your irrational love for Java will just fade away, fade away.

Re:Why HTML5 apps suck on mobile (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39966123)

Like Ruby. That language has legs. It's so fast.
Or Haskell. Thirty-two mathematicians can't be wrong.

Re:Why HTML5 apps suck on mobile (2)

hackula (2596247) | more than 2 years ago | (#39967959)

Speed is around number 10 on the list of things that matter when choosing a general purpose language...And do not even try the ole BS "b-b-but I work in the game industry and I need the speed". 1) No, you don't; I bet you are lying and 2) write the speed intensive stuff (a tiny fraction of any application) in the lowest level language you can and wrap it in a easy to use high level language.

Re:Why HTML5 apps suck on mobile (4, Interesting)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#39967377)

Im no programmer, but claiming something isnt modern is just a shady way of denigrating something for being well established. Essentially, where one person might say "its stable" or "time tested", youve found a way to turn that into a negative.

Arent latest, greatest fads usually just fads? Arent the most popular programming languages generally decades old (C++, Java)? Isnt one of the most popular languages for embedded devices (C) even older?

Re:Why HTML5 apps suck on mobile (2)

Thunderbuck_YT (911075) | more than 2 years ago | (#39967901)

Java is basically a resource-sucking abstraction layer. Native code is much more efficient in every way (lower memory footprint, easier execution). That said, HTML5 isn't a bad choice for certain lightweight tasks. An accomplished developer or team can break down the needed functionality of an app and figure out which functions are best executed on which platform. Where BB10 has a chance is in the new UI, which will have all kinds of goodies baked in and written in native code. If it works (and there's still some question, for sure), it stands a chance of not just performing better than Android and iOS, but even introducing new functionality.

Re:Why HTML5 apps suck on mobile (2)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#39968645)

All high-level languages above native processor code are abstraction layers that reduce performance. The goal is to reduce the chance of errors and to speed development time, and if a language does that well it can be worth the downsides.

HTML for example is very high level, and pretty poor relative performance compared to native, but it is simple and fast for me to create my own page, and it is unlikely that an error in my code will cause a HCF error in the processor, corrupt the memory stack, result in privilege escalation within the OS, etc.

Re:Why HTML5 apps suck on mobile (4, Insightful)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 2 years ago | (#39968755)

Just want to point out that Java, C#, NodeJS, Python, etc. offer a very large advantage over lower level languages. That is a bit of isolation from typical issues resulting from poor memory management. It doesn't mean you shouldn't be aware, but allows you to concentrate more on the problem domain, instead of dealing with the ancillary issues of your development platform. Many operations in Java/C# in particular can be as fast as the same operations in C/C++, after JIT it is compiled code.

Beyond all of this, the overhead for Java/C# is typically less than 5-10%, with modern smart phones commonly running Ghz processors, even multi-core, the overhead isn't that big of an issue. The bigger issue is running applications in the background that aren't resource aware, and run blocking operations, or don't offload well. I think that as the developer frameworks for mobile evolve it will be even less of an issue.

Re:Why HTML5 apps suck on mobile (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39967413)

Yes Java is getting dated and props to everyone on this thread really for the insights, but what many do not understand is that java has nothing to do with speed in this case - its compiled to Dalvik virtual machine code (a sort of binary executable, similar to direct machine language) so any replacement language would have about the same speed. The only other option is to compile directly to the specific hardware, which becomes a distribution nightmare. This is why java / .net / etc. has appeal, not for the language involved but the end result more or less.

Re:Why HTML5 apps suck on mobile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39966015)

I'm sure he meant "Java" as the idiotic crappy framework/concept and not the language though, which is fine.

Re:Why HTML5 apps suck on mobile (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39966689)

Wow, what an irrational douche. And so is the moderator.

Both your post and the troll moderation of his post wonderfully illustrates just how broken and dumb the slashdot readship has become over the years. In other words, you and the troll moderators are the postboys of what's broken and fucked up with slashdot.

Perhaps you should learn to listen and think rather than judge, troll, and rationalize ways to be irrational.

Sorry, but the post is insightful. Period. I can understand if moderators didn't want to moderate it up, but moderating it down is the definition of troll moderation.

I'm guessing you're under the age of thirty and part of the Entitled Generation.

Slashdot is so dead so long as idiots like these hang around.

Re:Why HTML5 apps suck on mobile (2)

R0UTE (807673) | more than 2 years ago | (#39966003)

The same argument holds for any platform. A native app will always be quicker. One of the advantages of web apps in any scenario is the ease of cross platform compatibility. In the mobile world this holds true even more so than on the desktop. If they can push this kind of development (especially with the hardware capabilities of modern phones) it would be great for phone hardware in the long term.

Re:Why HTML5 apps suck on mobile (5, Insightful)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 2 years ago | (#39966265)

It would be nice, but no one's bitching that their phone isn't fast enough. Native apps are lovely. Browser apps are lovely. What distinguishes Android and iOS is that there's a business model where lots of people get paid.

Watching videos isn't a business model anymore because the data plans are becoming mind-numbingly expensive. So what's left? Store-and-forward content viewing; low data rate interactives, including gaming. RIM has to offer something that's a monetary incentive to 1) carriers 2) developers 3) content providers 4) aggregators and CDNs and 5) all of these on an ongoing basis or no one's going to invest in doing BBx-specific stuff.

Apple has lots of salespeople and financial partners whose employer isn't Apple. So they promote Apple. Not so for RIM.

RIM gives no guarantees of privacy, security, or economy to increase their value from the user's context, either.

Speed isn't an issue, as phones are throttled by data rates that the carriers can support. Instead, things like actual security and real costs are the values.

Re:Why HTML5 apps suck on mobile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39966735)

"RIM gives no guarantees of privacy, security,"

Huh? SOURCE because that is the total opposite of reality. Repalce RIMM with iOS or Droid and your sentence makes more sense.

Re:Why HTML5 apps suck on mobile (3, Insightful)

localman57 (1340533) | more than 2 years ago | (#39966925)

It would be nice, but no one's bitching that their phone isn't fast enough.

Speed isn't an issue, as phones are throttled by data rates that the carriers can support. Instead, things like actual security and real costs are the values.

But they bitch a bunch about battery life. Program efficiency may not be an issue to the touch and feel of the phone. But they are a huge issue in terms of battery life. The phone's processor spends most of its time in an idle/sleep mode. If it takes more cycles to achieve the same effect, then you're going to see a proportional hit on battery life. Every instruction executed has a cost measured in Coulombs.

Re:Why HTML5 apps suck on mobile (1)

tokul (682258) | more than 2 years ago | (#39968277)

But they bitch a bunch about battery life

You will be bitching about battery life a lot, if your BB run data encryption/decryption every time you use it.

Re:Why HTML5 apps suck on mobile (1)

citizenr (871508) | more than 2 years ago | (#39966955)

What distinguishes Android and iOS is that there's a business model where lots of people get paid.

Are you sure? For me the thing that distinguishes those two is a 100ms Input lag, frame drops in UI operations and over 200ms audio lag.

Re:Why HTML5 apps suck on mobile (1)

cant_get_a_good_nick (172131) | more than 2 years ago | (#39967239)

Browser apps are lovely.

Ironically, on BB, Browser apps are far from lovely. The BB native browser is among the worst I've ever tried, and IMHO makes a black mark on WebKit.

HTML sucks for touch screens. HTML apps don't work so well when you don't have a signal where native apps can still run. HTML apps can't tie into system APIs (RIM doesn't like losing the GMail native app because now you lose notifications).

Re:Why HTML5 apps suck on mobile (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 2 years ago | (#39967987)

HTML5 apps on the iPhone can tie into system APIs, though not all of them. There's nothing preventing RIM from allowing the same.

Re:Why HTML5 apps suck on mobile (1)

MogNuts (97512) | more than 2 years ago | (#39968715)

I don't mean to insult you, but I have to call you out so other readers are misled:

You post makes no coherent sense and I can't tell at all what direction you are going with any sentence or statements.

Re:Why HTML5 apps suck on mobile (1)

MogNuts (97512) | more than 2 years ago | (#39968743)

Ok I gleaned one thing: Android and iOS people get paid.

I don't have the few articles on hand, but do you mean where most developers don't make enough to even break even, and the ones who do generate 10k per year. They would make more working at McDonalds.

Re:Why HTML5 apps suck on mobile (4, Informative)

Barbara, not Barbie (721478) | more than 2 years ago | (#39966267)

One of the advantages of web apps in any scenario is the ease of cross platform compatibility

Sure, because HTML always renders the same on every browser and platform, always has, always will.

Except that it never had, and never will. Even Flash had better cross-platform compatibility (and better performance).

Re:Why HTML5 apps suck on mobile (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#39966893)

Except that it never had, and never will. Even Flash had better cross-platform compatibility (and better performance).

S-so did Java applets... you know, the ones that JavaScript was meant to hand the heavy lifting off too. Except the TCK prevents "Java" platforms from dropping the deprecated cruft, and making a fast booting, lean and mean web targeted bytecode compliable VM.

Sun & Oracle dropped the ball. They could have been the Web's "App Store" backbone. They have all the functionality, just not the mentality to "be the platform". Oh, we'll have the cross platform web app stores eventually, with a bit of fragmentation (you can't help it).

It's just silly to Hack a static document display network into a stateful application delivery system using the least acceptable tools -- But that's what we're doing, and we wonder why it sucks to be a web dev. Screw that crap. I went back to C to escape the horrors of HTML5. <audio> and <canvas> runs crappier on my 2.3Ghz dual core P4 test machine for simple sprite based pac-man & tetris clones (in chrome and ff) than IE6 does with <object> for audio and DOM manipulation (style.top and style.left and img.src) for sprite animation.

That's ridiculous. It's like a High School football team winning against every professional team in the league.

Re:Why HTML5 apps suck on mobile (1)

R0UTE (807673) | more than 2 years ago | (#39967551)

Nope, never said that. I said the ease of cross platform compatibility. It's a hell of a lot easier to get HTML to render the same across platforms than it is for an android app to 'render' the same on an iPhone!

Re:Why HTML5 apps suck on mobile (1)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 2 years ago | (#39967807)

I didn't think it was ever supposed to render the same. I thought it was supposed to render in a way that made sense on whatever display the browser was set up for and how the user wanted it.
I might want all images suppressed, for instance, or all headings read out by a voice synth.
Marking up the text with tags lets the browser treat the document 'intelligently'.

Re:Why HTML5 apps suck on mobile (1)

Thunderbuck_YT (911075) | more than 2 years ago | (#39967979)

In the case of RIM (and that is who we're discussing here), they are building absolutely the best HTML infrastructure for their devices. Better-than-desktop standards compatibility and rendering. The browser in the Playbook is among the very best for HTML5 compatibility and rendering, and the browsers in the BB10 prototypes are the VERY best available right now.

Re:Why HTML5 apps suck on mobile (1)

Barbara, not Barbie (721478) | more than 2 years ago | (#39968079)

... and since we're talking about RIM, it's all irrelevant. They screwed up, and now they're going round and round circling the porcelain bowl.

HTML 5 "apps" won't save them any more than it helped Nokia with their WinPhone7 sales.

The real question in most people's minds is which one is going to go bust / get bought out first.

Re:Why HTML5 apps suck on mobile (1, Troll)

MogNuts (97512) | more than 2 years ago | (#39968897)

Except the fact that I've had a blackberry and an iPhone, and yet the BB shits all over the iPhone in productivity, security, and phone functions and features. The dedicated back button and shortcut keys alone allow me to zip around so fast and efficiently its retarded. Once you get past playing the piano on the iPhone and playing a few games, when you need a *smartphone* to actually do anything, things get a little different.

That said though, I do think you are right. People don't care about having the best and most natural smartphone. All they care about is that they get to play "Punch the Monkey" and the $1000 "I am Rich" app from the "App Store".

Re:Why HTML5 apps suck on mobile (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 2 years ago | (#39968925)

Honestly, I know a ton of people who liked BB for mail. Everything else pretty much universally sucked. I think MS will keep pushing mobile forever, so it will always be there... Android will continue, even if splintered, and Apple is king of the hill now, so who knows. BB, webOS, maemo, etc will be the also rans here. Which is a shame, as I really feel with a few tweaks to the browser, webOS is the nicest tablet platform I've ever used.

With RIM, their only chance is to make it as easy as possible for developers to bring their apps to the platform before they go under.

Re:Why HTML5 apps suck on mobile (2)

MogNuts (97512) | more than 2 years ago | (#39968799)

Yet mobile web apps still end up working and looking better than the actual hard-coded apps for the respective platforms. I mentioned this in another post, but it bears repeating. I have an iPhone, and guess what:

- Most apps are total garbage
- Apps crash constantly, even all these years later
- Unblockable, unstoppable, obnoxious ads (I'm looking at you CNET and IGN with your VIDEOS every other webpage on a CELLPHONE connection--3G, data caps and all)
- Most apps are missing about 80% of the desktop/webpage's features
- Most apps don't even do encrypted ANYTHING. You know shit is bad when a *webpage* is more secure than a hard-coded true application on a trusted system should be. See Path, Southwest Airlines App, and pretty much 70% of all other Apps that deal with logins and sensitive data.

After all this, using a mobile version of a webpage, or using the "desktop view" in 3rd party web browsers is a GODSEND.

Re:Why HTML5 apps suck on mobile (1)

thomasw_lrd (1203850) | more than 2 years ago | (#39966727)

If they can get everybody else behind it.

The only problem with this strategy is will Google and Apple follow? If not, then you're still stuck with a platform with no apps.

Re:Why HTML5 apps suck on mobile (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39966023)

But aren't Facebook pushing the same way with its App Center (http://www.cmswire.com/cms/customer-experience/facebook-launches-app-center-for-desktop-and-mobile-devices-creates-massive-monetization-possibilities-015531.php) - if that gets some momentum then HTML 5 apps will grow massively, and in (say) 75% of cases the app doesn't have the intensive needs that require native coding.

At the end of the day, would you rather develop one app for all phones thats "okay", rather than an app per ecosystem with lots of tweaking under the hood for each?

Re:Why HTML5 apps suck on mobile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39966037)

Yep. I've got an unexpensive Android device with a QVGA screen [wikipedia.org] . Native apps are a must with such a resolution because they just fit much better than websites. BTW, how is RIM going to push for HTML5 apps on iOS?

If that's their plan, I'm afraid you can stick a fork on RIM, they're done.

Re:Why HTML5 apps suck on mobile (4, Insightful)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#39966357)

Yep. I've got an unexpensive Android device with a QVGA screen [wikipedia.org] . Native apps are a must with such a resolution because they just fit much better than websites. BTW, how is RIM going to push for HTML5 apps on iOS?

If that's their plan, I'm afraid you can stick a fork on RIM, they're done.

Why would it need to push for HTML5 apps on iOS? iOS already has them - they predate the App Store, and are still supported. If BB can get this working for them, which I doubt since the BB train has long since sailed in the US market, then they might be able to salvage something.

I think they have left it far too late, however, and they've been pushed into irrelevance by iOS and Android.

Re:Why HTML5 apps suck on mobile (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 2 years ago | (#39968023)

... which I doubt since the BB train has long since sailed in the US market...

Holy mixed metaphors, Batman!

Re:Why HTML5 apps suck on mobile (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39966083)

RIM just wants to do this because they don't have the vibrant app economy than Apple and even Microsoft has. They want others to do the work for them.

That's a pretty stupid thing to say. "They don't have third party apps. They want others to write third party apps."

And assembler is fastest of all... (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39966259)

Everything nowadays works on an abstraction layer. If it wasn't for that, modern functionality would be impossible; you just can't design modern graphical-based software in assembler. HTML5 is just a higher abstraction layer; the speed depends largely on the efficiency of the translation, but as the rate at which the constructs are converted to entities that can be handled with native code increases, the performance gap narrows.

High speed trading is done in Java because Java is actually fast enough, nowadays, and it is possible to write good enough quality code to do complex modelling. At my very inferior level, I have often knocked out little Swing applets in an hour or so to test an idea or model a process; nowadays I would probably do it in JS using a convenient xy plot environment I knocked up in a morning.

The upshot is that HTML5 means that you can economically produce little applications with a tiny user group. They won't be running long enough to deplete phone batteries, which in any case still suffer most from display and radio consumption.

But then - high user id and marketing bullshit ("vibrant app economy that Apple and even Microsoft has"). Since we heard just this week that MS isn't getting developers this is obviously a Microsoft PR troll. Welcome to your cubicle and good luck posting on Slashdot!

When the abstraction layer is incomplete (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39966453)

Except the abstraction layer is often incomplete, failing to provide access to features of the hardware. For example, how should a web application access the camera and microphone of the device that the browser is running on (with the user's permission, of course)? Without camera access, for example, there is no way to make a barcode scanner.

Re:When the abstraction layer is incomplete (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 2 years ago | (#39966631)

Great point.

And even if each platform gives access to the hardware layer, it's going to be different on each platform.

Making the HTML5 app require hardware specific code.

And you might as well go back to the full native app at that point.

Another abstraction layer (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39966749)

And even if each platform gives access to the hardware layer, it's going to be different on each platform.

I thought the difference among a hypothetical Safari camera, a hypothetical Android Browser camera, and a hypothetical BB10 browser camera was something for JavaScript libraries to abstract. Let's make the features available to those libraries first though.

Re:When the abstraction layer is incomplete (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#39968223)

well, there's this: http://www.w3.org/2009/dap/ [w3.org] (devices api)

the basis seems to be the nokia web runtime stuff, then there's stuff like phonegap too(which is basically a 3rd party webruntime with support for different platforms).

in case you're wondering if the nokia implementation was ever practical choice for apps.. well.. not really, no. and if you're wondering if it's blatantly obvious that you're using a phonegap sw when you are.. yes it is.

what blackberry is really doing is just APING TOTALLY WHAT NOKIA DID 3-4 YEARS AGO! even down to demoing automobile systems, dunno what would be different this time.

Re:When the abstraction layer is incomplete (1)

MogNuts (97512) | more than 2 years ago | (#39968993)

Good point. One problem with that.

Most apps that use this are crap. People are going crazy over ARG. Except it ends up sucking. In reality and practical use, putting shit all over a photo on the street blows. People would rather glance at a Google Maps picture real quick.

The only use I've seen is what you've mentioned. Taking a picture of a barcode. That-is-it.

Wait, who am I talking to--it's you Tepples. Who comes to every video game comment thread and shills that consoles are better because of local co-op. In fact, I just read in a story this week. Sure enough, it was you.

Ugh.

Re:And assembler is fastest of all... (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39967553)

Much of the time Assembler isn't any better than C or C++. Humans just aren't as good at hitting every optimization, and those hand-tuned optimizations take time that's not available in the current fast-to-market environment. Plus, the more optimized Assembler you have in the codebase the harder it is to port. What are the Java libraries written in?

Re:Why HTML5 apps suck on mobile (2)

DuckDodgers (541817) | more than 2 years ago | (#39966389)

HTML5 is reasonably well supported by most browsers, including mobile browsers, and the support will improve with time. So if a developer writes something that works on Blackberry, he can host it at a web page and someone on iOS or Android or Windows Phone can just bookmark the page. That's what RIM (and Mozilla's Boot 2 Gecko, and the Tizen project) are trying to achieve. You draw in the developers by telling them that if they develop for your platform, bookmarks let your app work on all of the other platforms with no extra work. That's an even bigger target audience than building just for Android or just for iOS.

A scripting language like Javascript generally won't run as efficiently as a compiled language, even against a bytecode compiled language like Java. On the other hand, Microsoft, Mozilla, Webkit (Google, Apple, Nokia, and others), and Opera are in an incredible web browser arms race to build the fastest, most efficient Javascript engine possible. I don't think any other scripting language is receiving even half the work on optimization that Javascript is getting. And in three years just about every mainstream smart phone will have over a GB of memory and a quad core ARM processor. The speed difference is not a problem.

Re:Why HTML5 apps suck on mobile (2)

A Big Gnu Thrush (12795) | more than 2 years ago | (#39966567)

People said the same thing 10 years ago about web applications. The market for native Mac and PC applications is disappearing. You could do Facebook as a client-server application. There's a reason they didn't. You could do Facebook mobile app as a native iOS app. There's a reason they didn't.

Re:Why HTML5 apps suck on mobile (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 2 years ago | (#39968061)

Facebook didn't do what [apple.com] ?

Re:Why HTML5 apps suck on mobile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39967783)

Your comments about native apps were what was said about desktop apps 5 to 10 years ago. Everything I do know for the desktop (except for edge cases where a desktop application is truly necessary) is done in the browser. You are clueless, not a developer and talking out your ass. Battery life will improve and I am not sure what the hell you are talking about when it comes to "limited" cpu. WTF, what era are you living in? Modern smart phones are plenty fast.

I spent the first half of my life coding in Java (a ton of swing, rmi, j2ee, jsf, etc. etc.) and objective c if you think for one second i don't love to build mobile apps with html5, js, and css over java or objective c, you are nuts. Most of the other guys i work with agree as well.

your crappy java statement displays your ignorance, you are not a developer, quit pretending, you are just a little douche.

Re:Why HTML5 apps suck on mobile (2)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#39968163)

Native apps will always work better and be less resource intensive than HTML5 based apps. You will never be able to match native code or get even close. Even Google understands this on mobiles, even though they still use the crappy Java. This is especially important on mobile phones not only for limited CPU and memory and the lack of good GPU, but because battery life is really important and already not that great.

RIM just wants to do this because they don't have the vibrant app economy than Apple and even Microsoft has. They want others to do the work for them.

Honestly, the web app "economy" failed. The iPhone tried it (it's the reason why Safari for Windows was produced) as the only apps available on it were web apps. Developers cried out, jailbreaks happened and some rather good apps were developed for jailbroken devices.

All this while Apple was pushing web apps, adding HTML5 support for sensors and location information, local storage etc so web apps could get access to a whole range of APIs. Eventually Apple relented and created the App Store. Web apps are still supported in iOS - and Apple promotes them as a way to get around the approval process.

Re:Why HTML5 apps suck on mobile (1)

MogNuts (97512) | more than 2 years ago | (#39968693)

So? It's funny that this article was just posted. That past few months I've been thinking the same thing. Regardless of platform, the future is the (mobile) web.

See, I have an iPhone. I used all the apps. You know where I spend most of my time now? Mobile Safari. Why?

- Most apps are total garbage
- Apps crash constantly, even all these years later
- Unblockable, unstoppable, obnoxious ads (I'm looking at you CNET and IGN with your VIDEOS every other webpage on a CELLPHONE connection--3G, data caps and all)
- Most apps are missing about 80% of the desktop/webpage's features
- Most apps don't even do encrypted ANYTHING. You know shit is bad when a *webpage* is more secure than a hard-coded true application on a trusted system should be. See Path, Southwest Airlines App, and pretty much 70% of all other Apps that deal with logins and sensitive data.

The mobile web wasn't truly feasible as an app delivery mechanism though until now--with the advent of ubiquitous HTML5 browsers and most especially 4G connections. Now shit is fast enough to actually use! And this is where it's going to go. No more dealing with restrictive app stores, 30% loss of revenue, a different client for each phone. Using Mobile Safari/Android Browser is a godsend for sites--things don't crash! And nevermind the fact that with Android and Skyfire/Opera for iPhone, I can actually view the *desktop* version and utilize the full featured normal desktop web page version! It's like night and day.

Who knew that when Apple wasn't able to deliver flash on the iPhone through incompetence and the desire to lock people into the ITunes/App Store universe via promoting HTML5, it would actually start the revolution of freeing people from their own ecosystem.

ecosystem? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39965957)

Well, the idea is good, but in the world of sheeple buying iphones and ipads which are nothing but closed ecosystem, RIM should know that they should just focus on marketing, advertisements and litigation to win the market.

What's good for consumer does not win, because consumers are morons.

Re:ecosystem? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39966207)

No, the idea really isn't good.

They'll be ensuring their platform is only capable of running the low quality apps that can also run one every other platform. Basically they're relegating themselves to lowest common denominator status.

Re:ecosystem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39967473)

you are right. They should just go ahead with fud - the Apple style.

Sports cars at QNX (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39965985)

Integrating functionality of BB10 into car dashboards comes from the fact that most of the OS developers were already working on dashboards in the same building, before RIM bought QNX.

Porche, Audi, BMW, among others have been running QNX for many years, and the software development for the infotainment systems has been done at the QNX head office. They already have the infrastructure and experienced developers to do this, so it only make sense to try to market it when the launch cost is low.

Re:Sports cars at QNX (4, Insightful)

localman57 (1340533) | more than 2 years ago | (#39966169)

I think you're right. It appears that the tail is now wagging the dog. Six months ago, RIM was a handset maker that happened to be using QNX. It appears that they have now transformed into an OS maker that happens to be making Handsets. Almost as if QNX aquired RIM, not the other way around.

Re:Sports cars at QNX (2, Interesting)

localman57 (1340533) | more than 2 years ago | (#39966193)

An additional thought: This sort of transformation was the beginning of the end for Palm. (Although it's pretty clear the beginning of the end for RIM was years ago. What we're seeing now is the beginning of the end of the end of RIM.)

Re:Sports cars at QNX (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39967923)

An additional thought: This sort of transformation was the beginning of the end for Palm. (Although it's pretty clear the beginning of the end for RIM was years ago. What we're seeing now is the beginning of the end of the end of RIM.)

No, this is more the middle of the end of the end of RIM. It will take a while to drain down all of the money and resources of the company. There is simply too much money to be made in consultancy and management for this to be the end of the end.

Re:Sports cars at QNX (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#39968271)

to fully ape palm they would have had to sell their own os first, make playbook on a 3rd os, and sell one of their new os'es and then make another. as bad as they are they're nowhere near that!

Re:Sports cars at QNX (1)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#39966229)

porsche, audi and bmw are a tiny percentage of the us car market. for luxury cars it's lexus and acura here with infiniti not so much anymore

Re:Sports cars at QNX (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 2 years ago | (#39966365)

for luxury cars it's lexus and acura here with infiniti not so much anymore

Acura? I don't know where you live, but where I live I see a lot more BMW than Acura. And for that matter if you drop the well dressed Camry that poses as a luxury car (Lexus ES series) you see about as many Audis as Lexuses (or whatever the plural form of Lexus is).

Though I do agree that Inifiti is a niche player at best. Nissan never could seem to figure out what they wanted to do with that brand. The only advantage they had was they were the first Japanese luxury brand with a convertible, but it didn't take long for Lexus to deliver a more popular model.

Re:Sports cars at QNX (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 2 years ago | (#39968937)

But, but, but, all of their ecosystem is bloated and windows based. How the heck are they going to migrate to linux/qnx??? I mean, in the coming 5 years, because right now, they have ZERO support for Qnx. Heck, they don't even have enough, or even any Linux developers and tools. So, how are they going to migrate to Qnx, HOW???

BB10 Release Date? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39966043)

No release date. Already delayed over a year. Just RIM blowing smoke until they can kinda sorta maybe deliver a product.

Good for developers (2)

acoustix (123925) | more than 2 years ago | (#39966071)

With HTML5, write an app once and you're done. Currently you must create an app for iOS, Android, BB OS, Win Mobile, etc.

Besides, most popular apps on mobile devices are fetching information from websites anyway. Look at how many websites have apps. What's the point? Why should I load an app on my smartphone to access the same content by actually using the browser? I'm tired of seeing posts on websites like "hey, I can't get to this with my iPhone app". Why deal with keeping apps updated and working. It doesn't make sense.

Re:Good for developers (2)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#39966131)

well, yeah as soon as the mobile html5 device apis come standard, something that has been 5 years in the making.

if your app is just a mobile web site to begin with then those api's don't matter. but then, eh... this isn't really news for those people anyways, like said they can just be a mobile website then.

you really want to know why so many websites have apps? it's part of their social media strategy(tm)(r). the point is to keep reminding the user that you exist, a nifty icon on app menu is exactly that, a reminder. even if all the app does is launch a browser window.

Re:Good for developers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39966715)

Use your god damned shift key, asshole.

Re:Good for developers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39967487)

It doesn't have a standard API and is therefore unavailable on his chosen keyboard.

Re:Good for developers (2)

Tharsman (1364603) | more than 2 years ago | (#39966279)

Huge issue: biggest chunk of apps moving in mobile markets are games. These games either need as much performance as possible (that can only be achieved with native code) or are forced to use hacks here and there that end up making them depend heavily on browser differences.

Not that this matters much here, I bet BB10 will have some form of support for native apps, and this HTML5 deal is just a way to make it easier on some to develop simple apps.

Side note: in theory you can write HTML5 apps for iOS and Android. All you need is to make a very small "shell" app with a browser view controller and redirect it to your internal HTML code.

Re:Good for developers (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 2 years ago | (#39968247)

You don't even need the shell, at least on iOS. You can save a bookmark to the home screen from within Safari.

Re:Good for developers (1)

MadKeithV (102058) | more than 2 years ago | (#39966427)

With HTML5, write an app once and you're done.

It worked so well for regular old webpages with CSS and stuff across multiple browser versions and platforms and screen sizes :D.

Re:Good for developers (2)

fermion (181285) | more than 2 years ago | (#39966459)

We will see. The iPhone was initially an web based machine. Much of what has happened since was due to demand of developers. Remember that with the classic mac, Apple ignored developers, and history has shown what happened. WIth the Intel Mac and iOS, Apple has been much more responsive to developers.

The write once run anywhere model is compelling. For suitably powerful machines, Java already provides some level of functionality. HTML 5, which to be fair did not exist when iPhone first came out, looks like it will provide that functionality across all platforms.

I think, however, that the success is going to depend on how developers approach HTML5. Recall that HTML gave developers a chance to write context based web pages to present content to wide range of audiences on a wide range of platforms. One reason Amazon, for example, is successful is because it leveraged this ability. But many others were not willing to let go of presentation. Without CSS those who wanted a consistent application front end turned to MS and IE, which resulted in a fragmented web and MS lockin. This fragmentation and lockin, again, was the choice of developers.

Two things might make this work for mobile devices. One is a small front end custom written for a device that abstracts the web content into an App. This seems like a small thing, but the issue to me when the iPhone first came out was the need to load safari, go to a web page, and have the whole browser structure taking up real estate and resources instead of have a custom view. Second is the ability to run offline. The need to be always connected is a major disadvantage for web apps on mobile devices. Take something like the Kindle Fire. It is not always connected. If one is going to have an app that run on anything anywhere, it can't always require a connection.

Re:Good for developers (2, Informative)

paulpach (798828) | more than 2 years ago | (#39966821)

Besides, most popular apps on mobile devices are fetching information from websites anyway

The top grossing apps are without question games [google.com]

I have been working on making a game for mobile myself [blockstory.net] (yes, shameless plug) and I can tell you first hand that making anything beyond tic tac toe on html5 for mobile is crazy talk.

Re:Good for developers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39966927)

With HTML5, write an app once and you're done. Currently you must create an app for iOS, Android, BB OS, Win Mobile, etc.

Besides, most popular apps on mobile devices are fetching information from websites anyway. Look at how many websites have apps. What's the point? Why should I load an app on my smartphone to access the same content by actually using the browser? I'm tired of seeing posts on websites like "hey, I can't get to this with my iPhone app". Why deal with keeping apps updated and working. It doesn't make sense.

With HTML5, write an app once and you're done. Currently you must create an app for iOS, Android, BB OS, Win Mobile, etc.

Besides, most popular apps on mobile devices are fetching information from websites anyway. Look at how many websites have apps. What's the point? Why should I load an app on my smartphone to access the same content by actually using the browser? I'm tired of seeing posts on websites like "hey, I can't get to this with my iPhone app". Why deal with keeping apps updated and working. It doesn't make sense.

http://videoanlatim.net good

Blackberry (1)

Leonardez (2637105) | more than 2 years ago | (#39966253)

What we're seeing now is the beginning of the end of the end of RIM

Re:Blackberry (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39966297)

What we're seeing now is the beginning of the end of the end of RIM

Wow, what an original comment.. you must have thought long and hard before you came up with that one!

Re:Blackberry (0)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#39966313)

What we're seeing now is the beginning of the end of the end of RIM

I think this is more like the "middle of the end" of RIM -- they've been losing ground for a couple of years now.

We're well past the beginning.

Re:Blackberry (1)

Dr Caleb (121505) | more than 2 years ago | (#39968371)

Too bad that many feel the need to perpetuate that meme.

I just got a new BB 9900 Bold, and I think it's the best BlackBerry I've ever had. And I started out with the little 2 line screen BB Pager way back in the 90's.

The real question (0)

davidbrit2 (775091) | more than 2 years ago | (#39966285)

Will it take them more or less time than Apple took to backpedal on this?

Re:The real question (3, Funny)

Karlt1 (231423) | more than 2 years ago | (#39966539)

It wasn't Apple back peddling it was developers demanding native access. The same as developers for Palm demanding native APIs. Good luck with any halfway decent game running on HTML.

So will Mozilla and Google complain that they can't write a browser for RIM?

Re:The real question (1)

21mhz (443080) | more than 2 years ago | (#39967161)

So will Mozilla and Google complain that they can't write a browser for RIM?

No, that affront is reserved for Microsoft because they had the bad judgement to carry "Windows" over to the name of their ported-down platform for ARM tablets.

Re:The real question (3, Funny)

sootman (158191) | more than 2 years ago | (#39967381)

> So will Mozilla and Google complain that they
> can't write a browser for RIM?

No problem there--they can just write a browser in HTML5. :-)

We go full circle (3, Insightful)

sinator (7980) | more than 2 years ago | (#39966293)

QNX is seen as a stable, RTOS microkernel for a variety of embedded applications.

QNX somehow never makes it big in the phone market.

iOS, Android, Blackberry, PalmOS, and Symbian start duking it out.

Blackberry starts using QNX and finally states it is going in the direction QNX should have gone 15 years ago instead of the iOpener and its "pizza button."

I am not surprised this has finally happened, but I am also not holding my breath it will succeed.

Re:We go full circle (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39966565)

I know QNX has a reputation for all that you claim, but most dev's I've talked to say it's a royal pain in the ass to develop with, and unsuited for anything outside embedded applications on old, slow, proven, stable hadware where a device's firmware doesn't change for years.

Exactly how modern smartphones aren't.

Re:We go full circle (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39966851)

This is only half true. I've worked quite a bit with QNX, and in some ways it's beautiful to develop with, but it's missing some of the useful tools that Linux people are used to.

I actually don't think it's a solid choice for smart phones, and it's because the bottom line at QNX is reliability and maximizing up-time without crashing. Performance is secondary to that. This is why it's popular in car dashboards, nuclear power plants (CANDU), and really big routers, but it's not so popular for personal media stuff where reliability is less critical.

It does support a huge range of old and new embedded platforms though - surely second only to Linux.

Logical extension of QNX (4, Interesting)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 2 years ago | (#39966315)

QNX is the OS of choice for many auto manufacturers for their in dash hardware. Since BB 10 is QNX with a new GUI layer (Kinda reminiscent of another OS X product and its BSD/OpenStep heritage) doesn't that just seem like a logical evolutionary step?

Re:Logical extension of QNX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39966949)

Seems like they want some of the Microsoft Sync action for themselves, since apparently they suck as much as Microsoft at making phones now =P

Re:Logical extension of QNX (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39968029)

QNX is the OS of choice for many auto manufacturers for their in dash hardware. Since BB 10 is QNX with a new GUI layer (Kinda reminiscent of another OS X product and its BSD/OpenStep heritage) doesn't that just seem like a logical evolutionary step?

If you're positing cell phones as a replacement for automobile dashboards. Otherwise, not so much.

Droppings (0)

hendridm (302246) | more than 2 years ago | (#39966551)

Why does the Blackberry logo look like animal droppings?

Re:Droppings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39966885)

Yeah, I thought about that, too.
They look like what comes out from the rear end of wild animals when they have eaten something like, say black berries.
Disgusting, I tell you.

Porsche. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39966679)

The Porsche concept car is interesting. What most people don't realize about there cars is that almost all of them run the QNX somewhere in it. QNX is owned by RIMM and QNX ias the heart of BB10 (And the playbook).

The Porsche demo car jsut added to what the car could do already.

As for HTML 5, apps are already written in HTML quite often. It's not revolutionary. Also, Apple and Google are also pushing HTML 5 for app developemnt which is strange because that would weaken the barrier to entry accross the board.

Eventually, "smart phones" will by widgets like calculators. In the 80s, people probably said Brand X was the best but Brand Y saved you some money. Same deal with smart phones. In 20 years, no one will give a hoot.

Bye bye RIM (2)

Coward Anonymous (110649) | more than 2 years ago | (#39966825)

HTML5 is a fatal architectural design mistake for developing anything other than web sites.
HTML+CSS+JavaScript is a clunky necessary evil born of the nature of web development - not a desirable development environment.

HTML for mobile will always be slower and clunkier than an platform using C or Obj-C or C++ or even Java.

There is an unfounded myth that by using HTML, a wide audience of developers can be tapped while Apple has proven that the only thing that taps developers is a platform they can make money on - developers will learn whatever they need in order to eat.

Finally, using HTML does not guarantee automatic portability across devices in the same way that Android can't guarantee it across devices - there is a limit to how much hardware variation can be abstracted away and when hardware vendors compete on features there is a very strong force working against portability.

Palm failed because of this mistake, among others, and those who do not know their history are doomed to repeat it.

Re:Bye bye RIM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39968063)

Well then I guess it's good RIM already has Native C/C++ sdk already out for BB10. Those who do not know their sh*t preach stupidity

Wasn't this tried? (1)

cant_get_a_good_nick (172131) | more than 2 years ago | (#39967105)

WebOS had this model. Now it's gone. Apple had this model until they convinced Jobs to allow native apps. The number of apps soared, and you can see the success of native apps pushing a platform forward. Google even changes some of its webapps to native, for performance, API, and UI reasons.

This smells of coming from a point of weakness (Google is already changing some of its apps from native Blackberry to webapps).

That's not even mentioning that the Blackberry web browser makes me want to stick a fork in my eye (though the one in BB_OS 7.1 has improved to be merely very very bad).

Out of Touch (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39967197)

I live in Waterloo, ON and know a lot of people that work for RIM. I constantly tell them my issues with the Black Berry. They turn around and explain the reason it is done that way. There seems to be an arrogance with the engineering base at RIM. It constantly is a "holding it wrong" response when all that means is I buy the device I want. They have not been catering to their user base for a really long time now. Telling me that I want to use html5 when I don't just shows this. When I think about it, it is probably done this way for security, but they should start looking to separate their business and consumer operating system.

Please... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39967229)

RIM is yesterday's news. Their CEOs weren't visionaries. You'll embrace Apple if you know what's.good for you.

Good and Bad (1)

Cajun Hell (725246) | more than 2 years ago | (#39967235)

The good: the "mobile ecosystem" really does have almost completely negative connotations at this point. It's not that running things locally is bad (sometimes you very much want to do just that), but rather that "ecosystem" became a codeword for screwing people over by trapping them in proprietary dead ends. The NES was an "ecosystem" by the current usage, and that was the epitome of evil next to which, even Microsoft looked like a relatively benign force in the software industry (until the Xbox, that is). Death to the mobile ecosystem. I know lots of people are actually working on that from various directions, but coming out and saying that's what you want to get rid of, earns RIM some points.

The bad: Porsche, are you serious? High-end car market will always be irrelevant. Whoever gets their computers and OSes into the Civics and Accords, Corrolas and Camries: that is who is going to win, and that's the system that eventually will show up in all the high-end cars unless you want the high-end cars to be a joke. Computers are cheap and any time you pretend they're expensive luxury items, it's just a way of announcing to the world, "Look at me, I'm a liar! Don't trust meeeee!" This is especially true in a car, as opposed to a phone, where you don't have the same physical size/weight constraints.

So excite (1)

tom229 (1640685) | more than 2 years ago | (#39967267)

If this is actually true it is tech news of the century. The mobile industry needs (badly) another Microsoft of the 1980's to come in and destroy all the poisonous platform fragmentation and walled gardens. If RIM is able to send apple back to the days of the slightly tolerable niche hipster/graphic design demographic I will sacrifice my first born in their honour.

Re:So excite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39968161)

If there's no platform fragmentation there's only one giant walled garden.

I had a BlackBerry (1)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 2 years ago | (#39967895)

If they are depending on their hardware and OS to sell phones, their track record is not good.
They may suddenly leapfrog the competition in both those areas, but judging by the bag of crap they foisted on me, it will be one heck of a leap.

bla bla (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39968935)

Open BB10 to GAPPS before your company goes fucking belly up, and another CEO whines he couldn't see it coming..
Problems in the "vigorous" developer community.
Bribing developers won't work with BB10 just like playbook
Leverage the old school capability of QNX.

If people cant do what they want with your device, it's a plastic toy not a tool.

It's like RIMM has everything going for it if it would only do the right thing. If they don't do the right thing soon, android will smash them into dust.

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