BlackBerry Developer Spotlight: Jason Ryer From mobileXware LLC

November 9, 2011 | By | Add a Comment

Continuing to place the spotlight on BlackBerry developers, our spotlight this week is on mobileXware known for my favorite fitness app, FitDeck. FitDeck has various exercise sets such as Bodyweight, Office, Pilates, and Stairs available so you can customize your workout your way. Check it out…

We’ve covered FitDeck and the various exercise sets they offer, and there are definite advantages to having your exercises available on your BlackBerry. For the most part, you have access to your own private trainer, you choose the level of beginner, intermediate, or advanced. You can also choose which exercises you want to do or feel best doing. You can make your own exercise routines and do them where and when you want. FitDeck began as cards, and the app is very much like having virtual cards on your BlackBerry.

You can purchase FitDeck in the BlackBerry App World with the following pricing for the sets:

We’d like to thank Jason for taking the time to answer our questions and share his perspective on developing BlackBerry apps. Here’s the interview:
What apps have you developed for BlackBerry devices? Any plans for the BlackBerry PlayBook?
“To date, we have developed a number of apps for our clients. However, our focus is to continue development on our mobiDECKS Engine that powers the FitDeck Mobile apps. mobiDECKS is essentially en e-reader for cards – but on steroids. This means that you can do much of the same things you would do with a standard deck of cards – such as shuffle and sort – but with some additional functionality – such as setting timers and workout goals.”
How long have you been developing apps for BlackBerry?

“About 5 years. We started developing Java ME apps in 2007 and transitioned into BlackBerry specific apps in 2008. “

What was your first app you developed for BlackBerry? What has changed since then?

“FitDeck Mobile was our first app. We’ve added a bit of features and updated the overall UI over the years.”

What inspired you or interested you into developing apps for BlackBerry?

“Developing for BlackBerry was a natural transition from Java ME – since our Java ME apps already worked on BlackBerry devices. “

What are your favorite personal apps for BlackBerry?

“My favorite combo is Pandora running in the background with FitDeck Mobile in the foreground. That way, I get to listen to a good variety of music while I go through a great variety of exercises.”

What is the biggest or most difficult challenge for developing apps for BlackBerry?

“There are too many to list here – haha! We develop for Android and iOS – and BlackBerry consistently proves to be the most challenging. BlackBerry is limited to Java ME so we don’t have access to much of the Java library. Connecting to the Internet is challenging – as well as creating an attractive UI. These are things that we are getting better at and thus improving the overall app experience.”

What are the major differences in developing for OS 5, OS 6, OS 7, and QNX?

“We haven’t worked on QNX at all so I can’t speak to that. Apart from that, there really aren’t that many differences among the OS versions. We are developing a Near Field Communication app for a client that is specific to OS 7 because it isn’t available on earlier versions. “

What are you currently developing now?

“We are developing apps for our clients and focusing on improving our mobiDECKS Engine”

What sort of apps can we look forward to from you in the future?

“We will be releasing more FitDeck Mobile titles for the FitDeck Mobile app. In total, we will have about 40 titles available for download and purchase next year. We will also be partnering with others who have quality content that can take advantage of our mobiDECKS Engine.”

As a developer, what are the most appealing aspects or features you can integrate into BlackBerry apps?

“There are a lot of cool features in BlackBerry apps – but nothing in particular (that we use at least) that sets it apart from Android or iOS.”

What for you, are the most rewarding incentives of developing a BlackBerry app?

“To me it is personally rewarding to hear from our customers who use our apps and get a lot of value out of them.”

What advice would you give to an inspiring developer who wants to develop BlackBerry apps?

“Good luck! ;)”

Is there anything you’d like to add or say as a developer to the BlackBerry community?

“Well that is the best part about developing for BlackBerry – the community itself. We have a lot of great BlackBerry users out there and hope to serve many, many more.”

Again, check out FitDeck in the BlackBerry App World. We’d like to thank Jason for his time and thoughts, and also extend the invitation to any developers out there to contact us so that we can place you into the Spotlight too!

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