Interview

Devs on BB10: BlackBerry's UI is innovative but risky, says GlobZ

Devs on BB10: BlackBerry's UI is innovative but risky, says GlobZ
Can BlackBerry 10 take down iOS and Android. Indeed, should it even try?

In the wake of the new platform's unveiling by the rebranded BlackBerry, we decided to get in contact with some of its keenest backers – some who've been there before, and some newcomers – for their take on what BB10 brings to the table.

Next up, we spoke to Alexandre Houdent of French outfit GlobZ, who thinks BlackBerry 10 is the perfect example of an innovative platform, but – like Windows Phone 8 – one consumers may have trouble getting used to.

Pocket Gamer: Generally speaking, what did you make of the BlackBerry 10 unveiling?

Alexandre Houdent: To be honest, I followed the BB10 unveiling more from reaction on Twitter than I did from the unveiling itself.

Are you working on the platform, and if so, why?

Not yet, because we haven't had much time recently. Plus the device is not available yet in France.

Personally, I don't believe in developing for a mobile device without actually testing on it. Every time we've had to do something like that, we've ended up having issues precisely because we didn't own the device.

How do you think it compares to the likes of iOS, Android and WP8 from a consumer perspective?

I'll save my real opinion for when I will have one in my hands.

From what I have seen, though, the user UI seems innovative, which is always a bit risky. Windows Phone 8 also offers a new approach, and some users seem to struggle with it as a result - at least in the beginning.

But I like innovation – just like in games. Would you rather play another Tetris, Solitaire or match three clone, for instance, or something fresh and new? I like novelty.

BlackBerry made much of the 70,000 apps it has ready to go from day one, though many it showcased appeared to be ports from iOS. Why would consumers want to switch formats to play with apps they already have on their existing handset?

I would say having the 'same' apps makes the platform seem just 'normal' for consumers. The contrary would seem more curious I guess.

After all, when you change your TV for a new set you, can still access all your existing content - TV channels, DVDs, game consoles, etc. The remote control is new - and brings a new UX - but the rest is the same.

That said, it's always good to have a killer application that makes some people buy the hardware. We bought a PSP when LocoRoco was out, for instance.

What have you heard about developers working with BB10? Is BlackBerry easy to work with?

BlackBerry has made a smart choice in offering several options in terms of SDKs. For example, it chose to support Adobe AIR that we happily use already for iOS and Android.

Many see 2013 as playing home to a race for third place between BB10 and WP8. Who will come out on top?

As 10 beats 8, I would say BB10 will win over WP8.
Thanks to Alexandre for his time.

Contributing Editor

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.

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