Can BlackBerry 10 take down iOS and Android. Indeed, should it even try?
In the wake of the new platform's unveiling by the newly 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 Troy Johnson of longtime BlackBerry studio Magmic, who thinks BlackBerry 10 has secured the platform's future for the next 10 years.
Pocket Gamer: Generally speaking, what did you make of the BlackBerry 10 unveiling?
Troy Johnson: It was very difficult to find fault with how BlackBerry launched its new platform.
If history were to repeat itself, BlackBerry would have announced the product, dropped a surprise or two and left people wanting more.
Instead, it announced two killer handsets and followed up by showing some consumer oriented features that took everybody, even the seasoned veterans by surprise.
And BlackBerry gave all attendees phones. The response at the event was overwhelmingly positive.
Are you working on the platform, and if so, why?
Absolutely. Magmic's has a long and rich history of entertaining BlackBerry users.
Products like Texas Hold'em King, Ka-Glom and Phase 10 have been downloaded and played by more than 15 million BlackBerry users worldwide. They love our products and reward us by purchasing our content.
We fully intend to keep this momentum going on the new platform. It's been a great 10 years with BlackBerry and we'll be there for another 10.
How do you think it compares to the likes of iOS, Android and WP8 from a consumer perspective?
I haven't done any serious hands on time, but based on what I've seen in the demos and the hands on time with the DevAlpha, I'm impressed with the platform.
Without getting into a lengthy analysis of the platforms, I think it can be said that there has been a gap in the smartphone market.
Something between Apple's carefully constructed, content consumption platform - and I mean that in the best possible way - and the highly customisable and perhaps a little too intimidating Android platform.
BlackBerry seems to have given consumers a solution that's both highly productive and capable as an entertainment device.
Today I saw people playing console quality games on the Z10 while it was plugged into a 50-inch plasma screen. Having seen that I don't think I'll question it's capabilities as a gaming platform. It was quite remarkable.
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 guess you have to ask yourself who would switch mobile platforms just because they want to play a different game. I think people switch mobile brands for many reasons.
One of which is the content available on the platform. If all platforms are equal from a content perspective it comes down to the user experience.
Give me a few days with the device and I'll have a lot more to say on that front.
What's BB10 like to develop for? Has BlackBerry been easy to work with?
We're heavily relying on cross platform tools to bring product to BB10 and other platforms.
Given the tools available, the developer devices, the developer support and their support of open source projects. We've had a few hiccups along the way but BlackBerry has been great. Supportive all the way.
Many see 2013 as playing home to a race for third place between BB10 and WP8. Who will come out on top?
Impossible for me to say.
We all have personal preferences, likes and dislikes. We bond with some brands and push away from others. Who knows what's going to happen. The one thing we do know is that there's still a lot of growth left in mobile and I like what I see in the BlackBerry 10 platform.
Now, I'm off to try it for myself.
Thanks to Troy for his time.
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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