ORLANDO: BlackBerry is getting strong support from some developers and customers who have praised the ease with which applications can be built for the firm's BlackBerry 10 platform.
One such customer is online banking firm ING Direct Canada, which has had an online presence for many years and claims to be the only such company with banking apps across every major mobile platform.
This includes Apple's iPhone and iPad, Android phones and tablets, Windows Phone 7 and 8, plus BlackBerry's PlayBook and older smartphones.
ING senior manager for IT Development Vinay Venugopal told V3 at the BlackBerry Live event in Orlando: "Our philosophy is to offer customers a choice. We saw that customers and clients would be using BlackBerry 10 devices, so we had to develop an app for the platform."
Using BlackBerry's software development kit (SDK) tools, ING was able to build a mobile app for BlackBerry 10 devices within just six weeks from conception to completion, according to Venugopal.
"We started in December last year and were able to have it ready in time for the BlackBerry 10 launch," he said.
ING uses a hybrid implementation for its mobile apps, mixing native code with web-based development. On the BlackBerry, this means that the native Cascades APIs are used for user interface navigation and device-specific features such as integration with the BlackBerry Hub and GPS support for the ATM Locator service.
Meanwhile, the core functionality of the apps is coded in HTML5, making it common across all platforms, according to Venugopal, but with a separate style sheet for each platform.
The improvements that BlackBerry has made with BlackBerry 10 make it much speedier and simpler to build apps than with the Java-based development model for older BlackBerry platforms, he said.
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