How Microsoft’s reorganization may help

Earlier this week I wrote at The Gadget Masters about the recent reorganization at the company.

Despite both platforms supporting C# and the .NET framework, writing code for Windows Phone and for Windows 8 is very different. I have released the game Pixelated for both Windows Phone and for Windows 8, yet despite both being written in C# there is shockingly little code in common between them. This is a direct result of Microsoft’s divisional structure.

The dream for developers is that Microsoft’s reorganization will result in a more consistent set of UI tools for writing apps for Windows 8, Windows Phone, and for Xbox.

Read the full article at The Gadget Masters website.

Variable font size in Stuff I Need app

IMG_00000075The Stuff I Need app has been updated to version 2.1 in BlackBerry World. This version adds and an entry on the options page that allows you to adjust the font size of your entries, in order to make them larger and easier to read, or smaller so you can fit more onto a page.

About Stuff I Need

Originally conceived as a grocery list app, this minimalistic checklist app can be used to keep track of the stuff you need to get, or the stuff that you need to do. Items on the list can be edited (or deleted) by giving them a long press. Lists can be switched by pulling down on the tab at the top of the screen. This will expose a spinner that shows all of your current lists. New lists can be added by using the “+” button on the right side of the expanded tab. Making use of three or more lists requires the use on a one time in-app purchase.

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Xploding Boxes reaches 400 levels

IMG_00000017Xploding Boxes has been updated to version 4.6 in order to expand to 400 unique levels. The game supports BlackBerry phones both with and without touchscreens all the way back to OS 5.0 as well as BlackBerry 10, and the PlayBook, in addition to support for Android phones and tablets (including the Nook and Kindle), and also supports Windows 8 devices such as the surface.

About Xploding Boxes

Xploding Boxes is a strategy game for BlackBerry, Android, Nook, Windows 8, and BlackBerry 10 where the goal of the game is to start a chain reaction that will explode all of the boxes on the screen. Each level gives you a different number of touches, and requires a different strategy to solve.

The game itself, and the first 25 levels are available for free, while an in-app purchase can be used to access the rest of the levels for just $2.99 while maintaining your progress from the free levels.

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Over two-thirds of users on BlackBerry 10.1

The numbers for May were a little disappointing, but June found the majority of BlackBerry 10 users running the newest OS version. The two charts below show the percentage of BlackBerry 10 users running each OS version for the game Pixelated and the Stuff I Need check-list app.



For the month of June, both of these apps showed over two thirds of users running OS 10.1 on their phones. While adoption of the newest OS versions is lagging behind what we saw for the PlayBook, it is still far better then what we have seen on the old BlackBerry OS.

This data was collected by BlackBerry World for downloads of the free BlackBerry strategy game Pixelated and the free checklist app Stuff I Need. Data shown on the chart is from the beginning of February 2013 through the end of June 2013.

Rotary Phone app for BlackBerry 10

Q10-3Do you ever get the feeling that your BlackBerry 10 phone is too practical and too new? Do you feel like the term ‘dial’ has lost some of it’s meaning now that you can call numbers without having anything physically spun? Do you ever wish that you could go back to days of entering one number at a time? If so mount your BlackBerry to the wall and download the Rotary Phone app.

This app simulates an old school dial phone, and gives you a classy way to call your friends. There is also an option avalible through the swipe-down menu that allows the set the phone to automatically dial out once the number reaches 7 or 10 digits long in order to better simulate the old dial phones.

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Newer BBOS versions continue to see slight gains


The month of June saw slight increases in the percentage of BlackBerry users on the newer OS versions. The use of OS 7 increased by two percentage points over the month to 39.2% of BlackBerry users. Meanwhile the use of OS 6 (or higher) was also up slightly, and is now at 66.5%.

This data was collected by BlackBerry World for downloads of the free BlackBerry strategy game Pixelated. Data shown on the chart is from the beginning of June 2012 through the end of June 2013, and does not include BlackBerry 10 or PlayBook devices.

Export options improved in Mileage Tracker

IMG_00000046The Mileage Tracker app has been updated to version 1.3 in BlackBerry World. This update to the free BlackBerry 10 app is mostly centered around improvements to the export options within the app.

New in version 1.3

When exporting it has always been possible to share the resulting file over email, but you can now share the file through other apps such as BBM, the built in Remember app, NFC, or Box. Also if you are exporting to both a .csv and a .html file you can now share both of them at the same time over email. There is also an option for exports to include the mileage total in the header when exporting a single category worth of data.

About Mileage Tracker

Mileage tracker is a free app designed to help you track the miles you drive on each trip for use on tax deductions, accounting, or employee reimbursements. Instead of keeping this information charted on your computer, it makes much more sense to be able to track this directly on your phone, which you normally would have with you in the car already.

IMG_00000032Trips can be grouped into categories, and edited (or deleted) at a later date. Following a one time in-app payment you can export your data into an Excel compatible .csv format and a pretty (and sortable) .html format.

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My BB10 sales prediction was off

Last month I set out to predict what sales of BlackBerry 10 devices would be based on statistics from the game Pixelated. My numbers turned out to be very wrong.

With sales of BlackBerry 10 phones closer to 2.7M in the quarter, my estimate had a margin of error of 87%. I would have considered anything less then 10% to be a success. Clearly I was no where close and some of my assumptions were wrong.

I don’t plan on giving up. I now have more data in order to help me make a better prediction for next quarter. Lets hope that the next estimate is closer to the mark.

(Also with only 6.8M phones shipped in the quarter BlackBerry has finally been passed by Windows phone).