Jack-O-Lantern app now supports BlackBerry 10


The Jack-O-Lantern app has been updated to version 2.0 in BlackBerry World in order to add support for all BlackBerry 10 phones. This app also continues to support older BlackBerry phones that have a touchscreen.

About the Jack-O-Lantern App

This application is designed to turn your BlackBerry into a virtual Jack-O-Lantern in order to help you celebrate the Halloween season on your phone. You can change the Jack-O-Lantern’s face by swiping in different designs from the left and right for the eyes, nose, and mouth. You can also change the back light colour of the design by tapping on the screen.

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Hockey Scores app ready for a new season

Z10The Hockey Scores app has been updated for a new season. This app supports all BlackBerry phones running OS 5.0 or higher, including all BlackBerry 10 phones.

About Hockey Scores

This application provides the day’s hockey scores is an intuitive and easy to use format. It also includes additional game statistics such as start times, goal scorers, shots on net, hits, faceoff percentage, team Corsi numbers, and lists out the goal scorers.

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Nickel City Ruby starts tomorrow


The Nickel City Ruby conference starts tomorrow in Buffalo, and I will be one of those in attendance. If you see me, feel free to say hi.

This is a bit of an interesting conference for me to attend as I actually do not know any Ruby and have never used it. Still, a cheap tech conference in my hometown was just too good of an opportunity to pass up. At the very least there is a good chance that I come out of the conference having learned something new…

Simple Dice optimized for version 2.3

IMG_00000048The Simple Dice app has been updated to version 2.3 in BlackBerry World. This update greatly reduces the app’s overall instal size, and also includes some improvements in recovering in-app purchases.

About Simple Dice

This free app is exactly what it sounds like, just a virtual die that you can roll to get a random number between one and six. The app can also be downloaded from BlackBerry World for both BlackBerry 10 and older touchscreen BlackBerry phones.

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Deploy BlackBerry 10 apps with device name instead of ip address

DeviceNameWhen using a script (or the command line) in order to deploy apps to a device you can use the phone’s device name (which seconds as a network name) in place of the ip address. For example instead of

blackberry-deploy -installApp -launchApp -device -package PixelatedShapes.bar -password password

you could use

blackberry-deploy -installApp -launchApp -device BLACKBERRY-Z10E -package PixelatedShapes.bar -password password

This shortcut is particularly helpful to use when writting scripts, so you do not have to update the file every time that the phone is assigned a new ip address.

Pixelated Shapes released

IMG_00000102Pixelated Shapes has been released for BlackBerry 10, PlayBook, and Android. The game is a twist on the classic version of Pixelated that replaces the familiar squares with triangles and hexagons.

Additional Features

In addition to the standard triangle grid, you can also play the game with hexagons, or a micro sized grid of triangles or hexagons after paying for a one time in-app upgrade of $2.99 USD. This single upgrade also unlocks the the full range of option in the game such as the ability to adjust the difficulty level or to change the color scheme of the game. Purchasing the upgrade also allows you to display a full range of statistics (such as win percentages), and to see the number of remaining moves that you have on the top of the main game screen.

How to Play

Pixelated_ShapesStarting with the shape in the upper left corner you can change the colour of this pixels in order to match that of the surrounding shapes. The color of the upper left shape is set by using the controls on the bottom of the screen. This is done repeatedly allowing the block to grow, until eventually the entire screen is a single colour. The object of the game is to get to this state in as few moves as possible. Under the default settings you must clear the screen in under 29 moves in order to win. If you wish to play until you clear the board you can adjust the ‘end game condition’ dropdown on the options page.

If you have any feedback feel free to contact me at eric@ebscer.com

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Popularity of US carriers for BB10 users

The below chart shows the relative popularity of the four largest carriers in the United States by BlackBerry 10 users.


While there has been some month to month variation in general there is roughly an equal number of BlackBerry 10 users on AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. The biggest surprise here is the relative popularity of T-Mobile among the BlackBerry 10 user base as it lags significantly behind the other two in overall subscribers.

This data was collected by BlackBerry World for downloads of the free checklist app Stuff I Need. Data shown on the chart is from the beginning of April 2013 through the end of August 2013.

BBOS devices continue to see slow growth of new OS versions


While BBOS has nowhere near the impressive OS adoption that BlackBerry 10 has shown, users are continuing to move towards a larger percentage running OS 7. August showed the newest version of BBOS exceeding 40% of the market for the first time, coming to 40.8% of users during the month.

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 August 2012 through the end of August 2013, and does not include BlackBerry 10 or PlayBook devices.

OS 10.1 should be the new minimum for developers

This past August saw BlackBerry 10 users continue to quickly upgrade their OS systems to the newest version. Use of 10.1 (or higher) is up across both Pixelated and Stuff I Need from the previous month.



The Stuff I Need app showed 91.0% of users on the newest OS version, while for Pixelated the number was 81.9%. Given the aggressive rate of growth, and the large number of users that have upgraded, I think it is safe for developers to begin writing apps that require 10.1 as a minimum OS version. BlackBerry 10 is seeing an adoption rate of the new versions that the older BBOS never came close to.

This data was collected by BlackBerry World for downloads of the free 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 August 2013.

Stuff I Need app updated to version 2.2

IMG_00000060The Stuff I Need app for BlackBerry 10 has been updated to version 2.2 in BlackBerry World. This update improves the app’s start up time, and also adds an option to uncheck all items in the current list with a single button.

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.IMG_00000128

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