Bored at the current Mobile Ecosystem Wars? Here are some new contenders…

Geeksphone Keon running Firefox OS. Image from

Yeah, there’s a lot of buzz happening right now in the mobile ecosystem, and everyone just want to have a slice of the marketshare. When you say “Mobile Wars” some people think it’s about Apple vs. Google doing legal battles, but in the mere fact, it’s not. It’s all about how people are adopting to a certain platform and use it in the long run.

But in the case of application development, some developers are moving from the big players into newer mobile platforms. They believe that there is a lot of opportunity in these emerging platforms, because first of all, there are small or even no app players to cater the needs of the user of a new platform, thus giving them a large audience impact when a certain platform launches on a specific country.

If you’re interested to know what these emerging platforms are, here’s a quick list.

BlackBerry 10 – BlackBerry’s second coming to the smartphone battle, based on QNX (The same technology that has been used in different industries). Developers can run Native Apps using the Cascades Framework or port games that has been written on C++. HTML5 is also an option for making an app. Got an existing app? Port your Adobe Air and Android apps to the platform! To learn more about these stuff, you can visit BlackBerry’s official website here.

Firefox OS – Mozilla’s official entry to the Mobile wars, but this time it’s about opening the mobile ecosystem to the web and cater current web developers to the platform. There are no native apps, which means if you want to make an app in Firefox OS, you can use your existing site (If your site is responsive to adapt the mobile screen, that is) or make one from scratch using Web Technologies like HTML, CSS and JavaScript. To learn more about Firefox OS Development, you can visit Firefox Marketplace Developer Hub here.

Nokia Asha Platform – The Nokia Asha OS is made to cater low end devices, the first phone to have this operating system is the Nokia Asha 501. You can make native apps using Java ME but you can also write an app using HTML5. Learn more about Nokia Asha development here.

Ubuntu Touch – Based from WikipediaUbuntu Touch is a mobile interface for Ubuntu developed by Canonical Ltd. The interface is designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers. The first consumer phone to have this operating system, is Ubuntu Edge (If you want one, you can actually join the growing list of pledgers). You can develop an app using native C++/QML or by using HTML5. Learn more about here.

Tizen – Based from WikipediaTizen is an operating system for devices including smartphones, tablets, in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) devices, and smart TVs. It is an open source system that aims to offer a consistent user experience across devices. Tizen’s main components are the Linux kernel and the WebKit runtime. The Tizen project resides within the Linux Foundation and is governed by a Technical Steering Group (TSG) composed of Intel and Samsung. Learn more about Tizen App Development here.

Sailfish OS – Again, based from WikipediaSailfish is a Linux-based mobile operating system developed by Jolla in cooperation with the Mer project and supported by the Sailfish Alliance. It is to be used in upcoming smartphones by Jolla and other licences. Although it is primarily targeted at mobile phones, it is also intended to support other categories of devices. The first phone to have Sailfish OS is from Jolla. Learn more about it here.

The list doesn’t end there and there will always be a new challenger awaits as time unfolds. Developers, be quick to adopt. The revolution has just started.

Preparing for a BlackBerry Workshop: Installing Cascades!

Note: If you haven’t read my first Preparation guide about WebWorks you can do it here. lol.

Now just like what i’ve said on my last post, i’m writing this because we wanted to focus more on the workshop content and less on the technical side of things. If you’re joining a Cascades workshop, this is the right article that will guide you on how to install the tools you need before the main event.

This will not be a lengthy post, so let’s get started!

Cascades is a native framework exclusively for BlackBerry 10. Cascades WILL NOT WORK on BB Smartphones <7.x and the PlayBook OS <2.1.x.

Installing the SDK

Step 1: Download BlackBerry 10 Native SDK for Windows

(If you’re using a different O.S, you might want to visit the download site:

After installing the native sdk:

Step 2:

Launch the QNX Momentics IDE by running bbndk.bat in the Native SDK installation folder. In the IDE, click Window > Preferences, select BlackBerry, click BlackBerry Deployment Setup Wizard and follow the steps.

(Detailed: Set-up documentation)

Installing the BB10 Simulator

Step 1: Download VM Player (It’s free and LEGAL lol)

Step 2: Download and Install the emulators:

Download BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha Beta 3

 Setting up the Simulator:

Step 1: Launch the VM Player

Step 2: Install the BB10 Simulator

Step 3: Open the BlackBerry10Simulator.vmx from where you installed the simulator.

Important Note: IF you’re experiencing Java related errors when opening the .exe files you need to download the 32-Bit version of JDK. I repeat: INSTALL THE 32-BIT VERSION AND NOT THE 64-BIT VERSION.

You can download the JDK here.

After installing the JDK, you have to update your environment variables, here’s how:

1.) go to Control panel > Systems and Security >System

2.) On the left side click the “Advanced system settings”

3.) (A new window will appear) Click the “Environment Variables”

4.) (A new window will appear… Again) Look for “System Variables” and click “new”

Variable Name: JAVA_HOME

Variable Value: YOUR 32-BIT JAVA FOLDER HERE. (Example: C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jdk1.7.0_09)

Take Note: JDK != JRE. So you have to be careful.

Find the “path” variable and insert this code at the end of the long list of strings in the path’s var value: %JAVA_HOME%\bin;

Click OK and OK.

To test if you have the latest JDK: Open cmd.exe on run. Type: java -version

If the response has the same version of JDK you have installed and configured then you’re doing it right.

 Also an Important Note: If you’re using Windows 8 PRO all the installers (event the BlackBerry 10/PlayBook SDK’s) must be in Compatibility mode to Windows 7 and has administrative privileges.

That’s it! I hope you can use this as a guide to install these important tools. These instructions will help the speaker save more time and focus more on the important topics to be discussed on that day. You can also play with the tools you’ve just installed by following BlackBerry’s awesome documentation for Cascades available right here.

Questions? Comments? Please write a comment below.