Archive for the ‘Interviews’ Category

BlackBerry App Developer Interview: Robert Harmsen from Klomptek

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

Today on BlackBerryInsight, we have Robert Harmsen from Klomptek, developer of the BlackBerry application TrackandProtect. Robert is the CEO of Klomptek and the minds behind the developing of TrackandProtect. Let’s here what he has to say about the BlackBerry world.

  1. Tell us a little about yourself:

    I’ve been involved with mobile as a consultant to developers and manufacturers since 1989. Foreseeing the need for superior device management and security solutions, in 2009 I got together with a group of friends who were also active in the mobile industry and founded Klomptek. I’m also a movie freak, love windsurfing and fanatic hobby cook, which is noticeable.

  2. What BlackBerry do you use now and what smart phones have you used in the past?

    Almost a daily question by my kids and friends, “Hey, what’s in the pocket today?” In general, I have at least three devices in use — usually the last publicly announced ones. The question about what phones I have used in the past is easier to answer: the models just before the latest ones!

  3. Why is the BlackBerry a good platform to develop on?

    There is a good user base on the BlackBerry platform. For any developer, a good user base is reason enough to call any platform a good platform to develop on.

  4. (more…)

BlackBerry App Developer Interview: Patrick Kosiol from S4BB Limited

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

Today on BlackBerryInsight, we are very fortunate enough to have Patrick Kosiol, Chief Executive Officer of S4BB Limited to conduct a short interview with us. S4BB Limited has created over 1,300 application, which include apps that you are all familiar with, such as: SmartWiFi, MemoryBooster, Photo Booth, and much more. In this interview, we will get to know more behind the mind of making a successful application and what he feels about BlackBerry’s future.

  1. Tell us a little about yourself
    My name is Patrick Kosiol I am acting CEO of S4BB Limited; more than 6 years ago I co-founded S4BB Limited. I am a German national who studied computer science back in Germany and am living in Asia’s world city Hong Kong – the international headquarter of S4BB Limited. We have an incredibly dedicated team working at our office we more consider being our playground. In case we don’t know which app we shall publish first, we let a game at the Air Hockey table decide.

  2. What BlackBerry do you use now and what smart phones have you used in the past?
    I am using the BlackBerry® Torch with a PlayBook and a Pearl 9100 right now. Previously I used the BlackBerry Bold 9700, 9000, Curve 8320 and Pearl 8100.

  3. Why is the BlackBerry a good platform to develop on?
    The rich Java development API allows many ways to enhance the BlackBerry platform and with the broad range of our applications we have proven that there is a lot of potential to build useful apps for it.

  4. (more…)

BlackBerry App Developer Interview: Luis Wu from eMobiStudio Inc.

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

We are very happy to get have this opportunity to have an interview with the Software Engineer of eMobiStudio Inc. eMobiStudio Inc. is the developer of NetworkAcc and MemoryUp Pro, which we’ve previously written articles on and ran contests for. Luis has developed a number of great applications, such as BatteryPlus and Handy Piano. Let’s look at what’s in the minds of an app developer like Luis and what he thinks about the BlackBerry world.

  1. Tell us a little about yourself
    I’m Luis Wu, a BlackBerry Engineer from eMobiStudio. Though I am still new in this field, I like BlackBerry and I want to turn all my thoughts and ideas into useful BlackBerry Apps, so I believe I can develop much more useful and interesting Apps for BlackBerry users in the not too distant future.

  2. What BlackBerry do you use now and what smart phones have you used in the past?
    Currently, I am using 9530. I ever owned Nokia 5300 &5320, and BlackBerry 8700.

  3. Why is the BlackBerry a good platform to develop on?
    BlackBerry has made up most of the market all over world, so there are a lot of potential customers. Most importantly, its operating system becomes much stable and has been well developed.

  4. Other than your own, name your three favourite applications for the BlackBerry.
    Google Maps, Opera Mini, and BBSSH.

  5. (more…)

Free BlackBerry PlayBook Offer for Developers – Did RIM Keep Its Word?

Sunday, April 10th, 2011


BlackBerryInsight wanted to find out from developers whether they participated in the free PlayBook offer by RIM and what their experience was. Overall, 595 developers that are on BlackBerry App World participated in this survey.

These are the questions we asked as well as the results:

Question 1

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BlackBerry App Developer Interview: Shash Anand from SOTI Inc.

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

We are fortunate enough to have a short interview with the Product Manager, Shash Anand, of SOTI Inc today. SOTI Inc is the developer of the Pocket Controller-Pro application that allows you to remotely control your BlackBerry device via your PC or notebook, which we’ve reported earlier about. To let you guys know more about the stories behind the minds of the developer of this fabulous application, we’ve decided to do this short interview with them.

  1. Tell us a little about yourself and your company
    I am a Computer Engineer from University of Toronto and has an MBA from the Rotman School of Management. Prior to joining SOTI, Shash worked at IBM as a Business Operations Manager. Currently, Shash is the Product Manager of SOTI’s Pocket Controller-Pro consumer application as well as SOTI’s MobiAssist, an enterprise Helpdesk solution.

    SOTI Inc. develops industry-leading technology that solves the unique challenges involved in managing, securing, supporting and tracking remote mobile and desktop computing devices. Today, over 80,000 customers around the world in retail, manufacturing, healthcare, government, logistics and other industries rely on SOTI products to reduce costs by enabling the central management, security and support of remote mobile field-forces.
    (more…)

BlackBerry App Developer Interview: Dr. Raphael Volz from nogago GmbH

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

Today, we are fortunate enough to have an interview with Dr. Raphael Volz, Managing Director of the Nogago Outdoor application that we wrote about last week. See what we’ve talked about with Dr. Raphael Volz.

  1. Tell us a little about yourself

    I am a trained computer scientist, with a PhD in computer science. I have been creating commercial software since 1993, also made a lot of open source contributions in the Semantic Web area (e.g. kaon.semanticweb.org). Founded consulting company in 2008, nogago a spin off company commercializing an internally developed product, which was founded in Oct 2009 after finding around 10.000 users of our prototype app and winning some awards with the business plan (European Satellite Navigation Competition 2009 and start2grow 2009) for transformative apps that turns your smartphone into outdoor navigation device and electronic travel guide (out soon).

  2. What BlackBerry do you use now and what smart phones have you used in the past?

    I am using a Bold 9000, we have many models including Storm and Torch within the company to test which I have played with, but I return to the Bold as I am efficient in typing mails there. I had used Sony Ericsson smartphones and Palms and even an Apple Newton in the yeas before turning to BB.

  3. Why is the BlackBerry a good platform to develop on?

    BlackBerry platform is good for commercial reasons, it is the only platform where you can distribute applications on your own (such as nogago.com), while all others prevent this (Android theoretically allows it but all device users must explicitly allow non Market app deployments, Iphone only allows it for large company internal deployments). From an engineering perspective the platform has improved drastically over the last year (with better documentation, and development environment), before it was almost inaccessible at least to novice developers (where all the mini-apps come from).

  4. (more…)

BlackBerry App Developer Interview: Symon Perriman from MobileQs Trivia

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Last week, we posted an article about MobileQs Trivia game application. We were fortunate enough to have an interview with the app developer of MobileQs Trivia, Symon Perriman.

1. Tell us a little about yourself

I’m a 25 year old professional project manager at Microsoft. In my spare time I produce mobile games and apps for my company, FanWide Technologies, based in Seattle.

2. What BlackBerry do you use now and what smart phones have you used in the past?

I use BlackBerry 8530 Curve and 9800 Torch. I also use the iPhone 3G, and develop for BlackBerry, Android, iPhone and Windows Phone 7.

3. Why is the BlackBerry a good platform to develop on?

It is one of the more profitable platforms to develop on since there are fewer apps and more users. The phone simulators are great for testing since they are standalone and don’t require you to install a SDK, like the other major platforms.

4. Other than your own, name your three favorite applications for the BlackBerry.

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Interview with Mr. Sal Dhanani, Co-Founder of TeleNav

Friday, August 14th, 2009

Sal Dhanani - TeleNav, Inc.
Today we are interviewing Mr. Sal Dhanani from TeleNav, Inc. Everyone who searches Google for “BlackBerry GPS” and finds our top rated BlackBerry & GPS Article will see that we did quite some reviews of BlackBerry GPS and mapping applications. TeleNav was always a top notch product that provides high quality street level navigation with turn-by-turn directions.

1. Tell us a little about yourself

My name is Sal Dhanani and I’m co-founder and executive director of marketing for TeleNav, the largest wireless navigation services provider in North America. I’m responsible for managing all marketing efforts for the company and am involved in a number of business areas within the company, from product development, to growing our partnerships, to business development. I live in the Seattle, WA area and work out of TeleNav’s Kirkland, WA office.

It’s a great time to be working at TeleNav and I can truly say that I’m excited to come to work every day. We’re experiencing tremendous growth as a company and the innovation taking place within our walls is amazing. We’ve been able to develop partnerships with a number of carriers and currently develop white label turn-by-turn navigation applications for carriers such as AT&T, Sprint and Alltel, as well as our own branded application called TeleNav GPS Navigator that is compatible with a number of devices from carriers such as T-Mobile and Verizon. We also develop enterprise LBS products and have recently entered the automotive industry through a partnership with Ford with the inclusion of our technology in its Ford Sync TDI product.

2. What BlackBerry do you use now and what PDAs have you used in the past?

I’m currently using the BlackBerry 8900 or Javelin. In the past, I’ve used a number of previous BlackBerry models as well as the first two versions of the Handspring Treo. Looking back even further, at one time I was using the first Palm Pilot.

3. Why is the BlackBerry a good platform to develop on?

Well, the easy answer is that there are millions of users to reach, so it’s a wise business decision to offer applications on the platform. However, from a technical perspective, the platform offers a rich API set, enabling us to fully leverage the hardware functionality and there’s also great consistency of API support across devices. It also offers a complete developer tool kit and the developer support is excellent.

4. Other than your own, name your three favorite applications for the BlackBerry.

Currently my favorite applications are Viigo (news, weather, etc.), Beejive IM and Pandora.

5. What’s your favorite trick or feature that you use on your BlackBerry?

By far my favorite feature on BlackBerry devices is the speed dialing. I love that feature and use it all the time.

6. What’s the most important feature that the BlackBerry lacks?

If it were up to me, I’d request the combination of a touch screen and physical keyboard in one device, which you now see other manufacturers such as Palm introducing.

7. Where do you see the focus of third party programs for the BlackBerry going over the next few months?

Although more consumers are purchasing BlackBerries and smartphones, the BlackBerry is still very much a business oriented device. Because the core user base is made up of business professionals, I think that you’ll continue to see productivity applications being developed by third parties to make the device even more useful for the mobile worker. Also, I feel that applications pertaining to our core business of LBS will continue to grow at a rapid pace as more businesses will look to benefit from location information for things such as easily locating mobile employees to improve dispatch operations.

TeleNav Website: www.telenav.com

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Interview with Mr. JR Lawhorne, Founder of Fieldstone Software, LLC

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

JR Lawhorne - Fieldstone SoftwareWe had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. JR Lawhorne, the Founder of Fieldstone Software, LLC, which is a professional software and web development company located in Staunton, Virgina since August of 2006 and the maker of TaskJot.

1. Tell us a little about yourself

I’m a young (29) family guy living and working in Virginia, USA. I live with my wife, two sons, dog, cat, a turtle, and some tropical fish in a rural area called the Shenandoah Valley. The area has many historic landmarks and plenty to do for those who enjoy the outdoors. We love it and we’re close to family so its perfect for us.

In 2006, I founded Fieldstone Software, LLC. I had the idea (not original) that I would start the company out by doing small jobs for local businesses, i.e. consulting. Web development is easy for me and its not too difficult to sell. There are customers everywhere. So, we started with web work and we continue to offer those services.

After being in business a couple years, I was ready to start a software project. After reading David Allen’s [Getting Things Done], I started gathering tools and implementing GTD in my life. As part of that, I needed a todo list that would sync with my Blackberry so it would be functional everywhere. After searching for an online app with Blackberry sync, I went with Toodledo. It didn’t have Blackberry sync but it did have an open API for integration. From past experience in an unrelated project, I knew it was possible to build TaskJot with the Toodledo API for Blackberry devices and that’s the story of how TaskJot was born.

TaskJot is currently our primary focus at Fieldstone. If you check out our website (www.fieldstone-software.com), you’ll also see samples of our web work. Having an awesome designer on staff coupled with talented software engineers has proven to be a very valuable combination for TaskJot.

2. What BlackBerry do you use now and what PDAs have you used in the past?

I started in the Blackberry world using the 8830 with Alltel. It works like a charm, BTW. I loved it. One problem: while developing TaskJot, we needed a Storm to use for testing. The Blackberry simulators work great but for the Storm, there really is no substitute for the real thing. So, we switched to Verizon and picked up the Storm. After about two months using it, I finally decided I wasn’t getting any more proficient with the touch interface and wanted my roller ball back. Most of our beta testers for TaskJot were using the Curve and I’d done some testing/playing on a Curve before so I thought I’d try it out. I absolutely love it! The Storm might be right for some people, but for me the Curve is a much better tool. I’ve since passed the Storm on to a co-worker to use for testing.

3. Why is the BlackBerry a good platform to develop on?

The Blackberry device line-up has a long and solid history. For our development, we wanted to be able to support as many device models as possible without losing major functionality. Because of RIMs dedication to forward compatibility, we’ve been able to develop with the 4.2.1 development environment and support a huge range of devices in use today.

4. Other than your own, name your three favorite applications for the BlackBerry.

  1. Google Sync – Keeps my contacts and my calendar in sync with my Gmail account.
  2. Facebook – I sometimes have “down time” while I’m out and about so mobile FB is great for me when I’m bored.
  3. I’m too busy to have a third favorite. I reserve this slot for some fun game that I’ll start playing when all the bugs are out of TaskJot.

5. What’s your favorite trick or feature that you use on your BlackBerry?

I don’t know if I’d consider it a trick but I often use my Blackberry to take notes when shopping. For example, I just bought a banquet table from Lowe’s and it didn’t have a UPC label on it (you know, the little barcode that tells the cash register what it is I’m buying). There were two models of banquet table they had for sale that the cashier quickly found in their system using search. Both six foot tables, both with “folding” in their name. One had folding legs. The one I was buying had folding legs AND it folded in half. I had the item number of my table of choice which made it a snap at the register.

6. What’s the most important feature that the BlackBerry lacks?

A straight forward connectivity framework for developers. Writing networking code for Blackberry is overly complex. To their credit, they have been trying to tell developers how to do this properly in the forums. But, it remains an arduous task for a developer new to the platform to figure out all the caveats to the various connection types and configuration settings. If complex were the only obstacle, it wouldn’t be quite so bad. But, its complex AND mostly untestable. There is no way we can possibly test all the various network configurations and settings for all the wireless networks within our lab. In this case, I think the problem begs for a better solution by RIM.

7. Where do you see the focus of third party programs for the BlackBerry going over the next few months?

I certainly hope to see more applications offered on the platform and continued growth. Fieldstone Software will continue to listen to customers and build products to suite their needs. I can only hope other developers do the same and the platform continues to grow in function and popularity.

Fieldstone Software Website: www.fieldstone-software.com

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Interview with Mr. Alex Kac, President and Founder, Web Information Solutions

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

We had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Alex Kac, the CEO of Web Information Solutions, Inc., which has focused on the Mobile PDA and Smartphone market since August of 2001 and has risen to become one of top ten developers by sales for mobile devices shortly thereafter.

1. Tell us a little about yourself

So to tell you a bit about myself I’ll have to tell you about the company first. I’m the founder of WebIS or Web Information Solutions, Inc. WebIS started as a consulting company in 1997 and became a full fledged mobile development house in 2001. We now have about 7 people who work for us mostly full time, but we have a couple part-timers and the company has grown to encompass Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, and iPhone platforms.

I have grown from being the person who does everything (Marketing, Development, Accounting, Support) back in 2001 to the one who does some of the development and most of the marketing, and all of the management :) I’m here in Cedar Park, Texas right down the road from Austin. This is what I do for a living! All mobile all the time.

Well, not all the time. Personally I spend my time with my family and practicing the art of Tae-Kwon-Do. Last few weeks I’ve grown a bit chubbier due to spraining my ankle during a sparring match against a Texas State Champion and doing something stupid. Completely my fault, but now I’m stuck on the couch and that doesn’t do well for your waistline.

2. What BlackBerry do you use now and what PDAs have you used in the past?

I’ve got both a Storm and a Bold, but frankly I prefer the Bold. I love the GUI of the Storm but I simply can’t get into the whole click screen thing. Plus I’m on AT&T (too many GSM phones to test) so the click screen of the Storm didn’t push me to move to Verizon. Maybe if there was an AT&T Storm then I’d probably go for that. I would really like to give the Storm another chance. Maybe the Storm 2?

3. Why is the BlackBerry a good platform to develop on?

I can boil it down to three reasons:
1) The users.
2) The API
3) RIM

So for #1 the fact is the users of the platform are great. They are very good to work with and provide outstanding feedback.

While anyone can read my treatise on development for WM, iPhone, and BlackBerry on my Blog and get all the pros and cons of all the areas of development, the bottom line is that the Java development environment makes developing many things easier and more efficient. And finally, while I don’t always agree with RIM on specific decisions they make I greatly appreciate the fact that I have a person I can email and talk to about things now and upcoming. I’ve been able to get answers to issues on specific OS versions within a few days and that’s nearly unheard of.

4. Other than your own, name your three favorite applications for the BlackBerry.

Facebook of course. WorldMate Live and IM+.

5. What’s your favorite trick or feature that you use on your BlackBerry?

My favorite really comes down to our own app – Pocket Informant. What I love is being able to be in mail and to create a new task or event for that email directly within the app. Its a level of integration we can’t do on the iPhone or Windows Mobile and I love it.

6. What’s the most important feature that the BlackBerry lacks?

I think in terms of development usually when asked this kind of question because I believe that third party developers can make up any lacking feature. To me its the consistency of the interface that bugs me the most. Sometimes its graphical and sometimes its very text-based. I get the reason for it, but it bothers me.

7. Where do you see the focus of third party programs for the BlackBerry going over the next few months?

I think mostly we’re going to see new ideas that come from the iPhone side where people are upset with Apple’s policies bringing those same apps to the BlackBerry. Things like Google Voice apps and Sling are great examples.

Web Information Solutions Website: http://www.pocketinformant.com/

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