BlackBerry reiterate commitment to BlackBerry 10 and explain Facebook and WhatsApp situation

Rapid John
Posted on March 17, 2016, 8:17 pm
5 mins

There is an aura of gloom surrounding BlackBerry 10 and for once it is not coming from the media, it is coming from BlackBerry 10 users.  WhatsApp recently announced they were dropping support for BlackBerry 10 and BBOS, which has been quickly followed up with the news that BlackBerry turned their Facebook app into a link to the web browser, effectively killing the BlackBerry Facebook app.

This has added more fuel to the growing perception that BlackBerry 10 is in support mode and on it’s deathbed.

Lou Gazolla, who leads the App Ecosystem and Developer Outreach team at BlackBerry, has taken to the BlackBerry Blogs to explain the app situation and to convince  BlackBerry 10 users that BlackBerry 10 still has a future.

Lou points out that the reason for the Facebook change is completely out of their control as BlackBerry no longer had access to the essential Facebook apis.

“Recently, Facebook made the decision to discontinue support of their essential APIs for BlackBerry and WhatsApp announced they would end support for BlackBerry 10 and BBOS at the end of 2016.”

As I pointed out at the time, BlackBerry will not use api’s illegally.

[blockquote cite=”Rapid John”]Quite correctly, BlackBerry refuse to use any api’s illegally in order to produce an up-to-date Facebook app.[/blockquote]

As a reputable company it is imperative that BlackBerry use API’s that they legally have access to.  Third party developers who do use API’s illegally put their apps at risk of being “killed” at any time.

Lou points out that BlackBerry did try to work with WhatsApp and Facebook in an effort to convince them to change their minds:

“We fought back to work with WhatsApp and Facebook to change their minds, but at this time, their decision stands (but let them know how you feel on social media, using the hashtag #ILoveBB10Apps). Despite this, we have worked hard to ensure our end users have the best experience in light of this decision, and are continuing to search for alternate solutions.”

Lou continued to reiterate BlackBerry’s continued commitment to BlackBerry 10.

“Our commitment to BlackBerry 10 and to developers has not changed – we know our developer community continues to be one of the strongest proponents of BlackBerry 10 and they are creating thousands of apps every month. As a way to support them and to promote new apps, we’re now featuring some of the best native applications on BlackBerry World in a list called “Great Apps on BlackBerry.” The category will be a list of 20 applications, featured for two weeks, once per month, similar to the way we feature apps on the BlackBerry World Carousel. We’re also continuing whenever we can to invest in apps important to users, such as the update to the Twitter app released today with important fixes and another update coming in a month with new features. This ensures that our many BlackBerry 10 customers have the best OS and apps possible.”

It should be of no surprise to BlackBerry users that the situation with WhatsApp and the BlackBerry Facebook app is one that is completely out of BlackBerry’s control.  The position with apps has been the same since the launch of BlackBerry 10 back in 2013. It’s not BlackBerry’s choice to lose these major apps and they have tried to convince other companies to stick with the BlackBerry platform.

Most importantly, the loss of these apps is not an indicator on the future of BlackBerry 10!

There is one thing that I would point out here! Once again we see a situation where BlackBerry have had to take to their own blogs in an effort to explain a situation, AFTER it has blown up. The situation with WhatsApp and Facebook should have been announced BEFORE it became public knowledge.  BlackBerry taking to their own blogs is negated by the fact that, in many cases, the damage has already been done.

The situation with Facebook wasn’t even properly announced.  It was picked up and reported by following the BlackBerry Knowledge Bases. Where are BlackBerry’s Media Relations Team? What on earth do they actually do?

BlackBerry 10’s user base is dwindling every day but those users that are left deserve respect and deserve to be informed by BlackBerry of situations that are “coming up”, not after the fact.

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Rapid John
Rapid John has a quarter of a century in programming for Government and Corporate bodies and is proficient in most major programming languages.  He is constantly running around showing us his latest bit of code and telling us how fantastic it is. (John we know). He is responsible for carrying out presentations to corporate and business customers and is a BlackBerry Elite.

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