Ten Minutes with BlackBerry App Generator
As we reported yesterday, Mippin’s BlackBerry App Generator has just launched its private beta program. The public launch won’t happen for a few more weeks.
The app claims that you can make an app in less than ten minutes, so I decided to put that to the test. I made a cup of coffee and began the process of creating an app for this article.
On logging in and selecting to create a new app, you are presented with the Content section.
After clicking the “Create App” button, you will be taken to the “Your Content” section. This is where you will select the content for your app.
You should note that the large BlackBerry Smartphone to the right is not a graphic but a real-time simulator. This will display your selections as you go. So you can always see what your app will look like throughout the whole process.
You can add up to four content sources and each one will be a channel within your app.
There are 9 content sources to choose from:
- RSS Feed
- WordPress Blog (self-hosted not supported)
- Blogger Blog
- Tumblr Blog
- Posterous Blog
- YouTube Channel
- Facebook Fan Page (must be a fan page)
- Picassa Album
- Flickr Photo Stream
For this example, I’m going to select the RSS Feed.
Simply enter the url to your feed and click “Add Content“.
It is advisable to add content which contain images, etc as this will obviously look better in your app and enhance your users experience.
The App Generator will fetch the content of the “valid” url that you give it and display it in the simulator.
You can now select your preferred layout from the three layout options.
Preview each layout in the simulator and then select the layout that you prefer and click “Done“.
You will now see one channel has been added to your content section.
If you wish to add more channels, simply click on “Add More Content” and repeat the process.
Once you have finished adding channels, select your language from the dropdown list and click on “Save and Continue“.
You will then be presented with a legal terms windows.
Assuming that everything here is okay, tick the check-box and click “Continue“.
Now that we have the content for your app, it’s time to design the app to suit our preferences.
Click Title Banner and you will be presented with an Upload Screen. Click “Upload“.
In the file Dialog Box, select the file you want to use for your Title Banner and the image will be uploaded for you and you will be presented with the Crop Screen.
Use the crop box to select the part of the image you wish to use and to crop it. Watch the simulator as you make your changes. When you are happy, click “Crop“.
Now you can choose the Background colour of this banner. Simply drag the cursor around the colours, watching it on the simulator.
When you have the colour right click “Done“.
Now we can select the colour of the Header Menus. The colour box on the left changes the background colour and the box on the right the text. Again, keep an eye on the simulator until you have the colours of your choice.
When you’re happy, click “Done“.
Link text Colour
Now you can select the colour of the links in our apps. These are the live hyperlinks that users will click on to take them elsewhere. Hover over the link shown in the simulator to see the effect.
Select the colour you want your links to be and click “Done“.
The Icon is the small graphic that you see on your BlackBerry Device when displaying apps.
Now you can upload your icon and name your apps title.
Simply, upload the icon like you did previously and crop it to suit your tastes.
Edit the name of your App, if necessary and then click “Save and Continue” as your design is complete.
We’re just about finished our app now. All we have to do now is provide a description of our app.
Select the category and any sub-category from the options in the drop-down lists.
Select a Content Rating from the drop-down list.
Enter a description of your App. Be as descriptive as possible as your potential users will read this and you want to make it clear what your app is about and entice your users to either download or purchase it, depending on whether it is a free or paid app of course.
When your Description is complete, click “Save and Continue“.
Monetise your App
Now you are presented with the option of making money (or not) from your App.
First of all, you will set the price that you want to sell your app at from the drop-down list. Free is the default option but if your are charging for the app, select the price you wish to sell your app for.
If you don’t wish any advertising in your app, simply leave the default at ‘No Advertising’.
If you have a BlackBerry Advertising Account, login and complete the ‘App Setup’ page.
Create a ‘Site App’
- Name of Mobile App: Enter the name of the app that you have called it in the App Generator.
- Description: I would use the same descripion that you used in the App Generator.
- App Link: <leave this blank>
- Over Age 18: Tick this box if your content is targeted at users of 18 years and older.
- App Channels: Tick the categories that your app applies to.
- App Type: Select Webworks Apps from the dropdown list.
- Click Save
Once your ad feed is setup in the Advertising Service Portal, it will appear at the bottom in your list of apps.
Click on ‘Get code‘ and your ‘Site ID‘ will be displayed.
Once you know your site id, simply enter it into the box ‘BlackBerry Site ID’.
If you would like to create a BlackBerry Advertising Account, you can do so here and complete the above ”App Setup’.
When you’re ready, click “Finish“.
That’s it. You’ve created your first app. Sit back while the App Generator Builds your App.
When the app has been successfully built, you will then have the option of submitting it to AppWorld for review. Alternatively, you can go back and edit any single aspect of your app.
Please be advised that once you submit your app to AppWorld you no longer have the option to edit it, so make sure you are 100% happy with your app before submitting it.
And that’s it. Ten minutes and we had an app created and submitted to AppWorld for review. I haven’t even had time to finish my coffee. Keep an eye out for our detailed review, coming shortly.
The App in BlackBerry AppWorld
Once your app is in the BlackBerry Vendor Portal, it will go through the usual checks that any other app will. You don’t have to worry about the technical checks as these are done automatically. As long as your content is suitable and you have stuck to the Portal Guidelines, your app will be approved and available to your users for download.
An edited app that we created especially for this tutorial is now available in BlackBerry AppWorld.
Join the VIP Beta of BlackBerry App Generator
Now that you’ve read the tutorial and hopefully, downloaded the Rapid Berry app. How would you like to try it out for yourself and get your own app into BlackBerry AppWorld.
We have 50 spaces available for the FREE VIP BETA.
So what you waiting for? Gain exclusive access now.
First published 12th June 2012. Updated 10th July 2012