In June, we announced an initiative known as the Developer Hero Program, in an effort to reward our amazing, dedicated development community. From June 2 to July 28, 2016, we saw hundreds of new applications submitted. From those apps, we chose four winners.
Today, we speak with one of those winners. Adam Radwon is founder of Rad Systems and developer of App Manager for BlackBerry 10 (along with several other popular apps, including Profile Manager). Created to give users greater control over and better access to the apps on their device, App Manager includes a number of features designed to make your device more efficient, including notification control, advanced shortcuts, password protection, and built-in backup functionality.
Here’s what Adam had to say:
How long have you been developing apps on the BlackBerry 10 platform?
I started developing for BlackBerry in 2012, after signing up for the BlackBerry 10 Jam event in London.
What attracted you to the platform?
I’d read about this initiative by BlackBerry (or RIM as they were known back then) to hold these World Tour Jam events in the lead up to releasing BlackBerry 10. Not only were the events free to attend but developers could also receive an actual (Dev Alpha) device prototype to develop and test on. I attended, tried the platform out, and was hooked.
Are there any features that stand out about our OS?
The main one for me is the awesome peek and flow navigation that BlackBerry 10 uses. It’s so fast, easy and intuitive that using a different OS feels kind of clunky now! The Hub is a great integral feature, as well as the notification system, especially when coupled with the instant previews. Also that it can run Android apps is a huge bonus too!
Do you currently use a BlackBerry device?
I do. My main personal device is still the Red Developer Limited Edition Z10. I’ve used other BlackBerry 10 devices but I really like the size of the Z10 so I’ve stuck with it! Plus, it forces me to ensure my apps run just as well on first generation BlackBerry 10 devices as they do on the later ones!
What kind of support have you received from BlackBerry?
The Jam World Tour events and Dev Alpha device giveaways that I mentioned really helped in getting started. Also the online Port-A-Thon events in the early days were fantastic for pulling all-nighters and getting the first version of apps out the door. The forums and documentation have been a great help too, as well as the developer relations and support people I’ve had contact with.
How did you first get into app development?
I actually started in the early days of mobile with a few side-projects using J2ME for feature phones. Unfortunately, I missed a good early opportunity to move on to the first smartphones, including BlackBerry’s Java platform.
After that, I shifted to web development before eventually moving back into mobile app development with Android and BlackBerry 10.
Tell us about App Manager. What inspired you to create it, and what features would you like to highlight?
App Manager is something I wanted to create for a long time. I’d actually started it a while ago, but it was put on hold because some features that I’d finished had started appearing in other recently-released apps, so I stopped working on it to concentrate on Profile Manager, another app I’d been wanting to make. But I’d always wanted to finish and release App Manager – so when the Developer Hero program was announced in June, I decided it was time to finally do so.
Some features I find myself using constantly include:
- Quick Launch, which lets me access my most-used apps with just a tap.
- Applications List, which helps me find apps I want easily.
- Kiosk Mode, which allows someone else to use a specific app on my phone and only that app.
- Startup App Control, which lets me set a few apps to run automatically when I reboot my phone.
Where has App Managers seen the greatest success?
Checking the stats, App Manager seems to be most popular in North America and with BlackBerry Passport users, but it has been designed for all BlackBerry 10 devices and translated into other languages too, so it’s an app that everyone can benefit from.
What other apps have you developed for BB10? Are there any you’d like to mention, or anything you’ve got in the works right now?
What’s the greatest moment you’ve had with BlackBerry?
There have been a bunch of great milestones since I started, from receiving that first Dev Alpha device to releasing my first app (Charger Alert) for BlackBerry, to getting featured on BlackBerry World, and of course to ultimately winning the Developer Hero program. That was an honour and a surprise.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I’d like to say thanks to BlackBerry for this opportunity, and to everyone who has helped along the way.
As a user, BlackBerry 10 has been a great operating system to use, and as a developer it has been a great platform to develop for.
About Adam Radwon, Founder of Rad Systems: Born and raised in England, Adam started programming as a hobby when he was a child, eventually moving on to attain a Computer Science degree in university. Today, he works full-time as a professional application developer. Connect with Adam on Twitter @AdamRadwon.