Blackberry Development

Everyday Life Is the Blueprint for This BlackBerry 10 Elite Developer’s Successful Apps


BlackBerry 10 developers dedicate their time to providing the millions of BlackBerry users the freedom of choice to use the apps that matter to them. Elite members are recognized for their ongoing contributions to the developer community (through technology forums and user groups), applications submitted to BlackBerry World, and enthusiasm around the BlackBerry platform. In gratitude, BlackBerry is spotlighting some of our most prolific developers. Meet the people that make the BlackBerry 10 apps that you love.

I’ve already had the opportunity to interview Marco Gallo, creator of All-Notes Backup and Air Messages; Michael Muth, creator of the BlackBullet and ClipMan apps; Alessandro Bellotti, creator of 30 BlackBerry 10 apps, including Echo – Voice Recorder and Call Blocker and ReCallBrian Scheirer, creator of the Work Wide app; Jerome Carty, creator of 11 BlackBerry apps, including Twitter app Blaq; and Oliver Martinez, creator of 14 BlackBerry 10 apps, including the Face10 app.

This post was originally published on Inside BlackBerry Blog.

CineTV10moviesToday I am sharing my interview with Alex Christou, a BlackBerry Developer Elite and founder of TZapps, a mobile applications company based in Greece, and the creator of CineTV10, Alpha Browser, and Night Selfie Camera, to name a few.

Here’s what Alex had to share with us:

How long have you been developing on the BlackBerry platform and what attracted you to it?

I started developing apps for BlackBerry when the first beta of BlackBerry 10 SDK was released.

As a long-time BlackBerry user, I was excited to experience the transition from BlackBerry OS to BlackBerry 10 – and I was not disappointed. I loved the clean and smooth interface of BlackBerry 10, as well as the gestures to access different features of the device. BlackBerry 10 is the only platform that offers an easy way to read long emails, edit documents, and respond to all my notifications in one place, which gives me the reassurance that I can be reachable and productive no matter where I am. But what really won me over was knowing that BlackBerry 10 was built on the company’s strong background in security, giving me one less thing to worry about.

Are there features that stand out?

Other than the keyboard and BBM? Who needs more? I think BlackBerry 10 is still the very best mobile operating system in the market. It is very easy to use with a clean interface and offers a natural, seamless transition to and from apps. My favorite feature is the BlackBerry Hub, which allows me to find all my communications and notifications in one place and keeps me organized. Plus, with BlackBerry’s keyboard, I’m able to respond at lightning fast-speeds – a feature that is simply unbeatable to me.

What kind of support have you received from BlackBerry?

Christou_UniversalAll the support a developer wishes for. Super active forums, samples, BlackBerry experts and evangelists always available and reachable, webinars, Jam events (I really miss those though), and the incredible BlackBerry Developer Community!

How did you get into developing apps?

I actually don’t have a developer background, but I fell in love with BlackBerry with my first BlackBerry device. I live in Greece, and when I first got my device, BlackBerry was considered to be a strictly business-only phone and platform. There were almost no local apps available for consumers. However, I learned that BlackBerry 10 was in development, so I took advantage of the opportunity to work with other developers and fans to create a local developer group. Soon thereafter, we went from zero consumer apps to nearly a thousand apps available on BlackBerry 10 – all developed in Greece. We saw the huge potential, and there were so many tools available to get involved. Step by step and app by app, with the help of some portathons, I created more than 50 apps myself and things got serious.

Tell us about your apps – what are your inspirations?

I find inspiration for my apps through my personal life and create solutions that help me stay organized and in the know-how. The best thing about BlackBerry 10 apps is the integration with other apps, like calendar, contacts, and more, to create a more seamless experience.

I am a huge TV and movie fan, so CineTV10 fills my need to be alerted about the latest films available and news in the industry. It provides upcoming movie trailers, episode guides for TV shows, movies that actors played in, and notifications on when your favorite TV show will air next. Plus, you can create a calendar entry for the next episode of your favorite series or a release date for a movie, share a trailer for an upcoming movie on any social network, or share some movie details with your friends over BBM.

BlueprintsOne of my other apps, Blueprints, was created to help me and my better half organize a floor plan in our apartment. I couldn’t find a simple solution, so once again, I created one. I filled it with features that would be found in a typical blueprint, such as different shapes and colors, so it mirrored something people understood, but in an easy-to-use app.

What kind of momentum have you seen for your apps?

Nearly every app that I have launched was accompanied by video reviews from fan sites, which attribute to a significant number of downloads. I also saw a big uptick for CineTV10 during the last BlackBerry World Christmas Giveaway, where several apps are free for a limited time. It was the least I could do for BlackBerry community across the world, to offer one of my best apps for free as a token of my appreciation for the support I got over the years.

What other apps have you developed for BB10? Are any in the works now?

WebSplitter was my first ever app that got noticed and generated sales from almost every country in the world. Sounds for BBM, Alpha Browser, and Trendy deserve an honorable mention, along with Hangman Battles. I am a huge soccer fan, so I’m working on a native live score app that covers every league in the world and it really looks good so far.

What’s the greatest moment you’ve had with BlackBerry?

My whole experience with BlackBerry has provided me with the opportunity to meet so many great people and travel the world. I have to choose BlackBerry Jam Europe in Amsterdam as one of my greatest moments because I didn’t go there alone. Our Greek “gang” was there, and we were recognized for our work as a developer group and put Greece on the map for the number of apps and games we created. I was able to spend time with my BlackBerry friends from around the world, and I was also able get my hands on the Limited Edition Z10 for the first time – just making it an unbelievable experience.

Alex Christou has developed more than a dozen BB10 apps under the TZapps label. He’s a BlackBerry Developer Elite who lives in Greece. You can learn more about him and his work on his blog or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Source: Developer Blackberry

Starter Guide for making Web Services calls to Good Control (GC)


Good Control (GC) has web services API calls that let you administer the system as well as manage devices. Like BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES), SOAP has been the default API, though a more recent REST API has been added. For this starter guide I will focus on the SOAP API calls, and I will use the popular SOAPUI app ( on my Windows desktop to show how you can connect and invoke API calls.

My goal is to be able to invoke a SOAP call, that brings up my user record on my GC.

Recipe Overview:

  • Download SoapUI (or use any SOAP compatible tool or plugin your like, there are lots for chrome/firefox etc).
  • Update SoapUI to use TLS 1.2 in order for it to connect to GC
  • Configure SoapUI project to point to your GC.

Downloading SoapUI

Download SOAPUI from  I’m going to use the latest rev, 5.2.1.

Update SoapUI to use TLS 1.2

Once installed, you will need to update it to use TLS1.2 in order to connect to GC.

  • Download the unlimited strength JRE policy jars from Oracle here:
  • Go to the install location of SOAPUI, for me on 64bit Windows 8.1 it was: C:Program FilesSmartBearSoapUI-5.2.x
  • Edit using a text editor this file: C:Program FilesSmartBearSoapUI-5.2.xbinsoapui.bat
  • Find the set JAVA_OPTS= string and add following parameters to the end of the line:
    -Dsoapui.https.protocols=TLSv1.2,TLSv1,TLSv1.1 -Dsoapui.https.ciphers=TLS_RSA_WITH_AES_256_CBC_SHA256
  • Install the unlimited strength JRE policy jars you downloaded (ie:, by extracting the zip files, and replacing the similarly name files in SoapUI here: C:Program FilesSmartBearSoapUI-5.2.xjrelibsecurity

Now run SoapUI, and using the steps listed here in the Good public knowledge base.

  1. Next, open SoapUI and create a new project (File->New SoapUI Project). Give the project a name. For the initial WSDL, point it to the GD WSDL on the Good Control server(<GD install directory>docsgc.wsdl, e.g. c:gooddocsgc.wsdl).The SoapUI tool will create a project and operations based on those definited in gc.wsdl.
  2. Double-click the SoapUI project to bring up the project configuration.
  3. Select the WS-Security Configurations tab.
  4. In the WS-Security Configurations, select the Outgoing WS-Security Configurations tab.
  5. Click the ‘+’ icon to add a new Outgoing WS-Security Configurations, then give the new config a name. Your new configuration should appear in the table.
  6. Underneath the table of Outgoing WS-Security configurations, click the ‘+’ in the lower left-hand tab to create a new WSS entry.
  7. Choose ‘Username’ from the dropdown list.
  8. In the username entry, add your GC username and password. Note: make sure you specify the domain in the format: domainusername. Make sure ‘Add Nonce’ and ‘Add Created’ are both checked.
  9. For Password Type, choose PasswordText from the list.
  10. Save the project to record your changes.
  11. In the project window, scroll down to the operation GetUser. Expand GetUser and double-click ‘Request 1’.
  12. In the request window, select ‘Authentication and Security-related settings’ in the lower left (it may be represented as ‘…’ based on the size of the window on the screen).
  13. Under Outgoing WSS, select the entry you added in step 10.
  14. In the xml view of the SOAP request, replace the ‘?’ in <urn:stringId>?</urn:stringId> with the stringId (the exchange email address) of a GC user.
  15. In the drop down box at the top of the request window, choose [add new endpoint…] to add a new GC web services endpoint, e.g. https://<GC hostname>/gc/services/GCService. If you are testing on the GC server itself, you can specify https://localhost/gc/services/GCService. Select the new endpoint.
  16. Click the green submit button to send the SOAP request to the server.
  17. You should receive a SOAP response containing the corresponding user data for the stringId you sent as a parameter in the SOAP request.

Now that you have GetUser working, try out the others, adding the same authentication and connection URL.

For more information on GC web services start here pdf:

Source: Developer Blackberry

Best Apps for Keeping Up to Date on 2016 Rio Olympic Games

The 2016 Rio Olympics started on Friday, August 5 and are running until August 21. Over 11,000 top athletes from around the world are competing in 28 different sporting events.

If you do not want to miss out on any of the Olympic news, coverage, or results, here are the best apps you can use on your Secure Android-powered PRIV or DTEK50.

Keeping Up With the Olympics From Home

  1. Rio 2016

The official app for the Olympics is a great starting point to get information on the events, including the venues and schedule.


  1. CBC Rio 2016 & CBC Olympic Games VR

Canadians can watch coverage of the Games anytime and anywhere with CBC’s app for Rio 2016 and the CBC Olympic Games Virtual Reality app. These free apps provide live streams to the competitions and a first look at a virtual reality experience.

CBC’s app for Rio 2016 features up to 23 simultaneous live-streaming feeds of event coverage, standings, schedules, and results. Users get the option to watch CBC’s live television broadcast or choose the specific live event that they want to tune in to.

The VR app, offers Canadians access to a live, 360-degree, motion-sensitive video and immersive VR feeds of select events at the Games. You can watch both the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as events such as beach volleyball, gymnastics, and diving, all in a VR environment. Simply rotate your mobile device to get a 360-degree view of the fields. If you have a VR headset, you can access the live feed, which sends you straight to the stadium or field where the games are held.


  1. NBC Olympics

NBC holds the rights to the 2016 Olympics broadcast in the U.S. The app provides highlights from previous games, high-quality videos, athlete profiles, and news coverage. You can read insightful articles from experts and check out the game schedules too.


  1. ESPN

The ESPN app is a great app for any sports enthusiast. During the Olympics, you can use it to get up-to-the-minute scores, news coverage, and live video streaming from the ESPN networks. Users also have an option to listen in on events through the app’s podcast-streaming mode.

Keeping Up on the Scene

If you’re lucky enough to travel to Rio to see the games in person, make sure you have these apps handy!

  1. Brazil Travel Guide

The Brazil Travel Guide is a handy app to help you get to know the country better. Use it to look up information on the best restaurants, nightlife, or monuments. It also has a built-in currency converter and phrasebook to make your stay in Brazil smooth-sailing.


  1. Translation App

If you are not yet fluent in Portuguese, it is best to download one of the many translation apps available in Google Play. English is not spoken widely in Brazil, with only a small percentage of locals having basic proficiency. Make sure you download a translation app before the trip to help with any communication barriers.

  1. Uber

What’s traveling if you don’t have Uber? Uber’s an essential app for everyone wherever you are, and it will work in Rio during the Olympics. Use it to get a ride quickly and easily without waiting in taxi lines. This will be sure to help you beat the traffic before and after each event at the games.


So whether you are cheering from the crowd or cheering from your couch, you can stay up to date with the 2016 Rio Olympics using these apps, available from Google Play, on your BlackBerry PRIV or DTEK50. Now get out there and cheer on your country and its amazing athletes!

Source: Developer Blackberry

BES12 v12.5: Activating Work Only (COBO) Android for Work on Android 6.x

If you’ve been following along with our blog here, you may recall a similar post titled: BES12 v12.3: Activating Work Only (COBO) on Android for Work.  That post described how to set up Android for Work in work only mode using Android 5.1.1.  This is also known as a COBO or corporate owned, business only.

The activation process has changed a bit in Android 6.x, which is what I’m going to cover here.  To make it easier to follow I’m going to cover the whole process start to finish – not just the differences – so some sections are repeated from my previous blog post.

For this setup, we are using BES12.5, and a fresh Nexus 5, running Android 6.0.1.

Before you try these steps, there are some prerequisites that must be in place. First, you’ll need to configure a Google domain on your BES. The user activating must also have a Google account on this domain that they’ll use for activation. A public Gmail account won’t work for this process.

You also need to ensure that “Enforce EMM policies on Android devices” is checked in your Google domain as shown in the screenshot below.


To verify if this is checked, perform the following steps:

  1. Open
  2. Sign in as BlackBerry admin account
  3. Go to Security -> Android for Work Settings
  4. Check if “Enforce EMM policies on Android devices” is enabled

Once you have that set up you’re ready to continue.

Step 1: Create a Workspace Only Activation Profile

Make sure your activation profile is setup for Work Only.  Open up the BES admin console, select Policies and Profiles, click on Activation profile and create a new one.  We called ours “Work Only”.

Under the Android tab, there are 2 choices here:
“Work space only (Android for Work)”
“Work space only (Android for Work – Premium)”

The difference is that “Premium” requires either a Gold license or Collaboration Suite (or higher) license and allows the use of BlackBerry Secure Connect Plus (BSCP).  The non-premium option is available with any license type.  If you choose the non-premium, you will not get a BSCP connection, which means you will need to use some other mechanism for “behind the firewall” access for email and applications (such as a VPN).

Here is what setting up the activation profile looks like in the BES admin console.


Step 2: Send Activation Emails to the User

This step is a bit different than a normal activation for both the BES admin and the user.  When setting an activation password for the user, the BES admin needs to change the activation email template from the default to “Works space only (Android for Work) activation email”, as shown in the screenshot below.

The user will get an additional email with a Google activation code when the BES activation password is set, even if they created the BES activation password.  One message will be the familiar BES activation email, the second will have a Google activation code that is randomly generated.  The Google activation code is only used if you are activating on a device running Android 5.x.  Since we are using 6.x, we can ignore this second email.  There are potentially 4 email messages that could be sent to the user.  Those 4 email messages contain:

  1. BES12 Enterprise Activation Password
  2. BES12 Enterprise Activation Instructions
  3. Google Token used for Android 5.x
  4. Google Domain Account password (sent only if the user didn’t have a Google Domain password already set).


Step 3: Activate your Android for Work Device

To activate as a work only device you’ll need one that has been factory reset or is fresh out of the box.  When a device is in this state the first thing you see is the device setup wizard, like the screenshot below.  If you don’t’ see that, then your device has likely already been activated.  In that case, perform a factory reset by going into the Settings, Backup and Reset, Factory rest.  WARNING reset means reset, everything will be erased!  If the Google domain account is different than the Google account currently configured on the device, you’ll need to sign out before doing a factory reset.  To do that go to Settings, Users, select You and then choose Delete from the menu.  If you don’t sign out, you’ll need to sign back in using the same account after the device has been wiped.  This is part of Android’s anti-theft feature.

Once that is complete and the device has restarted, you’ll be at the first screen of the setup wizard.


Continue through the setup wizard, setting up WiFi, sim card, etc… until you get to the sign in page as shown below.  Now, you might recall from the previous article that if you were running Android 5.x, you’d need to select “Set up work device” from the menu.  The “Set up work device” menu option is removed in Android 6.x.  When using 6.x, you simply enter the work email address you wish to set up.  When the device checks in with Google’s servers it’ll be informed it should perform a work only activation.  If you are using Android 5.x, refer to my previous article BES12 v12.3: Activating Work Only (COBO) on Android for Work.

If you go through this process and the device sets itself up as a personal device, have your administrator log into your Google domain and verify “Enforce EMM policies on Android devices” is checked.  The instructions for to do this are presented earlier in this article.


Next you’ll need to enter your password.  This is the password for your Google domain account.  If you didn’t have a Google domain account password already set, one would have been randomly generated and emailed to you.


Now the device will check in with Google’s servers.  This is the point it realizes it needs to perform a work only activation.


The device discovers that it needs to perform the Android for Work activation and prompts you to install the BES12 Client.  If it doesn’t prompt you to install the BES12 Client, the device is performing a personal activation.


The next few steps will involve downloading and installing the BES12 Client.  You’ll also need to accept the permissions it requires and agree to the license agreement.  Once you’ve done so the BES12 Client will prompt you to enter an email address.  Enter the same email address again here.


The BES12 Client will now prompt you to enter your activation password.  This is the password that was configured on BES12, and sent to you over email.


After you press the “Activate my device” button you’ll be prompted to accept a certificate and then the BES12 Client will kick off the activation process.


If your device is not configured to use encryption by default – all BlackBerry Android devices are – you’ll be prompted to encrypt your device.  Make sure your device remains plugged into its charger during this process.  It can take a while and there will be problems if the device runs out of power while encrypting.  To help avoid this, the encrypt process will not begin until your device has a near full charge.


When the encryption process is complete, the activation process will continue as shown in the screenshots below.

cobo_android6_13  cobo_android6_14  cobo_android6_15

The next thing you’ll need to configure is a device PIN or password.  Choose whichever one you prefer.


The BES12 Client will continue its activation process after you’ve set your device PIN or password.


Once activation is complete, you should see the screen below showing your device has activated and is compliant.  The Android for Work COBO (work only) activation is now complete and your device is ready to use.  Open up the application grid and you’ll probably see a much smaller set of applications compared to what is typically available on a device that has a personal profile.  The BES administrator has control over the applications that are available to you.  Any application in Google Play can be whitelisted for use in work only mode.  You can also deploy private, internally developed applications that are only available to your Google domain.  The BES admin has complete control over the applications you’re able to use.


Source: Developer Blackberry

Developer Hero Program Winners!

Back in June, we announced the Developer Hero Program. This program was designed to reward our amazing developer community for building new BlackBerry 10 applications. From June 2 to July 28, 2016, we had hundreds of new applications submitted, all of which were automatically considered for the program.

After months of testing, weeks of review and hours of debate we have finally selected the top new BlackBerry 10 applications. It was difficult to choose only three, so we decided to select the top four new BlackBerry 10 applications.

Congratulations to the following developer applications (in no particular order), the winners of the Developer Hero Program!

As part of winning the Developer Hero Program, these developer applications will each receive:

  • 6 months of featuring on BlackBerry World
  • A blog and social media posts promoting the application
  • 2-weeks of featuring on

Thank-you to all those who promoted and participated in this competition. We appreciate your ongoing support. Once again, congratulations to the winners!

Source: Developer Blackberry

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