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BlackBerry Elite Developer Capitalizes on BB10 Innovation to Create Powerful Productivity Apps

MOBILE APPS / 05.12.16 / lgazzola

BBJam Europe_AlessandroBlackBerry 10 developers dedicate their time to providing the millions of BlackBerry users the freedom of choice to use the apps that matter to them. In gratitude, BlackBerry is spotlighting some of our most prolific developers. Meet the people that make the BlackBerry 10 apps that you love.

Recently I interviewed Brian 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.

Today I feature Alessandro Bellotti, indie developer and creator of more than 30 apps for the BlackBerry 10 platform, including the popular Echo – Voice Recorder and Call Blocker and ReCall.

Echo is a great app that’s been designed to be fast and easy to use to record, play and share your voice recordings. In just three easy steps, you can record a new note, play it and share it. Echo also gives you the ability to differentiate your voice notes with 18 fully customizable categories.

ReCall solves a problem that many of us are all too familiar with. How many times have you received a call when you weren’t unavailable to answer and then forgot to call that person back? For every call you miss, ReCall sets a reminder on your calendar so you never have to worry about missing a call again.

Here’s what Alessandro had to share with us:

How long have you been developing on the BlackBerry platform?

I first started developing on the BlackBerry platform in 2013, after participating in the BlackBerry Jam World Tour in Milan. I was lucky enough to receive a Dev Alpha – a device to begin immediately testing my own applications on the BlackBerry 10 platform.

What attracted you to the platform?

I was initially very curious to learn about the new platform. Then I saw the innovation and potential of BlackBerry 10. What really got me engaged was the respect that the company showed me by trusting me and giving me a Dev Alpha device.

The thing that struck me immediately in the development was the great strength of Cascades, a simple and powerful tool, even from the earliest versions.

Are there features that stand out?

The native platform (Cascades) has definitely evolved a lot, and the possibility to develop applications also using BlackBerry 10 Cordova is a plus, although I prefer native development.

Cascades, as I said before, is very powerful and flexible – you can write applications using QML, C++ and JavaScript.

BBLive_AlessandroWhat kind of support have you received from BlackBerry?

I have received a lot of support from BlackBerry, either as training courses at various BBJams in which I participated, or online and with the support documentation for developers.

How did you get into developing apps?

I started developing apps thanks to BlackBerry.

Tell us about your apps – what was your inspiration and what features do you want to highlight?

The apps I’ve developed start from requests by users: Food Diary in Italy, Echo Voice Recorder and Call Blocker, ReCall app utility, and ultimately the apps for blogs (MB10, Clic, Sphere and more) developed with Marco Bavagnoli, awesome native dev and friend (@lildeimos on Twitter).

I really like ReCall and the fact that it is a valid support tool for work, to be able to manage all of your call reminders.

I’ve received lots of constructive feedback along the way and I’m really thankful for that.

What kind of momentum have you seen – number of downloads, peak download times, etc.?

Overall I am very satisfied with my app downloads. Echo Voice Recorder and Call Blocker has over 256,000 downloads, and ReCall has 16,500 downloads so far. I’ve noticed that BlackBerry clients are willing to spend money to have good applications that are productive and support their work lives. They can be demanding, but at the same time are respectful of the work that goes into development of an app.

If I can give some advice to all the boys and girls who develop for this beautiful platform: invest in marketing and utilize contests in order to increase your visibility.

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

I have developed apps that fall into various categories:

I’m Free is an app to support stopping smoking. To be honest I created it for myself and it worked, so I wanted to share it. It’s been three years since I stopped smoking.

I developed ImConverter and ImScaler to convert and scale images in a simple and immediate way that can be easily shared everywhere.

Pizzino 2.0 shares secret messages between BlackBerry users.

Itinera is a large native app for getting around Rome with both public and private transportation.

There are so many others as well. And currently I have some more projects open in my workspace…stay tuned!

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

I have had so many wonderful moments with BlackBerry that it is really hard to pick just one. I’ve had the great opportunity to meet wonderful people and amazing developers.

Alessandro Bellotti lives in Italy and is an independent mobile developer. He started to develop applications for the BlackBerry platform as a hobby and became fascinated. He develops in the Cascades / C ++ and WebWorks / HTML5 and is proud to be in the BlackBerry Elite program. Connect with Alessandro:


About lgazzola

Lou leads the App Ecosystem and Developer Outreach team.