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Key Features of Push - Smartphone Development

BlackBerry’s new Push API is obviously worth trying out. Aside from enabling developers to create better, more efficient apps, it also comes equipped with a wide array of thoughtful features that benefit everyone from investors, to users and developers. Keep reading for a close look.

  1. Introducing the BlackBerry Push API
  2. Key Features of Push
By: Joe eitel
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June 08, 2009

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There are many benefits to be garnered by developers for using Push, like the fact that it enables users to receive information at lightning speed. Applications, which are obviously a developer’s main concern, also have a lot to benefit from being built using the BlackBerry Push API. Aside from the immediate access to information just mentioned, BlackBerry apps built with the Push API can also offer longer battery life, money-saving network efficiency, reduced network latency, improved developer margins, and they require little to no learning curve. Let’s look at some of these key features in greater detail so there’s a better understanding of just how much your apps can offer users if they’re built using the Push API.

Speed seems to be the single most important characteristic when it comes to new technology, so allowing users to access information immediately is a huge benefit of BlackBerry’s new API. “Pushing” data to a BlackBerry smartphone will quite literally prove to be the most efficient way to get information to the massive number of BlackBerry smartphone users that exist in the world today. The Push API enables data to be delivered to Java apps on smartphones as soon as it becomes available and when it matters most.

Most developers would cite preserving battery life as a top priority when they are creating their applications. After all, the most helpful application in the world won’t be worth anything if the host device doesn’t have the battery power to operate it. Instead of constantly looking for new data, the BlackBerry Push API listens in the background for the server to push data to it. As a result, the impact on a smartphone’s battery life is greatly minimized.

Let’s face it, not only are smartphones pricey, but a monthly wireless data plan can also be a big expense. Needless to say, every minute counts. Smartphone users have come to depend on the efficiency of BlackBerry apps. Thankfully, applications developed using the new Push API will prove to be just as network efficient, if not more so. This is where the money-saving network efficiency comes in.

Polling requests and responses are obviously a small cost, but as we all know the cost can add up quickly with frequent polling intervals across multiple applications. The Push API ensures that applications don’t repeatedly poll servers for new data, thus saving money. It’s also important to keep in mind that BlackBerry’s new Push API is designed to push large amounts of data. As a matter of fact, content providers can push up to 8KB of data to a smartphone with any request. If there is more data available, a user can determine whether or not they want to retrieve it. This new concept is key, as it provides an unprecedented measure of control over how data is transferred and consequently paid for.

If these other benefits haven’t been impressive enough, this one may do the trick. It has been shown that BlackBerry applications developed using the Push API can greatly reduce the impact of network latency. It’s a fact that data transfer rates are much slower than wireless connections because wireless networks have less bandwidth than wired networks. The BlackBerry Push API, on the other hand, delivers data to smartphones seemingly in the background without user involvement, meaning there’s no wait time from the perspective of the user. The most up-to-date data will be synchronized and made available on the user’s smartphone the second they open up the app.

The Push API is offered to ISV Alliance members, and by gaining access to this API, development partners can receive an even greater return on their investment. Essentially, any BlackBerry developer who can enhance their apps through the use of Push technology can also benefit from this user engagement because it drives more traffic back to money makers in the form of transaction, subscription, and advertising.

Lastly -- and perhaps the most appealing benefit to developers -- is the fact that there is basically no learning curve as it applies to Push technology. Any developer who’s familiar with PAP standards, and many are, is already set and knows all that’s necessary to begin pushing data to users. BlackBerry’s new Push API is obviously worth trying out. Aside from enabling developers to create better, more efficient apps, it also comes equipped with a wide array of thoughtful features that benefit everyone from investors, to users and developers.

>>> More Smartphone Development Articles          >>> More By Joe eitel

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