Blaq for PlayBook v1.1

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Great news, all! Blaq for PlayBook v1.1 is now available in App World! This one’s a biggie, adding multi-account support, lists, search and much, much more. Check the full press release after the jump for the full changelog!

All the best, and All. Blaq. Everything. Read more

Blaq for PlayBook Has Landed

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We couldn’t be more pleased to be announcing that Blaq is officially available for your BlackBerry PlayBook in App World!

Seeing as how the PlayBook scene has thus-far been devoid of any real fuller-featured Twitter apps, we wanted to make sure that we got Blaq to market as quickly as possible. Therefore, the app you see in App World today is far from the extent of our goals for its development.

In fact, thanks in large part to Adobe’s AIR platform (and in larger part to the awesome development skills of our dev Jerome Carty), we were able to move from initial concept to App World in a matter of about a month.

We still have a lot of work to do, but PlayBook users finally have an app that they can truly experience Twitter with. Here are a few cool features you’ll find in Blaq today:

  • Gestures: swipe the tweet card down to access the composing box, or swipe it off to the right to get rid of it all together
  • Tap and hold: hold the reply button to choose whether to reply or reply all, holding the RT button will allow you to edit your retweets before sending them
  • Embed.ly support baked in: load a whole mess of links from hundreds of different services, ranging from all your standard photo sharing services and YouTube, to more exotic content from sites like SoundForge and Dribbble

We have tons of additional features planned for Blaq, too. We’ll be updating the app as quickly as possible until all of our planned features are in place. Some of these include but are absolutely not limited to:

  • List support: Yeah, sorry guys…it being in the features list was an accident, but it will be present in the first update!
  • More advanced notifications: there are still some limitations regarding native notifications on the PlayBook platform, but we’re working on some stellar solutions
  • Multi-account support: we wanted to make sure you had a solid app to use one account with first, but multi-account support is a major focus for us — just requires more testing
  • Customization: since one of the bigger benefits of our original BlackBerry app was extensive customization, expect deep menus with lots of fun options in a near-future update

Stay tuned to this blog, the @Blaq Twitter account, @Hamrick (designer) and @jcarty (developer) for all the latest updates!

All the best, and all. Blaq. Everything.

Breaking Down the Blaq/BlaqLite Difference – Why Buy Blaq?

If there’s one question I’ve been asked more than any other since the launch of Blaq, it would have to be — “When will the touch/OS6 version be available?” :)

The second most popular inquiry would have to be from people curious as to what the differences are between the free and paid versions of Blaq, aside from the presence of ads. The features that didn’t make it into BlaqLite are explicitly listed in the “Features” section of the BlaqLite MobiHand page, but let’s take a closer look at what those are exactly, and what they mean for the overall Blaq experience.

Quick Tweet

This is one that especially confuses people, because both versions have Quick Tweet. However, there is a major key difference in what Quick Tweet offers the user between versions. In BlaqLite, a “Quick Tweet” option is in the BlackBerry menu from every screen in the OS, with the exception of one — the homescreen. With Blaq, you have the same capability, but in addition, you can download what we call the Quick Tweet plug-in. This is actually a separate, super-lightweight (10kb) application available from within the settings screen of Blaq. This plug-in then gives you the ability to set Quick Tweet as a convenience key, set it up with the very popular QuickLaunch application, or even build custom shortcuts to its module from your BlackBerry themes. One of the coolest things about this functionality is, if you’re one of many people who always come back to their homescreen, you can tweet from right there, never leaving home. Also, if you’re the battery-saving type, get this — Blaq doesn’t even have to be running to use Quick Tweet.

Individual Timeline Refreshing

Another big difference between Blaq and BlaqLite is the depth at which a user can customize his or her auto-refresh settings. In Blaq, like we showed you in our post, Blaq Introduction Series: Account Control, you can individually set the refresh rate for each of your three main timelines — Home (all friends), Mentions and Direct Messages. This gives you fantastic control of how much battery life you want to consume. In BlaqLite, however, you’ll just find the same type of setting found in all other BlackBerry Twitter apps — one setting for all of them.

Cross-account Posting

Multi-account support in Blaq is like no other Twitter client available on the BlackBerry platform. Not only can you set up multiple accounts simultaneously in the app (I have 4 set up currently), but with Blaq, you can actually update your status from any or all of them at the same time without ever having to type the same message more than once. There’s an account picker that lets you check a box next to each account that you want the tweet to be sent from. That’s right, you don’t even have to be “logged-in” to the other accounts, they just need to be authorized and in your accounts list!

In BlaqLite, however, while multiple account support is still included, posting from more than one account at the same time is not an option in the compose screen.

If those stand-out features weren’t enough to push you over the edge, don’t forget that you will get free updates for life.

Let us know in the comments if you have any more questions about what buying Blaq can do for you. :)

All the best, and All. Blaq. Everything.

Blaq Updated – Version 1.01.2

The number may seem like a very small change, but much has been accomplished in the past week.

While we haven’t forgotten about you, this update isn’t accompanied by touch or Bold 9000 support just yet. We really wanted to get the other versions out within a week of the original ones, but opening up to users around the globe hipped us to a fun new little round of errors and bugs that we’ve been working night and day to try and fix.

The good news is, this update is a very important step in getting to those versions. I’ve explained to many of you individually on Twitter over the past week that the main reason we’ve delayed the other versions is to avoid the carrying over of the same issues early users experienced to everyone else. Now that we feel like we’ve reached a point of real solidarity, we can now move on to making all other versions as awesome as you deserve them to be.

But for now, we bring you version 1.01.2. Find the links below, immediately followed by the changelog.

As always, let us know what you think and if you have any problems, use the “Send Feedback” option in the menu and reach out to us! Anyone who has thus far should tell you that we’ve done our very best to provide quick, helpful responses, and we take everyone’s feedback to heart. We want Blaq to be the best app for you, and if it’s not, we’d love to have to opportunity to try and make it that way.

BlaqLite (FREE)

Blaq ($4.99)

New Additions:

- Profile editing
- Avatar updating
- New “G” shortcut for Go to User Profile
- “Connection” setting in Settings screen
- “Animate Timeline” has been changed to “Swipe to Switch”
- “Get more” in user timeline and list timeline

Fixes:

- Fixed BIS support
- Fixed TwitLonger support
- Fixed manager.insert error
- Fixed local timeout error
- Many optimizations for increased speed

HELPFUL TIPS: What You May Have Missed

The @Blaq Twitter account has added a substantial number of followers even just since we launched last Friday. We love it and we’re so grateful for the continued support and to all of you for spreading the word.

However, a lot of our more recent followers weren’t around for things like the Blaq Introduction Series, where we broke down virtually every feature of the application and showed where almost everything is. So, we figured it might be incredibly helpful for a lot of our early adopters to give a friendly nudge in the direction of some pretty thorough help.

Some of you who have been around have been asking questions answered within the Blaq Introduction Series, too (it’s okay, we know there’s some pretty unique things going on where you might need a refresher as to how they work :P ).

So if you need a little help, take a look back at the BIS for some feature details and tips.

All the best, and All. Blaq. Everything.

The Blaq Introduction Series: UI Overview

The Blaq Introduction Series: Integration

The Blaq Introduction Series: Account Control

The Blaq Introduction Series: Next-Level Features

PS – Click on the picture above  for a nice 1440 x 1080 wallpaper (the full-size design version of the Blaq companion theme’s wallpaper).

Blaq Updated – Version 1.01

Hey Everyone,

Quick update here to let you know that version 1.01 has been uploaded to mobihand and is available for your download. Only a few fixes here but important ones for some people.

People who had issues with BIS only will now be able to login and use the app.
Incorrect Signature error when tweeting special characters (i.e. accented characters) has been fixed.
Send feedback menu fixed.

Blaq Friday – Still Working…

We’re here. It’s Blaq Friday, and we couldn’t be more excited about giving you all the chance to see what we’ve dedicated our lives to for the past three months.

Before you go crazy, we will indeed be launching today! The App World links may be a bit behind, but our MobiHand link should be available very soon.

Now here’s the deal. In order to meet this #BlaqFriday and not have to make it next week, we simply weren’t able to get to a point that we were happy with on the touch and BlackBerry 6-compatible versions. But not to worry, we’re close, and we will be right back in the coming days with the rest of the versions.

Today, we’ll be bringing you the 480 x 360 resolution (9700, 96xx and 89xx) and the 320 x 240 resolution (93xx, 85xx and 83xx) in both the full, paid version for $4.99, and also BlaqLite, our free version.

Which brings us to the last thing we wanted to mention before we go. Blaq updates and upgrades will be free…for life. :)

With all that said, bear with us and keep your eyes peeled. Believe us, if we could’ve given you Blaq at Midnight last night we would have. We’re just at the mercy of others now. If your phone isn’t supported today, it won’t be long at all, we promise. We wanted to give you what we have now, instead of making everyone wait. We love you all and appreciate your support and patience.

All the best, and All. Blaq. Everything.

Blaq Launch Details

There have been countless comments and questions on Twitter lately from people wondering when Blaq will be available to the masses. So much so that we just can’t keep up with replying to everyone every time, no matter how much we’d love to.

So instead, I figured I’d post some details here to give everyone an update and let you all know where things stand.

We were originally planning on trying to have everything done by September 6th, the last day for submissions to the Super App Developer Challenge. However, as more details developed about the challenge, and we discovered that submitted apps don’t have to actually be live, available apps in App World to be eligible, we shifted our focus toward making our main submission version as solid as possible.

Now, having been a Storm user for some time myself, I know all too well what it feels like when an application launches without proper touchscreen support from day one. It sucks. That said, we want to make sure that when Blaq is available, it’s available to everyone. After all, it’s a BlackBerry app, not a BlackBerry Bold app.

As of Friday morning, Blaq was submitted to both App World and the Super App Dev Challenge as well. Assuming everything with the App World approval goes smoothly, our plan is to take this week and finish readying all other versions so that all possible models can be supported.

As far as a launch date, we’re looking TENTATIVELY at next Friday, September 10th — Blaq Friday. :)

Did I say TENTATIVELY? We would love to launch today if we could, but how well this package is prepared is very important to not only the application’s success, but ultimately your satisfaction, and we can’t risk rushing that. We will be doing everything we can to make sure this timeframe sticks, but since it’s TENTATIVE, please don’t hate us if we don’t feel that it’s perfect enough for you by then.

Here’s hoping we see you again in about five or six days when Blaq Friday comes a bit early this year…

All the best, and All. Blaq. Everything.

The Blaq Introduction Series: Next-Level Features

I’ve spoken several times before about how we started this project with the main goal being to create a visually stunning Twitter client for the BlackBerry community so desperately in need of new, great-looking apps. Little did I know, I would eventually come across an absolute rockstar developer who shared a lot of the same passions and goals as I did for breathing a little new life into an arguably stale platform. Together we set out to build a Twitter app that could hold it’s own feature-wise, but look darn good doing it. But at some point in development, things suddenly took a turn from good-looking and good enough, to good-looking and — groundbreaking. Read more

The Blaq Introduction Series: Account Control

For the third installment of the Blaq Introduction Series, we’re talking all about account control.

Now when I say account control, I don’t just mean Twitter accounts that you own and manage. We’re also talking other users’ Twitter accounts, too. Read more

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