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Properties: int, bool, string… and more

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Perhaps defining variables/properties was immediately obvious to some, but for whatever reason I didn’t know about them when I first started writing Cascades apps. Perhaps it was because none of the beginning samples from BlackBerry use them? Either way, I am writing this tutorial because I feel like it is something that is missing from the the official documentation/examples.

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One Year of Cascading

Wow, so it has been a year since my first post. Oh my, a lot has changed. The past year has been a blast, between everything I’ve learned and all the people I’ve met. Figured now is a good time to reflect on the past year and take a look at what’s to come. Let’s start by taking a look some highlights of the past twelve months…

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Swap Function in Containers

There are quite a few built in functions in Cascades that come in handy when doing all kinds of apps. One that I recently discovered and found particularly useful is the swap() function. This function executes exactly as you would guess, it will swap the placement of two elements within a Container. The write up won’t be very long but I still felt it was “tutorial” worthy.

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Custom Advertisments for in App Banners

A few months back I did a write up about banner advertisements. A few months ago I thought I could make money on apps by having banner advertisements. A few months later I was wrong about banner advertisements.

I am not here to go on a rant about how much I am not impressed with BlackBerry Banner Ads, so instead I bring to you a possible solution. This is what I call “Custom Ads”. It is a loop of custom banners where you can advertise your own apps (or I suppose anything you want) as clickable links.

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Freemium? Need In App Purchases!

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The “freemium” model is all the rage right now. In case you don’t know what that term means it is a model where an app is free then has in app purchases to buy additional content, in game currency, etc within the app. To accomplish this in your own apps, you need to use BlackBerry Payment Services (also know as “in app purchases”).

So guess what, this tutorial is about adding in app purchases to your app! And best of all you won’t need to write any C++ to accomplish it (we’ll just borrow a little from a BlackBerry sample).

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Dissecting the App: Visual Connection

BlackBerry 10 Cascades Visual Connection

Rather than just having a shameless promotion of my newest game, Visual Connection, I figured I’d do a write up “developers style” for my readers of my blog. So here I will breakdown the components and methods I used to create the game. I think it is important to not only have write ups about how to use individual components but also show how everything can work together in a fully functional app/game. However I do encourage everyone to please check out the game, it is a lot of fun:

Download Visual Connection for Z10, Q10, or PlayBook (Note: The PlayBook version was written in WebWorks and this blog is a write up about the Z10 and Q10 Cascades version)

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A Toast to the ImageToggleButton

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I’m back with another blog of “here’s two topics I haven’t talked about and combined in an interesting presentation” and this time I was feeling a little artsy. So, I think I have made something that looks nicer than some of my strictly functional tutorials. The two features up in this tutorial are: Toasts (the black box popup) and ImageToggleButton (its a toggle button with a custom image).

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Welcome Screen (With First Time Only Option)

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I often see postings or questions about how to do things to the splash screen (or loading screen as some call it).  Things such as make it last longer, play a sound, show a dialog, etc. For one, why make the user think the app takes longer to load than it really does? And to answer the question about increase duration, no you can’t increase the duration of the splash screen. Also for the most part apps load FAST on the actual z10 (much faster than the simulator and in some cases faster than the Dev Alpha B).  So since you can’t increase the duration trying to do anything else (play a sound, show some text, etc) would be almost pointless. And not even possible. So this leads me to the reasoning for this posting. Rather than doing anything to the splash screen, let’s create a “Welcome Page.” And to make it an extra useful tutorial I’ll show you a way to make it a “first time only” or “don’t show this message again” option too.

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The ‘Contact Us’ Page

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It is always a good idea to have a way for your users to be able to contact you whether it is to report a bug, give suggestions, or send you their praises from within your BlackBerry app. And you should make it as easy as possible for them to do so. This quick tutorial will show how to invoke the email composer with the “to” and “subject” field pre-filled out.

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Get the Other App!

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It may seem like I haven’t been posting tutorials lately, which is partially true. As some may have noticed my other site: BBcascades.com has more write ups and tutorials than this site. So if you haven’t checked it out yet, now is a good time to head over and see additional content. Also I’ve created (with the help of Jeremy from OSBBx) a new app called ‘Native Coding Help’ which is available on BlackBerry World for purchase: BlackBerry World - Native Coding Help

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