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BigTinCan helps BlackBerry developers to BuzzMe

Popular alert-management application now opened up to 3rd party developers

November 11, 2009 - BigTinCan is opening up its BuzzMe platform on BlackBerry smartphones to 3rd party developers, allowing them to tap into the over 2 million users of the popular alert-management application.

Announced at the 2009 BlackBerry Developers Conference in San Francisco today, the BuzzMe Open Plugin Architecture (BOPA) will allow users to control alerts and actions for calls and messages, and enable 3rd party applications on the BlackBerry platform to take advantage of the open API.

BuzzMe, one of the most downloaded applications on BlackBerry smartphones, controls the LED color, and vibration length for calls, emails and SMS/MMS messages, and even provides great features like a customizable missed call reminder, and “facedown mode” which leverages the accelerometer in the BlackBerry Storm and BlackBerry Storm2 to stop vibration and other alerts from activating when the smartphone is placed face down.. The basic version of BuzzMe is available as a free download and the PRO version is $2.99, both available on BlackBerry App World™.

BigTinCan CEO David Keane said the initiative was a response to user demand. 

"Thousands and thousands of BuzzMe users contact BigTinCan every month asking for ways to be able to control other applications using the BuzzMe interface," he said. "They want to be able to control how those applications alert them, and they want to be able to set those alerts all in a single place that is easy to use and that they trust."

BOPA has already received the support of successful BlackBerry developers like Orangatame, the developer of OpenBeak (formerly TwitterBerry), a leading mobile client for posting updates to Twitter from a BlackBerry smartphone.

Jason Schroeder, founder of Orangatame, is excited about what BigTinCan has created with BOPA. "We see this as a great way to allow OpenBeak users to get access to the features of BuzzMe and to integrate their notifications into one place. We particularly like that BigTinCan has taken a standards-based approach by using existing BlackBerry APIs that makes it easy for developers like us to work with them,” says Schroeder.

David Keane, CEO BigTinCan says, “We are very happy to have the support of Orangatame and we welcome them as a partner for the BOPA project, with their industry leading OpenBeak client integrated for alerting into BuzzMe, we will be able to offer a powerful solution to BlackBerry developers worldwide.”

BOPA is an open architecture built around an open API that will be very familiar to BlackBerry developers. It is based on the RIM GLOBAL EVENTS API and allows a 3rd party app to register a global event and communicate with BuzzMe through this event whenever there is an action that has to be communicated to the user. The user can then decide how they want to be alerted to the event - as a LED flash, TONE, or vibration.

 To ensure that all plugin 3rd party applications are well-behaved and conform to the API and BOPA specification, developers must apply for an "appid" in advance of their application release. Developers will be given an appid that is used by the GLOBAL EVENTS API and is passed to BuzzMe with any alert information. 

BOPA helps BlackBerry developers by: 

•          making life easier, as developers no longer have to worry about how the alerts from their application are presented to the user

•          making applications more appealing to end users, as it allows the user to control in an single place how alerts work in a way that they can easily see, control and ensure they know what alert comes for any application

•          getting access to the “facedown” mode in BuzzMe PRO that allows users to silence events when the phone is set “facedown”

•          gives access to the over 2 million BuzzMe users on BlackBerry smartphones, who would be able to see any 3rd party applications as part of the BOPA family and will therefore be more likely to want to download and install that application

•          being tremendously easy to use and work with, BigTinCan provides sample code, and full example applications that developers can download and use

BOPA echoes  the “BlackBerry Flow” principle introduced by Research In Motion (RIM) at the 2009 BlackBerry Developers Conference. BOPA echoes the “BlackBerry Flow” principle introduced by Research In Motion (RIM) at the 2009 BlackBerry Developers Conference, which describes the approach of developing custom applications for BlackBerry that transparently link to the other applications on the smartphone to offer an intuitive and deeply integrated user experience.

BOPA will be available for users in BuzzMe version 3 due for release in January 2009. It features an extremely simple user interface, whereby users select your application from a list of applications in the PLUGINS menu in BuzzMe.

Leveraging on the push service of the BlackBerry platfrom, users of BuzzMe version 3 will be pushed information about new updates and integrated apps when they become available. The user simply selects your app and then sets the configuration for alerts from the app. 

In Version 3.0 users will be able to select the  

•          LED color

•          Vibration length

•          Facedown mode on/off

•          TONE for the alert

Developers can register their application through the BigTinCan website at www.bigtincan.com/bopa where they can apply for an appid. BigTinCan will respond to approved developers with an appid that is built into the 3rd party application. There is no need to submit any binary of your application.

Find out more at: www.bigtincan.com/bopa or contact BigTinCan at bopa@bigtincan.com.

Media Contacts

BigTinCan CEO David Keane is available for interviews or to provide further information and can be reached at david.keane@bigtincan.com - or on +14083318887

About BigTinCan 

BigTinCan is a smartphone systems developer operating: BigTinCan Connect, a global overlay telco network; BigTinCan Maps,  an OSM linked mapping service; and BigTinCan BuzzMe, its wildly successful smartphone application. 

With over 2 million users worldwide on our suite of iPhone, BlackBerry, Android and Windows Mobile platforms, BigTinCan is a global leader in smartphone systems and services. 

Based in Cremorne, Sydney, Australia, and with global experts in telco, smartphone, database and web skills, BigTinCan is an emerging player in the smartphone revolution.

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