Earlier this week, theScore updated its popular sports app for BlackBerry 10. The update comes with a variety of performance improvements and new features that bring it in line with its Android and iOS counterparts, like a revamped News section, expanded sports coverage, and custom-made sports Feeds. The feature parity isn’t a coincidence – the new version is actually a port of theScore’s recently updated Android app.
The switch from an Adobe AIR BB10 app to Android is not without its drawbacks. Most notably is the loss of push alerts for breaking sports happenings, which is a significant loss for a news app. Grabbing the new version will also force users to re-select their favourite leagues, teams, and players to follow, as the ‘update’ is in fact a wholly new app rather than a true update. theScore has said in a support article that support for the older BlackBerry 10 version will soon cease.
Despite the new features, BlackBerry 10 users of theScore are understandably upset, both in the loss of push alerts and what must be general concern for the health of their platform of choice. In response to the negative sentiment, theScore has posted on the CrackBerry forums, explaining that:
In terms of sticking with a native BB10 app, we have to make decisions around prioritizing the workload of our in-house development teams and currently their focus is primarily on our iOS and Android platforms. However, every effort is still made to ensure Blackberry users continue to receive a great mobile sports experience, which was the main reason behind us making theScore experience on Android available on BB10.
While the short term outcome of the decision is an improved app for BlackBerry 10 sports fans, the longterm outlook is not good for native BlackBerry 10 development. If a Canadian, mobile-first company, fresh off of $17.25M in financing, can’t justify the development cost of a native BlackBerry 10 app, it’s hard to imagine who can.
Note: a few helpful commenters have pointed out that BlackBerry is deprecating Adobe AIR support in BlackBerry 10.3, which might have influenced theScore’s decision to make the switch to their pre-existing Android version. Despite the reason for the switch, however, theScore’s statement above makes it clear that the company has little current interest in building a native BlackBerry 10 app from scratch.