Canadian software firm Macadamian Technologies has pushed forward its pace for developing BlackBerry apps by 85 per cent, building a new app for the BB 10 operating system roughly every two weeks since the BlackBerry Z10 came out at the end of January.

The 200-strong company out of Gatineau, Que., also creates software for Apple iOS and Android, but CEO Frédéric Boulanger asked 50 of his employees to work exclusively on BlackBerry 10 apps. The company has now developed about seven apps for BB10 since January, bringing its total of BB10 apps up to 17.

“Building natively allows us to create that experience that will fit like a glove,” said Boulanger, speaking by phone from the BlackBerry Live conference in Orlando, FL. “When you do a straight port, forget about taking advantage of what the platform you’re porting to has to offer that is unique.”

“BlackBerry has a huge user base that is active, that is engaged. For those brands that are looking to add customers to their applications because it’s all about user acquisitions, there’s a great play there for them on the BlackBerry platform, a great play.”

One of their more popular offerings has been for the male-geared publication Maxim Magazine, a video-heavy app native to BlackBerry 10 that features content in tech, cars, entertainment, sports, the military, funny videos and of course, attractive women. While Maxim does have two apps available for Apple’s iOS, they aren’t as focused on videos as their Macadamian and BlackBerry counterpart.

The free app also netted a “Built for BlackBerry” rating, meaning it passed the company’s vetting process and scored high marks in user experience, benefits, performance, security and service integration. Released in April, so far the app has been downloaded 34,000 times and has received a four-and-a-half star user rating.

BlackBerry also just commissioned Macadamian to create an app that will be a template for other developers to use when they build apps around events. Macadamian’s app is slated to pin users’ real-time locations to their social posts, and it has been designed with events like music festivals in mind.

Macadamian will be presenting a number of sessions on how easy it is for developers to build native apps for BlackBerry 10 this week during BlackBerry Live 2013, Boulanger said. Macadamian also developed the official app for the conference.

In March, BlackBerry announced it had reached the 100,000 mark for apps launched for the BlackBerry 10 OS, although 40 per cent of those apps were ported over from Android. By comparison, Apple and Android each have more than 700,000 apps.

For more BlackBerry-related news, IT World Canada’s Howard Solomon is at the BlackBerry Live conference from May 14 to 16 in Orlando, FL. Follow him on Twitter at @HowardITWC or see his work here at IT World Canada for updates.

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