One can never accuse RIM of lacking innovation. During CEO Thorsten Heins first keynote address at RIM’s annual conference, BlackBerry World, the Canadian company announced it’s newest mobile OS BlackBerry 10 — or at least part of it. A brand new touchscreen keyboard was shown, with amazing predictive ability, essentially allowing the user to swipe up on a key to type a full word. RIM also showed off their new camera technology, an amazing feat within itself, as BlackBerrys have never been known for having great cameras, a fact that will soon change. The camera takes a longer shot, allowing the user to turn back time to get the perfect shot. If someone blinked during the shot, you can turn back their face to get the perfect view. A truly innovative product. Announcing part of an OS can be tricky — since it’s not finished, a fact that seems secondary to RIM, as they gave BlackBerry 10 Alpha devices to every developer in attendance.
The full release of BlackBerry 10 won’t be ready until “later this year” but RIM has an opportunity if what they showed off today is the tip of the iceberg. But with an iOS 6 announcement in June, and an Android 5 release in the fall, the clock is ticking.
ORLANDO, FLORIDA–(Marketwire – May 1, 2012) – BlackBerry World 2012 / BlackBerry 10 Jam – Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ:RIMM)(TSX:RIM) today unveiled its vision for the BlackBerry® 10 platform at the BlackBerry World™ conference in Orlando, Florida and released the initial developer toolkit for native and HTML5 software development. The toolkit is available in beta as a free download fromhttp://developer.blackberry.com.
“BlackBerry 10 builds upon the core values and exceptional user experiences that have attracted more than 77 million BlackBerry customers around the world today,” said Alec Saunders, Vice President, Developer Relations and Ecosystems Development. “Developers building for BlackBerry 10 will be able to easily create the kind of cutting-edge apps that deliver truly engaging experiences and ‘wow’ customers, whether through integration with native features and other apps like BBM or by leveraging the new signature design elements of this new and powerful mobile computing platform.”
“There is tremendous interest, anticipation and momentum building toward the launch of BlackBerry 10 devices, and today we’re extremely excited to release the BlackBerry 10 developer beta tools for general use,” said Christopher Smith, Vice President, Handheld Application Platform and Tools at Research In Motion. “Developers can use this first beta of the tools to get started building apps for BlackBerry 10 and as the tools evolve over the coming months, developers will have access to a rich API set that will allow them to build even more integrated apps. The toolkit we are delivering today also meets developers on their own terms. Whether using the powerful Cascades framework, writing direct native code or developing in HTML5, BlackBerry 10 will empower developers to create attractive and compelling apps that excite customers.”
The toolkit includes the BlackBerry® 10 Native SDK with Cascades, which allows developers to create graphically rich, high performance native applications in C/C++ using Qt. The Native SDK for BlackBerry 10 has a rich set of APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) that give developers access to core device features and a range of BlackBerry application services, such as Push and Payment services. Cascades is a powerful native application development toolset that allows developers to easily build visually stunning applications without having to write complex, low-level graphics code.
More details about the NDK for BlackBerry 10 are posted on http://devblog.blackberry.com/2012/04/blackberry-10-native-sdk and for Cascades at http://devblog.blackberry.com/2012/04/blackberry-10-cascades-available-now.
Applications created with any of the BlackBerry 10 tools will run on BlackBerry 10 smartphones as well as BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablets when the new platform becomes available for the PlayBook. All of the SDKs will be updated to give developers access to more of the BlackBerry 10 unique capabilities over the coming months.
To further help developers get started on the BlackBerry 10 platform, BlackBerry 10 Jam attendees are being provided a BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha device. This testing unit is a further commitment from RIM to provide the developer community with the tools they need to build successful applications for BlackBerry 10 devices, so that they are ready when the first BlackBerry 10 devices are expected to launch in the latter part of 2012.