Feeds

BlackBerry 10 developer kit aims to unleash application tsunami

Last chance saloon for Canucks to counteract Apple, Android

Boost IT visibility and business value

RIM has marked the start of its BlackBerry World conference by announcing the release of the developer kit for the much-delayed BlackBerry 10 operating system and handing out crippled prototype handsets that should go on sale by the end of the year.

"We’re extremely excited to release the BlackBerry 10 developer beta tools for general use,” said Christopher Smith, VP of handheld application platform and tools at RIM. “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 download includes BlackBerry 10 Native SDK with Cascades that can handle C++ or QML code. A WebWorks SDK is included for HTML 5 and CSS development, with JavaScript bindings built in, and there's a beta version of a plug-in to allow limited Visual Studio development. The initial API bundle includes push management controls, payment systems, LED and battery control, and some gaming features.

The point of all this is to get a whole host of applications ready to go when the final hardware carrying the new operating system is released, hopefully by the end of the year for the crucial fourth quarter sales peak. RIM seems to have recognized that the lack of apps is a major turnoff for customers and is hoping the 2,000 developers attending the conference in Orlando can rectify that.

Attendees also were also given a BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha handset to play with, although it's not capable of voice calls as yet (Wi-Fi and Bluetooth only) and uses a stripped down PlayBook GUI that should be changed before the final release. The handset comes with a 4.2-inch screen (larger than the iPhone 4S's 3.5 inches) capable of 1280×768 resolution, along with 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage.

The hardware keyboard, a feature much beloved by many existing BlackBerry users, has been replaced with a software version and a new style of typing that uses predictive text and swiping motions to speed up wordage, as shown in the traditional promo video.

These devices are very much prototype designs, and look more like a PlayBook that has shrunk in the wash rather than a final product. But RIM is hoping there's enough there to get developers started, and hinted that the final screen resolution may stand, which visually would make the devices stand out. Whether they are desirable enough to tempt people for their Jesusphones is another thing entirely.

The company is also eyeing the Asian market, with a coding initiative designed to get Chinese university students writing applications for the platform. It will be distributing code and handsets to several universities and looking to find the best applications for the automotive and "mobility lifestyle" markets. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Don't call it throttling: Ericsson 'priority' tech gives users their own slice of spectrum
Actually it's a nifty trick - at least you'll pay for what you get
Three floats Jolla in Hong Kong: Says Sailfish is '3rd option'
Network throws hat into ring with Linux-powered handsets
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
Trans-Pacific: Google spaffs cash on FAST undersea packet-flinging
One of 6 backers for new 60 Tbps cable to hook US to Japan
Tech city types developing 'Google Glass for the blind' app
An app and service where other people 'see' for you
Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness
How sure are you of cloud computing now?
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.