The first day at the BlackBerry Developers Conference in San Francisco produced quite a lot of news and buzz. Now that I have had some time to digest and think about what of all the things Research In Motion discussed, which single thing has the biggest impact for the company down the road? More on that in just a bit.
There were several things worth mentioning that were announced throughout the day. One that is worth a mention is the fact that App World downloads have reached 1.5 million downloads per day, a big achievement for sure. So here is a quick rundown of what was announced yesterday and what I think is the most notable.
BlackBerry WebWorks (aka Widgets)
BBM Social Platform
“The BlackBerry developer community has been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to integrate BlackBerry Messenger with their apps. BBM is a very popular service with over 28 million users and opening its real-time social connectivity to third party applications presents incredible opportunities,” said Alan Brenner, Senior Vice President, BlackBerry Platform at Research In Motion. “Access to BBM services from within apps will revolutionize gaming, enhance multimedia experiences, and add a new dimension to location based applications.”
Developers will be able to integrate various functions of the BBM service into their applications including chat capabilities, content sharing, and invitations. For example, users will be able to invite their BBM friends to join them in a game and then chat with one another while the game is being played.
BlackBerry Analytics Service
BlackBerry developers will be able to use the mobile analytics service to discover insights about how customers use their apps and to evolve their applications in ways that will drive loyalty, increase use, and potentially lead to new and more successful avenues for revenue and monetization.
“Feedback from our customers and development partners has always shaped our BlackBerry products and services, and so we understand the need for deep, rich and accurate analytics. We also know that access to such metrics is a top priority for BlackBerry developers as they try to make their applications stand out in an increasingly crowded market,” said Curtis Sasaki, Vice President, Product Management at Research In Motion. “With just a few lines of code, developers can add Webtrends analytics and gain access to a very broad range of insightful measurements.”
BlackBerry Advertising Service
The BlackBerry Advertising Service helps developers integrate advertising in their BlackBerry smartphone applications quickly and easily, while also allowing advertisers, agencies and brands to work with a broad selection of advertising networks.
“The BlackBerry Application Platform is providing a truly powerful foundation for our developer community. The BlackBerry Advertising Service offers developers a quick and easy way to integrate advertising in their applications. The service reduces the commercial and technical complexity of enabling ads within an application and offers developers a new avenue of monetization,” said Alan Brenner, Senior Vice President, BlackBerry Platform at Research In Motion.
BlackBerry Theme Studio 6
BlackBerry Theme Studio v6.0 Beta 1, with an improved UI makes it easier for both new and current users to create themes. This version currently only works with the BlackBerry Torch and BlackBerry 6 and is avaliable to download at BlackBerry - BlackBerry Theme Studio v6.0 beta.
The BlackBerry PlayBook is RIMs answer to the iPad, well kinda. The BlackBerry PlayBook is superior to the iPad all the way around. The hardware specs are just amazing take a look at what is packed in that shell.
- 7” LCD, 1024 x 600, WSVGA, capacitive touch screen with full multi-touch and gesture support
- BlackBerry Tablet OS with support for symmetric multiprocessing
- 1 GHz dual-core processor
- 1 GB RAM
- Dual HD cameras (3 MP front facing, 5 MP rear facing), supports 1080p HD video recording
- Video playback: 1080p HD Video, H.264, MPEG, DivX, WMV
- Audio playback: MP3, AAC, WMA
- HDMI video output
- Wi-Fi – 802.11 a/b/g/n
- Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
- Connectors: microHDMI, microUSB, charging contacts
- Open, flexible application platform with support for WebKit/HTML-5, Adobe Flash Player 10.1, Adobe Mobile AIR, Adobe Reader, POSIX, OpenGL, Java
- Ultra thin and portable:
- Measures 5.1”x7.6”x0.4” (130mm x 193mm x 10mm)
- Weighs less than a pound (approximately 0.9 lb or 400g)
- Additional features and specifications of the BlackBerry PlayBook will be shared on or before the date this product is launched in retail outlets.
- RIM intends to also offer 3G and 4G models in the future.
All I can say is that’s one sexy device and I am looking forward to getting one myself when that bad boy hits the street early next year. Even though this is a huge achievement for Research In Motion, this is not the biggest or best news to come out of the BlackBerry Developers Conference.
By far the single thing that clearly stands out from everything announced or shown yesterday is the new QNX based operating system that will be launching on the BlackBerry Playbook. I have talked about QNX before and mentioned how I think it will propel RIM with future devices.
Now imagine this, you take the PlayBook and everything that is inside currently, and shrink it down to a screen size of about 3.7 inches, then you throw in a 3G/4G radio. Then to create a kick *** operating system with a next generation UI, all based and powered by QNX. You then have yourself something that may resemble the next generation BlackBerry Storm. This next generation operating system is the future of RIM and for devices that follow the BlackBerry PlayBook. This is RIM’s clear answer to iPhone and Android devices.
Who’s excited to see what RIM will come up with in the near future?