Research In Motion (RIM) has finally unveiled its vision for the BlackBerry 10 platform during the BlackBerry World conference, currently underway in Orlando, Florida. The Canadian smartphone and tablet maker has also released the initial developer toolkit for native and HTML5 software development for the forthcoming edition of its mobile operating system (OS). This toolkit is available in beta form as a free download from the company’s developer website.
“BlackBerry 10 builds upon the core values and exceptional user experiences that have attracted more than 77 million BlackBerry customers around the world today,” stated Alec Saunders, VP of developer relations and ecosystems development at RIM.
“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.”
Christopher Smith, VP of handheld application platform and tools at RIM said that the firm is “extremely excited” to release the BlackBerry 10 developer beta tools for general use. Smith added that developers are able to employ this first beta of the tools to create apps for BlackBerry 10.
“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,” Smith concluded.
Contained within BlackBerry 10 Native SDK:
This toolkit includes the BlackBerry 10 Native SDK (solutions developer kit) with Cascades, which allows developers to create native applications in C/C++ or Qt. The Native SDK also features a set of APIs (application programming interfaces) that provide app developers with access to core device features and BlackBerry application services including NFC (near field communications) based payment services.
RIM stated that applications written using any of the BlackBerry 10 tools will be able to run on BlackBerry 10 smartphones, as well as its BlackBerry PlayBook tablets when the new platform becomes available for the PlayBook.
The company provided attendees to the BlackBerry 10 Jam session at 2012 BlackBerry World conference with a QWERTY-keyboardless BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha device. RIM’s first BlackBerry 10-running smartphones are expected to launch in the latter part of this year.
We only hope that BlackBerry 10 is as good (or even better) than the current user experience available via the PlayBook. This platform needs to be a raging success with both users and application developers if RIM is to win back some of the smartphone market it conceded to Apple’s iPhone and a plethora of Android-running mobile devices.
According to the latest figures from market research firm IDC, RIM managed to ship 9.7 million smartphones during Q1 2012, which is a 29.7% year-on-year drop giving the firm a 6.7% share of the global smartphone market.
Check out a glimpse of the new BlackBerry 10 OS in the video posted below.
In related news, details of former RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie’s BlackBerry revival plan have recently come to light. Balsillie’s plan reportedly sought to put the company on a completely new course, moving the focus away from handsets to become a service provider.