Embattled RIM shows updated developer tools
September 27, 2012 —
(Page 1 of 3)
Related Search Term(s): BlackBerry, RIM
RIM yesterday introduced new development tools for its forthcoming BlackBerry 10 operating systems at its BlackBerry Jam Americas event in San Jose. The company introduced numerous development tools and capabilities at the show, including a new Native C/C++ plug-in for Microsoft Visual Studio, and an updated simulation environment that better supports Apache Cordova (a.k.a. PhoneGap).
RIM also demonstrated its new user interface, known as Flow, at the event. The navigation layer offers a more modern feel for an operating system that grew up on non-touch-screen devices.
But RIM's offerings to developers aren't limited to new tools and APIs. The company is preparing to re-launch its BlackBerry App World application store in early October, and with that re-launch comes a new effort to actually entice developers with money.
In his keynote, RIM CEO Thorsten Heins said that RIM would guarantee US$10,000 per application accepted into the BlackBerry App World store. Even if a given application does not sell $10,000 worth in the store, RIM's CEO promised to make up the difference, up to $10,000, to developers.
That means RIM would be paying developers simply to offer their applications on the BlackBerry. And those developers will have more options available to them than the standard BlackBerry Java, emphasizing the use of Eclipse, HTML5, PhoneGap and Visual Studio as ways to build applications for it.
As for BlackBerry 10, Heins promised that the new operating system would ship on devices in Q1 2013.
Why are they here?
Any developer could be easily forgiven for dismissing RIM at this point. After years of fumbling and shrinking its market share, the company had lost its way when it came to developers. Previously, RIM's message to developers in 2010 and 2011 had been for them to port Android applications to the platform. That, coupled with a number of late deliveries of new development tools, combined to create a lackluster ecosystem for RIM's new PlayBook tablet.
But developers at BlackBerry’s event seemed more upbeat about the platform. Xitij Ritesh Patel, founder of mobile payment startup Taab, was at the show to demonstrate the Near Field Communication (NFC) capabilities of his company's BlackBerry application. NFC is only available, currently, on the Android and BlackBerry platforms, giving RIM a rare leg up on the iPhone.