Product Engineering // Blog

BlackBerry 10 & the Future of Research in Motion

Last month, Research in Motion (RIM) unveiled a prototype of its new BlackBerry 10 smartphone and operating system at the BlackBerry World 2012 conference in Orlando, Florida.

Developers attending the conference received a copy of the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha device, the first smartphone to run on the BlackBerry 10 OS. This device won’t be released for public use; it is designed to help mobile app developers learn about the new smartphone and test new applications before RIM releases the BlackBerry 10 smartphone to the public later this year. Though RIM says it will change some of the device specifications, the prototype does offer a sneak peek at what features the official smartphone will have.

Features of the new BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha Device:

  • A 1280×768 HD LCD (346ppi) display
  • A predictive touch-screen keyboard
  • A camera able to take a series of fast sequential images (allows a user to “rewind” or “fast forward” photos to find the best shot)
  • A mini HDMI port and USB port
  • A arge speaker at the base of the phone, allowing a user to make speakerphone calls and listen to audio without headphones
  • TomTom International-powered location services (which will power traffic and map-related mobile apps)

blackberry 10 developer alpha device

BlackBerry is also making changes to its app store, BlackBerry App World, to improve the quality of mobile apps available. A new BlackBerry certification program will offer incentives to mobile app developers who create high-quality apps.

From PC World:

BlackBerry developers can get faster app approvals in App World and even win $10,000 from RIM. The program is notable for a couple of reasons. First, RIM and BlackBerry have fallen behind rivals like Apple and Google when it comes to applications, and the success of the BlackBerry platform in the future largely hinges on its ability to catch up to the pack. One solid way to both draw developers and ensure that those developers build the highest quality apps possible is to launch a program like this one.

Second, the overall quality of applications in BlackBerry App World has decreased over the past several months, and it’s nice to see RIM acknowledge the issue and act toward fixing the problem. RIM has done a lot in recent months to make it easier and more attractive to develop for BlackBerry, and this latest initiative is further evidence that the company understands just how important developers and quality applications are to its future.

blackberry 10 homescreen preview

The launch of BlackBerry’s new operating system and smartphone falls at an opportune time for Research in Motion. The company has struggled in recent years while competing with the rise in popularity of iPhone and Android. RIM’s share of the US smartphone market has dropped from 44 percent to 12 percent in the last two years, according to the market research firm ComScore Inc. If BlackBerry 10 is successful, RIM could regain some of its competitive edge.

Learn more about Applico’s custom BlackBerry app development.

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