During its BlackBerry DevCon 2011 conference on Tuesday, Research In Motion announced its next generation platform, BBX. BBX will be used on the company’s upcoming phones, tablets and embedded devices. RIM said developers can take advantage of HTML5 to bridge the gap between BlackBerry 6, BlackBerry 7 and the BBX platform. However, developers can use native code to create the most powerful BBX apps. The BBX platform includes BBX-OS and will support RIM’s BlackBerry cloud services. The platform takes advantage of the BlackBerry Cascades UI framework, which will be available this fall, and RIM hopes it will allow the company to introduce “super apps” that are deeply integrated with one another, push services and BBM. RIM also announced the native SDK for the BlackBerry Playbook, which allows developers to create 2D/3D games with OpenGL ES 2.0 and Open AL and more. BlackBerry WebWorks will allow developers to add support for BlackBerry 6, BlackBerry 7 and the PlayBook to their applications, too, and it is available on RIM’s developer website now. Finally, RIM introduced a developer beta of PlayBook OS 2.0, which supports the Eclipse Android development environment on the PlayBook. During the BBX presentation, RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis said RIM has sold 165 million BlackBerry smartphones to date and currently has 70 million subscribers. Read on for the full press release. More →
Today, at the BlackBerry Developer Conference (DevCon), RIM CEO Mike Laziridis announced the BlackBerry Playbook. The PlayBook has a 7-inch hi-res widescreen display, is 9.7 mm thick, supports Flash 10.1 with hardware accelerated video, HTML 5, 1080p video, has non-proprietary HDMI and USB connections, full-HD front and rear-facing camera, support for dual-displays (with use of HDMI cable), will be able to connect with BlackBerry Enterprise Servers out of the box via Bluetooth secure pairing to BlackBerry. The device will have a 1 GHz dual-core processor (with symmetrical multiprocessing capabilities) and 1 GB RAM. The device OS, which is developed by QNX, is POSIX based and will get a native SDK which supports Adobe Air, Flash, and OpenGL 2.0.
- 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.
UPDATE: Video is after the jump. More →
Today, at DevCon, RIM announced a host of new tools and services for its developers, including:
BlackBerry Messenger (BBM™) Social Platform: Developers can now build applications that take advantage of the BlackBerry smartphone’s social aspects, as well as the push architecture of the BlackBerry platform. By leveraging the power and popularity of BBM, developers can weave functions – such as chat, content sharing and invitation – into their app, tying it directly to BBM.
BlackBerry Advertising Service: With just a few lines of code, developers can quickly and easily integrate advertising into their applications. Developers can include advertising in BlackBerry smartphone applications, while allowing advertisers, agencies and brands to work with a broad selection of advertising networks. RIM also is enabling new monetization opportunities to BlackBerry developers by simplifying the integration of advertising both on the development side and on the commercial side.
BlackBerry Analytics Service: RIM and Webtrends are offering a free enterprise-class analytics service for the BlackBerry developer community. BlackBerry Analytics Service will allow developers to quickly and easily add measurement into their applications and offer deep insight into how customer are using their BlackBerry smartphone applications. With a few lines of code, developers can tie their applications to an analytics service with insights typically reserved for enterprise analytics.
BlackBerry Enterprise Application Middleware: This new enterprise application development platform is designed to accelerate the creation of “Super Apps” for commercial enterprise and corporate developers. It simplifies enterprise application development and solves some of the challenges of building for mobility, including device OS compatibility and wireless connectivity.
BlackBerry Java Plug-In for MacOS X, which provides a similar level of Eclipse integration as the in-market 1.2 version for Windows;
Theme Builder 6, allowing users to personalize and brand their BlackBerry 6-enabled devices; and
BlackBerry Payment Service SDK, allowing developers to start building payment services into their applications, whether it’s enhanced in-app payments, try and buy offers, or freemium applications. More →
Well, here is what we have confirmed: the keynote today, delivered by Mike Lazaridis, will focus on the next generation tablet OS platform. It won’t focus or really feature any hardware, unfortunately. Our source said it would be unlikely for RIM to announce the mysterious tablet device during a developer event. We agree. Is it possible there will be a shot of hardware on a slide during the presentation, or even a non-working device somewhere? It’s possible, but again, this will be about the platform, the developers, and software. Don’t count on a device announcement/availability.
Separately: we have heard the tablet OS is a pretty long way away from being completed. Also, the QNX-based OS that is rumored to extend to the traditional BlackBerry lineup is barely even started at this point; since internally it’s not confirmed that it will in fact power BlackBerry smartphones. We have also been told porting all of RIMs advancements like battery optimization, email compression, BES integration, etc. is a very tedious process.