RIM CEO Thorsten Heins took to the stage today at BlackBerry World to hold the conference's opening keynote, and the exec took the opportunity to tease BlackBerry 10 to the attendees and stream-watchers. Heins touched on several different parts of his company's new platform, including the ability to swipe over to glance at notifications while in an app or switch over to a different app, the BlackBerry 10 typing experience and the camera included with the OS.
BlackBerry devices are known for their physical keyboards, but today Heins focused on the BB10 software keyboard and how it learns how the user types to help them pound out words quickly. The keyboard takes words that it thinks you'll want to type next and makes them float above letters on the keyboard, allowing you to swipe up on a word to throw it into your message. You can find a close-up shot of the keyboard as well as a quick video of BB10 and its keyboard in action below.
RIM also offered a brief demo of the BlackBerry 10 camera. The main feature that was highlighted was the ability to take a photo and then view the moments before and after the photo was taken to help make sure you captured the image you want. The example RIM showed involved taking a photo of two people, one of which ended up blinking in the shot. After tapping on the blinker's face, the user can view the moments both before and after the image was taken, finding the point at which the person's eyes were open and then inserting that into the main image.
The hardware that all of these features were demoed on was the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha, a device that RIM will be handing out to developers to help get their software ready for when BlackBerry 10 arrives later this year. RIM has offered up a few details on the BB10 Dev Alpha itself, which is nice considering that most of us will likely never get to see the thing in person, let alone actually use one. The BB10 Dev Alpha features a 4.2-inch 1280x768 touchscreen and also features micro-USB and micro-HDMI ports. It's also packing Bluetooth and Wi-Fi radios and is cellular-ready, accepting micro-SIM cards. You can find a shot of the BB10 Dev Alpha below.
While there's still quite a bit of BlackBerry 10 that we have yet to see, the parts that were shown today look interesting, especially the spiffy camera feature that was demoed. Of course, it's worth noting that we've still got a bit of a wait before BlackBerry 10 actually hits the market, as RIM says that the first BB10 devices are expected to launch "in the latter part of 2012." RIM CEO Thorsten Heins said that his company is "taking [its] time to make sure [it] gets this right," and considering that BB10 may going head-to-head with the likes of iOS 6 and Android Jelly Bean when it debuts later this year, here's to hoping that RIM's got even more goodies up its sleeve for BlackBerry 10's debut. What do you all make of BlackBerry 10 so far?
RIM Launches BlackBerry 10 Platform
Developers get powerful tools in advance to build apps that deliver highly engaging mobile experiences for users
BlackBerry World 2012 / BlackBerry 10 Jam – Orlando, FL – - Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ: RIMM; TSX: RIM) today unveiled its vision for the BlackBerry® 10 platform at the BlackBerry World™ conference in Orlando, Florida and released the initial developer toolkit for native and HTML5 software development. The toolkit is available in beta as a free download from http://developer.blackberry.com.
“BlackBerry 10 builds upon the core values and exceptional user experiences that have attracted more than 77 million BlackBerry customers around the world today,” said Alec Saunders, Vice President, Developer Relations and Ecosystems Development. “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.”
“There is tremendous interest, anticipation and momentum building toward the launch of BlackBerry 10 devices, and today we’re extremely excited to release the BlackBerry 10 developer beta tools for general use,” said Christopher Smith, Vice President, Handheld Application Platform and Tools at Research In Motion. “Developers can use this first beta of the tools to get started building apps for BlackBerry 10 and as the tools evolve over the coming months, developers will have access to a rich API set that will allow them to build even more integrated apps. 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.”
The toolkit includes the BlackBerry® 10 Native SDK with Cascades, which allows developers to create graphically rich, high performance native applications in C/C++ using Qt. The Native SDK for BlackBerry 10 has a rich set of APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) that give developers access to core device features and a range of BlackBerry application services, such as Push and Payment services. Cascades is a powerful native application development toolset that allows developers to easily build visually stunning applications without having to write complex, low-level graphics code.
More details about the NDK for BlackBerry 10 are posted on http://devblog.blackberry.com/2012/04/blackberry-10-native-sdk and for Cascades at http://devblog.blackberry.com/2012/04/blackberry-10-cascades-available-now.
Applications created with any of the BlackBerry 10 tools will run on BlackBerry 10 smartphones as well as BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablets when the new platform becomes available for the PlayBook. All of the SDKs will be updated to give developers access to more of the BlackBerry 10 unique capabilities over the coming months.
To further help developers get started on the BlackBerry 10 platform, BlackBerry 10 Jam attendees are being provided a BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha device. This testing unit is a further commitment from RIM to provide the developer community with the tools they need to build successful applications for BlackBerry 10 devices, so that they are ready when the first BlackBerry 10 devices are expected to launch in the latter part of 2012.
The NDK for BlackBerry 10, including Cascades, is available for download at http://developer.blackberry.com/native/download.
The BlackBerry 10 WebWorks SDK is available at http://developer.blackberry.com/html5/download.