The Crib Sheet: The key points from RIM’s DevCon 2010


Here’s an executive crib sheet for the news out of RIM’s DevCon 2010 event.

1. The much rumoured ‘BlackPad’ arrived in the shape of the ‘BlackBerry PlayBook‘ — 7″ tablet running the QNX linux-based operating system recently acquired by RIM. The PlayBook won’t hit the market until next year, but it’s everything you might expect from BlackBerry, in a tablet.

2. Mobile application development on BlackBerry is now stupid-simple. And I mean stupid-simple. RIM have launched a WebWorks framework (a super-updated version of their original widget platform) that means you can create apps from a sprinkle of HTML5, CSS and javascript — and they are virtually indistinguishable from native java apps. Plus, through javascript, you can access the whole layer of device capabilities including the phone, calendar, address book, location and all that jazz. Be clear: Your web developer can now easily create a gorgeous looking, fully functional BlackBerry app in hours.

3. Integrated mobile application advertising is now point-and-click simple to integrate for developers. Three lines of code and you’re done. RIM manages the whole shebang (e.g. relationships with the advertising agencies). You, as the developer, simply take a 60% cut of all ad revenues.

4. App World Carrier billing is coming to the App Store. It’s live already with AT&T but expect more operators to support it by the end of the year.

5. Analytics is free for all developers on App World. Genius move. There are no App World vendor fees. It’s free to get your app on the store for a limited time. So be quick.

6. BlackBerry Messenger is now ‘socialised’ — that is, you can now use an API to integrate your app or service for the millions of BBM users.

7. If you’re into enterprise mobile development, RIM’s new BEAM (“BlackBerry Enterprise Application Middleware”) is for you. It’s a set of services to enable you to easily, easily tie front-end mobile applications into back end corporate infrastructure.

DevCon Stats
– App World is now available in 70 countries and territories, including Wales
– There have been 35 million downloads of App World
– App World gets 1.5 million downloads per day
– BlackBerry Messenger has 28 million users
– RIM has sold 115m BlackBerry devices to date
– There are 50 million active BlackBerry subscribers on the planet
– There are 250,000+ BlackBerry Enterprise Server implementations

More soon.

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