BlackBerry 10 platform shown on Dev Alpha device, aims to court developers

Daniel Bader

May 1, 2012 11:50am

Today at BlackBerry World, RIM’s CEO Thorsten Heins announced that the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha device will be made available to all attendees who signed up for the BB10 Jam sessions. The device is running a modified build of the PlayBook OS, with working cellar radios and sensors. The device has a 4.2-inch 1280×768 pixel screen, but for all intents and purposes is a shrunken PlayBook.

On stage and throughout the week, RIM is demoing the BlackBerry 10 OS with its new Cascades UI. Developers can create apps with many existing programming languages including C++, Java and HTML5.

The build seemed smooth and showcased many of the interesting gesture-based movements one can make throughout the OS. The QNX-based operating system is much like its PlayBook predecessor in that it will largely rely on edge-in gestures to display latent or hidden notifications, toolbars and menus. Heins and his team showed off the ease at which one can check for new notifications, or switch between applications.

A large part of the demonstration was spent on what users have most been wondering about the touchscreen-only device: the keyboard. While BlackBerry’s hardware keyboards have always been the best in the game, its virtual varieties on devices like the Torch 9860, leave a lot to be desired. BlackBerry 10 integrates much of what made the keyboard so great in PlayBook OS 2.0, and expands on it. Intelligent algorithm-based learning aims to cater each keyboard to the individual, with the ability to complete words and sentences quickly with one hand.

Another element of the OS that was shown off was the real-time photo “rollback” adjustment, courtesy of a burst-mode cache that captures several frames before and after the actual shutter is taken. This helps in scenes where someone has blinked or turned away, allowing you to correct the person’s position.

Developers are extremely excited about BlackBerry 10, as you’d expect. Well-known companies such as Endomondo, Gameloft and Poynt have signed on, and several game developers have committed porting over their popular titles to the BB10 platform.  One such developer, Adam Linford of Truphone Head of Labs and Mobile Applications says, “RIM has got it right with the BlackBerry 10 platform. They have really streamlined the app-development process. The platform’s support for open-source components flattens the learning curve enabling us to build a new application quickly and cost-effectively and have it ready to go when the first BlackBerry 10 devices debut.”

So what do you think? Is it going to be worth the wait when it comes later this year?

Source: RIM

  • Kardi

    RIM seems to be moving in the right direction!
    I remain optimistic.

    • Wake Up Campaign

      Looks like crap 5 years too late

  • Darren

    I’m hoping it’s going to make me want to jump from Android to BB10, and by early accounts, it’s looking good. If it’s as fluid as it looks, battery life is better than my Nexus S (not hard to do) and some of the missing apps start making their way into App World, and they wrap it in no more than three different iterations including a physical-keyboard Bold model for the diehards, I’m there. RIM – Please kick Samsung and Apple’s a$$es – they deserve it. Competition makes things better for everyone.

    • Nick

      Root and install Matr1x kernel. You will get a day and a half of moderate use easily.

    • Nick

      Agreed, I hope my phone lasts till the fall though! I hope it’s forth it!

  • more mah

    I just jizzed in my pantyhose!

  • andy c

    the playbook looked good during presentations and promo videos.

    i’ll reserve judgement on BB10 when they actually start shipping devices

  • JB

    1280×768 I believe, but still sweet, and significantly higher than the PB.

    So…. Why is this not available for sale?

  • God #1

    If programs are easy and cheap to port BB10 could see a lot of support when it launches.

  • Blair M

    Web OS had a similiar announcment with their touchpad and pade porting apps easy but no one took. I hope BB and there larger user base can pull this off. WOuldn’t want to pull an HP Web OS!

  • CoPWNicus

    I love Mobilesyrup.
    They report the news! Not like BGR where you have some whiny biased baby giving you his opinions.

    Glad to see RIM was able to put this much excitement to there new line of products coming later this year!

  • Hasish

    Of this came out 5 years ago they would have a chance too little too late

  • More Mah

    4.2″ is the perfect size.
    Problem is the battery won’t last long powering a 1024×768 screen.
    Unless it has a huge battery.

  • Al

    The only thing is, from the picture above, it look awfully like the iphone4 (without the chrome bumpers and the home button) I hope they change the design a bit. Or expect a law suit from apple….

    but then, dont all smart phones looks relatively the same? (for hte ones that takes form of a rectangle)

    • InfinitiGuy

      This is a developer device. The real BB10 device will not look like this.

  • Darryl

    The Battery looks HUGE! I hope they stick with it… They’ll be the only phone maker who’s got it right if they do!!!

  • stylinred

    the problem is Rim still doesn’t have a prototype to show people so the likielihood of them releasing a bb10 phone this year is slim at best

    • hoo dat

      They’ve had BB10 mules running for at least a couple of months, if not longer.

    • stylinred

      If they wanted to make an impact today they’d be showing us a prototype bb with a release date of late summer/fall

      but they aren’t able to so they didn’t that’s the point

      and that’s why Rims stock continues to fall today 5% drop already

  • Mike

    looks like an Iphone ripoff

    • CoPWNicus


    • LeafsFan77

      It’s a developers Alpha device. It’s not a final version by any means as it has been stated over and over and over again.

      RIM is playing it smart, they do not want other companies to up do them on the hardware specs or looks until they announce it. Besides, it’s all about the hardware and the final version will have better specs then the Alpha device I’m sure.

      This is exactly what every other company is doing, Nokia, Google, Samsung, HTC, Apple, etc. Release the device right before launch.