The Second BlackBerry Developers Conference Asia (Part 3)

4/24/2012 9:32:42 AM

Are you ready to jam?

Alec Saunders, Vice Presidents, Developer Relations & Ecosystem Development, Research In Motion, then took over the stage and talked about a new developers’ program.

Description: Alec Saunders, Vice Presidents, Developer Relations & Ecosystem Development, RIM

Alec Saunders, Vice Presidents, Developer Relations & Ecosystem Development, RIM

At first, he talked about musicians and developers, the similarity between two sides of these extremely different occupations. He then went on to announce BlackBerry Jam, a new developers’ program that is designed to be help developers work, innovate, create applications, connect RIM to the developers for broader opportunities, to help developers create businesses and much more. BlackBerry Jam consists of three things, namely the BlackBerry Jam Sessions, BlackBerry Jam Communities and the BlackBerry Jam Zone. There is also a BlackBerry Jam recognition program called the BlackBerry Jammies (as in Grammy’s, get it?).

Description: Alec Saunders announcing BlackBerry Jam, a new developer program for BlackBerry developers

Alec Saunders announcing BlackBerry Jam, a new developer program for BlackBerry developers

BlackBerry Jam Zone is where developers can get the tools, resources and information to develop, test and distribute for the BlackBerry Application Platform. This is also the place where BlackBerry developers ‘hang out’. RIM has made it easier for those who wish to develop for the BlackBerry platform by removing fees, credit card check, reducing turnaround time by 95% and much more. Alec then went on to demonstrate the new BlackBerry Developers’ website, where they added a bunch of microsites to help developers get started and getting stuff done. There are no registration forms and no need to verify anything at all. Just click and download the SDK and developers can build right away.

Description: Alec Saunders introducing BlackBerry Jam Recognition Program, also called the Jammies

Alec Saunders introducing BlackBerry Jam Recognition Program, also called the Jammies

Next up is the BlackBerry Jam Community. The idea is to enable developers to connect to RIM’s eco-system to get expert advice, sample codes, and even to look for an opportunity to ‘jam’ with other developers within the community.

There are two new BlackBerry Jam Community programs, namely the BlackBerry Open Source Initiative, and BlackBerry Jam Sessions. RIM has added plenty of open source platforms to the BlackBerry Open Source Initiative to aid developers in developing applications rapidly.

The BlackBerry Jam Sessions are events where BlackBerry developers can exchange ideas and define and build the next generation of app experiences. One such session is the BBM Apps Hackaton. RIM will be planning a lot more Jam Sessions in the future, based on the feedback from BBM Apps Hackaton.

Alec then announced the winners of the BlackBerry Jam Community Developer Challenge, where Synqua Games’ Cricket with Friends won the ‘Most Addictive Social App’ using the BBM Social Platform, Love Indonesia’s Love Indonesia for BlackBerry won the ‘Best Adobe Flash/Air App and Quintell Business Inteliligence Pte Ltd’s Shogomo won the ‘Most Innovative BlackBerry WebWorks’ app on the BlackBerry PlayBook and BlackBerry 6.

Marketing Apps

‘Not every musician wants to be a starving artiste and not every developer wants to build just free application,’ said Alec when he introduced the BlackBerry Jam Market. BlackBerry Jam Market is a whole series of program, technology and services that are designed to help developers go out to the market and profit with the BlackBerry applications. RIM also provided a series of cloud services, namely Ad Service 2.0, Payment Service 1.5 and Scoreloop Social Gaming Service, that lets developers build more profit with their applications.

Alec then talked a bit about BlackBerry App World, where he busted some of the myths surrounding App World. First up, he announced App World 3.1 (available for update at the time of writing) that supports default carrier billing, Request a Gift feature, Wi-Fi support, content industry rating and filtering and a New Channel.

Description: Alec Saunders announcing the new App World 3.1

Alec Saunders announcing the new App World 3.1


He then went onto a ‘Mythbuster’ mode and busted some of the most common myth about the App World. The first is the myth ‘The BlackBerry market is shrinking’. He explained that with 70 million active BlackBerry subscribers, up from 50 million last year, the BlackBerry market is far from shrinking.

The second myth is ‘BlackBerry users don’t use apps’. He answered this by explaining that Indonesian BlackBerry users download twice as many apps as the average mobile users. The third myth was ‘BlackBerry developers can’t make money’. Alec busted this by saying the App World has more paid downloads than Android Market and is the second most profitable app store after Apple. It generates 40% more revenue than Android Market apps and 13% of BlackBerry developers have made USD 100,000 or more from the App World.

He also debunked the saying that ‘BlackBerry is just for business’ by giving an example that 6 in 10 users in Thailand use their devices for personal users, and ditto for the 7 in 10 people in Indonesia. He explained further that the top 5 downloaded apps on the App World are Social networking apps, which are usually not associated with business.

Description: Alec Saunders debunking some of the myths surrounding BlackBerry

Alec Saunders debunking some of the myths surrounding BlackBerry

Application Demonstration

Chris Smith, Vice President, Application Platform and Tools at Research In Motion came on stage after Alec and invited a few BlackBerry application developers to demonstrate their applications.

Description: A developer showing how easy it is to build a BlackBerry application

A developer showing how easy it is to build a BlackBerry application

One application that caught our attention was developed using the BlackBerry Cascade framework. It was presented by Anders Larsson, a Product Manager in RIM, and boy was it good. The application runs on the PlayBook and it is a little like a social network app. Right after launching the application, a bunch of thumbnails appear. These are not just ‘normal’ thumbnails but they are ‘live’. Thumbnails of videos were playing while it was scrolling through the screen. The user can then tap on it to play the video in full. After that, there is a Timeline feature, where it displays your contact’s trending topics. The user can tap on some of the more popular topics at the bottom and the app displays the frequency of these topics in a very vibrant colour timeline.

Description: The application for Playbook, built using BlackBerry Cascades framework

The application for Playbook, built using BlackBerry Cascades framework

Representatives from Wikitude also demonstrated their applications on stage. Chris also demonstrated games for the PlayBook, and the game Modern Combat 2: Black Pegasus debuted in DevCon Asia.

In a nutshell

BlackBerry DevCon Asia was a really interesting conference. Developers will get the most out of it. It’s great to see RIM managed to pull it off in less than 2 weeks notice and we hope that we’ll be there when DevCon Asia goes back to Thailand. Thank you RIM for the invitation!

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