RIM Releases New BlackBerry PlayBook Dev Tools, Extends Free PlayBook Offer to Developers

blackberry-playbook

Research In Motion BlackBerry PlayBook tablet computer, slated for Q1 2011 launch, likely week of March 15, 2011.

CES might have just wrapped up, but the Waterloo-based maker of the popular BlackBerry smartphone, Research In Motion (RIM), isn’t sitting around.

RIM has announced the availability of new tools and services aimed at the developer community, as the company tries to build a strong inventory of third party applications for its upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook tablet computer.

RIM announced the new software tools at the BlackBerry Developers Conference taking place now in Asia.

RIM released its BlackBerry PlayBook WebWorks Software Development Kit (SDK) to developers that includes various tools and simulators that allow programmers to build apps specifically designed for the new QNX-powered tablet OS that the PlayBook is based on.

Part of the aim of the SDK is to provide a comprehensive set of tools that developers could use to build applications in already known computer languages for the PlayBook.

The SDK also includes RIM WebWorks bundle, which includes the new WebKit web engine, RIM’s new Internet browsing technology that renders web pages on mobile devices exactly as they would appear on a traditional PC browser like Google Chrome, complete with HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, and yes, even Adobe Flash support.

Also available is RIM’s updated Push Service SDK, which is essentially technology that developers could incorporate into their apps to implement push notifications for various events in their apps.

RIM is the industry leader when it comes to mobile push applications with hundreds of patents related to how events and notifications are efficiently handled by proprietary intermediary servers and subsequently pushed to mobile clients.

For example, the native BlackBerry Twitter application pushes direct messages and @reply notifications to your BlackBerry smartphone, thereby not requiring the user to manually check for messages and content.

Developers have conventionally been largely attracted to Apple’s App Store since it is most lucrative.

Apple competitors have taken other directions to entice developers, like Google Android, who’s App Store equivalent, Android Marketplace, allows developers to manually make available their applications without requiring any review and approval process.

As RIM hopes to get developers excited about the PlayBook, RIM has extended its promotion of offering developers a free PlayBook device if they get their applications approved into BlackBerry App World by March 15, 2010.

The company seems to be off to a very good start at better equipping the PlayBook with third party applications.

For example, the popular IM and VoIP client Skype is only available to BlackBerry users on the Verizon network, leaving millions of other BlackBerry users, including in Canada, among other countries, without Skype service on their BlackBerry smartphones, despite the fact Skype has readily been available on competing platforms like on Apple iOS, which today even includes support for video chat conferencing.

Skype is confirmed to work on the PlayBook, even with video chat – definitely a good start.

RIM says the free PlayBook offer would only be valid if apps were approved before the PlayBook hits the market; the new deadline hints the PlayBook could launch in the week of March 15, 2011.

RIM also made available its Payment Service SDK, a purchase and payment system that developers could incorporate into apps to set various features and prices, a system that aims to simplify the transaction process for consumers.

The Research In Motion stock (TSE:RIM) closed up nearly 10 basis points to $62.69 per share at the close of yesterday’s trading session.

The RIM stock trended downwards for about the first half of 2010 from a peak of $77.13 per share in April, slowly rebounding up since the second half of 2010 to today’s low $60 price range.


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Chris is a graduate from the Art’s program at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. He is very passionate about photography and art. Write to chris@business2press.com
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  • http://kiranatama.com/services/blackberry-app-development Agus @ Blackberry Developer

    This is an excellent tool for creating a stand alone compile for BB development. The support community is very active as well!

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