Today I’m attending BlackBerry’s developer event in Belgrade, Serbia, which is organized by the company’s Balkan developer network. Even though the Canadian company was losing market share in the last few years, they’re eager to tell everyone they’re a different company now, one that has a brand new platform to compete in today’s market.
We had a chance to watch the live demo of select BlackBerry 10 features, including the sexy-new UI called Flow with the “Peak” preview capability, TimeShift camera mode (licensed from Scalado, as far as I’ve understood) and the BlackBerry Hub all-in-one messaging/alert center. The company’s representative also reminded us that their platform is more secure than anything else on the market, and has even got certification from the German government.
As developers are looking beyond “two default platforms,” iOS and Android, BlackBerry is looking to attract them to its eco-system. And so does Microsoft, and the Canadian company is doing its best to make it as easy as possible for developers to choose BlackBerry 10 over (or in addition to) Windows Phone.
To that end, BlackBerry is investing a ton of resources to help developers not only port existing mobile apps to BlackBerry 10 but also make brand-new apps. In that sense, individuals and companies looking to make applications for the platform can visit dedicated forums, ask assistance from BlackBerry tech centers, get training and certification, as well as app exposure if their “work” uses all of the elements of the platform.
But that’s not all. The company also gave away more than 12,000 Dev Alpha BlackBerry 10 devices, 20,000+ Playbooks, and 7,000+ Z10 Limited Edition devices to developers to help them test their apps. All this produced impressive results, driving the app count from 20 in June 2012 to more than 100,000 apps in April 2013!
Finally, we were also able to get a hint about BlackBerry’s future plans, which go beyond mobile and include not only computing devices but also (connected) cars and other in-house appliances.
As I’m finishing this text, the company’s Aaron Ardiri is giving as an overview of developer tools. The launch break will follow, after which we’re off to developer sessions…