BlackBerry to offer advertising APIs, in-application transactions and more LBS functionality

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The BlackBerry Developer Conference kicked off with Jim Balsillie announcing a wide range of new tools available to BlackBerry developers that are going to redefine what we think of as a BlackBerry app.

The latest set of APIs available to BlackBerry developers are focused on making ad-supported apps easier to develop, and help to more easily monetize the developer’s hard work. The new BlackBerry Advertising Service will allow developers to integrate ads from networks such as Jumptap, Millennial Media, Navteq, 1020 Placecast, Quattro Wireless and Sympatico.ca. The Advertising Service and SDK will be available in the first half of 2010.

RIM have also announced that they will be offering in-application transactions, allowing developers to further monetize their apps. Developers will be able to sell digital content such as premium content, monthly or annual subscriptions, and additional levels or upgrades for games and other entertainment applications from within their applications. The BlackBerry Payment Service will also incorporate merchant services, including customer billing. Again, this service SDK and service should be available mid 2010.

At WES 2009, we learned that RIM made their push APIs available to BlackBerry Alliance Program members, and RIM have announced these APIs will be generally available to registered developers in the first half of 2010.

Finally, RIM have announced new functionality that will help developers make new and better location-aware BlackBerry applications. RIM now offer cell site geolocation, providing accurate location with cell tower triangulation. This service will be available in the first half of 2010.

Also announced for LBS app developers, is reverse geocoding and travel time. Reverse geocoding is a cool service that converts geolocation coordinates to a specific address for use in BlackBerry applications. The Travel Time service allows developers to incorporate estimated travel time within their applications for almost any destination in the US and Canada. Again, this will be available in early 2010.