BlackBerry Developer Conference 2010 and PlayBook Impressions

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Multitasking might be new to other tablet platforms, but for us, it’s bred in the bone.” - Dan Dodge, QNX

We’ve attended many a BlackBerry Developer Conference and each year they get better. Back in 2008, we ran the BlackBerryCool 15 - a contest for developers with BlackBerry Storms as giveaways. It was a fun gig with lots of industry veterans. The year after, the Partners Fund hosted the BlackBerry Final 16, which was a lot of fun and some cool developers showed up. This year, Mike Lazaridis hit the ball way out of the park with the BlackBerry PlayBook announcement, making DevCon a must-attend event for not just developers but anyone who wants to see something new and exciting from RIM.

The BlackBerry Developer Conference was a hit with the PlayBook announcement, and while the other announcements were cool, such as the fact that RIM is opening up the BBM APIs, nothing really compared. The PlayBook looks like it’s going to impress consumers with some high-powered specs and an OS that rivals the competition.

The QNX integration in the PlayBook is something that we don’t fully understand just yet, but already it looks powerful, steady and secure. The fact that you can watch HD video on the PlayBook, shrink it, and while still rendering the video boot up and run web and native apps simultaneously is very impressive. All of this is possible due to RIM’s acquisition of QNX, which could turn out to be a big return on investment.

The QNX acquisition seems so complementary to RIM’s business. QNX has built its OS to be a lightweight and powerful OS that is familiar to developers. Both companies pride themselves on security and reliability, and providing “mission critical” tools. You will often hear both companies talk about “reliability, scalability, performance, and portability”.

The PlayBook opens itself and BlackBerry to a much larger app economy. Currently, App World has around 10,000 applications but we expect this to increase by at least 50% this fiscal year. Developers can create apps using Adobe Mobile AIR, Adobe Flash, and HTML5. Not only will it be easy for developers to make apps, but they’ll be working with some decent hardware too:

1GHz dual core processor
Accelerated 3D graphics
HD video
7? multi-touch widescreen

We’ve heard around 1,300 attended the Developer Conference and it takes 3,000 to book the Moscone in San Francisco. We expect to see you at the Moscone next year.

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