At the BlackBerry 10 Jam, developers are going to get a limited edition smartphone featuring a prototype of BlackBerry 10. The smartphone isn’t meant as a launch device for consumers, and it’s specifically meant so developers can test their applications on the device. So given that we know this is RIM’s strategy, what features should this smartphone have? Here are 5 features that we believe are important for developers to make great apps for the BlackBerry 10.
Both the developer device and the first official BlackBerry 10 smartphone will be all-touch devices.
In order for developers to test their applications, they don’t need amazing specs, but they surely need at least the existence of some of some hardware and software features to cover a wide range of apps. Surely RIM doesn’t want just game developers on BlackBerry 10, so the limited edition smartphones would ideally have the following:
1. Camera(s) – Almost all of the best mobile apps leverage the camera in some manner. Whether it’s location apps such as foursquare allowing users to add pics to their checkins, or apps like Lensboost giving the user cool filters; the camera is a crucial part of mobile apps. And hey, if there’s a front facing camera to test some video chat APIs then all the better.
2. Radio GSM/CDMA – Radio coverage will help those developers that are leveraging anything that would connect to the cell tower such as grabbing cell tower IDs for location. This could really help with mapping apps and if the device also had GPS, that would be a huge bonus.
3. SMS + Voice – Voice and SMS would give developers an opportunity to see how the app runs when interrupted by a text or call, but hopefully RIM will also have the APIs to allow developers to interact with these features. It’s an important step for RIM to be able to offer the Productivity side of BlackBerry 10 to devs rather than just another gaming device.
4. WiFi – We would expect WiFi to be on the device in order to deal with any application that handles large amounts of data. WiFi also helps for any app that looks to manage battery life as well as augment location-based services.
5. BBM and App World – This may be one of the more important features that should come with a developer prototype phone. A big part of RIM’s platform differentiation is BBM and allowing developers to tap into the service to increase exposure of their apps. RIM should make sure that developers have access to BBM and the BBM Social APIs on the developer prototype smartphone.
Stay tuned as we’ll be in Orlando for BlackBerry World when this device goes out to developers.