5 Features We Want To See On The BlackBerry 10 Developer Alpha Smartphone

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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.

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.

  • http://twitter.com/marquardt24 Matthias Marquardt

    I actually expect WAY MORE! – As developer I expect the same functionality (APIs) I am currently have as BlackBerry Java developer. So actually IMHO it’s essential e.g. being able to integrate an App into certain menus or adding a own section into the device options – just to name to.

    One of the great things of BlackBerry development in the past was, that you could integrate yourself in almost everything – this will be mandatory for any upcoming OS.

  • http://about.me/kylemcinnes Kyle McInnes

    That would be great, but I’m skeptical. How long did it take to build all those APIs and create the Super App experience that you’re talking about? BlackBerry 10 has only been around a year and there’s probably a couple more years of development behind that. Fingers crossed though.

  • http://twitter.com/marquardt24 Matthias Marquardt

    When you Kyle are already skeptical… Then I feel a bit morbid still developing for BlackBerry.

    I fully agree with you that developing the current SmartPhone OS and it’s corresponding APIs (I just know it from OS4.2 up to OS 7.x) is quite a long term process…

    But if certain API functionality is not present in the initial release then this mean that only RIM is able to offer applications with some ‘decent’ functionality… and that is actually the point where I am loosing my confidence – since way to many things to do, fix and extend.

  • Si_higgs

    Have you tried the Playbook dev APIs? Development for BB10 will basically be the same as that, although with the added value of Cascades.
    From what developers have said and written about Playbook OS development, it’s pretty straightforward, especially as it can integrate far more programming languages than the current BB smartphone OS.

    Si.

  • Si_higgs

    Have you tried the Playbook dev APIs? Development for BB10 will basically be the same as that, although with the added value of Cascades.
    From what developers have said and written about Playbook OS development, it’s pretty straightforward, especially as it can integrate far more programming languages than the current BB smartphone OS.

    Si.

  • Richard

    I would like to see Skype on BlackBerry devices as well as Google Voice. it is time the new management at RIM listens to its customers.

  • Fckavwenje

    get sky go on it

  • http://fworld.ca/ Reina Callaway

    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 on.