RIM has been working hard on a few new tools for BlackBerry developers that should shake things up a bit. The main drive seems to be providing developers with more tools to monetize and promote applications. This ranges from a new advertising service to help developers ad advertisements to their applications to a new payment system.
RIM will also be opening the push API’s to all developers instead of just alliance members but I am not sure if they still plan on charging them for using it. Also interesting is the new Cell Site services for Geolocation that will allow applications to tap into your location so you don’t need 3 different applications keeping track of your location.
Check out the details below if you want to get a preview of what’s coming!
RIM Unveils New Services Platform for BlackBerry Developers
2009 BlackBerry Developer Conference – San Francisco – Research In Motion (RIM) (Nasdaq: RIMM; TSX: RIM) today unveiled a new services platform for developers that will enable them to streamline business processes and build highly responsive, location-aware, revenue-generating applications for BlackBerry® smartphones. The new services platform will offer advertising, payment, content push and new location services.
“The BlackBerry ecosystem is thriving and with the new services platform announced today we will help developers further monetize their applications and build breakthrough, highly responsive, location-aware applications for BlackBerry smartphones,” said Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO at Research In Motion. “RIM is continuing to provide the tools, technologies and business services that developers need to create and market even more powerful and successful applications on the BlackBerry Application Platform.”
BlackBerry Advertising Service to Create New Revenue Opportunities for Developers
The new and innovative BlackBerry® Advertising Service will enable developers to integrate advertising into their BlackBerry applications, helping them generate revenue and simplifying the business of mobile advertising. With the BlackBerry Advertising Service, RIM plans to provide developers with access to a large pool of quality and innovative ad units from trusted top tier and specialty advertising networks such as Jumptap, Lat49, Millennial Media, Navteq, 1020 Placecast, Quattro Wireless and Sympatico.ca. The service will feature ads compliant with the Mobile Marketing Association’s (MMA) guidelines as well as rich media ads that will be able to deeply integrate with BlackBerry applications. Examples of this deep integration between ads and applications will include the ability to easily initiate a call from an ad, add a calendar entry or contact entry from an ad, and directly link to an application in BlackBerry App World™ from an ad. The service will also include real-time, detailed, consolidated reporting of advertising across ad networks, including ad impressions, clicks, conversions and earnings, as well as integration into the Omniture Online Marketing Suite™ for more advanced analytics.
BlackBerry Advertising Service and a software development kit (SDK) are planned to be available in the first half of 2010.
BlackBerry Payment Service to Enable In-Application Transactions and Streamlined Payment Processes
A new BlackBerry® Payment Service from RIM will present BlackBerry developers with new opportunities to monetize applications by selling 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.
BlackBerry Payment Service and an SDK are expected to be available in mid 2010.
BlackBerry Push Service for Delivering Content and Alerts to Applications to Become Generally Available
BlackBerry® Push Service, which was first made exclusively available to BlackBerry® Alliance Program members earlier this year, will be made generally available to registered developers in the first half of 2010. BlackBerry Push Service allows developers and content providers to deliver time-sensitive alerts and up to 8 KB of data to applications.
More information about BlackBerry Push Service is available at www.blackberry.com/developers/pushservice.
New Location Services to Advance Location-Aware BlackBerry Applications
Adding to the GPS capabilities already supported on the BlackBerry Application Platform today, RIM will introduce three new location-based services for developers to build highly responsive, location-aware applications for BlackBerry smartphones. The three new location-based services include cell site geolocation, reverse geocoding and travel time.
Cell Site Geolocation – Cell site geolocation is a new service that will provide developers with an alternative to GPS, providing an estimate of a smartphone’s location based on cell tower triangulation. Cell site geolocation is generally faster than GPS, uses less battery power (which makes it ideal for applications that run in the background while multi-tasking), and is ideal for indoor use where the line-of-sight to satellites required by GPS receivers is not always available.
The cell site geolocation service is planned to be available in the first half of 2010. It will be supported on BlackBerry smartphones running BlackBerry OS 5.0 or higher.
Reverse Geocoding – RIM is introducing a new reverse geocoding service that converts geolocation coordinates to a specific address for use in BlackBerry applications. Reverse geocoding is available today with BlackBerry smartphones running BlackBerry OS 5.0 or higher. A reverse geocoding API is available with the BlackBerry® Java® Software Development Kit 5.0 (BlackBerry Java SDK 5.0) which is available in beta at http://na.blackberry.com/eng/developers/devbetasoftware/javasdk5.jsp.
Travel Time – RIM will also launch a new travel time service. Using a simple API call, developers will be able to incorporate estimated travel time within their applications for almost any destination in the US and Canada. The travel time calculations will be based on distance, speed limits and aggregated traffic conditions. The service returns values for an estimated arrival time, total travel time and total distance that can be used in an application.
The travel time service is expected to be available in the first half of 2010.
For more information and updates about the new services available to developers on the BlackBerry Application Platform, visit www.blackberry.com/developers.