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BlackBerry Developers Conference Over – Fresh Hope in the Air?

IMG_1718 RIM really delivered this year with their BlackBerry Developers Conference. Their “Shock & Awe” keynote impressed practically everybody there with how much RIM has done since last year. There was just one announcement after the other from a new Theme Studio to new services like Geolocation and a free Push API’s. I think the best example was when one developer stood up in a “soapbox” session planning on complaining about the Eclipse plugin and realized that RIM had fixed the bugs he was going to mention in their release of 1.1 the day before.

This might be looking at the world through rose colored glasses but practically every developer I met at the conference was impressed that RIM seems to actually be listening AND acting on their recommendations. RIM has made a huge step in turning the tide when it comes to enabling BlackBerry developers to create engaging applications.

IMG_1656I admit to being one of the more vocal complainers who thought that RIM needed to scrap the whole BlackBerry OS to compete with newer more agile smartphone operating systems but with the latest tools and API’s in OS 5.0 that may no longer be necessary. RIM is out to prove that they can not only compete but even lead in this space by extending their services and tools. Its unbelievable to hear that in the next year RIM will be rolling out much needed additions and features like a WebKit browser, Location Service, Widgets, Advertising Service, Academic Program, and more. They are even working on the whole ecosystem by helping draw attention to developer services like device compatibility testing and possible shared libraries in the future. In the previous months before DevCon there was a definite lull in progress from RIM but now it seems like they were just holding back the announcements for DevCon.

IMG_1724 What also shocked me was that I did not hear BES or security mentioned once during a presentation the whole time I was there. It looks like RIM is seriously focusing on the consumer market and putting a huge effort in righting many of their wrongs. I am not saying that RIM does not have a way to go but they are finally starting to make huge leaps in the right direction.

What do you think? Did the 2009 DevCon give you reason to hope for better days ahead?

8 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. All sounds groovie!

  2. Couldn’t agree more. Last years conference was a yawn. Look forward to al of the advancements for 2010.

  3. Great for those of us on Storm 2 (OpenGL)…

  4. Damn I totally forgot to even mention OpenGL in the article… Crazy awesome graphics.

  5. Ronen, if only you had more time to prepare for the soapbox. Wow.

  6. I have been quite vocal about RIM needing to make some improvements too (and appreciated you bringing up issues many BB users and developers faced). I was impressed with some of the news coming out of the conference. It gave me hope that they’re actually starting to shift back into innovation mode instead of we have push technology so consumers can kiss our a** mode (aka, expect buggy software, it’s the new world order mode).

    The trouble is they’ve already lost a lot of people (developers and what were once die hard BlackBerry fans) by dragging their heels. I would imagine some, if not most, of them will come back, but the die hard loyalty is gone. Many people who haven’t had anything but a BlackBerry since they first held one now own other devices (sometimes in addition to the BB, but not always).

    Congratulations to RIM on the advances announced and the work they put in to it.

    P.S. Ronen, I have to disagree with the OS part. They’ve added some API’s and functionality, but I’d still rather see them take a fresh look at the whole thing, especially if they are truly back in innovation mode.

  7. I hope this will come fast my bold
    Is feeling OLD

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