Its nice to see that RIM has not forgotten about their App World Test Center and has plans to expand it further. They just announced on their blog that their beta testing program is now open to the public. The new BlackBerry Beta Zone will work side by side with App World’s Test Center (which has not seen an update in 2 months). Doug did a nice job of trying to explain it in the announcement but to sum it all up the Beta Zone will only be for RIM products and will let you discuss the latest products with RIM employees.
They have launched the BlackBerry Beta Zone site with four different beta programs:
- BlackBerry Device Software 5.0 maintenance release for the BlackBerry Curve 8520 and BlackBerry Curve 8530 smartphones. This program will be open to members who live in Canada and will be capped at 1000 participants.
- BlackBerry Messenger 5.0.1. This program will be open to all members.
- BlackBerry Enterprise Server 5.0.2. This program will be limited to invited organizations only. Stay tuned for more information in future posts on recommending organizations for beta program invites.
- BlackBerry Beta Zone. This program will be open to any members. This program will be about the BlackBerry Beta Zone itself. It will not include any product software.
I signed up for the BlackBerry Messenger 5.0.1 beta program but there is nothing new to download. Could it be that RIM has relegated BlackBerry Messenger 5 back into beta?
I definitely commend RIM for making a huge step forward in opening their beta program to the public. It has HUGE potential but I truly hope RIM will make the most of it. For example, today should be the last day that users will have to resort to RapidShare or other 3rd party hosting sites to get a beta BlackBerry OS.
PS: I wanted to thank all of RIM’s lawyers for the wonderful heartfelt welcome when I signed up for the BlackBerry Beta Zone! There is nothing like 8 pages of legalize to welcome you to a radically different RIM experience. RIM legal was so generous with their time that they even created extra
legal riders welcome letters for every beta program you sign up for!