BlackBerry Dev Alpha devices will stay up and running after all

By Adam Zeis on 23 May 2013 10:48 am EDT

When the BlackBerry Dev Alpha devices were given out, developers were told that at some point the devices would be deactivated and essentially rendered useless (or bricked in geek terms). With plenty of developers eligible to trade in their Dev Alpha for a limited edition BlackBerry Z10 however, this didn't seem like such a big deal.

For anyone that hasn't received a BlackBerry Z10 or just wants to hold onto their Dev Alpha for testing purposes there is good news today. As it turns out, the devices will continue to work past the original deactivation date of June 30th. 

You'll just need to update your Dev Alpha A or B to the 10.1 SDK OS that has been made available in order to keep your device up and running. The SDK OS is a slimmed down version of BlackBerry 10 for developer devices, but it has all the essential goods you need to keep testing. The devices will officially enter the "unsupported devices" stage after June 30th, but you can continue to use them regardless.

You can head to the BlackBerry Dev Alpha page for more info and to update your OS. 

Happy developing!

Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

Reader comments

BlackBerry Dev Alpha devices will stay up and running after all


I really would love a phone that I can test apps OS released beta versions on or Side loading apps etc. I wish I could get one Dev BB10.

Posted via CB10 on Z10

So they can provide a "slimmed down" BB10 for the Dev Alpha - which is essentially a Playbook in a smaller package - but they can't provide it for the Playbook itself?

WTF? Does Thor really hate the PB *that* much?


Actually that's a pretty solid point. With BB10 on my PlayBook I'd start using it again I'm sure

Posted via CB10

I think you need to stop thinking Thorsten et al. are out to get you. the folks at BBRY have priorities, the Playbook isn't one of them. Though you should take this news as a good sign. Maybe they'Re keeping the Dev Alphas operational BECAUSE they know it is closest to the PlayBook in hardware and want to push BB10 lite out to current PlayBooks

My 2 cents

Well, my contract for my 9900 is finally available for upgrade in August. That's the two year point in the 9900's history, so I would imagine this is true for many 9900 owners. I purchased my 64GB PlayBook to co-exist with my 9900 with the understanding that it would be the future BlackBerry environment. That same logic still exists in August. I will want my phone and my tablet to co-exist and work wonderfully together. If my PlayBook gets upgraded to BB10 as I was PROMISED, then I can see me purchasing a Z10 or Q10. If my PlayBook is going to essentially become a QNX tablet populated with more and more Android apps, then I may as well just buy a Galaxy IV. I keep hearing crickets from BlackBerry regarding this. It's like they went to the Rob Ford school of PR management. It's not working, and it's making me very, very angry. I have a PlayBook stuck in limbo. No-one is developing new apps for it, while more and more apps arrive every day for BB10. I want to know IF my PlayBook is going to be upgraded as promised, and I yes, then I want to know WHEN I can expect it to occur. Each day closer to my August deadline puts me further and further into the screw this camp.

Don't quite see how the PB update is affecting your next phone purchase.. When the PB gets the BB10 update (IT IS COMING, AS PROMISED, it's just not a priority at the moment, which is understandable), you're going to get a scaled down version of BB10.. Upon getting my Z10, I stopped using my PB entirely, I too have a 64GB model. When my PB gets the BB10 update, to be completely honest, I can't see myself using it that much more, as the Z10 totally takes place of it, I don't even see a point in having a tablet anymore.

I just don't understand, like @irwindersra, how you are essentially threatening that the PB not being updated is making you lean towards an S4..? Just get a Z10 and you'll realize how little you actually need a tablet anymore.


I don't think people are thinking that Thorsten and BBRY are out to get them because of the lack of an update from the PlayBook.

We just think they are liars.

And the worst part is it kinda shows just how incompetent the "company" is.

I do understand that at this point the PlayBook is dead and from the companies stand point it is a waste of resources to update it. But from a PlayBook owners point of view, we have been PROMISED an update - we should get one. For the most part PlayBook owners are FANS of the platform... just seems like with the opportunity to get 2 Million more devices on BB10 and to "give back" to your FANS would be a good business decision.

To call them "liars" means you think they deliberately misled you. Just because you're pissed that they're not sharing information you want doesn't mean they're lying to you.

To call them "incompetent" means you think they can't execute. Evidently, they were executing well enough that you've bought their products before. Why would you keep dealing with a company that so obviously frustrates you?

Bottom line, sure, delays suck, but delays happen in tech. To everybody. No need for name-calling.

"To call them "liars" means you think they deliberately misled you."

They did say that BB10 WOULD come to PB.

If it doesn't, that would certainly make them liars...

I will expect 10.2 to be made available for PB.

At the present time OS 10 would be able to be installed on the PlayBook as the STL 100-1 OS technically could book. Drivers are missing for some hardware (e.g. camera) but more importantly it consumes too much memory.

Try taking you BB10 device and check free memory right after a reboot. Then open the browser and open some webpages (tabs) - maybe even with Flash. Leave the browser open and check free memory. You should notice it consumes quite a bit of memory.

PlayBook has "only" 1GB RAM and BB OS 10 would simply not be able to run multiple apps, browser etc. on this device with a decent user experience at the momemnt.

My understanding is that 10.0 was basic build (full feature set and stable enough to be released), 10.1 was for Q10 incl. some improvements and bugfixes and 10.2 will (also) be optimized for a smaller memory footprint and hopefully made fit for PB.

BlackBerry might change their minds, but as far as I remember Thorstein has promised BB10 for PlayBook and so far he seems to stick to his promises.

I speculate that we will be seeing a BlackBerry PlayBook update and/or the release of a new 'tablet' in late July or August.
Now I know TH has said tablets are not a good business and they won't exist in their current form in 5 years. However with leveraging QNX properly they should be able to make a shift in how the software works (unlike the current tablet form factor). QNX has the ability to communicate across two devices (distributed processing) as though it were one device. Currently the Playbook would be under powered to run BB10 as we know it from the Z10, but if you link your PlayBook to your Z10 through an update version of BlackBerry Bridge your PlayBook would be running full bb10 off of your phone.
My speculation for the timing is based on the following; TH has stated that BlackBerry will release new products along with OS updates. So far this has held true, Q5 and BB10.1. The BB10.2 road map is showing WiFi Direct with Screen Mirroring due. The developer release is due for late June and BlackBerry seems to give a month before releasing to the public.

Don't get your shorts in a knot. BlackBerry 10 for PlayBook will be released in Q3 2013 according to BlackBerry. Until Jan 1 2014 comes and we still don't have it then start complaining.

Posted via CB10

I think this alone is a solid indication of us PB owners actually getting a trimmed down BB10 version someday.

Dude the playbook will never be what you want it to be. BB10 moved way past it. Buy yourself a Google tablet, use your blackberry as a hot spot and be done with it.

Blackberry would need to release a new tablet to give us the experience we want, and now expect because we're useing BB10. And doesn't sound like they will be. And either way you would have to buy a new tablet. PlayBook is old, welcome to the world of technology.

Posted via CB10

I happen to look at this with a cup half full perspective... But hey, what do I know.. PlayBook HTML5 scores under BB10 sure mean nothing.

Hey guys, please keep in mind that in a recent release about the next OS update, there was a graphic of a tablet on display... You don't know, maybe it's a new tablet, maybe it's the playbook getting the update...

I feel like no one can read anymore. Did anyone not see this note:

"Note: You may attempt to load the latest Dev Alpha B update onto your Dev Alpha A, however the The Dev Alpha A is no longer officially supported as of If you encounter any issues please downgrade back to using the Autoloader method. You can download the old Autoloader here."

The Dev Alpha A has 1 Gig of memory like the PlayBook and it is "no longer officially supported."

This does NOT look good for PlayBook.

I, like most am 'concerned' about the lack of communication around BB10 to PlayBook progress.

At the same time I will not call BlackBerry, Thor, or any of his team "liars, incompetent, etc" because when they DID 'promise' BB10 for PlayBook, they gave the qualifier sometime this year.

Others have said it, let's not get carried away just because they didn't go on stage and say "here's your PlayBook update" or "we know you're eager to find out about the status of the PlayBook update, and we want you to know that we are working on it and it is still on track for something this year".

Is it a disappointment that there was no mention at all? Yes! Still they set the expectations correctly the last time we were given an update.

If you must make a decision to support them or not to by a certain date and the update is not yet available, then by all means make your decision and live with it. Unless they come out and cancel all plans to bring PlayBook up to BlackBerry 10, let's not panic. They still have time to make good on the promise.

I bought a few extra PlayBooks when they officially announced that it would be updated to BB10, so I will be just as upset as others are if the expectation is not met.

To those trying to belittle the issue, please don't. It doesnt matter to us how YOU use or don't use the PlayBook. That's not the point.

BBX - I Said It!

I run the latest leak for the STL100-1 on a Dev alpha B. I wonder if it will keep working...

Powered by Z10 via DTAC

Man oh man, that dev alpha device with the rounded corners and basically a smaller version of the playbook is one of the nicest looking phones ever. i really wish blackberry would have made the z10 using these materials. absolutely gorgeous phone.

ha! I sometimes miss my old buddy devAlpha "A". I know I couldn't really use it as a daily companion ... but it was part of history and I must say I've hesitated a lot before trading it ... Well, my red LE is fine too, let's look forward !!! :D

Cheers for this news...I'll still receive updates....too bad my PB isn't receiving any love from BlackBerry...'Yet'

When does the slider model of blackberry is going to launch, me eagerly for the blackberry blade slider model..

Posted via CB10

This news makes me wish I got a Dev Alpha B instead of the buggy Dev Alpha A I currently have. Should have waited and I'm kicking myself over it.

Posted via CB10