With titles like Angry Birds and Cut the Rope finally hitting the BlackBerry platform, we're really starting to see evidence that the app gap on BlackBerry is starting to close and things are gaining momentum. There are now over 50,000 apps available for BlackBerry and App World has passed 2 billion downloads. Not bad!
No doubt there is still a lot of work to be done, and at CES 2012 we caught up with Research In Motion's new VP of Developer Relations, Alec Saunders, who caught us up on the progress and plan. The focus for RIM right now is on making sure everything is in order for the launch of BlackBerry 10 Smartphones later this year. Between now and then it's all about getting out there and making sure the BIG NAMES are on the platform at launch that people expect to be there, and also getting the native tools into the hands of developers who can really set an example for what can be done on the platform as well. It's also about spreading the word, and the BlackBerry evangelist program has gone from concept to reality - we had the pleasure of meeting one of the evangelists at a RIM Meet-up on Tuesday night (we'll follow up with more soon on that).
The strategy of going after the big names makes a lot of sense. Looking at games on the PlayBook for example, once EA put some of their titles onto the platform, other gaming companies began following suit. Competition is competition, and nobody wants to be left behind, so we should see more and more titles keep coming to the platform over the months ahead. And Alec made it clear that RIM is being very concious of making the transition from apps for the PlayBook to apps for BlackBerry 10 phones a smooth one, and they're learning from their experience gained in the BlackBerry OS over the years to make sure they're doing this in the best way possible going ahead (example - making it easy for developers to deal with multiple resolutions for different phone form factors, etc.).
Check out the video above for a quick hello from Alec, and we'll be talking a lot more about BlackBerry app development on CrackBerry in the months ahead. In the meantime... developers - BUILD THOSE APPS! And BlackBerry owners... let's buy a bunch to show the world developers would be CRAZY not to put their apps on BlackBerry!