DevCon 2008: Day 1 Quick Recap

FINALLY!!!!
By Kevin Michaluk on 21 Oct 2008 09:28 am EDT
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SUCCESS! I FINALLLLLLLY have a BlackBerry Storm in my hands!

Sorry for the lack of posts folks, but the schedule here at the BlackBerry Developer Conference has left little time to sit down and actually write, and today is going to be even busier than yesterday! We'll be kicking up the live blog for this morning's general sessions (8:15am PST) though, so you'll want to stay tuned for more. 

Day 1 Observations/Highlights

  • Great turnout! Over 900 people in attendance, and it's a solid breakdown between new developers, existing BlackBerry ISVs (independent software vendors, RIM folk and guys like me. The sessions I have popped my head into have been packed, and the content is ranging from the basic level to advanced - definitely seems like everyone is getting a lot of value out of being here.
  • Right before heading into last night's general session, I FINALLY GOT TO HOLD A BLACKBERRY STORM!!! I spent nearly an hour with the device and have a lot to report back with (and will spend more time with it today so if you have any specific questions let me know in the comments). I'd blog it up now but need more time to get all of my thoughts out concisely. There won't be a video (booo!), but I promise to do it up good. Sorry to keep you hanging for now. Initial Verdict? I WANT ONE TWO!!!
  • BBCool 15 Event was Solid! Congrats to Nobex Radio Companion for taking the big win and to everyone who came out. Good job Doug!
  • BlackBerry Software is getting better. I saw more than a few apps yesterday that made me say to myself, "Wow... I had no idea that was possible on a BlackBerry."  I think that's a bit of theme here - for a lot of the devs in attendance their eyes are being opened to the possibilities of developing for BlackBerry. Expect to see a lot of cool apps coming out in the months ahead.
  • RIM IS BLOGGING!!!! WTF?! Pretty Awesome. Tune into www.blackberrydeveloperconference.com/blogs and you can basically catch the blow by blow of everything that's going on. I'm going to be doing a lot of in-depth catch up blogs once I get home from the event, but you should definitely check out the DevCon blogs to get your quick fix!
  • The people here are awesome!!
Stay tuned for a lot more over the hours and days ahead... and after the jump you can check out a few more shots from yesterday!

A Few DevCon Day 1 Images 

DevCon!
I think RIM could make a FORTUNE selling these to CrackBerry Nation

 

DevCon
Seeing the Zeemote in action. TOTALLY AWESOME.

 

DevCon
Mike Kirkup on Stage talking BlackBerry - RIM is making web browsing the
second pillar of the BlackBerry. Sweet!

 

DevCon
Party/Showcase Tent - BlackBerry Storms inside!

64 comments

JOEY NEAT

You could wipe the screen off Bro!

Kevin Michaluk

I Know! Yeah, that wasn't the Storm I played with for an hour, but one within the reception hall - that was literally handled by 300 people before I had 10 seconds to snap the picture.

When actually using it I never noticed fingerprints even once... was surprised to see them in this picture actually.

Lots more to come on the Storm!

Victor Soto

I was Wodering If They Said anything about when the storm would be released in puerto rico Cause I WANT ONE!

Victor Soto

I was Wodering If They Said anything about when the storm would be released in puerto rico Cause I WANT ONE!

alisaan

...and more info about UM everything!!!!!!!! :)

b1gg134

That first picture is exactly why I cannot own a touchscreen device. I would be constantly cleaning the screen. The picture alone creeps me out looking at it.

DurangoJim

In some vids there appears to be lcd discoloration along the edges of the screen when the screen is pressed due to flexing. Can you comment on this? Also can you confirm that the screen is glass? Thansk Kevin!

MichaelBrandonW

Dev Conference, Storm, Heineken.... Good look Kevin. All thats missing from the pic is a smokin hot lady.

Elioar

I don't own a Blackberry but have decided that the time is right. Over the past three months I have become addicted to everything Storm relate and Crackberry.com. I am a tall guy with big hands and am really interested in the size of the QWERTY keyboard vs. the Curve.

I really want to stay of Verizon but may switch to AT&T for the Bold, it just depends on the keyboard.

Thanks for an awesome site, I am excited for you that you have the Storm in hand!

Anonymous

You asked for questions re: the Blackberry Storm. Keypad, keypad, keypad.

For those of us hooked on a full QWERTY keypad, how easy/difficult will it be to use the ClickThru keypad on the Storm's touch screen?

Anonymous

You do realize if you turn it to landscape you get a full QWERTY keypad.. so if you are that addicted to it then just switch it to landscape.

Anonymous

Where is the BlackBerry Storm assembled in?

Anonymous

In Nike sweatshops in China

petschska

Questions:

1) Is there a gap between the screen and its edge?
2) Can you run some speed tests to help us get some sort of idea of the speed of browser speeds on the 3G?
3) Which wireless chipset is being used?
4) Are you experiencing the discoloration issue when pressing on the screen and how does it affect you?
5) Are there any animations when changing from landscape to portrait? Are they too slow for your use?

Valace2

Kev I hate you and you suck!!

just kidding.... just really really jelous.

VoltaicShock

Nice!

All you have to do is look at the forums for the questions to be answered.

I will start a thread with the questions.

arundc

My geekdom would be complete.... LOL

Anonymous

My big question is will the device support 32GB microSD cards? All the (leaked) documentation always mentions "up to 16GB", but I don't see why 32GB wouldn't work when the cards become more available.

Anonymous

That has to do with Blackberry OS, not the phone.

binghd

Kevin,

Can you tell us more about the Storm's browser? From what I've read about it being based on Webkit and supporting AJAX, I'm very interested to know if it will handle web apps that have been built for the iPhone's mobile Safari. I have the most interest in seeing the iPhone version of Google Reader. I've tried it on the Storm simulator and it doesn't work, but I know that may be an earlier build than what they have at the conference.

Thanks for the great coverage of DevCon!

Ross74

My question is about the typing experience. Does stuff like holding down a letter to capitalize or the double space period translate to the touch keyboard?

Semi5

For the person who just asked, the iPhone google reader does not work on the storm. I tried it in the simulator.

I would also love to know about the discoloring that appears on the screen corners when typing.

Scurvy D. Licious

How come the Storm looks like it's tethered using an AT&T ribbon and another AT&T logo on the desk? Something you're not telling us?

DawnGP143

It's Kevin's credentials lanyard...or at least that's what it looks like to me.

Anonymous

Was the screen glass like on the iphone or was it plastic like say an LG Dare or Samsung Instinct? Phone durability is very important to me so the glass screen would be nice.

Anonymous

Does it handle voice and data simultaneously on the Verizon network?

Thanks Kevin.

BrakTalk

From what I understand, Verizon's CDMA does not handle simultaneous voice/data. I'll post a link where I read that as soon as I find it.

BrakTalk

Here we go...lifted from Blackberry.com and was posted in a forum at Crackberry.com.

"Simultaneous voice and data connectivity is only available when the BlackBerry Storm smartphone is connected to a HSPA GSM network."

Blair Harrington

Kevin,

I'm dying to have this question answered: does the web browser allow for multi touch gestures? I've read online that it does, yet every video that I've seen so far shows no use of multi touch. And the training guide that this site posted recently made no mention of it either. Please let us know! Thanks.

PS.

Any additional words about navigating web sites on the Storm would be greatly appreciated.

Anonymous

One of the videos that was posted yesterday shows the browser being used and flicking your finger scrolls around the page, and it looked like holding down the screen zooms in, although I've read double-"clicking" on the screen zooms in. *shrugs*

yapkuen

Not a direct answer to your question, but just a general terminology note: broadly speaking, any gesture where you use more than one point of contact simultaneously as a touch-screen input counts as a multitouch gesture. From your posts in the forum, though, I've gathered that you're mostly interested in the pinch-to-zoom gesture. Just wanted to clarify that for anyone who will be attempting to answer your question.

NA

This is something that I could live without but I was wondering how the storm will deal with Speed Dial as there will not be any keys to associate numbers with.
Is there the same effect you just have to get to the keyboard first?

Anonymous

It deals with speed dial like normal. When you press the send button the dialing pad comes up like normal ( with numbers to dial out ), hold down 1 for speed dial one, 2 for speed dial 2 and so on....

digital_cataclysm

Oh My, Kevin - please tell me you're not guilty of "Drinking & Berrying"...! That could lead to some rather embarrassing eMail messages- Believe me, I know!

In all seriousness, If I had an early opportunity to hold RIMs latest in my paws, I'd probably be having a beer too!
Looking forward to your write-up on the Storm, and the whole experience in general -
Great site, and I'm always impressed with the news & articles CrackBerry has to offer. Keep up the good work!

Now, if only somebody at Verizon would spill the beans already as to WHEN I can get my grubbly little clutches on one of these.... MuahHahaha!

heavilytat2ed

Is Verizon actually going to allow the Storm to use OBEX transfers? It drives me crazy that my Curve does sync with my Alpine Bluetooth in my truck! Also, are they finally going to allow BB Maps, instead of their craptastic VZ Navagator?

Anonymous

BB Maps is available on all VZW blackberry's. The only thing is, previous Blackberrys didn't have GPS unlocked on VZW. All you would have to do is punch in the address you're at, and boom. Well, the Storm does have open GPS, so Blackberry maps and Google maps will locate you using the device GPS.

Anonymous

Will they be making a Storm for Tmobile? Let me know.

Anonymous

Aaahhhhhhhahahahhahhhhahahahhahaha

y0urh1ghn3ss

No.

The Storm is EXCLUSIVE to Verizon...sorry suckers!!

IanM101010101

How is it with the actual 'clicking'? Do you find you have to press down too hard or is it actually like typing on a regular keyboard?

overall how would you compare it to a normal keyboard

thanks!

BB_Jazz

Does it have threaded SMS?

itsrox

Kevin,

The kids are all fighting over the screen discoloration issues. I'm sure you know already....but if you could just straigten that out. I am hoping that you come in and save the day.

Since I'm new to the family, I guess it would only be right if I were the tattle-tail.

Armando Romo

Any input on the quality of the display as compared to the iPhone?

The iPhone has so far by far the best display I have found. It’s going to be a shame to give up the picture quality, but why do you need a cell phone? That’s to communicate and nothing has ever been worse for me than the great iPhone and AT&T.

RobGom

Could you not have taken the dirtiest, slimiest looking pic of the Storm available? Believe it or not, us OCD personalities have alot dangling on just how much of a fingerprint magnet this phone is going to be.

The phone overall is great im sure, you just took a bad pic.

P.S. Keep a hanky handy.

Anonymous

Sounds like you don't need a touchscreen.... Get a phone that suits your needs.

yapkuen

He *did* admit that this was the primary display phone that basically everyone passing through the DevCon was allowed to fondle and grope. Even if he had been carrying a hanky, he probably wouldn't want to use it to wipe the stuff that was stuck to that screen.

Anonymous

Hey Kevin have you heard and news about the bold in the conference?

Anonymous

In the zeemote pic above, please tell me the credentials are LastName, First and not the other way around....or those are the worst man-hands on a woman that I've ever seen.

mattburns9999

Is that a gsm storm? I see at&t and EDGE????????

Z-Man

Good catch. It does say AT&T and EDGE... hmm, I wonder. It was probably an unlocked model they took from Canada to the conference and since the Storm is coming to the GSM carriers up there first, it naturally works on AT&T here and not Verizon. Don't get your hopes up for AT&T in the USA to carry this directly for a while.

matrix2004

The Verizon Storm 9530 does work on At&t's EDGE network but not on its 3G network, you would need the 9500 for that.

Z-Man

On my current blackberry when I start typing on the keyboad from the home screen it immediately brings up names in my address book that match what I typed. If the name happens to only use the keys that have numbers then I get two entries... the name that matches and the actual number dialed. Not once do I need to open the address book to find someone's number and dial it.

Given that there are no to beging typing on immediately, how will I do this on the Storm? If I hit the "Call" key it brings up a standard phone layout with no letters on the keys. How do I immediately type in a name to dial one of my address book contacts without having to actually open up the address book? Is that possible like it is on every other Blackberry?

Anonymous

Since it's so difficult to click on address book and such a huge inconvience maybe you should just stick with your current Blackberry.

Kevin, I want my Blackberry Storm to know who I want to call when I think about it, does it do that? If not, I will be upset. Also, will it cook my breakfast, iron my suits, comb my hair and tie my shoes?! Please let it do all of this and it will almost be the perfect phone... Would need wi-fi to make it perfect.

Z-Man

Who dude. I was simply inquiring. You are right, it isn't all that difficult. I was just curious if there was a way to directly input the name immediately from the home screen.

Obviously you are one who liked to judge quickly. Sad....

Anonymous

I agree, this is a nice feature. Maybe there will be an option for the Suretype keyboard in the phone.

MichaelBrandonW

Hey Kevin,
Before everyone slams me with the "Verizon add-on scam bit", i was wondering since this is the first real multimedia, consumer based Blackberry, why the lack of FLO TV, MediaFlo USA qualcomm set-up??? VZW has spent a lot on their multi-media network, esp with VCast TV, so why the no go on the Storm??
I will admit, the cost of VCast TV is a bit steep, but surprisingly i had a number of occasions where i used to find myself watching it on my secondary device.
Thoughts???

Anonymous

WHY DOES UR CARD AS AN AT&T STRAP??????
WHAT DOES AT&T HAS TO DO WITH THE STORM???

Anonymous

Surprisingly enough, they talked about more than just the Storm at DevCon. e.g. the Blackberry Bold that is "soon" to be released on the AT&T network.

Tim Ryder

During the preliminary reviews that leaked on the net, one of the reviewers said that the touch screen was very hard to push to get a response... how did you find it to be? Is the selection of icons and links in browsers difficult to use?

Tell me more about the touchscreen please.

Stephen S

What are peoples thoughts on the possible $699 price tag (without a new contact)? Seems a bit steep :-/.

Anonymous

Blackberry 8830 is $519.99 and Treo 700wx is $599.99 at full retail from Verizon Wireless....$699.99 sounds about right, but still speculation.

Anonymous

Ouch! When I e-mailed Verizon about any sort of discounts for "out-of-contract" purchases, they offered me a $50 credit for being a loyal customer .... that's a start :)

2passjash

what games come pre loaded....?
I have been waiting to see some pictures but have yet to see any....

is there a touchscreen version of brickbreaker?

chaz45

its seems like the storm is the best blackberry they ever made send comment back and tell me what you think chaz45