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Devcon 2010 roundup - BlackBerry PlayBook and developer tools galore!

By Kevin Michaluk on 2 Oct 2010 11:37 am EDT
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Devcon 2010

Wow. What an action packed DevCon it has been here in San Francisco. We went into the keynote Monday afternoon hoping but not expecting anything crazy, but RIM sure gave us a nice surprise. In the midst of all the talk of WebWorks and new tools for developers came the big announcement of the upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook, RIM's first tablet device featuring the entirely new QNX-based BlackBerry Tablet OS. We have been talking about it nonstop since, and really wanted to break through the glass display its in and get our hands on one. We wound down the week with our CrackBerry App Awards party which was a huge success and even snuck in a podcast. If you missed any of this week's news, click the links below to get informed.

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Reader comments

Devcon 2010 roundup - BlackBerry PlayBook and developer tools galore!

15 Comments

Yet another reason I'm disappointed/frustrated/angry with RIM - when will all of the announced stuff actually RELEASE?

When Apple shows a new product, it's available within DAYS.

RIM? PlayBook anyone?

I'm going out to purchase an iPad just out of spite for RIM's pure and utter stupidity.

Did you even read the release? It says early 2011 release. RIM does things different than Apple which is good in this case since the Playbook specs blow iPad out of the water. And nothing for nothing but if you buy an iPad now you're the one that's utterly stupid.

If you think this will release early 2011 AND blow the iPad out of the water, you're the one that's utterly stupid. Unless that's what you mean when you say "RIM does things different (sic) than Apple..." .

RIM has a lot riding on this so they will release early 2011. So far the specs kill the iPad. For me the HDMI out with simultaneous display and media play capability is a huge advantage.

I do not get it. So many people seem to be fixated on processor speed, memory, i/o, etc.

Kind of a bit so what already in terms of what else will be on the market in the same time frame. So I do not see anything in HW specs that are particularly unique.

Granted perhaps there is some functional ideas that sound somewhat unique at this time. But they are just that ideas until a product/solution is in consumers hands.

Reality it that PlayBook at this time is more about PR than technology or solutions. RIM felt they had to tell a story. But a story is not a shipping product.

They better focus on SW quality. No reboots, crashes, freezes, battery pulls, etc. That would be something as a baseline. Then get some app ecosystem ignited. Otherwise, so what, I have mail, calendar, calc, etc. So what?

I believe AAPL announced the iPad 2-3 months early. Also go ahead and buy the iPad if you want it - I bought one and now regret it. It was "neat" for the first month but the novelty quickly wore off and now it sits in a drawer most of the time. IMO - Great for looking at web pages or the odd app, but a little big to carry around to make it convenient. The lack of flash causes me to use my laptop more than I expected.

so the same novelty notion about the IPad would apply to the Playbook. Sorry the only non-novelty pad/slate/book type devices that aren't novelties are the ones the run Windows, Linux... why because you can run really pc apps and not some water down app. Playbook will just be another device to surf the net one seriously you'll be carrying 3 devices. Look at all the ipad owners they all carry a macbook, ipad, and iphone (or other phone).

Sure there will be people who say the playbook will change things yeah RIGHT just like the Torch changed things? Its what it is, IPad will dominate in the non-PC device market. IPad has a huge app market and thats something RIM can't change. And the price of Blackberry apps are 2-3times higher than the competitors because developers are greedy so few apps and higher prices.

1. Major hospitals have iPads in use by physicians... who *used* to use BlackBerry devices. Are there native apps? A few. But the real "killer app" is Citrix - since the screen makes it usable.

2. Who is the "target market" for RIM? BlackBerry users? That number is dwindling due to all of the discussion on here (lack of apps, cost of apps, emergence of Android, strengthening of iOS devices/support, etc.).

3. RIM was really smart to announce a device - and SPECS - 6-8 months before GA. Brilliant. Like Apple, Samsung, and many others can't match specs.

4. RIM is still caught up doing manufacturing of its own device. Let's see who else has done that. Palm. Nokia (Symbian is - generally speaking - relegated to Nokia even though others have it). And so on. Motorola, HTC, and others wised up to supporting Android. Apple didn't have to - again - for all reasons discussed here.

5. RIM is in trouble. The BES market is DISSOLVING or EVAPORATING before their eyes. Governments are mandating that they open up security for evesdropping/snooping. And now Verizon passed on the "Storm2.5" because it is CRAP compared to the Torch. What do you think myself and my wife will purchase as our next device (both in 2011)? Not BlackBerry.

6. For all of you who spoke about "features" (i.e. display, processor, whatever) - people buy BENEFITS. Features are temporary, and can be overcome. BENEFITS are stronger.

7. Finally, the QNX operating system should be fun to watch, since it's basically "version 1.0". Good luck with that.

I was hoping that we might hear *something* about the Storm 3 (or future of the Storm line), however it does not sound like that was the case....

As noted by CNET RIM does not product laptops and therefore faces no cannibalization by making the playbook as powerful as a laptop. Apple cannot do this without eating their own products.

I don't understand the defense of Apple. RIM is about to produce a great product. Isn't that good for everybody.

The problem people on here (including me) have with apple fanboys is the shitting on RIM personally I never go to an apple product/ iphone blog. Why do you come in here and crap on RIM products???? Why does that give you happiness?

It is nice for blackberry users to be able to crap in your face with the playbook, but really I think we'd rather just come here to discuss the products.

And BTW the playbook looks to be a wonderful product craping on it just make you look sad.

Its great on paper... look at RIM's track record lately. In order for the Playbook to be successful RIM needs a HUGE and I mean MASSIVE app section waiting to launch with it. And they need to control the pricing that developers set. Because its ridiculous at the high prices developer set for BB apps and release a more feature packed on the iphone for half the price.

I love all the features of the Playbook but if it was on Apple or Microsoft device I'd have more faith in it become popular and having a huge app segment. Look at Window Mo7 releasing Oct 11th and over 2000 apps are ready. Microsoft has also teamed up with several developing companies that just creating apps for wmo7. All the popular apps on iphone they're creating for the wmo7, now thats f'n smart on MS'part. that insure owners will have a reason to stay with the wmo7 platform.

people saying about apps for this are missing the main point, it`ll run:

flash 10.1 - existing dev base and existing apps
Adobe AIR - existing dev base and existing apps

plus all of RIM`s own dev tools, including their latest webapps which theyve made opensource. and just to prove they have changed they are going to release the SDK before the playbook arrives! thats a first for RIM normally tools arrive on/after device launch.

also whats a huge thing? apple changing their stance on cross compiling, because flash/air apps are going to be far more portable to the playbook so i think from an app perspective, if you look at whats already out there for flash and AIR, its gonna blow away what appworld holds now.

Exactly.

Also those who think carrying around a PlayBook and a phone is hard to do... erm, do most people who carry a netbook or a camera or something forget to bring their phone.

The fact is, PlayBook will pair conveniently with it and thus its not actually complicating anything more than just a few hundred grams and bigger screen area for you to communicate with you blackberry smartphone.

I personally dont see the need for one just yet but if its important to you to pair your blackberry device whilst using the tablet for multimedia, presentations, communication/internet and casual gaming, I can definitely see the playbook competiting well.

The iPad at first was marketed as the next ebook reader but it really isn't much more than just larger iPod touch.

Apple tigtens their control on how apps are developed and only recently caved into developers on recent issues such as not just using apple dev tools.

If this is successful, you'll see the major app developers coming over and building with various tools provided as well the power of flash that people seem to continually dismiss!

its a small enough form factor that it won't get in the way. Personally my netbook 8.9" screen is perfect for me, anything bigger and im just adding extra bulk to my travels.

I'll still need to find out whether or not a tablet such as this is suited for my needs but its looking powerful enough to replace my netbook for the multimedia aspects of it with standard ports to boot!

This is definitely revolutionary for RIM, perhaps not in the tablet form factor but it punches enough in to be different than the standard drop all icons on the screen and surf the web UI. If people believe iPad is revolutionary, sure it could be but it surely doesn't know what it wants to be and tablet pcs have been around for ages. I even wanted one in early 2001 for design work but realised the stylus pressure wouldn't be any better than me carrying around a wacom tablet in tow.

Playbook was nice but before it launch I hope rim does something about their app world. Its really sux like the palm catalog no good apps or funcional. Android and ios hint hint!

well, I think RIM addressed that with their new development tools.. more so for the playbook, but we'll just have to wait and see if developers will take this on board and feel that its worth their time and money to build onto this platform (for both OS 6 and the PlayBook OS)