RIM also is introducing this week its BlackBerry Analytics SDK, providing developers with reporting and analytics on how applications are being used. The technology was developed in partnership with Webtrends.
Commenting on how RIM's application development story stacks up against Apple iPhone, Google Android, and Microsoft Windows Phone 7, Tyler Lessard, vice president of global alliances and developer relations at RIM, stressed RIM's enablement of integrated, "compelling" experiences for developers to build applications that "really matter" to users. Lessard cited RIM "super apps" concept. "The idea of super apps is we provide such a rich platform," enabling such capabilities as inbox integration and multitasking, he said.
Company representatives, however, declined to discuss a rumored introduction of a RIM pad device, citing the reports as just rumors.
Also unveiled Monday was BlackBerry Enterprise Application Middleware, for easier development of "super app" enterprise applications and services for the BlackBerry. The middleware platform features APIs, libraries, and server software for easier building of super apps that access instant data push and alerts, use file transfer with enterprise applications, and make it easy to query a user's device for geo-location, RIM said.
Developers can use the middleware technology with application development platforms such as IBM WebSphere and Oracle Fusion Middleware.
RIM also announced BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) Social Platform, providing developers with tools to build applications that leverage social aspects of the BBM service. "We now have 28 million active BlackBerry users using BBM," Lessard said.
"What we recognize is [there is] a huge opportunity for third-party developers to plug into BBM," with their applications, Lessard said. Functions of the BBM service such as contact lists and user profiles can be integrated into applications.
Other introductions Monday include: