Let the Series of BlackBerry 10 Beta SDK Releases Continue!

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Image By Antoine FLEURY-GOBERT (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The latest BlackBerry® 10 Beta SDKs are now available for download! They bring a whole lot more functionality, along with a software upgrade for the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha testing device for those who have received one at our BlackBerry Jam World Tour events or BlackBerry 10 Jam in Orlando this past May. This new device update now includes the BlackBerry App World™ storefront client application (the same version that is on the BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet). Yes, this means you can start to submit your BlackBerry 10 applications to BlackBerry App World and share it with fellow BlackBerry 10 developers to get early feedback.

So what’s next?

To keep the ball rolling for our developer community, we’ve scheduled a series of tooling and SDK releases that will be rolled out over the next few months. Each runtime (Native, HTML5, Adobe® AIR®, and Android™) will have incremental updates to functionality. Each runtime’s functionality won’t necessarily be in sync, as they each have different developer audiences where APIs are prioritized based on what each of these communities are asking for.

Each release is named Rn where R stands for “Release” and n stands for “number”. So for the first BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha release, the SDK was R4 to match with 10.0.4.xyz version. We also sometimes do internal-only releases, which is why you’ll see some numbers skipped.

The BlackBerry 10 SDK Beta schedule looks like the following:

  • R4: May SDK Beta Release (first beta)
  • R6: July SDK Beta Release (just launched)
  • R8: September SDK Beta Release (API Freeze, Binary Compatible with Gold)
  • R9: October SDK Beta Release (bug fixes)
  • R10: November Gold SDK Release (bug fixes)

But what’s coming in these releases?

We’re going to step out of the box and do something that we’ve never done before and quite frankly, something that I’ve rarely seen any tech company do in this industry. We’re going to share with you our feature release plan for each of the runtimes. We’ll be providing a list the top level line item deliverables — but not getting into the details of each feature, or else the list will turn into something as long as a DVD’s extended director’s-cut limited edition!

The beta roadmaps will be posted in the form of flight arrival boards so that you can see the feature, the flight/release it is on, the scheduled arrival time and the current status. These roadmaps should be available in a couple of weeks.

Now I’m going to give the usual disclaimer: These are “targets” and the usual laws of software delivery apply around priorities, dependencies and customer issue firefighting that can impact delivery schedules and scope. We’re being transparent as we can with you, our developer community, to help you better plan your app development leading up to the BlackBerry 10 launch. We want to ensure that we are releasing updates to the SDKs as frequently as possible leading up to gold. Once you have finished digesting and implementing what has been made available in one Beta update, there will be another one waiting for you with more goodies.

About Tim N.

Tim leads Application Platform & Tools Product Management at Research In Motion. This includes APIs, Frameworks and Tools for the BlackBerry Platform. He can be found hanging out in the development forums or Twitter (@brcewane) trying to help out where he can and to bring your feedback into the next releases of BlackBerry tooling. You’ll also see Tim presenting various topics at the BlackBerry Developer Conferences and BlackBerry World so be sure to stop by and say hi. Just don’t start talking about cars or Batman or you won’t be able to get rid of him.

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