Here’s a guest post from Mike Zhou – Ed.
It feels like the BlackBerry® 10 Jam World Tour stop in Beijing just happened yesterday. Over 300 developers attended at the Grand Millennium hotel on July 6th, including those who made the effort to travel all the way from Korea and Singapore. I would like to extend a special thanks to Bill Jiang, Junyi Ding and the rest of my colleagues from RIM China’s Technical Solutions Management team for making this event a great success.
The event in China was unlike any other, as the RIM team worked hard to localize the content and demos for our Chinese developers.
The event was kicked off by Daniel Tan, Sales VP of RIM Greater China, who drew long applause from the crowd when he said, “The future of BlackBerry 10 in China is in your hands!” It was definitely the highlight of his speech.
Some of you have probably heard of Alec Saunders’ presentation style. Watching his performance for the first time was really something — you could feel the energy and the excitement skyrocket in the room as Alec rocked the crowd. Developers further expressed their passion as they waited patiently for an opportunity to speak face to face, take pictures, and even request autographs!
For those who couldn’t wait to learn more about the BlackBerry 10 user experience, Bill Jiang’s presentation covered some interesting design principles, such as the new intelligent keyboard as well as the intuitive glancing gestures.
During the BlackBerry 10 Architecture session, Jonah Lin, MMMOOO’s CEO, showcased some new games built entirely in Cascades™ on a BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha prototype device. The first game was a dice game that provided a fun and interactive way to deal with daily chores. The second one was my favorite, a Chinese Chimes instrument called Bian Zhong. It beautifully mimics the ancient Chinese instrument experience at your fingertips. Jonah went further and even demonstrated some of his source code through the UI preview feature of the Cascade plugin on stage. Jonah and his team received lots of compliments.
MMMOOO has been one of the most active partners of RIM – they’ve developed over 300 apps and reached 50 million downloads in the BlackBerry App World™ storefront. Check out their apps if you haven’t already done so! I am sure you will find some apps to suit your needs.
The lightning pitches held during lunchtime were another highlight of the day. Each developer was given three minutes to present their apps and the audience voted for the best app. The winner would receive a BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet, $500 voucher on ShopBlackBerry.com, and best of all, a free pass to BlackBerry Jam Asia! Most developers came fully prepared with slide decks and demos, while others sketched out their ideas on a piece of paper. It was also exciting see the participation coming from young university students who wanted to pitch their ideas. In the end, the lightning pitches were very well received, and the winner by people’s choice was PinBook, from S4BB which allows you to connect with people who have the same interests with you over BBM™.
The afternoon sessions had two parallel tracks. There was much interest in the Native Track presented by Alan Wong and Ramprasad Madhavan, and a sizeable number also attended the Web Track presented by Demian Borba and myself. Developers were extremely delighted to see the Cascades demos in the Native sessions. During session breaks, a few of them came to chat about ideas or apps they developed on other platforms. Developers were also thrilled by the power of BlackBerry® WebWorks™, especially the wide range of open source frameworks it allowed developers to build with, coupled with the smooth hardware-accelerated CSS animations and the ability to integrate with C/C++/Adobe AIR.
Next it was time to give away the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha devices, and a good event never ends without a bang! Yes, the BlackBerry 10 Jam World Tour Beijing ended with an exciting offer to the developers: Submit a BlackBerry 10 app before the official launch and RIM will swap the Dev Alpha device with a limited edition BlackBerry 10 device!
I hope the BlackBerry 10 Jam event and the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha devices will encourage the developers to produce some great apps for China and the world. I will certainly be sure to follow up and guide the developers should they need any help with their development.
I’d like to sign off by sharing several tweets from Weibo (a popular Chinese social media tool) with translations below. Go BlackBerry 10 developers!
After BB 10 JAM world tour Beijing, we have set up BB 10 Dev alpha discussion board. Provide alpha device test, software installation and usage discussion. Hope everyone can come and share…
Sharing after coming back from the Jam, so much surprise, the entire intro, sharing information showed RIM is confident to use BB10 to change the history, continue the success! Expecting RIM raise again and the perfect apps for BB10!