BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha A and B – What Developers Need To Know

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I have always found hardware specs pretty fascinating, so if you are like me, you will be very interested in this blog post. Based on some questions that developers have asked regarding differences between the BlackBerry® 10 Dev Alpha A and Dev Alpha B hardware and other questions about getting SIM cards, we wanted to put a post together to help clarify some of the hardware details.

As we mentioned before, these are prototype devices and not final BlackBerry 10 phones. They are exclusively for our BlackBerry developers so they can get their applications ready for launch. In fact, as of October 10th, the BlackBerry App World™ storefront is open for submissions for the launch device. Now, let’s see the hardware specs on these devices:

A fair bit of the details are the same, but there are obviously some differences that are important for developers. Moving from the OMAP 4460 to the OMAP 4470 has an impact on performance, in particular for graphics with the new SGX544 graphics chip. The next most important differences are in radio connectivity. Both devices have Quad Band HSPA/UMTS, but the 4 bands supported are slightly different. If you plan on getting a microSIM card for your Dev Alpha, check which bands are required for your carrier. For example, the Dev Alpha B is limited to EDGE on T-Mobile USA, while the Dev Alph A can get HSPA. Also, the Dev Alpha B has expanded Wi-Fi capabilities, with 5GHz frequency support for 802.11a\n.

BlackBerry Infrastructure

There are some APIs that use connections to BlackBerry Infrastructure, such as BBM™ and Push. These APIs should work over Wi-Fi® without setting up any special ports, and you will be able to see the BlackBerry symbol in the homescreen titlebar, which indicates connectivity to the BlackBerry Infrastructure.

Should you decide to get a microSIM for your Dev Alpha, you do not need to have “BlackBerry Data” turned on for the account. Connectivity will work with regular Internet access alone. There may be some carriers where data connectivity doesn’t work, but Wi-Fi will work for you in that case. Please note that this is the case just for the Dev Alpha device and not BlackBerry 10 launch devices, which will need to have BlackBerry data on the wireless plan.

I hope that answers many of your questions and gets you even more interested in doing some development for BlackBerry 10. If you have further questions, post a comment below or in the forums, or tweet to us @BlackBerryDev. Remember, these Dev Alpha devices are not final BlackBerry 10 hardware; they are your opportunity to build BlackBerry 10 applications before the devices launch. Developers who get their applications in before the deadline will earn an upgrade to a special BlackBerry 10 device.

About Tim W.

Tim is an Open Source Technical Lead at BlackBerry, focusing on WebWorks, HTML5, and Open Source.

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