BlackBerry 10 Jam Round Up from APAC

Dev Con

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Some of the APAC BB developers – Image by Louis Tang

Hey everyone! I’m Justin Lee, an Application Development Consultant for Research In Motion® (RIM®) in the APAC region who just recently joined the team, and I had the opportunity to be at the BlackBerry® 10 Jam conference in Orlando, Florida.

I’m sure you’ve heard the hype around the announcements from Thorsten Heins “rock and roll”-ing the stage with the new user experience of BlackBerry 10, and Alec Saunders kicking off the BlackBerry 10 Jam Super Session with an awesome music video, “The Waiting Is The Hardest Part,” which rocked the entire house.

But the biggest jaw-dropping experience was seeing the BlackBerry 10 OS shown live onstage for the first time. The new home screen was greatly simplified, there was a new innovative gesture-based keyboard, and the one feature that got everyone gasping for more was the ability to take a photo and then turn it back a few moments in time to capture the right moment. This had me jumping around like a kid eagerly begging to try a new toy.

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Of course, the highlight of the event was the alpha releases of the various BlackBerry 10 SDKs, not to mention the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha device allowing developers to get started with the new BlackBerry 10 OS. From what I’ve heard, this is the first time RIM has ever seeded out a developer pre-production device to their developers. This simply shows and reaffirms the commitment RIM has to developers.

On the second day, the Dev Alpha devices were handed out to developers, with queues starting as early as 6 in the morning. Within hours, many of the developers had ported and loaded up their applications into the new BlackBerry 10 device. We saw the Dev Alpha go from a blank device with only two apps loaded – the Browser and the Camera app – to a slew of icons filling up the app menu in a matter of hours. It was great to see the amazement in everyone’s eyes at how easy it was to get their apps working – plus I’m certain of the amazement in my eyes at how quickly these excited developers loaded up their devices with apps!

One of the big parts of a conference is the people involved in it. I had the opportunity to meet up with some of the most amazing developers from APAC – Wygen Wong, who created PicStory; John G. Bibal II of PinoyBBDev; and Louis Tang who created PeskTop and did APAC proud by getting into the final three in AppCircus.

After three days of jamming with BlackBerry and meeting with some of the most passionate developers, I’m exhausted! But it was great meeting all of you – do let me know if you’re in the APAC region and/or if you need any help with developing for the BlackBerry platform.

Until next time, quoting from Thorsten himself – let’s rock and roll this.

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