Research In Motion Ltd on Tuesday offered initial software tools to developers looking to create applications for its new BlackBerry 10 platform, moving a step closer to perhaps the most crucial launch in its history later this year.
Aiming to reverse huge market-share losses to Apple Inc and Google Inc’s Android, RIM is essentially starting from scratch with its next-generation BlackBerry 10 devices. The new platform will be compatible with few of the apps available for its existing smartphones, and legacy BlackBerry smartphones won’t be able to run apps being created for the new platform.
RIM already is far behind Apple and Android in getting independent developers and content producers to build apps, making the BlackBerry much less attractive to consumers. RIM is looking to change that.
“Developers building for BlackBerry 10 will be able to easily create the kind of cutting-edge apps that deliver truly engaging experiences,” said Alec Saunders, RIM’s head of developer relations.
To kick-start the effort, RIM this week is handing out a prototype device, known as the Alpha Dev, to developers at its BlackBerry World conference in Orlando. The handset will enable them to test how their creations perform on the new platform.