We're live from BlackBerry DevCon 2011 in San Francisco, where RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis has the stage, and he's just revealed the company's latest operating system: BBX.
"It'll be for phones, it'll be for tablets, and it'll be for embedded devices," says QNX founder Dan Dodge. The "whole company is aligning behind a single platform and a single vision." The company is showing off the Marmalade cross-platform SDK, as well as talking up security (the PlayBook is apparently the first tablet certified for government use). More after the break.
The BBX platform uses the same browser source code as on BB6 and BB7, meaning that HTML5 and WebWorks apps on either of those will work on BBX. The Cascades UI framework, designed by The Astonishing Tribe, has been demonstrated with a photo gallery app and with message visualization, a compressed visual stream of showing email, calls, BBM, SMS, Facebook, and Skype, with a dynamic tag cloud and multiple ways to graph. And since this is RIM, enterprise is being emphasized here, with a "Work" tab being added to App World, letting your CIO add apps specific to your company.
In addition to the announcement of its new BBX operating system, RIM is offering up a new developer beta for its PlayBook tablet that brings the software to 2.0. Its hallmark feature is the BlackBerry Runtime for Android apps, which will allow developers to give their existing Android offerings PlayBook compatibility. Developers can install a BlackBerry-specific plugin for the native Android development environment, Eclipse, or choose to re-package apps completely online through the new BlackBerry Packager for Android Apps — no downloads required. Of course, apps must be submitted to RIM for approval before gaining entrance to BlackBerry App World, but at least the company is giving its developers multiple options to facilitate the move.