BlackBerry entices developers with 10.1 SDK update

Developers will get a limited edition red Z10 and early access to an alpha version of a physical keyboard handset running BlackBerry 10

BlackBerry today unveiled new tools to its developers to encourage them to build more applications for their latest handsets.

The company unveiled its new BlackBerry 10 operating system (OS) and the Z10 and Q10 handsets to the public last week, with the touchscreen Z10 launching in the UK just one day later and the promise of 70,000 applications being available.

Now, at the company’s developer conference in Amsterdam – BlackBerry Jam – vice-president of developer relations, Alec Saunders, has unveiled a new software development kit (SDK) to entice the coders to build more apps for the Q10 device and its physical keyboard.

The update will enable developers to adjust their existing BlackBerry 10 to fit onto the smaller 720x720 resolution screen and to use hot keys on the smartphone, rather than touchscreen buttons as they would on the Z10.

As well as the new SDK, Saunders revealed an updated Dev Alpha C programme, which will give all those attending this week’s conference a physical keyboard device running BlackBerry 10 to help them develop for the Q10 device – which is expected to launch in April.

Developers have until 22 February to either submit a new draft application or resubmit an existing one for the Z10, proving it can be adjusted for the Q10, and one of the test devices will be sent to them.

As a final bonus, Saunders confirmed each of the 12,000 developers involved in its Dev programme, which readied applications in time for launch, would get a limited edition red Z10 to thank them for their commitment. Those who already have a test device will be able to trade their current versions in for what he called the “sports car” of the Z10 range.

“I have never seen as much excitement and enthusiasm for a platform like what we are seeing with BlackBerry 10. BlackBerry Jam Europe is a great time for us to thank the developer community for their continued loyalty, support and amazing enthusiasm,” said Saunders.

“We want to keep that momentum going and are today announcing updates to the toolkit, our reward and incentive programs and more. We are listening to our community and are evolving our programs to help them achieve success on BlackBerry 10 and be recognised for their efforts and accomplishments.”

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