The two months have not been easy for RIM, the makers of the BlackBerry. The Waterloo, Canada-based company has lost key board members as well as a significant share of the smartphone market to phone makers Apple and Android. But today, the smartphone maker is announcing more details about the next version of its phones, which it hopes will help it regain momentum.
BlackBerry OS 10 is the next version of its operating system, and today the company released the software for app developers and makers at its BlackBerry World 2012 conference in Orlando.
“The launch of BlackBerry 10 devices is generating tremendous interest, anticipation and momentum, and today we’re excited to launch the general purpose BlackBerry 10 Developer Beta Tools,” said Christopher Smith, RIM vice president for the portable application platform and tools. , said in a statement.
RIM is giving those developers at the conference a BlackBerry 10 phone — called the Dev Alpha developer test device — to use to develop apps for the new software. RIM also previewed the BlackBerry 10 software, which has a radically different interface and design from previous versions of the smartphone software. The interface allows you to switch between applications and has a new improved touch keyboard.
“We’re making incredible progress on BlackBerry 10,” RIM CEO Thorsten Heins said in his keynote at the conference. “You can see the details that we put into this platform,” he added.
While consumers won’t be able to buy this phone, the device gives us an idea of what these future BlackBerrys might look like. Moving away from the traditional BlackBerry form factor, the phone doesn’t have a hardware keyboard but a large 4.2-inch, 1280×768 resolution touchscreen.
Heins also announced that the first BlackBerry 10 devices will be released later this year. It didn’t provide a concrete date, but it was said to launch in October.