You may have read on my Mobile Gadgeteer blog that I am back to using a 64GB BlackBerry PlayBook and enjoying the QNX-based PlayBook OS with Android support. I received an email from Alex at RIM that is pretty exciting if you are a BlackBerry developer. Developers that attend the BlackBerry 10 Jam in Orlando on 1-3 May will receive a limited edition developer prototype device, the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha. This is NOT a BB 10 smartphone, but a prototype running a modified version of the PlayBook OS intended to help developers design their apps for the upcoming BB 10 smartphones.
RIM wants to emphasize that this is not final hardware or the OS. I think it is great that they are getting devices like this out into the hands of developers though so they can have apps ready to run on this new smartphone platform. Microsoft did a great job with this when they released thousands of the reference devices from Samsung running the Windows Phone 7 Technical Preview.
I hope that this developer program is used by developers because devices like the rumored BlackBerry London look fantastic and I would give one a try to use with my PlayBook. I am not a developer so won't be able to secure one of these Dev Alpha devices, but I hope we see developers writing about the devices and showing them off in May. These devices will also not be given out to BlackBerry World attendees and are strictly for developers.
Related ZDNet coverage
- Forget the Amazon Kindle Fire, the BB PlayBook is now the best low cost tablet
- BlackBerry PlayBook; a good reason to buy a BlackBerry smartphone
- RIM BlackBerry PlayBook is a compelling choice at $199
- Sleek BlackBerry London smartphone could challenge the iPhone