Research in Motionannounced several advancements at its 2009 BlackBerry Developer Conference on Monday, including a new application payment platform, tighter integration with Adobe products and OpenGL ES support for version 5.0 of its mobile operating system.
First, RIM announced a new services platform to enable developers to streamline business processes and build location-aware, revenue-generating applications. Features of the new platform include:
BlackBerry Advertising Service, which helps developers integrate advertising into BlackBerry apps
BlackBerry Payment Service: Allows in-application transactions and streamlined payment processes; providing developers with new ways to monetize their applications
General availability of BlackBerry Push Service: Allows registered developers and content providers to deliver push alerts (up to 8 KB of data).
Three new location services: Cell site geolocation, reverse geocoding and travel time services for location-aware capability
RIM also announced upgrades to the BlackBerry Application Platform, including support for OpenGL ES (3D games and graphics), a Java GUI builder for easier user interface design (includes a preview function for different BB models), and BlackBerry Theme Studio, a suite of design, illustration and animation tools for theme creation.
RIM also announced a partnership with Adobe allowing app developers to use Flash and Adobe Creative Suite to create content.
The company rounded out its announcements with the introduction of the BlackBerry Academic Program, which provides colleges and universities with content to offer courses in administering and supporting the development for BlackBerrys.
The news can't come fast enough. RIM has been under fire for introducing smartphone handsets that are accomplished in their own right but behind in technological development compared to the iPhone, Android devices and webOS.
While the company's a leading device manufacturer, it stands to lose market share if it can't keep up the pace with the competition -- so these announcements are a welcome tool for wooing developers back to RIM.
But is it enough? Developers, tell us what you think in TalkBack.