BlackBerry used its Jam Europe developer event this month to update the BlackBerry 10 developer toolkit and open up app submissions in the BlackBerry World storefront vendor portal for its new smartphones.
Research in Motion (now renamed simply BlackBerry) launched the BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10 smartphones on January 3. The firm has noted that the BlackBerry 10 platform came with an arguably not unimpressive 70,000 apps at launch.
BlackBerry's VP of developer relations Alec Saunders said that the updated tools for building or tweaking applications for the new devices will allow developers to optimize their apps to run on the smartphone's 720 x 720 display. The toolkit also contains a new BlackBerry Q10 simulator. Apps built natively for BlackBerry 10 using the Cascades framework have built-in functionality that automatically adjusts to various screen specifications.
The details of the SDK additions are posted on the online roadmaps for each of the runtimes. The focus of these SDK updates is not on new functionality, but instead around updates needed to support the 1:1 form factor and screen resolution, allowing programmers to build a single application for both the full touch and physical keyboard devices.
This release brings with it an updated Q10 Simulator, but no SDK OS update for the BlackBerry Dev Alpha testing devices. The SDK update is specifically targeted at providing testing support using the BlackBerry Q10 simulator and BlackBerry Dev Alpha C testing devices.
BlackBerry also announced that 12,000 Limited Edition smartphones are being built exclusively for developers who created apps in time for launch. Developers who had previously qualified to receive a BlackBerry Dev Alpha A or B testing device, and who have an application submitted on BlackBerry World, may apply to swap the testing device unit for the red, limited edition model of the BlackBerry Z10.