Blackberry Jam 10 & Blackberry World

One of the side benefits of putting on jQuery UK earlier this year was all the great new friends we at White October have made – these include attendees, speakers, sponsors, and people who wanted to attend but unfortunately couldn’t.

One of the companies who we have been in particular close contact with is Blackberry – their European Developer relations team have been great and always willing to answer questions we have when we are targeting their platform.

A couple of months ago I was contacted by one of the Blackberry team asking if I would like to attend the Blackberry 10 Dev Jam in Orlando where developers would be getting to play with the new Blackberry 10 mobile operating system.

This meant sitting in a nice Orlando hotel with a new, and very alpha, Blackberry 10 Mobile device. I signed up to lots of sessions which will help our development team learn how to deploy HTML5 apps on to not only the new Blackberry 10 platform, but also their existing platforms such as 6 and 7.

I went along to the Blackberry World Keynote, where I was introduced to the new 10 platform and its capabilities. Some of them looked pretty cool; the camera can reverse in time for example if the person closes their eyes after you’ve focused etc; it also starts recording video as soon as you focus.

Later on in the day I headed to the Blackberry 10 Dev Jam Keynote. This opened with a “rock video” starring the guys from the developer relations team, which was actually rather amusing. They poked fun at themselves and their rivals, and nicely put together overall.

Also managed to get some really interesting figures from the dev relations guys, e.g. they have given away 20,000 playbooks to developers, and have spent $100 million on developer relations outreach.

The remaining sessions that day were a pick-and-choose affair, so I went to a WebWorks HTML5 2 hour lab and got my hands on a dev alpha 10 device to play with, which was then taken off me as we wouldn’t get our own until the following morning.

I also got to play with the Ripple in Chrome emulator, which emulates not only WebWorks javascript apis, but also PhoneGap. I’m rather excited about the possibilities of Ripple for our PhoneGap testing, and have been showing this off ever since I got back.

We were then all taken to Universal Studios for an exclusive party – Blackberry had exclusive access to the whole park! The mind boggles at the cost of this… It was a pretty great evening and I got to meet up with the guys from again. (our training partners for jQuery UK)

The day after I was up bright and early, and pretty much first in line to get my own Dev Alpha device, which I then spent the morning enabling for development. By the end of the day, I had an application of sorts working on my device.

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