RIM has also been happy to talk to developers and press about three important new software ‘plays’ that’ll be brought to most RIM devices. The three new developments are: WebWorks (an app creation tool served online), expanded support for commercial services through apps,and a new version of BlackBerry Messenger.
Let’s start with the new BlackBerry Messenger information release, as this is probably the one of the three you are most interested to hear about. The capabilities of Blackberry Messenger are going to expanded wide open for developers, as Research In Motion has extended the possible Messenger functions that can be now be embedded into other applications. Following the social-web direction towards which everyone seems to be going, RIM is trying to position Messenger as the new ground level of a social platform, creating a platform that other applications can intersect and extend from. Now developers will have the ability to easily interface Messenger abilities — such as sending invitations, or sending files — into their own applications. For example, a new Blackberry game coming out could use Messenger to facilitate the multiplayer components — one second you’re chatting to your buddy in Messenger, and from there, you easily can initiate a MP game.
As for expanded support for commercial services, this basically boils down to two key things. First, RIM is introducing a payment service software development kit, which will take care of all the nuts and bolts of a digital payment system (such as through Paypal, or your credit card, etcetra) for app makers. This should encourage app development for the company, as it one major less thing to worry about for software developers. Additionally, there will also be a new advertising service deal offered. Research In Motion will allow app-makers to put in visual or textual ads, somewhat similar to, say, Google Adsense, and the revenue will be split 60% to the developer, 40% to RIM. This will only take up 3 lines of code in the applications, the company says.
All of these, when added up, equate to a pretty substantial amount of encouragement for developers to start working away on new programs for RIM devices everywhere. And with over 23 million Blackberries out there, the market certainly is large enough to accommodate all new apps.
Overall, the development conference has been filled with positives for Research In Motion — and it isn’t over yet. Research In Motion has been a big player in the scene for a while now, and it looks like they are doing what it takes to stay relevant and hold on to that market share in a increasingly competitive arena.