After the Keynote today at BlackBerry World the next big thing was the kickoff of BlackBerry Jam 10. This was the place to be if you are a BlackBerry developer as Alec Saunders, Vice President Developer Relations and Ecosystem Development at Research In Motion, introduced some new stuff BB10 as well as giving us some of the stats regarding the current app ecosystem for BlackBerry.
First of all Saunders has made it clear that RIM is targeting developers and wants to address their lack of apps in AppWorld, however we did get the feel that they want to make sure that the apps that are approved are quality ones and not simply adding “tonnage” for the sake of it. Saunders revealed that there are currently 95,000 apps in AppWorld, and 25% of those apps are for the PlayBook. This should not come as a surprise to anyone as RIM was handing out free PlayBooks to any developers that submitted an app and got it approved.
To help drive developers to make quality apps RIM is going to be starting a certification program for BlackBerry 10 apps. Getting your app approved under the certification program will not only push your app to the top of the list in AppWorld, but it will also garner you a cash incentive. The main incentive, a whopping $10,000, will be given out to developers that are selected by a third-party for their quality app submission. There will be more details regarding the incentive program as we approach the BB10 launch dates. RIM is truly showing that they want developers to feel welcome in the BlackBerry platform, as they are investing a total of $100 million into the overall ecosystem.
Now this wasn’t the only “bonus” for developers to come out of BlackBerry Jam today. Saunders also announced that any of the developers that are receiving a BlackBerry 10 Alpha Dev device will able to upgrade to a limited BlackBerry 10 device when they launch. Now there is one small caveat to this, and that is that you must submit an app and have it approved for AppWorld. This shouldn’t really be a problem for the developers in attendance, as that is why they are attending BlackBerry 10 Jam in the first place, to learn how to make BB10 apps.