RIM woos Kenyan developers with BlackBerry 10
SEEING the varied talents and interests in mobile applications development in Kenya, Research In Motion (RIM) has joined other global gadget makers in trying to court local developers to use its platforms.
The maker of BlackBerry smartphones and BlackBerry PlayBook tablets last Friday provided Kenyan mobile developers with an opportunity to learn more about the capabilities of its BlackBerry 10 operating system.
The forum dubbed BlackBerry 10 Mini jam provided insights into the BlackBerry 10 experience, architecture and tools. It attracted more than 50 local apps developers.
With the jam, the Kenyan developers joined the list of partners around the world creating apps for the new BlackBerry platform.
RIM is in efforts to regain the global market share it has lost to Apple and Google's Android. It is already behind in getting independent developers and content producers to build apps which has been making the BlackBerry much less attractive to consumers.
To date, RIM has brought BlackBerry 10 developer events to cities across North America, Europe, the Asia Pacific and now in Africa.
“The BlackBerry platform already provides significant opportunities for the developer community in Kenya. There is high demand for more tools and knowledge to create local services and apps, but also, a strong desire to reach a global audience of millions of BlackBerry customers,” said Waldi Wepener, Regional Director for East, West and Central Africa at RIM during the event.
In Kenya, it joins the likes of Nokia, Samsung, LG and Huawei who have been supporting apps development in the recent past.
Wepener said the Nairobi event gave RIM confidence in this market seeing the level of excitement among Kenyan mobile developers for the BlackBerry® 10 platform.
He re-affirmed the company’s commitment towards providing an enabling environment for local developers to use their best skills to quickly create apps with great user experience.
RIM has transformed the developer experience with BlackBerry 10, creating an open platform to enable developers to leverage their range of existing skills, while at the same time providing them with powerful new tools to simplify the development process.
Currently in beta, the BlackBerry 10 developer toolkit includes the BlackBerry 10 Native SDK with cascades, which allows developers to create graphically rich, high performance native applications in C/C++.
The Native SDK for BlackBerry 10 has a rich set of APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) that give developers access to core device features and a range of BlackBerry application services, such as push and payment services.
Among the apps showcased during the BlackBerry 10 Mini jam was iAfya app which allows users to quickly and easily find comprehensive and trusted health information and resources at their fingertips from any location.
The app has already been launched and can be downloaded for free on the BlackBerry App World storefront for all BlackBerry smartphones running the BlackBerry 7 OS (or higher). These include the BlackBerry Curve 9320 and BlackBerry Curve 9220 which was recently launched in this market.
Another app concept pitched during the event by George Murage, a local business developer enables smart scanning and comparing fat content in foods before purchase.
“The one-on-one expert guidance on creating BlackBerry 10 apps from the RIM team will enable local developers to build better mobile apps in various languages, and more importantly, help build an ecosystem to support Kenyan consumers when BlackBerry 10,” the developer said.