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BlackBerry 10 developers get final box of goodies

BlackBerry 10 OS out of beta with full commercial launch on 11 December

BlackBerry maker RIM says software development kits (SDKs) for its new BlackBerry 10 operating system will "come out of beta" and have their full commercial launch on 11 December.

BlackBerry 10 is seen by industry and financial analysts as the last throw of the dice by RIM to win back market share in the smartphone market, after losing it to the likes of Apple, Google Android and Samsung, and the company itself has heavily trumpeted its arrival next year.

RIM has just announced a series of modifications to its BlackBerry 10 developer programme.

Alec Saunders, RIM vice president of developer relations and ecosystems, said, "Developers asked for hardware to test their apps, and we delivered. They asked for the roadmap about the tools, and we posted it. They asked for RIM to show our confidence in developer success, and we're doing it."

The BlackBerry Dev Alpha program is expanding to include a BlackBerry Dev Alpha C test device for developers who want to test applications on a BlackBerry 10 device with a physical keyboard.

Also, developers currently testing their applications on BlackBerry Dev Alpha test devices can now apply to be eligible for a limited edition BlackBerry 10 device. RIM will swap a BlackBerry Dev Alpha test device for a limited edition BlackBerry 10 smartphone after the launch.

And developers can submit their apps for testing to earn the Built for BlackBerry designation, which "will signify a high-level of quality for customers", and receive $10,000 in the process.

BlackBerry 10 SDK has also got its latest update this week. It includes full support for installing the BlackBerry 10 IDE on Mac OS X, an update to the Visual Studio Plug-In beta, forward compatibility for BlackBerry WebWorks HTML5 apps, and sensor and orientation APIs for BlackBerry WebWorks.

BlackBerry 10 will get a commercial launch on 30 January when two new smartphones are launched.

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