BlackBerry Developers Conference 2009 (Updated with Video!)

Payment Service & Location-Aware Blackberry Apps

Payment Service for in-app Transactions and Streamlined Payment Processes

RIM also announced the Payment Service which will give BlackBerry developers new chances to monetize apps by selling digital content such as premium content, monthly or annual subscriptions and additional levels or upgrades for games and other entertainment apps. The service incorporates merchant services, including customer billing. The service and SDK will be out mid-2010.

Push Service for Content Delivery and Alerts

The BlackBerry Push Service, first made exclusively to BlackBerry Alliance Program members early this year, will be made available to registered developers in the first half of 2010. The service allows developers and content providers to deliver time-sensitive alerts and up to 8KB of data of apps.

From in-app payment services to push services for content alerts, RIM aims to give developers all the tools they need to harness the capabilities of RIM's BlackBerry smartphones.

Advance Location-Aware BlackBerry Apps

To further increase the GPS capabilities supported on the BlackBerry Application Platform, RIM also introduced three new related services for developers. They are cell site geolocation, reverse geocoding and travel time.

  • Cell Site Geolocation: this new service provides developers with a GPS alternative, basically giving an estimate of the smartphone's location based on cell tower triangulation. It is faster than GPS, uses less battery power (useful for multi-taskers) and ideal for indoor use (when line-of-sight to satellites is impossible).Expect the service to appear in H1 of 2010 with support on smartphones with BlackBerry OS 5.0 or higher.
  • Reverse Geocoding: The second geo-location service announced is reverse geocoding, which converts geolocation coordinates to a specific address for use in BB apps. It is available today with BB smartphones running OS 5.0 or higher. An API is available with the beta version of the BlackBerry Java SDK 5.0 here .
  • Travel Time: The third geo-location service is travel time, which, using a simple API call, gives developers the ability to incorporate an estimated travel time within their apps for almost all destinations in the US and Canada. Travel time calculations will be based on distance, speed limits and aggregated traffic conditions. The service will then return values for an estimated arrival time, total travel time and total distance that can be used in an app. Expect this service by H1 of 2010.

Curtis Sasaki, demos real-time information feed that includes geo-location aware services.

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