The first day of BlackBerry Jam Asia 2013 in Hong Kong saw top executives from BlackBerry discussing about the growing momentum of the BlackBerry World and the arrival of apps from top brands to the BlackBerry 10 (BB 10) platform.
Opening the stage at the developer conference was Alec Saunders, Vice President of Developer Relations, who reassured the developer community and journalists that the company is still here and "still going strong". Saunders emphasized that the company remains focused on scaling the BB app environment and the BB 10 OS.
To prove his point on the growing momentum of the BB 10 OS, Saunders stated that there are a total of 131,708 apps in BlackBerry World now. Considering that BB 10 OS was launched 7 months ago, he considered that as an impressive feat compared to the initial launch of Apple iOS and Google Android. Martyn Mallick, Vice President of Global Alliances and Business Development, reiterated that BlackBerry World is going strong with more than 70 carriers in more than 46 countries.
BlackBerry took the chance to highlight several apps from top brands that are coming or are already in BlackBerry World. Some of these apps include Bloomberg, Evernote, ABC, E! Online, NBC, Despicable Me: Minion Rush, Doodle Jump, Zalora, Channel NewsAsia and Flipboard. Several interesting numbers were also mentioned throughout the presentation, which include:
One of the most significant apps that is coming to BlackBerry World is Sina Weibo, which is a very popular micro-blogging social website in China. Expected to be available in a few days, Weibo is developed as a native app for BB 10 OS and will be integrated with as an account in the platform.
Another popular mobile instant messaging app, WeChat, is already available on BlackBerry World. Andy Lau, Chief Marketing Officer of MNC Tencent, was present at the conference to give a live demonstration of the WeChat app where he recorded and sent a voice clip. The next version of WeChat is slated for a release in late October.
Thanks to a Vietnamese developer, BB 10 has a digital voice recognition assistant app that functions like Apple's Siri and Google Now. Simply known as SayIt, the app has garnered more than 100,000 downloads in just 90 days! During the demonstrations, SayIt was able to give the user information on the current weather condition, the latest population statistics in Hong Kong and even play music on the device.
Aside from developers' apps, BlackBerry also showcased one of its many mobile computing concept apps. One of the more interesting and practical ones is the mirroring of BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) onto a Windows PC. It functions somewhat similar to a remote desktop, where BBM is projected from the BB 10 device to the PC. The user is able to receive and reply from the PC itself. Unfortunately, BlackBerry said that this is merely a concept to showcase the capabilities of BB 10 to developers.