RIM: BBX platform combines the best of BlackBerry and QNX

By on October 18, 2011, 3:00 PM

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion has officially announced the next-generation operating system that will power all of the company's devices going forward. Up until now BlackBerry OS served as the foundation for their smartphones while a QNX-based variant powered their PlayBook tablet. With today's announcement RIM is taking the next logical step forward and unifying both efforts under a new mobile platform named BBX.

RIM's co-CEO Mike Lazaridis made the unveiling at today's BlackBerry DevCon conference and said that BBX will combine the best of QNX with the best features of their current BlackBerry operating system. The whole company is aligning behind a single platform and a single vision with BBX-powered tablets, smartphones and embedded devices.

Lazaridis promised an easier process for developers, more profits, and the ability to take advantage of the platform's upgraded gaming engine. BBX is set to incorporate enterprise and cloud services. It will also support applications developed using any of the tools available today for the BlackBerry PlayBook, including Native SDK, Adobe AIR, Adobe Flash, WebWorks, HTML5, as well as the long-promised BlackBerry Runtime for Android Apps.

RIM introduced a developer beta of PlayBook OS 2.0 that will finally bring Android compatibility. Developers can install a BlackBerry-specific plugin for the native Android development environment, Eclipse, or choose to re-package apps completely online through the new BlackBerry Packager for Android Apps.

Another interesting aspect of BBX looks to be the Cascades UI framework developed by The Astonishing Tribe, which RIM acquired in 2010. The company hopes it will allow the company to introduce “super apps” that are deeply integrated with one another, push services and BBM. At today's keynote, RIM demoed a sleek photo gallery app built with Cascades as well as a visual stream showing email, calls, BBM, SMS, Facebook, and Skype.

During his presentation Mike Lazaridis also countered criticism of its competitive position by sharing a few stats. According to the executive, RIM has sold 165 million BlackBerry smartphones to date and currently has 70 million subscribers, up from 50 million a year earlier, and 50 million BBM instant messaging users. Regarding the App World, Lazaridis claims it has served over 1 billion downloads, and that 13 percent of BlackBerry developers have made more than $100,000 compared with 1 percent of iOS developers who have more than $1,000.

Images and video footage from laptopmag.com

User Comments: 8

Got something to say? Post a comment
MrAnderson said:

I wish them the best. More competition is always best for the consumer... they just need to execute on the hardware, software, and services.

Butch said:

I really hope this works out for them. I recently switched back to Blackberry (like I always do) from Android. I have tried both Android and the iPhone extensively and always go back to my BB because it just works better for business. Plus, I don't play games on my phones, I have PC for that...Good luck RIM!

aj_the_kidd said:

The cascade UI demo in the video looks to be very promosing. With BBX and the ability to run Android Apps, RIM may not be dead after all, which is good, I like Android and iOS but there really does need to be more competition, end of the day we the consumer benefit the most.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I hate Blackberrys, I really do, but I have to admit, that was a pretty impressive demo for them. I thought I would never say this but... Good Luck RIM. You never know, make your phones reliable again and make the user experience better then I may just buy your products once again.

Guest said:

If there is no GSM cellular on Playbook, it can never compete

with Samsung Galaxy Tab.

It's still prototype, commercial BBX smartphone/Tablet release

date ... ???

Good Luck ? I get that in Vegas on BlackJack Table

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

Looking pretty good, hope they can turn things around.

Guest said:

let hope we get the Playbook v2.0 OS soonish, it needs a good boost to get it noticed @ work and start to make a name -- having native email/PIM and Skype on it would help a lot, as well as better Cisco VPN client......if iOS have a Anyconnect client, why can't QNX???

come on RIM, your on the edge of a break through, hopefully more devs will climb aboard.

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.