We're seated in the blogger pit (which bears no resemblance to a casino pit, sadly) at the General Session of RIM's BlackBerry Developer Conference; it's scheduled to run a mind-boggling two and a half hours, but co-CEO Mike Lazaridis is scheduled to speak, so things could get interesting. Tune on in!
3:06PM We're wrapping up -- we'll be back with more coverage soon!
3:00PM Analytics services will be free to BlackBerry devs. Nice.
2:56PM Talking up BlackBerry Analytics Service now (more applause!).
2:51PM Now, the Java development lead from Poynt is all up in here.
2:49PM "When advertisers win, you win."
2:44PM SVP of business development for Millennial is taking the stage.
2:42PM Amobee, Mojiva, Lat49, Jumptap, and Millennial are the ad partners for RIM's new ad service.
2:41PM "With just five lines of code, your app could be prompting users to buy in-app upgrades."
2:40PM App World registration is now free for developers -- some applause from the audience.
2:39PM "We couldn't be more excited about carrier billing."
2:38PM Over 75 percent of App World downloads are for 5.0 devices or above -- Lessard is encouraging developers to start targeting those devices exclusively.
2:36PM Tyler Lessard, VP of developer relations, is on the stage.
2:32PM RIM's soliciting name ideas for its new open source community. Any good ones?
2:29PM "We're really excited about the open source announcement around WebWorks, and we're here to support you any way we can."
2:29PM The CEO of Sencha's up on the stage.
2:24PM And Henry Belmont from MLB's out. Sports!
2:21PM Now we're looking at a WebWorks personal finance app.
2:20PM Looking at a medical app written using WebWorks... HIPAA compliance is maintained because WebWorks enjoys the same level of security as other BlackBerry apps, apparently.
2:16PM WebWorks looks like it integrates with BBM, among multitudes of other native BBOS services. That's important.
2:13PM Now we're talking about WebWorks. Applause!
2:12PM Jeff Jackson, SVP of software, is on the stage.
2:12PM Now we've got a video up running through some recently-released BlackBerry apps.
2:11PM "BBM enables us to bring our vision of social reading to life."
2:10PM Oh no you did NOT just use The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo as your demo book, Kobo.
2:09PM Now we're seeing a demo of Kobo on a Torch. It's a glossy, pre-prepared video accompanied by bubbly music.
2:07PM Dan Leibu, CTO of Kobo, is up on the stage.
2:06PM Whoa, spontaneous applause when they mentioned that the developer tools are now Mac-compatible.
2:05PM Uh oh, Java code is up on the screen now. Things just got geeky (as if they weren't geeky enough already).
2:00PM Talking about applications for the platform -- embedding real-time chat, sharing content and data, inviting friends, creating "communities."
1:58PM Interestingly, BBM Social Platform is coming to all BlackBerrys with OS 4.6 and above, which Yach says accounts for over 90 percent of devices in the field. Commercial launch not until next spring.
1:57PM Now Yach's talking about BBM Social Platform.
1:55PM This Super Apps stuff is all well and good -- but shouldn't RIM have saved the big news for last?
1:54PM "An app tells you the temperature. A Super App integrates with your calendar to tell you to bring an umbrella to Seattle."
1:54PM "What's the difference between you and a superhero? They just have better stuff."
1:50PM Talking about Fixmo, Dictionary.com, and Xobni apps.
1:49PM What are Super Apps? Apps so seamlessly integrated that you can't tell you're multitasking. Huh.
1:48PM Oh hey, it's Super Apps!
1:48PM He just called voice the "killer app" for mobile phones. Seems like everyone's moving away from voice -- and devices like the PlayBook really underscore that.
1:46PM "It's always tough to speak after Mike, but today is especially tough."
1:46PM And Lazaridis is off the stage! CTO of Software David Yach is next.
1:45PM Breaking news: Naragyen is stoked about Flash on the PlayBook.
1:43PM "We've worked with QNX and Dan for many years, we've done some phenomenal stuff with them in cars."
1:43PM Here comes Adobe CEO Santanu Naragyen!
1:43PM And Dodge is off the stage. Dude's obviously super stoked about QNX.
1:42PM Adobe Air compatibility as well -- makes sense, considering full Flash 10.1 compatibility.
1:42PM "The web browser is going to be an absolute jewel."
1:41PM Supports WebWorks (just announced) along with a new Java VM and a native SDK at launch with full OpenGL support and POSIX compatibility. "This is going to be an incredible gaming platform for publishers and the players."
1:40PM "We've taken the experience from all these industries, and we've taken the past year to build this BlackBerry OS."
1:39PM Over 230 models of cars have QNX in them. Seems this platform's pretty well proven -- of course, whether it can translate to a consumer experience is a question that remains to be answered.
1:38PM Lazaridis to Dodge: "This sounds like a really powerful operating system." Vote of confidence right there!
1:37PM QNX is used in networking and power grid equipment, so it would seem to be pretty robust.
1:36PM "QNX is going to enable things that you have never seen before." Bold claim from the platform's founder.
1:35PM Cortex-A9 on both cores!
1:35PM Interestingly, Dodge calls it "kinnix."
1:34PM Here comes the founder of QNX, the PlayBook's OS -- Dan Dodge.
1:34PM 1GHz dual-core processors with symmetric multiprocessing, 1GB of RAM.
1:33PM "An amplified view of what's already on your BlackBerry."
1:33PM Compatible with existing BES servers out-of-the-box.
1:32PM HDMI out and display can show different content at the same time.
1:32PM Rear and front-facing cameras, both HD.
1:32PM "You can go straight from your PlayBook to a presentation."
1:31PM 1080p HD video, HDMI out.
1:31PM No-compromise web experience -- WebKit, HTML5, Flash 10.1 with hardware-accelerated video.
1:31PM 7-inch widescreen display.
1:31PM "Let me talk about the PlayBook. It's always on, and it's always mobile at 9.7 millimeters."
1:30PM "Introducing the first professional tablet."
1:30PM It's the BlackBerry PlayBook!
1:29PM Very stylized video, hard to say what's going on exactly, but we're seeing an e-reader app, full document viewing and editing, and pairing with a Torch.
1:28PM webOS-like card switching between apps.
1:28PM Looks like a BlackBerry tablet UI!
1:27PM "Let me show you what we mean by BlackBerry, amplified."
1:27PM "Recently, CIOs have been asking us to amplify BlackBerry. They've been asking us to make it work with larger screens."
1:26PM "We added multitasking -- from day one."
1:26PM "When we talked to CIOs over a decade ago, they told us we had to add professional-grade security."
1:23PM Mike's keeping it fast and furious here! Next announce: BlackBerry WebWorks. Make apps using web technologies (HTML5 and so on) alone -- no Java experience necessary.
1:23PM Next big announcements: BlackBerry Payments and BlackBerry Advertising Services... and they're exactly what you think. In-app micropayments and easy advertising using RIM as an ad clearinghouse.
1:21PM 35 million App World users worldwide.
1:21PM First big announcement: BBM being opened as a social platform for third-party applications.
1:19PM Over 28 million active BBM users, over 1.5 million new users per month. He calls it one of the fastest-growing social networks in the world.
1:18PM Number one smartphone in most of Latin America, the Netherlands, UK, and North America. Louder applause -- this time with some whoops and hollers.
1:17PM "We've just passed 50 million active subscribers worldwide." Brief applause from the crowd.
1:16PM "This is such an exciting time in the mobile industry, I just can't contain it!"
1:16PM Here comes Mike Lazaridis.
1:15PM We're seeing some fancy shots of the Torch and new features of BlackBerry 6 on the big screen. "Platform for Super Apps."
1:15PM Here we go!
1:14PM Still haven't started. A long five minutes, we'd say.
1:10PM Just spotted a Colorware Bold 9700 in the crowd... that's how you know it's getting real in here, folks.
1:07PM "Our program will begin in five minutes."
1:06PM We haven't started yet, but the house is definitely full.
1:03PM "Ladies and gentlemen, silence your BlackBerrys." Droid 2 will remain on full volume, we suppose.
1:00PM Adobe, AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon are listed as "gold sponsors" for the event. Didn't catch the T-Mobile logo up there, interestingly.
12:59PM We're guessing those aren't SurfBooks up there on the podium.
12:54PM Cannibal Corpse playing over the PA. No, kidding... it's a bunch of pop that we're not familiar with. We're squares, though.
12:40PM Press got first dibs, but the regular attendees -- developers, mainly -- are starting to file in. Looks like it's going to be a full (or nearly full) house.