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BlackBerry creates new developer device with keyboard

updated 07:53 am EST, Tue February 5, 2013

Z10 Dev Alpha C joined by updated SDK, emulator, red Z10

BlackBerry has launched a new developer-specific smartphone designed to aid in creating BlackBerry 10 apps for devices with a physical keyboard. The BlackBerry Z10 Dev Alpha C was also announced at the same time as updates to the WebWorks SDK and the Ripple Emulator at the BlackBerry Jam Europe event held in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

The Dev Alpha C appears to be squarer than the recently-revealed BlackBerry Q10, as well as having a straighter keyboard layout. Specifications were not revealed for the device, though it is likely to have similar, if not the same, internals as the Q10. According to Crackberry, only developers that have an app in BlackBerry World will be able to register to receive the device now, with developers adding apps now having to wait two weeks to get their own.

The WebWorks software development kit will help developers create apps for BlackBerry 10 by helping provide ways to perform fairly standard functions on the devices. For example, it is able to trigger the virtual keyboard on the Z10, handle inputs from the Q10's physical keyboard when not in a mode for text entry, and other HTML5 events. The Ripple Emulator now has options to emulate both the BlackBerry Z10 and Q10, according to the company's developer blog, with developers able to choose what screen sizes they wish to view their app in, in order to test app layouts on the platform.

As a "thank you" to BlackBerry app developers, the company will also be sending out 12,000 limited edition BlackBerry Z10 devices in red. Just like the developer devices, this is not available to the general public, though this could change in the future.

by MacNN Staff



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