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November 8, 2009

RIM unveils new services platform for BlackBerry developers

To streamline business processes and build responsive, location-aware applications

By CBR Staff Writer

Research In Motion (RIM) has unveiled a new services platform for developers that will enable them to streamline business processes and build responsive, location-aware applications for BlackBerry smartphones. The new services platform will offer advertising, payment, content push and new location services.

The company said that the new BlackBerry Advertising Service will allow developers to integrate advertising into their BlackBerry applications. With this service, RIM intends to provide developers with access to a large pool of ad units from advertising networks.

RIM said that new BlackBerry Payment Service will present developers with new opportunities to monetise applications by selling digital content such as premium content, monthly or annual subscriptions. It will also incorporate merchant services, including customer billing.

According to RIM, BlackBerry Push Service, which was made available to BlackBerry Alliance Program members earlier this year, will be made generally available to registered developers in the first half of 2010. It allows developers and content providers to deliver time-sensitive alerts and up to 8KB of data to applications.

In addition, RIM also plans to introduce three new location-based services for developers to build responsive, location-aware applications for BlackBerry smartphones. These services include cell site geolocation, reverse geocoding and travel time, which will be supported on BlackBerry smartphones running OS 5.0 or higher.

Cell site geolocation will provide developers with an alternative to GPS, providing an estimate of a smartphone’s location based on cell tower triangulation. Reverse geocoding service converts geolocation coordinates to a specific address for use in BlackBerry applications. Travel time service allow developers to incorporate estimated travel time within their applications for any destination in the US and Canada, the company said.

Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO at Research In Motion, said: “The BlackBerry ecosystem is thriving and with the new services platform announced today we will help developers further monetise their applications and build breakthrough, highly responsive, location-aware applications for BlackBerry smartphones.”

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