Research In Motion has announced that it will be hosting two BlackBerry 10 port-a-thon events. One will be for Android developers, while the other one will be for general app developers.

The port-a-thons will start at noon on January 11, 2013, and will run for 36 hours. Developers can sit from the comfort of their homes or log in from their desks at work and they will have access to RIM experts to help them get their apps ported or built quickly.

RIM has also announced rewards for developers that are participating in the port-a-thon events. Android port-a-thon developers will get $100 per app for porting one or more approved apps, to a maximum of 20 paid applications per vendor. Porting five or more apps makes the developer eligible for a random draw for one out of 100 BlackBerry 10 Alpha Developer devices. More apps submitted after the fifth one gets the developer one additional entry for the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha device draw.


Developers, get your keyboards ready!

Developers taking part in the community port-a-thon get the same reward for the first tier of porting 1-to-5 apps. For the second tier of 5 to10 approved apps, the first 200 qualified participants receive a BlackBerry 10 Alpha Developer device, along with $100. The first ten qualified participants to port 10 or more apps get a paid trip to BlackBerry Jam Europe to celebrate the launch of BlackBerry 10, along with a Dev Alpha device and $100.

Those that don't get a Dev Alpha device or a trip to the Jam will get to be part of a random draw for a hundred BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha devices and ten trips to BlackBerry Jam Europe. For this, you have to have ported more than 5 apps, but not be part of the first 200 qualified participants for tier 2, or first 10 for tier 3.

According to an earlier report, RIM will be launching its BlackBerry 10 devices shortly after the launch event on January 30. The report states that Research in Motion is expected to unveil its devices on January 30, 2013 and will launch its devices four to six weeks after that. Hence, the time frame of the handsets reaching the market by March could be true. The report also goes on to note that the June launch of the QWERTY BlackBerry 10 devices is inaccurate as RIM states that the smartphone with the physical keyboard will be launched shortly thereafter.

Some key features of the new BlackBerry 10 OS are:

  • BlackBerry Flow and BlackBerry Hub: BlackBerry Flow is a new user experience that allows seamless navigation across open applications and the BlackBerry Hub. All messages, notifications, feeds and calendar events come into the BlackBerry Hub and no matter what the user is doing with the device, with a simple gesture, they can peek into the Hub at any time.
  • BlackBerry Keyboard: The BlackBerry Keyboard learns how you write and adapts to how you type so you can write faster and more accurately, giving you the kind of typing experience that BlackBerry devices are known for.
  • BlackBerry Balance: BlackBerry Balance offers the most elegant way to satisfy both customer and corporate needs without compromising on either. With BlackBerry Balance, personal apps and information are kept separate from work data, and the customer can switch from their personal to work profile with a simple gesture. The work profile is fully encrypted and secure, enabling organisations to protect their content and applications, while at the same time letting customers get the most out of their smartphone for their personal use.

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