Cape Town - BlackBerry maker Research In Motion is courting developers in anticipation of the release of the new BlackBerry 10 platform.
RIM is offering developers an updated toolkit to encourage app development for the BlackBerry 10 ecosystem.
The Canadian-based company is under to pressure in the smartphone market amid competition from Apple's iPhone and devices running Google's Android operating system.
The updated toolkit includes two sets of application programming interfaces (APIs): An application invocation framework and Push APIs.
The former allows BlackBerry 10 applications to seamlessly interact with each other and the latter permits developers to send content to BlackBerry 10 devices through the company's infrastructure.
"This update provides enhancements to all four SDKs [software development kits] and introduces two key APIs that allow developers to integrate their apps deeply into the core BlackBerry 10 experience, creating a seamless flow between apps for BlackBerry 10 customers," said Christopher Smith, vice president, Handheld Application Platform & Tools at RIM.
New RIM CEO Thorsten Heins has acknowledged that the past year has been difficult for the company and is driving a process of cost cutting as the firm prepares to launch BlackBerry 10 in 2013.
RIM has also opened its BlackBerry App World Vendor Portal to allow developers to test applications on the new platform as well as compare notes on application performance.
The company has been on the charm offensive with developers at several events over the past year to facilitate easy adoption of the new BlackBerry platform.
"Over 5 000 developers have attended BlackBerry 10 Jam events and more than 5 000 BlackBerry Dev Alpha test devices will be seeded from these events," RIM said.
In an apparent nod to the exponential growth of Android, RIM announced the expansion of support for the platform with API support for the operating system.
"The BlackBerry 10 SDK for Adobe AIR and the BlackBerry 10 Runtime for Android Apps tools have also been updated with the AIR tools now supporting both Push APIs and the invocation framework. The Android tools now support: In-app payment; camera; and multi-window support APIs," RIM said.
While the company has been taking a beating in the developed markets of the US and Europe, it still dominates developing markets like SA and India.