BlackBerry 10 Gold SDK in November: RIM promises feature progress transparency

RIM has shared its BlackBerry 10 roadmap, confirming that the Gold SDK – the final version of the tools developers need to create apps for the platform – expected in November. According to the roadmap, the latest R6 SDK beta is up for download today, including a software update for the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha smartphone to add the BlackBerry App World storefront app and thus allow developers to share their apps with other Dev Alpha owners.

Next up is the R8 SDK Beta, which will drop in September. That will see a freeze on the APIs, and the binary will be guaranteed compatible with that of the Gold release. An intervening R9 SDK Beta will drop in October, before the Gold version the following month.

Each of the runtimes – Native, HTML5, Adobe Air and Android – will be polished and refined as the releases progress, though RIM warns that the functionality itself might arrive in fits & starts. "They each have different developer audiences" the company points out, :where APIs are prioritized based on what each of these communities are asking for."

However, the real meat is still to come. RIM has announced that it will be sharing the full feature release plans for each of the runtimes, with a list of "the top level line item deliverables" to accompany the SDKs themselves. That won't include the exact details of each feature, which the company says is for the sake of brevity, but there'll be a "flight arrival boards" layout detailing what the overall feature is, when it's due, and what the current status is.

"We're going to step out of the box and do something that we've never done before and quite frankly, something that I've rarely seen any tech company do in this industry" RIM says of the transparency decision. "These roadmaps should be available in a couple of weeks."

RIM frustrated developers and investors recently by admitting that BlackBerry 10 would be delayed from its previously-promised Q4 2012 release window and, instead, is due to arrive early in Q1 2013. The company faces lawsuits from investors who believe RIM broke misrepresentation rules in withholding true details of the state of BB10 development.