RIM announces its next OS: BBX

QNX, Android, HTML5, WebGL, Flash and open source: BBX-OS promises to support almost everything mobile except BlackBerry.

"This is strictly a developer release, it is not indicative at all of what the final PlayBook 2.0 release will be," Saunders said.

RIM is also launching a new version of the BlackBerry WebWorks SDK 2.2 for building HTML5 apps, as well as the WebKit-based Ripple emulator for testing WebWorks and HTML5 apps either on a desktop PC or in a viewer directly on a PlayBook.

RIM is porting key open source framework and libraries like SQLite, Box2D and CouchDB to BBX.

BBX-OS also includes a new user interface framework called Cascades for native hardware accelerated animations and graphical effects in applications. It's built on top of QtCore but aimed at both developers and designers, in much the same way as Microsoft's Expression Blend tools for building Metro apps.

"This is the future of mobile computing," said RIM VP Chris Smith; "the user interfaces are going to change, with 3D being used not just frivolously but for something useful in the app. Nobody else has this level of capability baked into a framework for developers to access."

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