Introducing the New BlackBerry Beta Zone!


BlackBerry Beta Zone members area

I’m very happy to introduce to you today to BlackBerry® Beta Zone. Research In Motion (RIM) has had a beta site for invite-only beta programs for some time now, but as of today BlackBerry Beta Zone is open to the general populace.

BlackBerry Beta Zone is designed to allow BlackBerry smartphone users to engage early and often with upcoming RIM products and services. BlackBerry Beta Zone will sit side by side with the BlackBerry App World™ Test Center as part of RIM’s continuous effort to work with our dedicated BlackBerry community to bring the best products to market and evolve existing products.

There’s a lot to talk about today, so let’s get started walking through the brand new BlackBerry Beta Zone.

BlackBerry Beta Zone vs. BlackBerry App World Test Center

Those familiar with the BlackBerry App World Test Center may be wondering how the new BlackBerry Beta Zone will fit in. It’s important to note that while the BlackBerry App World Test Center features third party BlackBerry smartphone applications, BlackBerry Beta Zone will be solely for RIM products. In addition, certain products will be placed into the BlackBerry Beta Zone much earlier in the development cycle. As the application moves closer towards final release, it may be placed in the BlackBerry App World Test Center.

If you’d like to test the some of newest products currently in development within RIM, sign up for BlackBerry Beta Zone. If you’d like to peruse the latest BlackBerry applications that are almost ready for primetime, visit the BlackBerry App World Test Center. Better yet, do both!

BlackBerry Beta Zone Getting Started

The first thing to do if you’re interested is sign up! Head on over to to register and fill out the required information to become a BlackBerry Beta Zone member (note: at this time BlackBerry Beta Zone is only available to residents of Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. We’re working to extend the BlackBerry Beta Zone community across the globe so watch for the site to open to more countries in the coming months.).

After filling out the registration information and agreeing to the Terms and Conditions (make sure to read carefully, as important information is contained within!), you will receive an email with a validation link. Click the link to confirm your registration and you’re now a BlackBerry Beta Zone Member! Remember there are beta programs that will be tied to specific devices or carriers, so you may not be eligible to participate in every beta offered.

BlackBerry Beta Zone profile

Your BlackBerry Beta Zone Profile

Now that you’re registered, you’ll have full access to the BlackBerry Beta Zone Members Area (see below for more info) and can start applying to be part of the beta programs that interest you. Before entering the Members Area, make sure to update your BlackBerry Beta Zone Profile first! While this information is entirely optional—you can answer all, some or none of the questions in each of the profile—it does help us match you with future programs. Failing to keep your profile information up to date means you might miss out on an important beta program invite! The current profile segments are: Contact, BlackBerry Smartphone, Technology, Work, Time, Languages, Lifestyle and Demographic Info.

BlackBerry Beta Zone members area

BlackBerry Beta Zone Members Area

BlackBerry Beta Zone programs

Now that you’ve filled out your profile, you’re ready to take advantage of BlackBerry Beta Zone’s Members Area. There’s a lot of information in the Members Area and some great features to take advantage of – polling, the discussion boards, surveys… etc. – that we’ll cover in upcoming posts. For now, I want to highlight the most important part of the Members Area: the beta programs widget!

The beta programs widget displays all beta programs you’re currently participating in, all programs you’ve been invited to participate in (see, filling out your profile information is important!), and any other beta programs you may be eligible for. Below is a list of the beta programs that will be available at launch. We’ll be covering these more in-depth in a future post.

  • BlackBerry® Device Software 5.0 maintenance release for the BlackBerry® Curve™ 8520 and BlackBerry® Curve™ 8530 smartphones. This program will be open to members who live in Canada and will be capped at 1000 participants.
  • BlackBerry® Messenger 5.0.1. This program will be open to all members.
  • BlackBerry® Enterprise Server 5.0.2. This program will be limited to invited organizations only. Stay tuned for more information in future posts on recommending organizations for beta program invites.
  • BlackBerry® Beta Zone. This program will be open to any members. This program will be about the BlackBerry Beta Zone itself. It will not include any product software.

BlackBerry Beta Zone welcome

Signing up for BlackBerry Beta Zone Programs

Once you’ve found a beta program you’d like to participate in, click the beta program widget link. You’ll be taken to a program page providing more information about the product in question and will have the option to participate or decline. Once you’ve agreed to participate, you will be provided download links (if applicable) and feedback options for that specific product. Again, not all beta programs will be offered to all people.

That’s enough BlackBerry Beta Zone information for now! Head to, become a member, and start signing up for beta programs. And don’t forget to provide feedback – BlackBerry Beta Zone is in beta too!

Stay tuned for more posts on the BlackBerry Beta Zone coming soon.

About Douglas Soltys

Word Czar. Web 7.0 (in beta). Blogs and tweets and wonders.

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  • Wilson

    Hey RIM, I am a long time BB user & fan. I understand the business reason for a phased, geographical approach to rolling out BBBZ. However, don't you think it rather short sighted of you to give me this error message:

    “We're sorry, the application form is currently only available in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.”

    Come on! Instead of such an unfriendly message, allow me to sign up for an alert when global access is granted. Rather disappointing experience for a forward-looking attempt at harnessing your user base.

    ps: Just saw the HTC Evo announcement & specs. Hope you guys are keeping pace.

    -BB Fan

  • venukb

    Nice to see the program opening up for all users;
    When can we expect this to be rolled out in India ?

  • byron9

    It keeps saying an unexpected error has occured when i try to sign up. Don't know if it's just me??

  • Eric Tonn

    “An unexpected error has occurred.”

    Got this error 2x. I live in the US and have a 9700. What gives?

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  • @_Linton

    I am getting the same message…I am an avid beta tester…let me in!! … please.

  • Jason

    Aw, its only for those countries, how about the world? If you want a larger market share, more apps and more users, don't limit yourself to just 3 countries.

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  • Josep Maria

    Rest of the world exist!!! RIM have to learn that have customers in all the World, and RIM is a WorldWide Company. I hate these situations, always available on First RIM World and in a few days? months? years? available for the rest of the World, the Second RIM World.

  • Caspan

    This is a great announcement Douglas! To open software testing to the public will allow harding of your software before they are released.

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  • Teo


    Great idea!

    I am from Croatia and I have been using Blackberry devices for over four years.
    Can`t wait to become a Beta Zone member. So, hurry up withother countries ;-)!

    Crackberry user

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  • Caspan

    Rest of the world exists I agree but this is a business and you supply the nations that make you the money first. They should make it open to everyone but most software is made for North America first then translated for other places. I hear your pain but sometimes number speak volumes to companies. RIM is in the business of making money. They like to make people happy too but its all about money

  • blackberry

    this is like one giant leap of advancement with blackberry, they are competitive enough for apple's iphone to think about remodelling their apps into much more effecient and reliable application.

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  • Brian Goldsmith

    I was interested in joining up and was filling in the application form. All went well until I had to select my phone but you did not have Storm2 9520 as option so it was a failure.

  • BlackBerryHelp_Pavel


    You were not able to select BlackBerry Storm 2 9520 smartphone because at this time BlackBerry Beta Zone is only available to residents of Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. We’re working to extend the BlackBerry Beta Zone community across the globe so watch for the site to open to more countries in the coming months.

    Thank you

  • Thomas@Blackberry phone

    BlackBerry Beta Zone here I am !!

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