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Get ready to gag on RIM’s technical excellence: BlackBerry 10’s web browser has just leapt neatly over a huge hurdle, one of Facebook’s home-brewed tests for mobile browser performance.
Ringmark is a set of tests Facebook developed to challenge mobile browsers on basic standards: Can the browser access the device’s camera, does it have the software to run games or play music, etc.
The test suite starts with Ring 0 — most modern mobile web browsers clear that hurdle — and progresses to Ring 1 and Ring 2. Most mobile browsers don’t make it all the way through the Ring 1 tests, and even desktop web browsers have a hard time with some of the tests in Ring 2.
So far, only two mobile browsers have cleared Ring 1: Dolphin, a relatively obscure browser, and now the BlackBerry 10 browser. All this is, of course, part of RIM’s big plan to woo developers to BlackBerry 10, because more and better apps mean more and more satisfied users, at least theoretically.
“The browser team here at RIM has been working closely with the HTML5 experts at Facebook, who developed the Ringmark HTML5 test suite, to ensure the BlackBerry 10 browser would meet the standard,” writes Matthew Staikos today on the RIM developer blog.
“By meeting the Ringmark Ring 1 benchmark standard, developers can add a level of advanced functionality to their HTML5 apps and be confident that the BlackBerry 10 browser can execute the app without problem.”
The BlackBerry 10 team is continuing to work on the standards tested in the demanding Ring 2 benchmark and is part of the W3C CoreMob group for improving the mobile web.
Now, while all this is super duper hunky dory, we would be remiss in our duties as a**holes if we didn’t also mention that BlackBerry’s brand and business are both in huge trouble and that we have serious doubts a little (or a lot of) mobile web spit and polish will save the platform now.
RIM device mobile web share dropped 25 percent year over year, and according to some reports, many retailers are selling few or no BlackBerry units some months.
Time will tell whether this technical excellence will lead to business revitalization.
Top image courtesy of siamionau pavel, Shutterstock