With the release of its BlackBerry 6 platform, Research In Motion (RIM) also has released a new development environment. The new software development kit paves the way for developers to create rich apps for the new phone platform.
the release of its BlackBerry 6 platform, Research In Motion also has released
a new development environment to help developers build apps that take advantage
of the new user enhancements, WebKit browser support and new services the new
has announced a new Java software development kit (SDK) to support BlackBerry
6, the company's highly anticipated new operating system for BlackBerry
smartphones. RIM officials said BlackBerry Java SDK v6.0 takes advantage of new
user interface (UI) features and offers deeper integration with BlackBerry
smartphones, access to new and enhanced services, and support for rendering and
porting content to the new WebKit-based browser.
opportunity for developers to create applications that tie to core applications
and features of the BlackBerry Application Platform has never been greater,"
said David Yach, chief technology officer for software at RIM, in a statement. "Our
veteran developers, as well as those who are new to the BlackBerry platform,
are going to be thrilled with the new APIs as well as the sleek and powerful
the new Blackberry Java SDK v6.0, developers can access more than 40 new APIs
that enable them to build visually rich and deeply integrated applications that
take advantage of the new features in BlackBerry 6, the company said. The new
SDK supports the new look in the BlackBerry 6 (UI) with new prebuilt UI
elements including contextual menus, tables, lists, inertial scrolling,
activity progress indicators, pane managers, tool bars, title bars and submenus.
the core of the new BlackBerry Browser is the WebKit rendering engine,"
said a RIM staffer identified as Michael on the BlackBerry
Developer's Blog. "WebKit is a high quality open source rendering
engine, which is used in many desktop and mobile web browsers. Our Browser
development team not only has the WebKit expertise of Torch Mobile (a leading
contributor in the WebKit community), but also years of RIM mobile expertise to
help ensure that the WebKit engine is optimized for mobile."
is no doubt the new BlackBerry Browser in BlackBerry 6 will be used more
frequently than any previous BlackBerry Browser," said a RIM blogger known
as Mike, who is the senior product manager responsible for browser development
on BlackBerry 6, in a post on the Inside
BlackBerry blog. "Powered by the new WebKit rendering engine, the
browsing experience is enjoyable, and the content and applications served to
the new browser are graphically rich. To help users make the most of this new
experience, we added a few new features to help access and manage more content."
new browser features advanced widgets that can be seamlessly integrated with
the browser and core native applications. BlackBerry Widgets and Web
applications designed for the BlackBerry Browser v 5.0 will be forward
compatible to the new browser.
with the added support of HTML5 in the new BlackBerry 6 Browser, Web developers
will be able to create content for BlackBerry smartphones that is run through
the Web, including compelling games and interactive media with 3D graphics in
real time and more.
addition, developers can use new APIs to more deeply integrate their
applications with various aspects of a BlackBerry smartphone's core
functionality, RIM said in its press release announcing the SDK. The Unified
Search Framework API enables developers to
register their application and their content partners to be searchable, as well
as provide a mechanism for in-app search. The Mapfield API
has been redesigned to provide enhanced features, including panning, zooming,
my location and convenience tool bars. Developers can call the Mapfield API
to customize the look of location data and can use multiple mapfields
simultaneously on the same screen for added user benefits.
the Location Service has been enhanced with a WiFi Geolocation API,
allowing developers to build applications that leverage a handset's location
based on its proximity to WiFi networks. The API
builds on the location-based service (LBS) features already available to
developers through cell tower location and GPS.
Reverse geocoding now allows applications to leverage ZIP/postal codes to
obtain local information. The Travel Time API
brings estimated time of arrival (ETA) information into applications. The ETA
is based on anonymous real-time crowd-sourced data combined with historical
Java SDK v6.0 is available for download at www.blackberry.com/developers/java.
Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.