Research In Motion has launched a beta of its BlackBerry Java software development kit version 7.0.
The BlackBerry 7 Java SDK provides a set of tools and APIs that enable developers to leverage key new features of the next generation of BlackBerry smartphones running the BlackBerry 7 OS, including the recently announced BlackBerry Bold 9900 and 9930 smartphones.
The BlackBerry 7 Java SDK enables developers to create rich applications, including gaming, augmented reality and NFC (near-field communication), RIM officials said. The BlackBerry 7 Java SDK also gives developers access to a comprehensive set of APIs and tools on the BlackBerry platform; the company said they can build and quickly bring to market interactive feature-rich mobile applications that provide users with outstanding experiences.
The BlackBerry 7 Java SDK features a host of new APIs, including the magnetometer APIs, which enable developers to create better navigation applications, augmented-reality applications and games requiring the orientation of the device to be changed. There also is a new Native Window API, which is critical for augmented-reality applications and allows OpenGL ES and Java UI elements to be rendered on a surface that overlays a native window, such as a camera, video viewfinder or Web browser.
The new SDK also features NFC APIs, which give developers the possibility to set and read the NFC chip to communicate with other NFC-enabled devices and build mobile-payment and e-commerce solutions. The SDK also features support for the OpenGL ES 2.0 standard, which allows developers to build compelling 3D mobile-gaming experiences with rich and vivid graphics. OpenGL ES is a royalty-free, cross-platform API for full-function 2D and 3D graphics on embedded systems, including consoles, phones, appliances and vehicles.
Meanwhile, RIM is also delivering new service APIs in this beta release, including new BlackBerry ID APIs to protect the user's information and location-based service API enhancements, including support for geo-fencing APIs.
The BlackBerry 7 Java SDK represents an attractive opportunity for developers to create and monetize applications for the BlackBerry ecosystem, which includes more than 150 million BlackBerry smartphones sold, with 14.9 million BlackBerry smartphones sold in RIM's fiscal fourth quarter of 2011 alone. RIM officials also said there are more than 43 million BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) users and growing, at 2 million per month; there are 3 million applications downloaded daily from App World; and RIM has more than 595 carrier and distribution partners in over 175 countries.
Developers can download the BlackBerry Java SDK v7.0 beta at the BlackBerry 7 landing page.