Press Release: Open GL ES Support, Java GUI Builder and Theme Studio to Help BB Developers Generate Dynamic User Experiences

By Bla1ze on 9 Nov 2009 12:00 pm EST
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OpenGL On BlackBerry

This is likely one of the announcements everyone has been waiting to hear. The question has come up lots in the past while. "When or will BlackBerry ever support OpenGL graphics?" Let us wonder no more. Today as the BlackBerry Developers Conference starts off it's full steam ahead for OpenGL graphics acceleration from here on out.

The information didn't stop there when it came to creating rich content for BlackBerry devices. Research In Motion announced the availability of the all new BlackBerry Theme Studio 5.0, which replaces the previously available Plazmic Content Developer’s Kit and features the ability to import Adobe Photoshop files to BlackBerry Theme Builder, add ringtones and build screen transitions such as zooming, sliding, wiping and fading within themes. Ringtones and screen transitions are supported for BlackBerry smartphones running BlackBerry OS 5.0 and higher. Also, with the new theme builder came the announcement of themes being added to BlackBerry App World, full details on that later.

In addition to all this graphical goodness, one more announcement came in the way of interfacing with our BlackBerry smartphones. RIM announced an upcoming GUI builder that integrates into the BlackBerry Java Plug-in for Eclipse will make it faster and easier for Java developers to build user interfaces for BlackBerry applications. Developers will be able to rapidly create and localize complex user interfaces with a WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) view and drag and drop capabilities. The Java GUI builder will also allow developers to easily preview their user interface design on different BlackBerry smartphones. Read on for the full press release, this is some great stuff to see right here folks.

Press Release

RIM Announces BlackBerry Application Platform Enhancements to Foster Rich Content Development

Open GL ES Support, Java GUI Builder and Theme Studio to Help Developers Generate Dynamic User Experiences

2009 BlackBerry Developer Conference – San Francisco – Research In Motion (RIM) (Nasdaq: RIMM; TSX: RIM) today announced enhancements to the BlackBerry® Application Platform that will further enable developers to rapidly develop rich content and applications. The enhancements include support for OpenGL® ES for the development of 3D games and graphics; an upcoming Java® GUI builder for the rapid development of user interfaces for BlackBerry applications; and BlackBerry® Theme Studio for the creation of themes for BlackBerry® smartphones.

“We are making it easier than ever for developers, hobbyists and content providers to build graphic-rich experiences for BlackBerry smartphones,” said Alan Brenner, Senior Vice President, BlackBerry Platform at Research In Motion. “These new features will help drive a multitude of engaging themes, games and applications for BlackBerry smartphone users.”

OpenGL ES Support Enables 3D Games and Graphics for BlackBerry Smartphones

With OpenGL ES support, Java developers will have the ability to build 3D games and graphics for BlackBerry smartphones running BlackBerry OS 5.0 and higher. The OpenGL ES support is available through an update of the BlackBerry® Java® Software Development Kit (BlackBerry Java SDK). A beta version of the BlackBerry Java SDK 5.0 including OpenGL ES support is available at http://na.blackberry.com/eng/developers/devbetasoftware/javasdk5.jsp

GUI Builder for BlackBerry Java Plug-in for Eclipse to Simplify User Interface Design

An upcoming GUI builder integrated into the BlackBerry Java Plug-in for Eclipse will make it faster and easier for Java developers to build user interfaces for BlackBerry applications. Developers will be able to rapidly create and localize complex user interfaces with a WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) view and drag and drop capabilities. The Java GUI builder will also allow developers to easily preview their user interface design on different BlackBerry smartphones.

The GUI builder for the BlackBerry Java Plug-in for Eclipse will be previewed this week at the 2009 BlackBerry Developer Conference (www.blackberrydeveloperconference.com). It is expected to be available in mid 2010.

New BlackBerry Theme Studio Enables Easy Theme Design, Illustration and Animation

RIM is also announcing the availability of BlackBerry Theme Studio – a free suite of theme design, illustration and animation tools that make it easier to create custom interfaces (themes) for BlackBerry smartphones running BlackBerry OS 4.2.2 and higher, including the new BlackBerry® Storm2™ and BlackBerry® Bold™ 9700 smartphones.

BlackBerry Theme Studio includes:

  • BlackBerry Theme Builder – a design tool for customizing a smartphone’s user interface, including the home screen layout, fonts, icons, message list colors, cursors, dialog boxes and home screen application icons.
  • BlackBerry Composer – an illustration and animation tool for creating animated SVG graphics that can be used to add animation to theme buttons and backgrounds as well as animate web sites and applications for BlackBerry smartphones.
BlackBerry Theme Studio 5.0, which replaces the previously available Plazmic Content Developer’s Kit™, features the ability to import Adobe Photoshop files to BlackBerry Theme Builder, add ringtones and build screen transitions such as zooming, sliding, wiping and fading within themes. Ringtones and screen transitions are supported for BlackBerry smartphones running BlackBerry OS 5.0 and higher.

RIM also announced today that themes for BlackBerry smartphones can now be submitted to BlackBerry App World™.

BlackBerry Theme Studio is available for free and can be downloaded at www.blackberry.com/themestudio.

For more information about the BlackBerry Application Platform, visit www.blackberry.com/developer.

About Research In Motion (RIM)                       

Research In Motion is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of innovative wireless solutions for the worldwide mobile communications market. Through the development of integrated hardware, software and services that support multiple wireless network standards, RIM provides platforms and solutions for seamless access to time-sensitive information including email, phone, SMS messaging, Internet and intranet-based applications. RIM technology also enables a broad array of third party developers and manufacturers to enhance their products and services with wireless connectivity. RIM’s portfolio of award-winning products, services and embedded technologies are used by thousands of organizations around the world and include the BlackBerry wireless platform, the RIM Wireless Handheld™ product line, software development tools, radio-modems and software/hardware licensing agreements. Founded in 1984 and based in Waterloo, Ontario, RIM operates offices in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. RIM is listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market (Nasdaq: RIMM) and the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: RIM). For more information, visit www.rim.com or www.blackberry.com.
29 comments

HorizonXP

RIM knows that developer support is key to their success. This announcement is fantastic news, as it will allow developers like me to create better looking applications for users. While I'm still a proponent of functionality over eye-candy, the fact is that with the flashyness of other smartphones, BlackBerry's appeal has been waning.

We just have to face the fact that "Sex sells." Glad to see RIM recognising this and moving in the right direction.

afropoika

I was wondering if OpenGL support actually required special hardware. I did not believe until now that BlackBerrys have a capable graphics processor, but provided that the announcement was made for all OS 5.0 supporting devices, doesn't this actually mean the BlackBerry hardware is MUCH more capable than what it currently is used for? I am excited for any other "upgrades" that will come. Excellent I must say, to see this change happen. Go RIM!

Cyrilmak

Both the Storms have one of the fastest processors on the planet, both sporting open GL numbers superior to that of the PSP. Up until now however the API for Open GL was not released from RIM, so no developers could take advantaged of the already very powerful hardware in both the Storm 1 and Storm 2.

thablackguy#CB

this sounds like we may not only be getting some awesome games to compete with iphone's games but also a fancy new looking os !! one that ppl can customize without paying for an 10 buck theme. (which i'd never buy lol)

cadsystems

I hope this all makes Guitar Toolkit possible. I saw that app on a friends device and it was amazing what it could do. Tune the guitar, show you some chords, etc. I wrote the developer an email and they said they did not have any current plans for Blackberry development but maybe in the future, hopefully that future is here?

Lumute

Does that mean that any Device that can run OS 5.0 (like the Storm 1) will have OpenGL support?

If that is the case that that is really awesome, although the memory in S1 may be too small to hold good games but still good to have...

HorizonXP

According to the Dev Blog livefeed, both of the Storms will support OpenGL. All OS 5.0 devices will eventually, but for now, it's just the Storms.

VANGUARD_HD2

I hope older devices will be supported too!

VANGUARD_HD2

All rim needs to do now is have apps run from the SD card and we're good to go!

xeroslash

Agree 100% with nemesis. If my Wii can update to play from the SD card, so can my Storm :)

Topher75

Nemesis got it right! We need to be running apps off cards. If we could do that, I'd be downloading way more stuff.

pkn068

What kind of time does this take to be implemented? Are we talking months or years for openGL?

raoult

The press release states that a beta sdk is currently out with OpenGL support.

grundyman

i dont know what the hell any of this mean, but im happy because all of you are happy . so this must mean something ..

over and out , breaker one nine may day, may day

LOGITEC

My question is when?

captain_dl#AC

Turning the corner to truly become a "Life Device". Something that you can use equally for work and personal life. If so, I am thrilled and will continue to support RIM by purchasing their devices.

gej215

Finally some themes that will work with 5.0

infamyx

about mother fucking time RIM, way to join the party 2+ years later

06kingranch

How come devildrifter can get away with saying "fucking" but I got censored in a post earlier for saying hell (h...e...l...l)? WTF, or more appropriately WTH? :)

Hooray for OpenGL. Makes me want a Storm 2 even more.

edwinc8811

maybe the mods feel the same way and that post describes it perfectly lol...

c_patrick

RIM why must you only allow themes to be built with windows computers, when the graphic arts and other visual arts use APPLE computers as an industry standard,

give us a mac version so people who create all things graphically can make some really splendid themes.

c_patrick

it's not, worth it,

i mean, why must mac users buy bootcamp or software like it and then buy a WINDOWS OS just to create THEMES? RIM should step it up, windows users shouln't be the only people that are allowed to make Theme' for free

djulson84

I agree rim should really open things up already but at least mac users can use dm now wheres the love for all the linux users?

jlgosse

I can make the exact same argument about Apple. Why should I need to spend thousands of dollars to buy a Mac, just to write iPhone applications? Why can't we do this on Windows, or Linux? It's a double standard, really.

You saying that most visual arts people use APPLE computers is like me saying most developers use Linux/Windows. So, if your logic is correct, shouldn't Apple make iPhone development possible on other platforms?

n0t0ryus1

Is when they wanna announce this. However, try loading one of these games on your Storm 1 or maybe even 2 for that matter and watch it crawl while doing everything else. I thought they were working on using the phones internal memory as app memory. And Java still sucks. But i still have my Storm 1 on deck so if all goes well maybe i can go back to my beloved BBM.

Dave12308

You do realize that Droid apps are written in Java as well, right?

jasonc624

This is probably why most blackberry hardware is identical. So they can make upgrades for all of them at once.

Adam Carriere

There with probably be a new Storm by then lol