RIM BlackBerry Storm Dev Partner Announcement

BlackBerry Storm Partner Announcement
By Kevin Michaluk on 29 Sep 2008 08:51 am EDT

There's been a lot of chatter regarding the fact we've seen so much BlackBerry Storm promotion coming from Verizon (and now Vodafone), yet Research in Motion itself hasn't said a peep on the record. Times are changing.... Ronen just posted an "official" RIM announcement that went out to RIM partners via the PartnerZone.

For the BlackBerry Storm a new set of enhanced APIs have been developed, and RIM is going to make the JDE v4.7 and Storm device simulators available in October, leading up to the launch of the Storm. RIM has an application center in the works, and the word is they want to launch it on the Storm (would make for a great announcement at the BlackBerry Developer Conference next month too!). That jives well with the contents of this announcement - what good is a BlackBerry Application Center with no Apps! Full Announcement after the jump!

BlackBerry Storm Partner Announcement 

The upcoming BlackBerry Stormis the first touch screen BlackBerry smartphone from Research In Motion and it builds upon a variety of existing BlackBerry features and capabilities to produce a truly compelling touch experience. With the BlackBerry Storm, RIM will introduce a version of software (v4.7) that delivers a new set of APIs and capabilities for third party developers including:

1) Enhancements to the existing RIM User Interface APIs to provide support for touch and gestures including proper handling of multi-touch events.
2) Support for MIDP applications that leverage touch.
3) Virtual keyboard APIs
4) Enhanced and open GPS APIs on all networks

In addition to the new API capabilities, your Browser-based applications will build upon the browser capabilities released in v4.6.0 including:

For third party developers, one of the unique features of the BlackBerry Storm is its compatibility mode which provides an operating environment for existing 3rd party applications that are not implemented to support touch. This feature will automatically convert the touch events into existing trackball events. When an application is executing in compatibility mode, a virtual keyboard will be shown at all times for text input to mimic the physical keyboard on previous devices and will only support portrait mode.

Improved web page rendering including:

  • AJAX
  • XMLHttpRequest 
  • JavaScript® 1.5 
  • CSS 2.1 
  • DOM L2 (including Core, HTML, Style, Events) 
  • HTML 4.01 (including Forms, Maps, Tables, Frames, Objects) 
  • Improved Native Attachment Download Support for downloading files via the browser

Key Features

  • Screen Resolution: 480×360
  • Virtual Keyboard: SureType (Portrait Mode) and Full Keyboard (Landscape Mode)
  • Networking: Global network support (2G/3G)
  • Memory: Embedded Memory

For all BlackBerry Alliance partners, RIM will be providing access to developer documentation, the BlackBerry Java Development Environment (JDE) v4.7 and the BlackBerry Storm simulator in October to enable development and testing of your applications on this new and compelling smartphone.

Topics: News & Rumors

Reader comments

RIM BlackBerry Storm Dev Partner Announcement


It says open GPS APIs on all networks, am I reading this wrong, or could Verizon be opening up GPS on the Storm and ditching the VZ Navigator exclusivity?

The last time I asked, our corporate Verizon rep said that Verizon was due to open their network in December. That means that any device built to Verizon's network specs can be activated on a Verizon plan starting in 2 months.

So, if Verizon wants to sell handsets like the Storm, they will need to get away from the lock-down mentality. Otherwise they'll see the hardware vendors selling devices that have unlocked GPS anyway -- but those devices won't have any strings to a Verizon contract. People like me whose contract is up for renewal will transition to month-to-month on the same terms, ready to jump ship at the next better offer they find.

i'm guessing which ever way you slide ur finger... like up to move the page up... translates to a scroll down of the wheel or track ball. and a click on the screen translates to a click of the wheel/ball.

I reviewed the BB dev conf catalog and they have tons of sessions on consumer based apps, web 2.0, social networks, location based, etc. Based on this I have to believe that BB and Verizon are targeting consumers and not just business users with the Storm. This being the case they HAVE to open the GPS for use with non-Verizon software. Otherwise they will NEVER pull subscribers from the iPhone/G-Phone folks. With touch phone choices increasing "open" is the only way to compete.

My $0.02

good to hear that... i was just thinking recently that it's the only way that they'll be able to compete with the iPhone is to actually have apps in an easy to find location. It's to much to expect them to have to find the crackberry store.. or handango.. or find stuff on their own... they need to aggrigate them in an easy to find location. The only thing is that all these themes and apps are way too expensive. I don't wanna pay $5-8 for a theme. $1-2 max! And simple apps like 3rd party IM clients shouldn't be $20-50... $5-10 max! I think BB apps as they are right now are overpriced.

I'm sorry...I mean this in the nicest way, but these are the words of someone who has never had to go through the process of developing an app for BlackBerry or had to pay to be an ISV, just to gain access to the crappy RIM API's which are offered in limited capacity.

As a software Product Manager, I see both sides...

It seems like the developers jump through hoops to get apps out which are not perceived to have a compelling reason for users to depart with their hard earned dollars.

In a previous life, we solved this problem by creating a set of APIs that were used by both internal "brand" developers and partners. This allows level set competition and actually increases the quality of the code produced. Then we saw end users and developers partner to create really innovative and compelling applications which many people wanted to buy.

Only a visionary at RIM can get this started...