Press Release: RIM Releases Enhanced Java and Web Development Tools for BlackBerry

BlackBerry Development Tools
By Kevin Michaluk on 6 Apr 2010 05:58 pm
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I was thinking we'd hear no news from RIM for the next little bit as we lead up to WES 2010 at the end of the month (attendwes.com for more details), but today they fired off a press release letting everyone know that they have updated some of their Plug-ins and SDKs making it easier for developers to build BlackBerry apps. Check out the press release below for full details and links.

Press Release

RIM Releases Enhanced Java and Web Development Tools

Updated Plug-ins and SDKs Make It Even Easier to Create Feature-Rich Applications on the BlackBerry Platform

WATERLOO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 6, 2010) - Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ:RIMM)(TSX:RIM) today released updated Java and Web-based development tools for the BlackBerry(R) platform. The BlackBerry(R) Java Plug-In for Eclipse v1.1 and the BlackBerry(R) Web Plug-in v2.0 offer new capabilities that make it even easier to create feature-rich applications. The BlackBerry(R) Widget SDK (Software Development Kit) v1.0 and the BlackBerry(R) Java SDK v5.0, which includes more than 20,000 APIs, provide unparalleled access to BlackBerry(R) smartphone hardware features, native BlackBerry software applications and other unique system capabilities of the BlackBerry Application Platform.

Using the new tools developers can quickly and easily build web-based BlackBerry Widgets or Java applications that leverage the unique benefits of the BlackBerry Application Platform to seamlessly share information across and interact with core BlackBerry applications or other third party applications. These are personalized and contextualized applications that can integrate with a BlackBerry smartphone's inbox, calendar, address book and other native BlackBerry applications to deliver a highly engaging user experience.

"The BlackBerry Application Platform continues to evolve tremendously and the new tool enhancements make developing applications for BlackBerry smartphones easier and faster than ever," said Alan Brenner, Senior Vice President, BlackBerry Platform at Research In Motion. "We believe these enhanced tools will spur a new level of creativity and innovation as developers find new ways to leverage the unique power and integrated nature of the BlackBerry platform in order to bring useful, intelligent applications to the millions of BlackBerry smartphone users around the world."

BlackBerry Java Plug-In for Eclipse v1.1

  • Enables Java developers to leverage a familiar open source development environment (Eclipse 3.5) to create, debug, profile and simulate their applications using a wide selection of BlackBerry smartphone simulators, actual devices and multiple versions of the BlackBerry(R) OS 
  • Improved productivity features include the ability to instantly load and immediately run a modified application being debugged without having to reset the simulator or device, providing tremendous time savings

For more information on the Java Plug-in v1.1, visit www.blackberry.com/developers/java11

BlackBerry Web Plug-In v2.0

  • BlackBerry Web Plug-ins are now available for both Eclipse and Microsoft Visual Studio 
  • Enables developers to easily create web applications (includes BlackBerry Widgets) and web content using standard web technology and programming languages (e.g., HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and AJAX) 
  • Enables JavaScript access to core BlackBerry Java API's. 
  • New features in the latest 2.0 release include BlackBerry Widget debugging and profiling, support for Eclipse 3.5, and simulator "hot swap" to greatly reduce the time required to test and debug between iterations

For more information on the BlackBerry Web Plug-In v 2.0, visit www.blackberry.com/developers/web20

BlackBerry Java SDK v5.0

  • OpenGL ES support for 3D graphics, touch-screen, and accelerometer enables visually stunning interactive 3D games(i) 
  • Rich multimedia audio and video support, Media Play features, camera zoom and focus, and embedded video capture and audio/video streaming support 
  • New pre-built UI components (e.g., spin-box fields, file pickers, and screen transitions) enable advanced graphics and built-in animation and increased developer productivity. 
  • SQLite support for data sharing across different applications, as well as Gears JavaScript(R) API for persistent database storage. 
  • Location Based Services APIs enable cell-site geolocation, GPS, geocoding and reverse geocoding to obtain address and location information

For more information on the Java SDK v5.0, visit www.blackberry.com/developers/java50

BlackBerry Widget SDK v1.0

  • Allows third-party applications to access the calendar, contacts, camera, maps, messaging, browser, files, location via cell-tower or GPS, and receive BlackBerry push content via BlackBerry Widget APIs
  • Includes navigation support for touch-screen handsets and screen transition and image transition support for BlackBerry Widgets startup and shutdown 
  • Location-Based Services and SQLite / Google Gears enabled persistent data storage is also available for BlackBerry Widgets. 
  • The widget architecture allows for extensibility by letting a third party developer develop their own JavaScript extensions, for use and distribution within a BlackBerry Widget.

For more information about the BlackBerry Widget SDK, visit www.blackberry.com/developers/widgets

To learn more about the range of products and services available to the BlackBerry developer community, please visit www.blackberry.com/developers.

Kevin Michaluk Kevin Michaluk "Founder, Editor in Chief " 3922 (articles) 3285 (forum posts)
20 comments

Zefal151

#1, yayz... also this looks to be promising

AirAaron

What they need to be focusing on is getting a better browser for all Blackberries cus the browser we have now is complete trash compared to other top smartphones.

Irving94

They already made the browser as we've seen in demonstration videos, they just need to send it out so we can actually use it. This update to development is what we need. Blackberry's #2 issue is app development and how hard it is to make a good app (#1 being the browser). It's the iPhone's easy-to-use SDK that allows them to make such great apps.

diegonei

Don't you think this is a lead that indicates they want apps to come to be on par with the browser and the new OS?
...

arsu_nfdc

Agree with aaron, I'm leavin bb and movin to android..nexus one shud be here by tom! Woot woot :) gonna miss bb though

papped

Who cares about browser comments on a thread about the JSDK and widget SDK...

nyc_rock

people have been dealing with the BB's craptacular browser for so long they dont care about anything else until that gets fixed. And truthfully, I agree with them. Its taken BB two years now to even "preview" the new webkit browser and where is it? BB can announce anything they want, until they "show us the money" its all B.S.

ntolife

Please it would be nice to receive a copy of this app

cribble2k

I should jump on the android bandwagon as well. I have been lead to believe it will be bigger then Jesus and will solve all life's problems.

I'm sure it will also do a better job killing BlackBerry then Aion did killing World of Warcraft.

lcargile

To you guys talking about jumping on the Android bandwaggon you may be disappointed. This may not be the place to have this discussion but ill be quick. I did the same thing, jumped ship on BB and went to Android...only to come right back to my BB. Android was fun for about 3 months but its just got way too much "fluff". It was pretty while it did stuff but the stuff it actually "DID" wasnt that great. The apps were fun but whatever. If you like your BB for the reasons that make it a BB then it is going to be very hard to go to the Android OS. But have fun with it and to each his own I always say. But there are huge things that BB does and even DROIDDOESNT.

nyc_rock

but since I have been splitting time between the two the differences are becoming more and more apparent. Granted, BBM is amazing but after that, I am having a difficult time finding anything that the BB does that is better than Android.

andiamo

I was a BlackBerry user for about a year (loved it) until I switched to a Droid. IMHO Android handles everything my BlackBerry did perfectly, and then some. It's faster, the UI is nicer, and the apps are (in my opinion) better and more numerous. Honestly, the only thing I think the BlackBerry did better was, well... email. But the Android Gmail app is close enough for me.

From a developers perspective, Android completely blows BlackBerry away. I develop apps for BlackBerry and Android and while RIM has certainly gotten better with the release of updated development kits such as this (mainly due to pressure from iPhone and Android) it's still so much nicer to develop for Android. I don't really have to worry about different OS versions since many of the crucial features have remained the same since Android 1.5, I don't have to develop different layouts for touchscreen vs non-touchscreen, it's got a nice UI editor so I don't have to hand-code a UI, and above all I can test my apps on an actual phone with ease. I just plug my Droid in, press F5, and I can test the app and see the phone's internal log in a couple seconds. It's much better than a simulator since I can see how the phone performs on a real device with a slower processor than a computer, and if I wanted to see the system log with BlackBerry I'd have to wait 5 minutes for the debugger to attach every time.

Don't get me wrong though, BlackBerry is still awesome, and I like developing for it quite a bit. But I do think they really need to step up their game. Android has been growing at a faster rate than every other mobile phone OS. RIM knows this, and while they're doing a little bit to improve the situation, more drastic changes are needed if they want to keep the #1 market share spot in the US for much longer.

kevinrh32

So they're coming out with enhanced Java updates but no Flash still for web browsing? They REALLY need to work with Adobe to get this crackin'

andiamo

This doesn't really have anything to do with Flash. Trust me, you WANT Java development kit updates like this, since it makes app developers lives easier entices us to write more, better apps for BlackBerry.

This update in particular is very, very good thanks to the bit about "ability to instantly load and immediately run a modified application being debugged without having to reset the simulator", meaning developers don't have to wait 3 minutes for the BlackBerry simulator to start up every single time they want to test a change to their apps. Tremendous time savings.

Flash will be ready when it's ready. In fact, the team working on Flash and the team working on the development kit are probably completely separate over at RIM.

alpinechem

Java is not the answer.

fatrat727

hmmmmmm.....all we can do is wait and see what all this brings to the table. developers can get their hands on it lets see what they can do. as far as opengl 3D ummmm what devices support it oh yea storm 2 and 8530..why not 9700?? the new 89xx device should come with opengl. originally wasn't this the series as the media "power house"? and adobe is with Rim working on flash dorks."http://na.blackberry.com/eng/developers/resources/adobe.jsp". 4 all we know they can release all this stuff we want by summer LOL. my only issue is what about us with 9000 and 8900 devices. are we forced to pay for new devices knowing that what we have just came out a yr or two ago?? just make an os update where we can have apps installed on our memory cards and we good 2 go. i gotta 16gb card let me utilize it lol.

andiamo

I no longer use a BlackBerry so all the comments about the browser in this thread don't concern me... but as the developer of the Mango app for almost a year I LUURRRRVE that I don't have to reset the simulator EACH TIME I make a change now! It was always so frustrating to add some feature, wait 2 minutes for the simulator to boot up, only to discover I made some little typo that completely breaks the app.