In the months leading up to every release of Cascades, BlackBerry provided a roadmap of what’s ahead. However, after the release of 10.2 there haven’t been any updates to that roadmap. I have reached out to my contacts at BlackBerry Dev Relations and they’ve assured me that there is still new tools being worked on, they just haven’t updated the roadmap for whatever reason.
So since there is no clear sign of what’s ahead, the next best thing to do is what we do best here at CrackBerry; wildly speculate and create a wish list! I’ve compiled a short list of ideas of my own as well as ones from talking with some fellow Cascades developers.
- Expand GestureHandler: Currently we have gestures such as single tap, double tap, and pinch but no “swiping” gesture. I know it is possible to create your own touch events that look for “swipe like behavior” but why not add this to core functionality? This expansion could be as simple as the four basic directions with minimal customization.
- ListView Improvements: Lists are everywhere in apps, from news feeds to chat messages. One idea that comes to mind is the ability to have the list loop. It is possible to have a Picker loop which follows the same general structure as a ListView but has a different use case and user experience. Another idea is to allow a ListView to have top down content but render bottom up. The idea here is for lists where the most recent event is at the bottom and a user would scroll up to see previous items, think message logs.
- More Headless Triggers: I’m not trying to beat a dead horse here but there are some obvious triggers missing from the few that are available. Long running headless is a bandaid solution to having so few triggers. The obvious missing events that come to mind are time/date, incoming call, call ended, and incoming message. I know there are many others but those are the ones I hear come up the most.
- Support Qt5: I don’t personally use much pure Qt but I know many others have been very vocal about only having Qt4.8. One of the biggest reasons is that Qt5 adds Qt Quick predefined controls as well as overall improvements throughout the framework.
- Finish the delayed items on the roadmap. There are four items, accent colors, simple grid layout, image from url, and list rearrange, on the current roadmap that are listed as delayed with no target release date. Honestly these were some of the things I was most looking forward to in 10.2. Accent colors is already available for WebWorks developers and allows for a nice pop of color without changing too much of the core BlackBerry 10 look and feel. And simple grid layout may be for selfish reasons because making the grid in Logic Puzzles was a huge pain.
I’ve heard other requests and have a few of my own but I think the ones listed above have a broad appeal to the community. However, feel free to add your own API improvements and requests in the comments below that you’d like to see added to the next Cascades release. Please keep these from a developer standpoint and not end user features.