One of the unique new features in BlackBerry 10 is the the minimized view of an app, also called the active frame. By default it is a smaller version of whatever the app looks like when maximized, however app developers have the ability to change it. Not only can it be changed to a static view, it can also be dynamically updated from signals within the code. Both of these features seem to be under utilized in most apps I see in BlackBerry World currently. Maybe nobody knows about it or maybe they don't know how to implement it... Well that's about the change!

Few coding active frames facts:

  • Can be static or dynamic
  • For all-touch smartphones, the active frame is 334 pixels wide by 396 pixels high
  • For smartphones with a physical keyboard, the active frame is 310 pixels wide by 211 pixels high
  • A complete list of best practices when creating active frames can be found here.

Next, I've put together a video tutorial showing BlackBerry's stock example of the dynamic actives frames in action, then took it a step further and tied it to a QTimer to have the active frame update itself. I have added both the code for DynamicFrame and ActiveTimer to my CrackBerry Weekend Coder Github repository. One note that I did change the ActiveTimer JavaScript a little bit in the uploaded project to account for the timer stopping when hitting zero. As always feel free to sound off in the comments below with any questions.