RIM Announces Widget SDK for the BlackBerry Platform

RIM has announced a new SDK for BlackBerry developers which looks and sounds promising. The new Widget platform is now available for all developers to download.. RIM has been speaking about and ramping the information about widgets for quite some time - as far back as the release of 4.5 there was indication of these things coming sooner or later. And with the BlackBerry Developers Conference and the imminent release of OS 5.0, I guess they felt now is as good a time as any to get this one on the go. From the press release:

A BlackBerry Widget uses the BlackBerry® Browser engine to render an application's user interface using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Developers are able to use existing web content to create BlackBerry Widgets and extend the capabilities of their web applications using BlackBerry Widget APIs.

Using the new BlackBerry Widget APIs, developers can, for example, create seamless interaction between a widget and the BlackBerry email and calendar applications, create widgets with the ability to view or edit files and documents stored on the smartphone, access location-based services or the media player, and more. Developers can also take advantage of RIM's unique push technology, enabling dynamic widgets that can run in the background and provide proactive alerts to users in a timely manner.

"BlackBerry Widgets open up a world of opportunities for developers to build and bring to market web applications for BlackBerry smartphones that offer advanced, integrated functionality and an always-on user experience," said Alan Brenner, senior vice president, BlackBerry platforms at RIM. "We are very excited by the prospects of this new widget development platform which combines the ease of development of standard web languages with the rich functionality of Java development."

These are some of the tools we have heard about at WES and even earlier, I'm glad to finally see this stuff get out the gates and even more excited to see how it will all be utilized in the long run. I'm just hoping that it leads to more than just simple web launcher applications which seem to be filling BlackBerry App World up. If launchers were what I needed I would have them made up by EDLIndustries. 

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