RIM Update BlackBerry Java and Web Development Tools and SDKs

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The BlackBerry Dev Blog have announced that they have new Java and Web development tools and SDKs for BlackBerry. BlackBerry Dev Blog Mike breaks down the major highlights of the update which include:

1) Hot Swap Simulator – Using the new simulators provided in the BlackBerry Java SDK v5.0, you no longer need to reset your simulator every time you update your application, which helps makes it faster and easier to write your applications.

2) Widget and Web Development Tools Together – With the new Web Development tools RIM are bringing together the BlackBerry Widget and BlackBerry Web development tools into one plug-in so that developers can easily get started using one set of common tools. This should make it easier for web developers to experiment with BlackBerry Widgets and to discover the power and capabilities of that development model.

3) BlackBerry Java Plug-In v1.1 for Eclipse – The first release of the Java plug-in for Eclipse provided an Eclipse working model for how the BlackBerry JDE handled projects, source files and other attributes. The community responded that RIM’s Eclipse plug-in needed to better fit into the current Eclipse working model and RIM now offer this functionality with their BlackBerry Java Plug-In v1.1 for Eclipse release. This will make it easier for existing Eclipse developers to get started building BlackBerry applications and make use of the plug-in even more intuitively than before.

4) BlackBerry Java SDK v5.0 goes Gold – After months in beta, RIM’s BlackBerry Java SDK v5.0 has gone live bringing all of the 5.0 APIs and capabilities of this new platform to the broad developer community. They have created hundreds of new APIs from UI to Location and almost everything in-between to make it that much easier for developers to create “Super Apps” on the BlackBerry platform.

The Java SDK v5.0 is a particularly cool announcement because it comes with some new features that we may see in upcoming BlackBerry applications. For example, the Java SDK site describes a new Biometric API, used to store, manage and access fingerprint data on supported smart cards. Also in the feature set is OpenGL ES support for 3D graphics, touchscreens, and accelerometers.