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More Details on BlackBerry PlayBook Development from RIM Webcast

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playbook gestures

The first of the BlackBerry PlayBook apps are being developed as we speak and it will be interesting to see what people come up with. Today, RIM hosted the first webcast for developers in a series that will span 5 weeks of PlayBook development help. Some of the details we learned in the webcast include:

  • RIM will be opening app world for PlayBook app submissions in about 2 weeks. More details about free PlayBooks for developers will come then.
  • The PlayBook will have a few cool gestures for switching apps, showing the keyboard and displaying device information such as battery life (pictured above).
  • The PlayBook will eventually support more than just Adobe AIR development. Developers will also be able to write apps for the PlayBook in Java and WebWorks.
  • Currently, there is no support for app splash screens but RIM will include it if there are enough devs asking for it.
  • App deployment over the BES is not finalized. The first version is a WiFi only version so no direct connection with BES but there will be tethering. No more details just yet.
  • Not a lot of information available on GPS and location support but this will be explained in future webcasts.
  • The PlayBook will have capabilities that the BlackBerry doesn’t.
  • The AIR SDK can leverage both front and rear facing cameras.
  • Theme Builder is not in the plans for the initial release but they’ll consider it if there is enough positive feedback.

The best part of the webcast was when Mike Kirkup said the PlayBook has a “kick ass” video processor. Can’t wait to check it out.

Developer Tip: Transfer RIM Signing Keys to a Mac

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directory tree

Ryan sent us over a tip that could be helpful to any BlackBerry devs out there who are playing with the latest BlackBerry Java Plug-In for MacOS X. While most devs know that you can move your singing keys between PCs, it’s also possible to transfer these to a Mac. To find the files, you have to go to:

Eclipse.app > Right click > Show Package Contents

Next, navigate to:

Contents > Mac OS > Applications > BBEclipse > Plugins > net.rim.ejde > vmTools

Paste the files in here and you can now use your RIM signing keys.

RIM Releases Java Plug-In for Eclipse on Mac OS X

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mac eclipse

Yesterday, RIM released a Java plug-in for Eclipse for Mac OS X enabling developers to develop Java apps for the BlackBerry on a Mac. BlackBerry Java development on the Macintosh has been absent and developers have been asking for a solution for a long time.

The initial beta will focus on Java development for BlackBerry 6 with a tethered device debugging on the BlackBerry Torch: no simulator required.

Eclipse is a free java-based open source software development environment mostly based on plug-ins. With the exception of a small run-time kernel, all of Eclipse’s functionality relies on plug-ins. This beta has all the features of the BlackBerry Java Plug-in for Eclipse v1.1.2 including the ability to package a single app project for multiple BlackBerry devices. It also supports Eclipse project artifacts and folder structures.
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Verizon Deploys Open Source Database Perst Lite for Field Technicians with BlackBerrys

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verizon and mcobject

Verizon has recently deployed the Perst Lite object-oriented, open source embedded database system from McObject in BlackBerry software for service and repair technicians. The application will eventually be rolled out for use by thousands of Verizon personnel. The company has said that they have sold up to 5,000 licenses of Perst Lite to Verizon, which is a great deal for any organization.
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RIM Announces Java SDK to Support BlackBerry 6 with Torch Simulators

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blackberry 6

Some developers have already let us know that their apps are available for BlackBerry 6 including S4BB. It’s good to know that when you get your first BlackBerry Torch, there are developers out there who want to be catering to the early adopters. To help push more development for the device, RIM has made the BlackBerry Java SDK v6.0 available along with device simulators.

The BlackBerry Java SDK v6.0 takes advantage of new UI features, offers deeper integration with BlackBerrys, access to new and enhanced services and support for rendering and porting content to the new WebKit-based browser. BlackBerry 6 offers more than 40 new APIs that allow developers to build even better apps for the Torch. The press release outlines some new BlackBerry 6 features and details about how the SDK supports them:
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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.
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