Tag: widgets

Developers: Create Compelling UI Features with BlackBerry Widgets

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progress bars

We recently wrote about examples of Widgets in App World and a support forums post regarding some of the UI features that can be accomplished with Widgets was called to our attention. Using CSS and HTML, it looks like Widgets can be tailored to look a lot like a native BlackBerry app but with less effort than it usually takes using the Java Development Environment. Hit after the jump to see some examples of UI elements made with the Widgets SDK, tested on OS 5.0.0.469.
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Examples of BlackBerry Widgets in App World

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blackberry widgets

BlackBerry Widgets are a high priority for RIM because it will allow them to attract an entirely new set of developers to the BlackBerry platform. Web developers can use the BlackBerry Widget SDK to package their web apps into files that can be loaded on a BlackBerry and sold in App World. In this sense, a BlackBerry Widget is nothing like a typical widget (a small app placed on a desktop or homescreen). A BlackBerry Widget should actually be called a BlackBerry Web App.

Below are some examples of applications in BlackBerry App World that were created using the BlackBerry Widget SDK. They’re not identified in App World as being Widgets, but RIM is able to identify them internally and we have a short list of some of them for you. What’s interesting about Widgets is that you can tell they’re web apps. Some of them have little bugs that you haven’t seen before in a BlackBerry app (eg a cursor arrow popping up) and seem very “web-like” when it comes to graphics.
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AT&T Developer Webcast Slides Show Upcoming Widget Updates

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at&t widget developer slide

Jason sent us a link to a post he wrote up that includes a few slides from an AT&T developer webcast. The slides show some of the updates coming to the BlackBerry Widget SDK 1.1 as well as the web plug-ins (Eclipse and Visual Studio) which will be updated to version 2.5.

Widgets are being pushed very heavily in BlackBerry 6 and we’re going to see a great deal of news in the coming months about them. RIM is looking to attract web developers to the platform in order to address the issues that BlackBerry is a difficult platform to develop for and the need for more apps. Widgets will be essentially web apps, wrapped in a COD file so they can be loaded to a BlackBerry. More slides after the jump.
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New Infinity Theme Features Concierge Style Dashboard

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Infinity is a cool new theme from Elecite that looks like the screenshots of the Concierge widget service we have seen in the past. The Infinity theme acts as a dashboard for your homescreen, allowing you quick access to important apps. Infinity also features a large clock, hidden today and 5-6 customizable icons.

Check out the Infinity theme on Elecite here.

BlackBerry OS 6 Screenshots Emerge with Huge Touchscreen Implications

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BlackBerry OS 6 details and screenshots are here from BGR and it looks like we’re going to see a much different BlackBerry than the one we’re used to. The whole UI and experience sounds like it’s in-line with a new web 2.0-based smartphone world, and RIM has learned a lot from what their users want and their partners are providing.

The latest OS 6 details seem like they’re going to have huge implications for BlackBerry touschscreen devices. Considering the latest buzz that Lazaridis said there were uncertainties around the touchscreen market, I think this is going to very certainly make touchscreen BlackBerrys much more awesome. Some of the new gestures such as click and hold to bring up contextual menus, will make the whole Storm (assuming it will get OS 6) experience much more rich. OS 6 also features system-wide kinetic scrolling with rubberbanding, which makes it a much smoother experience.

For non touchscreen users, the experience will still be much improved. Tabbed browsing is going to rock, and many of the UI improvements to email will make the whole experience easier on the eyes. Being able to see a quick icon preview of an incoming message will make things a little more efficient. That being said, RIM’s first party apps will surely play a big role in OS 6, allowing them to integrate with all the new features.

One thing of particular interest was that apparently the new inbox style features RSS feeds, which might explain the Viigo acquisition. Although, they probably wouldn’t need the acquisition for this, but I’m sure we’ll see more creative implementation of RSS in OS 6.

It’s a little too bad we didn’t hear anything about widget support, as I think they’ll play a big part in the BlackBerry app market in the coming years. It would have been interesting to see how OS 6 performs with widgets and lets them complement the user experience.

In terms of release date, it looks like we might see this actually hit the market in the June/July timeframe. This is incredible and it might mean an announcement at WES next week.
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BOLT Browser 1.7 Adds Widgets, Twitter Integration and More

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The BOLT browser has been updated to version 1.7 and it now features widgets, keyboard shortcuts, Twitter integration, Russian and Spanish language support as well an enhanced download manager and increased support for streaming video.

Although BOLT can run web-based apps that use Ajax and Javascript, such as the Facebook game Mafia Wars, widgets allow the browser to run self-contained Web apps that run directly from within BOLT. These web apps load and execute faster than website-based applications. BOLT users can discover, select and install specific Web apps through a BOLT Widget Gallery. BOLT’s widgets are written as standard W3C widgets, a standard with broad industry support.

For more details, see the press release.

To download the BOLT browser, head over to boltbrowser.com from your device.