BlackBerry Torch 9800: What Developers Need to Know!


With the announcement of the new BlackBerry® Torch™ 9800 smartphone today, I wanted to provide an overview of the device from the perspective of the developer, in order to help developers understand what opportunities this new smartphone opens up.

The BlackBerry Torch 9800 smartphone is the first to support BlackBerry® 6, which has been previewed recently on the Inside BlackBerry Blog. It opens up new opportunities for our developer community, from enhanced Java® applications to game-changing web applications to BlackBerry® Widgets using HTML5 and CSS3.

For Java developers, you can check out our BlackBerry 6 developer page for more information on the new APIs and to download the new tools needed to get started. Developers will also be able to download the latest BlackBerry Java SDK v6.0 via the Eclipse® update site.

Web and BlackBerry® Widget developers can also visit the BlackBerry 6 developer page for more information on the new capabilities. All of the existing web development tools on BlackBerry® smartphones will work with BlackBerry 6, but you will want to download the latest simulator to check out your new HTML5 content.

To coincide with the major enhancements to the BlackBerry® Browser in BlackBerry 6 with the inclusion of the new WebKit rendering engine, we have also modified the User Agent header for the browser to better reflect the type of web content supported by our browser. To ensure that your mobile and desktop websites are providing the best possible content and experience for our users, developers should modify their websites to detect this new User Agent header:

Mozilla/5.0 (BlackBerry; U; BlackBerry 9800; en) AppleWebKit/534.1+
(KHTML, Like Gecko) Version/ Mobile Safari/534.1+

BlackBerry Torch – A Developer’s Perspective

From a developer’s perspective, here is what you need to know about the new BlackBerry Torch 9800 smartphone.

  • Supports GSM/GPRS/EDGE/HSDPA networks worldwide providing 3G cellular connectivity around the world
  • 480 x 360 screen resolution

  • 5.0 MP Camera with Auto Focus, Scene Modes support and video recording

  • Location Support through the Geolocation Service and Autonomous GPS

  • Wi-Fi® Support – 802.11n

  • 4 GB of onboard memory, with microSD support for up to 32GB (for multimedia, etc.); 512MB flash memory (Application Space)

  • The first BlackBerry smartphone with a physical keyboard and touch screen!

  • Touch screen and trackpad: Touch screen does not utilize SurePress™ – to accommodate in-market apps supporting SurePress, a TouchEvent.DOWN event will also generate TouchEvent.CLICK and TouchEvent.UNCLICK events. So what would’ve previously been a DOWN / UP sequence on previous BlackBerry smartphones supporting touch now results in a DOWN / CLICK / UNCLICK / UP sequence, where the CLICK and UNCLICK events are generated following the DOWN event.

Get started now by checking out developer pages for BlackBerry 6!

About Mike Kirkup

Mike Kirkup is the Director for the Developer Relations program at Research In Motion (RIM), which is responsible for managing the technical relationships and programs for RIM’s developer community worldwide. Mike and his team work with RIM’s developer community to provide support and guidance as developers work to integrate their applications to the BlackBerry platform. Mike joined RIM in 2001 as a Security Software Developer in RIM’s Wireless Security Group. As part of the Wireless Securty group, Mike contributed to the development of the BlackBerry Cryptography API, S/MIME and PGP implementations. Mike holds a Masters of Management Science and a Bachelor of Mathematics from the University of Waterloo.

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