With the announcement of new BlackBerry® Bold™ 9900 series of smartphones – which include the new BlackBerry 7 OS – comes the announcement of new API features. Now that you know that the new BlackBerry Bold 9900 smartphone and the new BlackBerry Bold 9930 smartphone are on their way, it’s time to start thinking about how your apps will run on these new smartphones running BlackBerry smartphone software version 7.0.
The BlackBerry® Java® Plug-in for Eclipse® and the BlackBerry® Java® Development Environment will both be updated to support the new OS version, and they bring with them an abundance of new APIs taking advantage of new device hardware features:
- OpenGL ES 2.0, taking advantage of the new graphics chip, allows you to create games rich in compelling graphics.
- Window Manager API, also taking advantage of the new graphics chip and increased device horsepower, allows you to overlay OpenGL or any other UI component on top of anything you want, including camera and video.
- Compass APIs, taking advantage of the new magnetometer sensor, allows you to determine the device’s orientation and direction. When combined with Window Manager API, enables the creation of augmented reality applications.
- Near Field Communication (NFC) APIs, taking advantage of the new NFC radio, allows you to read and emulate virtual tags and create rich solutions for payment and m-commerce.
- Video capture APIs updated with support for HD video recording, taking advantage of the improved camera, allows your application to provide the user with the same high end media experience they get from the core apps.
Beyond supporting new hardware features, there are also new APIs to further enable the Super Apps experience:
- Send Menu API, allowing apps to share content with contacts the same way that core apps do, by adding a “Send…” menu to their apps.
- Unified Search API has been updated, making integration with this device feature easier than ever before and allowing more control of indexed keywords.
- BlackBerry® Maps API has also been updated, simplifying how data is overlaid on top of BlackBerry Maps. Couple that with support for geofencing and the ability to overlay complex shapes and polygons, and you’ve got the richest integration with BlackBerry Maps to date.
- Options API has evolved to match the new look and feel of the BlackBerry 6 options screens, allowing third party apps to add their own entries into the options screen including an icon and descriptive text.
- Multimedia API has added support for buffer control for playback and bitrate definition for video recording.
- Barcode API has been updated to support ZXing 1.6 and allow for the definition of custom decorders.
With the upcoming beta release, scheduled for late May, application vendors will have the opportunity to not only begin porting their apps to support the new device launches, but also the opportunity to take advantage of new platform features, offering an application experience optimized for BlackBerry smartphones.
Stay tuned to the BlackBerry Developer’s Blog for the official start of the beta for BlackBerry Java SDK v7.0, including beta simulators for the new BlackBerry Bold 9900 smartphone and BlackBerry Bold 9930 smartphone.