Solid Gold! Official release of the BlackBerry 10 WebWorks SDK

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DSC04801 / mat79 / CC BY 2.0

Months of planning. More months of development. Re-planning. Long hours. Trips around the world. Meeting with you, our BlackBerry WebWorks development community. It all culminates with this: the gold release of the BlackBerry 10 WebWorks SDK. The team here could not be more stoked to deliver this final developer milestone on the road to the launch of BlackBerry 10. I apologize for the use of the word “stoked” in the preceding sentence, but I could not help myself. We are REALLY excited.

We recently delivered the final Beta of the BlackBerry WebWorks SDK in conjunction with our recent BlackBerry Jam Asia conference. With that release we began guaranteeing compatibility of your applications, which was a major milestone. Hopefully you have already started submitting your apps to BlackBerry World for approval and preparing your application to the Built for BlackBerry program.

Of course, the team has continued to work days – and many nights – to ensure this gold release is rock solid. Of course, we also snuck a few new things in.

We now have a full house of cards that you can directly invoke from webworks. From the blackberry.invoke.card namespace, you can leverage the following new cards on top of the camera and file picker cards we already delivered: calendar picker, calendar composer, email composer, media player, contact picker, and ICS viewer card.

We have also now provided to you the means to leverage the built in invocation selection UI. If you choose to do your own invocation target queries and provide the user with the ability to select the target, you can use the API to present native look and feel selection UI.

IMG_00000017

Wallpaper: an interior decoration technique that has happily fallen out of favour (opinions my own and do not reflect those of my employer). But smartphone users love setting the wallpaper of their device. Allow the user to set the wallpaper from your BlackBerry WebWorks app:

blackberry.system.setWallpaper(pathToImage);

You can now also specify custom contexts in your applications that can be used as a target type for invocation request, and to put custom actions into the context menu.

<div align="left" data-webworks-context="myContext">>

   <h4>Local image link: with customContext</h4>
   <a href="http://www.blackberry.com">
      <img src="../../img/secretdeviceimage.jpg" width="150" height="350"/>
   </a>

</div>

If the user triggers an invocation – say, as a long-press on any element within the div in the code example above – the system will pass the “myContext” custom context in the invocation request rather than an image context.

In addition, you will often want the ability to know when your context has been the target of a user-triggered invocation, and do something before the system completes the invocation. In the example above, you might want to add to the invocation request additional relevant information for the “super secret device”. All you need to do is assign a function to the blackberry.invoke.interrupter property. This function will be given the invocation request object, and you can return a modified version of the object that will actually be sent on in the invocation request. You may also just want to allow the user to confirm they wish to take this action.

blackberry.invoke.interrupter = function (request) {          
	if(confirm("System would like to invoke: " + request + " would you like to continue?")) {
              return request;
        } else {
              alert("User canceled invocation");
        }
};

One of the key user experience items for BlackBerry 10 is the concept of Active Frames. When your application is no longer in the foreground but still running, it gets a placeholder window that by default displays a snapshot of the application when the user put it into the background. With this API, you can customize what is displayed. You can set a different image, as well as specify custom text that will be overlaid onto the image. If you wish, you can also periodically update the cover, or reset it to the snapshot originally taken by the system. Check out the documentation for more info.

function onEnterCover() {
    blackberry.ui.cover.setContent( blackberry.ui.TYPE_IMAGE,
        {path: "/path/to/an/image/windowCover.png"} );
    blackberry.ui.cover.labels.push({label: "Label 1",
                                 size: 15,
                                 wrap: false});
    blackberry.ui.cover.setTransition(blackberry.ui.cover.TRANSITION_FADE);
    blackberry.ui.cover.updateCover();
}

blackberry.event.addEventListener("entercover", onEnterCover);

Even though this is the gold release, we know there are a few things still missing that we are working hard to deliver. The nice thing about BlackBerry WebWorks is that we can expose existing native platform functionality outside of device OS and native SDK updates. Keep an eye on the flight boards as we are actively planning maintenance releases to deliver a few more things.

But the gold release is your cue to finish your BlackBerry WebWorks application so that you can leverage the first-mover advantage. Get out in front of the wave and be one of the first applications in BlackBerry World. And be sure to get your applications approved for sale prior to January 21st, and take advantage of the Built for BlackBerry program. Download the gold release of BlackBerry WebWorks and put that final luster on your applications!

About Ken W

Ken is the Senior Product Manager for the WebWorks group at BlackBerry. He is responsible for WebWorks tooling and is heavily involved in the Open Source projects at github.com/blackberry and the Apache Cordova community. Ken has a particular interest in trying to bring the internal and external BlackBerry development communities closer together.

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