Sencha Touch Support for BlackBerry 10!

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We’ve been working the last few months with the team at Sencha to bring the support for BlackBerry 10 out of beta and ready to be used by developers.  We’re glad to announce with Sencha that the wait is over! Performance and a full BlackBerry 10 theme are here for BlackBerry 10.  Now, you can develop visually compelling applications using components in Sencha Touch 2.1.1 without worrying about the performance. The Webkit rendering optimization from the BlackBerry 10 Web platform combined with the Sencha’s performance optimization resulted in great venue for the developers who are developing this application for the first time. Additionally, these optimizations will also help developers who have already developed a Sencha Touch application and are looking to bring it to the BlackBerry 10 platform.

If that wasn’t enough by itself, we are very happy and excited to announce that the latest Sencha Touch release has the full support for BlackBerry 10 theme.  As mentioned at BlackBerry Jam 2012, Sencha is committed to supporting BlackBerry 10 and we’ve been working together with their team to bring these new visuals to their product. With this theme support you can start building BlackBerry 10 themed HTML5 applications using Sencha Touch to give your application the BlackBerry 10 native look and feel. Sencha and BlackBerry are committed to delivering the best platform for building BlackBerry 10 applications with open web standards. The latest Sencha Touch release delivers the BlackBerry 10 native look and feel to most of the UI components such as Forms, DataView, Carousel, List, TabPanel, NestedList and Navigation View. Let’s take a closer look at some of these UI components, styled for BlackBerry 10.

Form Elements

Form Elements are one of the most common mobile UI elements, and a building block for many applications, and Sencha has given that native BlackBerry 10 look and feel to them. So, if you want your application to look and feel like a BlackBerry 10 application, you should definitely take advantage of these form elements.  The input adapts to the virtual keyboard as well.  If you have an input type of password or email, keyboard changes configuration to match the input type using standard HTML5 integrated elements.

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Action Bar

Sencha Touch also includes BlackBerry 10 specific components. The first one we’ll look at is the action bar at the bottom.  The action bar is a styled Sencha Tab Panel and it’s designed in a way that you can switch between pages very easily and this is the same type of design you see in the BlackBerry 10 native applications. You can see this same sort of design with other frameworks, and Sencha has brought the same design to be used for BlackBerry 10 developers.  As you can see, it adapts whether you are in portrait or landscape.

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CrossCut Menu

In addition to above, the BlackBerry 10 CrossCut menu is also supported by the BlackBerry 10 theme as a new Sencha Touch component. As a developer, you can leverage the CrossCut menu component to create compelling BlackBerry 10 style application using just web technologies and give the native BlackBerry 10 look and feel to the app.  If you’re interested in using the component, it’s the new Ext.bb.CrossCut component (xtype: crosscut). Here is the code snippet, which shows how to use the CrossCut component with in the Sencha Touch framework. The complete reference for the CrossCut menu is available here.

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To enable the BlackBerry 10 theme, refer to the Sencha blog post for instructions.

If you are new to Sencha Touch, it is an impressive JavaScript® framework based entirely on HTML5, CSS and JavaScript, and designed to bring an incredibly powerful set of components to create rich mobile applications. Today’s Sencha Touch release not only brings support for BlackBerry 10, but continues Sencha’s support for the BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet.  To get started, developers should download the framework and then check out the Sencha Touch Learning Center, where they will find code samples, videos and tutorials. To get an idea of what is possible using the framework, there are a variety of demo applications showcasing the breadth and power of the platform.

If you have a Sencha Touch application already and looking to bring it over to BlackBerry 10, stop worrying.  You can bring your Sencha Touch application to BlackBerry 10 in few steps.  Here is the complete porting guide and the developer video, which shows you step by step instructions to bring your Sencha Touch application to BlackBerry 10.

About Naveen

Naveenan is an Application Development Consultant with the HTML 5/BlackBerry WebWorks team in Developer Relations at BlackBerry. As a member of the Developer Relations Team, Naveenan manages the technical relationship with enterprise partners. Naveenan's development background consists of a degree in Computer Science and work experience in mobile gaming industry.

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