Guest post from Anders Larsson – Ed.
It is with great joy that I’ve traveled to Bangkok for the first time to attend BlackBerry® Jam Asia and to announce the release of the fourth Cascades™ Beta. It’s been less than a month since I came back from a long trip to Latin America where I joined several #BBJam Sessions and met hundreds of BlackBerry® 10 developers; I’m already super excited to meet their Asian counterparts again.
This beta release contains some API additions and a few visual tweaks here and there. The purpose of this build is mainly stability and performance. This is also the first time we are API compatible with the previous beta release — no more rewrites of your Cascades application. Some of the new stuff:
- Updated visuals on some controls, mainly the TitleBar and the font metrics of some controls
- APIs to track and manipulate content in text controls (TextEditor API)
- An updated and greatly improved UI guidelines documentation
Slowing down the feature pace and letting APIs harden also makes it possible for me as a product manager to see what we actually accomplished with this beta, and I have to admit it makes me really proud.
We started out with nothing but a low level C SDK – fast, efficient, lean and clean, but in need of a thick, yummy crust on top to attract the common app developer. Taking TAT’s existing Cascades engine, Qt, and a uniquely skilled team of UI engineers and UX designers, we built the most productive, beautiful and performing UI framework out there. Perhaps the aspects I’m most proud of are:
- A true separation between rendering and application logic.
- The complete QML/C++ duality.
- High-level structural components such as TabbedPane and NavigationPane that help you build the structure of your application quickly and provide you with BlackBerry 10-branded interaction design, such as peeking.
- Extremely easy integration with the sharing and invocation framework together cards. It has never been easier to create connected and deeply integrated applications.
Perhaps the best part of it is that this is only the beginning. The architecture of Cascades opens up for tons of interesting future features and directions and there are already lots of ideas cooking… 2013 will be an interesting year for sure ;)
But it still 2012 and first we have to get this version out the door. Enjoy this fourth beta – we are almost gold!