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BlackBerry 6 and the SDK Land

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BlackBerry 6 and the SDK Land

· Java Zone ·
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This week, Research In Motion released the sixth BlackBerry platform, which is aimed at bringing the company's handsets into alignment with iPhone and Android technologies.  Along with this release, developers finally have a chance to get their hands on the BlackBerry 6 Java SDK and work on building apps for the company's new OS.  One of the major improvements to the OS is the inclusion of a WebKit browser.  One blogger's tests had BB's new browser beating the iPhone 4 and Android 2.1.


This SDK is loaded with pre-built UI elements such as activity progress indicators, pop-up menus, tables, pane managers, and toolbars.  The new APIs will help you customize these elements to build things like context-sensitive pop-up menus, or custom tables.


First, the scores:  Acid3 score is a perfect 100 / 100, and the CSS3 Selectors score is perfect too - 574 / 574.  The HTML5 test score is 208 / 300, but remember that total compliance isn't possible yet.  The browser has a redesigned start page, a unified URL search bar, tabbed browsing, pinch-to-zoom, and automatic content adjustment.


The browser can also load data locally so that you can access it if your connection goes sour.  It also stores the resources required to run your web-based apps without connectivity.  Another nifty feature is the ability to create scripts so that web apps can run in the background when the browser is closed.


Apps can be integrated with new functionality in BB 6, including a Universal Search feature, redesigned mapfield, and multi-screen mapfields.  The SDK also supports WiFi geolocation functionality and has travel time APIs. 

For more info on this release and an in-depth look at the APIs, check out the BB 6 Javadocs.

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