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BlackBerry Developers: New SDK brings Widgets to OS 5.0

blackberry widgets sdk BlackBerry Developers:  New SDK brings Widgets to OS 5.0

Research in Motion announced last night that they are releasing the BlackBerry Widget SDK 1.0 Beta 1 for developers to play around with. The download consists of a widget packager, device simulator and code samples. This is particularly nice because it will allow web developers to package up their web assets and insert them into BlackBerry widgets.

What’s a widget? A widget is a small standalone web application that uses HTML, CSS and JavaScript. In this case the BlackBerry widget will look and act like real BlackBerry application and will even share the same security mechanisms.

The exciting part about this announcement is that developers can use widgets to set up seamless interaction between a widget and the BlackBerry native applications such as calendar, email, and contacts. This also means that developers can also take advantage of the BlackBerry smartphones unique ability to push content and build this into their widgets.

“BlackBerry Widgets open up a world of opportunities for developers to build and bring to market web applications for BlackBerry smartphones that offer advanced, integrated functionality and an always-on user experience,” said Alan Brenner, senior vice president, BlackBerry platforms at RIM. “We are very excited by the prospects of this new widget development platform which combines the ease of development of standard web languages with the rich functionality of Java development.”

Now the bad news, you wont see a widget coming to your BlackBerry Curve 8330 any time soon, because they will only be supported on BlackBerry smartphones running OS (operating system) 5.0 or better.

BlackBerry Widget SDK 1.0 Beta 1 Downloads

Development Tools:

Each of the tools below needs to be downloaded before you can begin development.

  1. Download & Install the Sun Java Application Development Kit. This is required software to compile the BlackBerry Widget. Minimum version of JDK 1.4 is required – if you have JDK 1.4 or higher already installed you can skip this step.
  2. Download & Install the BlackBerry 5.0 Smartphone Simulator
  3. Download & Install the BlackBerry MDS-CS Simulator (This is an HTTP Proxy and is needed to develop widgets)
  4. Download and Install the BlackBerry Widget Packager Beta 1

The beta release and more information is available at http://www.blackberry.com/developers/widget

Developers interested in learning more about building BlackBerry Widgets are encouraged to attend the 2009 BlackBerry Developer Conference (www.blackberrydeveloperconference.com),November 9-12 in San Francisco. More information is also available on BlackBerry Developer Zone (www.blackberry.com/developer).

About Research In Motion (RIM)

Research In Motion is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of innovative wireless solutions for the worldwide mobile communications market.Through the development of integrated hardware, software and services that support multiple wireless network standards, RIM provides platforms and solutions for seamless access to time-sensitive information including email,phone, SMS messaging, Internet and intranet-based applications. RIM technology also enables a broad array of third party developers and manufacturers to enhance their products and services with wireless connectivity. RIM’s portfolio of award-winning products, services and embedded technologies are used bythousands of organizations around the world and include the BlackBerry wirelessplatform, the RIM Wireless Handheld™ product line, software development tools,radio-modems and software/hardware licensing agreements. Founded in 1984 and based in Waterloo, Ontario, RIM operates offices in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. RIM is listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market (NASDAQ:RIMM) and the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX:RIM). For more information, visit www.rim.com or www.blackberry.com.

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About the Author

David Smith is the Technical Support Manager for MobiMadness, Inc.

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