As you probably know, since some time I’m developing mobile business apps for BlackBerry (and partly for Android). My BlackBerry Apps are native Java Apps using BlackBerry OS 6 / OS 7 with integrated BBM (BlackBerry Messenger).
Most of my work is for customers and not public available. To demonstrate what can be done using BlackBerry Java from time to time I’m developing ConferenceApps for developer conferences like EclipseCon or MTC. You can download these apps for free from BlackBerry AppWorld – simply search for “Conference2Go”.
I’ll develop BlackBerry Java Apps for some more time, because there are many new BlackBerry 7 Devices out there and it will take some time until new BB10 Smartphones will be used for Business Apps.
But the decision of RIM is clear: there’s no Java VM available for the new BB10 Platform – you have to use the native SDK with C++ or Adobe Air or WebWorks or something else. Take a look at all the Open Source projects from RIM at GitHub to see what’s possible:
An alternate way for Java Developers is to develop Android Applications and deploy them to BlackBerry PlayBook. The process is easy if you’re using compatible API. For some kind of applications this works well, but for business apps with deep integration into native apps and using platform services like Push, BBM etc. I’m missing important features to create BlackBerry SuperApps.
From the Platform Roadmap you can see the overlapping of “old” BlackBerry 7 (Java) Development and new BlacpBerry Platform, where PlayBook OS 2.0 is the first step into direction of BB10:
It’s good to know that RIM is working on the SuperApps concept also for the new BB10 platform:
Since some weeks BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 and the native SDK 2.0 are available to develop and deploy native Apps for BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0. The good thing: these apps will also run on upcoming BB10 Smartphones.
BlackBerry Java OS uses Eclipse IDE with BlackBerry PlugIn – guess what IDE is used for the new native SDK ?
The IDE for the new BlackBerry SDK is also based on Eclipse :) It’s the QNX Momentics IDE.
I like the power of BlackBerry Platform Services and will continue development using NDK and Cascades – the new UI Framework. Cascades uses QtCore as Framework, adds own native UI on top of this. You can define UI declarative using QML or in your code or mixed. Cascades makes it easy to use Animations without thinking about UI-Thread and async tasks.
Cascades also found a way for designers and developers to work together: a Photoshop PlugIn helps exporting the designers work and developers can drag’n’drop this into their QML editor. There’s a preview of the UI side-by-side to the editor, so you don’t have to test always on Device or Simulator.
At last BBDevCon conferences in Amsterdam and San Francisco Cascades was presented by TAT and you can take a look at the slides or videos.
Or simply register for my BlackBerry Power Workshop at MobileTechCon ;-)
Thanks to RIM you can also get a FREE PlayBook :)
I’ll demonstrate Cascades live and then we will install the NDK 2.0 on your laptops, take a look at the QNX Momentics Eclipse IDE and develop a first native application together. The App will be tested inside the PlayBook Simulator and also directly on your new own PlayBook.
Then you’re well prepared and can start with Cascades as soon as public available.
This year at MobileTechCon 2012 in Munich there are some more activities around BlackBerry:
- Keynote by Sanyu Kiruluta: “Develop & Monetize your app on the BlackBerry Platform” (2012-03-28, 11:45-12:45)
- Session by Kamel Lajilli: “BlackBerry PlayBook Android Runtime Tools” (2012-03-27, 11:45-12:45)
- Session by Sanyu Kiruluta: “Think Super Web Apps!” (2012-03-28, 09:00-10:00)
- Workshop by me: “Cascades and more” (2012-03-29, 09:00-17:00)
There will also be a BlackBerry Table as part of “MobileTechCon Lounge” on tuesday evening (starts at 21:45) You’re welcome to ask questions or discuss with me and others or to have some fun and some free beer ;-)
Don’t wait and register for MobileTechCon and the BlackBerry Power Workshop !
cu at MTC in Munich (and best greetings to my friends at EclipseCon – next time I’ll be there again)