A developer’s guide to BlackBerry 10
By Dave Smith
February 11, 2013 —
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Now that BlackBerry (don't let your friends catch you calling them RIM anymore) has released its latest platform and devices to the world, developers may be interested in what they need to know to bring their applications to BlackBerry 10. If one word can describe the BlackBerry 10 development platform, it's “choice.” BlackBerry has made strong attempts to ensure there is something for everyone in order to court as many mobile application developers as possible. Here are just some highlights of what developers can expect from BlackBerry 10.
At the launch of BlackBerry 10, we were also given information that two new devices, the BlackBerry Z10 and Q10, will be available running the new OS. BlackBerry is expected to update the PlayBook tablet to BB10 in the near future, but no further details are currently available. So, for the moment, there are only two commercial devices developers must expect to support.
The BlackBerry 10 documentation claims that developers can expect devices to come in two screen resolutions that applications should support. Devices with physical keyboards, like the new Q10, have a 720x720 screen (1:1 square aspect ratio). The "all-touch" device family is documented to have a screen resolution of 720x1280. However, the first wave of commercially available BlackBerry 10 devices (i.e. the Dev Alpha and the new Z10) has a screen resolution of 768x1280. BlackBerry claims this was only for "the first commercially available devices running BlackBerry 10," and that developers should still target 720x1280 while gracefully adapting to the wider aspect in the first few versions.
Application development pathways
BlackBerry documentation indicates that the company would like to see all developers using its Native SDK for new applications, probably using the Cascades UI, in order to preserve the platform integration and experience it considers to be the highlight of the platform. But it isn't quite willing to put all of its eggs in that basket just yet. As a result, BlackBerry 10 offers developers a wide variety of SDK options to choose from. So many options, in fact, that you may have no clue where to start. Here are some details about each of the supported options: