RIM to give developers Web, push tools

Research In Motion will give developers tools to build Web applications that work offline.

Research In Motion will give developers tools to build Web applications that work offline, expanding beyond the Java platform that has been at the core of BlackBerry applications until now, the company said Tuesday.

Support for the Gears Web application framework and other tools will help to make Web applications into "first-class citizens" on the BlackBerry, said Alan Brenner, senior vice president of the BlackBerry Platform, at the company's first developer conference.

An audience of hundreds of developers applauded Brenner's announcement. Java has been the foundation of applications on the BlackBerry, but with the maturing of the mobile Web with faster networks and full Web browsers, it is becoming a major platform for smartphone software.

Also Tuesday, RIM said it will add support for SQL Lite for tying BlackBerry applications into relational databases, with the capability to keep using the applications offline with Java. Developers will also be able to use Web Signals to make their applications deliver live icons to the home screen of the device that give quick information updates and let the user click to get more details.

In another move that could open up new possibilities to BlackBerry developers, RIM will expose the APIs (application programming interfaces) for its push technology that has made the BlackBerry a hit with instantly available e-mail. This will let third-party developers create their own push applications for the platform, though the APIs will be rolled out only gradually over several quarters.

RIM would roll out its APIs more quickly but is concerned about security, said David Yach, CTO for software. The company is concerned that exposing APIs might expose potential holes, he said.

"All of us ... are in a world of hurt if there's some serious security problems on the BlackBerry," Yach said.

Also on Tuesday, RIM followed the lead of Apple's App Store with the BlackBerry Application Storefront, where developers can sell their applications directly to consumers. It is expected to become available in March. Through a partnership announced Tuesday with PayPal, buyers will be able to use the popular online payment service at the store.

The expanded development and delivery options come as RIM focuses on extending its powerful brand from the enterprise world to consumers.

"The consumer wireless data market is taking off, and that's the opportunity to all of you today," said Mike Lazaridis, president and co-CEO. Demonstrations at the event on Tuesday leaned heavily toward the consumer side, including the Gameday baseball news application from Major League Baseball's MLB.com and Dipdive, a social music and content-sharing application that was presented by Will.i.am of the pop group Black-Eyed Peas.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags RIMdeveloper tools

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Imou: At home with security

Modern living is all about functionality and security for everybody from the very young to the very old. With Imou anybody can enjoy smart life – the solution is at their fingertips.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?