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BlackBerry Developer Meet-up September (Built For BlackBerry Revitilized)

  • Saturday, 14th September 2013 at 3:30pm - 8:30pm
    Location: ihub Bishop Magua Building George Padmore Lane Nairobi, Nairobi KE

    Register Here

    • 12 people attended

Built For BlackBerry and Certification

  • Saturday, 3rd August 2013 (all day)
    Location: Ihub 4th Floor Bishop Magua Centre

    Now that everyone is looking forward to build application which qualifies for built for BB We…

    • 45 people attended


  • Saturday, 4th May 2013 at 10am - 5:30pm
    Location: IHub Nairobi

    It was amazing to get great ideas hit the floor as we get new developers started as well as…

    • 22 people attended

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Survey: Mobile Technology Spurring New Definition of Productivity

Originally posted on Inside BlackBerry:

The New Era of ProductivityIt was only a few years ago when mobile devices were seen as a hindrance and distraction that would lead to decreased productivity. Times have clearly changed and we’ve got the numbers to prove it.

Today, BlackBerry launched the initial results of a global study on productivity. The study, produced in partnership with research firm GfK, revealed that the definition of productivity is changing.

Gone are the days where the concept of productivity was rooted in an employer-imposed 9 to 5 work day. We found that today’s professionals now see productivity as a personal priority rather than something that companies seek for their employees. For instance, 67 percent of business smartphone users are “always looking to improve their productivity” and 69 percent are “constantly looking for new ways to get things done as efficiently as possible.”

Business users are also looking to advance their career while balancing their personal…

View original 411 more words

on 2nd October
The Return of the Classic


Hi folks.  It has only been a short while since the release of the BlackBerry 10.3.0 SDK and this time I’m back again to announce the arrival of the BlackBerry 10.3.1 Beta SDK.  This release in particular is designed to support development on our upcoming BlackBerry Classic device so it should be of particular interest to you as a developer.   The BlackBerry Classic is designed as a successor to the BlackBerry Bold which has long been one of my favourite smartphones.  It has all the attributes our BlackBerry fans associate with the brand – a fantastic keyboard and trackpad, excellent design and build quality, and software that lets you get things done quickly and efficiently.  I have yet to meet a BlackBerry Bold user who doesn’t like that device – in fact I know several folks who are still holding on to their BlackBerry Bold.  This is why I’m personally excited about the BlackBerry Classic.  It has all the great things that folks love about their BlackBerry Bold from both a hardware and UX perspective.  At the same time, it comes with the modern BlackBerry 10 operating system along with the ecosystem.   I think our customers are going to love it and it’s a great opportunity for app developers to get on board and leverage excitement.

The BlackBerry 10.3.1 API release was designed specifically to allow you to bring your app to the BlackBerry Classic device.  We usually try our best to minimize the amount of work developers have to do to bring their app to new hardware.  As long as you have been following our Cascades best practices, you should hopefully not encounter significant hurdles.  There are a few things however that you need to be aware of:  The first thing to consider is the 720 x 720 square resolution.   We already have devices that support the 1:1 aspect ratio such as the BlackBerry Q5, Q10 and the newly released BlackBerry Passport, so the same principles for developing on these devices apply to BlackBerry Classic as well.  What’s new on the classic device though is the existence of a trackpad and hard keys.

We have exposed Qt APIs that allow you to query the existence of the trackpad and hard keys.  In a typical case you would likely not need to do this – however these APIs are available in case you need them.   The introduction of a trackpad also automatically introduces additional facilities to the end user particularly with respect to navigation and focus.  You can now use the trackpad (in addition to the touchscreen) to navigate around the display just like you would on a BlackBerry 7 device.  Likewise, you can also focus on a control by hovering on a control with the trackpad.  This is not something that is possible with just a touchscreen.  When you do this, the control will get highlighted.  Cascades already provides default focus highlighting for standard controls.  If you are using standard controls, you should not have to worry about specifying any highlighting as the Cascades framework will automatically do this for you.  You do have the option however of modifying the highlighting if you so wish.

If you have custom controls on the other hand, then you would have to add support for custom highlighting within your control.  The way you do this is as follows :

  1. Set your controls navigation property’s focusPolicy to Focusable
  2. Set your controls navigation property’s defaultHighlightEnabled to false.
  3. Apply the appropriate highlights when the wantsHighlight property is set

The snippet of code below is designed to show you how to do this.

MyCustomControl {
    id: mycontrol
    navigation.focusPolicy: NavigationFocusPolicy.Focusable
    navigation.defaultHighlightEnabled : false
    background: navigation.wantsHighlight ? ui.palette.primaryDark
           : ui.palette.background

I realize this code snippet will not make you an expert on this topic so in addition to this high level overview, our fantastic developer experience teams will be also be adding samples to both our official samples page and community samples repo to supplement this information in more detail.

Developers developing core native apps can access hard key and trackpad events via BPS.  These events can also be accessed via our navigator service and libscreen API.  This will be of particular interest to our existing game developers who want to incorporate trackpad and hard key events in their games.

In addition to trackpad support we have also added a few new APIs in this release.  Most of our API focus in this release has been on the enterprise and security space.  The regulated space is very important to us and we want to make sure we are doing everything to help our enterprise customers and developers deploy mobility solutions in this area.  We are providing a new system integrity service that allows an app to retrieve information about the OS and applications installed on the device.  These include things like SHA digests, package size and version information.  We also have a credential manager that an app can authenticate with to access enterprise data and services.    Enhancements have also been made to our PIM stack particularly with respect to out of office settings, email previews and contact management.  For more details on these please refer to our release notes and API docs.

I am personally excited about the BlackBerry Classic and I hope you are too!  I hope this blog has provided you with the key pieces of information needed to help you deploy your app on classic successfully and with minimal hassle.  And to make your transition to classic seamless and effortless, there is nothing better than starting as early as possible.  So please start downloading our tools and SDK and dig in.  Let us know how it goes.

Please note it may take over 24 hours for the Autoloaders to appear and function

on 2nd October
BlackBerry WebWorks 2.2 Released!


Since the release of BlackBerry WebWorks SDK version 2.1, we’ve been working hard on bringing support for the upcoming BlackBerry Classic to our web development community. Let’s take a look at the new features we’re adding in WebWorks 2.2.

Classic Trackpad

The biggest thing the BlackBerry device software version 10.3.1 brings is support for the trackpad and menu belt of keys that are coming with the Classic device. The trackpad allows a user to navigate through the application and click on active elements. By default, your WebWorks application will present a cursor for user navigation, similar to a mouse pointer.

If your application has a well-defined structure with clear focusable elements, you can consider updating your application to take advantage of spatial navigation. This is a more intuitive mode that will highlight focused items, and navigate automatically between focusable items based on trackpad movements.

You can even manually define the navigation flow of your application if you want complete control. Using CSS properties, you can define which element is NEXT to receive focus in a given navigation direction. Please see our documentation for more on spatial navigation.

Navigation Keys

In terms of the navigation keys, you cannot as a developer override the behavior of the Send and End keys. However, you can work with the Menu and Back key. The Menu key, by default, will not do anything in your WebWorks application, so you can customize it as needed. However, it is strongly recommended to leverage it in a way the user will expect – i.e., triggering a menu component of some kind.

By default, the Back button will minimize your application to the active tile homescreen. If you override the button, it is recommended that you use it to reverse a logical “navigation” in your application, like moving back in a screen stack.

In order to work with the navigation keys, you’ll need to include the com.blackberry.app plugin in your application. Then all you need to do is add event listeners for the onMenuButton or onBackButton events, and you’re good to go. As always, ensure that you wait for the deviceready event before attempting to add these listeners. See our documentation for more.

document.addEventListener("deviceready", function () {
    document.addEventListener('menubutton', onMenuButton);
    document.addEventListener('backbutton', onBackButton);

Passport Touch-Enabled Keyboard

A while back, we posted a plugin that allows you to take advantage of the events generated from the BlackBerry Passport touch-enabled keyboard. We have since updated this plugin to provide a greater amount of functionality and support for multiple touchpoints.

If you wish to take advantage of the specific capabilities of the touch-enabled keyboard, you must include the com.blackberry.input plugin. Then you can add an event listener for the touchenabledkeyboard event. When the event fires, you’ll receive an array of all touchpoints along with their positions. For more information, please see our docs.

Of course, to test all of this, you’ll want to download the latest simulator build to get started. In our docs you will find details on how to mimic all the navigation actions with the simulator. Also, keep your eyes on the GitHub Samples repository for a sample application coming soon.

So now it’s time to prepare for the pending launch of the BlackBerry Classic and add navigation and trackpad support to your apps. You can get started right now by downloading the new SDK here. We’d love to hear feedback on the new features in the forums or on Twitter at @BlackBerryDev!

Please note it may take over 24 hours for the Autoloaders to appear and function

on 2nd October

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