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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

TAKE IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL

  • 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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Classical Native Development

 

In this blog post I will highlight to you the most important things you need to know as a native developer about the new Classic BlackBerry 10 device and the associated 10.3.1 tooling upgrades (native SDK/simulator/docs/samples/etc.).

New user input methods

The new classic device introduces new ways for capturing the user input. The user now has four extra physical navigation keys and a trackpad, which are located on what we call the Classic physical BELT.

Classic Samples 2

The “Call”, “Back”, and “End” navigation buttons are designed to trigger navigation events resulting in system-level actions (like invoking the phone app for e.g. in case of the “Call” button). The “Menu” button, on the other hand, is designed to trigger a screen event (a press+hold event on the “Menu” button for e.g. will open the app menu, while a single press will bring up the action menu of the app). Finally, the trackpad is designed to act like a mouse or a joystick that allows the user to surf the screen from a single button.

New Documentations

To help you learn more about native design and development for the Classic, we have added two new documentation pages where you will find all you need to know: one that discusses how to handle input from the four navigation keys and another that deals with how to handle input from the trackpad. We have also added a section to the design documents to help you follow the recommended user experience when it comes to how these keys are behaving platform-wide. Finally, the 10.3.1 release notes include a lot of useful information about the Classic tooling upgrades.

New/Updated Classic Samples

To further help you add support the Classic device to your app, we have added new Cascades samples to the Cascades-Samples repo on Github as well as updated existing ones to support the Classic device. The ones that were updated to include Classic support API’s are the popular CircularSlider and the CascadesCookbookCPP sample apps.  And the newly added ones are a sample called belt and a sample called highlighter in the Cascades samples repo and a sample called ReadySetGo in the community samples repo.

New/Updated API’s -– What to do to support Classic?

  1. The first task that you might want to implement in terms of Classic support is to check if the underlying hardware is a trackpad device. To enable you to do so, we have added a new method “isTrackpadDevice()” to the HardwareInfo API.
  2. The next thing you might want to implement for a Classic device is listening to and responding to input events from the four navigation keys: the “End”, “Call”, “Menu” and “Back”. To enable you to do so, we have added a new API called DeviceShortcut. The way to use this API is demonstrated in the new belt sample app as well as the circularslider app.
  3. The next customization option that is available to you is customizing the initial focus policy of your controls using the NavigationFocusPolicy API or customizing the navigation path using the Navigation API. Again, the circularslider sample app is where these functionalities have been showcased.
  4. The next option is for you to customize the highlighting style of your controls. In order to allow you to do so we have added the BrightnessEffect and the FocusHighlightEffect API’s, which are demoed using the newly added highlighter sample app.
  5. Finally, one more thing you might want to consider in terms of Classic support is to make your app listen to and handle trackpad events like finger moves or button presses. To enable you to do so, we have added two new API’s: the TrackpadHandler and the TrackpadEvent Their use is well-demoed in the updated circularslider sample app as well as in the new belt sample app.

Updated Tooling

Next to the updated docs, samples and API’s, we have also released a few updates to the tooling to support the Classic device. The new 10.3.1 BlackBerry 10 Simulator now comes with controller support for the Classic device. And finally, the new release of the BlackBerry 10 Momentics IDE version 2.1.1, now comes with new features to support the BlackBerry 10 Classic device: It provides direct integration with the 10.3.1 SDK and the 1.4 Cascades library (which both are required for Classic development) and it supports the Classic resolution in the QML Preview feature under “BlackBerry 10 Keyboard (720×720) – Classic”.

I hope you will find the above compilation of Classic resources useful. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments’ section below. I’ll be happy to answer those…

@SamarAbdelsayed


5 days ago
Handling BlackBerry Input Methods

This post was written by Naveenan Murugesu

Passport Webworks

It’s very exciting that BlackBerry Passport has arrived and BlackBerry Classic is just around the corner. With the arrival of BlackBerry Passport and BlackBerry Classic smartphones, we have several new input methods to support in your apps:

  • Touch Sensitive Keyboard
  • Navigation Keys
  • Trackpad Input

By supporting these new input methods, you will enhance the user experience and the usability of your application.

Newly released WebWorks SDK 2.2 provides new plugins and APIs to the developers, which allows you to enable and customize the behavior of the new input methods.  Let’s take a closer look at the new input methods and the associated plugins and APIs.

Touch Sensitive Keyboard

The BlackBerry Passport introduces the touch-sensitive keyboard, which allows you to capture gestures such as swipes.  The WebWorks SDK 2.2 provides a new plugin, com.blackberry.input, allows you to capture events from the touch-sensitive keyboard.  Once this plugin is added to your project, you can add an event listener for the touchenabledkeyboard event as illustrated in the code sample below.


document.addEventListener(“deviceready”, function () {

document.addEventListener(‘touchenabledkeyboard’,

touchKeyboardCallback);

});

 

function touchKeyboardCallback (event) {

console.log(‘The touchenabledkeyboard event is

fired’);

}

Input methods 2

Navigation Keys

The BlackBerry Classic re-introduces four physical navigation keys (Send, Menu, Back and End 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 as a developer, you can customize it as needed.  The Back button will minimize your application to the active tile home screen, but you can override this behavior as shown in the code sample below.


document.addEventListener(“deviceready”, function () {

document.addEventListener(‘menubutton’, onMenuButton);

document.addEventListener(‘backbutton’, onBackButton);

});

function onMenuButton() {

console.log(“The menu button was pressed”);

}

function onBackButton() {

console.log(“The back button was pressed”);

Input methods 3

Trackpad Input

The BlackBerry Classic re-introduces the optical trackpad.  The trackpad uses an infrared sensor to detect displacement of a finger moving over top of it and translates that input into directional movements on the screen.  WebWorks allows you to customize the behavior of trackpad in a number of ways.  By default, your Webworks application will present a cursor for the user navigation, which is called cursor navigation mode. As a developer, you cannot customize the navigation path in the cursor navigation mode.  However, with spatial navigation, the trackpad allows the user to skip from one focusable element to the next and as a developer, you can choose which element to receive the initial focus and you can define your own navigation path.


Config.xml

 

<platform name="blackberry10">

<preference name="SpatialNavigation" value="enable" />

</platform

Navigation mode is defined as part of your app’s configuration.  To use spatial navigation in your application, you must enable it in your app configuration.

Once the Spatial Navigation is enabled in the config.xml, as a developer, you can skip from one focusable element to the next.  By default, WebWorks automatically gives focus to the following HTML elements:


·         <textarea>

·         <a>

·         <input>

·         <select>

·         <button>

·         <iframe>

Defining the initial focus

You can define which element initially receives the focus when a new screen is displayed in your application.  We can use the HTML 5’s tabindex attribute to achieve that.  The element with the lowest tabindex value gets initial focus as shown in the example below:


<a href="http://devblog.blackberry.com/www.my-company2.com tabindex="2">Link 1</a>

<a href="www.my-company3.com tabindex="3">Link 2</a>

<a href="www.my-company1.com tabindex="1">Link 3</a>

In the example above, Link 3 receives the initial focus, since it has the lowest tabindex value.

That is it for now.  You can start adding the BlackBerry Passport and Classic support to your application by performing the following simple steps:

  1. Download and Install the WebWorks SDK 2.2
  2. Re-package your application with the new SDK
  3. Add the required plugins.
  4. Make the necessary changes in the config.xml.
  5. Follow steps outlined in this blog post.

That’s all.  Stay tuned for our next blog!  The next series of blog posts will go in depth and talk about the new input methods in greater detail.


5 days ago
Enterprise Developer Groups Spotlight: Dave Burrows

For our bi-monthly Enterprise Developer Groups Spotlight series, today I am going to tell you more about a great BlackBerry developer from UK, Dave Burrows, manager of the Enterprise Developer Group Leeds.

Dave is a long time BlackBerry Developer and his company, Interchange Group, has been a BlackBerry partner and developing BlackBerry apps since 2002 and is now a BlackBerry Platinum Enterprise Partner.

Their BlackBerry development capability has been proven time and time again with customers like Transport for London, Aimia (Nectar), Telegraph Media Group, QVC, O2 and BSkyB for whom they wrote the BlackBerry award winning Sky Sports Football Centre App as well as the BlackBerry Sky News App. Interchange Group was also selected to provide Argyll Communicare with its customized BlackBerry smartphone lone worker solution.

This time, Dave and his team brought to BlackBerry World the BlackBerry 10 version of their popular BBOS app Triplogga. They developed Triplogga both as an app for general release but also to fix a personal need since Dave needed a reliable trip logging system on his BlackBerry.

Triplogga1

The reason Triplogga is so useful is that the trip gets logged automatically, one doesn’t have to remember to press a “start button” to start logging, nor a “stop button” to stop logging. This was a big issue for Dave, and their customers, with some other apps. When you’re in a rush it’s very easy to forget to run an app and press the start button before making a journey. With Triplogga they wanted the app to detect the start and end of trips automatically. The BlackBerry Bluetooth APIs allowed them to detect the vehicle’s Bluetooth connection as a trigger mechanism for the logging.

You can, of course, manually log your business and personal vehicle mileage with a single click at the start and end of each journey if you don’t have Bluetooth in your vehicle, of course. Last but not least, they’ve also included NFC trigger support too. Users will then be able to use an NFC tag to start the logging if they don’t have Bluetooth in their vehicle.

Triplogga2

Dave highlighted that they wanted Triplogga to be a part of the user’s BlackBerry device and not just another app that you have to keep launching to use.

Using the BlackBerry 10 PIM integration APIs along with the headless API features means that the app can log each journey straight into the device’s calendar and the appointment shows the exact start and stop times in the appointment body. Amazing, isn’t it?

They also use the BlackBerry Maps APIs to retrieve the address of start and stop points too.

In Dave’s own words:

“Having access to such a rich suite of on-device API has meant we’ve been able to augment the trip data with useful information without using a server. In fact, on a day to day basis a Bluetooth- enabled vehicle user might not launch the Triplogga user interface at all. All the information needed just appears in the diary and (on BlackBerry 10) the BlackBerry Hub notifies you when trips are being recorded in real time. Until you want to review/share your data It will just carry on logging your trips for you.”

Mostly Dave expects users to want to keep their trip logs private, and appointments can (optionally) be marked as private; but they have also used the sharing framework to allow users to email trip information as CSV and KML files when they do want to share (or just import the data into a spreadsheet on their PC for use in monthly reports). With the BlackBerry 10 version, you can even export an entire month as a CSV file which makes expense claims easier still.

I find Triplogga a fantastic app for those who drive a lot for business. It can be used to justify mileage claims to employers or customers, as well as minimise the chance of forgetting to log your mileage in the first place. Dave and his company also provide white label solution for big companies which require a fully customized version of their app.

If you liked this success story, please take a look at the previous ones, too (here, here and here).

Interested to know more about our Enterprise Developer Groups? Do you want to join one? Take a look here to find the one closest to you. If you are interested in starting a new one, instead, please fill this form and we will get back to you as soon as we can.


5 days ago

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