Research In Motion (RIM) has updated the tools it is providing for developers to build applications for its delayed BlackBerry 10 platform, the company said on Thursday.
Building on the introduction of the BlackBerry 10 platform at the BlackBerry World conference in the spring, RIM today released an update of the BlackBerry 10 developer toolkits. The toolkits are available in beta as free downloads from http://developer.blackberry.com.
The update adds a range of new features and enhancements, most notably including two key sets of APIs for BlackBerry 10 developers - an application invocation framework, which will allow BlackBerry 10 applications to interact with each other, and the Push APIs that let developers leverage the global BlackBerry infrastructure to send notifications and other content to BlackBerry 10 devices.
"Developers have been making remarkable progress with BlackBerry 10. We've seen amazing examples of apps from every category being built for the BlackBerry 10 platform; often in just a matter of days. This update provides enhancements to all four SDKs and introduces two key APIs that allow developers to integrate their apps deeply into the core BlackBerry 10 experience, creating a seamless flow between apps for BlackBerry 10 customers," said Christopher Smith, Vice President, Handheld Application Platform & Tools at Research In Motion.
The application invocation framework will give developers the ability to tie their applications to native BlackBerry 10 features and to other applications. Developers will also have access to a greater pool of sample apps and examples in both native and HTML5 development.
The new Push APIs will allow BlackBerry WebWorks and Adobe AIR developers to leverage RIM's push technology and infrastructure in order to push content from their application servers directly to end users.
In addition to the BlackBerry 10 developer toolkit updates, RIM is also opening the BlackBerry App World Vendor Portal for BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha test devices. The portal will now allow developers to target the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha test device for applications, allowing developers with BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha test devices to share and access each other's applications and see what their peers are doing with the platform.
In addition to the Invocation framework for app integration, the BlackBerry Cascades application framework for C/C++ or Qt developers features new pinch gesture support for zooming and large improvements of the UI look and feel. The BlackBerry 10 Native SDK has added API support for NFC, Cryptography, Audio Manager, Slogger2 and Notifications Manager.
The BlackBerry 10 SDK for Adobe AIR and the BlackBerry 10 Runtime for Android Apps tools have also been updated with the AIR tools now supporting both Push APIs and the invocation framework. The Android tools now support: in-app payment; camera; and multi-window support APIs.
RIM has lost much of its smartphone market share, squeezed between Apple's hugely successful iPhone and the slew of devices using Google's Android software.
The company last month reported a deeper-than-expected operating loss and said it was cutting almost 10 percent of its workforce as it delayed the BlackBerry 10 launch to the first quarter of next year. The first devices were initially expected early this year.