Whenever RIM releases a new form factor or style for their devices they need developers to know what it means to them. For the last few device launches RIM has been doing a great job of communicating those differences in the developer blog. Their latest update was for the BlackBerry Style 9670 and I think it is a pretty important one for a few reasons.
One of the first things I spotted was that the BlackBerry Style 9670 supports OpenVG 1.1 along with also being the first BlackBerry to support OpenGL ES 1.1. There are not that many OpenGL games out there due to the limited device support (CDMA only) but hopefully QNX devices will change that in the future.
Another thing to note is that the BlackBerry Style 9670 will oddly have the same internal screen resolution as the BlackBerry Pearl 3G 9100 at 360px by 400px. That is good news for developers since it means they can utilize build elements for both. The Style also has a 240×320 external screen resolution. There has been a trend recently from RIM to stick with the same resolutions on a couple devices… The only problem with that is that other device makers are really upping the resolution and RIM needs to be able to compete.
RIM has also continued the WebKit user agent style of:
Mozilla/5.0 (BlackBerry; U; BlackBerry 9670; en) AppleWebKit/534.3+ (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/126.96.36.1996 Mobile Safari/534.3+
There are also a few things you need to keep in mind because the 9670 is a flip phone:
- Use the Sensor class to detect when it’s open or closed
- Recognize that it follows the same design paradigm as the BlackBerry® Pearl™ Flip series smartphone, where the internal screen behaves just like a traditional display area and the external screen takes on functions for representing clock, incoming call information, album art, and banner notifications for new messages, calendar reminders, etc.
- The supported banner notifications also include third party ApplicationIndicators.
- Even when flipped closed, media events are sent to third party apps via MediaActionHandler.
I am really curious to see if the BlackBerry Style will really take off since it is a Sprint exclusive. The BlackBerry Pearl 8220 and 8230 died a short death with developers practically ignoring it even though it had both GSM and CDMA markets covered. The Style is cornered in the CDMA market and excludes the biggest US CDMA carrier (for now). Check out the full details over at the RIM Dev Blog since only time will tell.