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BlackBerry Native SDK v2.0 Out of Beta

Native SDK 2 launch PlayBook

RIM let us know that they have pushed the BlackBerry Native SDK v2.0 for the PlayBook out of beta for all developers. This new version adds some new APIs (sound, device info, & LED) but not the super app APIs (email, contacts, calendar) I was hoping for. They have also improved the IDE along with loads of improvements across the board including Scoreloop. This is a big step for RIM especially since they told us that eight of the top 10 launch days in App World for BlackBerry PlayBook apps were native applications.

Another one of the new improvements is a EGit plugin that gives developers direct access to the GitHub source code from within the IDE. This is all part of RIM’s effort to make developing easier.

You can find the new Native SDK v2.0 and full details on RIM’s microsite (Must Read) or read their announcement on the BlackBerry DevBlog.

Here is RIM’s breakdown of a few of the improvements:

Let’s take a look at some of the IDE enhancements:

  • EGit plugin: allows developers to check out source code directly from GitHub via the IDE.
  • A new easy-to-use wizard, Add Library Dependency, simplifies the process of adding library dependencies to a project.
  • Per-project SDK support – You can now configure your SDK/toolchain on a per-project basis. This allows you to have projects in your workspace build against different versions of the device.
  • A streamlined deployment setup wizard makes it easier for you to set up your development environment and troubleshoot issues. The wizard also leverages automatic device detection to help you set up your targets.
  • You can now report bugs directly from the IDE. Select Report a Bug from the Help menu in the IDE to report a bug and include screenshots, directly from the IDE.
  • The ability to filter files out of the BAR package to exclude unnecessary assets.
  • BAR files in the Project Explorer can now be expanded to show contents. Files in the BAR can be opened (read-only) in the appropriate editor.
  • The Import wizard has a new option, BlackBerry Tablet OS Existing Code as BlackBerry Tablet OS C/C++ Makefile Project, to import existing code.
  • Enhancements to the BAR file editor to view localized manifests for each locale.
  • Two new profiles, QNX Developer and C/C++ Developer (CDT), allow you to control access to functionality depending on developer type.
  • AIR Native Extension Support – New workflows have been added to the IDE to help you build and debug native extensions. This includes an ANE project type that works with the Adobe command line tools to generate ANEs. In addition, the new ANE launch configurations help you debug your ANE on the device.
  • Access to more example projects using the New Example wizard.

The BPS (BlackBerry Platform Services) APIs have evolved too, now including more features and several enhancements:

  • Sensor: many sensors are available, for example: accelerometer, magnetometer, temperature, luminance, etc.
  • Device Information: functions for reading information like OS version, PIN, serial number etc.
  • Soundplayer: several functions to play system sounds (like camera shutter, device lock etc).
  • LED service: control of the LEDs and colors to notify users even if the device isn’t being used.
  • Audio Mixer API: enables your application to react to events (headphone connected/disconnected, mute, etc) and also control audio properties. Also new input and output channels are available.

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