WebWorks: If you've built a web app, you can build a BlackBerry 10 app
Now that the BlackBerry 10 smartphone platform has finally been launched, along with the new Z10 and Q10 devices, it’s clear that the newly re-named BlackBerry is targeting the BYOD market with the latest version of BES and its new OS. Built on the QNX real time OS, BlackBerry 10 can take advantage of its built-in sandboxing to separate personal and corporate data – and personal and corporate applications.
With a device running BlackBerry Balance, IT departments are able to lock down corporate partitions and corporate data, while your own personal apps and information can run uncontrolled. There’s separation of church and state, data can’t be shared across the partitions even though you can be running a personal app at the same time as a business app.
That means it’s easier to build and run your own apps. While your code might be designed to work inside the corporate Balance partition, you can build and test in your own space without affecting corporate apps. Once an app is ready to distribute you can work with IT to get it signed with a digital certificate and added to a private enterprise store. Of course if you’re working with publicly accessible data and services you can add your app to the public BlackBerry World store, or sideload it onto colleagues’ devices using a free code signing key.
BlackBerry has taken an unusual, and interesting, approach to mobile application development -- one that’s more akin to the PC model. Instead of limiting development to one framework and one toolkit, BlackBerry 10 gives you a wide choice of different application development frameworks – from C++ and QT, to ActionScript and AIR, to HTML5 and BlackBerry’s own WebWorks – and Android apps can be wrapped and delivered as BlackBerry apps, running on a version of the Android virtual machine. All deliver code that runs on the device, and that can take advantage of core device APIs, including access to device sensors and integration with the BlackBerry Messenger Service.
If you’ve tried downloading BlackBerry development tools in the past, you’ll find the new BlackBerry developer site a lot easier to use – and there’s no need to register for downloads. All you need to do is click and go…
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