BBX provides developers a platform to create applications for PlayBook tablet device and BlackBerry smartphones
BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) has unveiled a new operating system, called BlackBerry BBX.
The software is designed to help developers create applications for the company’s PlayBook tablet device and new smartphones. RIM said that BBX bridges RIM’s current BlackBerry operating system and its newer QNX platform.
Company co-chief executive officer Mike Lazaridis said that the latest OS aims to remove developer "roadblocks".
"I can’t say how important you are to us," he told developers at the BlackBerry DevCon conference in San Francisco. "It’s a really exciting time for BlackBerry developers."
the company said that BBX is the next generation platform for BlackBerry smartphones and tablets. It combines the best of BlackBerry and the best of QNX and is designed from the ground up to enable the powerful real-time mobile experiences that distinguish BlackBerry products and services, the company added.
RIM also announced a series of developer tool updates, including WebWorks for BlackBerry smartphones and tablets, the Native SDK for the BlackBerry PlayBook and a developer beta of BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 with support for running Android applications.
The BBX platform will include BBX-OS, and will support BlackBerry cloud services and development environments for both HTML5 and native developers. BBX will also support applications developed using any of the tools available today for the BlackBerry PlayBook – including Native SDK, Adobe AIR/Flash and WebWorks/HTML5, as well as the BlackBerry Runtime for Android Apps – on future BBX-based tablets and smartphones.
BBX will also include the new BlackBerry Cascades UI Framework for advanced graphics (shown for the first time today), and bring "Super App" capabilities to enable many advanced capabilities including deep integration between apps, always-on Push services, the BBM™ Social Platform, and much more.
"With nearly 5 million BlackBerry apps downloaded daily, our customers have made BlackBerry one of the most profitable platforms for developers," said Lazaridis.
"At DevCon today, we’re giving developers the tools they need to build richer applications and we’re providing direction on how to best develop their smartphone and tablet apps as the BlackBerry and QNX platforms converge into our next generation BBX platform."
RIM also launched the Native SDK for the BlackBerry PlayBook (1.0 gold release). The Native SDK allows developers to build high-performance, multi-threaded, native C/C++ applications and enables developers to create advanced 2D and 3D games and other apps with access to OpenGL ES 2.0 and Open AL, as well as device specific APIs.
RIM showcased BlackBerry Cascades, a rich user interface framework coming to a future release of the Native SDK.
RIM said that the BlackBerry PlayBook now supports the recently announced Adobe AIR 3.0 runtime and introduced the Developer Beta version of the BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0. The BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 – Developer Beta also supports Adobe Air 3.0 and Adobe Flash 11, as well as WebGL.
The company said that Android developers can also repackage Android apps for the BlackBerry PlayBook online by using the BlackBerry Packager for Android Apps.
RIM also announced the BlackBerry Open Source Initiative to port popular Open Source libraries to the BlackBerry PlayBook platform.