RIM has gone on the road touring a number of developer workshops to preview the BlackBerry 10 operating system saying that it will "transform the developer experience" and bring new gesture-based functions to GUI usability.
BlackBerry programmers are reportedly now being handed the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha "device", which will benefit from the new Cascades user interface design tool.
Developers have already been able to get some hands-on interaction with the native (C/C++ with Cascades and QML development) and web (HTML5 with BlackBerry WebWorks) development environments to help them to build apps for the new platform.
In line with these events, the BlackBerry 10 native SDK is also now available with (as expected) additional APIs and IDE improvements. According to the official BlackBerry Developer blog some of the new tools include the following:
- Scoreloop SDK 2.0: A social gaming SDK that provides APIs to set up user profiles and global leaderboards, award achievements, and challenge other players.
- Payment APIs: To facilitate the integration of in-app payment processing mechanisms in apps.
- Battery Monitoring and LED Control: These APIs will give apps access to hardware components on the device that allow applications to read the battery level, so they can inform their users about potential loss of data if the battery level is too low to complete an activity.
According to Alex "K" of the BlackBerry Developer blog team, "On the tooling side, we are introducing a limited beta version of the new BlackBerry Plug-in for Microsoft Visual Studio. We've been listening to our game developers who develop their titles using the Visual Studio IDE, and this plug-in will now make it easier for these developers to adapt their games for our platform."