Research in Motion (RIM) recently released the beta version of BlackBerry Java SDK v7.0 for public consumption. The release follows the company's announcement of BlackBerry 7 at last month's BlackBerry World 2011 Conference in Orlando. As expected, the beta version comes packed with plenty of new features for developers looking to fine tune their applications.
As the news was leaked of upcoming RIM releases in the form of the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and the Bold 9930, the timing of Java SDK v7.0 beta could not be better. Developers eager to create apps for the two new mobile platforms will be able to do so, as the new version of the SDK comes equipped with testing simulators for both phones. In addition to the testing capabilities of the SDK, there's more good news for app developers with the Bold 9900 and 9930 on their mind, as the BlackBerry App World is accepting new application submissions for both smartphones.
Beyond the features centering on development for the Bold 9900 and 9930, BlackBerry Java SDK v7.0 has much more to offer its users when it comes to new features and upgrades. As far as user interface enhancements are concerned, the Send Menu API can now be used to add a Send menu item to your app's menu, which allows users to content from the application they are using to another person using a different application on a BlackBerry device. Other user interface upgrades include certain command framework enhancements, the ability to layer UI elements and scan images for barcode data, 32-bit color bitmap creation, and more.
The area of application integration has received plenty of attention with the beta release as well, with magnetometer APIs being just one of the highlights. The Compass application has been added to give users the ability to specify destinations through Magnetometer APIs and BlackBerry Maps. The Unified Search API has been improved, and search results can now be categorized. Media file identification has also been added.
Utilities enhancements include the addition of the Multi Service Platform API, which supports BlackBerry Enterprise Server's BlackBerry Balance feature. Enterprise Server admins have been given the power to control the access to work data and more, thanks to capabilities that allow them to set IT policy rules that distinguish between work and personal data.
BlackBerry Java SDK v7.0 beta also offers plenty of improvements regarding location-based services. The Dynamic Mappable framework is one dynamic mapping enhancement that allows users to create locations on a map and specify if they need to be updated. Styles for mappable items can be defined, and custom shape creation has been integrated too. Departure time estimation, MapField and MapAction enhancements, and the compass overlay integration are also worth mentioning.
Last, but not least, are the beta version's Near field communication (NFC) features that help with the creation of mobile payment and e-commerce solutions. Users can read and write data on smart tags, emulate them, access a Secure Element on a BlackBerry device or SIM card, connect with smart accessories such as a smart dock or wireless headset, and more.