We’ve already talked about some of the news from the first day of the 2009 BlackBerry Developers Conference, but another blast of PR from RIM has hit out inboxes, and wow, are we ever excited. The biggest news of the day is that developers will finally be able to unlock the full potential of the latest generation of BlackBerry smartphones — OS 5.0 and hardware permitting, of course — with the latest beta of the Java SDK 5.0 thanks in part to its OpenGL ES support. Still, there’s a lot of things to cover and we don’t want to clutter up our newly redesigned site with a bunch of text, so join us after the jump.
Previewed today but not expected to be available until the middle of 2010, the BlackBerry Java Plug-in for Eclipse will be updated with a new drag and drop WYSIWYG interface which will greatly reduce the amount of time it takes for a developer to put together all of the graphical elements in an app. More importantly, as BG is screaming up and down with excitement, this should allow BlackBerry applications to utilize a more streamlined and consistent user interface instead of, well, utter crap. More information about the new BlackBerry Theme Studio which replaces the Plazmic Content Developer’s Kit has also come out. Comprised of the Theme Builder and Composer, Theme Studio works for all devices running OS 4.2.2 and up and can not only directly import images from Adobe Photoshop but create a new generation of themes that are capable of zooming, sliding, wiping and fading while devices with OS 5.0 and up will have support for ringtones and screen transitions (oooooh, aaaaah). And now on to some slightly drier content (as far as consumers interests go.)
One of the things RIM has focused very hard on since the launch of App World has been helping to create an environment in which developers can generate more revenue and heighten the app-friendliness of the OS. With this in mind, RIM has announced its very own advertising service, BlackBerry Advertising Service, which amongst other things will “include the ability to easily initiate a call from an ad, add a calendar entry or contact entry from an ad, and directly link to an application in BlackBerry App World from an ad” while providing deep analytics. Speaking of monetization, BlackBerry Payment, available in mid-2010, will open the flood gates to activities such as premium content, subscriptions and in-app purchases. GPS has been a strong point of any BlackBerry, but now developers will have the means to do crazy new-fangled things like use cell site geolocation, reverse geocode and figure out how many minutes it will take to arrive at ones destination. Mindblowing? Definitely not. Abso-positively-necessary for RIM to do? Yes.