RIM trumpets BlackBerry OS 5.0 enhancements

Following on the recent announcement of its forthcoming BlackBerry Storm2 touchscreen smartphone, Research In Motion addressed a series of enhancements coming with its BlackBerry OS 5.0, available for download now via the current Storm model. According to RIM, BlackBerry OS 5.0 is its first smartphone operating system from RIM to support Gears and SQLite for BlackBerry Widgets--in addition, the update will feature new APIs for deeper integration with BlackBerry smartphone apps, including access to multiple phone lines and multiple Contact lists, links to BlackBerry Contacts, and customizable phone screens with text and images, embedded video capture and streaming, and advanced camera features like zoom and focus. RIM will also allow the use of media keys for third-party media players that work even when an application is running in the background.

BlackBerry OS 5.0 will also include:

  • New user interface APIs promising easier UI creation and advanced customization. New features include date/time picker, file picker, and location picker and layout utility managers--mew customization APIs enable developers to install and use custom fonts, apply screen transitions, customize menu look and feel, and add submenus.
  • New networking APIs, such as network API and hotspot API, to simplify making network connections.
  • A new SQLite API enabling Java developers to manage their application data in a persistent database. RIM says that along with support for SQLite with the enhanced BlackBerry Browser, developers can now create applications that enable access and management of data stored on the smartphone both in and out of network coverage zones.
  • Further enhancements to the BlackBerry Browser to improve website rendering and deliver faster JavaScript and CSS.

RIM adds that an update to its BlackBerry Java Development Environment v5.0 beta 4 release is now available here. The manufacturer said BlackBerry OS 5.0 is expected to be available on devices including the BlackBerry Bold 9000, BlackBerry Tour 9630 and BlackBerry Curve 8900, 8350i and 8520 within the next few months.

For more on BlackBerry OS 5.0:
- read this release

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