Getting started with porting

There are millions of lines of C and C++ code out there waiting to be ported to BlackBerry 10. With the BlackBerry 10 Native SDK, you can use that code and bring it to many eager users. The Native SDK provides useful tools and commonly used libraries that you can use to get your existing app running quickly and reliably on BlackBerry 10 devices.

It's important to keep in mind that BlackBerry 10 drives feature-rich and powerful devices, with capabilities that you may not have even considered for your app. For example, a desktop game written in C++ is not likely to include code that handles touch screen gestures or logic to accommodate a touch screen keyboard. You should also be aware of platform differences that can affect the libraries that your app uses, so it's ideal to choose libraries that are open source or that you have the source code rights for. The Native SDK provides plenty of open source libraries that have been tested on BlackBerry 10 to make porting your app easier. Your app should be programmed in C or C++, otherwise you need to convert languages as well.

Device showing the gameplay longboard sample app.

BlackBerry 10 devices can be separated into two general categories:

  • Full-touch devices: These devices use a touch screen as the only input method. They include a touch screen keyboard that appears on the screen when keyboard input is required.
  • Devices with a physical keyboard: These devices include a physical, QWERTY keyboard in addition to a touch screen. In general, they have a smaller screen size than full-touch devices.

The Native SDK works on Windows, Mac OS, and Linux platforms, so you can work in your favorite environment. Ideally, you should pick the platform that the software you want to port compiles on. For example, if your app is available for Linux, go ahead and use Linux as your development environment. Then, you are dealing with the differences between two POSIX-compliant operating systems (Linux and BlackBerry 10), along with some additional hardware differences such as touch screens, lack of a physical keyboard, and so on.

After you select an appropriate app to port, it's a good idea to try to compile it in your development environment. If you can’t build the project in an environment that supports it, you are unlikely to port it successfully to BlackBerry 10.

Last modified: 2014-09-30

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