An image for API level 10.3.1 beta.

That's so Classic!

Published: September 29th, 2014

Read the release notes

Check out the new features of API level 10.3.1 beta

API level 10.3.1 beta is now available for the BlackBerry 10 Native SDK and it includes more improvements and enhancements to your development experience. It's also designed to support the BlackBerry Classic smartphone. In this article, we summarize the new additions and how they affect your app development.

The BlackBerry Classic is a successor to the BlackBerry Bold smartphone, which remains a user favorite even now. In addition to a touch screen and physical keyboard, the BlackBerry Classic includes a row of physical keys (such as Call, Back, and Menu) and a trackpad. Users are getting all of the things that they loved about the BlackBerry Bold, but it's also been updated to provide the full BlackBerry 10 experience.

Screen showing a sample app that responds to the new keys on the BlackBerry Classic.

What's new?

This beta release is designed specifically to help you bring your apps to the BlackBerry Classic, but it also includes other new features. Here are some of the things you should check out:

Upgrade to the Momentics IDE 2.1.1 beta for BlackBerry and API level 10.3.1 beta

In Momentics IDE 2.1.1, we added some usability improvements to support new devices and API level 10.3.1 beta. You can download the new version of the Momentics IDE from our Downloads page. After you download the new version, make sure to follow the upgrade instructions that are included in the release notes.

API level 10.3.1 beta includes new trackpad event handlers, UI effects, and the Credential Manager Library. You can also use new personal information management (PIM) APIs to add out-of-office notifications, email previews, and contact management features to your apps. If you're developing an app in C++ or QML, you can use the HardwareInfo class to check if your app is running on a trackpad device.

You can upgrade from Momentics IDE 2.1 Gold to Momentics IDE 2.1.1 beta and API level 10.3.1 beta from within the IDE:

  1. In Windows and Linux, in your Momentics IDE installation folder (for example, C:\bbndk), open the qde.ini file in a text editor.

    In Mac OS, right-click the Momentics app and select Show Package Contents. Navigate to Contents > MacOS and open the qde.ini file in a text editor.

  2. Append the following line to the qde.ini file:
    -DINSTALL_DESCRIPTOR_LOCATION=http://downloads.blackberry.com/

    upr/developers/update/bbndk/install_descriptor_10_3_1_beta.xml

    Make sure the text is added on one line in the qde.ini file.

  3. Start or restart the Momentics IDE.
    You may be prompted to install a new SDK. If you aren't, on the Help menu, click Update API Levels.
  4. In the API Levels dialog box, click Beta and select the 10.3.1 beta API level.
  5. Click Install.
  6. When the API level finishes installing, click OK.

Head over to the Momentics IDE 2.1.1 beta release notes to learn more about upgrading to this version of the IDE.

Learn about trackpad devices and the touch-sensitive keyboard

The BlackBerry Classic includes new features that you should consider when you're developing your apps. To learn about them, see Device characteristics and Trackpad input.

You should also design your apps with the resolution and screen size of the BlackBerry Classic in mind. You can use design units and asset selectors to make sure that your apps look great on a wide range of devices.

In the Momentics IDE, the QML Preview feature now includes entries for new devices. You can see BlackBerry 10 Keyboard (720x720) - Classic and BlackBerry 10 Keyboard (1440x1440) in the preview drop-down list. To learn more about QML Preview, see QML Preview.

Test and debug more easily

You can build unit tests and run them on a device by using the new BlackBerry C/C++ Application Unit Test launch configuration. To learn more, see Unit testing. You can also start debugging quicker by launching the JavaScript debugger without the GDB debugger. To learn more, see Debugging a QML app.

If you're using API level 10.3.1 or later, you can use the DevelopmentSupport::install() function to install everything you need for testing your QML changes live on a target. To learn more, see Updating QML live on a target.

Use new and updated permissions

Phone Call Details and Phone Call Logs permissions are available as check boxes on the Application tab of the bar-descriptor.xml file. Push and Run in Background permissions are no longer restricted and are granted to all developers by default.

In addition, permissions no longer persist when a user uninstalls your app. The permissions that the user previously granted to your app are removed. The user is prompted to provide permissions when your app is reinstalled.

For more information, see Available permissions.

Educate yourself

There are more resources available to help you learn about the BlackBerry Classic and API level 10.3.1 beta: