BlackBerry Java Programmers - Code Once for Smartphones and Tablets

by Peter_vdL Motorola 01-04-2012 07:55 PM - edited 01-07-2012 12:52 PM

I like to stay current with developments in the mobile device industry, so I read a recent blog post about Research In Motion (RIM).  RIM is one of the pioneers of the mobile industry; they developed the BlackBerry line of handsets, as well as the Playbook tablet.  Although the blog identified several of the challenges facing RIM, it did not mention the large roadblock that RIM's SDK roadmap creates for Java developers.  RIM currently has an SDK diagram like this:
Today, programmers develop for BlackBerry handsets in Java ME.   There is a large RIM developer base with Java expertise. But the RIM Java roadmap ends abruptly at the current release, BlackBerry 7 OS.  For the coming BlackBerry 10 release, the in-house options that RIM supports are C/C++, or Javascript with HTML5.  Neither is an attractive alternative for developers used to the sophistication of object-oriented programming using a modern typesafe language. The next iteration of the RIM SDK roadmap for the BlackBerry 10 operating environment actually looks like this:
Screen shot 2012-01-07 at 12.40.54 PM.png
RIM hopes to fill its software market by encouraging developers to move existing Android apps to the Playbook.  But that approach suggests another choice for Java programmers shut out by RIM's discontinuous roadmap.   Leverage your mobile Java skills to develop for Motorola Android products.  The Android API is fully supported on Motorola products, and your apps will run on phones and tablets - you don't have to write two versions.   There is great developer content on MOTODEV with helpful technical notes and tools.
To get started, check out the technical article - Android Applications for Java ME Developers.  RIM developers - you already know Java and Mobile; picking up the Android framework will be straightforward for you.   The time to get started is right now, and let's have some fun with this thing!

Peter van der Linden
Android Technology Evangelist

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