RIM Makes Adding Multimedia to BlackBerry Apps Easier

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Now that RIM is offering two models with real support for playing audio and video files, the company has announced that it is allowing developers to access the multimedia capabilities of the BlackBerry Pearl and 8800.

"Push-email paved the way for the early success of this market, but mobile applications will drive the next phase," said Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO at Research In Motion. "We are now opening the BlackBerry platform further with the release of additional APIs that can help fuel the next wave of mobile applications in areas such as Social Networking, Multi-Media, eCommerce, News and Information Services, and Location-Based Services."

New Multimedia APIs

Among the new APIs available for BlackBerry smartphones are:

  • Mobile Multi-Media API for Java (JSR 135) allowing developers to embed custom audio and video content into applications; invoke the BlackBerry Media Player to play video or audio content; record audio or voice and save recorded files to the handset or send it over the Internet
  • Camera APIs that allow developers to invoke the camera application and access pictures taken with it as well as allow an application to be notified when a new picture is taken
  • Support for MP3, WAV, WMA, AAC and AMR audio formats with support for routing audio playback to the external speaker, connected headset, or Bluetooth headset
  • Wallpaper and Ringtone Customization Java APIs to allow custom applications to add new wallpapers and ringtones to the smartphone

Other Changes

RIM is making other changes not related to multimedia. These include:

  • XML and Web Services support to help simplify communications with existing Internet applications
  • BlackBerry Messenger APIs allowing access to presence and contact information and the ability to send peer-to-peer messages
  • File System Access APIs (JSR 75) to provide access to documents and other files stored locally on the smartphone or on the microSD expansion memory; support for registering listeners with the file system that enable an application to be notified when a new files are added or removed
  • GPS APIs (JSR 179) that provide access to location information from local GPS chip or external GPS receiver connected over Bluetooth
  • BlackBerry Maps API providing access to the map application to display an address or a route with BlackBerry Maps providing all of the geo-coding and mapping data for free

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