BlackBerry Application Development - General device capabilities

BlackBerry handhelds, like many smartphones today, are very powerful in spite of their small size. The processing power and capabilities of these handhelds could accurately be described as smaller versions of our desktops or laptops. They have many strong capabilities yet have a small size that makes them convenient to carry around. This combination makes smartphones in general, and BlackBerry handhelds in particular, well suited for on-the-go applications.

But just what can they do? There are so many possibilities! Let's take a look at the general capabilities of BlackBerry handhelds.

• Every handheld has a keyboard designed for typing on it. BlackBerry handhelds have always been specifically designed to send and receive e-mail, and as a result, the keyboards are well-suited for entering free-form data. The BlackBerry SDK offers no less than ten different kinds of text fields that can be used in nearly any kind of application. Plus, if you need something special, you can always create your own!

• Another area that BlackBerry handhelds excel at is network connectivity. Again, this is by design in order to provide excellent e-mail service. This connectivity includes fully encrypted TCP/IP communication, and the ability to receive as well as send raw data. Whether it is HTTP or UDP, the BlackBerry SDK supports all of the major networking protocols and can handle receiving as well as sending data. Furthermore, you can leverage the same secure protocols that are used to deliver e-mail.

• Most applications will need to store data on the local device. Applications can, of course, store data on the device in their own private stores, but they can also access and interface with other applications on the handheld. These include the pre-installed applications such as messages, address book, and calendar that come with the handheld.

• Cameras are nearly ubiquitous on smartphones and can be accessed by an application as well.

• Many newer devices include removable memory card slots for storage of large media files. Applications can access this storage as well to give applications with large storage needs the room to work.

• Another feature that is extremely common on handhelds is a GPS receiver that enables location-based service (LBS). This is one area that many in the smartphone industry will say holds the most promise for the future.

Source of Information : Packt - BlackBerry Java Application Development Beginners Guide 2010

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