Native NDK Cascades Beta 4 now available to BlackBerry 10 Developers
This beta release contains some API additions and a few visual tweaks here and there.
The purpose of this build is mainly stability and performance. This is also the first time we are API compatible with the previous beta release — no more rewrites of your Cascades application.
Some of the new stuff:
- Updated visuals on some controls, mainly the TitleBar and the font metrics of some controls
- APIs to track and manipulate content in text controls (TextEditor API)
- An updated and greatly improved UI guidelines documentation
At the core Native layer, RIM have introduced a few new APIs and fixed a whole bunch of bugs. There are too many fixes to list, and you should refer to the release notes if you need a comprehensive overview.
WThey added functions to support a Proxy auto config (PAC) and URL exclusion list to the BPS netstatus API. They also fixed the netstatus availability API, and added a last known location request to the BPS Geolocation API. Several fixes and minor enhancements were also made to the Scoreloop SDK.
For many of you these will likely not be a big deal, but for those of you who have been blocked waiting for some of these fixes and enhancements, I hope they help address your issues and concerns.
On the Cascades™ platform side of things, they added in an API to determine device orientation along with a camera specific API to query the preview frame orientation. Another API that might be of interest to our audio developers is the ability to provide an external audio manager handle into the AudioRecorder object.
Many app developers have also expressed the need for APIs that allow them to query the device for information, either for diagnostic purposes or for optimization and fine tuning based on what the system is capable of. With that in mind, they have added a device information API that provides the ability to query device-related information, as well as a memory info API that allows you to query memory related parameters such as total RAM and flash. We have also addressed a bug in our dialogs and toast API that will allow Cascades developers to access the finished signal in their qml code. Speaking of dialogs and toasts, they also enhanced our BPS dialog service to add support for recursive mutexes.
There are also some exciting developments to report on in the tooling front. RIM are releasing a new beta of the Visual Studio™ Plugin that addresses several of the bugs and issues with the earlier beta. One useful improvement that we addressed is support for variable expansion via the debugger. For performance reasons, we were only able to support up to five levels deep in our last release. We managed to optimize the way we perform variable evaluation so we can loosen this restriction. Developers who have significant nested structures in their games will now have no issues expanding their structures as deep down as possible, as you can see in this screenshot:
Another important usability issue that is addressed in this release is the ability to stop a build that is in progress. Many game developers have large projects that can take some time to build, and it was important to provide the ability to stop a build midway in case the developer decided to cancel it. There was no easy way to do this in the previous beta release, so you would have to wait until the build finished, which could be painful if you had a large project.
Enjoy this fourth beta – it’s almost gold! Download it from here.