* BlackBerry PhoneGap RIP

Posted on January 25th, 2009 by Dave Johnson. Filed under mobile, phonegap.

I was probably the only one working on PhoneGap for BlackBerry and now there might not be anyone. I have officially given up my BlackBerry programming endeavours for the time being in favour of greener pastures in the form of a Google Android G1. The final straw was when I found that the BrowserContentManager, which is the class one can use in their own BlackBerry application to render HTML content, does not support the same APIs as the actual web browser on the phone! In version 4.6 of the BlackBerry OS they introduced a proper, and fairly decent, web browser (that is definitely *not* WebKit as so many people like to say) and yet the BrowserContentManager is stuck back in the OS 4.2 days. Not sure if the Storm (OS 4.7) has changed that or not, although the API of the normal browser in 4.7 is identical to 4.6 so I assume not and somone on the BlackBerry support forums corroborates my findings.

I am working on my first Android application today and will hopefully get some PhoneGap work in there too.

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10 Responses to “BlackBerry PhoneGap RIP”

  1. Richard Hyndman Says:

    Hi, it is a shame about the BlackBerry PhoneGap project. But you are right to move on, if the OS isn’t providing you with the functionality you need then so be it. I’d be happy to colaborate on the Android PhoneGap application if you kick it off. Google Gears goes some way to making it redunant, but WebView’s on Android are really easy to use and I’ve worked with them a lot. Catch me on twitter @geekyouup if you want to talk.

  2. Robin Says:

    Just started looking at Blackberry implementation today (I even updated the phonegap wiki on how to install the dev environment etc). The day after you stopped :-( and I see many of your problems the killer for me is no CSS support. I think Blackberry themselves are trying to do much of this in their UI widget Apps (not sure this is the right name they use), so I’ll try to find out if there is a way out of this current impass.

  3. Robin Says:

    Had a look at their developer conf documentation. Have you looked at the API called BrowserField?

    see this presentation at..


  4. Robin Says:

    OK looked at the code again you are using the browser field UIs. Sorry!

    Seems odd in that presentation they do imply it all works though… but I foiund as you that the rendering of content is almost non-existent.

  5. Dave Johnson Says:

    @Robin, I think that I am still going to do some BlackBerry work though. We are trying to get in touch with people there to see what the holdup is and if they are going to get their act together and get the BrowserContentManager rendering engine and APIs up to the level of OS 4.6. So I might be back on it at some point :)

  6. Ethan Says:

    I want to participate to the develop of this blackberry PhoneGap. I need it ! :D

  7. Dave Johnson Says:

    Ethan go check out the source on GitHub!


  8. Cabin Says:

    Try these two lines when setting up your browser field. This will force it to use the 4.6 Browser:

    RenderingOptions ro = _renderingSession.getRenderingOptions();

    //use modern browser on 4.6+ devices
    ro.setProperty(RenderingOptions.CORE_OPTIONS_GUID, 17000, true);

  9. Dave Johnson Says:

    Cabin OMFG if that works you are my new best friend! The BlackBerry guy on the forum was just like “yah you are SOL”!


  10. Dave Johnson Says:

    Apparently that trick with:

    ro.setProperty(RenderingOptions.CORE_OPTIONS_GUID, 17000, true);

    does not work in my Bold (4.6.1) or Storm (4.7.0) simulator :(

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