In our article “How to get rid of the Virtual Keyboard in 3rd Party Applications on the BlackBerry Storm” I described this from the end-user point of view. While that is using for users it is still cumbersome and inconvenient for them. Moreover, as a developer you might not want to get that much negative feedback and support inquiries about your third party application which starts up with a virtual keyboard that cannot be hidden whatsoever.
What is the problem?
Your customer just received his new BlackBerry Storm and installed the old thrid party application from you on it. If I start the application the Storm’s virtual KEYBOARD comes up and it DOES NOT GO AWAY!
You can see an example on the right. The blue frame indicates the application is running in compatibility mode. The keyboard is activated by default and cannot be hidden.
This is bad!
Very bad, because first of all your application has less space due to the blue frame. Then the keyboard takes up a lot of space which also takes lots of space. Especially applications or games which require a lot of space for showing graphics or data (like the used TaskMaster™ task management app) are not usable like this. Obviously this should be fixed to provide your users a high quality application!
You need to get rid of the compatibility mode and tell the BlackBerry Storm not to use it. The solution for developers is:
- Build your application with BlackBerry JDE 4.7.
- Add the following lines to your applications JAD file for OTA downloads:
Once you have done this you can be 100% sure that your application will never run in “Compatibility Mode” again.
The official explanation by a RIM Moderator on the BlackBerry support forums can be found here.
P.S.: From the developer point of view I cannot understand why RIM introduced this. Yes, Mike wrote about this and also stated some reasons in the support forums article (link above). However, developers should have a more abstract thinging of input devices / methods. For me it just doesn’t matter where the input comes from (keyboard, trackwheel, trackball, touchscreen). RIM’s internal software design just needs to be done good and more abstract to add new input devices easily without (kind of) making already functioning applications useless. Well, it works as described above but to summarize my feelings about this: I am a bit disappointed by RIM for their “solution”.
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