With so much fuss about iPhone Apps it's time that BackBerry provided the serious programmer with a real alternative. A new range of tools aims to make the job of BackBerry development easy and innovative.
RIM has updated their tools to enable developers to build applications for the BackBerry range of phones. Given the fact that the iPhone is stealing all of the glory with more apps than you could possibly want this seems like a good idea. Mobile phone makers need to get programmers on their team and providing good tools is one very sensible way of doing the job.
A BlackBerry app can be as simple as a custom web page but to really do the job properly you need to work in Java and the updated v1.1 Java Plug-In for Eclipse integrates writing code and running it on one of the phone simulators.
New is the ability to load and run a modified application without having to reset the simulator which speeds things up a lot. You can also now target multiple phone models in a single workspace. Overall it is also claimed that the new plug-in integrates with Eclipse in a more natural way, offering the features that an experienced Eclipse programmer would expect such as refactoring, multiple source folders and so on.
All of the development software is free to download but you do have to register first.