Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Developing a BlackBerry 10 App: Part 1 (UPDATED)

Ever want to write your own BlackBerry 10 app and have it in App World but even the sight of code makes you think Chinese would be easier to...

Ever want to write your own BlackBerry 10 app and have it in App World but even the sight of code makes you think Chinese would be easier to learn?  Have no fear, it is easy!  App development does not require years of coding experience (even though it helps a lot).  Ready to go?  You’ll have your own fluid, native, Cascades app running in no time (and for free too)!


Part 1: Getting the Tools

You will need: 

  • App Signing Keys
  • The Native SDK and IDE

And if you don’t have a BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha…

  • The BlackBerry 10 Simulator
  • VMware Player

With these tools, you and your computer will be equipped to be a lean, mean, BlackBerry-10-app-developing machine!

Step 1:  App Signing Keys

Go to:  https://www.blackberry.com/SignedKeys/

Fill in all the information.  You can use your own name as a company or come up with a name.  Save this name for later so you can register yourself as a vendor later on with the same name.

The PIN is NOT your BlackBerry pin, it’s just a password.  WRITE IT DOWN, you’ll need it later.

Check the box that says “PlayBook OS and BlackBerry 10 and higher

Read and then check the “I have read and agree to the RIM SDK License Agreementbox.

Click “Submit”.  RIM will email both of your signing keys to you in about half an hour.  Go grab a sandwich and coffee.  You’re doing great so far!

Step 2:  SDK

Go to:  https://developer.blackberry.com/cascades/download/

Then click “BlackBerry 10 Native SDK” in the blue box.  You’ll start downloading a 678 MB file.  This might take a little while.

When it’s done, open up the file you just downloaded.  The installation will start.   The steps are reasonably straightforward.

Don’t put any spaces in the location field.  The default one will do just fine for most people.

Once it’s done, click “Done” to close the installer.

Step 3:  VMware Player (if you have a Dev Alpha, skip this)

Go to: http://www.vmware.com/products/player/

Click “Download” on the right.

You’ll have to create an account.  But it’s free and quick so don’t worry!

Once you fill in all the info and agree to their policies and such, click Submit at the bottom.

VMware will send you an email.  Open up this email and click the “activate” link in the e-mail.

You’ll be redirected to a site where you can enter your password.  You’ll be logged in and ready to download VMware Player now.

Navigate your way to the “Download” tab and download the latest version of VMWare Player (4.0.4) for Windows.  It’s a 116 MB file, not too bad eh?

When it’s done downloading, installing VMware Player should be straightforward.  The installation settings shouldn’t matter that much.  Make sure to add an icon to your desktop though so you can find it quick.

Step 4:  Simulator (if you have a Dev Alpha, skip this)

Go back to: https://developer.blackberry.com/cascades/download/

Scroll down a bit and click “BlackBerry Dev Alpha Simulator” inside the blue box to start the download.  


It’s a 348 MB file.   Open the file and install it by just keep clicking “Next” until its Done.  Simple as that.

Because you don’t have a Dev Alpha, you’ll need this to actually test your app.


You should now have the BlackBerry 10 SDK and your signing keys (or still waiting for them).  For the ones without a Dev Alpha, you’ll also have VMware Player and the Simulator file for BlackBerry 10.

Phew!  Stay tuned for next week’s article when I’ll guide you into making your first (and uber sexy) app.

If you need any help, sound off in the comments below and I’ll do my best to help!


Physicist by day and technology lover by night. I enjoy the finer things in life, like McDonalds burgers, Ford Focuses and riding the bus. I'm here to give you all the information and honest perspectives on everything BlackBerry!
  • xmodule


    Thank you for your writeing. I’m just started the whole BB10 programming. I can not programming at all but i hope i will soon. Just a little comment here.

    Step 1. When you click on the link will navigate you to one totally diffenrent site when you try to check the box BB10 and higher the site will put you on the BB login site. Here you can login and than enter the password to the token. After that the token will downloading to your computer.

    Step 2. There is not nesessery to download separate the sdk and the simulation programs. The new package program name is Momentics IDE. This program is containing the sdk and the simulation program.

    Step 3. WMvare Player don’t need any registration longer. Just download and istall it. Unfortunatly this program is no longer free. 7 days trial period after that you have to purchase the pro for 144 euro.