RIM has announced the BlackBerry Widget SDK for developers, enabling a wider range of options and greater integration with the smartphone operating system.

Using the new SDK, developers will be able to code using HTML, CSS and JavaScript too – the usual suspects when it comes to creating applications for mobile phones.

They will also be able to integrate these applications more deeply into the BlackBerry range, as the new SDK enables access to email and calendar applications, as well as files and documents for apps like file viewers.

Developers can also easily create applications that run in the background, allowing push notifications built on RIM's inherent ability to receive information constantly.

Always on

"BlackBerry Widgets open up a world of opportunities for developers to build and bring to market web applications for BlackBerry smartphones that offer advanced, integrated functionality and an always-on user experience," said Alan Brenner, senior VP of BlackBerry platforms at RIM.

"We are very excited by the prospects of this new widget development platform, which combines the ease of development of standard web languages with the rich functionality of Java development."

All the applications will be available through the BlackBerry application store, the non-theme park BlackBerry App World.

If you want to pick up the SDK, point your browser to www.blackberry.com/developers/widget, or if you just want to know what you could do as a developer, go to www.blackberry.com/developer.