Android Apps Coming To Blackberry PlayBooks
HUGE NEWS! We’ve been talking about Android Apps running on BlackBerry’s tablet since August 2010 (before the PlayBook was ever announced – jump to minute 52 in this podcast) and today we see that our intuition was dead on, and we know how RIM is going to go about delivering Android Apps on the QNX-based OS. In addition to announcing the long awaited C/C++ Native Development Kit for the PlayBook, RIM announced support for existing BlackBerry apps and Android Apps.
Android apps won’t come from Android Marketplace itself, but rather Android developers will simply have to repackage, code sign and submit their BlackBerry Java and Android apps to BlackBerry App World from where users will be able to download the apps. The Android and BlackBerry OS apps will run within what RIM has dubbed an “app player” on the device. I like the approach RIM took here. It makes a lot of sense. This way they don’t run into any sort of legal issues with android on BlackBerry… rather, Android developers will be signing up as BlackBerry Developers with App World, and distributing built-for-android apps via App World (which kind of makes them BlackBerry apps still, no??). Hopefully we’ll see a ton of Android Developers go through this little extra (and free) step. I’d think it would make sense for Android developers to do this. Read the press release for more information. We’ll digest this news and be back soon with more opinion on it soon!
RIM Expands Application Ecosystem for BlackBerry PlayBook
- BlackBerry PlayBook to support BlackBerry Java and Android apps
- Native C/C++ development support added, in addition to HTML5, Flash and AIR support
- Support from leading game engines: Ideaworks Labs (AirPlay) and Unity Technologies (Unity 3)
- BlackBerry PlayBook becomes a new market opportunity for all the developers who have already created over 25,000 BlackBerry Java apps and more than 200,000 Android apps
WATERLOO, ONTARIO–(Marketwire – March 24, 2011) – Developers wanting to bring their new and existing apps to the highly anticipated BlackBerry® PlayBookTM tablet will soon have additional tools and options to enhance and expand their commercial opportunities. Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ:RIMM)(TSX:RIM) today announced plans to greatly expand the application ecosystem for the BlackBerry PlayBook. The BlackBerry PlayBook is scheduled to launch in the U.S. and Canada on April 19.
RIM will launch two optional “app players” that provide an application run-time environment for BlackBerry Java® apps and Android v2.3 apps. These new app players will allow users to download BlackBerry Java apps and Android apps from BlackBerry App World and run them on their BlackBerry PlayBook.
In addition, RIM will shortly release the native SDK for the BlackBerry PlayBook enabling C/C++ application development on the BlackBerry® Tablet OS. For game-specific developers, RIM is also announcing that it has gained support from two leading game development tooling companies, allowing developers to use the cross-platform game engines from Ideaworks Labs and Unity Technologies to bring their games to the BlackBerry PlayBook.
Support for BlackBerry Java and Android Apps
“The BlackBerry PlayBook is an amazing tablet. The power that we have embedded creates one of the most compelling app experiences available in a mobile computing device today,” said Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO at Research In Motion. “The upcoming addition of BlackBerry Java and Android apps for the BlackBerry PlayBook on BlackBerry App World will provide our users with an even greater choice of apps and will also showcase the versatility of the platform.”
Developers currently building for the BlackBerry or Android platforms will be able to quickly and easily port their apps to run on the BlackBerry Tablet OS thanks to a high degree of API compatibility. The new optional app players will be available for download from BlackBerry App World and will be placed in a secure “sandbox” on the BlackBerry PlayBook where the BlackBerry Java or Android apps can be run.
Developers will simply repackage, code sign and submit their BlackBerry Java and Android apps to BlackBerry App World. Once approved, the apps will be distributed through BlackBerry App World, providing a new opportunity for many developers to reach BlackBerry PlayBook users. Users will be able to download both the app players and the BlackBerry Java and Android apps from BlackBerry App World.
The BlackBerry PlayBook and BlackBerry Tablet OS are built on the QNX® Neutrino® microkernel architecture with a 1GHz dual core processor and a leading OpenGL solution, which allows RIM to make this incredibly broad platform support possible.
BlackBerry PlayBook users and developers who are interested in seeing the new app players for BlackBerry Java and Android apps can see demos at BlackBerry World in Orlando, Florida (May 3 to 5, 2011) (www.blackberryworld.com).