The rumours have been around for months; RIM will have a BlackBerry device running Android, and now RIM has finally revealed that the rumours were all true. The RIM BlackBerry PlayBook when it’s launched in the US on April 19 will run Android apps.
RIM are preventing the death of the BlackBerry App World by distributing the PlayBook Android apps only through the App World rather than through the Google Android Market or the new Amazon App Store, which is a cunning masterstroke by RIM.
RIM has announced that it 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 has also 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.
“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.”
According to RIM 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.
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).
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