Research In Motion yesterday announced that it will indeed support Android apps on its upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. RIM will launch two optional "app players" that provide an application run-time environment for BlackBerry Java apps and Android 2.3 apps. These new app players will allow users to download BlackBerry Java apps and Android apps from the very own 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.
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 1 GHz dual core processor and a leading OpenGL solution, which allows RIM to make this incredibly broad platform support possible.
The new app players for the BlackBerry PlayBook are expected to be available from BlackBerry App World this summer. More information and demonstrations of the new app players will be shared at BlackBerry World. The BlackBerry Tablet OS NDK will be available in beta later this year and will also be showcased at BlackBerry World.
That's definitely an interesting move, allowing the use of apps from a competing but already successful platform. However, it should remembered that RIM's PlayBook won't come with Google Android Market but all the Android apps have to be distributed through RIM's own BlackBerry App World. Only time will tell if developers will cross-market its apps or not.
Cheers ~ Arne