Research-In-Motion will reckon with Google, Hewlett-Packard and Apple with a tablet which runs applications developed for popular Google’s Android platform.
RIM revealed its plans to deliver so named an app player for its PlayBook tablet which will ensure environment that is capable to run Android 2.3 applications. It is also planned an application player for running BlackBerry Java applications.
The environment signifies that PlayBook users could download BlackBerry and Android Java applications to run on the PlayBook from the BlackBerry App World. The release of the PlayBook is scheduled on April 19. It is not fully explained how the environment is operated or built, but RIM said that last fall it was working on Java virtual machine of a next generation. RIM Company claimed for its efforts to expand the application ecosystem of the PlayBook.
According to a RIM spokesperson the PlayBook’s application player is not going to run applications from Google’s Android Market but Android apps must go through its own Blackberry App World.
The decision of RIM allow only Android applications download and run on the PlayBook merely from its market will signify that while devices are coded for Android 2.3 they must follow RIM’s rules to get access to the devices and market.
Google’s Android Market is proved to be the second most populated applications market today, possessing more than 250 000 applications, following the Apple’s App Store with 350 000 apps. HP’s web OS app store has only 6 000 applications while RIM declares 20 000 applications in the BlackBerry App World and these mean not for the PlayBook but for existing BlackBerry devices.
If to scoop up more devices, RIM is intended for gaming fiends. It is said that SDK enabling mobile application development will be released on Tablet OS, the micro-kernel based OS which powers the PlayBook.
It was also announced by RIM that Unity Technologies and Ideaworks Labs will operate on the PlayBook. Ideaworks makes a C/C++ DSK, Airplay for building applications on mobile. Today it runs on Android, iOS, Windows Mobile 6.x, Symbian and webOS. Unity Technologies provides a rendering engine and tools for developing 3D games for Android and iOS.
To attract further devices, RIM announced as well that the BlackBerry OS (NDK) Native Development Kit will present open beta by the summer.
The NDK will allow devices to develop multi-threaded, high-performance, native C/C++ applications utilizing GNU tool chains. Developers will have opportunity to develop advanced 2D and 3D apps and special effects through utilizing programmable shaders that are available in hardware-accelerated OpenGL ES 2.0.
NDK will utilize the QNX POSIX library, such easily integrate device events as touch and gesture, and unite Tablet OS with the Eclipse C/C++ Development Tools project to run with other tools plug-ins. RIM’s Tablet OS is based on technology from QNX, that it got last year.
The PlayBook’s first generation will rely on Wi-Fi short-range networks to get connection to Internet, initially without any contracts with wireless carriers, at the price of around $500. To access email it may be tethered to a BlackBerry. The advantages of PlayBook will be its smaller size; the 19 centimetre touchscreen device is pocketable: fits into lab coats, jacket pockets and other well known business garb and handy for apps as for example filling in forms. It is said that the so long-expected release of Research in Motion’s PlayBook tablet can be the most important development for the company since the first launch of BlackBerry in 1999.
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