RIM's PlayBook Will Run Android Apps - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Mobile // Mobile Devices
Commentary
3/25/2011
01:47 AM
Gina Smith
Gina Smith
Commentary
50%
50%

RIM's PlayBook Will Run Android Apps

But There's A Catch. Or Two.

Research In Motion is making a very smart move, announcing that its upcoming PlayBook tablet will be able to run Android applications. Good news for Android lovers, as well as for buyers of the PlayBook, which RIM says is coming out April 19.

It's lost on no one that this turn of events will bring more apps -- maybe tons of new apps -- to the PlayBook. But wait. Of course, there's a catch or two.

First, RIM's PlayBook won't run these apps natively. RIM has announced an app player that would let Android 2.3 apps run in a different environment. (A separate app player will also be required for BlackBerry Java apps, RIM execs said.) Who knows what performance will survive these players.

Second, there are no plans (yet) to make the Android Market available on the PlayBook, so the tablet's users will have to get Android apps from RIM's BlackBerry App World, which is kludgy and a bit annoying, IMO. Plus, RIM gets the final word on which Android apps get in, based on whether developers follow its guidelines.

Quality control; I get it. Making sure the Android apps work well on the PlayBook is laudable. RIM's control might also have something to do with the stringent requirements of enterprise customers. The BlackBerry is the leading enterprise-class smartphone, and RIM will want to extend that robustness to the PlayBook.

RIM says Android app developers will be able to port apps easily to the PlayBook because of a "high degree" of compatibility between BlackBerry and Android APIs. We will learn what "high degree" means soon enough.

As long as developers don't find the work too difficult or tedious, the PlayBook could sell in the first few months with a large and growing array of Android apps. Tools to help Android developers port their apps are arriving soon, RIM execs said.

Are you a developer? Let me know what you think about the announcement, and the tools, when you get them. Is porting as easy as RIM promises? Reach me at the email address below. And listen to developments in this space on BYTE Mobile Radio, a 15-minute show that runs every Thursday.

For InformationWeek, TechWeb, and the upcoming BYTE.com, I'm Gina Smith.

Follow Gina @ginasmith888 and BYTE @byte.com

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Slideshows
What Digital Transformation Is (And Isn't)
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  12/4/2019
Commentary
Watch Out for New Barriers to Faster Software Development
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  12/3/2019
Commentary
If DevOps Is So Awesome, Why Is Your Initiative Failing?
Guest Commentary, Guest Commentary,  12/2/2019
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Getting Started With Emerging Technologies
Looking to help your enterprise IT team ease the stress of putting new/emerging technologies such as AI, machine learning and IoT to work for their organizations? There are a few ways to get off on the right foot. In this report we share some expert advice on how to approach some of these seemingly daunting tech challenges.
Slideshows
Flash Poll