More Details About the PlayBook from Meet the PlayBook Events


meet the playbook
Pic courtesy of @bradsedito

There are some interesting tidbits coming out of the Meet the PlayBook events, the first of which was held in NYC. Interestingly enough, it looks like earlier rumors about PlayBook models is false (the source site has even shut down), and the tablet will actually come in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB sizes. Does this mean the pricing will change as well or will we get more memory at the previously rumored price? It also looks like RIM only has a handful of PlayBooks that can be demoed, and even those units still don’t have a browser. It looks like developers probably won’t be getting their PlayBooks until the device has launched in February, which makes sense considering the giveaway runs right up to the 1st of the month. Hit the jump for the list of new PlayBook details.

  • First, RIM still doesn’t have enough PlayBooks to show off. RIM has about three or four units in New York with about 150 developers on hand. In other words, partners won’t be leaving with PlayBooks to try out.
  • A PlayBook emulator with a functional browser won’t appear until the end of December or early January. This item is no small issue since there are a lot of HTML5 developers in the house. Simply put, these HTML5 developers won’t have any way to simulate a playbook.
  • Once that emulator is launched, RIM is planning a native developer kit for non-Flash apps and Java. Native SDK is C++/C with opengl 2.0, networking, data storage all native. The timeline here is similar to the other ones: January 2011.
  • RIM is planning a Web development platform that will ship next year called WebWorks. The approach is similar to what Palm does with the webOS. The general idea is to produce Web apps that can run locally.
  • Unlike Android and taking a play from Apple’s iOS, the PlayBook and the SDK are a black box. Developers cannot debug their apps to the extent they can on Android.
  • All native apps built into the device run on Adobe’s AIR out of the box. RIM showed a mobile trading app with real-time data. Graphics were hardware accelerated. In addition, there was a real estate app showing prospective home buyers properties. All of the apps were business focused.
  • If you have a functional AIR app on Android it will just run on the PlayBook by recompiling it in Flash Builder. The rub: AIR apps can be tough to port, says one developer. BlackBerry’s biggest developers are unlikely to use AIR. Those BlackBerry developers are likely to wait until January or February when the BlackBerry OS kit is available. In a nutshell, you’ll have AIR apps early and Java developers will hold back.
  • The PlayBooks on scene in New York lack a functional browser. Developers can’t browse the Web via a PlayBook. The browser is coming in January.
  • RIM is reiterating details that were previously announced for the most part. There will be three PlayBooks, 16GB, 32GB and 64GB. There’s also a 1Ghz processor and the multitasking looked smooth overall. Tabs are used in the interface instead of folders.
  • The hardware up close looks really good. Any developer submitting a PlayBook app to App World prior to launch gets a free tablet.
  • So far, there are 50 apps in the PlayBook app store. These apps are based on Adobe’s AIR.
  • The strength of the PlayBook is hardware. From a developer: The PlayBook has very nice glass similar to the iPad. The build quality is better than current Android tablets on the market.

  • Maynor87

    Loving these details and already have seen some new vids on it! Too bad no browser yet but really excited to get my hands on one!!!

  • Michael Schmitt

    Blackberry is coming back from the Dead!!!

  • Hardened

    Kinda odd because BGR showed a Browser that loads - just no internet connection to show it off.

    This PlayBook is really looking poweful.

  • Ashley Armitt

    Looking forward to the BES Connetivity from an Enterprise Perspective, will we be seeing fully backed up capability ? Policies, Security etc… This device is starting to get a fair bit of hype about it…. come on RIM, bring us what we really want and need!

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