More Background on BlackBerry PlayBook Running Android Apps

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In a recent blog post, RIM’s Jim Tobin, SVP of the Software, Services & Enterprise Markets business unit, goes into a little bit of the reasoning about why RIM is supporting Android apps on the PlayBook. The explanation is sort of how you would have guessed it would be, as the company is just reiterating its belief that open standards and more development tools make for a more vibrant platform. Specifically, Tobin says:

For both consumer and business customers, this announcement reinforces our commitment to providing choice while bolstering our platform. Our customers will benefit from having access to highly optimized and integrated apps developed specifically for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet using BlackBerry tools, as well as a much bigger catalog of apps drawing from multiple other sources, such as the Adobe Flash and Adobe AIR, HTML5 and JavaScript developer communities (as previously announced) – and now the Android developer community. And this is all being done through our BlackBerry App World storefront to manage the app discovery and download processes for consumers.


It should be interesting to see how this all plays out and how easy it will be for the end user to launch Android and Java apps. Will they look and act like native apps? Maybe. Native apps will be able to take advantage of more of the features specific to the PlayBook such as the touch sensitive bezel. It will also be interesting to see how the PlayBook handles some of the Android specific features, such as the fact that many Android apps rely on the back, homescreen and menu buttons found on devices like the Galaxy S/S 2.

We’re under the impression that a lot of these details will be cleared up at BlackBerry World in May, where Jim Tobin has said we can expect “some exciting details”.