The first of the BlackBerry PlayBook apps are being developed as we speak and it will be interesting to see what people come up with. Today, RIM hosted the first webcast for developers in a series that will span 5 weeks of PlayBook development help. Some of the details we learned in the webcast include:
- RIM will be opening app world for PlayBook app submissions in about 2 weeks. More details about free PlayBooks for developers will come then.
- The PlayBook will have a few cool gestures for switching apps, showing the keyboard and displaying device information such as battery life (pictured above).
- The PlayBook will eventually support more than just Adobe AIR development. Developers will also be able to write apps for the PlayBook in Java and WebWorks.
- Currently, there is no support for app splash screens but RIM will include it if there are enough devs asking for it.
- App deployment over the BES is not finalized. The first version is a WiFi only version so no direct connection with BES but there will be tethering. No more details just yet.
- Not a lot of information available on GPS and location support but this will be explained in future webcasts.
- The PlayBook will have capabilities that the BlackBerry doesn’t.
- The AIR SDK can leverage both front and rear facing cameras.
- Theme Builder is not in the plans for the initial release but they’ll consider it if there is enough positive feedback.
The best part of the webcast was when Mike Kirkup said the PlayBook has a “kick ass” video processor. Can’t wait to check it out.