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Android Apps Available On The PlayBook

David Gilbert


Android Apps Available On The PlayBook

Remember last month when we told you about reports that Android apps were going to be made available on RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook? Well the Canadians have confirmed the rumour at yesterday’s revenue call.

The 7in PlayBook, which will launch on April 19 at a cost of $499.99 for the 16GB model, will now be a lot more attractive considering that over 200,000 Android apps could be available on the tablet. RIM announced that in addition to supporting its own SDK, the PlayBook will support apps written for Android 2.3 (presumably Honeycomb compatibility will follow soon) as well as BlackBerry Java. Not content with bringing us this news, RIM added that it would be bringing its AirPlay and Unity 3 games engines to the tablet.

RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis said: “The upcoming addition of BlackBerry Java and Android apps for the BlackBerry PlayBook on BlackBerry App World will provide our users with an even greater choice of apps and will also showcase the versatility of the platform.” While rumours of this happening have been swirling around for some time, its confirmation will no doubt help boost interest in the PlayBook - expecially considering many people had worried that there would be not enough support in terms of apps.

The news came as RIM announced revenues of $15.2 billion for 2010, helped considerably by sales of BlackBerry smartphones which soared 43 percent in 2010 to 52.3 million units. However, despite the earnings, RIM share prices fell by 10 percent in after-hours trading because of poor expected future earnings for the early part of 2011.

We look forward to seeing how RIM manages to implement this support of Android Apps and if its as “quick and easy” to port the Android apps as RIM say it is, then we would hope that many developers will choose to do so. Will this additional app goodness entice you to stump up the $500 for the PlayBook?

Luan Bach

March 25, 2011, 12:54 pm

One way of getting native apps onto their devices is that they are going to use our SDK. http://www.airplaysdk.com/


March 25, 2011, 1:04 pm

If they manage to make it absolutely seamless, then the playbook becomes a whole lot more attractive and the Android ecosystem that little more compelling for developpers. Also, if they can make it completely transparent to developpers, then surely, Google should also be able to manage to make device diversity transparent to them... Wait and see.


March 25, 2011, 3:38 pm

Couple of quick things: Honeycomb support might take a while considering Google's confirmed it's not releasing the source code any time soon. And the devil will be in the details here: does it all go through one app store, does RIM have to approve apps for the device, what exactly is the expected delivery date of this functionality (they say support is coming but is that at launch or a year from now?)...

That said, this could be a very compeling device if RIM get it right. Unlike most they're being smart and not just making an iPad wannabe, they've gone their own way in a form factor Apple have shown little interest in so far. The big questions will, I guess, be just how well they can implement and how well a 7" tablet works when it comes in practice.

One last thought... I wonder how this may affect Honeycomb tablets? This is launching in the next few weeks, has a built-in user base and is a very nice looking product with a potentially large number of apps from the get go. If this takes off as the main iPad alternative it's not that hard to imagine it stealing a lot of users from Honeycomb devices.


March 26, 2011, 2:45 pm

But if Android apps are that important, why not just buy a tablet running Android? This smacks of desperation.


March 27, 2011, 2:13 pm

It's interesting to see how this news has been picked up. TR gives a pretty neutral account of it, while people reading Business Insider get the "RIM CEO Basically Admits That Android Support Is There To Check The 'Lots Of Apps' Box" treatment.

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