RIM, in the official BlackBerry developer's blog, announced today that Blackberry Playbook's OS update to version 2.0 will bring compatibility with Android applications. RIM's post has several helpful tips for developers looking to bring their creations to the Playbook, offering some recommendations for ensuring your approval into BlackBerry App World:

  • Before submitting your Android application to BlackBerry App World, please make sure to remove all mention of the word “Android” from your application. Both in the application description and the application itself.
  • Please remove all links to Android Market from within your application.
  • When submitting your Android application to BlackBerry App World, please make sure to select a minimum BlackBerry PlayBook OS of 2.0.
  • Please make sure your application is signed. For more information on code signing, please view the code signing documentation on the BlackBerry Runtime for Android Apps webpage (linked here).

If you're willing to do all of that, RIM has provided several handy options (linked in the same post) for converting your APK files to the BAR file types needed for the App World. The tools provided range from super easy conversion within a web browser to the down-and-dirty BlackBerry SDK for Android apps.

In order to ensure that your app attains "broader reach and exposure to consumers," RIM suggests that all apps be submitted before February 6th. For more information, check out the original post linked below.

Source: BlackBerry Developer's Blog

Thanks, xr88!

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • Lachlan

    Why would anyone bother? Unless you're Rovia or Zynga (or anyone suitably mass-market) this is a monumental waste of money.

    No small 'Indie' developer is going to bother wasting man hours to develop software for a platform circling the drain!

    • Himmat S.

      I don't understand how'd they waste hours? There are just four simple steps to follow, and then use the converter to convert the file format.

      • Lachlan

        imagine going through your app, and removing all references to android, the android market (both pictured and in text), changing the payment method for in-app purchases (remember a substantial amount of android games use the 'freemium' model) and then getting it approved?
        for the 3 people who actually bought a playbook in the hope that one day they'd be able to play an android game they've never heard of?
        wrong product, wrong market, wrong demographic.

    • Todd

      In fact it's gaining more developers by the day. I think the new BlackBerry OS will make a big comeback for RIM.

      • Lachlan

        Are you basing that on anything in particular? I haven't seen anything to that effect, anywhere...

        • James B

          Actually, I've been in the market for a tablet for a while. Given the price, the new OS2, UI, and this announcement, I have just ordered my Playbook through Amazon. I agree that the PB will gain some traction with this move.

  • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com Cody

    I would like to point out a key phrase from the article that some people seem to be missing: "...recommendations for ensuring your approval..." That doesn't mean ALL apps can simply be converted and work flawlessly if they just make those 4 changes. The 4 recommendations they give are just specific rules they have regarding acceptance to their particular market, much like Apple bars any app that's posted using their trademarks without permission.

    Speaking as an actual software developer, I would only bother doing this if I didn't have in-app purchase and the whole conversion worked out of the gate. Any more effort would likely be too costly for the small market to sell to unless I was entering a category/genre without any competition at all. RIM has demonstrated impressive incompetence and alienated a lot of customers and developers. Unless they do something legitimately impressive, I can't imagine they will manage enough sales to make their market sustainable.

  • Paul M

    Dear Android Developer
    Although we're a dying company desperate for fresh interest, we're still arrogant enough to dictate terms to you.

    • http://none A Assibey

      I sincerely hope this is not someone actually from representing RIM.

      I've been looking at getting myself a Tablet and because I've been a BB fun for the last 5 years or so. I'm thinking of getting a tablet and because of my fondness for blackberry, was really considering the playbook.

      I've just got myself the new Bold 9900, the second one I must add, because the various issues associated to powering up, not to count the battery life span, poor quality apps etc. I've been very frustrated with this device.

      The last thing we(the public) need is some "arrogant"(your word not mine) person said to be representing RIM putting off potential developers, as the apps on the App World are not exactly great. If they were RIM would have spent so much time and effort developing this OS.

      Undecided tablet user..

  • Jonathan

    It just seems like desperation to me. But hey, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

  • Mark

    Wow. What a joke...

  • Playbook Owner

    Please submit. Yes, Playbook has a small market share, but there are still a ton of users. Moreover, the current apps suck. If your app is halfway decent, it will be a lot easier to stand out in AppWorld than in the Market or in the AppStore. Also note that Angry Birds and other apps are more expensive on AppWorld. Not a fan of that but you could gi there if you want.

    Signed by desperate PlayBook owner wanting better apps.

  • jesse

    why wouldnt a dev want to reach another million or so customers for a days work? seems like a no brainer to me.

    • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com Cody

      Are you a developer? Have you had to support a completely different device which may have additional bugs, form factor and requirements?

      Not that it's the hardest requirement to meet, but they effectively require the app target API 10 (Android v2.3.3). The resolution 600x1024 isn't rare, but it's only really used in the other low-end 7" tablets (Fire, Nook, OG Galaxy Tab). There's also a LOT of features and functions which are missing. In all honesty, if you've already written an app to support Honeycomb or ICS, taking advantage of any number of android features or your app isn't well suited to the form factor then you're looking at a bit more work than you're assuming. The biggest cost actually will come from trying (at first) to keep the codebase the same for the Playbook and Android, but that eventually becomes too much of a nightmare and eventually many developers will just branch development.

      I'm not saying that it's not worth it, but remember that getting an app written is usually just the first hurdle. The cost of maintaining more platforms does go up and it depends on how much profit you can made if you put the app out there. Also of note, the more work you put into supporting more platforms, the less time you have to put into adding new features/content to the app for your primary platforms. Again, I'm not gonna say it isn't worth it, just that there's a lot more to think about than simply saying "hey, I can get more customers if I submit it here too".

  • ????

    I have a blackberry PlayBook. And it can not play os games how come?

  • Kelsey

    How do u reset the blackberry playbook