21
Feb
blackberry_playbook_dark_bg

The day Playbook owners have been waiting for has finally come - OS 2.0 is out. And with it, the ability to run Android apps.

We first heard that RIM would incorporate Android app support into the Playbook nearly a year ago, so this update has been a long time coming. Of course, Playbook owners won't just be able to update and hop straight into the Android Market - the process is a bit more complicated than that.

playbook-os2-download

Firstly, devs will have to optimize their apps for the Playbook and then submit them to RIM. Once accepted, the apps will then be available to Playbook owners in Blackberry App World. So, as you can tell, this isn't exactly a saving grace for the Playbook. Sure, it's definitely a step in the right direction, but we have to ask: how many devs are actually interested in optimizing their apps to work on the Playbook and go through the hassle of getting them in to App World?

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • http://mattdonders.com Stigy

    I just got my app accepted into the App World.

    The signup process is a bit of a hassle since they need a form of identification and it takes a bit longer than just signing up with your Google account, but it wasn't terribly annoying.

    I removed any reference to Android or links to the Android market in my app, installed the Blackberry SDK into Eclipse and then exported a .BAR file that I uploaded to the Blackberry App World.

    In a week the app was tested and approved and live in the App World. Not horrible at all -- its a short process in my opinion and most Android apps should work without any need for changes.

    • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com Cody

      They required identification from you? They didn't ask for anything.

      I mostly agree that the process is really simple, but the number of steps to get set up is a little more than makes sense, the Playbook Simulator is absolute garbage for testing Android apps, and I really hate the whole thing about adding a "nature" to the project.

  • Jake

    Man, I got my update 2day and was SSOO excited! :-)

  • jason

    so it looks like one user and one dev care...filed under irrelevant

  • http://facebook.com/smsmycarandme Force

    I got my Playbook today and I have to admit, I am quite disappointed with it. I guess I will sell it and buy an Android Tablet...

  • Elastin

    The process is not exactly long or hard. You gain new customers basically for free. Devs of apps that aren't truly Android-specific would be insane not to do this!

    • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com Cody Toombs

      I gotta say, I'm sorta annoyed seeing people making this exact comment. It really demonstrates the lack of experience/knowledge of how software development works. I admit, I made this rant a few weeks ago on a different posting, but I guess it's worth the overview.

      1. The Playbook effectively requires API Level 10 (Gingerbread 2.3.3). Today that's expected (hardly anybody on ICS yet), but in about 6 months we're going to be looking at Jellybean or even Key Lime Pie (shrug, it's the best 'K' I know)...you'll eventually be forced to keep two separate code bases.
      2. Giving actual support. Sure a lot of devs don't care about this, especially in Android, but it's a cost which may be more trouble than it's worth, especially if you don't have the device.
      3. Assuming you're going to even try to make the software usable then you'll want to release something that is at least somewhat tested.
      4. Since the resolution of the screen is different than that of what most people have developed for, it may also require rendering a new set of graphics.

      To a developer that has to pick between adding new features to a currently profitable app and extend the app on a questionable platform, it might not be worth it. Maybe it is...but the point, it's not going to be worth the time/trouble and possible extra expense.

      • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com Cody Toombs

        Whoops, hit undo once too many times on the last bit. I meant to say, 'it may not be worth the time/trouble and possible extra expense"

  • Spnny

    I LOVE my PlayBook and if it could only play Netflix it would perfect. I recently bought an android tablet just for Netflix and it does that great but I HATE everything else about it. I don't want to use apps to search the Web and look at Facebook. Give me the desktop browser please! All this fuss about few apps for the PlayBook when it doesn't need them. It is literally a mini computer in your hand that renders web pages flawlessly. I can zip between the browser pages and the native email with the slightest swipe, no searching for buttons and back arrows. Videos continue to run in the background for so I can still hear what is going on while I check email. I have been spoiled by my first tablet being a PlayBook, all other tablets are so much lesser in my view. The quality of the build, display, and OS is so much more than the now similarly priced tablets. It's. such a shamethat it was received so negatively and RIM had to drop it's prices so much. The accessories are outstanding too...the rapid charger cord is amazing. I am worried that RIM will discontinue the PlayBook and will try to pick up another if that is the case, which won't be easy as they are sold out everywhere. I was looking forward to getting the 4G model and would love to see them put out a 9 in model too. If only Netflix would support PlayBook or RIM develop their own app for it. And Skype too (not a deal breaker for. Each but is for some people). I don't care about having access to a gazillion apps. The Pedigree,aybook doesn't need them because it can deliver the entire Web in your hand except for Netflix and Skype, darn it.

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