Research In Motion just announced that their BlackBerry PlayBook will be adding support for BlackBerry Java and Android apps aside from those made directly for the PlayBook. RIM will launch two “œapp players” that will allows users to download BlackBerry Java apps and Android (v2.3) apps from the BlackBerry App World and run them on their BlackBerry Playbook.
This move makes sense really. They can’t make the PlayBook come crashing at the gates with its paltry list of apps when it launches on April 19 in US and Canada. Adding support for the existing 25,000 BlackBerry Java apps and more than 200,000 Android apps will alleviate the need for the company to catch-up in the app department. It will also give developers a chance to create apps for the PlayBook without retooling themselves. RIM announced that it will allow developers to use the cross-platform game engines from Ideaworks Labs and Unity Technologies to bring their games to the BlackBerry PlayBook.
“œThe BlackBerry PlayBook is an amazing tablet. The power that we have embedded creates one of the most compelling app experiences available in a mobile computing device today,” said Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO at Research In Motion. “œThe 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.”
Somehow, this announcement sounds good and dandy for those wanting to get a PlayBook next month. But we’re missing something important here. BlackBerry Java and Android 2.3 apps were made for mobile phones, those with at most 4.2″ screens. Running these apps on the PlayBook is not the same as running apps made specifically for the PlayBook. This is why not a lot of iPhone apps are being downloaded on the iPad. Serious porting needs to be done on these apps to get the same rich experience on a bigger device. That’s why I’m not so excited with this news. Maybe when Android 3.0 arrives yeah?