So since the new BlackBerry PlayBook SDK and Simulator launched this morning I thought I would do some first impressions and see what I thought of it:
1) The first thing that glared out to me is that the BlackBerry PlayBook Simulator requires VMWare Player which is only free for personal and non commercial use… Others have tried it in VirtualBox which is a free player and failed. Hopefully RIM gets some agreement with VMWare on commercial use… From their FAQ:
VMware Player is free for personal non-commercial use. VMware Player is only distributable with written permission from VMware.
2) The simulator documentation specifically states that Adobe Air apps will only be distributable through App World for actual PlayBook devices.
With the plug-in, you can package your AIR application as a .bar file that you can load on a BlackBerry® PlayBook™ or deploy to the BlackBerry® Tablet Simulator. You must load your application on a BlackBerry PlayBook through the BlackBerry App World™ storefront. However, to test your application on the BlackBerry Tablet Simulator, you can create a run configuration from within Flash Builder to deploy your application to the BlackBerry Tablet Simulator directly from Flash Builder. Alternatively, you can deploy the .bar file to the simulator from the command line.
Only the simulator supports sideloading according to the documentation but I don’t have a PlayBook to confirm that… Hopefully RIM fixes this in the future and allows for downloads OTA and through your desktop since we really do not need RIM to turn into the next Apple…
3) Both the SDK and simulator are available for PC AND Mac currently which is a first for RIM…
4) RIM already has a sample RSS Reader app for the PlayBook (Download Link)… Hopefully this turns out to be something better than social feeds.
Other than that the simulator is quite fun letting you play with the media player a bit along with the on screen keyboard (which I think they plan on changing). Check out the PlayBook development resources at this page if you want more info. They will hopefully also be posting more info to the official BlackBerry Developer Blog soon.
So what do you think of the new BlackBerry PlayBook Tablet OS tools?