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BlackBerry PlayBook Simulator First Impressions

playbook 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.

Sim_set_dev_mode_1357845_11 Sim_get_IP_1357841_11

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?

3 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. 4) Too bad their sample RSS reader has a few bugs in the source code.

    Have you managed to add music to the media player?

  2. I have not managed to get music or media to play. What bugs did you see in the RSS reader?

    • Hi,

      I should preface this with I am using the Mac version of the SDK… In the list of imports there is one for qnx.ui.skins.listClasses.CellRendererSkin. I don’t have one by that name, but I do have one called qnx.ui.skins.listClasses.CellRendererSkinWhite. After changing that, it still comes up with 3 warnings, which I ignored so I could see what it does. If you don’t have a good internet connection at the time (like at work where I’m not allowed to connect to the company’s wifi), it does nothing – no errors even.

      For an authorized demo program, I think that’s pretty shoddy programming.


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