I really have to commend the RIM tablet team for getting out the BlackBerry PlayBook SDK for Adobe AIR out so soon. I know that it is based on work that QNX has already done with other clients but it is still impressive compared to RIM’s usual stance of releasing SDK’s and tools late in the game. We did mention the release of the BlackBerry PlayBook SDK earlier this morning but RIM has released an official press release with more details I had to share. The Adobe Air 2.5 SDK for the BlackBerry PlayBook and the simulator is available in both PC and Mac flavors which is awesome.
First of all I found it interesting that RIM has now confirmed two of the development languages for the PlayBook. It will support both Adobe Air apps along with the BlackBerry Tablet QNX OS C++ native applications. Still no word on anything Java but my guess is it will be able to emulate BlackBerry Java apps… The other thing I found worth mentioning is that RIM will be running a series of webcasts for 5 weeks with RIM and Adobe experts. It will start on November 4th and will “provide developers the opportunity to learn more about creating Adobe AIR applications for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.” You can learn more about the webcast series at this link.
There are quite a few customer testimonials in the press release below but here are the highlights of what the new SDK supports:
- Hardware-accelerated playback of video and graphics-intensive content, both in the browser and within AIR applications, enabling a smooth, high fidelity viewing experience on the BlackBerry PlayBook, even with up to 1080p HD content
- Web View to enable AIR apps to display HTML and Flash content and to leverage the BlackBerry PlayBook’s WebKit browser
- UI components that have been built specifically for the touch screen experience on a tablet device, including support for multi-touch and gestures — Powerful APIs to advanced features such as the front and rear facing cameras, accelerometer, geo-location, in-app payments and more
- Application notifications, which allow developers to bring events generated by AIR applications immediately to the user’s attention, even if the application is running in the background — Seamless communication between AIR apps on the BlackBerry PlayBook, allowing the creation of "Super App" experiences
- Extending Adobe AIR applications to use native C++ extensions, providing developers with the ability to write part of their application in the BlackBerry Tablet OS’s native code (subject to availability of the upcoming BlackBerry Tablet OS native SDK) — Porting existing Adobe AIR applications quickly and easily to the BlackBerry PlayBook
Check out the full press release below:
New SDK From RIM Allows Developers to Create Adobe AIR Applications for BlackBerry PlayBook
– SDK integrates new extensions for Adobe AIR that have been highly optimized for the BlackBerry Tablet OS
– Developers can immediately begin building uncompromised applications for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet
– Early feedback from developers highlights ease of development and high performance
WATERLOO, ONTARIO–(Marketwire – Oct. 25, 2010) – Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ:RIMM)(TSX:RIM) today launched the new BlackBerry(R) Tablet OS SDK for Adobe(R) AIR(R) at the Adobe MAX conference in Los Angeles. The new Software Developer Kit (SDK) enables developers to quickly and easily create AIR applications for the BlackBerry(R) PlayBook(TM) tablet using Adobe’s powerful, familiar and industry-leading development tools. With the BlackBerry Tablet OS SDK for Adobe AIR, developers can leverage the uniquely powerful capabilities of the BlackBerry Tablet OS, as well as access all of the richness of Adobe AIR, to deliver incredibly engaging and high-performing AIR applications for the BlackBerry PlayBook.
"The BlackBerry PlayBook, with its dual-core processor and multi-processing OS, is a multi-tasking powerhouse that is also the world’s first tablet to be built from the metal up to run Flash Player 10.1 and Adobe AIR applications in a fully integrated, fully optimized fashion," said David Yach, Chief Technology Officer, Software, Research In Motion. "The new SDK for the BlackBerry PlayBook unleashes a wealth of opportunity for the Adobe and BlackBerry development communities to easily create value-added applications and experiences for customers and we are extremely excited by the positive feedback received from developers in early trials."
The BlackBerry PlayBook with BlackBerry Tablet OS supports Adobe AIR 2.5 and Adobe Flash(R) Player 10.1 at its core. This integrated support and the BlackBerry PlayBook’s exceptional processing power (including a 1 GHz dual-core processor, true symmetric multiprocessing and multi-threaded rendering) give developers the ability to deliver incredibly rich content and applications with highly-responsive and fluid touch screen experiences.
"The close collaboration between RIM and the Adobe AIR team has achieved an implementation which we expect to be the first to include high performance optimizations for tablet devices," said David Wadhwani, senior vice president, Creative and Interactive Business Solutions at Adobe. "This, combined with great tooling integration and full Flash Player 10.1 support, makes the BlackBerry PlayBook an outstanding platform for more than three million Flash developers."
Building the Best Flash/AIR Applications for Tablet Computing
RIM has designed the BlackBerry Tablet OS SDK for Adobe AIR to allow developers to leverage the uniquely powerful capabilities of the BlackBerry PlayBook and Adobe AIR 2.5 to build industry-leading applications that provide a distinctly compelling experience for BlackBerry PlayBook users. The new SDK provides developers with support for:
-- Hardware-accelerated playback of video and graphics-intensive content, both in the browser and within AIR applications, enabling a smooth, high fidelity viewing experience on the BlackBerry PlayBook, even with up to 1080p HD content -- Web View to enable AIR apps to display HTML and Flash content and to leverage the BlackBerry PlayBook's WebKit browser -- UI components that have been built specifically for the touch screen experience on a tablet device, including support for multi-touch and gestures -- Powerful APIs to advanced features such as the front and rear facing cameras, accelerometer, geo-location, in-app payments and more -- Application notifications, which allow developers to bring events generated by AIR applications immediately to the user's attention, even if the application is running in the background -- Seamless communication between AIR apps on the BlackBerry PlayBook, allowing the creation of "Super App" experiences -- Extending Adobe AIR applications to use native C++ extensions, providing developers with the ability to write part of their application in the BlackBerry Tablet OS's native code (subject to availability of the upcoming BlackBerry Tablet OS native SDK) -- Porting existing Adobe AIR applications quickly and easily to the BlackBerry PlayBook
What Developers are Saying about Building Flash/AIR Apps for BlackBerry PlayBook
Several BlackBerry(R) Alliance members are already working with the BlackBerry Tablet OS SDK for Adobe AIR as part of an early access program.
"eUnity enables health care professionals to access and manipulate full quality medical images from a Flash-enabled web browser," said Steve Rankin, President and CEO of Client Outlook. "Bringing our application to the tablet form factor for the first time was incredibly fast and easy using the BlackBerry Tablet OS SDK for Adobe AIR. In fact we had eUnity running on the BlackBerry PlayBook in less than 2 hours! We are excited about the opportunity to access our innovative server technology through the power of Flash to provide our healthcare clientele with the ability to dynamically interact with diagnostic images that render amazingly fast, on an ultra portable device."
"With help from Adobe’s development tools we’ve been able to create an exceptional eReading application that will be pre-loaded on the BlackBerry PlayBook," said Dan Leibu, CTO of Kobo. "The SDK enabled us to achieve the right level of performance for the delivery of rich reading content and a world-class reading experience."
"Mobile and social technologies are the future of enterprise computing," said Kendall Collins, chief marketing officer, salesforce.com. "The BlackBerry Tablet OS SDK for Adobe AIR will enable us to seamlessly deliver real-time collaboration with Chatter Mobile to business users around the world on the BlackBerry PlayBook."
"SAP customers want to free their SAP(R) applications from the confines of the desktop and truly mobilize their workforces," said Nicholas Brown, senior vice president, Mobility Market Development, SAP AG. "Analytic dashboards are a clear use case in which everyone from the C-level executive to line-of-business manager to sales rep can analyze and access information in real time. The BlackBerry PlayBook SDK for Adobe AIR made it incredibly easy for us to build applications using Flash development tools – it took our developers just a couple of days to convert an existing SAP application into an AIR application for BlackBerry PlayBook. It looks impressive and most importantly is incredible easy to use on the new tablet."
"The BlackBerry Tablet OS SDK for Adobe AIR, allowed us to create a highly engaging experience utilizing existing coding knowledge, which makes creating PlayBook applications extremely fast," said Brett Cortese, CEO, Universal Mind, Inc. "We simply dropped the SDK into Flash Builder and the controls were available and the ball was rolling."
Adobe AIR developers can start building their applications for BlackBerry PlayBook today and will be able to submit their AIR applications for BlackBerry PlayBook to BlackBerry App World(TM) later this year. The BlackBerry Tablet OS SDK for Adobe AIR and the BlackBerry PlayBook simulator are both currently available in beta and can be downloaded for free from www.blackberry.com/developers/tabletos.
Developers at Adobe MAX interested in learning about development opportunities for BlackBerry PlayBook can stop by RIM’s booth #107. Attendees can also join in on a series of RIM-hosted sessions at the show focused on how to start developing AIR applications and web content for the BlackBerry Tablet OS.
The first webcast of a five week series hosted by RIM and Adobe experts will start on November 4, 2010 and will provide developers the opportunity to learn more about creating Adobe AIR applications for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. Developers interested in signing up for the webcast series can visit www.blackberry.com/developers/tabletos/webcasts.