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RIM Answers Critical Developer Questions on BlackBerry PlayBook


Since the announcement of the BlackBerry PlayBook developers have had one major question about the platform. What development SDK’s and environments will it support? Until now RIM has been playing coy announcing nothing beyond the Flash/Air and HTML/WebWorks frameworks/SDKs. They have now finally answered the question and I AM IMPRESSED!

The BlackBerry PlayBook will support the following SDKs:

  1. Adobe Air
  2. HTML5 and WebWorks
  3. Native C/C++ with support for OpenGL and Java

That last one is a HUGE deal. Should be interesting to see how this develops. You can check out their full answers from their blog post below:

Q: What are the SDKs that will be available and when will they be released?
A: The BlackBerry PlayBook OS will support application development in Adobe® AIR®, HTML5 and BlackBerry® WebWorks™, Native C/C++ with support for OpenGL and Java. The Adobe AIR SDK for BlackBerry PlayBook is available today. More details on the availability of SDKs for developing in HTML5, BlackBerry WebWorks, Native and Java will be coming soon.

Q: Is Flash Builder 4 required to build apps?
A: No – in fact, anything that can generate a SWF file can be used to build BlackBerry PlayBook tablet apps. Webcast #2 went through how to use Adobe® Flash® Professional CS5 and we are planning on building a Flash Pro plugin to help developers build apps. The webcast also showed how to use the command line to package an application for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. We also recently released a new version of the SDK which works seamlessly with the preview version of Adobe Flash Builder 4.5 (Burrito) as well.

Q. What types of persistent storage are available on the BlackBerry PlayBook?
A. There are 3 different types of persistent storage on the data:

  1. SharedObject – This is the standard AIR SharedObject API used to store limited amounts of data in very quick access memory. Typically, you’ll store variables or other information that you need to access very quickly or frequently in the SharedObject store.
  2. SQLite – The standard AIR SQLite API’s can be used to leverage the SQLite database on the device. Generally, you’ll be storing any medium to large sized data in the SQLite database. Since SQLite is in memory, this is typically the best combination between speed and size for data storage.
  3. FileIO – The standard AIR File I/O API’s can be used to store data or files in the device memory. Any types of multimedia or images will typically be stored using File I/O. The tradeoff for being able to store essentially any file size is that this is typically the slower of the mechanisms for retrieving stored information from the persistent store, however for any type of media files, this is the recommended approach for storing them on the device.
7 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Oh rim. Can we update our phone os via playbook too? 😀

  2. Of course! C/C++ with native Java is a must! OpenGL too is a must for the PlayBook. I can’t wait!!! I’m hoping for a February release of the PlayBook so we’re talking less than 6 weeks!

  3. Mostly for leaks etc …. It would be nice to be able to do a wipe and install new os

  4. Hopefully with OpenGL we will see some really cool games. To be a success with “regular” users they need to have some great games on the thing. Something like Madden and being able to use the accellerometer’s to guide your player would be way cool.

  5. I’m not a Mac basher and I don’t own any Apple products but has anyone wondered why Apple just didn’t take the Mac Air and turn it into a tablet? Yeah it would have cost more but the people who like Apple products would have bought it.

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