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More Rumors that PlayBook Will Run Android Apps – but not Dalvik


For awhile now there have been rumors that RIM is working on a way to make Android apps run on the BlackBerry PlayBook. That rumor just got stoked again by Business Week with more detailed information about RIM’s plans. Business Week claims that “Three people familiar with the matter” said that RIM is definitely working on running Android apps on the PlayBook giving them access to the 130,000+ available Android apps. According to these sources “who asked not to be identified” RIM first tried outsourcing the effort but is now developing the solution internally. According to two of those “familiar” people the solution might even be ready by the second quarter of this year.

The other interesting twist was that while RIM was considering using Androids version of Java called Dalvik they decided against it due to the ongoing patent issues with Oracle and Google. While this may break how many applications with internal native API calls work it would still allow 90% of games and apps to work like a charm or with a little tweaking. It seems like RIM is taking a shotguns style approach to getting developers on the PlayBook. Shoot out a bunch of options and see what sticks. 🙂

Kind of a cool idea. Anybody else hoping it comes to fruition?

19 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Mememe! my angry birds!

  2. Having access to Android apps would make PlayBook more viable for many.

    What will be interesting to see how this plays out is will PlayBook be able to run Android Marketplace? And if developers code for Honeycomb will they now need to consider PlayBook specs when building apps?

    There are some major implications for both BlackBerry and Android here. But even more so, I find it interesting we hear more about running Android Java apps than we hear about running BlackBerry Java apps! RIM hasn’t played that card hardly at all, yet that was a key factor in launch success of iPad, bring able to run older apps.

    RIM is really all over the map here. Its crazy. Developers have little solid to latch on to and get excited about PlayBook as a platform.

  3. this is extremely wonderful,am looking 4ward to these,will be able to see powerful apps run on this great device.

  4. I really do hope that they do this.

  5. Nice to see RIM take a big step like this

  6. now this is exciting, and also proves how powerful QNX is!!!!

  7. Kind of cool, but it would kind of be a big “FU” to current BlackBerry developers who have intentionally invested a significant amount of resources into BlackBerry specific development up to this point. Not only would they have to automatically compete with 100k apps out of the gate written by developers who are obviously more focused on Android than BlackBerry, but it would also further discourage developers from targeting the BlackBerry platform to begin with. It will only give developers another reason to write an Android app (versus iPhone) first, change a few lines and if it kinda works on the BlackBerry too, great. Upload to AppWorld and forget about it. Just like J2ME ported apps, BlackBerry users will continue to get second-rate, lowest common denominator, SuperCrApps.

    • That’s a valid point Jeff but I think games and 3rd party apps like a wordpress client would benefit most. In other words apps that access no protected API’s or are not specific to a platform.

  8. Jeff, I agree as well.
    but we also need to realize that QNX is the next step in the BB outlook.

    With slight adaptation their BB specific apps can also be ported reversely to an Android device. It will allow the developers to reach more people.

  9. Saw a very similar article in The Globe and Mail today. I don’t think RIM is all over the map at all. Keep in mind this was not an official announcement, but more of a leak.

    By enabling Android apps the PlayBook instantly increases its app count by over 5 times. I’m not sure about platform specific apps but I’m confident that RIM will work with Android to ensure compatibility and ease of development.

  10. This would be very cool and nice. More reason to look forward to the playbook if indeed these rumors have any validity in them.

  11. Would be great to have all the access to Android apps. Hello Angry Birds. Ill take it!

  12. Bring it on!

  13. This is good move for RIM considering that android is now getting continues success since their launch

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