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RIM Answers Many BlackBerry PlayBook Developer Questions


Just a few years ago you needed to have some internal hookup at RIM, join the BlackBerry Alliance, sign a million NDAs, and have a recommendation from the Pope to be able to get an answer from the RIM development team. Now the revamped dev team is simply answering questions on Twitter via #AskBBDev. I love it!

RIM provided some solid (and flakey) answers to questions BlackBerry PlayBook developers and users have been asking. I thought I would share the questions and answers with you in case you (probably) missed them.

Here is a quick summary:

  • RIM is working on improving the draconian App World approval process
  • The native C/C++ SDK is targeted for a summer beta release and will be shown off at BlackBerry World. This means hot games like Need for Speed and Tetris will only be coming from 3rd party developers after this release
  • The Gyroscope APIs will only be available via the Native SDK initially which is coming later so apps using it will not be available at launch
  • There will be a final Gold version of the AIR and WebWorks tools before launch
  • RIM is considering USB host support which would allow you to plug in peripherals using the USB port like a memory card reader!

Here are my favorite questions and answers:

Q: andrewcowart – Android devs can submit apps + updates and get approved instantly. Does BB have any plans to speed up the appworld process?

  • A: We are actively working on improvements to speed up the approval process for App World for new and existing apps.^MK

Q: mobilecreators When the C/C++ SDK will be available? And if you cannot say that, is RIM starting giving the devs some schedule?

  • We are targeting a summer beta release for the Native SDK.  See a tools demo live at BlackBerry World ^MK

Q: jpinkerton Will there be a final 1.0.0 release of the PlayBook SDK prior to launch?

  • Yes.  We will have a “gold” version of the AIR and Web Works tools before launch for developers. ^MK

Q: scunliffe Is there an estimated timeline for APIs for 1.) Geolocation, 2.) Camera/Video, 3.) Gyroscope events etc.

  • A: Gyro APIs will only be available via the Native SDK initially but we are investigating exposing to AIR and WebWorks.^MK

Q: scunliffe – Any chance that the Playbook keyboard will have(or option for) a “proper” QWERTY offset key layout? e.g.

  • A: Developers cannot write their own keyboard today but we can investigate. Submit to the Issue Tracker.^MK

Q: yousifabdullah Any word on USB host support for advanced peripherals such as audio/MIDI interfaces?

  • A1: USB Host support will not be available at launch.  We are investigating adding this in a future release. ^MK
  • A2: For HDMI output the “mirror” mode shows the device screen automatically or you can control output for your app.^MK

And last but not least 🙂

Q: @rkrull79 Is support for running Android applications on BB devices really going to happen?

  • ……………… (sound of silence)

Check out all the rest of the #AskBBDev conversation at this link. I highly recommend tuning in for Alex Kinsella’s Q&A at 2PM today.

2 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. A little disappointed on the gyroscope response

  2. USB host support is significant because it transforms the playbook from a peripheral into a real laptop replacement. However it also would require a hardware change, so we won’t be seeing it for another year at least…

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