For awhile now I (and many other devs) have had a feeling that RIM might try to push BlackBerry smartphone Java developers into developing Android applications. The Android runtime on the PlayBook will be the first Java runtime for the PlayBook (and possibly QNX phones) and I know Java BlackBerry devs are paying attention. RIM has promised a Java Player for the PlayBook that should emulate BlackBerry Java apps but they have been pretty quiet about it.
Now I noticed in their session catalog for BlackBerry DevCon this month they have a session titled: “Android Development for BlackBerry Java Developers.”
Here is how RIM describes the session:
This session is targeted to BlackBerry Java developers interested in developing Android applications for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. Join us if you prefer to continue utilizing your Java skills, or you have a large codebase of an existing BlackBerry Java application that you want to port to the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet with minimum effort. A contrast will be made between the key BlackBerry and Android APIs, followed by break down of the porting process of an existing BlackBerry application.
It seems like RIM is going to help developers in the process of porting their BlackBerry Java apps to the PlayBook using the Android player. That is an interesting move for RIM since it would require them in the future to expand the native APIs (advertising, analytics, push, etc) for the Android Player which they claim they do not plan on doing…
On the other hand RIM will be having two of their employees giving this session on porting to Android:
- Denver Coneybeare – Team Lead – Java Device APIs @ Research In Motion
- Kamen Vitanov – Senior Architect, Strategic Initiatives – Research In Motion
The key takeaways for the session are:
- Compare and contrast BlackBerry Java development to Android development
- See how easy it is to port your code to the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet
- Reach a new market of users for your Android apps