While at DevCon I remember Kevin asking RIM’s Alec Saunders if they are working with current Android catalog marketplaces to bring their catalog of Android apps en-masse to the PlayBook. RIM said back then that they were working on it just like they had with gaming SDKs for the PlayBook from Union, Marmalade, and others. Kevin just discovered courtesy of @wjddesigns that this might be happening sooner rather than later. Here is the email Handster (a division of Opera Software) sent out to developers:
From: Anna Golosovskaya
Date: Wed, Dec 7, 2011 at 9:16 AM
Subject: Android Apps for BlackBerry PlayBook
Dear WJD Designs
Some good news from your friends at Handster! Starting December 7, 2011, Handster (a division of Opera Software) will begin submitting your applications to BlackBerry App World. Your apps will then be made available to BlackBerry PlayBook users through the BlackBerry App World storefront in early 2012. This will increase the distribution opportunities for your apps from Handster. For more information on the BlackBerry Runtime for Android Apps on the BlackBerry PlayBook, check out developer.blackberry.com/android.
There is minimal maintenance required from your side. Handster will take care of the verification process on apps, the conversion of APK files to BAR files, apps signing and retesting on BlackBerry PlayBook tablets. All you need to do is resize your application entry icon to 86 x 86 pixels to meet requirements for BlackBerry App World submission and submit us your updated APK file. We will start porting apps as soon as they come in and begin readying them for distribution, so be sure to be one of the first to submit your Android app for conversion.
If you have any new Android apps, please do let us know. Freeware apps can be updated by our content management team automatically. As for paid apps, please update them in your Handster developer account or send them to me via email. Our content managers will upload them in your developer account, and save you some time.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Handster/Opera Software | Content manager
In other words Handster is going to be helping their developers submit apps to App World for them along with testing. I am not sure how great it will be to have another middle man between the developers and users but its a creative idea by RIM to expand the App World PlayBook catalog.
What do you think?