BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) is expanding its developer offering for programmers awaiting the BlackBerry PlayBook with additional tools and options to expand their commercial opportunities. Scheduled to launch in the U.S. and Canada on April 19, the PlayBook will now be supported by two optional "app players" that provide an application runtime environment for BlackBerry Java apps and Android v2.3 apps. These new app players will allow users to download BlackBerry Java apps and Android apps from BlackBerry App World and run them on their BlackBerry PlayBook.
In addition, RIM will shortly release the native SDK for the BlackBerry PlayBook enabling C/C++ application development on the BlackBerry Tablet OS. For game-specific developers, RIM is also announcing that it has gained support from two leading game development tooling companies, allowing developers to use the cross-platform game engines from Ideaworks Labs and Unity Technologies to bring their games to the BlackBerry PlayBook.
"Developers currently building for the BlackBerry or Android platforms will be able to quickly and easily port their apps to run on the BlackBerry Tablet OS thanks to a high degree of API compatibility. The new optional app players will be available for download from BlackBerry App World and will be placed in a secure 'sandbox' on the BlackBerry PlayBook where the BlackBerry Java or Android apps can be run," said Mike Lazaridis, president and Co-CEO at Research In Motion. "The upcoming addition of BlackBerry Java and Android apps for the BlackBerry PlayBook on BlackBerry App World will provide our users with an even greater choice of apps and will also showcase the versatility of the platform."
RIM says that operational functionality in its new developer ecosystem is strong; developers can repackage, code sign, and submit their BlackBerry Java and Android apps to BlackBerry App World. Users will be able to download both the app players and the BlackBerry Java and Android apps from BlackBerry App World.