Crackberry attended the Blackberry World conference today, and got to see a nice demonstration of the Blackberry Playbook running a few Android apps. There’s been a lot of talk about this, and I was wondering how it would work, so I’m happy to get a lil more info.
Apparently, Android developers have to sign up for this and “list” the apps with RIM, but then those apps become available directly from the Blackberry App World. Once downloaded, they show up on the Playbook like any other native app would. The Playbook has a separate “Android Player” app that has to be running in order for an Android app to launch — at least, quickly. If it’s not already running and you go to launch an Android app, it’ll start up the Android player first, and then launch your app inside it. It sounds like they’re trying very hard to make this a seamless experience. Does this pose a threat for Android tablets?
I say not a substantial one, no. It’s a nice selling point for people who already want a Playbook, but people who want an Android tablet want one for the COMPLETE Android experience — widgets, rooting, customization, and the seamless integration of Google services. Not to mention the fact that there will plenty of developers — not the least of which is likely Google — who won’t make their full suite of apps available on the Playbook. I don’t think this will persuade anyone who wants an Android tablet to jump to the Playbook, but it’s smart of RIM to admit their shortcomings in the app department and find an elegant solution to the problem. Feel free to post counterpoints in the comments, and catch the video below.