It’s getting late in the UK but I just had to get a quick opinion on the BlackBerry Playbook/Android news out.
It’s been long rumoured — but it’s now official: The PlayBook will run Android applications.
Anything written to support Android 2.3 will be compatible using the run-time environment included with the PlayBook. So if you’ve been really enjoying PicPlz or any other recently released Android application on your Nexus, Galaxy or HTC, it’ll work fine on your PlayBook.
Now there’s a possible exception: I need to see precisely how it works. I need to take a close look at the integration. You see, I’m expecting it to be seamless — like the iPad was with iPhone applications. Provided it’s ‘pretty-good’ or ‘excellent’, then that’s fine. If it’s flakey and a bit grimace-enducing, then the Western iMarket (i.e. the same media industrial complex that killed Nokia) will go to work on RIM.
The iMarket is already looking for holes. They’re already standing there with their arms crossed tapping their foot at RIM.
Provided Android support works nicely though, it’ll be good.
Being able to run the Android version of my favourite app/service will be good-enough for many. iOS is still leading the way in terms of new services but Android is very much front of mind for most concerned with mobile applications.
It’s not too far a stretch to see developers trying out their Android apps on the PlayBook and then choosing to write natively for the device (or via WebWorks-HTML5/Flash/AIR).
Broadly speaking, I think it’s an excellent move by RIM. I think their core market of enterprise companies will react positively to this news. I think the consumer will also like the message too.
Now then, let’s see just how well the PlayBook’s run-time performs with the average Android app?