BlackBerry deal with Android almost an iPad killer, but not quite
At some point before the sun goes supernova, Research In Motion (RIM) will get around to walking the walk and release their BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, announced shortly before the beginning of time and showcased at February's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
When it does finally arrive in the UK this summer, RIM are hoping it'll be packing an extra punch that could see the iPad finally have a mainstream competitor; RIM have today announced that the PlayBook won't just run BlackBerry applications, but that it'll have an app player for Android.
That sounds very decent indeed; while developers are creating new apps for BlackBerry's tablet, there are over 200,000 Android apps already available. Super times! Well, almost. The Guardian's Apps blog points out that the emphasis for RIM is on developers creating tablet apps for the BlackBerry App World Store; as it stands, the PlayBook will only be able to utilise Android apps created for smartphones.
While there's some merit in promoting the availability of Android's smartphone apps on a tablet, it's hardly a winning experience compared to apps designed and optimsed for the larger screen. Google has a table operating system - Honeycomb - but there are questions as to whether it'll be open-sourced, meaning the PlayBook may have to do without apps developed for other Android tablets, and a real opportunity to take on Apple will be lost.