Research In Motion has demonstrated its PlayBook tablet running Android apps, indicating that it may soon able to host apps from the Android marketplace.
The demonstration, during the BlackBerry World 2011 conference in the USA, can be viewed as an attempt by the company to reassure its existing as well as potential customers that the PlayBook tablet can run Android applications, a feature that is missing at this point of time.
During the demonstration, RIM showed how an application designed for Android will perform on PlayBook. The Canadian company will reportedly come up this summer with a beta version of an app player to enable PlayBook owners to use Android apps on the tablet.
The Android App Player will be a Gingerbread simulation, which is Android 2.3. It might get an upgrade to Honeycomb also, depending on whether Google wants to make Honeycomb open sourced or not.
However, the developers have to convert Android apps into a ‘bar’ file to be able to operate them on the QNX operating system of PlayBook. The current Android apps come in the standard “apk’ format.
RIM has also demonstrated native email and calendar that are likely to come through software updates to PlayBook this summer itself.
RIM has decided to make it easier for developers as they will be given an extension to the current Android software development kit. RIM believes that Android developers are in a transition stage and that finally they will start developing for the PlayBook platform as well.
The company had adopted a similar strategy with Symbian developers as well, and many of them had started developing for BlackBerry handsets.
High end games will still come as separate apps developed on a native software development kit. Currently, app developers are being given free run, but the situation may change with more guidelines once PlayBook sales pick up.