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RIM adds Android OS 2.3 app support to Playbook

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
BlackBerry vendor RIM worked to distract from its weak future guidance by announcing that its upcoming Playbook tablet will indeed run Android 2.3 apps as was previously rumored.

RIM on the hot seat

RIM announced decent smartphone sales and revenues that were just under analysts' expectations. However, its future guidance was disappointing. "Shocking might be too strong a word, but it was very weak," said Matthew Thornton, an analyst with Avian Securities.

RIM faces increasing pressure from Apple's iPhone and vendors of Android-based smartphones, but it also hopes to enter the market defined by iPad last year, and has hoped to do so with its Playbook.

However, as Apple's iPad had gained momentum with users and developers, RIM hasn't said much about how Playbook will really work. It has previously talked about running native C apps, web-based apps, Adobe Flash and AIR apps, and rumors have suggested that the company is also planning to support Android smartphone apps.

RIM has finally officially announced that its Playbook will launch both existing BlackBerry (Java) apps and Android 2.3 apps (based on Google's Dvalik VM, similar to Java) through "app player" runtime environments hosted on the Playbook within a secure sandbox.

The company also reiterated that it would be launching a native C/C++ development environment for the new tablet, along with both web-based and Adobe Flash/AIR-based development environments.

Previous rumors about how RIM might implement Android app support suggested the company was concerned about Oracle's patent and copyright suits against Google's Android, and suggested problems in RIM being able to cultivate native development if it were also already possible to simply run Android titles.

Seeing what sticks

RIM's Playbook development plans sounds similar to Apple's efforts a decade ago to launch Mac OS X with a mix of Carbon, Classic, Cocoa, Pure Java and BSD environments, each hoping to attract development attention.

Apple discovered that users didn't like to run their existing Mac apps in the Classic "Blue Box," and found many developers were not too excited about porting their existing apps to the company's new Cocoa APIs derived from NeXT. It also received very limited interest from all its work to host a Java client environment.

With Mac OS X, Apple was forced to rethink its initial strategy, focusing first upon delivering an immediately useable Carbon API that could support existing code with only limited changes while aiming to eventually shift developers toward its long term solution in the more elegant and modern Cocoa.

When it began working on its mobile iOS platform, Apple delivered one unified API: Cocoa Touch. It offered no support for old Carbon apps, skipped Flash and Java entirely, and also made no provisions to support existing mobile APIs including Nokia's Symbian, Qualcomm's BREW, Microsoft's Windows Mobile and the Palm OS.

The result was that all of the interest in the iPhone was funneled directly into new Cocoa Touch apps, creating a large population of developers savvy in building apps with Apple's tools, which are largely shared with its Mac OS X platform.

One of each

In trying to support everything, RIM will likely find just the opposite: that developers who already make Android apps will find their existing "support" for the Playbook satisfactory, and won't be likely to do the work needed to deliver a native app. RIM is also banking on web apps, much like HP's webOS strategy and Google's Chrome OS, which may likely become in general terms the second most popular way to deliver apps.

Apple also supports web apps on its own iOS devices, recently being ranked by web development tools vendor Sencha as offering "a top rate, no compromises HTML5 browser" in contrast to calling Android 3.0's browser "not ready for primetime, even for HTML4."

Even so, users have demonstrated a clear preference for native iOS apps, largely ignoring attempts by developers (including Google Voice) to deliver their apps via web apps until a native version appeared.

Rise of the microkernel

How well RIM's support for multiple mobile app platforms works will be interesting because the company says its "BlackBerry PlayBook and BlackBerry Tablet OS are built on the QNX Neutrino microkernel architecture with a 1GHz dual core processor and a leading OpenGL solution, which allows RIM to make this incredibly broad platform support possible."

That effort echos the plans of Apple, IBM, Microsoft, and others from twenty years ago, when the world was transfixed by the utopian potential of microkernels to host multiple OS personalities.

In the early 90s, Apple initially hoped to host its Mac OS environment on top of a new Taligent kernel alongside IBM's OS/2 and AIX. Microsoft planned to host Windows, OS/2 and Unix personalities on top of its NT kernel. Both efforts were dramatically scaled back as microkernel technology failed to live up to its initial expectations.

Steve Jobs' NeXT also used a microkernel design, but in a hybrid configuration that didn't run into many of the same issues. Apple's Mac OS X continues to use NeXT's hybrid BSD/Mach kernel, but does not host multiple OS personalities on a single kernel, instead implementing support for Carbon, Cocoa and BSD app environments in the higher level userland environment.

For RIM, the microkernel task will be much easier than 20 years ago because of the relative simplicity of hosting Java apps (particularly simple mobile applets one might encounter on a smartphone), and the similarity of Android and Java apps. The larger problem will likely be whether users will find running the relatively limited libraries of BlackBerry and Android apps all that useful on a 7 inch tablet, as opposed to the more than 65,000 native, iPad-optimized apps Apple already offers for iPad users.

post #2 of 47
Where can I buy one of these RimPalm PlayDroids?
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post #3 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Where can I buy one of these RimPalm PlayDroids?

RimPlay PalmDroids?

Actually, to be fair, I think RIM's strategy is pretty good. Yeah, the AI post makes is sound like a loser proposition, but do you think very many people would develop code for the Playbook in native mode only? Yeah, they may only get "just good enough Android ports" but that's better than nothing at all.
post #4 of 47
.

Question: Name 4 dogs and a movie star?

Answer: JVM, Davlik, Flash, AIR and Lassie!

.
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post #5 of 47
I'd like to play with one to see how it performs.
post #6 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Where can I buy one of these RimPalm PlayDroids?

I'm going with PalmPlay RimDroid. Which I believe I saw in a sex shop once. It was......disturbing.
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post #7 of 47
The tablet landscape is looking pretty good:

iOS
Android
Web OS
RIM
Motorola is said to working on something
Windows

Did I miss anyone?
post #8 of 47
I'd call this design monstrosity a FrankenBerry but I'd hate to insult the kid's cereal.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #9 of 47
Android 2.3, instead of 3.0? So RIM is going with the Android OS designed for smaller display phones then?
post #10 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Postulant View Post

I'd like to play with one to see how it performs.

That's fair.

But, there has been so much hype, that I doubt it can deliver meaningful results.

I have used enough Java and Flash on enough systems to know that there is poor performance and an inconsistent/confusing UI.

On a battery-powered mobie platform thisis especially critical.

.
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post #11 of 47
I wonder if RIM is going to offer an MS Office compatible suite like Apple has done with iWork apps. It is after all supposed to be a corporate user device is it not?

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #12 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

I'm going with PalmPlay RimDroid. Which I believe I saw in a sex shop once. It was......disturbing.

... But, somehow, satisfying... In an eerie way...
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post #13 of 47
Gotta love that picture. Remember all the LOLing about how ridiculous the iPad's virtual keyboard was? "Real Men need Real Keyboards." How much do you want to bet there's complete silence about this 57.4% smaller keyboard? Or that the Blackberry loyalists who just had to have a physical keyboard will swallow this without a peep, because...it's not Apple doing it!
post #14 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac.World View Post

Android 2.3, instead of 3.0? So RIM is going with the Android OS designed for smaller display phones then?

Nice catch, but least it's a 7" display instead of 10".

I'm really curious what the user experience in terms of battery life and performce will be when you have QNX with Fkash as a UI with a Java runtime on top. I'm gona go out on a limb and say it's not great.

It does give the PlayBook a built in app store but what's the point if the user experience is poor. Plus, I thought that was one of the reasons they went with AIRin the first place. Personally think RiM should have backed off until they had a solid product with a proper SDK. I think they are just hurting their brand and that's not an easy thing to fix once it's been soiled.
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post #15 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I wonder if RIM is going to offer an MS Office compatible suite like Apple has done with iWork apps. It is after all supposed to be a corporate user device is it not?

This is kind of a problem because of the screen size and aspect ratio...

In landscape mode, you get only a few lines of a WP or SS documet above the on-screen kb (which is also too narrow for touch typing) *

* a BT kb eliminates the portability advantages of the saller screen

In portrait mode it is too narrow to display a page...

... But you can run that HD video in the background while you are fiddling with document creation...

I've been around for 71 years...

Good I know nothing about...

... But bad, i understand!

.
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post #16 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I wonder if RIM is going to offer an MS Office compatible suite like Apple has done with iWork apps. It is after all supposed to be a corporate user device is it not?

I don't see any evidence of RiM doing any solid programing. Their SW focus appears to be parasitic in nature.
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post #17 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Nice catch, but least it's a 7" display instead of 10".

I'm really curious what the user experience in terms of battery life and performce will be when you have QNX with Fkash as a UI with a Java runtime on top. I'm gona go out on a limb and say it's not great.

It does give the PlayBook a built in app store but what's the point if the user experience is poor. Plus, I thought that was one of the reasons they went with AIRin the first place. Personally think RiM should have backed off until they had a solid product with a proper SDK. I think they are just hurting their brand and that's not an easy thing to fix once it's been soiled.

Based on statements (blogged) of the earnings call, RIM is betting the farm on the PlayBook... They won't have phones capable of running QNX until 2012... Way too late.
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post #18 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhyde View Post

Actually, to be fair, I think RIM's strategy is pretty good. Yeah, the AI post makes is sound like a loser proposition.....

Sadly, the market seems to agree with AI. (In case you didn't know, RIMM is down more than 10% in after-hours trading......)
post #19 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac.World View Post

Android 2.3, instead of 3.0? So RIM is going with the Android OS designed for smaller display phones then?

Android 3.0 has apps?
post #20 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by boriscleto View Post

Android 3.0 has apps?

They will have plenty. 3.0 is still new.
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post #21 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Dvalik

It's Dalvik.
post #22 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Postulant View Post

The tablet landscape is looking pretty good:

iOS
Android
Web OS
RIM
Motorola is said to working on something
Windows

Did I miss anyone?

Mattel?
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
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"Google doesn't sell you anything, they just sell you!"
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post #23 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zandros View Post

It's Dalvik.

Thx... Fixed!

I like to be precise when I disparage something -- so there is no doubt of my intentions!
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post #24 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

This is kind of a problem because of the screen size and aspect ratio...

In landscape mode, you get only a few lines of a WP or SS documet above the on-screen kb (which is also too narrow for touch typing) *

* a BT kb eliminates the portability advantages of the saller screen

In portrait mode it is too narrow to display a page...

... But you can run that HD video in the background while you are fiddling with document creation...

I've been around for 71 years...

Good I know nothing about...

... But bad, i understand!

.

One could say it's too big to be a phone and too small to be a tablet. What a marketing slogan eh?
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
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post #25 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac-sochist View Post

Gotta love that picture. Remember all the LOLing about how ridiculous the iPad's virtual keyboard was? "Real Men need Real Keyboards." How much do you want to bet there's complete silence about this 57.4% smaller keyboard? Or that the Blackberry loyalists who just had to have a physical keyboard will swallow this without a peep, because...it's not Apple doing it!

They connect it to their blackberry so they'll have their 2 inch keyboard to go with their 7" screen.

Rim Jim predicts they will sell millions!

This company was a market leader at one time, but the market has passed them by and now they can't even play catch up.
post #26 of 47
.

Simple question...

Where do you go to get an app that is designed for (to exploit the advantages of) the PlayBook?

.
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post #27 of 47
Oh God, this is going to be bad.

I mean seriously, why would someone buy this when you can get an ipad for the same price?

I re-watched this early review:

http://crackberry.com/blackberry-playbook-review

And this guy from Blackberry seems utterly embarrassed. "This is our PlayBook. Um...what can i say?"

Exactly.
post #28 of 47
.

Question: Where does a PlayBook user go to get mail, contacts and a calendar?

Answer: US Post Office, RoloDex, DayTimer...

... Now, that's jazz

.
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post #29 of 47
deleted
post #30 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhowlin View Post

Oh God, this is going to be bad.

I mean seriously, why would someone buy this when you can get an ipad for the same price?

I re-watched this early review:

http://crackberry.com/blackberry-playbook-review

And this guy from Blackberry seems utterly embarrassed. "This is our PlayBook. Um...what can i say?"

Exactly.

Bait and switch with that post, huh? Your first post too! Niiiiice....
post #31 of 47
Jim Ballsilie:

"Now we have 100,000 apps too! Instantly!"

Yikes. This has all the makings of a colossal failure.
post #32 of 47
Just got back... UofA Arizona just trounced Duke to go to the Elite Eight.

Yeah 'cats!
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post #33 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

I'm going with PalmPlay RimDroid. Which I believe I saw in a sex shop once. It was......disturbing.

HAHHHH
post #34 of 47
Holly crap!! It's like watching a car wreck in slow motion. I can't look away.
post #35 of 47
Uh oh. Uncle Ballsillie is 'splainin' stuff again. No good can come of that.

Quote:
First of all, what we announced is Gingerbread. This is not Honeycomb. I don't know what the number of Honeycomb apps is, but it's not very many. Whereas Gingerbread they've got lots of them. You've got the volume of the handset apps, so if you're looking for the tonnage of apps, or some kind of long tail stuff, you've got it.
At the end of the day, people are going to want performance. You're just not going to get things like gaming and multimedia, you're not going to get the speed going through a VM interface. If you want content, or Flash type stuff, or you're looking at AIR-type, evolving web-type assets, that's what you're going to do.
There's no compromise here. You've got the tonnage of apps. And you've got the performance. Do I think the tonnage is overplayed? Yes.
But if you think it's about having a couple hundred thousand apps, there you go.

Yeah, Android shit, we stuck it on there for people stupid enough to go for the "lots of apps" thing. Knock yourself out, losers. But of course, we expect our losers, sorry customers, to step up and use some of the other two or three environments that we've got going on. I mean, we put everything on here, something's bound to work, right?

Quote:
Do we believe it's about super high performance? Yes. Do we believe it's about full web fidelity? Yes. These are concepts that were really relegated as not technically possible, which we're doing here. This is a no compromise environment.
If you want to work on Android, great. Do we think people will want to migrate web assets? Yes. Do we think they're going to want super high performance native assets with the SDK? Absolutely. You think they're going to want to use their Flash based stuff for an offline Flash/AIR type environment? Yes.

Am I addicted to rhetorical questions? I am. Do I give every impression that I've completely lost control of the process and am treading water as hard as I can? I do.


Quote:
I'm just not interested in these sort of religious application tonnage issues. I really think we put that issue to bed. And if you think the whole world's going to want to develop for Gingerbread, fine. Do I think that's going to happen? Then why is there a different environment for a tablet? And you know about the performance issues and you know about the app volume issues, cause it's tough. And that's why QNX matters.

But I'd just like to return for a moment to the fact that the applications we've just announced are going to be available basically blow chunks, and I want you to know we did that by design. Because I am insane.

Quote:
That's why people are saying, Is this stuff going to go more in the browser and HTML 5 and more native? These are going to be strong trends. But if you want these app players for different VMs -- and don't forget we have 25,000 BlackBerry 6 apps. So, at the end of the day, we believe this is going to be about performance. It's going to be about enterprise greatness. Things like multi-threaded capability, symmetric multiprocessing. We believe it's about an uncompromised web. We believe it's about enterprise security. True multitasking, not with suspension -- and that matters because you're going to want to run these things in the background.

I just don't think I can stress this enough: we're going out of our way to make sure our make or break tablet initiative is positively infested with what we freely admit will be truly terrible, poorly running applications, and we're betting that this will make our native apps look really good and generally make everyone feel really good about the PlayBook.

Quote:
But I'm out of the religious war on tonnage, which I'm delighted.

Say, are there are a lot of bees in here, or is that my brain?
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post #36 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Just got back... UofA Arizona just trounced Duke to go to the Elite Eight.

I am not sure if you realized your comment was on-topic, but it is exactly what I thought of when I read this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stourque View Post

This company was a market leader at one time, but the market has passed them by and now they can't even play catch up.
post #37 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhyde View Post

RimPlay PalmDroids?

Actually, to be fair, I think RIM's strategy is pretty good. Yeah, the AI post makes is sound like a loser proposition, but do you think very many people would develop code for the Playbook in native mode only? Yeah, they may only get "just good enough Android ports" but that's better than nothing at all.

No its not. Like Apples says you can use iphone software on the ipad. Well its works but its EFFING anoying to use something that has not been developed for ipad. I have deleted all my apps on the ipad that just work in 1x/2x mode. Useless if you ask me. Native apps, we need more!!!! Or more clever developers!!!! (eg eyetv, and some other works on both, some have two apps, one for ipad one for iphone, some have only useless iphone app for ipad)
post #38 of 47
Think they should have called it the Job instead of playbook. Would have at least made articles about it worth reading.

e.g. 1 million RIM Jobs sold
Get a RIM Job for success in business etc
post #39 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Uh oh. Uncle Ballsillie is 'splainin' stuff again. No good can come of that.



Yeah, Android shit, we stuck it on there for people stupid enough to go for the "lots of apps" thing. Knock yourself out, losers. But of course, we expect our losers, sorry customers, to step up and use some of the other two or three environments that we've got going on. I mean, we put everything on here, something's bound to work, right?



Am I addicted to rhetorical questions? I am. Do I give every impression that I've completely lost control of the process and am treading water as hard as I can? I do.




But I'd just like to return for a moment to the fact that the applications we've just announced are going to be available basically blow chunks, and I want you to know we did that by design. Because I am insane.



I just don't think I can stress this enough: we're going out of our way to make sure our make or break tablet initiative is positively infested with what we freely admit will be truly terrible, poorly running applications, and we're betting that this will make our native apps look really good and generally make everyone feel really good about the PlayBook.



Say, are there are a lot of bees in here, or is that my brain?

LOL... priceless!
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post #40 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Yeah, Android shit, we stuck it on there for people stupid enough to go for the "lots of apps" thing. Knock yourself out, losers. But of course, we expect our losers, sorry customers, to step up and use some of the other two or three environments that we've got going on. I mean, we put everything on here, something's bound to work, right?

App "tonnage" is something Apple plays up all the time. What do you think the "There's an app for that" tag line is saying? Apparently Apple thinks people are "stupid enough to go for the 'lots of apps' thing" too.
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