Sometimes it’s great when rumors come true. Just last month we heard rumblings that RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook would be compatible with Android v2.3 applications. Today, RIM proved the rumors true and announced that the soon-to-launch BlackBerry PlayBook will run Android apps in a sandbox application on the device.
But that’s not all. PlayBook users will have access to the Java-based apps in the BlackBerry App World in addition to native PlayBook applications. The Android apps and App World apps will each run within their own app on the PlayBook itself. These two apps (one for Java-based App World programs and one for Android apps) will provide a sandbox within the QNX-based PlayBook OS. Right off the bat, that’s 200,000 Android apps and 25,000 BlackBerry App World apps.
According to RIM’s press release, they want to make it as easy as possible for developers to port their applications over to the PlayBook. “Developers will simply repackage, code sign and submit their BlackBerry Java and Android apps to BlackBerry App World. Once approved, the apps will be distributed through BlackBerry App World, providing a new opportunity for many developers to reach BlackBerry PlayBook users. Users will be able to download both the app players and the BlackBerry Java and Android apps from BlackBerry App World.”
Unfortunately, the Android and BlackBerry Java apps won’t be available when the device launches on April 19th. Instead, they’ll be demoed at BlackBerry World during the first week of May. Hopefully they’ll be available soon after that.