Research In Motion is about to make waves as it introduces cross-platform app support for its BlackBerry PlayBook, enabling the QNX-based system to run apps initially designed only for Android.
We mentioned this possibility back in January, when we heard about RIM’s consideration to use Android’s Dalvik virtual machine in the PlayBook, opening the door for Android app support. This afternoon the company finally explained how this process will work.
PlayBook users will be able to run one of two Java launchers, one for old BB Java apps, and one for Android 2.3 titles. The key here is that these programs won’t run existing Java code straight out of the gate, but RIM will require developers to repackage their apps for compatibility with the PlayBook. Admittedly, that’s not the best outcome, as you’re reliant on developers to make the effort to bring their works to the PlayBook, but RIM insists that the APIs are so compatible that any work required to port apps will go over “quickly and easily”.
In other RIM news, the company revealed some of its goals for the upcoming BBOS 6.1. Apparently it wasn’t too pleased with how 6.0 was received, so this release will be “an overhaul” that will consist of a “major upgrade” to the existing platform. Odd that the company doesn’t go right to 7.0, then. It’s too early for details on what will change, but we’ll keep you updated as we learn more.