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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

RIM invites Android devs to repackage apps for PlayBook before 6 February

Research in Motion has announced that the long-awaited OS 2.0 update for the BlackBerry Playbook will launch in February, complete with the ability to run repackaged Android apps.
The included BlackBerry Runtime for Android Apps lets developers port their apps over to RIM's tablet (and upcoming BlackBerry 10 devices). The Canadian firm has told app-makers that 6 February is the deadline to get their app released alongside the new OS.
Developers will need to put in a little work to convert apps. Though, "I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at how easy the porting process is," a spokesperson for RIM's developer relations team said.
As such, RIM has released the the BlackBerry Plug-in for ADT, browser-based emulator BlackBerry Packager for Android apps and scripting toolset BlackBerry SDK for Android apps.
There are a few rules to abide by to get in RIM's Android app catalogue. For one, you'll need to strip any mention of the word Android from the application's description and the app itself. You'll also need to remove all links to the Android Market, select the minimum BlackBerry PlayBook OS to 2.0, and get your app signed.
Opening up the PlayBook to legions of Android apps could be seen as a last ditch effort to save the floundering tablet. Shipments dropped in half during its second quarter in shops, and RIM has had to drastically slash prices in the US and UK to clear the unwanted devices from shelves.
Despite buddying up with the little green robot and attempting to borrow from its bulging App Store, RIM's brand-new CEO Thorsten Heins doesn't have many good words for Android. In an interview with Crackberry, Heins bashed the OS saying that "there is just no room for differentiation" because the devices "are all the same."

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