I have a......
Fart App. Can I get one?
RIM is offering a free PlayBook tablet to developers who submit an Android application to RIM's App World before Valentine's Day, though the T&Cs have yet to be revealed. RIM isn't the first company to hand out hardware to promote software development – it's an established route to filling out an application portfolio – but …
I assume the Android SDK come with some kind of emulator app?
The issue is not in testing it in Android but in testing it on the PlayBook which is not Android. It might have an Android layer of some sort but that is not the same thing. If your app launches a browser, or reads contacts, or makes calls, or hits the internet you need to be reasonable certainly it will work as intended. It may also be the case that Android APKs have to be repackaged in some way which must also be tested. I hope that RIM have an SDK which can be used for this, or at least an emulator which can augment the Android SDK.
On a more general point, I wonder if RIM are smart to support Android this way. It's like when OS/2 supported Windows. It might seem like a good idea but it makes Android the lowest common denominator. Few developers will spend the extra effort writing a native app when there is a compatibility layer there which spares them the trouble.
If you don't have a BlackBerry PlayBook tablet to test your apps with, you can use the BlackBerry Tablet Simulator to test your application. The BlackBerry Tablet Simulator enables you to run and view your applications as you would on a BlackBerry PlayBook tablet; however, some limitations apply.
In theory RIM could port Dalvik and the APIs and provide a reasonable facsimile of Android that most apps don't notice the difference. However I bet there is an entire laundry list of restrictions, bugs and caveats which apply. For example Android apps are strung together with intents and its quite possible that many of the common intents map onto native apps with the restrictions and limitations that is implied by that.
I'm almost tempted by this.
I spent some time messing around with Titanium to develop iOS apps (before going the whole hog and picking up Obj-C), and because that will deploy the same code to Android as well, I have some half-finish lame apps that I could complete and submit with very little effort.
But then.... I'd be stuck with owning a Playbook, with all the social stigmata and ridicule that that will bring down upon me and my family for years to come.
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"Yet the whole place feels corporate and restrained compared to the plethora of rubbish which makes the iTunes store, and Android Marketplace, so interesting to peruse"
That sounds like a definite plus but it seems they are desperately seeking to fill it with crap. Interesting it may be, useful and productive, perhaps less so.
With a two week deadline and full details not available it's hard to see it as much more than a publicity stunt.
I got mine for doing a native app least year - and if you do an android app, boy, you'll get yours, all right!
I love having the thing, honestly. The app selection is a bit weak, though improving. And el Reg, did you even LOOK at the app store? It's probably 80% crazy-ass shit and 10% businesslike normality. (The other 10% isn't done yet.)
As far as dev goes, they have an emulator that does a pretty good job. It was completely accurate regarding my app - aside from speed, where it ran 5x as fast as the real playbook, on one core of a core2quad q6600, after being throttled down by 66%...
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Rim could have 100% arm Android Compatibility if they wanted it.
Either Linux running as a process under QNX
Or a translator (Like the Linuxulator in FreeBSD or the Solaris Linux branded zone).
Or colinux style.
It might even already be supported by QNX (Running Linux underneath a microkernel is hardly uncommon).
... is down to the fact that it takes so long to sign up to get they required keys, vendor account auth etc - Developing for Android and IOS really only takes minutes (aside from the software install) to be up and running. It might be Friday, I might be impatient but I expect key generation to be done and available immediately when I submit my info and I expect the vendor validation to be pretty quick too.
I also don't expect to have to sign up 3 times with the same information just to start developing for the playbook - Perhaps getting this sorted out so it's a seamless process would encourage more developers - as it stands I'm already annoyed before I start porting - that can't be good.
Why don't they spend a few million paying people to write some killer applications?
It was a given that in the 80s if you wanted to release a home computer successfully it would often come with a bundle of software to get you going.
In the 90s you'd usually get Word or Office on your PC, some people think Word is built into Windows as they've always had it bundled.
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