A great deal of discussion has been made as to whether the Android Runtime implementation on Playbook was really worth RIMS time or the consumers for that matter. While being able to run Android apps on Playbook sounds great, it leaves a lot to be desired as it stands right now. There is no native access to Google Play, and the apps that run within the runtime presently, must be Gingerbread 2.3.3 to run–and because it is only a runtime, RIM must specifically build APIs so these ported Android apps can access things like the cameras or other “native” functionality. RIM has been very far sighted with BB10, they are aiming for a Q1 2013 release and with that in mind the current implementation of the runtime is just the beginning. Many feel the runtime was just a ploy to get more apps onto the Playbook, but REALLY it was a move in regards to creating better tools for developers in order to help lower the barriers of entry onto RIMs next gen platform, BB10. I took the time to watch a 20 minute interview of Tim Neil done by N4BB. He talks a lot about the tools being offered, why and how they are intended to be used. Not many people watched the interview, and if they did they probably didn’t listen all the way through, around 13:30 Tim begins to talk Android Runtime:
“A lot of them [developers] feel the android runtime is not a priority for RIM, what is your view on that?” -N4BB
“Yeah so our Android Runtime is a priority to us, right. We’re still working through what’s the right timing to be able to upgrade that Android runtime to something else. Which is a lot of varying factors not just ‘can we do it’. When should it go to Jelly Bean and we’re working through what that timing should look like.” – Tim Neil
Very interesting stuff. RIM is not sitting on it’s laurels. Imagine the marketability when BB10 launches and supports a broader range Android apps. Two phones for the price of one may be very appealing to end users, especially when we consider what BB10 will be offering that the other guys don’t. It will all come down to their new implementation. If you care to delve into the video yourself you can view it below.