While the title sounds a bit brash hear me out. RIM could have struck up a deal with Android/Google to give us support to Google Play Store on our PlayBooks. Instead they built in a half-ass Dalvik runtime that essentially emulates the Android environment. Why? We know RIM is tracking the source of Android and is planning to update it at some point, so why the half-ass support for PlayBook? If you’ve ever seen V for Vendetta you already know the answer.
This is purely speculation, but its makes too much sense, and works out too well in RIMs favor for it to be a happy coincidence. I’ve said before that the Android Runtime is a merely a tool to help developers gain entry onto the platform, but I think RIM had side effects from their implementation planned or not they exist, and perhaps RIM is more cunning and daring than we suspect. BlackBerry 10 is their hail-mary pass to bring them back into the mobile spotlight. What if the Android Runtime was just a method to there madness?
When the 2.0 came, for PlayBook we PB users got subpar Android support. Yet piracy went rampant on PlayBook as users scrambled to convert their pirated .apks for use on the PlayBook. And true to form, we got a bunch legal and illegal Android ports up and running on the PlayBook. This became revenue lost by developers who didn’t think the PlayBook was worth supporting. The runtime changed this misconception. More and more apps were getting brought over to PlayBook and the developers were seeing their months of work account for nothing, on a platform they chose not to support. Once the issue gained notice many developers reached out to RIM to make it stop, RIMs answer was to bring the apps into the App World, and many have, very easily because the great tools RIM has supplied to developers (at no cost). This helped RIM get a lot of attention to their platform and has only bolstered the BB10 as we head to launch. In a way RIM created the problem, and the solution, by July of this 2012 RIM had implemented new encryption methods to App World to disallow users to run an app they didn’t purchase on their PlayBook. So that newer .bar files don’t suffer the same kind of piracy seen between the months of February and July.
Many developer houses really love the PlayBook and RIMs move to implement the runtime shows their true dedication to making BlackBerry 10 succeed even if they have to get dirty. Be it RIM or 3rd parties–DCMA violations have been posted to the majority of sites posting pirated PlayBook files, and the problem has thus been solved aside from the few die-hard rip off artists. RIM has been masterful in their strides toward BlackBerry 10, and the PlayBook has truly served as a wonderful testbed for the QNX platform. Using Androids muddled-fragmented openness against itself, whilst showing off BlackBerrys dominance of security all while giving users what they wanted: more apps. RIM has “forced” developers to support BlackBerry 10 or suffer the same conditions they fair on Android. All developers needs to do is get into App World, and their time/investments are safe, and open to millions of users just waiting to shell out cash for good, quality apps they’ve never had on PlayBook’s uncongested App World. Just another way to influence developers to support the platform.