Rumours suggest RIM’s BlackBerry Playbook will run Android apps

Rumours suggest RIM’s BlackBerry Playbook will run Android apps

Jonathan S. Geller, also known as Boy Genius, reported that RIM is considering a feature that will allow BlackBerry devices to run Android apps.

Geller has long been a BlackBerry fan boy and is a trusted source for Blackberry news. According to his story, “Research In Motion has been trying to figure out the path it wants to take as far as how the existing Java environment will work on its upcoming QNX tablet and smartphones.”

BlackBerry has said that it’s looking into a Java virtual machine running on the PlayBook and Boy Genius suggests that RIM is considering the Dalvik virtual machine, which is the same VM that the Android OS uses, which would allow RIM’s PlayBook and other QNX devices to run applications built for the Android platform.

This makes a lot of sense to me considering how many developers I know that either hate or refuse to develop for the BlackBerry platform. Remember when BlackBerry put out a call for Playbook app developers? Looks like no one answered. By opening up their devices to Android, they will be making a lot of BlackBerry customers very happy. But who am I to say? I’m not an app developer. I reached out to a friend and industry specialist, Ryan Charles, Head of Mobile for Zagat for his opinion.

From my perspective I believe this is most meaningful for the tablet industry in the short term. This opens up the possibility that developers could create the first Android and BlackBerry Playbook tablet apps simultaneously, without a significant amount of additional work. The size of the market for their single app is now equivalent to two new platforms instead of one. -Ryan Charles

RIM can go one of two ways here it seems. Either RIM uses the open source Dalvik virtual machine, thus not involving Google OR RIM and Google do the tango, certifying the BlackBerry devices as an Android platform product.

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