The power packed into the highly anticipated BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, coupled with the unprecedented openness of its development environment, has opened up a world of opportunity for South African application developers.
That’s according to Craige Fleischer, Regional Director for Southern Africa at Research In Motion (RIM), the company behind the BlackBerry solution. He says that RIM has taken a unique approach to the tablet market, which will empower developers to create truly useful and innovative applications for the consumer and professional markets.
The BlackBerry PlayBook is built from the ground up as a tablet – it isn’t simply a small PC with a touch screen or a big smartphone. The device features a powerful multi-core processor that supports true multitasking and that can crunch through the most demanding multimedia apps with ease.
The new BlackBerry Tablet OS is built upon the QNX Neutrino microkernel architecture, one of the most reliable, secure and robust operating system architectures in the world. Neutrino has been field hardened for years and is being used to support mission-critical applications in everything from planes, trains and automobiles to medical equipment and the largest core routers that run the Internet.
“What this adds up to is an uncompromised user experience through hardware and software, built from the ground up, to be the most powerful ultra-portable tablet computing solution available,” says Fleischer. “For developers, it is a great platform to work on since they can use industry standard tools to create content that offers a truly differentiated experience on the BlackBerry PlayBook.”
“This is one of the broadest and deepest platforms to develop on,” he adds. You can expect to see BlackBerry evolve various development technologies to deliver the most powerful, flexible and open experiences for developers whether they choose to build with HTML5, Java, Adobe Flash, Adobe AIR, or native C/C++.
The native SDK for the BlackBerry PlayBook enables C/C++ application development on the BlackBerry Tablet OS. Two optional app players lend support for BlackBerry Java apps and Android apps to the tablet.
And for games, developers can use the cross-platform game engines from Ideaworks Labs and Unity Technologies to bring their games to the BlackBerry PlayBook.
Unlike many competitors, the BlackBerry PlayBook supports HTML5 and Adobe AIR development for developers that want to leverage industry-standard technologies to create fun and innovative applications for BlackBerry PlayBook users.
Those developers using the BlackBerry platform tools will continue to benefit from a growing set of on-device API’s that enable best-in-class integration with core BlackBerry applications and features to create Super App experiences.
“We understand that open tooling and web standards matter,” says Fleischer.
“Our aim is to provide our developers with the ecosystem and tools they need to create best in class content, gaming, connectivity, social media and entertainment and distribute them to their customers.”
Concludes Fleischer: “Last year, consumers downloaded more than 10 billion apps (IDC) and this number will grow to more than 76 billion by 2014. Tablets like the BlackBerry PlayBook will help drive this growth. We are excited about giving South African developers access to the rich development environment for the BlackBerry PlayBook so that they can take part in this growing market.”
By Angela Meadon