What The PlayBook Can't Do

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While RIM did announce that their Blackberry PlayBook tablet will be able to run Android applications, they did not provide the full story about the features the apps will be able to use - until now.

RIM engineers explained at DroidCon that many important features will be missing from the Android applications that will be able to run on the Blackberry OS and future QNX systems.

Thinq reports that the features below will not be supported by the PlayBook.

Android’s famed battery-sucking Live Wallpaper, SIP and SIP VoIP, anything built using the Native Development Kit, apps containing only App Widgets, and apps containing more than one activity tied to the Launcher.

In addition, any packages which rely on Google Maps, in-app billing services, Android’s text-to-speech engine, or the cloud-to-device messaging system will all be rendered unusable under the company’s runtime system.

The support of Android apps is what intrigued many PlayBook buyers and this announcement is sure to shock. I am sure many people will be unsatisfied with the low level of integration of the applications into the OS. However, it is understandable that RIM have been unable to implement all of the features present in Android as many of the Applications available in the Market as they depend so heavily on the Android SDK.

Maybe this is the start of a new era of universal applications for all platforms; I doubt it! Apps and SDKs are what allow platforms to stand out from the competition and I don't think Apple, Google or RIM will be too willing to go beyond the current arrangements.

 © Graham Macphee 2011