Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) introduced an updated version of its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet operating system, embedding the full BlackBerry Browser to enable developers to begin testing web and Adobe Flash applications. While the PlayBook browser adds support for HTML5 video and audio, RIM notes the simulator does not support all codecs, adding that some audio/video testing will require supplemental hardware. The browser also supports Adobe Flash 10.1, giving Flash developers the latitude to trial the Adobe Flash player in the simulator: "We will continue to work closely with Adobe to enhance Adobe Flash implementation as we lead up to launch, and we appreciate feedback from the community on your experiences with the Adobe Flash player and browsing experience overall," writes Mike Kirkup, director of RIM's Developer Relations program, on the Inside BlackBerry Developer's Blog. The BlackBerry Tablet OS simulator is available for download here.
According to a recent Bloomberg report citing multiple unidentified sources familiar with the matter, the BlackBerry PlayBook may soon be able to run applications written for Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system. The report states that RIM is incorporating Android code into the PlayBook's QNX operating system, which the device maker has said it will eventually migrate to its BlackBerry smartphones--the software is being developed internally and might be ready as soon as the second half of the year, sources add. RIM declined to comment on the story. Analyst Chetan Sharma told Bloomberg that by offering a tablet with BlackBerry's security and messaging software combined with Android apps, RIM may be able to attract customers that would otherwise opt for another tablet device.
RIM unveiled the Playbook in September 2010. In January, Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) announced that it would sell the PlayBook tablet starting this summer. The tablet will connect to Sprint's 4G service, which uses Clearwire's (NASDAQ:CLWR) WiMAX network. Neither company has provided definitive pricing information, except to say that the tablet will sell for under $500.
- read this Inside BlackBerry Developer's Blog entry
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