We have been telling you about the possibility that the upcoming release of the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook will be able to run Android applications. At first, this was just a rumor and some idle talk. Later, we started hearing more whispers about it and it looked like a real possibility. Now, RIM has confirmed that it is real and Android 2.3 applications will be able to be run on the PlayBook.
Apparently, however, as you might have suspected, RIM isn’t exactly working with Google to make this happen. Developers will have to repackage, code sign, and submit their apps to BlackBerry App World. While the process is simple and does not cost the developer anything, it is an extra step to submit the app to BlackBerry App World.
Android apps will be limited to version 2.3 to start with and will be run in a “sandboxed environment” using what RIM is calling the “Android App Player.” The same process could be used to allow newer BlackBerry smartphones to run Android applications, as well, but so far RIM has not confirmed that this is going to happen.
While the Android App Player will be shown and demoed at the BlackBerry World conference in May, it isn’t going to make the launch of the PlayBook. It will be released shortly after the PlayBook is released, but no exact date has yet been announced. The move will expand the PlayBook application ecosystem and could be a very big decision in the right direction that could help the PlayBook really catch fire.