Adding fuel to the fire: "We'll also support Android apps" heard during PlayBook demo at MWC

By Bla1ze on 26 Feb 2011 08:11 pm EST

These days we've been hearing plenty of rumors about Research In Motions BlackBerry PlayBook having the ability to run Google's Android application. Whether or not it turns out to be true remains to been seen but the evidence is mounting at a rapid pace. While Mobile World Congress brought us some information surrounding the BlackBerry PlayBook and we did get to see some cool demos overall, not much more then what was already known was revealed in Barcelona -- or was it?

The above is of course a YouTube video that was sent into us. At first glance it just appears to be a normal walkthrough of the BlackBerry PlayBook. Nothing different from each and every other demo that was given during Mobile World Congress. However, the details are in the audio for this one. While the background noise is heavy if you pay attention around the 0:14 second mark the person giving the demo clearly states, "We'll also support Android apps". That's a pretty bold statement to be making during Mobile World Congress without some sort of information being known to back it up. Is it confirmation? No, not exactly. But why would that even slip out if there was no basis for it?

Source: Twitter

Reader comments

Adding fuel to the fire: "We'll also support Android apps" heard during PlayBook demo at MWC


Supporting Android apps is definitely a game changer and if this migrates down to future BlackBerry phones then we might as well say to Android "thanks for playing, better luck next time."

thats true, having the security functionality and business background of the BlackBerry and the Android games, this may be the ultimate hybrid of a phone, hopefully this is true and will be carried on to all of the upcoming blackberry devices

Since it was rumored, I really was hoping (and still am) that it wouldn't be true. Android apps are nothing to go "crazy" over or even get excited about. Well, there's Google Maps & Google Navigation but that's about it. I've found Android apps to be underwhelming and considerably buggy.

If it was said, "it will run iOS apps", that would have been epic because the Playbook runs as fast as an iOS device. By running Android apps, it's like they've lowered the class of the Playbook... in my opinion.

Let's look at it this way - the current Apple A4 processor is an ARM 8 core running at 1Ghz. To maintain full compatibility, the new A5 will be the same, just a little bit faster.

The Playbook has a dual core ARM 9 core which is about 50% faster (per core) then the A8. By default this make it faster then anything that can run iOS apps.

Thanks for playing.

"Thanks for playing." ?

What the hell are you talking about?

Unless you replied to the wrong comment, I wasn't talking about the "speed" of the Playbook, I was talking about the topic at hand.... which is, the Playbook running Android apps.

So THANK YOU for playing, you failed.

If they actually support Andriod apps it will be the stupidest thing RIM has ever done.

Why would ANYONE develop an app for the Playbook when they can create an Android app and be on both the most popular smartphone platform and the best (that I've seen) tablet OS? They wont. They will make Android apps and BlackBerry App world will continue to suck.

They can make an Android app and easily tailor it specifically for the PlayBook with features unique from the regular Android app.

That still means the tablet OS will have very few if any apps designed exclusively for it so there will be almost no difference between a Playbook and an Android tablet.

Well I believe the whole point is for people who like the android apps to still be able to play it on the pb without being restricted to the crappy blackberry app store. This would be a great way for RIM to make way more sales than if they didn't allow the android app store. Since android app store already has 150,000+ apps, RIM wouldn't have to worry as much about the blackberry app world thus being given more time for the apps to be developed for the pb through the bb app world. Like i said this would significantly help with the pb sales since people these days want apps on everything.

Seems to me everyone is complaining about RIM not releasing the Playbook soon enough while all the other developers 'get a jump' on the consumer market. If you have noticed that evertime a tablet is released (yes, even iPad2), RIM shows a glimpse of what the Playbook will support as if "Oh, we will be able to do that too."
Why come out with a second version so soon if you have everything in the first version? That's because you didn't include all features that consumers asked for. If you buy a 32" TV and 6 months later a better version comes out, should you have waited or is it you just wanna be part of the 'in-crowd'. Just an observation.

I don't get all the hype behind RIM supporting Android apps. I don't want them to because it takes away from developers creating apps geared to take advantage of the BlackBerry platform. Apps will come but please RIM don't go the route of Android.

I don't get all the hype behind RIM supporting Android apps. I don't want them to because it takes away from developers creating apps geared to take advantage of the BlackBerry platform. Apps will come but please RIM don't go the route of Android.

But that's just it. You say apps will come but will they? It never took off for WebOS, why should it for the playbook? It's ONE tablet from ONE brand. The developer community must view the Playbook as something they'd pick up for a weekend but no one in their right mind would make it their profession to be a blackberry tablet dev (though I know you can code in air very easily, it's still a stumbling block when it's just as easy to code for iOS and then make millions with the same app that would get you some beer money on the playbook).

Step 1) Having android apps may mean that more people will buy it due to greater app support
Step 2) This will increase the attraction for devs to develop for it, since there's more people to buy their apps.
Step 3) ??????????
Step 4) Profit!

I can only imagine what could happen to the security IF that happens. Countries abroad would bully google into allowing them to sniff through what people in that country are doing with their bb. And I don't think Google would care about security over subscribers. Then in no time corps would ditch BBs.

I don't think Google wants to be in the phone building business, they just want to ensure there is an alternative to apple's walled garden.

I do think Google would be happy to have this run Android. The only case I could see for Google acquiring RIM is if they feel that QNX is that much better than Android as an OS. Since technical people seem to think so, I could see an acquisition for that reason.

Just wish they would release the Playbook. Releasing this close to the release of other tablets coming soon is not a good idea. There must be some software or battery issue that is delaying this launch. As for Android apps coming to the playbook, this will really grab some attention and boost sales, but sadly I have to agree that app world may be killed. Unless, like a guy posted this week and said, android apps will have to be loaded from the app world. Doubt Google would like that. However it turns out i just know this delayed release may hurt RIM. I am a blackberry fan but the Ipad 2 should never have been announced and shown off next week before the playbook's release. Just seems silly for RIM to let that happen.

What delay? As far as I know, they still have over 30 days to release this thing before anyone can consider it delayed.

Who cares what the competition is doing, really. Who cares if Playbook doesn't outsell the competitors, really. This thing needs to come out perfect for those that WILL buy.

this might be the perfect timing for its realize if you think about it.

look at the xoom the hype got killed shortly after because of the announcement of the ipad2 now everyone is going to wait to see what new featres the ipad2 have then after that the playbook comes.

im sure most people will say they wait till the playbook comes and hold off from the ipad2 since there will be no huge
improvement to it

but who nows it might be bad or it might be great anyway you put it im getting one

I need a 7-inch updated specs tablet!, is there any android tablet with that characteristic?

Don't be stupid, think your answer, don't come up with shit like htc flyer, is not even close to BB Playbook


HTC Flyer is a joke, its a complete POS, its only selling point is the pen which maybe 0.001% of people may find useful, and oh its not even running a tablet optimized OS and it looks like a big HTC phone

I guess there just hasn't been enough takers in developing apps for the PB before release. This has always been the #1 reason for RIM talking about the PB way before they were going to release to market. I'm guessing they haven't had much success with a ton of developers, so in order to not release a product with poor app library support, they're hoping that adding in Android emulation support will help to stave off naysayers for a while upon release.

Couple this with the newly released changes to RIM's code signing access and availability program and it just screams "We need apps and developers, PLEASE!!!!!"

My internet is to slow to watch the video but that could be an easy mistake and he could have said appworld apps.

There is always an idiot that loves to post game changer comments,

So everybody can say.. "oh right! it says appworld, habicht said it first, let's give him credit".

But if you believe that too, where the hell do you take that as a truth? It is impossible that two fonetics connections "a+oid" be the same than "ap+orld". And the main thing is that you take that as a fact as in reality you mind distorsioned what you heard...

That doesn't explain why he said Dalvik Cache... right after. He said Android, no doubt abt it. :)

Hm this Playbook seemed somehow buggy. Bad response over all :(. Different from the last other videos I've seen. I hope this was an older device I really want to buy a Playbook.

without access to google android market your limited to 3rd party places like appslib. Still thats more than say iOS or windows 7 phone have access too. whether they run well on the platform remains to be seen but better than nothing.

Still I love the concept of these new tablets esp when tethered to b a blackberry phone but it still just a gap between smartphones and netbooks and not a fully fledge Notebook. Im not sure why Stylus are seen as old fashion when it was always about accuracy. shame really.

anyways here's to RIM establishing itself as something more than just a casual, multimedia platform and something that will seriously be a good replacement for businesses.

For some reason, I'm more excited by the fact this is the first time I've heard someone confirm that you can tether your data connection over 3G using your blackberry phone. They first said it on the website but afterwards nobody ever confirmed it again. This really excites me.

Same here. I am very excited about that. Now I can get a wifi only version and use it on the go with my 9780! PERFECT! BIG news there to me!

But I'm thinking maybe the carrier can block that. So the ability is there but AT&T might say no, or only if you purchase another data plan.

I'm willing to trade BBM for access to the Android Market.

BBM on Android. 150000+ apps on PlayBook and BlackBerry. It's win-win.

It's so crazy how people have bought into the 150,000 app garbage. Most apps are just that, garbage. I suspect you need only about 1000 apps to span the range of needs for 99% of people. However the fact is people and the media (and bloggers) have totally bought into it and so I think it is very wise for RIM to include this ability with the playbook if only for marketing purposes. It's like lack of apps? We rung android so shut up on that and let move on so we can tell you what this thing can actually do.

I also think it is totally consistent with RIM goal of drawing more app developers to the playbook. I'd just think of this as making it that much easier to get your app on playbook, and I do see at least some good developers going an extra step to develop a playbook version of the app to take advantage of some of the unique aspects of the playbook.

All in all it's a good thing. I think the reason we haven't heard anything before is likely the dispute between Google and Oracle about ownership of the software that runs the android apps.

If there is some delay in the playbook release I think an announcement that says We are going to miss our self-imposed deadline by x weeks, and oh by the way when the playbook come out it will run the full library of android apps, will only make the stock go up.

They really need to release this thing. It's almost embarrassing how long it's been since the first announced it. I wonder if next week's apple announcements might leapfrog any advantages the playbook currently has over the ipad.

possibly, if the playbook will run Android Apps, then RIM would be stupid not to allow future ONX devices to run Android Apps

Yes, that must be why he is alking abt Dalvik Cache... smh.. he said Android. Not appworld, Android.

You need a hearing check. I played it four times and a sound engineer friend took away the background noise and he did say Android APPS not APPWORLD. Just a tongue slip that he may get shit canned for but he did say it.

Is this vaporware ever actually going to come out? RIM's announced 4 different versions over the past 6 months, and so far none of them have actually been released.

At this point, forget about the iPad 2, the iPad 3 is going to beat it to market.

Hey dickhead, wake up. It is no secret to Blackberry users that android phones exist, and they aren't more expensive than Blackberries. i.e., most people on here can afford android phones and choose not to own one. So what's your point in saying stupid shit like this?

QNX is a Unix based OS. As is Android. Therefore there's a chance Android apps written in C and using standard Unix API's may work (or at least recompile for Playbook) - though Android isn't POSIX compliant so perhaps it wouldn't be that straightforward.

So yes, at launch the Playbook could run some Android apps as long as they were written in C.

Java apps run on a JVM. Therefore you might assume that Android apps written in Java would run on Playbook. In theory the type of JVM shouldn't matter (Dalvik versus Oracle versus IBM etc) . Provided of course, that Google didn't write any JNI API's for Android.

But they did. So you'd need the Google JNI/Java libraries and possibly even the Google Dalvik JVM.

And there's the problem. Google is currently the subject of a patent violation suit from Oracle. There is little doubt that in modifying the base JVM Google has violated Oracles patents, and is therefore likely to be subject to enormous penalties when the suit is finally settled.

Therefore I'd have thought the chances of litigious averse RIM buying into Dalvik were pretty remote.

In summary if an Android app in C is Unix compliant it may run on Playbook without modification. And if an Android Java app uses only standard Java features then it may run on Playbook without modification.

Not sure you'd want to use them and anyway there's another enormous problem.

RIM have not yet released a JVM for the Playbook, and have not even committed to when a JVM will be available, so I wouldn't hold your breath waiting for the bulk of Android apps to arrive on the Playbook.

You'll have to make do with the hundreds of thousands (possibly millions) of Flash apps out there instead.

Give up BBM for access to Android Market? Are you insane?

I think it was interesting that BlueTooth is incorporated into the PlayBook. Maybe I missed that in other presentations. A BlueTooth mouse would be an obvious choice, even though touchscreen seems to eliminate any desire for that, though my first thought was the WACOM Intuos BlueTooth pen tablet. If Adobe enables some of their creative software to run on the PlayBook, or even a future PlayBook, then connecting with a WACOM would be all that would be needed to edit photos, or do illustration. The potential is there to make the PlayBook a tool for creative professionals.