The BlackBerry PlayBook Application Initiative: Working together to get the third party apps we want ASAP!

We Want Your Apps!
By Kevin Michaluk on 24 May 2011 07:18 pm EDT

The BlackBerry PlayBook has been on the market for a little over a month now, and while we've seen the catalog of PlayBook apps grow, we have yet to see most of the BIG TIME services that sooo many of us use daily on our computers and other mobile devices come to the Tablet OS platform (seriously, I can't even imagine going back to life without Kindle, Skype, Dropbox or Evernote and desperately want these apps on my PlayBook). 

Not wanting to wait around in limbo, PlayBook owners have been reaching out to companies via email, phone and forums since the PlayBook's launch to find out when these apps are going to become available. The responses have been mixed -  some favorable and some that are less than inspiring. For example, the response I received from Skype was that they're in a "wait and see mode" and "certainly not committing anything at this stage around development for PlayBook." This wait and see mode seems to be a popular trend which means it's on us CrackBerry Nation to let these companies know that we don't want to wait for their apps... we need them ASAP!

To that end, CrackBerry forums member technomensch had the inspired idea to startup the BlackBerry PlayBook Applications Initiative thread, which puts into one place all of the user outreach to these companies. Follow the link below to jump over to the thread where you can find out how you can help contribute to the cause and see where these popular companies are at with their PlayBook apps. Let's make it happen!!

Join the BlackBerry PlayBook Applications Initiative

Reader comments

The BlackBerry PlayBook Application Initiative: Working together to get the third party apps we want ASAP!


1st ASAP

Well, since long time I get a feeling that all these companies tied up / planned to bring RIM down as they were the KING for looong enough in the mobile market, "lets join hands and bring it down". Now Microsoft took over Skype and RIM and Microsoft are good friends, Skype might be out for PlayBook soon.

Are they that dumb not knowing what QNX is? RIM bought TAT! New WP7 / 7.1 UI is full developed by TAT ( "HP execs know this. Google's exec know this. Everyone in Silicon Valley knows this. Apps are the ONLY thing that matter now".

You know, we can't blame a lot of these companies as many are probably waiting on an actual ndk to get the most out of it.

True...  HOWEVER... RIM will totally give the pre-release NDK to any of these companies if they ask for it. Guaranteed. Look at Need for Speed on the PlayBook.. RIM gave them the NDK to build that with long before the PlayBook was released.  I guarantee Rovio has had it for a long time too (angry birds). And I guarantee, that even though it's not publicly available to everybody, that if any of these companies wanted early access to the NDK that they could get it.

Secondly.. even if companies are waiting for the official NDK.. the more we bug them now the more they won't dilly dally the second it becomes available. The big fear here is that some of these companies aren't going to wait to develop until they know it's worth their time.  We don't want them to wait for RIM to post big playbook #'s before even thinking about starting to build their playbook apps... we need them to know upfront it's not even a question of if we should develop for the playbook, but rather what's the soonest we can start building for it.

I agree Kevin but why doesn't RIM have a team to go out to these developers and show them the playbook and the capabilities that the unit has. Waiting for the Devs to ask for the NDK will not work. Goto them and say... Here ya go, now lets make some magic!

They do have that team and they do reach out to the big boys.... but I still think that's not enough. THose companies need a bit of arm twisitng to prove the demand/ROI is there... hence why this iniatiive is a good thing.. it definitely can't hurt!

RIM doesn't send out a team because they would be told, get the PlayBook up to speed so everyone could use it for push email, spell check in all applications etc....sorry but they did push this to market a little to fast....I would like to get the Playbook but not until they get their operating system up to par with Android or Apple.

lol. Everyone is in a rush these days. And then when something comes out less then perfect, everyone cries with maximum tears ...

"Why did they bring it out right away? It's not complete. It's half baked. Why did they rush it out?"

Everyone is a reporter and an analyst these days. I say, it will come when it comes. Go take a trip for 2 weeks, and when you come back, check in. It might be good to go by that time.

Now. Lets talk about the positive things about RIM.
I hear that there is a NEW website ( that LOVES the BlackBerry, and tells you what's going on ... so check it out !

DISCLAIMER - In no way, shape or form am I related to the site or the site, nor do I have any positions in either company.

You're right lately Crackberry hasn't been on the latest and greatest. They haven't even posted about -How to save YouTube videos to your Playbook yet which has been on the websit for like 2 weeks+ already. Another great website is

Dude. if we don't post stuff there's a reason for it.  Namely in this case, we think the reliability/implemenation of that video downloader isn't that great, so are building a better one for CB.

Have to say it would be good to have vote buttons on crackberry there are a lot of unknowing haters on this site and they make it very annoying to come here.

Who's building a better one for the Playbook? YOU? All I'm saying is, at least it's something and it works great on my PB. At the very least CB should have posted it for us- the readers, the Blackberry fanatics!

GOD! no!

Crackberry posts quality, 'what matters the most' articles. We (BBin) mention random stuff for our readers for more fun and sometimes we find interesting stuff inside CB forums that CB doesnt bring on their blog but we do :). So, CB's slogan "#1 Site for BB users & Abusers" is not just lying there for the sake of it, it really is!

Its always good to follow different Community groups but most of the articles are projected from here (CB), again 'which matters the most'.

Thanks how you think about us, we are 1 community - BlackBerry.

@mavricx : Dont get my words wrong, I actually screen cap'd your comment lol.

- Shahzoor Ali

@Shahzoor Ali- Thanks bro you're a funny guy lol. I think they misconstrued my comment or I didn't explain myself well. Anyways, for the record I love CB site as well but something like your article which was btw GREAT to know should def be posted by them to let us know what's out there. I was just lucky to have found it.

Btw, I really like your site as well Ali.

The wait and see approach is sad. This approach to wait and see if the Playbook is popular will actually make it unpopular. I need Skype, drop box and kindle ASAP.

Agree and I can't believe that RIM could acccept wait and see for an answer from Skype etc. These must have apps are crucial to have people buy the playbook. Without them the Playbook will always be second rate and I do have one.

RIM needs to either pay these companies to build the apps or write them themselves.

Not every app out there is needed but the big headlines ones are. RIM did this with the facebook app they should do it for others.

I just got off the phone with Netflix and they basically said that there is nothing in the works for the playbook and they will be monitoring the tablet market to see if the playbook is worth making an app for. Its a damn shame cause after playing with all the other tablets, the playbook has a chance in this war but isn't getting the recognition it deserves. Everyone is stuck on "Ipad fever"

True, and the sad part is- This IS the BEST Platform, the BEST Tablet out there right now. No hating on Android or Apple but man, this thing impresses the hell out of me.I love how easy it is to navigate, to multitask, how smooth this thing works, how great the movies and everything looks on the screen. I totally love it, BUT we need those damn Apps and ALOT of great games. I hate to say it but GAMES is what's gonna mke this thing skyrocket. I'm more of a business/power user and social user type not much for gaming but man this is what RIM needs to get this thing off the ground and fix those dam things that people (including myself) keep posting it needs.

But the phones are going QNX next year, so wouldn't it be a nobrainer to get on the QNX bandwagon early? Will wait and see, I guess :)

yeah, exactly.  but i guess that's part of the waiting too.. the tablet is new and needs to prove it can sell.. the phones will probably do well and by then the tools will be better.  but i still wants me my critical playbook apps NOW.

I find this all very sad. Its actually made me reconsider even keeping my playbook. I have lost a lot of faith in RIM and the PlayBooks future.

1. RIM sure did make it sound like we would have an update every two weeks. Its been three, and I'm tired of waiting.
2. Blog posts like this emphasize just how far RIM is behind the 8-ball in terms of apps - and my faith that the pb has what it takes is dwindeling EVERY passing day.
3. They like to preach "full web" expereince. What? Cause they have flash and apple doesn't? I'm starting to think "big deal". I didn't realize how much of the web ISN'T flash and instead some other format until getting a playbook. I need silverlight for pb, and I grow more and more sceptical that we'll get it - and meanwhile a buddy who has an iPad says its well on its way to the ipad???

If this all keeps on the trend that its been on, I may jump ship all together. I'm tired of "hoping" and "waiting" for RIM.

RIM - get your act together... And fast.

Dude, I feel your pain. I have faith in RIM and I'm hoping that the next update will address 100% of what the QNX software is not doing right now (Notifications bar and other items that are missing if you don't have a blackberry phone). If RIM addresses these issues, and gives us client email, calendar, and task, the playbook will have a brighter future. The one thing that RIM needs to do as a priority is push for those apps. Get more developers on board. Beg the devs if they have to. Oh and i do mean useful apps, not these apps that are currently being released.

Ya I will most likely keep my pb as I am a HUGE blackberry fan/user. Its just really disheartening to see that developers are not nearly as excited about the playbook as we are. I see that the pb can truly be a great device - my faith that this will happen though has somewhat been stifled.

While I agree that RIM has some fault here, you make it seem as if RIM can MAKE these companies develop the apps, and that just isn't true. Also, RIM is playing catch up to a large degree. If you look at the number of apps available for the iPad when it debuted, it wasn't huge. What you did have was the Apple machine pushing everyone, and that is indeed where RIM has been remiss in it's duties. Let's hope that RIM will see that we want this tablet to succeed and put a team together to help push the development. While some may say no, if they see some say yes, they may ultimately change that no to a yes also. By you giving up so early, you become part of the problem instead of part of the solution.

I see your point - RIM can not MAKE these developers do anything. But let's put things in perspective a little here - RIM hasn't even released many of their own key apps for the platform - and we expect 3rd party developers to all be jumping for joy, dropping everything to make apps for the pb? So yes, I do see it as largely RIM's fault as to why app support seems lackluster. And I'm not referring to the current qty of apps available - I DO understand that the pb is new and will take some time to get a larger library. I have patience and don't mind waiting for things - what's truly sad though, is the fact that MANY key app developers don't even have current PLANS to develop their apps for the pb. Seriously - this is extremely disappointing to me.

I totally agree, damn get an App development team together if they have to and that'll be their job MAKE APPS full time. Gather all these suggestions for Apps we all want and make similar and BETTER ONES! I bet if they did this and developed better apps than what's out there now (don't forget avertising, people won't know on their own)people would start crossing over. Right now is a great time to convert people because Android Tablets 3.0 aren't doing that great. Their App store sucks and they're glitchy, alot more than PB. If they were to gather all of peoples wants from the fans that we are, listen to our suggestions- man this thing would be the shitznitz! Everyone would be like- Android who, Zoom huh, Apple dud!

I sold my PlayBook and bought an iPad since no companies want to support it and the screen is unusably small. I bought the PlayBook assuming it was good to use and would run Android apps, this was a mistake - I should have never bought one.

Will look at the PlayBook 2 if or when it comes out and see if they have a 10" model with a decent catalog of applications.

Sorry but I call bullshit on you. You never owned a playbook if you are complaining about screen size, you knew what that size was over a year ago.

The size is THE reason I own the playbook.

everyone just needs to call, email, post, storm, snail mail, and what ever way they can show that people did infact buy this. and yes i said storm and i mean it if there were any companies close anoff i would infact storm the build chain my self to something large and immovable and demand that they atleast prove to me they are working on it. im about to do that with pop-cap, i swear to god if hp gets pvz before we do im bring gasoline. it wont be pretty. but yes do your part, harass the companies as you can.

I thought RIM posted photos of a skype logo in app world? Or were these photos fake/leaked? By the sounds of it skype is one who doesn't even have plans in the works for pb. Oh well.

All i say is once they open it up were Playbook can use the Android market it would matter if they make one or not........

The development environment is largely at fault here.

WebWorks on the playbook is a joke, basically no access to any native APIs and lots of features over looked (for example from a WebWorks app you can start the camera app but there isn't a way to get the picture that was just taken; you can't save files, the list goes on and on).

The AIR environment is better but still not great. It is very different than BB development and the startup cost (not necessary money but time and effort) to get going is enormous.

RIM needs to release at least a beta of the NDK (with python support as we have seen in some videos but never talked about in the press releases) and needs to release a new version of the WebWorks platform, including documentation on how to build the source so that other can expand upon the platform

Good post.

Lots, and lots, and lots of reasons the PlayBook has been a huge flop.

- Poor development environments (and not releasing it in enough advance to developers prior to release of product)
- Lack of interest by major companies
- Unusable small screen for doing presentations or demonstrations to customers
- Lack of necessary applications at launch (the promised Android apps, native Email client, etc...)
- Terrible quality control, very high return rates

What are you talking about dude, the screen size is awesome! If you wanna look like an idiot carrying around a 10" screen by all means go ahead. I like the fact I can carry this comfortable anywhere, I don't need a backpack or anything. About the High return rates, those are all rumors so far and nobody has been able to prove this. Even the official earning postings was positive as to how many have been sold. This thing has only been out for a month, you can't just expect perfection. Look at the Android tablets, sure they're selling well but look at their Honeycomb compatible appstore, it sucks compared to the Playbooks, not to mention it has so many glitches. Although I hate to admit it, the only suitable tablet out right now is the iPad 2 even though its not as powerful or doesn't have the security features of the Blackberry etc... Bottom line give it time, only time will tell. I can only imagine the type of stress and pressure the people at RIM are under god bless them and helps them.

Playbook security is another big issue no one is talking about.

It isn't even close to the level of BB security.

-No BES support. Unlike a BB there isn't currently any way to centrally manage your companies playbooks. No remote wipe, password policies, wifi setting deployment, etc.

-Lack of Application Security. BB COD files are extremely hard to reverse engineer/decompile. Playbook apps on the other hand can be easily extracted from backups and then side loaded on other devices or decompiled. I don't think someone like netflix likes the idea that if they build a Playbook app that anyone can then just backup, decompile, and checkout their source code.

LOL Huge flop? News said it is on target or is even exceeding sales expectation. Realistic expectation from RIM themselves that is - not stupid fanboyish expectation such as comparable to iPad sales.

The only thing huge here is your idiocy.

By the way, an unknown source, same as the one saying PB has high return rate, told me Apple is giving money away tomorrow, go get in line fast, idiot!

You sound very educated by the childish way you portray yourself.

Regardless of my sarcasm, can you post where you have received these official PlayBook sales numbers from? I am interested because they don't exist yet. As far as the iPad goes, I don't own one, nor would I purchase one - not sure why this was brought up, do PlayBook owners have Apple envy?

WTF dude a couple of post ago you clearly said that you sold ur PB and bought an Ipad, and then in anothe rpost you start saying that the android player is all LIES when this was already announced, jsut give it time, and now here you saying you dont own an Ipad ? and WONT purchase one ? Dude ur full of Sh*t.


This full of sh!t idiot got owned. His own posts betrayed his stupid hate scheme. What a moron.

Hey, I called bullshit on this above. Oh it was you. You sir are a grade A f-ing loser, multiple shit posts your parents must regret having brought a loser like you into this world. Harsh yes but a-holes like you deserve it. Go take your iPad and get a life.

Everyone who is still repping this tablet is just in denial. No one is putting any effort into making apps for this thing because they dont believe it will sell, they dont believe in it all all. What you read is just something RIM wants you to see to keep your hopes up. If they were going to have these apps that everyone is waiting for this tablet would have released with it. The Playbook doesnt even have native email. This thing was a huge waste of money and it made me remember why I switched from using the BB cell phones. Same crappy apps and no updates.

RIM if you're reading this, please fix or get us the following:

-Major CODEC compatibility (I'd like to see an app that adds codecs too if possible like K-lite)
-Bridge doesn’t detect media files stored in my phone. It'd be nice if they added the ability to transfer/copy files back and forth as well.
-Can't see/send sms/mms messages
-Needs Swype
-Universal Search like OS6/7
-Turn-by-Turn voice guided GPS (I'd even be willing to pay for an App that can save the maps and updates on the PB as well)
-Blackberry App world needs a back button in the MY WORLD in order to go back to the original page you were last at.
-Spell Checker & add to Dictionary option like my phone.
-File managing for my apps and bookmarks. Be able to rename my bookmarks and arrange them in folders like Windows)
- That "Dot" in Android that easily helps you fix mispelled or change words.
-Native BBM App
- USB hosting to connect external devices like printers, Digital cameras and external Hard drives.
-Camera Zoom when using the video camera
Camera needs to shoot pictures quicker- feels sluggish to take pics
-Yahoo Messenger, Skype and OoVoO- what good is the front facing cam if you can't put it to good use!

On a different note- Here's a few accessories/Apps I'd like to see:
-A Dock that has full size USB, HDMI and possibly SDHC in addition to the MicroUSB. That way you can actually have better use for it than the rapid charging one they currently sell.
-a dock that lets you connect multiple devices to the PB via wifi/Bluetooth such as a printer, camera, or hard drive.
-Car dock for GPS
-Bluetooth Keyboard/mouse
- An App to remember my passwords so I don't have reenter them every time into the websites/apps login
-A Torrent App
-Music Downloading App like- MP3 Music Download, for Android
-App to save to the Playbook
-YouTube or other websites that stream videos online
-Netflix App
-YouTube App

Anybody have anything else to add to this list?

Your list is very small in comparison to the others I have seen, huge ones I don't see mentioned are:

- Better Flash support (I now understand why other tablets have chosen not to run Flash, it runs absolutely terribly. The Flash games I have tried to load on Facebook usually crash immediately, the odd time I will get them to stay open for a few minutes and the tablet just crawls)

- Android app support as promised

Again, the only thing huge here is your idiocy.

aris20's reply above shows why you're a moronic and lying hater of the first order. Look it up.

I love my Playbook but will be the first to admit that there is a lot, and I do mean alot, that needs to be updated, enhanced, and changed. I'm not even talking about major third party apps - I'm talking about basic, simple stuff that even the cheapest of cell phones and children's toys have, e.g., a way to organize your bookmarks.

As to the plans to let third party publishers know that there is a demand for apps, I think this is a great idea. As for Skype itself, I will go out and say that RIM was deceiving in showing a picture - a mock up - of Skype and MSN being available for the Playbook. This shouldnt have been done and was misleading. I dont care if those of us in the know understand that this was a mock up for a press event, the average public did not and would not know this. It was blatant false advertising of two features that increasinbly do not look like they will become available for the device.

For myself, I have learned a valuable lesson from the Playbook; I will never purchase a device on day one based on promises, press releases, photos, and so forth from the company. I also am no longer willing to simply purchase a device based on the phrase RIM and others continue to spout; namely, "just wait, it will get better" or "sometime in the future it will be better".

Do I love my playbook - absolutely. Would I return it or give it up - absolutely not. But do I have faith in RIM or any other third party companies releasing apps for the device - name brand apps; no I dont. Do I have faith that RIM can even release an update that will allow us to organize our bookmarks or apps? No I do not.

Lesson's I have learned from my Playbook and dealings with RIM - never purchase a new product from this company. Wait, at minimum, for 6 months go buy to see if the much promised material ever gets released. And if it doesnt, look at something else as you wont get it here.

sadly i agree with you. i want to be clear - i love my pb, i am very impressed with QNX, i am very impressed with the TAT influenced apps, i am extremely impressed with the hardware - this is clearly RIM's greatest product to date. but i have lost a lot of confidence in the way RIM has handled the updates (not following through with what they implied), and i am very discouraged with the lack of developer support, especially among the major players. Lets hope the playbook is a great enough product to turn the ship around for Research In Motion. out.just ordered iPad2. There is no way in hell im dropping over $500 for a tablet and then have to wait and see what apps will be on it. These apps are the ones-like you pointed out- that i use everyday and the reason im getting a tablet to begin with---why would i get one that doesnt have all these options! i waited an awfully long time for the playbook and i am impressed with the tablet and its AMAZING potential, but sadly we all know ALMOST DOESN'T COUNT!!!
still have my blackberry because it handles and operates emails best....everything else lags.
kinda sad cuz im a bit of an Apple hater, but potential products 'aint worth my dough!

What's wrong with you guys...its been only one month since the PB was released. It's unbelievable how impatient people are...the Ipad has been out for over one year. Of course they're gonna have more apps. Give it time people! I love my PB and enjoying how its progressing. I don't understand why people that have a PB have such an inferiority complex and insisting that it much catchup now, or else! I believe things are going to progress by the end of summer and it's going to be a who different ballgame.

Ya time is everything.... I heard iPhones came out wayyyy before any BlackBerry and that's why they have more apps and more app support than BBs!

I present to you a best case scenario:

- Pb sales continue strong as they have been
- By mid summer RIM has released SOLID native pim
- currently skeptical major developers realize how foolish they were to not have started making apps in the spring, suddenly realize their skeptical judgment was wrong and jump to the table to release their app as quickly as possible
- by mid fall the pb has these apps that.... Ahem.... Read the bloody forum attached to this blog - most of them have NO current PLANS to develop apps for playbook.

A lot has to happen here my friend. Don't be blind to how awesome the playbook seems to be, its an uphill battle for RIM, and yes... Even though I love my pb, I am skeptical as to what its future holds. It certainly wouldn't be the first time in this industry that a reputable company released a solid product that just didn't do well... Its the tech industry - get used to it.

Maybe instead of begging companies to get apps developed for the Playbook, you should be demanding that RIM speed up the "Coming in Summer" features (native PIM, Android, Blackberry OS app, etc.) that have been promised. Plus demand that RIM get the NDK out there for developers can start creating better apps. Why should development companies put a lot of time into a product that has all of these future promised features and a future promised NDK? RIM should be telling these companies like Skype and Netflix that they will have TAT build the app to their specs free of charge to get things going. Right now I think more of the blame rest on RIM's shoulders than the development studios!

This is the reason I ultimately decided against a PB and got a Nook Color (rooted of course) All the apps are available right now. I will re-evaluate the PB in a year - if it has the apps I want I may get one then.

Is it possible that many of these 'major' apps people want are already developed for Android? If an app developer already has the app made for Android and RIM has stated that Android apps will run on the PlayBook this summer then why, as the developer of a 'major' app, would I re-write it to work specifically on a PB when the PB will run it as an Android App? Wouldn't the developers ROI be much greater if it simply works as an Android App on the PB? Sincerely curious.

I gotta laugh at this title working together Crackberry is 25% trolls and 25% cry babies the chance that there is any pull from these readers is close to nil.

I think the only hope here is to beat on RIM's door. They simply cannot accept no Skype on this product. Just build the damn app RIM. You did it for facebook and that was good.

Facebook, four square, skype and a New York times app and pretty much 90% of needs will be met.

I'd like kindle too but don't need it. Kobo works fine and to my mind another way to get apps is to tell companies like Kindle that I will no longer buy from them as I've done. for the others there is little alternatives.

This is the exact reason i left the Playbook for an iPad 2.

Even with Flash enabled browser, a tablet s not good without a robust app market.

True story.

You need to remember that RIM is a handset maker and you are asking them to perform like 30 year old computer makersin the post PC era. Rim's expertise was in push email and selling their encrypted email and secure servers. If they have shown you anything over the last 4 years it is that software and operating systems on mobile devices are not their strong suit.they lag about 12-16 months behind on smartphone features. ( when they are willing to even change).

So i submit that the reason RIM cant move fast enough is because they cant. Not because they dont wish to.

This initiative is part of moral obligation of somebody that has being giving a very good review, which is not true. Why on earth we need to buy something and then expect the maker to improve?

I'm not a Playbook or Blackberry user but I'm shocked that RIM doesn't have a Kindle App nor Skype or Netflix or Dropbox. I thought that RIM had all of those apps.

For comparison because both companies are sort of starting from the same place, HP held their webOS Touchpad/Pre 3/Veer event on Feb 9 and introduced Kindle for their TouchPad and webOS phones. webOS 2.0 already has Skype and Dropbox integrated into the phone application. At the Feb 9 event HP said that they were working with Skype on getting video calling implemented for the Touchpad. At that same event HP brought out AOL reps to show off the Time Mag & Sports Illustrated apps for the TouchPad. HP announced Citrix Receiver for the Touchpad several weeks back. I'm pretty sure HP will have Netflix as they demo'd the HTML version at the developer event in Nov of 2010.

My question is why hasn't RIM been able to get these same major consumer & corporate facing apps that HP has been able to pull in and continue to pull in? I'm just a curious outside observer.

Where did the forum post go? I went to check the status to see if anything new was added to I could update the list accordingly, but now it seems to have disappeared from the forums.

[UPDATE]- nm, just saw the PM and taking action accordingly.

Marc K.