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RIM makes it easy for Android developers to port their apps using the BlackBerry Packager for Android

By Bla1ze on 18 Oct 2011 01:54 am EDT

If you're on-site at BlackBerry DevCon there is a good chance you've seen these videos playing in the App Express area but some members in the CrackBerry fourms managed to find them also on Youtube where they remain unlisted. That said; what you're looking at is something referred to as the BlackBerry Packager for Android -- a combination of tools created by RIM to help Android developers port their Android apps to the BlackBerry PlayBook.

We know RIM was looking to woo some Android developers to the BlackBerry Platform by offering on-site App Express where developers can submit their apps to BlackBerry App World but they never stated how this task was being done so easily -- now we know. Needless to say; we're expecting to hear more about this over the next day or two, including info about the BlackBerry SDK for Android apps. You'll find one more video past the break or if you're looking to spoil some RIM announcements forth-coming for yourself hit up the CrackBerry Forums.

Discuss more in the CrackBerry Forums

Reader comments

RIM makes it easy for Android developers to port their apps using the BlackBerry Packager for Android


seems loading time is longer than normal app even the very simple app he use on demo. Will we be able to open more than one Android App at a time?

It's probably because the Android Player wasn't loaded for the first time. From Bla1ze's tweets, it seems that it takes 5 to 10 seconds to boot the Android Player. Once you have it booted, you don't need to wait 5-10 seconds again for opening other Android apps.

now all we need is for someone to submit an app with a hidden feature that allows android market place to run and we're all set :)

Great start... but I think they should work with the noncompatible apps and try to port as much as they can of them.

C'mon RIM, good start! Let's go for more.

Can't wait! I want Skype, OoVoO, Yahoo Messenger and Google Talk. I also want USB hosting, it'd be awesome to be able to connect an external hard drive, DVD drive and such. Also, if they they really need a charging pod where you can set it to watch movies thru the HDMI port and connect it thru the computer as well.

pretty cool stuff.. can't wait for android apps on my playbook!

probably the lamest video i've ever seen tho lol. way to go RIM marketing

I'm surprised at the ease to which this can be done. And really hope that this means alot of applications that have not been developed natively will make their way to our tablet. Best of both worlds as far as I'm concerned.

But I really wish that RIM's marketing/communication tools would be given a little more oomph to them in terms of visuals and excitment. Lord, how I would love to see someone from Blackberry speak with passion about their products.

I think this is for QNX powered devices, i.e. the Playbook for now. Who knows, probably the new QNX phones will be dual core and will be able to run android apps.

Wow! That was easy. Hopefully they can get this out there in the hands of Android developers so we can get a bunch of new apps ported and submitted.

I'm sorry but this whole android player/android support package for the playbook os seems like a waste of time. It's hardly any way to attract new customers. Why buy a barely there 'android support os' for the same price I can get a full android tablet? Why doesn't rim just work on developing an Android Honeycomb + QNX os which features its own bbm? Give the consumers (new and old) what they crave!

"Why buy a barely there 'android support os' for the same price I can get a full android tablet?"

Because The Playbook is now running Android, but will support Android apps. Because I want a Playbook and the benefits of owning one.

"Why doesn't rim just work on developing an Android Honeycomb + QNX os which features its own bbm?"

Because that's a horrible position to take for RIM simply put.

"Because I want a Playbook and the benefits of owning one." The too few people who bought the Touchpad before the firesale probably said the same thing about Webos.

"Because that's a horrible position to take for RIM simply put." More horrible than being in the position of only having 200,000 or so units sold?

I'm not disputing whether the Playbook is a gd tablet or not. It's not selling like they intended and Rim just isn't making enough money and probably never will.(They know this too hence why they've been working all this on the android player)

Just take a look at the Kindle Fire--5 million preorders.
*The Kindle Fire will run its own flavour of Android.

The Kindle Fire will have the same sort of limitations as the Playbook in terms of Android app compatibility. Many have already cancelled their pre-orders after reading the FAQ about the Android app compatibility.

At the end of the day, we are talking about what --- a little over 3 million honeycomb tablets that was sold. And that number is split between many many different vendors.

As great as this is here is a quote from the article on android central:

"Are you a developer who wants to resign, repackage and submit your Android apps to a dying BlackBerry platform for use on devices that are barely selling? RIM's made it easy for you with the BlackBerry Tools SDK and ADT plug-in, and the BlackBerry Packager for Android.

OK, it's not quite that bad. If you're serious about submitting your apps for use on the BB PlayBook, the tool will check them for compatibility, sign, package and prep for submission. And it's nice to see RIM make it easy on devs.

Now only if it made life a little less tough on its customers."

...and this is from a sister site to crackberry. I feel that despite this positive news the press will take the typical negative slant with respect to RIM's failings.

does this mean anyone (ie. anyone on crackberry nation) can do this and convert android apps at home for use on the playbook?