RIM's entrance to tablet computing, the PlayBook, has created a bit of a stir in the tablet world as users and developers anxiously awaited for what the device could bring. For developers, RIM has sweetened the deal by updating their BlackBerry Tablet OS SDK for Adobe AIR, and said that if their app gets submitted and approved to the BlackBerry App World before the launch of the tablet in North America, then they will receive a free PlayBook.
RIM's PlayBook supports a plethora of technologies, which will appeal to a wide range of developers, including those who are familiar with Adobe AIR, Flash, and HTML. The company has also wanted to include as many developers as possible by releasing an SDK and PlayBook simulator on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Development for the iPad is contained strictly to the Mac OS X platform.
RIM made the choice to use already popular technologies for application development. When the SDK was first released back in October, RIM collected up some testimonies from developers, all of who say that this is an incredibly easy platform to develop for. One developer even sat down and created a basic web browser in half an hour. Randy Troppman, founder of RunningMap, mentioned just how easy it was for existing Adobe AIR applications to be compiled for the BlackBerry Playbook:
I recompiled several of my AIR apps with the BlackBerry Tablet OS AIR SDK and they worked the first time. Unmodified. Piece of cake. Now I just need to take advantage of the BlackBerry PlayBook's touch screen to take these apps to the next level.
The update to the Beta version of BlackBerry Tablet OS SDK for Adobe AIR adds support for "Flash Builder 4.5 (Burrito/Flex Mobile) with plug-ins that work with either Flash Builder 4.0 or the pre-release version of Flash Builder Burrito. Support for Flash Builder Burrito adds drag and drop capabilities, making it even easier and faster for developers to build applications for the BlackBerry PlayBook."
Anyone remotely interested should check out BlackBerry Tablet OS's Development Resources page, especially since RIM is so eager to get their device in the hands of developers by offering a free PlayBook for an accepted app to their BlackBerry App World.