updated 01:45 pm EDT, Mon October 25, 2010
BlackBerry PlayBook gets SDK and simulator
RIM today posted the first SDK and emulators for its upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. The kits let both Macs and Windows PCs write apps in BlackBerry Tablet OS' preferred Adobe AIR format and gives a disk image that can run in VMware and possibly other virtual machines. The release gives developers an early opportunity to design ahead of BlackBerry App World submissions and the PlayBook's early 2011 launch.
Electronista has tried the SDK, but so far it remains a virtually empty template with just the home screen and largely empty sections for music and settings. The practice isn't uncommon as Apple and others often give barebones emulators without many of the final production apps, since the design is largely a testbed for apps. RIM has promised Flash 10.1 and HTML5 app support in the future.
The OS is based on QNX, a real-time OS often used for in-car stacks and other embedded uses, but may be considered ideal for tablet and eventually smartphone uses due to its low footprint and strong support for media features. Unlike the limited BlackBerry 6 platform, BlackBerry Tablet OS has full support for 3D graphics and should still support full multitasking and the BlackBerry's distinctive security features.