updated 03:05 pm EDT, Tue May 3, 2011
BlackBerry PlayBook gets 3D and Android app demo
RIM as part of the many elements shown at the BlackBerry World day two opener both showed 3D and its promised Android app launcher. The 3D came through a demo from The Astonishing Tribe and showed us a Rubik's Cube displayed in stereoscopic, glasses-based 3D. Visuals could draw smoothly over HDMI through the dual-core processor and the faster graphics core.
TAT didn't say how widespread 3D would be on the PlayBook, though its role as a division of RIM suggested it had the official blessing of its parent. A rollout only needed official approval, the interface design crew said.
A quick demo during the same event also showed its basic implementation. Apps need the Android wrapper to launch first and will queue it automatically if it isn't already running. BlackBerry Playbook commands are mapped to the Android equivalents to make up for the control switch and let users bring up the Android contextual menu with the same top-down bezel gesture as on a PlayBook app.
Despite the in-between code layer, even some more visually demanding apps ran roughly as smoothly as though they were native.
Android support is due sometime in the summer and will need Android 2.3-ready apps that have been both repackaged for the PlayBook and submitted through BlackBerry App World.