updated 12:05 pm EDT, Wed August 24, 2011
RIM puts out PlayBook native SDK and OS update
RIM gave the BlackBerry PlayBook two injections of support Wednesday. Developers now have access to the native SDK beta. The code lets develoeprs finally write in lower-level C or C++ code to make 3D games and other elements that need deep access, such as to the accelerometer, the camera, or full graphics acceleration.
Along with having the option of writing truly native apps, they also now have a native tool from RIM's acquisition and OS originator QNX to help test apps for how well they use memory or what might trigger a crash.
Access to the beta is based on a first-served invite system and will only have a limited number of slots. RIM hasn't estimated when it will leave beta and make the kit public.
For end-users, a new 18.104.22.16842 update has also brought a number of significant changes beyond what the version number suggests. Like iOS 5, system updates will now only appear as deltas for what's changed. The revamp will cut downloads down from hundreds of megabytes to a few dozen or less, likely in a precursor to 4G PlayBooks where bandwidth will be important.
A few other important fixes come at the same time, including faster pairing and attachment access when linking over BlackBerry Bridge. Wi-Fi access when on a WEP-encrypted hotspot should work more effectively as well.
Owners just have to check in the settings for a software update to get the new release.