Bloomberg: RIM to Put Android Apps on PlayBook

Last month we heard rumors that Research In Motion could be working towards making its devices Android app-compatible because of a desire to accommodate the existing Java environment on its upcoming QNX devices. Back then, the company was said to be considering getting a Java VM running on the PlayBook, and though the specific VM had yet to be decided, sources said RIM was looking at Dalvik -- the same VM the Android OS uses. However, more recent rumors suggest that while RIM is trying to get Android apps onto the PlayBook, it won’t be via Dalvik.

Bloomberg cites no less than three people familiar with the matter in reporting that RIM is working on a software that would allow PlayBook users access to Android’s 130,000 applications. The sources say that following an initial search outside RIM, the software is now being developed in-house and is expected to be ready in the second half of this year. Dalvik was an option at one point, but an ongoing patent dispute between Oracle and Google put the brakes on that.

Having the perks of BlackBerry (such as BBM and extremely stable corporate email) on a device capable of running all the available Android OS apps could be extremely beneficial for RIM, which has struggled to enter the more casual or personal smartphone market. When rumors of such a thing first arose, you guys expressed a great interest and it was hailed as ‘the best of both worlds’ by several commenters. Would you ditch your current tablet for a BlackBerry-enabled one with Android apps? Let us know!

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  • AndrewMD
    Okay, didn't Palm try this with iTunes and basically pissed off Apple. RIM needs to make a decision on where they want to be. If it is a hardware vendor like Nokia/Microsoft or a Hardware/Software vendor. Also, who is going to support this? If someone loads an Android app on their Playbook and it does not work, who will they turn to?
  • joytech22
    Since I don't own a decent tablet to start with, I'll be keeping my eye on this, there are tons of tablets coming out this year and I want to compare them before making a final snap decision.
  • LuckyDucky7
    Great! If they expand this to their other smartphones, it gives many people a reason to buy one.

    I certainly hope, though, that apps running in a VM are as good as running them on a native Android device.

    Either way, it's still good news.