Tag Archives: TabletPc

The PlayBook polyglot

28 Mar


When Apple introduced the iPad, it had but a smattering of third-party applications, but the company stressed its own. As Apple iPhone software SVP Scott Forstall stated in the iPad introduction video, “We looked at the device and we decided: let’s redesign it all. Let’s redesign, reimagine and rebuild every single app from the ground up specifically for the iPad.”

Compare this to the strategy employed by RIM, makers of the upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook tablet tech gadgets. One year after the iPad’s debut, Apple’s head start in apps has proven a formidable advantage against the onslaught of slates announced by its competitors in the smartphone world. Some have chosen to latch onto Android and attain backwards compatibility with over 200,000 existing smartphone apps. HP, with its TouchPad as flagship, will circle its wagons of PCs, printers and phones around the webOS platform. However, the announcement this week that RIM, too, will support Android apps says much about how the company sees its position in the tablet wars.

C and C++ are the native routes to app development on RIM’s long-gestated tablet, but they certainly not the only ways. Flash / Adobe AIR and HTML5 will also be supported as will several popular game engines. Android and Java apps will be accommodated with add-on players and distributed via RIM’s App World, RIM’s app marketplace. The ability to run Android apps without the underlying Android operating system certainly helps bring a degree of cachet as well as functionality. At a discussion with an executive from a downmarket carrier at the CTIA Wireless show in Orlando last week, I asked what customers are asking for as they adopt smartphones tech gadgets. His response: “Android. Android is the brand. They want the apps.”

But support for Android could also have some potential downsides. With the BlackBerry OS platform generally taking a backseat to other smartphone platforms and a major platform shift to QNX in the works, Android support could serve as a sideshow that gives Android developers even less reason to natively support the platform. Android apps are also unlikely to exploit the PlayBook hardware and user interface, both of which have generated consumer excitement on their own merits. Contrast this with Apple’s attempt to optimize the iOS app experience to the point where it sought to block third-party development tools because of concern about cross-platform apps that might pander to the lowest common denominator.

Controlling the software platform may not be as vital to RIM as it is to Apple or others, but it’s still an important priority in which RIM is heavily investing. RIM’s challenge will be weaving the PlayBook’s hodgepodge of sources into a tapestry of engaging functionality. Apple may prioritize a consistently crafted experience but RIM is about delivering what works to encourage adoption and development. The key is ensuring that Android apps remain more or less an option of last resort, while the company can build the case for QNX apps that showcase and differentiate the PlayBook tech gadgets from competitors in the tablet space, and to help the company make a case for the same operating system to power future smartphones.

 

Source from Engadget

Sprint’s BlackBerry 4G PlayBook portal goes live, still on track for a summer release

22 Mar

We knew good and well that the 4G version of RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook was on track for a summertime release on Sprint, and here at CTIA 2011, the carrier has launched a newfangled product portal confirming that things are still on lock. For those in need of a refresher, these electronic gadgets will boast a 1GHz dual-core CPU, Adobe Flash / HTML 5 support, “true” multitasking, rear- and front-facing HD video cameras and a price that’s still to be determined. What’s most interesting here, however, is the dearth of information about a WiFi-only version — we’re hoping that it’ll slip out a bit earlier than the WiMAX variant, but we’re intentionally keeping our expectations on the low side. No one enjoys a bursting bubble, you know?

 

Source from Engadget

 

HP TouchPad coming June, webOS for PC beta by year’s end

15 Mar

We may have to wait until summer to purchase a webOS slate, but it won’t be summer’s end — PreCentral reports that the company has confirmed a June release date for the HP TouchPad electronic gadgets. At the enterprise-oriented HP Summit in San Francisco, CEO Leo Apotheker finally offered the month of release, and also reportedly said that the company’s full-force webOS on PC initiative will begin in a humble way — the beta will run in a web browser, and we’ll see it by the end of the year.

 

Source from: ENGADGETS