When RIM first announced they’d be bringing Android compatibility to the PlayBook with the help of their Android Player, fans and developers of both platforms had reason to celebrate. BlackBerry users will have access to thousands upon thousands of incredible apps while still enjoying the device of their choice. Android developers can theoretically take a “develop once, distribute twice” approach to apps, extending reach beyond just one platform. Unfortunately though, RIM has yet to release the Android Player for the PlayBook. It’s been several months since the PlayBook’s release without much said on how development is progressing. Hopefully, the same won’t be the case for RIM’s QNX devices.
When RIM finally releases their new QNX-powered smartphones in early 2012, they will indeed feature Android app compatibility. Again, this is great for users of both platforms. While I doubt Google would be so kind as to allow apps like Android’s far superior Gmail client to grace Berrys, the extended selection of third-party apps will still be impressive.
And while we’re on the subject, what if native Android apps could eventually be ported over to BlackBerry devices? That may put BlackBerrys back in the pockets of millions of users in the US alone. If the Android Player works like RIM has said it will (and if the short demos that do exist actually stand up to real world use), then they might as well just become a hardware vendor for Google. I don’t want to get too ahead of myself, but it’s a real possibility.
Any ex or future BlackBerry owners out there excited to see how the Android Player for QNX devices will turn out? If you could use apps like Google Maps and Android Gmail on a BlackBerry, would you be tempted to make the jump?