Yesterday we reported that BlackBerry PlayBook’s most attractive feature – the Android App Player had been delayed to fall, three months later than the expected summer release. Looks like we were wrong. According to leaks from RIM, the Android app player will be on its way to developer testing in the next two or three weeks. In that case, the app player could be out by late August or early September after all.
RIM had earlier accidentally released an early version of the Android app player but support for third party apps had not come through for the unreleased code at the time. Third party apps have to be put into a special bundle to work on BlackBerry PlayBook. Once Android App Player becomes available, it will support Android 2.3 apps that will come through BlackBerry App World.
We’ll all be very happy if RIM sticks to the promised schedule. It will go come way in mollifying users who are still waiting for the QNX tab to support native apps for email, calendar, etc.
Meanwhile, even if RIM’s senior personnel are deserting it like it were a sinking ship, the PlayBook still has some loyal fans who are willing to do more than just talk about the PlayBook. One user on CrackBerry.com forums suggests sneaking in a poster in stores that would include tips, tricks and basic functions. According to him, users unfamiliar with the tablet’s swipe functions and other unobtrusive features cannot appreciate the BlackBerry tablet for what it is. A poster with basic instructions would be a major help.
In truth, that’s a valid point. Official demos are too often not informative enough. They are supposed to run through official reviews before being posted but they rarely do. RIM, in particular, needs all the help it can get. Plus, BlackBerry PlayBook does have a multi-functional bezel that not many people are familiar with. Basic how-to videos, something like what ASUS has done for the Eee Pad Transformer, on RIM’s support page could be a huge help too.
The fact that RIM fans are taking it on themselves to garner attention for BlackBerry PlayBook is sad. RIM is hardly a nonentity or a novice in the field. BlackBerry PlayBook could do with a boost in marketing or does the lack of it indicate a lack of faith in RIM’s own quarters?