The first version of the BlackBerry PlayBook OS has gone into beta. The native SDK for tablet OS Beta 1 offers game developers a native C/C++ mobile development environment to work in. They can build amazing 3D gaming experiences by optimizing on the power of the dual cores pumping inside the multithreaded and multitasking PlayBook tablet.
It also gives developers the access to Open GL ES 2.0 for 2D and 3D programming. It is POSIX compliant which means existing games can be easily and efficiently ported to the BlackBerry tablet OS. This will be a huge change for BlackBerry PlayBook users who have only seen basic programs created on WebWorks or Flash games ported through the Adobe AIR SDK. Hopefully, with more power in the hands of developers, the true potential of BlackBerry PlayBook’s hardware will come to the fore.
Intomobile ran an article some time back on what the BlackBerry PlayBook was capable of. RIM’s Swedish acquisition The Astonishing Tribe (TAT) had some breathtaking apps on show at Mobile World Congress 2011 on the PlayBook. If you see those demos, I’m sure you’ll start looking at the QNX tablet with interest in spite of all that hasn’t been going for it lately. TAT already has the Scrapbook app on PlayBook. It’s a fun app that lets you embellish clicks with thought bubbles, backgrounds and funny clipart.
RIM doesn’t have a history of easy development platforms. Developers usually have a hard time working with RIM’s NDKs. Hopefully, this time around, RIM will be on top of feedback and fixes so that developers don’t lose interest in the platform and can focus on developing creative games and apps for BlackBerry customers, tablet and smartphones.
Any developers keen on working with the PlayBook NDK can apply in the BlackBerry Beta Zone.
As long as BlackBerry fans still exist, the PlayBook has a chance. If RIM would hurry up with the core updates we’re waiting for, BlackBerry PlayBook will be a competitive product outside the BlackBerry circle too. In spite of heightened competition, the PlayBook has what it takes to stand on its own.