Well, this is a bit of a surprise. Research in Motion is reportedly working to ensure that the BlackBerry PlayBook can support some apps from the Google Android platform.
According to Bloomberg, anonymous sources have said,
RIM plans to integrate the technology with the PlayBook operating system, giving customers access to Android’s more than 130,000 apps, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the effort isn’t public. RIM, after looking outside the company, is developing the software internally and may have it ready in the second half, two people said.
However, RIM won't be using Google’s Dalvik Java software due to patent issues. Given how many more apps there are for Android than BlackBerry OS, this will certainly boost the usefulness of the entire slate.
Android certainly is growing in popularity, and given that we don't have a BlackBerry tablet precedent, it might be helpful to have a feature that is familiar to a wider audience to bring more customers in. This doesn't mean that the PlayBook is automatically going to be come the "iPad killer" that everyone is looking for, but it will certainly garner some extra attention it might not have otherwise.
Related coverage on ZDNet:
- BlackBerry PlayBook headed for Verizon Wireless?
- BlackBerry PlayBook tablet PC coming in April for $500 for 16GB version
- BlackBerry App World 2.1 permits in-app payments
- RIM demos PlayBook, BlackBerry pairing
- iPad, TouchPad, Xoom and Playbook: Choices galore and nothing but time