Research In Motion has given games developers tools to help them code for the BlackBerry Tablet operating system.
The company released a beta version of a native software development kit (SDK) for the PlayBook, currently the only slate to run the QNX-based BlackBerry Tablet OS, on Wednesday. RIM has been letting developers write apps that run on both BlackBerry smartphones and tablets using the WebWorks platform for a while, but this SDK gives them access to key graphics features of the larger device.
Application programming interfaces (APIs) that come with the Native SDK include one for OpenGL ES 2.0, for 2D and 3D graphics, and other for the tablet's accelerometer and orientation functions. RIM also said it hoped to help developers porting existing games with the POSIX-compliant libraries included in the SDK.
The SDK also comes with an Eclipse-based integrated development environment called QNX Momentics, which can be used for debugging programs including hardware-accelerated OpenGL apps.
RIM's seven-inch tablet has been received with less-than-stellar reviews, and finds itself in an iPad-dominated market that has just seen off HP's contender, the TouchPad. Enterprises and consumers now have the choice between the PlayBook, myriad Android tablets and Apple's iPad 2, with the latter two offering many more apps than are available for the BlackBerry tablet.