Research in Motion officially announced Android application support for the BlackBerry PlayBook back in March before the tablet was released, and, 7 months later we still don’t have an Android App Player. RIM did say, however, during their Q2 Fiscal 2011 earnings call, that we would see preview of the Android App Player next month during BlackBerry DevCon and that the Player would be released along with BlackBerry Tablet OS 2.0 shortly thereafter.
RIM is actually talking more about the Android App Player and starting to detail the features and functionality it will support when it comes to Android. What RIM has been saying, however, has those anxious to get their hands on the Android App, asking less about when the Android support will be available, and, more about just home much Android support PlayBook users will get…
Key features which will be unavailable to Android apps running under the compatibility layer on the PlayBook and future BlackBerry devices include Android’s famed battery-sucking Live Wallpaper, SIP and SIP VoIP, anything built using the Native Development Kit, apps containing only App Widgets, and apps containing more than one activity tied to the Launcher.
In addition, any packages which rely on Google Maps, in-app billing services, Android’s text-to-speech engine, or the cloud-to-device messaging system will all be rendered unusable under the company’s runtime system.
Most of this actually makes sense. The Android App Player isn’t a version of Android running on top of QNX, but a runtime player environment that allows certain types of Android applications to execute. Apps that make calls out to the Android operating system won’t work because there will be no Android operating system present.