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RIM updates Webworks SDK for Playbook

Adobe's AIR SDK also gets a look in
Wed Apr 20 2011, 12:31

SMARTPHONE MAKER Research in Motion (RIM) has released the second version of its Webworks software development kit (SDK) for its Blackberry smartphones and Playbook tablet.

RIM's Webworks 2.0 SDK is aimed at getting web developers using Javascript, Cascading Style Sheets and HTML5 to create applications for RIM's devices. With Adobe's AIR Blackberry SDK also coming out of beta, it should result in a new wave of applications for RIM's Playbook tablet. The goal is to easily turn websites, even ones that include Adobe Flash, into Playbook applications.

Reviews have criticised the software on RIM's Playbook and, while the firm did release prior versions of Webworks before the Playbook hit the shelves, developers had only a software simulator to test out their work. While helpful, a software simulator doesn't accurately convey the user experience on a device where touch and physical movement are the primary input methods.

Webworks isn't the only SDK RIM has made available for the Playbook, with the firm producing a native C++ SDK and an Android Java version to further entice developers. However RIM might need more than just a fancy SDK to lure people in, as reports have been coming in that suggest that the company is having trouble flogging the Playbook.

While RIM has been busy updating its Webworks SDK, the chaps at Ifixit have been taking the Playbook apart. It found that Texas Instruments supplies eight of the chips inside the device including the 1GHz dual core processor and a number of auxiliary chips. The 1GB of RAM in the device comes from Elpida while the 16GB of NAND Flash memory is sourced from Sandisk with the audio codec running on Wolfson's WM8994E chip.

Now that developers have access to RIM's Playbook, the Webworks SDK should help RIM start to build a library of web applications that will get enterprises interested in buying Playbooks. µ


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