SMARTPHONE OUTFIT Research In Motion (RIM) has released development tools for its Playbook tablet and smartphone operating systems.
Released at RIM's Blackberry Devcon, the Web Works software development kit (SDK) will kickstart developer interest in the company's upcoming Playbook tablet, it hopes. The SDK contains the Webkit rendering engine, the same engine that's used by web browsers from Apple and Google, which supports HTML5.
RIM also promotes "deep access to device capabilities" including native dialogs, application invocation and system information. There's also the ability to transform a W3C widget archive file into a Web Works application package.
The firm also announced a new payment system and updates to the Blackberry Push Service and the Java Plug-in for the popular Eclipse integrated development environment. To further entice developers, RIM is offering developers a free Playbook if they download the SDK and build applications for the device.
Demonstrated live at CES, the Blackberry Playbook certainly looks very slick with impressive multi-tasking capabilities and a swish user interface. However RIM knows that without some suitable applications, the device will fail to take off. The firm is keen to promote standards compliance within its SDK and emphasise the ability for developers to easily develop applications for both Blackberry smartphones and the Playbook.
RIM hopes that its efforts to produce a business oriented tablet will not be scuppered by a lack of applications at launch. The SDK certainly should help with that. Now all that remains is for RIM to announce when it will launch the Playbook and how much it will cost. µ
Much a (dil)do about nothing
Neither the time nor the face
The tiny tweaks are coming thick and fast now
Gitting more secure