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Apps, Android, Adobe for BlackBerry PlayBook

RIM executives opened the first day of BlackBerry World 2011 with a glimpse of some very cool developments in apps for the PlayBook tablet.

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Joseph Hanlon

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Old faithful

The RIM executive team kicked off the official first day of BlackBerry World reiterating yesterday's handset and service announcements. RIM also gave a glimpse at what to expect in regards to apps for the new PlayBook tablet for the 6000-strong developer audience, focusing on a new Android emulator and its partnership with Adobe.

In 2011, you don't have an app store without an Angry Birds port, and RIM snuck in the fact of the latest Rovio project into today's keynote. No details were given, so here's hoping RIM confirmed the port with Rovio before this announcement, unlike Microsoft from a few months ago.

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Play-droid!

We heard it first as rumours, then had it confirmed by RIM, and now we've seen it with our own eyes. Android on PlayBook consists of an "Android Player", which emulates the Android environment for apps, meaning that developers do not have to change their apps to have them published on PlayBook.

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A glimpse of the future

This is the IMDB app for Android running on a PlayBook, offering the same user experience of pushing and pulling data and behaving as though it was a native app.

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Where'd ya get it?

Android apps will be available through the PlayBook App World and will look exactly like a native app. No word yet whether you will have to re-buy apps you may have already purchased through the Android Market, but chances are you will have to.

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Native email

One of the major criticisms of the PlayBook after its US launch a fortnight ago was the glaring absence of a native email client. RIM showed today that it intends to correct this oversight.

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Contacts too

The PlayBook will soon connect to either your BIS or BES and you will get access to all of your common BlackBerry service data, including email, calendar and contacts, with tasks and notes to follow shortly after. PlayBook owners can expect these features in the coming months.

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Unity cross-platform publishing

One of the most interesting presentations during the BBWorld keynote came from a company called Unity. The development tools Unity has created easily converts code used from one platform to be used by another. In the image above you can see a game developed for Android, which the Unity team says took as long to cross-publish as it took to import the code into the tools.

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Adobe, BlackBerry, sitting in a tree

Adobe and RIM reaffirmed the strong partnership between the two companies, showcasing the performance of online video streaming and Flash-developed games. Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen also strongly hinted at the possibility of Adobe reworking elements of Creative Suite for the tablet.

An Adobe rep also demoed a magazine (Reader's Digest) converted to a tablet format using Adobe InDesign. The results look great.

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