Research in Motion is expected to launch a software developer kit (SDK) allowing developers to write native apps for the BlackBerry PlayBook this summer. This will let developers code apps specifically for the QNX operating system that runs on the tablet. But one independent developer has already figured out how to write QNX apps and transfer them to the tablet without an official SDK.

The trick is to use the development platform for the QNX desktop environment and then compile the apps to run on ARM-based chips and move them to the tablet.

There are a few hoops to jump through along the way, but developer Adam Bell provides instructions for each step.

What this means is that developer who plan to use the native SDK once it’s available can start working on apps even before the SDK launches. Right now the only way to write apps that will run on the PlayBook is to use the Adobe AIR platform — although soon Google Android apps will be able to run on the tablet as well.

via SlashGear

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2 replies on “Who needs an official SDK? Native QNX apps can already run on the BlackBerry PlayBook”

  1. This seems to imply that the Playbook is using the Photon UI, the GUI QNX developed about a decade ago, rather than something new. In one way this makes sense–it seems Blackberry didn’t have enough time to develop a new one in the time available, but I’m rather puzzled at Blackberry’s insistence that the Blackberry Tablet OS requires dual core. QNX used to have a demo floppy with a web browser on QNX/Photon that ran reasonably well on Pentium systems.

    1. Yup. You obviously know what you’re talking about. This underscores the inherent value of running a legitimate operating system rather than just an operating system derived from one. It’s nice to use an operating system with a real pedigree, that still runs well on what we would call “legacy hardware”. The most recent release of Android runs like a dog on hardware that was current just a few years ago, and there’s almost no Android software that’s not just a few years old. In contrast, something Like QNX or a proper distribution of Linux can run on hardware that’s 10 years old and run software that’s been under constant improvement for just as long. It’s fun to pretend that a computer is “modern” because it HAS to emulate a hardware keyboard on its primary display, but fun usually isn’t the same thing as making sense.

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