RIM’s BBX may be in the pipeline, but it’s the Developer Beta of the BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 that’s here today. Announced at BlackBerry DevCon 2011 this morning, the new OS 2.0 includes the BlackBerry Plug-In for Android Development Tools, which allows coders to use the existing Eclipse Android development environment to make software that will also run on the PlayBook. There’s also RIM’s Runtime for Android Apps which now has an online tool to convert your Android apps into a PlayBook-friendly package.
The tool allows developers to test their software for compatibility with the PlayBook – we already know that there will be some pretty broad limitations to what will run and what won’t – either in the online simulator or an actual PlayBook running OS 2.0. Potentially a lucrative market, too: RIM reckons its developers make more money from their apps than their counterparts on either iOS or Android.
OS 2.0 also supports Adobe Air 3.0 and Adobe Flash 11, as well as WebGL for hardware-accelerated 3D graphics within the browser. RIM also took the time to detail the BlackBerry Open Source Initiative, a project to port open-source libraries to PlayBook. The initial list of targets will include physics engines like Bullet Physics and Box2DX, scripting languages like Lua, multimedia libraries like OpenAL and SDL, gaming frameworks like Cocos2DX and general-purpose libraries like Boost and Qt.