RIM releases Adobe AIR SDK for its PlayBook tablet

The Waterloo-based mobile tech giant, Research In Motion (RIM), has announced the availability of the Adobe AIR Software Development Kit (SDK) for its new QNX tablet operating system used by its new PlayBook tablet computer.

RIM CTO, David Yach, said in a statement today, “The new SDK for the BlackBerry PlayBook unleashes a wealth of opportunity for the Adobe and BlackBerry development communities to easily create value-added applications and experiences for customers and we are extremely excited by the positive feedback received from developers in early trials.”

 The company hopes by releasing the SDK far ahead before the launch of the PlayBook, which is slated for a Q1 2011 launch, more applications will be available for the platform at launch making it more attractive to consumers.

The PlayBook offers many advanced features in a small form factor, including dual high-definition cameras that could be used for video conferencing, and is enterprise ready.

As evidenced by declining RIM market share in the smartphone market, consumers have trended away from the once dominant BlackBerry platform, in favor for competing platforms like Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android smartphones that offer a superior user experience in terms of the higher resolution displays and cameras, and probably most important, the availability of far more quality applications.

RIM’s core business has always been producing highly secure communication enterprise devices, but given the wide adoption of Apple’s iOS products such as the iPhone 4 and the iPad, the PlayBook really serves more as a strategic product from RIM to counter the mounting demand and adoption of the iPad.

RIM has also made available a simulator for its PlayBook tablet, allowing developers to test applications for use on the device exactly like how they would appear on the actual device.

The simulator also gives consumers slightly a better idea of the user interface of the new QNX operating system the PlayBook is powered by, but the simulator only shows off a very small portion of the actual features, really only showing off the media player and the general user interface like the on-screen keyboard.

As an added incentive for developers to build applications for the PlayBook, RIM chief executive, Mike Lazaridis, told the audience at the Adobe MAX conference that developers who get their applications approved into App World before the PlayBook launch date would receive a free PlayBook device.

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Murad is an engineering graduate from Centennial college in Toronto, Canada. Write to [email protected]
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