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RIM Outlines What Android App Features Won’t Work on the PlayBook

by Sean P. Aune | September 28, 2011September 28, 2011 2:00 pm PST

BlackBerry PlayBook - Sad Android

The idea that Android apps would soon be supported on the BlackBerry PlayBook has filled many people with optimism in regards to the struggling tablet.  It would be a quick way to expand the applications that are available for the PlayBook, give developers more revenue streams and in general just be awesome.

Sadly, it doesn’t look it will be quite as awesome as everyone hoped.

According to Thinq, RIM engineers were speaking today at Droidcon in Romania today where they went over some of the features that will not be compatible with the Android layer running on top of the PlayBooks QNX operating system.  The list, sadly, is fairly lengthy:

Key features which will be unavailable to Android apps running under the compatibility layer on the PlayBook and future BlackBerry devices include Android’s famed battery-sucking Live Wallpaper, SIP and SIP VoIP, anything built using the Native Development Kit, apps containing only App Widgets, and apps containing more than one activity tied to the Launcher.

In addition, any packages which rely on Google Maps, in-app billing services, Android’s text-to-speech engine, or the cloud-to-device messaging system will all be rendered unusable under the company’s runtime system.

While I don’t think anyone will die without the live wallpapers, the rest of the list makes it sound like the only things that will run will be … well … not a whole lot.  Yes, some things will function, but it is certainly not going to be like the two operating systems are going to be nearly as compatible as was originally hoped for.

This, unfortunately, makes the prospect of the Android apps riding to the rescue of the BlackBerry PlayBook a little less likely than it did even a few days ago, but we’ll have to wait for actual implementation to see just how bad it truly is.

Does this change any plans for you in regards to the PlayBook?

Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...