If you’re eager to find out how RIM’s BlackBerry Packager for Android will work for developers, check out this walkthrough video that RIM seems to have accidentally posted before its unveiling at the BlackBerry DevCon, which starts in San Francisco later today.
The tool is aimed at developers who wish to port their Android applications over the the BlackBerry platform for use on RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, and it has two main functions:
- To check the compatibility of existing Android applications on the BlackBerry platform.
- To convert APK files into BAR files.
As we previously reported, however, not all Android features are supported on the BlackBerry platform, and so developers may find that their applications are not compatible.
As explained in the video, developers are recommended to first obtain their signature keys from BlackBerry’s Developer Zone before attempting to port their applications. Once they have those, they can use the BlackBerry Packager for Android tool to determine whether or not their application will work on the PlayBook.
If it’s compatible, developers can “repackage and submit” their applications for BlackBerry App World, which will automatically sign and package the app before sending it off. If it’s not compatible, developers will be greeted by an error which will tell them why their app won’t work, and they can sign up to get email alerts when those incompatible features are supported.
This certainly looks like a helpful tool to Android developers who wish to support the BlackBerry platform, and we expect to hear more details on it from BlackBerry DevCon this week.
What do you think of BlackBerry Packager for Android?