The BlackBerry PlayBook looks hot. Naturally few have seen one but it does appear to really be coming. Plus, the low level integration of Adobe AIR is VERY attractive. The device looks very high performance. But more than all that, what’s interesting is RIM’s approach to attract developers. (See my “heart choice” poster from days gone by.)
Namely, they’re practically GIVING AWAY PLAYBOOKS. No, they ARE giving away PlayBooks! They have a free offer. Basically, you register as a developer, develop an AIR app and get it “approved” prior to the PlayBook launch and you get a PlayBook. It sounds very legit. As a developer it sure would be easier to develop with the device in hand–but still, it’s a nice offer. Also, they have a simulator which I’ve heard works really well. There are some workarounds if you’re on 64 bit (see this link and this link). Ultimately, however and probably even more important than free stuff is the fact they have some great documentation and they’re offering webcasts to educate devs (see links below). If the best new technology came out and there was no information to build on it, it would have a really difficult time taking off.
Here’s the links:
- Start point: http://us.blackberry.com/developers/tablet/
- BlackBerry Table Developer Site w/webcasts: http://us.blackberry.com/developers/tablet/devresources.jsp
- Free Offer: http://devblog.blackberry.com/2010/10/blackberry-playbook-developer
Finally, because I attended Adobe MAX 2010 I have devices coming out the wazoo. I was packing and an Android was sticking out of my suitcase–I pushed it back in and ANOTHER one popped out the other end! Seriously, it ultimately is not about the free stuff. It’s about cool technology and opportunities. I’m very bullish on Android and the PlayBook–however when you start to look at “revenue” opportunities I pretty much tune out. I’ve got a few ideas for products… but my background has always been in services. Even still, all this stuff looks really really cool… and offers MY CLIENTS lots of opportunities–even (or especially) if their plan is not to “make an app that makes a million” (as, personally, I don’t see that gold mine).
Finally, one huge thing that’s extra attractive about the PlayBook is that the AIR integration means there are more system level APIs (over Android)…. like native dialogs just to name one. I haven’t fully ramped up yet–and honestly–if I just stopped what I was doing and followed every new cool thing that came out I’d be running around in circles. Having said that, I’ll repeat: it looks hot and it looks like fun.