BlackBerry announced a while ago that they were giving away free PlayBooks to Android developers who published their apps for their PlayBook tablet. I ran to the challenge and was able to meet their deadline by submitting the French version of the language flashcards. A shiny new PlayBook arrived at my door a few days ago!
The experience was actually pretty interesting, as I had never published anywhere besides the Android Market. Even though their tools are very well thought out (for example I can publish my app to the BlackBerry App World without any major modification, how cool is that?), the process of submitting the app is really, really complicated.
Now that the bulk of the update work is finished in regards to the flashcard apps I still have to spend some time publishing the rest of the apps into the BlackBerry App World, and researching how I can also publish the Pro (paid) versions.
You can point your BlackBerry tablet to the following address for more information:
The following figure shows the downloads for the last few days of March. Not bad I guess, and a great way to grow your user base without programming a single additional line of code.
The Playbook Experience
I’ve been able to use the Playbook some and I agree with most reviews: it’s a really nice tablet. Good solid feeling to it, it comes with a nice pouch, the display looks really nice and it’s responsive. There were three things however that ruined the first impression:
- In order to do anything with it, you have to first create a Blackberry ID and sign-in. This sucks because when you first get a new gadget all you want to do is power it on and start having fun. Is it really necessary to have a BB Id first, RIM? What if you don’t have WiFi at the moment? I was playing with my Android phone seconds after power-on, and this should be the same for all devices.
- I was forced to download a 500MB software update before being able to doing anything. 500MB! It took more than an hour! Again… I wanted to play with it as soon as I got it, so having to wait more than an hour for this to download really let me down.
- I miss the integration with Google products. Sorry RIM, this one really isn’t your fault, but I use a bunch of Google services (Gmail, Calendar, Reader, Docs, just to name a few) and I kinda like the close integration Android provides with Google services.
I general it’s a nice device, but I would go for an Android device solely for the integration with Google. However if you’re already a Blackberry user then this tablet is definitely a good addition.