Free PlayBook for RIM developers

BlackBerry PlayBook

Developers are being offered free BlackBerry PlayBooks by Research In Motion (RIM) if they get their apps in early.

The BlackBerry App World is already open to submissions for apps to feature on its flagship tablet device but is trying to encourage developers to get on board quickly with the offer of a freebie.

To be eligible developers need to submit the app and have it approved by midnight on 1 February 2011, just before the US launch.

Despite the push for apps before the US launch, the offer is open to European developers also.

"Interest and momentum behind the BlackBerry PlayBook continues to build and we are thrilled with the positive response from both the developer community and our customers," said Tyler Lessard, vice president of global alliances and developer relations at RIM.

"We are very pleased to be working with developers in advance of the product launch and the opening of BlackBerry App World to accept BlackBerry PlayBook apps is an important next step."

RIM has been drawing developer's attention to the fact the PlayBook is compatible with Adobe Flash, unlike its major, and now well-established rival, Apple's iPad.

The company has released an update to the BlackBerry Tablet OS SDK for Adobe AIR which features a preview release of Flash Builder 4.5 and a Flex mobile framework.

Randy Troppman, founder of development firm RunningMap, said: "The BlackBerry PlayBook has some stellar hardware specs which will support Adobe AIR quite well."

"I recompiled several of my AIR apps with the BlackBerry Tablet OS AIR SDK and they worked the first time. Unmodified. Piece of cake. Now I just need to take advantage of the BlackBerry PlayBook's touch screen to take these apps to the next level."

Despite a February launch date in the US, the UK is not expected to get its hands on the more enterprise focused tablet until some time in the second quarter of 2011.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.