BlackBerry PlayBook – Calling All Developers

Unless you’ve been sleeping under a rock for the past month, you’ve probably heard that Research In Motion (RIM), creator of the infamous BlackBerry smartphone, is soon to release an entry into the tablet market: The BlackBerry PlayBook. This device will definitely have an impact on the future of tablet-based computing. Here’s some preliminary info regarding the PlayBook:

1 GHz dual core processor
Pair PlayBook with your BlackBerry smartphone via Bluetooth
Uses the same tech Cisco uses to power the World Wide Web (QNX)
Dual HD cameras (3MP front cam/5MP rear cam)
Video codecs supported: 1080p, h.264, mp4, wmv
HDMI video out
micro USB + HDMI
Weighs < 1lb (400g) Multitouch gestures (4 touch points) 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi Support for POSIX, Open GL, BB 6, WebKit, Flash, Java and AIR The feature set alone should tempt you and if you're already developing apps with Flash Builder 4, PlayBook dev is as simple as adding another SDK in your config properties and setting up the VMWare simulator for testing. Once you're set up, create a new AS3 project and code away. When you compile your project, the AS3 is compiled into a SWF which is then converted to a BAR file before launching inside the simulator. There are even techniques to convert your APKs from your Android projects to the BAR format.

RIM is serious about helping you get started with your PlayBook development career. They’ve compiled a ton of resources to help you get up and running. Here’s a short list:

And, RIM not only wants you developing applications, they want you earning money as well. Some of the features of their monetization program include:
– Carrier billing, credit card and PayPal in over 70 countries and 21 currencies
– 70/30 revenue split (70% Developer/30% RIM)
– In-app payments (unlockables, powerups, etc)

They’re also arming you with an integrated advertising service that allows you to earn even more revenue from your PlayBook adventures. Here’s a brief overview of the ad service’s features:
– 60/40 revenue split (60% Developer/40% RIM)
– Ability to leverage RIMs existing vendor network to get you earning more ad revenue faster
– Maintain full control over which ads you want to display
– Benefit from an open/transparent platform whose goal is to enable devs to generate revenue

Now, if you’re still undecided, RIM is even offering a FREE PlayBook. That’s right FREE!! Full details here. The basics are create a PlayBook app, submit it to BlackBerry AppWorld and once it’s approved, you’ll get a free PlayBook when it ships!!

The excitement surrounding the PlayBook is most definitely brewing so, I strongly encourage you to take advantage of RIM’s generosity to join the forefront of this new mobile application revolution.

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