RIM has confirmed what Android functionality BlackBerry PlayBook owners can expect from their QNX tablets after the BlackBerry Runtime for Android Apps is released, and it makes for disappointing reading. The list of features confirmed by RIM engineers at Droidcon 2011 in Romania this week, Thinq reports, misses out on several high-profile – and much anticipated – components, such as SIP VoIP and widgets, as well as blocking any apps that rely on Google Maps or text-to-speech.
Meanwhile, apps that use Google’s in-app purchasing system won’t be supported, while the cloud-to-device messaging system is also unusable in RIM’s implementation of the runtime. Android Live Wallpapers won’t be supported, and nor will anything built using the Android Native Development Kit. Finally, apps that consist of more than a single activity tied to the launcher will not run either.
The confirmation comes as a blow to those hoping Android app support could prove the PlayBook’s salvation, at least until RIM boosted its QNX device range. Owners had hoped for a best-of-both-worlds arrangement, where the tablet could be used both for its native tight enterprise integration and then with the broad array of Android software available through Google’s Android Market.
That, it seems, was too much to hope for, given the compromises RIM’s engineers have been forced to make in order to make apps for the two platforms play together nicely. It’s unclear exactly how many titles currently available for Android will also work on the PlayBook at this stage.