This could be fun!
RIM announced today private beta for the Native SDK for BlackBerry Tablet OS. You can read the announcement here.
I’ve kinda gotten away from BlackBerry development, focusing more on cross platform development tools, so I’ve not really kept up with what RIM’s doing with the PlayBook. The WebWorks stuff is…interesting and Hybrid frameworks like WebWorks is where the market is going (the popularity of the PhoneGap and Titanium frameworks has helped prove that one) but there always seemed to me that there would remain the need to write native applications for any device. I couldn’t understand how RIM could be using native development tools to write applications for QNX and more than a year after they announced the device didn’t have any native tools available. I know they expected that these tools would only be needed for high performance applications such as games and specialty drivers, but sometimes you just want to kick around in the API’s directly.
By why so late?
This is something Google and Apple have definitely done right and RIM seems to completely ignore. When Apple or Google announce an OS upgrade, they release the appropriate SDK’s with the device or even sometimes earlier. RIM on the other hand, doesn’t seem to understand the need to have timely access to the newest development tools. I don’t remember whether it was BlackBerry Device Software 4.6 or 5.0, but I remember that for one of them the native development tools were still in beta almost 6 months after the release of the device running the software. Seriously? C’mon – how hard can it be? You’ve released the device, how hard can it be to release the tools you used to actually create the applications running on the devices people are holding in their hands?