I’ve been thinking over this since I saw it at the Adobe MAX keynote with Kevin Lynch and the CEO of RIM and over the last few days been putting more thought and effort into getting things to work. If you haven’t checked it out by now.. it’s definitely time to take a good look at things and get yourself familiar with it.
If you check out the video they give details on how to get started with the Playbook. Essentially it’s about getting the SDK, installing that in Flash Builder and then grabbing the ISO image, VMWare Fusion, on a mac, and VMWare Player for windows. That’s the easy part, definitely check out the documentation on RIM’s site here.
Learning more about the Playbook it’s got a lot of great features and I consider the hardware to be pretty powerful for how small of a device it is. Just being able to develop for it practically natively is great. Two cameras, powerful CPU and a really nice screen. Slightly smaller than the iPad but I don’t think that’s a problem at all given that it’s immensely lighter than the iPad.
I think there are a lot of people looking to finally move away from the iPad and development for it. Just from my own experiences I’ve come to hate working with their system and having somebody make some arbitrary decision that my application “isn’t interesting enough”. I think it’s because my app taught about Flash Media Server and Flash that it was rejected.. but that’s another blog post altogether.
With that, the Playbook will be able to access the App World application purchasing and download system by RIM. I’m actually looking forward to seeing how that process goes and how it easy it will be to get our apps up on to it and out to the public. I’m getting the impression that RIM is quite keen to get as many apps up there as possible so I don’t think it’s going to be an issue.
On a related item, it’s important to note that RIM is definitely keen to have people blogging about their new device. It’s obviously not out yet but they’re working hard and if you let them know that you’re on their side by posting something good about the Playbook and promoting it then you’re eligible for a free playbook! Check that out here. They also have some webcasts on the device here, which are worth taking a cup of coffee aside for and sitting down to watch.
To sum things up a bit here, if you’re keen to use your AS3 chops to make an app and get it onto a tablet device that supports Flash and AIR apps natively then get on with learning about the Playbook. It’s nice to finally see a company that is going to compete with Apple and the iPad. I think a lot of people will gravitate towards it because they won’t have a crippled experience on the internet anymore and there are going to be a whole bunch of extremely cool apps that can take advantage of so many developer’s experience and knowledge of working with Flash and Flex.
There’s so much more to blog about for this device so I’ll try to break things up in the next few days to cover more material about the Playbook and developing for it. Stay tuned!