Research In Motion, hoping to grow developer interest, app stockpiles and sales of its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, has released v2.1 of its WebWorks SDK for Tablet OS. The goal of the update, RIM said, is to narrow the gap between the functionality available on its BlackBerry Smartphone OS and its Tablet OS.
The update offers developers a number of new capabilities, including:
-- an App Payment API, so developers can include payment services in an app and goods can be sold directly from a PlayBook;
-- a Camera API, for taking photos or recording video from within an application (the PlayBook, you'll remember, features a 3-megapixel front camera, 5-megapixel rear camera and can record video in 1080p HD);
-- a Microphone API for recording audio from within an app;
-- an Identity API that can enable an app to grab PIN information; and
-- a File IO API that lets a developer read, copy or write files on the the Tablet OS file system.
During RIM's June 16 earnings call with analysts (CP: BlackBerry fallout: Does RIM really have a plan?) Co-CEO Jim Balsillie declined to specify sell-through numbers for the PlayBook — which the company said it moved 500,000 of during the quarter — though he enthused about the platform, calling it "absolutely a platform that we can run really for a decade, and plus for corporate transformation and also for high performance personal communications and media and social, I think, in mobile computing."
With RIM working to grow its apps and app community, Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis added that the PlayBook's environment is "just going to keep getting better and better."
To additionally tempt developers its way, RIM's BlackBerry Developer Challenge 2011 is underway. Contest categories include the best Adobe Flash or Adobe AIR app, the most innovative BlackBerry WebWorks app and the most addicting social app using the BBM Social Platform.
Combined prizes are said to be valued at $3 million.