Runtime for Android Apps, the player that will enable the underperforming PlayBook to run Android applications, is still missing in action. However, details are starting to emerge about the limitations of the player, and they are probably going to disappoint many.
The details came from a RIM presentation at Droidcon, which is part of the Eastern European Mobile Monday Developer Summit being held in Romania. We already knew that RIM was going to curate applications which can run on the Runtime player, meaning only those who "applied" for inclusion would be able to be installed on the PlayBook.
But RIM's engineers explained that there are several features which will be unavailable when Android apps are run on the PlayBook. There are some that probably won't be a big deal. For one, Live Wallpaper won't run in the player.
Additionally, SIP and SIP VOIP are out, as is anything built with the Native Development Kit, apps consisting only of App Widgets, and apps containing more than one activity tied to the application launcher.
Apps that rely on natively installed applications, such as Google Maps, in-app billing, Android's text-to-speech engine, or the "cloud-to-device messaging system" are also out.
No, we already knew that not everything would be available for the runtime player, but we actually expected it to be a result of the application curation. We certainly didn't expect for the player to be so inadequate to the task of running Android apps.
It's something we hope doesn't happen to Amazon.com's Kindle Fire, which runs Android, but a forked version that is highly customized and may prove difficult to keep compatible with future releases of Google's platform.