RIM Shows Off Android Player at 2011 BlackBerry World

On Tuesday at BlackBerry World 2011, RIM showed off the upcoming Android functionality for its PlayBook. The functionality will require a yet to be released "player," however. In addition, the apps will be curated by RIM, so not just any Android app will run on the PlayBook.

The "Android Player" simulates a Gingerbread (Android 2.3) smartphone. The player may get an upgrade to support Honeycomb (Android 3.0) as well, but that depends on Google making open-sourcing Honeycomb, which it hasn't done yet.

In addition, developers have to repackage their apps as "bar" files rather than the standard Android "apk" format. RIM said it will add an extension to the existing Android SDK, and added that it doesn't necessarily involve recompiling the source code.

Also some other big news: the incredibly popular Angry Birds which is a huge hit on Android and iOS is coming to the PlayBook as a native game. That's right, native, not running in the Android Player.

You can watch a video of a demo of Android apps running in the player below. There is no back button on the PlayBook, so it emulates it with an on-screen softkey.