Android apps, Flash support missing from new BlackBerry 7
Smartphones running Research In Motion's (NASDAQ:RIMM) forthcoming BlackBerry 7 operating system revamp will not incorporate many of the signature features included in RIM's new BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, like support for Android applications and the Adobe Flash multimedia runtime. Speaking Monday at RIM's annual BlackBerry World event hours after BlackBerry 7's formal introduction, vice president of handheld software product management Andrew Bocking said smartphones running the new OS will not support Android applications--the PlayBook launched last month with two optional "app players" that provide a runtime environment for BlackBerry Java applications as well as apps running Android 2.3.
Flash is also off the BlackBerry 7 roadmap, with RIM execs focusing on the new QNX OS to support Flash content in the web browser. PCMag.com notes that the upcoming BlackBerry 7-based Bold 9900's 1.2-Ghz processor fulfills Adobe's hardware requirements for Flash support. RIM adds that BlackBerry 7 will not be backwards-compatible with previous BlackBerry smartphones: The new operating system runs solely on dual-core devices, and the existing RIM portfolio does not include any dual-core units.
BlackBerry 7 also introduces support for NFC technologies, enabling consumers to access information by tapping their device to a smart tag--presumably, RIM will eventually extend the platform's NFC capabilities to include contactless payments. Also new: Voice-activated search and BlackBerry Balance, which separates personal content from corporate content on the smartphone, enabling users to share social networking information, play games and explore other consumer apps while still adhering to enterprise demands for data management and security
RIM is hoping BlackBerry 7 will revive its waning fortunes in the smartphone market. Last month, digital research firm comScore reported that Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android mobile operating system surpassed BlackBerry in U.S. market share, ending the RIM platform's long run at the top--BlackBerry now accounts for 28.9 percent of the U.S. smartphone market, behind Android at 33.0 percent.
- read this PCMag.com article
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