Up until recently I wouldn't have bet on BlackBerry becoming one of the most developer friendly and innovative platforms around, but recent announcements around their upcoming PlayBook tablet are very promising indeed. It remains to be seen how things will work out but - based on the hardware specs and apparent renewed effort in terms of UI design and user interaction - there is every chance they will become a serious contender.

Those of us interested in Flash Platform development get full Flash Player 10.1 support and it appears most of the UI of the tablet is built on top of Adobe AIR, so we can expect some solid integration there.

In terms of specs, a 7" screen with a dual-core 1GHz processor, 1GB RAM, front and back facing camera and HDMI out weighing around 400 grams is impressive. What I'm hoping for is equally impressive battery life.

Developers interested can already start writing apps for the BlackBerry PlayBook and test it in their simulator. Even better, RIM has announced if you write an app that gets accepted to BlackBerry App World before the product launch you'll be given a free device. More information about this offer will soon be available.

There is also a weekly webcast series to help you get started, recordings of previous weeks are up on the site.

http://us.blackberry.com/developers/tablet/ http://us.blackberry.com/developers/tablet/devresources.jsp http://devblog.blackberry.com/2010/10/blackberry-playbook-developer-promotion-information/

Exciting times ahead for Flash Platform development on tablets!