The BlackBerry PlayBook by Research In Motion has been out for several months now, and since that launch there has always been talk about the tablet's ability to run Android applications. I've asked all of you in the past whether or not you thought it was just a gimmick or not, but at this point it doesn't really matter. The PlayBook is one of the best 7-inch tablets out there, but it was marred right out of the gate by a remarkably expensive price tag. Now that it's down to a more respectable price, and with the second version of the PlayBook's operating system coming down the pipe, it has me wondering about the application situation even more.
And not just about the BlackBerry tablet, either. Actually, it has me thinking about the application situation for every mobile platform. People love their applications. People love their games, their productivity apps, and everything else. But for some platforms, there aren't always the "high-end" apps that people want. While Windows Phone is gaining traction, the application situation, while getting better, still isn't all that great compared to, say, Apple's iOS. It gets a bit worse when you look at the BlackBerry App World. There are plenty of applications in there, but many of them don't compare to the "bigger" platforms out there.
I think that's one reason why RIM made it possible for the BlackBerry PlayBook to run Android applications. Sure, it may just be a gimmick at face value, but RIM recognized the fact that their tablet wasn't going to have all that many applications built specifically for it right off the bat, or maybe even a ways down the line, so they opened the gates to another platform that has popular applications readily available. Sure, there needs to be some work done to get those Android apps on the PlayBook, but at least it's possible.
With BlackBerry 10 coming soon (not soon enough), the question still stands: will it have the applications that people want? We saw in the leaked photos that Cut the Rope is right there, waiting to be played, and that's potentially a great sign. But, that's just one app, and that just leaves us wanting.
So here's my question: would you be more willing to use a mobile platform, if you were able to use applications that are "only" available on another platform? Obviously this doesn't count for apps and games that are made for your platform. For example, there is an ESPN ScoreCenter application available for Android, iOS and Windows Phone, but there's no such application available for BlackBerry. If, by chance, you could use the iOS-based ScoreCenter app on a BlackBerry phone, would you?
I think the main gist of the question would be application availability, or perhaps universal availability in a whole different light. There are a few people who I know who want to still use webOS, but moved away from the platform even before the fall out due to the lack of apps and games. I know people who want to use Android, but prefer the design elements of iOS-based applications, so go that route instead. There are some who want to use Windows Phone, but refuse to jump ship because it only have Bejeweled Live and not Bejeweled Blitz.
If you could have access to any and all applications, then theoretically there wouldn't be anything stopping you from using the mobile OS you really, really want to use. Or, perhaps you're willing to look past the app situation, and you just use your mobile platform because it's the one you love, no matter what.
Into which category do you fall into? Let me know in the comments below.