Hack lets iOS apps run on a Playbook

SAN FRANCISCO — RIM’s Blackberry Playbook is not exactly the hottest tablet in the world you could own. One thing that’s really frustrating is the lack of apps available, unlike the enviable App Store for iOS. It’s a good thing that a developer managed to get iOS apps porting to the Playbook then.
The developer, nicknamed “Businesscat2000” on the Crackberry Forums, posted two videos to their YouTube account: one shows iOS games running on the Playbook; the other shows the iOS version of Angry Birds running on Windows.

Businesscat2000 describes the mod as being an “iOS player of sorts” that runs iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch apps on different platforms–basically, an iOS emulator. Most apps will run on it, but games currently seem to work the best.

Although it won’t show any iOS app icons on your Playbook homescreen, the emulation software can load up 10 iOS apps at a time.

CrackBerry forum members, however, are a little skeptical: Some members have questioned the legalities of the software and whether it can really run on any platofrm. Businesscat2000 did set up a challenge for developers to send him an iOS-only app to run on a Playbook, though, and ultimately proved the mod’s worth.

It still has a few flaws, though. For instance, the apps only show at 480-by-320-pixel resolution, so they’ll look pretty small. It also takes just under an hour to get each app working through the player.

Despite the issues surrounding this mod, it’s interesting to see a potential way of bringing more use to the Playbook. I wonder if it would really work on something like a Nintendo Wii, though. Businesscat2000 hopes to make the player public, but for now is just happy to test developers iOS apps while improving the software.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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