Playbook Apps… Limited?

Many of the complaints about the playbook are based on the lack of apps in the app store (BlackBerry App World). I was concerned about that because there sure are a lot of apps in the Apple app store. 750,000 or something crazy like that.


2 things…

I found on iPad that the apps I use most also have really good browser interfaces, in fact, the browser interfaces are more functional. Examples:

  • CBC app. The website has a lot more content, and is more accessible. The app makes sense on a small smartphone screen but on a tablet, its almost easier just to use the website
  • Mint – this is a finance app, it has a full out website and the app is actually limited, you can’t change any config in the app making the browser interface much more useful actually
  • Facebook – sure you can get an app but the full website just works and is again a lot more functional.
  • and so on. What app is there that they don’t make a website for?
  • and weather apps? bah, Environment Canadas website is as good as any app after trying 5 or 6 on ipad. Its just there, works, its simple and provides direct access with no ads…

The whole reason / need for apps in a lot of cases is that iOS devices don’t run flash and things like file managers and websites use flash for interactivity (though its slowly moving to html 5) So with playbooks ability to run flash, there isn’t a lot of need for apps! How many complainers about the number of apps in app world thought about that?


Second to that, if you want apps, any Android app will work virtually. You just need to a) wait for the the developer to package it for playbook or b) just package it yourself (and this second option is neat for me since I’m a techie and enjoy tinkering anyways, the extra effort here is more interesting then it is tedious for me). There are apparently 700k apps for Android now too (

So am I worried about a lack of apps? I was initially, now after writing this and realizing there isn’t anything I can’t get and the fact that my options are actually more now as Playbook and Blackberry are less restrictive than apple, I’m convinced more so that moving off iOS will mean only easier efforts to get stuff done.

So far in checking the apps on my ipad that I use, I’ve been able to find equivalent apps or methods on Playbook including:

  • FTP client
  • RDP client
  • wordpress editor (but browser will work just as well)
  • file manager – not even something you can get on the iPad.
  • and so on.

One of the last things i need to find is a good RSS reader, thats what Flipboard for example for iPad is or Zite effectively. And I can’t see any issues finding multiple there.


To sum up, moving to Playbook opens up the possibilities and there isn’t a need for apps on it since it runs flash in the browser. Yes flash is old but many online tools still use it. So if you move to ipad you’d better hope there is an app for that since the browser won’t work there (Mint web interface as example).

One up for BB Playbook

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