Smartphone maker Research in Motion (RIM) has moved to plug up the gap in PlayBook’s application roster by bringing Android to its iPad tablet rival.

The company announced this morning that it will be providing its upcoming Tablet devices with what it calls “app players”, in effect, run-time environments that enable the PlayBook to run BlackBerry Java and Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) applications.

At this stage, the move is expected to only allow Android apps from the BlackBerry App World to be used on the PlayBook, not the 200,000 or so apps on the Android Market.

In addition to BlackBerry Java and Android apps, the PlayBook will also support direct C#/C++ development via an SDK (software development kit), which will be released shortly.

According to its announcement, RIM believes it will be easy for Android and BlackBerry developers to port their code to PlayBook Tablet OS due to the high API (application programming interface) compatibility between them. They’ll be able to port, code-sign and upload their apps to BlackBerry and once approved, those apps will go on the BlackBerry App World list. Users will be able to download the apps and the app players to play them.

At this stage, RIM has made no comment on any performance hit required by running the app player layer and what affects that may have on some performance-rich applications. There is also no word about support for apps below Android 2.3.

The BlackBerry Tablet features BlackBerry’s own PlayBook Tablet OS running a 1GHz dual-core processor.

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