An exploit found in the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet a few months ago has begun to bear fruit for a trio of scrappy developers. The rooting application, which will be made publicly available within the next week, will be called Dingleberry, and lets you do a few cool things. Hulu, which had previously been blocked when visited through the BlackBerry browser, is now accessible. Another neat, though less exciting possibility is use of the PlayBook’s LED, which so far only blinks when powering up or charging when the device is turned off. Apparently there’s a blue LED in there that’s never used in any official capacity which we can see above. Root access also allows for remotely changing the backlight brightness.
The most ambitious plan mentioned is to run a full version of Android on the PlayBook, not just an emulation layer for apps. We’ve managed to vaguely pull this off awhile ago, but with root access, these guys stand to build a much better implementation. They can already access the Android Market and download apps directly in the 2.0 beta rather than having to awkwardly sideload .BAR files, which alone would be worth the root. That said, the root runs just as well on the developer beta of PlayBook 2.0 software as it does on the current 22.214.171.12485 build.
I’m pretty excited to give this a go and see what other developers manage to do with root access. Of course, RIM may put the kibosh on an exploit like this in order to preserve their reputation for security. Seeing as PlayBook’s operating system will be ported over to smartphones as BBX, an exploit like this could have some pretty serious long-term implications. For more updates on Dingleberry’s progress, follow the guys behind the root on Twitter.