BlackBerry PlayBook was a genuinely impressive device. It had the hardware, the
software; it had the potentiality, that feeling like it knew the path ahead and
that it was going to seize it. But when it came out last year, it was evident
that the device isn't exactly complete. The PlayBook was missing a few pages,
and they were important pages. The BlackBerry OS 2.0 is set to place those
pages back, as well as putting in new content on its own to rectify the wrongs
they've done. This issue, we'll be taking an in-depth, feature-by-feature
review ofthe BlackBerry OS 2.0.
Integrated Email Client with Unified Inbox
changes to the BlackBerry PlayBook OS is the inclusion of an integrated email
client, something the previous OS didn't have. The email client also includes a
unified i that lets you consolidate all messages in one place, include the
messages from your Twitter, Facebook and Linkedln account.
interface itself is well done. It's clean, simple and has everything you need
and expect. There's a "To’, “Cc” and Subject" bar for each email, but
the client doesn't support Bcc. Attachments, though, thankfully support it. The
client also lets you implement as many email accounts as you like Gmail,
Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail, IMAP, POP, you name it.
the email accounts and social network added into it, the client can quickly
become confusing and cluttered. EVERYTFIING comes through it, be it Twitter DM
or friend request. The client thankfully b you filter it by selecting from a
list of accounts to display only the
Calendar and Contacts
calendar of the OS 2.0 is quite the joy to use. We signed it in with our Gmail
and Facebook accounts and immediately receive our appointments and events.
here is straightforward and simple, and being able to have an overview of your
events and pushing events to multiple accounts is a gratifying thing.
app also integrate your social network goodness into it, and it generally works
well in typing your contacts to their respective social network accounts. These
contact details will be updated according to every new info added into your
friend's Facebook or etc.
An Updated Bridge
BlackBerry Bridge functionality lets you build a Bluetooth connection between
your PlayBook and core apps to your BlackBerry smartphone. It's now quicker for
you to take documents, web pages, emails and photos from your BB smartphone to
be displayed on the PlayBook, where you can also edit them.
feature is the ability to use your BB smartphone as a remote control to the
PlayBook, and also as a wireless keyboard and mouse cursor. It sounds very much
like a tacky feature, and in a way it kind of is (we'd rarely use it, unless we
get long emails), but the feature is so well implemented and functional that
you're glad that it's there.
Android On Board
most talked about feature of the PlayBook OS 2 is its ability to run Android
apps right out of the box. You'll have to look for these apps in the App World,
though it seems that RIM made sure that these apps don't stand out as much as
their native apps.
ahead and downloaded the Dolphin Browser HD, Pool Break Lite and Snake HD,
which install themselves smoothly enough. Initiating each app for the first
time took us to a black screen with nothing but a logo and the message that the
app is "initialising". It is initially jarring, but it's thankfully a
one-off process for the new apps. Initiating them for the second time loads
them pretty quickly.
record, all of the apps we tried ran very well and without hitches.
Looking to use another
video chat app for the BlackBerry PlayBook?
a new Video Chat app, Which lets you initiate a video chat with anyone from
your BlackBerry ID. It doesn't extend beyond that, however, but it works well
and the quality is great.
Print To Go
is a feature meant to supplement Docs To Go, by letting you print documents
from your tablet if you have the Print To Go client installed in your PC. It's
simple to use and works well, though right now it doesn't have Mac support.
really missing direly from the PlayBook OS 2.0 is BBM. Sure, you can Bridge
your smartphone for that BBM functionality, but it would've been much better to
have a dedicated BBM app right on the PlayBook itself.
To do right
what once went wrong: that is what the BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 set out to
do, and that is what it did. The PlayBook in its original incarnation was a
device that couldn't function wholly without a BlackBerry smartphone, and
therefore not a standalone device. With the PlayBook OS 2.0, though, the
PlayBook now has a semblance of independence. Inclusions like the dedicated
email client and Android app support allows the PlayBook to be fully functional
and, once again, garnering its lost potentiality. There are also essential
updates to the device's essential apps, which only improves on its performance.
It's not without its flaws, though: BBM is nowhere to be seen, and Android apps
on the App World needed to be given better attention.
to sum it up nicely, we'll say that the PlayBook is truly whole now. The OS is
a quintessential upgrade for every owner, and right now, it may very well be a
good enough reason for you to get it, even if you're not a BlackBerry owner.