BlackBerry Upgrades PlayBook

Alex Spencer

RIM has released BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0, adding a host of features for the Tablet device. Available as a free software update, OS 2.0 offers an integrated email client with a unified inbox, displaying Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter messages along with emails, supported with a calendar and contact cards drawing together information from social networks. The update also extends the app functionality of the device, and is accompanied by the launch of a BlackBerry Video Store.

It's a much-needed update, reckons Craig Cartier, analyst for ICT practice at Frost & Sullivan – but has it come too late?

“Playbook 2.0 is what the first Playbook software should have been, from a company which stakes its brand on messaging strength - with tightly integrated calendar, email, and contacts. 2.0 will also address a major Playbook deficiency, in apps. The updated software will support Android applications repackaged for sale in BlackBerry AppWorld. This still requires developer effort, but certainly not to the degree that entirely rewriting an Android application for Blackberry would,” he told Mobile Marketing. “The Playbook updates are sorely needed, and should have a positive effect on both Playbook sales and RIM’s brand perception. And the brand will need that boost, as the new Playbook software seems to be the only major update coming from RIM until the much anticipated – and much delayed – BlackBerry 10, due in the latter part of 2012. Half a year in the smartphone space is an eternity, however. Too little too late for RIM? Only time, and customer response, will tell.”