For quite some time now (ever since the release of the PlayBook, really), RIM has been meaning to make an OS update. When first sent to market, the PlayBook didn’t have a calendar or an email application, so the only way to access these features was to use a BlackBerry phone. Seemingly, RIM assumed that the PlayBook itself would be enough to entice people to purchase BlackBerry phones just to use the tablet, but this agenda didn’t quite pan out.
Instead, many consumers gave up on the PlayBook altogether and those who had already purchased the PlayBook weren’t thrilled with the lack of basic functions (understandable and justifiably). Today, RIM has finally rectified this mistake by releasing the updated OS 2.0. As you might have guessed, this version of PlayBook OS comes with both email and a calendar.
Included In the New OS
Aside from email and calendar features, RIM is showcasing an OS 2.0 video that shows social media integration. When viewing the video (available on the RIM website), it’s clear to see that RIM is target it’s main audience, business professionals, by showcasing how the PlayBook works with LinkedIn. In addition to LinkedIn, RIM is also offering users quick integration with Facebook and Twitter.
A new feature called PlayBook Bridge is also worth mentioning. This feature allows users to switch from a BlackBerry screen to a PlayBook screen in a flash. As you might have guessed, this feature will come in handy for those who currently have a BlackBerry device. At first glance, the new OS 2.0 looks fairly solid, and it’s certainly an updated that RIM needed to produce.
Integration, Targeting, and Focus
When summarizing the new OS 2.0, it’s clear that RIM has spent a lot of time focusing on the company’s current target market, which is a good plan, since RIM has a solid following of business professionals already (I’m also really glad that RIM decided to keep the new BlackBerry superheroes out of the picture this time around). The PlayBook will still work best if a user has an existing BlackBerry phone, but it is now possible to use the tablet without a BlackBerry.
RIM has also decided to include some current Android apps as part of BlackBerry AppWorld. RIM put out a call for Android developers awhile ago, so you can expect to see more Android apps hitting the RIM scene in the near future. If you currently have a PlayBook, you can update to the new OS 2.0 by selecting the “Settings” tab and choosing “Update.” If you don’t have a tablet yet, you might want to take a look at the PlayBook. Really, the PlayBook has been a solid device from the start, even though it did initially lack basic functions. Now that RIM has fixed the OS problems, and seems to be moving forward, the PlayBook will certainly be a tablet for other tablet companies to compete with. Check out full specs on the RIM website today (upgrade now available).