RIM not sitting still with PlayBook

RIM went out of its way to not just demonstrate the BlackBerry PlayBook's current capabilities but to give users a taste of what the PlayBook will be capable of in the near future

Research in Motion doesn't want you to judge the PlayBook by its first-edition cover.

During multiple demonstrations at BlackBerry World this morning, RIM went out of its way to not just demonstrate the BlackBerry PlayBook's current capabilities but to give users a taste of what the PlayBook will be capable of in the near future. The demonstrations of future PlayBook capabilities came in the wake of mixed reviews for the tablet that praised its hardware capabilities but found that certain key features were missing in the initial offering.

DEBATE: Apple iPad or Blackberry PlayBook for the enterprise?

The PlayBook's native corporate email and calendar applications were the most anticipated new features demonstrated today, as RIM announced the applications will be pushed out to the PlayBook this summer. While the email and calendar applications largely mirrored the email and calendar applications currently found on BlackBerry smartphones, they were surely a sight for sore eyes for PlayBook users who don't own a BlackBerry smartphone capable of syncing up to the tablet.

Currently, the PlayBook can only access corporate email and calendars through a Bluetooth "bridge" connection to a BlackBerry smartphone. While this might be all well and good to those users who are dedicated BlackBerry fans, the lack of stand-alone email threatened to impose serious limitations on any PlayBook user who doesn't own a BlackBerry smartphone already.

In addition to getting widely anticipated corporate communications tools, the PlayBook will also have its search and mapping functions primarily powered by Microsoft's Bing search engine by the end of the year. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, making a surprise appearance at BlackBerry World, said that integrating Bing deeply into BlackBerry devices would "provide an intelligence and organizing layer the in cloud that connects a user's intentions with actions to help people be more productive."

In a short demonstration of Bing's future integration into BlackBerry devices, Microsoft engineer Blaise Aguera y Arcas showed how Bing automatically appeared on the BlackBerry's home screen to deliver location-based information immediately to users. In this particular case, Bing was delivering information on stores, restaurants and special deals located in the Marriott World Center in Orlando, where this week's BlackBerry World is taking place.

"We're not just thinking about Bing as an app but as a highly integrated experience," said Aguera y Arcas. "You shouldn't think of our search as just Web search because it includes the ability to use cameras and microphones to do modal searches that can bring local content and personal content to the glass."

RIM also demonstrated several third-party applications designed specifically for the PlayBook, including a new Facebook app, SAP's business-management application and 7Digital's music store application. More significantly, RIM also debuted its Android Player application that will be able to emulate mobile applications designed for Google's Android platform. RIM said that users can simply download Android-based applications directly from BlackBerry App World and can then run them using the emulator. While RIM will still retain control over which Android apps it allows onto its App World, this will significantly boost the number of applications available on the PlayBook, especially as developers begin creating more applications for Android 3.0 ("Honeycomb") that are designed specifically for tablet-sized screens.

Finally and most importantly, RIM announced that Rovio would have a PlayBook-tailored version of its popular and ubiquitous "Angry Birds" game this summer. Now PlayBook users can join iPad and Motorola Xoom users in wasting hours of time launching wrecking-ball-caliber feathered beasts at smarmy green pigs. What tablet experience would be complete without that?

Read more about data center in Network World's Data Center section.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Configuration / maintenanceAppleresearch in motionPChardware systemsData Center

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Brad Reed

Network World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?