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Summary:

RIM is showing off BlackBerry 2.0 for the PlayBook so I got a quick video look. Native email is nice as are new social integrations and ported games. The software makes the PlayBook better, but with poor sales throughout 2011, will anyone care in 2012?

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Officially due out in a free update next month, Research In Motion is showing off its BlackBerry PlayBook 2.0 software at the Consumer Electronics Show. The update will address some initial shortcomings and missing features for RIM’s tablet that have hampered sales throughout 2011.

This quick video look shows off the new native email app, which looks to be well done, complete with a unified Inbox. There are also some new games that were ported from Android over to BlackBerry 2.0. I haven’t yet seen the Android player software that will let the Playbook run a subset of Android applications.

I also heard about, but didn’t see, the feature that will let you use your BlackBerry phone as a type of remote control for the PlayBook. By bridging the handset over a wireless Bluetooth connection, you can push docs, data or a web page from the small screen to a big screen.

With only a limited look at PlayBook 2.0, I’m reserving judgment at the moment, but I can say that the upgrade refines the experience by adding key features needed and more social networking tools. The issue is that such functionality is late and may only appeal to the current PlayBook audience, which is likely fewer than 1.5 million people.

Will it be enough to expand the PlayBook user base? I don’t think so, at least not in a meaningful number, but perhaps the new OS update coupled with more marketing and aggressive pricing will increase the PlayBook’s appeal.

  1. Curious if they’ve fixed the BT tethering issues with notebooks – I’d like to transfer files wirelessly between the two as I can with my smartphone. I agree with you in that PIM functionality alone won’t be enough for me to grab one.

    I was actually amused to see their booth at CES this year given the poor overall consensus around the PlayBook. They really should have done their homework and released the original with better capabilities.

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  2. this article is already outdated and I just read it. I saw how the remote keyboard and mouse and printing capabilities work, and I am not even at CES. It’s on crackberry.com.

    ps i read this article and sent this reply from blackberry news on my playbook.

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  3. It’s interesting how despite everyhing they are still pushing it as an enterprise tablet.

    I am sure if they focused more on Android app support they could do really well in the general tablet market. Most people seem to agree that the hardware is good (and great value at the current pricing) and that the OS is smooth and intuitive, but the biggest drawback for the leisure consumer is the lack of apps.

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