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.