In January we brought you news that Research In Motion was showing off the new BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 at CES. Well, it looks like the day PlayBook owners have long been waiting for has finally arrived. RIM has announced the release of BlackBerry PlayBook 2.0, the latest operating system for their BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. The new software brings a host of new – and many long overdue – features to the tablet.
The new PlayBook 2.0 features built-in email, calendar, and contact management functions. The PlayBook’s lack of these features when it launched nearly a year ago was one of the main sources of the often fierce criticism of the device. Given BlackBerry’s intense focus on the enterprise market – which it is rapidly losing to iOS and Android anyway – the lack of basic email, calendar, and contact functionality in the PlayBook struck many as ridiculous.
Other features of the device look more like genuine advances, rather than BlackBerry playing catchup. These include social integration with contacts and calendars, and BlackBerry Bridge, which allows users to control their PlayBooks using their BlackBerry phones. The update also includes Open On, a feature that allows users to open files that they receive on their BlackBerry phone on their PlayBook. Open On is compatible with several file formats, including Microsoft Office and PDF.
In addition to the features added to PlayBook, BlackBerry App World is getting a boost of its own. A new feature called RunTime, which we reported on late last month, allows Android developers to quickly and easily repackage their apps so that they will run on PlayBook OS 2.0 tablets, and on phones running the forthcoming BlackBerry 10 operating system. With the launch of PlayBook OS 2.0 today, Android apps repackaged with RunTime go live in App World today.
PlayBook OS 2.0 can be downloaded directly to the PlayBook tablet. Check under “Updates” on the tablet’s “Settings” screen.
A few days ago BlackBerry released a video showcasing the social integration features of PlayBook 2.0. Check it out below:
Have you downloaded PlayBook OS 2.0? What do you think of it? Let us know in the comments.