Blackberry Playbook 2.0 OS released

It's taken a long while but today, owners of the Blackberry Playbook tablet now have a major new operating system update to play with. Research in Motion announce today that the 2.0 version of the Playbook tablet is now available for automatic download. The update was originally scheduled for launch by the end of 2011 but RIM decided to delay its launch until this month.

One of the biggest new features, and one which really should have been included in the Playbook since it was first released in April 2011, is a dedicated email client. Playbook users can now check out all of their emails via one program, including Facebook and Twitter messages. The 2.0 update also offers up new Calendar and Contact apps.

If you also own a Blackberry-based smartphone, the Playbook 2.0 upgrade offers up a new app called Blackberry Bridge that will allow users to view Blackberry phone apps on the larger seven inch tablet screen via a Bluetooth connection. There's also some new document editing features, an improved virtual keyboard and thousands of new apps to download via Blackberry World, including a number of Android apps that have been ported to work with the Playbook OS.

While the 2.0 update will certainly be a welcome one for current Playbook owners, it's questionable whether or not it will boost new sales of the tablet. RIM has already been trying to unload its current inventory via price cuts but so far they don't seem to be making much headway.

Image via RIM

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27 Comments

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I am going to tell you this. I personally have been looking for a tablet that I can use for work. Something I can tether with my work Blackberry phone. I was reluctant to buy a Playbook due to all the negative reviews I read about the OS. Everyone that reviewed the Playbook said the same thing. The hardware is spot on. Dual core CPU, 1GB memory, dual HD cameras. Great hardware but badly designed software. So last night I saw that RIM released v2.0 of its OS and I decide to give it a try this time. Everyone deserves a second chance so why not.

I am quite impressed with it. That sucker is fast. I set up my work Exchange email in a snap. Works beautifully. I haven't tried tethering the Blackberry to it yet but I am as soon as I'm done typing all this. I don't have an Aircard and typing notes in a Blackberry phone is very difficult and annoying so we were told at work we can either tether the phone to the work laptop (which is bulky as hell) or use the phone's keyboard (which is horrible) so I figured I get a Playbook since the price is not bad and give it a shot.

The OS looks absolutely beautiful. Very responsive. The Apps can be uninstalled (unlike Android apps that come with purchased tablets, which cannot be removed unless you Root the OS...Ridiculous if you ask me, but Oh well.), Anyways, I liked that about the Playbook and RIM, they don't force you to keep the apps that come with the OS so I immediately removed Twitter, Need For Speed and some other useless junk I found since I am only going to use it for business.

So far, so good. The tablet is behaving well. I did notice the back gets a bit hot when recharging but once its done charging and you remove the charger, it gets cold again.

Will let you know about the tethering and how it behaves later. Going to play with it now for a bit.

UPDATE: Well I connected (tethered) my work phone to it and it did it in a snap. Works flawlessly. Excellent, now I can finally enter my work notes and see and reply to my work emails on something I can actually type on!!!....LOL

Tweaky Nippleton said,
This oughta make all 20 Playbook owners happy.

20 paying owners you mean. RIM has been giving tons of Playbooks away for free.

John,
I have read your "article" and its so riddled with omissions and inconsistencies I don't even know where to start.
I can say is very obvious that you've never used a Playbook when you post something as ignorant as:
"offers up a new app called Blackberry Bridge"
BlackBerry Bridge has been out since day one. There was many improvments like "View on Playbook" support for video's, audio, pictures and documents which you touch on. However, you didn't cover remote the ability to take your BlackBerry phone and use it as a bluetooth keyboard. Not only does this work on Playbooks but you can controll android tablets or even your PS3 with this feature? Funny not mentioned in your "article" I could live with this if it were your only omission.
What about? The brand new GUI, Video store for US customers, A2DP Bluetooth audo support, New Video chat integrated into your address book, Enterprise managment via BlackBerry fusion, MKV support, Print to go, Press Reader (access to >500 worldwide new papers), Inproved docs to go. Hmm I didn't see any of that in your "article" either.
If you're not familiar with a topic why even write about it? This is pi$$ poor journalism at its best.
Why not actually use one and post something constructive instead of going over to BGR/engadget and cutting/pasting whatever you got from there?
Am I a fan boy? You bet. Is this unit perfect? Not even close. But this is a vast improvement from where the unit sat yesterday.
Try to learn something about a product before you write an "article" about it...

It's very good. Got it this morning and it really improved the overall UI ... the Messages app with integrated email, facebook, linkedin, etc. is also fantastic! So is the calendar app that integrates with facebook, etc.

It could but only if you had a blackberry phone.

Some of you should really try one before blindly bashing it. I was a blackberry hater before but QNX is great.

matt4pack said,

Some of you should really try one before blindly bashing it. I was a blackberry hater before but QNX is great.

haters gonna hate.

Seriously though I agree with you. Too many people forming and sharing opinions based on reading other peoples comments. Even before this update I thought this was a great little device and now its even better.

v2.0 adds an email client, contacts apps and calendar app?? Are you seriously telling me that they released a tablet that couldn't do email, contacts and calendar out of the box? :shocked:

TCLN Ryster said,
v2.0 adds an email client, contacts apps and calendar app?? Are you seriously telling me that they released a tablet that couldn't do email, contacts and calendar out of the box? :shocked:
well you could access any of those thru a browser but yes, no native app. not the case anymore!

TCLN Ryster said,
v2.0 adds an email client, contacts apps and calendar app?? Are you seriously telling me that they released a tablet that couldn't do email, contacts and calendar out of the box? :shocked:

Yup. Amazing huh?

TruckWEB said,
So now, in the $199 game, you can get a Playbook 16Gb or a Nook 8Gb or a Kindle Fire...

RIM offering now seem better....

Why pay $199 for a brick ? RIM won't last until the end of the year.

alexalex said,
Why pay $199 for a brick ? RIM won't last until the end of the year.

Even if that was the case, the hardware isn't going to suddenly stop working.

mdtaUK said,
Looks like someone has taken a play out of the Windows Metro style Book...

everyone is using it, first google and now blackberry.

mdtaUK said,
Looks like someone has taken a play out of the Windows Metro style Book...

That's ONLY the App World, and it looks a helluva lot better looking than anything MS has done with the Metro. I'd say it's closer to the Android Market than the Tiles MS has gone with. I am saying this as a playbook owner who has upgraded to 2.0

Great news! Now, bring us BBM to android!

BB OS may suck right now, but it has undoubtedly the best messaging system, and I would really like to see an Android Port, even if that conveys to pay extra (if the data plan doesn't include it) to use it.

Jose_49 said,
Great news! Now, bring us BBM to android!

BB OS may suck right now, but it has undoubtedly the best messaging system, and I would really like to see an Android Port, even if that conveys to pay extra (if the data plan doesn't include it) to use it.

The best messaging system? Good lord no.

Jose_49 said,
Great news! Now, bring us BBM to android!

BB OS may suck right now, but it has undoubtedly the best messaging system, and I would really like to see an Android Port, even if that conveys to pay extra (if the data plan doesn't include it) to use it.

Out of genuine curiosity, what is so special about BBM that makes it "the best messaging system"?

Jose_49 said,
Great news! Now, bring us BBM to android!

BB OS may suck right now, but it has undoubtedly the best messaging system, and I would really like to see an Android Port, even if that conveys to pay extra (if the data plan doesn't include it) to use it.


what exactly makes it better, than say fb chat, or wlm, or ichat, or what's app, or 'insert Any chat app here'. I just don't get what's so good about bbm?

duddit2 said,

what exactly makes it better, than say fb chat, or wlm, or ichat, or what's app, or 'insert Any chat app here'. I just don't get what's so good about bbm?

For phones, I mean.
Let me be clear, the only app that lets you create groups with lots of functionality: picture sharing, chat, lists, and see the people who are on the group is the bbm (AFAIK). It lets you search quite fast for people through thumbnail size pictures (I know this feature has lots of other apps), and it doesn't let anyone start writing garbage unless you have him added (Vs. Win Live (This last sentence)). (Again, AFAIK)

One more thing: Right now, in my country is the only thing it is used. It's the only app that has an actual data plan.

I would like to dish my black berry and get myself another cellphone, but that's the only app is preventing me to do so. SMS and Phone calls are very expensive, and I wouldn't like seeing my bill over 200$ for sending gibberish SMS and Phone Calls.

duddit2 said,

what exactly makes it better, than say fb chat, or wlm, or ichat, or what's app, or 'insert Any chat app here'. I just don't get what's so good about bbm?

it states when the message has been delivered and when its been read. Its realtime messaging and fairly secure (til RIM bend over to cops) Its also free to use (no data charges from telcos) its included in the blackberry addon (O2 definately)
http://uk.blackberry.com/services/blackberrymessenger/

Jose_49 said,
Great news! Now, bring us BBM to android!

BB OS may suck right now, but it has undoubtedly the best messaging system.

No, Windows Phone has the best messaging system.