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BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2 Review

OS 2 is just released. This is a big plus for those who had bought their BlackBerry PlayBook tablet last year and earlier this year where RIM had a super sale. This free OS update that you can download makes the PlayBook a real competitor to Android tablets and iPad. Likewise, it made the PlayBook a tablet with almost complete features. If only they included the USB on-the-go (OTG) feature where you can easily connect your external hard drive or flash disk, then, i'm solved. Here's my mini-review:


Gone are the grouping of apps by all, favorite and games tab. These are now replaced my unnamed home screens designated by a small square like in Android and iOS. Apps can be grouped now by simply dragging to another app thus creating a folder. This is great in organizing specially if you have so many apps. By doing this, I only have 2 home screen, the 1st home screen is for my main app and 2nd home screen is for apps that I don't use often. Now, at a glance and without vertical scrolling, I can easily navigate to folders and launch apps.

Native E-mail

Native e-mail (Messages) now includes Facebook And Linkedin integration. Your Facebook messages will be also included. I haven't try the Linkedin feauture. To enable this feature, you only need to provide your Facebook and Linkedin user name and password. I would say it is now better to read e-mails natively unlike previously, where you have to open it in your browser. The user interface and fonts are much bigger. One thing I notice is when I have written a draft e-mail and saved it in my PlayBook, it will not show on Gmail's web interface.

Native Calendar and Contact

Calendar and Contact app is also integrated with your Gmail and Facebook account. You can now see your Facebook friends' birthday automatically as well as your Gmail's contacts. This is a neat feature.

Ported Android App

I hope many developers will port their Android apps to App World. It seems that Android apps are hard to find in App World. The only way to know is that you know it's name. Perhaps it will give a favoritism for Android ported apps that is why it is not easily distinguishable.

Now my question is why RIM took so long (10 months) to release this much needed features. It should be included on the initial release. There is a rumour that they will release PlayBook 2 later this year with upgraded processor and support for 4G sim card. I hope there will be more software enhancements such as better Internet browser, availability of popular apps, full featured office apps and UI customization such as widgets. Either way, RIM will surely give incremental updates before going to OS 3 or possibly BB OS 10.


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