BlackBerry PlayBook set for new OS in February

by Dale Wright

Did you snap up a cut-price BlackBerry PlayBook in the January sales? Prices on BlackBerry’s first tablet have recently dropped like a stone, but some users were still disappointed with the software that the tablet ships with – despite the bargain price.

Blackberry Playbook

The PlayBook was criticised heavily on release for lacking basic features such as an email client, a contacts app or a calendar. Despite many rumours that it would support Android apps, it didn’t. Most people saw this as a huge hurdle for RIM to overcome, and they were right. Although the PlayBook hardware was attractive and the small size was a plus point, many users found it to lack some of the most basic functionality that makes tablet PCs useful. Prices have since been slashed to try to shift stock in the US and UK.

RIM, the makers of the PlayBook, have announced that a version 2.0 software revision will be released to PlayBook users in February. It will have that all-important support for Android apps at last, making it more of a contender to the Amazon Kindle Fire in the US. Users will be able to download a much wider range of apps and will have more control over what their device can do.

Aside from more integration with Android apps, RIM have reportedly improved the functionality of the QNX OS as well. Users will now be able to create folders on the home screen to group app icons together, and messaging through email and social networking has been combined into one notification area. The text input function now offers auto-correction, and much like Apple, RIM are reportedly moving towards cloud syncing.

The PlayBook could become a very capable tablet once version 2 of the OS is released. Being able to rent movies on a 7” screen is an attractive option for people who travel a lot and find that their iPhone or smartphone is slightly too small for comfortable viewing. With the addition of all the basics the PlayBook was missing, those who grabbed a bargain this month should be in for a treat.

Do you think RIM has time to save the BlackBerry PlayBook? Will you be getting a Playbook Case? let us know in the comments below…