Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The BlackBerry PlayBook is back in the game

When the BlackBerry Playbook first arrived on the tablet scene a little less than a year ago, a few other tablets, such as the iPad, the Motorola Xoom and the Samsung Galaxy Tab were already on the shelves. It was going to be tough to gain some attention.

But the PlayBook was different in that it shunned the Android operating system favored by the iPad competitors and instead choose a spiffy OS from QNX Software Systems. QNX is best known for their in-vehicle and infotainment systems.

The PlayBook was good-looking, but it had a unique trait among other tablets in that it needed to be tethered to a BlackBerry smartphone in order to use the calendar, email and contacts features. It was depended on a Bluetooth connection between the PlayBook and the smartphone, with only a range of about 30 feet.

The fan base didn't latch onto the PlayBook as expected, maybe because of the tethering process and the difficulty in setting it up, especially with all the security steps involved.

The engineers at Research In Motion, or RIM, went back to the drawing board and as today, have released OS 2.0 software to give the PlayBook built-in access to the calendar, email, contacts and updated other features, such as the BlackBerry Bridge software. The Bridge upgrade will allow a BlackBerry smartphone to be used as wireless keyboard and mouse for a BlackBerry PlayBook.

With this new OS upgrade, maybe the PlayBook can make another run at the tablet market, which is even more crowded now with another iPad, another Xoom, more Galaxy Tabs, the Amazon Kindle Fire, more Barnes & Noble Nooks and a host of devices from other manufacturers, such as Acer, Asus and Toshiba.

The PlayBook is back on the field and the game is more competitive than ever.

Click here for a video on how the new BlackBerry OS and a BlackBerry smartphone works together.

BlackBerry Folding Blade Charger for the PlayBook and Smartphones