BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 Walkthrough

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Here are my impressions. This has been long awaited, and so far so good. We’ve previously covered some of the highlighted pre-launch updates (see CES 2012), including:

Resident calendar app – warning, if you have a lot of Facebook friends, their birthdays flood the calendar. Since the number for the date gets larger by number of events, the calendar goes nuts with all of the Facebook birthdays and events.

Resident email app – great so far. I set up a friend’s Playbook for her. She has no BlackBerry to bridge to. It synched via Wi-Fi no problem. But if you do Bridge to a BlackBerry, then you can compose and send from the Playbook, no Wi-Fi, and it will use your mobile data from your handset.

Social media integration with the above (limit of 1 twitter, 1 LinkedIn, and 1 Facebook) again, watch out for battery.

Deck for 6 favorite apps for ease of access

Create folders with potentially unlimited app content

Print to go – send documents from pc to playbook. Basically this sets up an additional “printer” on your pc. When you print a document, and send to the “Print to go” printer, a PDF of the document is sent to your Playbook. There aren’t menu options to proceed to printing. So why call it “Print to go”, if technically nothing was printed?

Video chat quality has suffered so far, comparing before and after the 2.0 update. The new version has a more crisp view of your own scenery, but the view of the person you’re talking to is more pixelated.

On the plus side, the video chat contact list got better. Pre-update, you would create a contact using the email address of the other person with a Playbook. Post update, there is a dedicated video contact list, and it recognized two other people in my contact list, showing them capable of video chat (from Playbook to Playbook).

 

Bridge Browser – At first I thought that the bridge browser disappeared. This would be the version of browser used when you opened a link from an email residing on your handheld bb. Without wifi-access, you could still web browse, but it would use your handheld data package. Post-update, this is still the case, but just without the label “Bridge Browser”

Thank heavens for the Bold bridge update to view.2.0.0.25, which came a few days after the Playbook update. Due to all the account integration (at one point I had 3 email, twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn accounts all active.) they were constantly syncing. Well the battery drained within a few hours. After the handheld update, there have been no noticeable issues. Along with the Bold update was the Remote Control. From the handset, you can direct the Playbook, or rather, use the handset as a mouse. So what practical use does it have?

Next is addressing music. I have a few of my must have playlists. These were loaded using BlackBerry Desktop manager. What I’ve noticed since the update is that the songs are not in the same order as their original version. A few seem to be in order by artist, yet still not alphabetically. There also doesn’t appear to be setting to change this, other than shuffle.

Sideloaded Android apps – the ones that I haven’t bothered to use are the ones that pull user data from Androids. So far, from the ones I’ve tried, it doesn’t convert to pulling info from playbook, meaning the data its trying to retrieve, it can’t find since there’s no Android.

But this brings us to a common question, you can still use a Playbook if you don’t use a BlackBerry. Yes! Email, calendar, social media, apps, camera, video can all be used as normal. The limitations would be no video chat to another Playbook, but use alternate apps, and no “bridge” to your handset. I’m sure there may be a few more, but these are what most folks care about. Overall, the 2.0 does make it a competitive tablet, but just not as high profile. Randomly, the syncing and opening of applications slows down, which some chalk up to being typical to RIM devices.

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