Looks like the rumors were right. Today RIM has announced that the BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 update is now available for download, bringing with it a bevy of new features. One of the most notable new features is native email support with a unified inbox, allowing users to access their messages without needing to own a BlackBerry smartphone to link to the tablet first. Other new goodies packed into PlayBook OS 2.0 include calendar and contacts apps, support for "a range of Android apps" in the BlackBerry App World, and Open On, a feature that allows users to open documents, photos, and links from a BlackBerry smartphone onto the PlayBook.
The PlayBook OS 2.0 update is a major one for RIM's tablet that adds features that many users have been clamoring for since launch. The wait for the update's arrival may have seemed like a long one for owners of the PlayBook, but it's good to see that it's finally hit the 7-inch BlackBerry slate. If you've got a PlayBook and haven't gotten notification of the update, head on into your Settings menu and click Software Updates, then hit Check for Updates. Once all of you PlayBook folk finish installing OS 2.0 and get to spend a few minutes playing around with it, don't forget to come on back and tell us all about how it's working for you in the comments below. We'll be here waiting.
BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 Available Today
New OS delivers an enriched user experience for BlackBerry PlayBook tablet users
Waterloo, ON - Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ: RIMM; TSX: RIM) announced that the new BlackBerry® PlayBook™ OS 2.0 will be released for download today. BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 delivers an enhanced tablet experience and allows you to use the BlackBerry PlayBook in new ways throughout the day - at work and at play.
“Building on the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet’s proven web browsing, multimedia and multitasking strengths, the new BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 introduces a range of new communications and productivity enhancements as well as expanded app and content support,” said David J. Smith, SVP Mobile Computing, Research In Motion.
New BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 features include:
Integrated email client with a powerful unified inbox: With BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 you have the option to use a unified inbox that consolidates all messages in one place, including messages from Facebook®, LinkedIn® and Twitter®, as well as personal and work email accounts.
Social Integration with Calendar and Contacts apps: The built-in calendar harnesses information from social networks and makes it available where and when users need it. Contact cards are also dynamically populated with updated information from Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to create a consolidated view of contacts.
Updated BlackBerry Bridge app: BlackBerry® Bridge™ is a unique app that provides a Bluetooth® connection between your BlackBerry PlayBook and core apps on your BlackBerry® smartphone (including BBM™, Email, Contacts, Calendar and Browser) in order to let you view the content on the larger tablet display. With BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0, it’s easier and quicker than ever to take documents, web pages, emails and photos that appear on your BlackBerry smartphone and display them on your BlackBerry PlayBook for an optimized viewing and editing experience. The updated BlackBerry Bridge app also provides a new remote control feature that allows a BlackBerry smartphone to be used as a wireless keyboard and mouse for a BlackBerry PlayBook.
Improved mobile productivity: Updated document editing functions, the new Print To Go app, and increased control and manageability of corporate data with BlackBerry® Balance ™ allow you to get more out of your BlackBerry PlayBook every day. Plus, an updated virtual keyboard with auto correction and predictive next word completion learns how you type to enable faster, more accurate typing.
New apps and content: Thousands of new apps are being added to BlackBerry App World™ today (including a range of Android® apps that will run on the BlackBerry PlayBook). A new BlackBerry Video Store1 is launching today. Enhanced web browsing capabilities are also available with BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0.
In conjunction with the release of BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0, RIM is making available an initial release of BlackBerry® Mobile Fusion that will include support for managing BlackBerry PlayBook tablets and BlackBerry smartphones2 in an enterprise. The full release of BlackBerry Mobile Fusion (with mobile device management capabilities for iOS and Android devices) is planned for general availability in late March 2012. For more information about BlackBerry Mobile Fusion, please visit www.blackberry.com/mobilefusion.
The BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 software update is now available as a free download for all BlackBerry PlayBook tablets.
Additional Reference Material
Inside BlackBerry blog post
BlackBerry PlayBook web page
BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 - How to Video
Developer’s Getting Started web page
1) BlackBerry Video Store will initially be available in the United States. Support for other countries is expected to be added later this year.
2) BlackBerry Mobile Fusion Studio can be used to manage BlackBerry smartphones through a single unified console, supporting devices activated on BlackBerry Enterprise Server version 5.0.3 or later.
About Research In Motion
Research In Motion (RIM), a global leader in wireless innovation, revolutionized the mobile industry with the introduction of the BlackBerry® solution in 1999. Today, BlackBerry products and services are used by millions of customers around the world to stay connected to the people and content that matter most throughout their day. Founded in 1984 and based in Waterloo, Ontario, RIM operates offices in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America. RIM is listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market (NASDAQ: RIMM) and the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: RIM). For more information, visit www.rim.com or www.blackberry.com.