RIM Releases PlayBook Software Upgrade

by Jordan Richardson on February 22, 2012

Research In Motion has unveiled their much-publicized software update for the PlayBook. The update was made available for users to download on Tuesday.

The PlayBook OS 2.0 update is free to download for users over a wireless connection and attempts to remedy the problems many encountered with the first incarnation of the tablet. One of the key problems, the lack of native email, has been fixed with a new integrated email inbox that includes various social media feeds. Also included is predictive typing.

There’s also the updated BlackBerry Bridge application, which allows the PlayBook to connect to the Internet securely through a shared connection.

PlayBook 2.0 also features the ability to finally run some of the apps from the Google Android pool. The trouble here, according to CNET’s Roger Cheng, is that “the breadth of Android apps will be limited by number and platform capabilities.”

One of the ways RIM could overcome this problem is with more dedication to native apps, but it’s been hard to net developers thanks to the poorly-selling tablet’s lack of upside. If this update nets the PlayBook some positive buzz, it could transform the fortunes of the struggling Waterloo firm.

The question now is if the upgrade is enough or if it’s too little too late.  The much-delayed 2.0 had tremendous hype to live up to and it doesn’t appear that the tinkering under the hood is enough. RIM will still move some PlayBooks thanks to its low, low prices, but it doesn’t appear that this unit is muscular enough to come close to unseating Apple as the tablet king.

“If they’d had this in there when it launched, I have no doubt they would have been able to meet their sales target of a million PlayBooks by now,” said Queen’s University technology professor John Pliniussen. “They’ve sold 800,000 of these things. What were those people doing with it? They called it the PlayBook, but there was nothing to play with. I really wonder why they bothered launching it. It wasn’t priced very well, and it didn’t do anything different than its competitors.”

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Written by: Jordan Richardson. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSSTwitterFacebook, or YouTube.

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