RIM introduced its BlackBerry PlayBook Video Chat application and Facebook for BlackBerry PlayBook app here at BlackBerry World May 2. The apps are coming over the air in a QNX upgrade.
ORLANDO, Fla.-Research In Motion May 2 rolled out native
video chat and Facebook applications for its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet
at the BlackBerry World developer's conference here.
RIM's new PlayBook launched April 19 to tepid reviews from mobile
device experts, but sales of the 7-inch tablet are reportedly solid, if
unspectacular, out of the gate.
While Apple's iPad set the bar high for tablet debuts, selling
millions of units in its opening day, analysts believe the PlayBook
sold 50,000 units its first day. The new PlayBook apps are intended to
appeal to consumers and enterprise workers alike.
The BlackBerry PlayBook Video Chat application lets users
make and receive video calls between PlayBook tablets over a WiFi connection,
while the Facebook app is optimized for the PlayBook's 7-inch high-resolution
and LCD display.
Both apps are available as part of the PlayBook's new
1.0.3 version of its QNX operating system, which will be available as an
over-the-air upgrade May 3, said Alan Panezic, vice president of software for
Panezic said the apps join the more than 3,000 apps developed
for the PlayBook in the BlackBerry App World store, which has faced
criticism from developers, who find it difficult to work with RIM's
The PlayBook Video Chat app offers users one-click video calls from
their Video Chat contact list or their log of recent calls, or by entering the BlackBerry
ID email address of the person they want to call.
Like Skype, Google Talk and other video chat apps, users will
receive a notification pop-up when a new video call comes in, and may also set
the "Do Not Disturb" option to let the PlayBook ignore incoming
Users may also preview their own video image before
placing a call so they have an idea how they will be viewed by the person they
call, and switch cameras from front to rear so their friends can see what they
The Video Chat app will be sent over-the-air to existing
BlackBerry PlayBook customers May 3, and will also be available for download on
BlackBerry App World.
The PlayBook Facebook app lets PlayBook users view and
add friends from a grid view of profile pictures and pages; comment and "like"
pictures on those profile pages; access and update their News Feed; and use Facebook
Chat with notifications appearing in the notifications bar of the slate.
Users may also upload photos from the BlackBerry PlayBook
Picture Library, tag friends in photos, and connect to an HD TV to display Facebook
photos and videos in full 1080p HD.
While the Facebook for BlackBerry PlayBook application
will be showcased this week at the show here, it won't be available on BlackBerry App
World until later this month.
The PlayBook apps were introduced an hour after RIM officials
revealed the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and 9930 smartphones, the first
smartphones running the company's new BlackBerry 7 OS.