Enterprise Mobility: BlackBerry PlayBook Multitasking Shines with Simultaneous Video Play
ORLANDO, Fla.Research In Motion has taken a lot of heat for its BlackBerry PlayBook, the 7-inch tablet that launched April 19 in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions. Reviewers who tested the device early knocked it for lacking native BlackBerry email, calendar and contacts. Instead, the WiFi-powered slate shipped with a BlackBerry Bridge feature that wirelessly tethers a user's BlackBerry smartphone to deliver messaging functionality to the tablet. The PlayBook took center stage May 2 here at BlackBerry World, and of course the question of when the PlayBook will get native messaging arose. Alan Panezic, vice president of software at RIM, said the PlayBook will indeed receive native messaging integration later this year. That should sew up that issue for enterprise users. But what about consumers? BlackBerry is a universally accepted enterprise brand, but RIM's inability to adapt the platform and its devices for consumers has been a major Achilles' heel. Panezic, who crisply executed his one-hour demo on a PlayBook, introduced the PlayBook Video Chat and Facebook for PlayBook apps, which should satisfy both corporate road warriors and consumers as the lines between both are increasingly blurring. Also, eWEEK learned some neat PlayBook multitasking tricks from a RIM demonstration here to see what distinguishes the PlayBook from its iPad and Android tablet rivals. Check them out in this slideshow.