RIM's PlayBook software will update with a native email app and other features come February 2012, according to the company.
Research In Motion's long-awaited software update to the
PlayBook isn't due to arrive until February 2012, according to the company.
"We expect to deliver the new BlackBerry PlayBook OS to
customers in February 2012," David Smith, RIM's senior vice president of
BlackBerry PlayBook, wrote in a post published on RIM's official
Oct. 25, "and we'll continue to keep you updated as we
progress to the launch."
He also described the decision to wait on the PlayBook OS
2.0 launch as a "difficult" one, driven by a need to be "confident we have
fully met the expectations of our developers, enterprise customers and
The update will add integrated email, a "new video store,"
calendar and contact apps, and better tethering between tablet and a user's
BlackBerry. On the enterprise side of things, RIM is apparently tweaking the
PlayBook's manageability options and enterprise application deployment. The
updated software will also include a separate area within BlackBerry App World
for enterprise applications.
However, a BlackBerry Messenger application native to the
PlayBook is apparently not forthcoming in the near future. "We have decided to
defer the inclusion of the BBM application to a subsequent BlackBerry PlayBook
OS release," Smith wrote. "We are committed to developing a seamless BBM
solution that fully delivers on the powerful, push based messaging capabilities
recognized today by BlackBerry users around the world."
Will the PlayBook software update coincide with RIM's
planned release of BBX, the QNX-based operating system designed to replace the
long-running BlackBerry OS? So far, RIM has offered precious few details about
BBX's user interface or release date.
However, at least according to an Oct. 18 statement released
by RIM, BBX will apparently "support applications developed using any of the
tools available today for the BlackBerry PlayBook ... including native SDK, Adobe
AIR/Flash and WebWorks/HTML5, as well as the BlackBerry Runtime for Android
RIM hopes an upcoming generation of "superphones" running
BBX will help the company regain traction as a viable competitor to Apple iOS
and Google Android. Research firm Nielsen estimated RIM's share of the U.S.
smartphone market at 18 percent through August, behind both Google Android (43
percent) and Apple iOS (28 percent) but well ahead of Microsoft (8 percent).
Microsoft is pouring millions of dollars into making Windows Phone the
smartphone space's third major ecosystem, and both Android and iOS have made
significant inroads within the business community over the past several
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