RIM makes Playbook 2.0 software official, details extensive improvements

Daniel Bader

January 10, 2012 2:31pm

RIM has, as expected, also taken the reins off Playbook 2.0, the upcoming major release for the BlackBerry tablet. Main features will be the addition of a native email and calendar client, as well as improved BlackBerry Bridge support, better browser and document editing. Full details in the press release below and hands-on video on the way.

Las Vegas (CES 2012) – This week at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Research In Motion(RIM) (NASDAQ: RIMM; TSX: RIM) will be previewing new features of BlackBerry® PlayBook™ OS 2.0 that will enable customers to stay even more connected and productive in their personal and professional lives.

“BlackBerry PlayBook is already recognized for delivering powerful performance, true multi-tasking, advanced web browsing and HD multimedia in an ultra-portable design,” said Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO at Research In Motion. “With BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 we are building on this strong foundation, as well as leveraging our strengths in communications, social integration and productivity, to allow people to use their BlackBerry PlayBook in new ways throughout the day.”

CES 2012 attendees who visit the BlackBerry booth at CES (South Hall 3 Booth # 30326) will get a sneak peek of upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 functionality including:

Advanced Messaging Experience:

New unified inbox – a powerful unified inbox within the built-in messaging app allows users to quickly manage their personal email and work email accounts as well as the messaging capabilities of popular social networking sites like Twitter®, LinkedIn® and others – all in one place.

Multi-tasking within email – by extending the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet’s multitasking capabilities to ‘tabbed email’, users are able to reference one email while they compose another.

Rich-text email composing and editing – new features within the Messages app enable users to benefit from full support of fonts, formatting and editing of email threads, offering a robust email experience similar to that of a PC or laptop.

Inbox management tools – allows for powerful inbox search across multiple email accounts, as well as the ability to set out-of-office messages and email signatures directly from their tablet.

Deep Integration of Social Relationships:

Innovative people-centric calendar – in addition to standard calendar features that help users plan and organize their day, the powerful built-in Calendar app provides the unique ability for users to view their calendar by who they are meeting with that day and review valuable information about that contact. Information is consolidated automatically from social networking sites about that contact and/or their company.

Relationship-centric contacts app – more than just an address book, the new built-in Contacts app serves as a social hub – merging and consolidating information from multiple sources (including email and social channels) into one contact file for each person in their address book.  Each contact file includes information such as recent status updates, conversations, related news articles and mutual contacts that are kept up-to-date automatically.

Making Your BlackBerry Smartphone and Tablet a Powerful Pair:

Remote control for the BlackBerry PlayBook – new BlackBerry® Bridge™ features allow a user’s BlackBerry® smartphone to act as a keyboard and mouse for their BlackBerry PlayBook – effectively providing a wireless remote control for their tablet. Perfect for pausing a movie when a BlackBerry PlayBook is plugged in to a TV with an HDMI connection, or for using the tactile QWERTY keyboard on a BlackBerry smartphone to compose a message or document on the BlackBerry PlayBook.

– Opening content on the BlackBerry PlayBook – BlackBerry Bridge allows you to take documents, emails, multimedia files and web pages found on your smartphone and open them quickly and directly on the BlackBerry PlayBook so you can use the larger high resolution display for an optimized viewing and editing experience.

Improved Mobile Productivity:

Updated document editing capabilities – updated Documents To Go® functionality makes it easier for users to create and edit documents while on the go. Improvements include: enhanced support for the virtual keyboard, the ability to view and update embedded charts and chart sheets within spreadsheets, a new formula wizard with over 100 functions as well as the ability to edit presentations including text, bullets and formatting.

Print To Go application – this app allows users to wirelessly “print” from their laptop or PC directly to their BlackBerry PlayBook over Wi-Fi®. A digital printout is created on the BlackBerry PlayBook so that users can view, sort and manage their digital printouts as though they were physical sheets of paper. The Print To Go app is the perfect way to consolidate info from various related sources like a hotel web confirmation, an airline boarding pass email, the show event schedule or even a map of the destination city and make them available for quick access on the go.

Increased control and manageability of corporate data – the combination of BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 with BlackBerry Mobile Fusion and BlackBerry Balance will help to overcome many barriers to widespread tablet deployment, including device manageability and the ability to secure, manage and control confidential corporate information on the device. Plus BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 supports dedicated shelf space inside the BlackBerry® App World™ storefront to allow IT departments to control distribution of enterprise applications and to make those approved enterprise applications easily available to the organization’s end users.

New Apps and Content:

Your favorite apps plus thousands more – many exciting new applications built for the BlackBerry PlayBook will be made available on BlackBerry App World with the availability of BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0. From gaming and lifestyle to business and productivity, RIM is showcasing some of the latest apps available for the BlackBerry PlayBook at CES 2012 including Angry Birds, Cut the Rope, Groupon, Thomson Reuters, Zinio and many more.

– Video store – a catalog of thousands of movies and TV shows will be available through the integrated BlackBerry Video Storefront* with new releases to be made available for purchase or rent the same day they come out on DVD. Users will be able to begin watching media as soon as they start to download the file, so users won’t have to wait for the entire file to transfer before they can enjoy great entertainment on the tablet’s high resolution display, or on an HDTV via the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet’s HDMI output.

Enhanced web browsing – the BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 browser also includes a new reading view, which is designed to make web sites even easier to enjoy by eliminating page clutter at the touch of a button. What’s left is a cleaner format that is great for reading online news articles, blog posts, or websites that contain heavy amounts of text.

The BlackBerry® PlayBook OS 2.0 software update will be available as a free download for all BlackBerry PlayBook users and is expected to be available in February 2012.

* BlackBerry Video Store will initially be available in the United States. Support for other countries is expected to be added later this year.

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.

Forward-looking statements in this news release are made pursuant to the “safe harbor” provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and applicable Canadian securities laws.  When used herein, words such as “expect”, “anticipate”, “estimate”,  “may”,  “will”, “should”, “intend,” “believe”, and similar expressions, are intended to identify forward-looking statements.  Forward-looking statements are based on estimates and assumptions made by RIM in light of its experience and its perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments, as well as other factors that RIM believes are appropriate in the circumstances.  Many factors could cause RIM’s actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, including those described in the “Risk Factors” section of RIM’s Annual Information Form, which is included in its Annual Report on Form 40-F (copies of which filings may be obtained at www.sedar.com or www.sec.gov).  These factors should be considered carefully, and readers should not place undue reliance on RIM’s forward-looking statements.  RIM has no intention and undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

The BlackBerry and RIM families of related marks, images and symbols are the exclusive properties and trademarks of Research In Motion Limited. RIM, Research In Motion and BlackBerry are registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and may be pending or registered in other countries. All other brands, product names, company names, trademarks and service marks are the properties of their respective owners. RIM assumes no obligations or liability and makes no representation, warranty, endorsement or guarantee in relation to any aspect of any third party products or services.

  • Kid.Canada

    Can’t wait till it comes out!! 😀

  • choy

    No mention of running Android apps?

  • mp

    Yes!!!! Sounds great!!!

  • When RIM When?

    When, exactly is this coming?

    How about a date RIM, instead of “February”. Remember how “60 days” and “summer” and “late fall” turned out?

    • 1230mAh

      “RIMM makes software upgrade Official”
      What the hell does that mean?:
      -Is it ready? if it is why can’t I get it NOW?
      -If its coming from RIM its official isnt it?
      -If its REALY coming in Feb, why not COMMIT to a FIRM DATE?
      -Is it February 2013 or 2012??

      I wish Lazaridis could compile BB code the way he talks in Buzz-words-Code!!

  • EvanK

    If this had been available when the PB launched, it would’ve been a kick a*s tablet. Native apps like Email were holding me back from it when I was in the tablet market, it’s a shame that it took so long.

    Anyways, looks great! The Email client looks awesome.

  • TheTigerTek

    I can’t wait… the BlackBerry Remote feature is “Magical” lol. I watched the PlayBook OS 2.0 video… Tab email looks sleek.

  • Adam Jambroni

    No Android emulator? Fail.

  • Real_Deal

    Still no Netflix or Skype?

  • omar

    i want f*****g NETFLIX

    • Sterling

      Netflix isn’t coming! It’s been said many times as well as SKYPE! Hence the RIM Video Store coming out instead

  • Josh

    is the playbook worth buying if you dont have a blackberry phone and if it isn’t worth buying without a blackberry phone then what kinda tablet do u suggest is a good tablet to buy if someone already has a samsung galaxy s2

    • Vishal

      It all depends on what you want to use the tablet for. I have the PlayBook and it’s great. Browsing is top notch, facebook, twitter, lots of cool games and apps.
      the need for a blackberry isn’t there. With your android phone you can still use a wifi hotspot or pair it with bluetooth and boom! shared data plan. having a BlackBerry is only good if you want to use the bridge function, but with the 2.0 update coming soon, you won’t even need that.

  • Johnny Boy

    Yeah, It better be a complete overhaul, cause the playbook just simply sucks right now, I just bought one on sale at 200 $ and IMO its not even worth that much, browser sucks, always freezes, bing maps is useless, cant even find my location… and there is a lot more that sucks…. no wonder it did not sell well at 399 $, i`m thinking of returning it and I only paid 200 $ …. And the app selection simply sucks !!! sorry for the ones who like the playbook, but so far I owned an Ipad, a acer iconia 7″ and a galaxy tab…. I have to say that the playbook is by far the worst one right now !!!!!

  • Tony

    This should have all been in 1.0, too little too late.

  • Mike

    I hope Android Player still makes it for Feb…

    • Sterling

      Android app player is integrated in, the Android apps are ported over and will be available through Appworld.

  • Obstacle-Man

    If you want Netflix / Skype then tell those companies.

    • koko

      Yeah, I told them… they politely asked me to buy an iPed or a roboSlate or something like that…

  • Xer

    Just go and buy your own coffin

  • koko

    No Skype?

  • HotTorontoDeals.com

    I thought PB 2.0 was supposed to have some android support as well, even if a little klunky. What about apps like Skype?

  • Vyc

    dont see any android market on the list…

    • Rick

      Android Market won’t be there – it was only working if the device is rooted. RIM will want all android apps packaged their way and in the App World.. and the prices will probably be double or more as well.

  • Roman P

    No android no bbm? Are you serious? It took them almost a year to make an email client? This is just sad.

  • Sterling

    Android app player is integrated in, the Android apps are ported over and will be available through Appworld.

    Netflix is NOT coming, as well SKYPE is NOT coming either!!!

    • Terry

      If the Netflix app isn’t coming, they could at least improve the browser so the Netflix site can be used instead.

  • nauman

    As others have mentioned, the availability of the new apps is the android apps being brought over.

    RIM doesn’t want to mention Android apps, since android market won’t be there and it will confuse the average consumer. People on tech sites would know but the average consumer just wants the application.

    And RIM has never said Skype or Netflix is not coming. Some people have mentioned there is some code in the 2.0 beta for netflix, but I am not sure.

    • Sterling

      my brother inlaw works at RIM, and because Skype was bought by MS, there are major conflicts of competition apparently and from what the programmers have been told is that SKYPE will not be available ever on a blackberry platform. Why do you think after years, iOS and Android have skype apps, yet no love for RIM?

  • Rick

    that’s crap.. netflix and Kindle reader are my 2 fav apps on my android.. don’t know why I got this stupid playbook.. the apps are too expensive and the device is too limiting.

    • Sterling

      Well maybe you should have done some homework and research before buying it…. Take it back, get your money and get a tablet that best suits your needs!

    • ABS

      I’m using the Kindle Android app on my Playbook with the beta version of the new OS. Works nicely for me and, all importantly, does the cross-device synching at you’d expect.

  • rufusy

    Android app play is coming in Feb. Just not being highlighted at CES. App player can play Skype. I’ve seen it on 2.0 beta versions. Fyi

    • Sterling

      I have seen that too, BUT have you seen video and audio on OS2? I have 2 playbooks and one has the beta OS on it and I tried the android SKYPE and the chat works, but will NOT work with video or audio.

  • ABS

    The Android app player is in the beta and it works pretty well. I can’t imagine that it won’t be in the final release.

    • Sterling

      Android apps are being ported to the QNX software, there will not be a Android Market, all android apps will be available through Appworld and there will not be anything that will identify an Android app vs a RIM app

  • Sterling

    AD2P is also in the Beta release, but not on the official document! It WILL be there, but there are a number of silenced updates as some of the things RIM doesn’t want the public to know they gaffed on some key features like Autocorrect and AD2P

  • Jim

    WTF? Where’s the Adroid apps player?? crap.

    • Sterling

      Android apps are being ported to the QNX software, there will not be a Android Market, all android apps will be available through Appworld

    • Ivan

      I hope the pricing matches. I won’t be playing Angry Birds for BB till I can get it for the same price ($0) I have it for on my androids.

  • Uncle G

    The product is a Dog.

    No Netflix, Skype or ability to run Andriod failures…..

    Wanna sell this thing Mike?

    Make an App which lets this run iOs apps.

    Then sell it for $299

  • Terry

    Aside from the netflix and android issues people are having, I watched a video over at crackberry about 2.0 and I have to say, I’m pretty impressed. lol

    Specifically the controller, email and contacts features.
    The email app blows IOS and Androids out of the water.

  • agentjucey

    What happens to the android app player?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
    Where did it go to????????????????????????????????
    ……..:@ :@ :@ :@
    RIMs pissing me off now.

    • sterling

      please read my previous comments. the android player is going to be invisable and the apps will be available via appworld and not be labeled as android apps!!!!!

  • Jake

    I think the question that should be asked is why does the US get the video store before Canada does.

    • Jonno

      because like many things, it is easier and faster to get licensing for multimedia content in the USA first than it is anywhere else in the world. The majority of motion picture studios that produce the big hollywood blockbusters are located in the USA, and they will license in their own country first before they allow for licensing elsewhere. I am quite certain we Canadians will get the movies app pretty shortly after.

  • haha

    RIM is doing a really good job of not letting anyone use it to actually check e-mail or to sync an account. NOT ONCE ANYWHERE HAS THIS SUPPOSED PB 2.0 BEEN SHOWN TO RECEIVE OR SEND AN E-MAIL! ITS ALL FAKE E-MAIL MESSAGES PRELOADED.

    • sterling

      i have seen it running. looks so awesome and works very well.

  • Greg

    curious how much memory the new OS will take up. i have a 32gb so i am sure it is more than fine but what about people with 16gb?

  • polywog

    os2.0 shouldnt be a problem with the 16gig pb. os dont take more than a few gig max

  • haha

    Really? You’ve seen it synchronize your own account, and to actually receive and send an e-mail? That’s news to me.

    PlayBook e-mail has been demonstrated 3 times in total.

    1. In a video from LAST YEAR where a RIM employee shows the interface, but doesn’t show it actually sending/receiving e-mails.

    2. Again, today, the videos that were released at CES were carefully choreographed and led by the RIM employee. Not once was it shown to actually send or receive an e-mail.

    3. Kevin at CrackBerry claimed he has seen PB e-mail work, but in his podcast he merely held up a PlayBook that was entirely white and blamed it on the camera glare, despite several other colours on the screen coming in through.

    So there you have it. PlayBook has never been shown to send/receive e-mail. There is a large difference between making a puppet GUI and inserting holder e-mails than actually getting the system to work.

    • Sterling

      Yes I Have seen it running. My brother inlaw works at RIM as a network engineer and I have seen the email push and pull. Not synced to my accounts, but synced to his account. I have seen the LED notification blink when he gets an email, I have seen the email notification count go up when he gets an email.

      Just because you haven’t seen evidence of it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Why would RIM show something off and it not work?

      Get a life….

  • Guy

    Anything they do, they do with 16gig as they’re focus. And 16 gigs is plenty of memory, there’s no reason to ever worry an OS of all things would cause excessive bloating.

  • Dan J

    ALL I want is the Android app player. Shouldn’t Netflix and Kindle be able to work through that? I really hope it will be easy to sideload apk files onto the thing once it’s out.

    • Sterling

      Dan, the android Market won’t appear, ALL apps will be through App World, and in the beta OS2, you can get kindle which works, but Skype WILL NOT besides just typing chat, no video and no audio. RIM and SKYPE (owned now by Microsoft) have never played nice together and that will not change now

  • Brett

    And on that day, not a single f**k was given.
    Except maybe from the 10 RIM employees who purchased one.

  • JustMeAndMe

    finally the right approach from RIM. not trumpeting what is planned, but slowly innovating and bringing on market (well, this last one is just my hope).

    although i had to LOL when I read that “RIM is a GLOBAL LEADER in wireless technology”. how about global catch-up-er?

  • Kevin

    My Playbook will rock and roll with this update. Bring it RIM!!