Print 30 comment(s) - last by retrospooty.. on Feb 23 at 10:37 AM

New OS packs numerous improvements

What has Research in Motion, Ltd.'s (TSE:RIM) been cooking up these past few months?  Well, amid a leadership shakeup and a string of troubles that stewed much pessimism, RIM has managed to bake a major operating system update for its PlayBook tablet, which patches up many of the device's weaknesses.

A definite positive sign is that RIM appears to have been listening to the criticism, as its improvements largely line up with things that early reviews panned.  New features include:
  • A new unified email client, which compiles your messages from Facebook, Twitter, and your various email accounts
  • A new Calendar app with social network access
  • A new Contacts app that syncs its information with Facebook
  • BlackBerry Bridge, an app that turns your BlackBerry into a wireless keyboard for the PlayBook -- or which leverages the PlayBook to offer big screen reading for emails and content
  • An enhanced web browser
  • The first PlayBook-compatible Android app ports, via new additions to BlackBerry App World
  • Improved virtual keyboard
  • BlackBerry Balance to check data usage
  • Improved document editing
  • Print to Go app

RIM PlayBook OS 2.0
[Image Source: Engadget]

The build of the release is, and it weighs in at 505 MB.

Early reviews of the PlayBook offered general praise for its form factor and hardware.  But they called the operating system unpolished.  With the new update perhaps the PlayBook can finally be considered a tablet to be contended with.

It's a bit late for RIM when it comes to both tablet and smartphone market share, but the fact that the company is responding to criticism proactively with improvements is a very good sign.  The company is still very profitable -- so like Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) it has a fair amount of money to throw at reinvigorating its smartphone efforts.

In related news, RIM has also aired a new enterprise-aimed management tool called BlackBerry Mobile Fusion.  In a bit of a concession, the IT software not only supports BlackBerries, but also Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) iPhone and various Android smartphones.  Support for Microsoft's Windows Phone 7.5 was not mentioned.

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By Nortel on 2/21/2012 11:27:18 AM , Rating: 1
You can cover a turd with sprinkles, but it still stinks. Everyone who bought the playbook did so because of its price relative to the iPad. Now RIM tries to placate its newly bought fan base with some software and pat themselves on the back for a job well done. Come March, iPad3 is officially announced with the Jesus of all tablets specs and RIM quietly dies a little more inside.

RIM has played its hand; it's over. Once you saturate the market with 'at cost' product with no hopes of a cross sale (Think of the PS3 with games) it cannot be recovered from. Motorola making more tablets? Nope. Sony releasing another PSP? Yep. Will it be the biggest failure of 2012? Yep. I think Sony is just one of those companies that has enough money and enough lack of remembering its own history to doom itself to repeating its failures time and time again.

Back to RIM, they will release another tablet and it will go the way of Motorola's. There is no chance of this not happening since the director of RIM's failed hardware is now the CEO with no change of a shake up. RIM will be bought out with its tail between its legs, possibly by some Chinese company since the big players won't touch it.

RE: rim
By Hieyeck on 2/21/2012 12:13:17 PM , Rating: 3
Hm... nice username. Kind of like the pot calling the kettle black.

RE: rim
By Nortel on 2/21/2012 12:21:32 PM , Rating: 3
Bre-X, Silicon Graphics, Blockbuster, Canwest, SeaFrance, Vivitar, BearingPoint, CompUSA, etc.. didn't have the same ring to them :)

RE: rim
By Samus on 2/21/2012 12:44:31 PM , Rating: 2
I still have a lot of clients stubornly swearing by their Blackberry. I just had a client spend $300 + contract on AT&T's newest Bold 2.

I used to think the only reason to get AT&T was to get an iPhone, but he proved me wrong. That, and the iPhone isn't even exclusive anymore.

RE: rim
By Nortel on 2/21/2012 1:44:05 PM , Rating: 2
Absolutely. I know a handful of business people sticking by their blackberries for two reasons. 1. They like the hardware keyboard and there aren't many smart phones with that feature. 2. They feel that having a blackberry (and checking it as often as possible) makes them feel more professional.

I also know their kids. They were given blackberries and complain all the time; yearning for an iPhone. It's modern day torture...what kid wants a blackberry?

RE: rim
By retrospooty on 2/21/2012 2:44:57 PM , Rating: 2
"I know a handful of business people sticking by their blackberries for two reasons. 1. They like the hardware keyboard and there aren't many smart phones with that feature. 2. They feel that having a blackberry (and checking it as often as possible) makes them feel more professional."

I know alot of old people that still write paper checks at the grocery store. Its not making them look anything but old. using a Blackberry doesnt make anyone look "professional" It makes them look out of touch with modern technology.

RE: rim
By Lord 666 on 2/21/2012 3:16:34 PM , Rating: 2
Are you the babysitter?

RE: rim
By Pirks on 2/21/2012 3:45:44 PM , Rating: 2
what kid wants a blackberry?
Example 1:

"BlackBerry handsets have also taken a significant share of the market (24%) and are particularly popular among younger adults and teens "

Example 2:

"Tate, the 14 year old daughter of one of my wealthier acquaintances. Tate is permanently tethered to her BlackBerry, as are all of her friends. "

Munch on this, clueless anti-RIM idiot :P

RE: rim
By Cheesew1z69 on 2/21/2012 3:58:23 PM , Rating: 3
2 year old article....try getting something a little more recent...


RE: rim
By Pirks on 2/21/2012 4:51:54 PM , Rating: 2
You did not notice that the other article from 2011 confirms the older one from 2010? What's your problem?

RE: rim
By tayb on 2/21/2012 5:47:39 PM , Rating: 2
A lot of companies still REQUIRE them because of the security. BES has no competition.

RE: rim
By Pirks on 2/21/2012 1:42:57 PM , Rating: 1
Everyone who bought the playbook did so because of its price relative to the iPad
Speak for yourself, clueless idiot. I paid same price as iPad's but got much better web browser (no stupid restrictions imposed by Jobs paranoia), better multitasking, better UI, and nicer size/weight to boot. My Gmail web client worked on it beatifuilly from day one so I laughed at oldfags whining about some native email crap from the last century. Idiots like youself who buy large heavy iPads will keep sucking when Apple releases 8" tablet to try and catch up to RIM (just like they tried to catch up to BBM with iMessage clone). Whatcha gonna troll about then, lamo? :)))

RE: rim
By Nortel on 2/21/2012 1:52:28 PM , Rating: 2
Perks... how are you not banned by now? I digress...

paranoia = HTML5 vs Flash (Flash has been discontinued btw). I've got an iPhone 4s when on the go and an iPad2 to use at home. Do you take the playbook with you? It's too large to pocket so if it goes in your bag then why does the small size difference matter? For the last time, Apple will not release a 8" tablet period. ipad2 is 1.33 lb and the playbook is 0.94 lb. 0.39 pounds and 3 inches is the difference between the playbook and the iPad... not enough to get so emotional about.

RE: rim
By Pirks on 2/21/2012 3:56:38 PM , Rating: 2
why does the small size difference matter?
Ask all the buyers of Ultrabooks or MacBook Airs why do the size and weight matter for them.

RE: rim
By ramuman on 2/21/2012 11:44:17 PM , Rating: 2
RE: rim
By slunkius on 2/22/2012 1:16:15 AM , Rating: 3
i feel your pain, 500 dollars for a playbook...ouch. or was it 700 - double ouch. i imagine how hard you must work everyday to like that device and keep reality at bay. have strenght, man. best wishes

RE: rim
By retrospooty on 2/22/2012 11:16:49 AM , Rating: 2
hee hee hee =)

RE: rim
By Pirks on 2/22/2012 7:40:39 PM , Rating: 2
I don't need your "best wishes" when I already have tablet that beats the sh1t out of iPad in web browser, multitasking, GUI, weight and size. Hence the relatively high (compared to Android crap) price. You pay more for better product, remember?

You may now proceed sticking your "best wishes" up your a##, thank you.

RE: rim
By retrospooty on 2/23/2012 10:37:54 AM , Rating: 2
"Hence the relatively high (compared to Android crap) price. You pay more for better product, remember?"

What are you even talking about. You are as incoherent ever. The poster above is referring to the initial price of $500, and the firesale drop to $200 and he is consoling you, very sarcastically...

So dropping the price from $500 to $200 to match the Kindle Fire means what? RIM decided its not a better product?

RE: rim
By ICBM on 2/21/2012 1:58:26 PM , Rating: 2
I like the QNX OS on the Playbook, and I am glad to see a much needed update to it. Its functional, and it serves it purpose.

I agree though, RIM has played its hand. This won't help sales. A new tablet based on the new OS might be neat, but it won't sell either, unless it is like $100. But why bring a new tablet to market? What will it do that previous tablets can't? This question should be asked of all manufacturers.

We say obsolete, but does that really count in this segment. What can an iPhone 4 do that the first generation can't? Sure we get processor upgrades, 2g to 3g to LTE, better screens, etc., but what can the new phones do that our old phones can't? You guys are trashing Blackberry, but what is so obsolete about them? What can your phone do that a Torch from a year ago can't? Other than not working with regular push email, Blackberry can do 99-100% of everything I need. Phone, calender, mail, camera, web browser, calculator.

New phones and tablets are as much a status symbol now as they are a tool. Does the Playbook do what its owners want it to do? Yes. Do they look cool when they are using it? 16 year olds will say no. What really matters is that the tablets and phones are serving their purposes efficiently, and I think all the phones and tablets in the last few years have done that for the most part, and are continuing to do that.

So obsolete, I would say no.

RE: rim
By Pirks on 2/21/2012 4:03:32 PM , Rating: 2
You guys are trashing Blackberry, but what is so obsolete about them?
Not so many fart apps (C) retrospooty

RE: rim
By retrospooty on 2/21/2012 4:31:51 PM , Rating: 2
Nice of you to think of me and fart apps in the same sentence. ;)

Yes, I am sure you are right. RIM has gone from over 50% to a couple percent marketshare and stock dropped to 1/10th its previous value because of it's lack of fart apps. I am sure it has nothing to do with the outdated OS and god-aweful UI. Its all about the fart noise. =)

RE: rim
By Pirks on 2/21/2012 5:00:25 PM , Rating: 2
Don't project your problems with old UI from BB5 and BB6 era onto modern BB7 phones. Or BB7 users will laugh at you.

And OS in iPad is more outdated and ugly looking than Playbook OS, so what? Does it makes Playbook the leader in sales?

You preach about "outdated OS" but when faced with facts you'll rotate 180 degrees and start your usual dance.

RE: rim
By retrospooty on 2/21/2012 5:32:08 PM , Rating: 2
Still quite the putz I see. Have fun with that. See you at the RIM fire sale later this year.

RE: rim
By ICBM on 2/22/2012 12:37:58 PM , Rating: 2
Have you tried the QNX UI? It is really pretty slick.

RE: rim
By retrospooty on 2/21/2012 4:39:17 PM , Rating: 2
" What can an iPhone 4 do that the first generation can't? Sure we get processor upgrades, 2g to 3g to LTE, better screens, etc., but what can the new phones do that our old phones can't? You guys are trashing Blackberry, but what is so obsolete about them? "

They "do" most of the same things, but its not really about what they do, its how they do it. When the iPhone came out, it actually had less features than competing Palm Treo's Winmobile and BB's.

At the time, Palm Treo's Winmobile and BB's were incredibly useful mobile tools with a ton of features that were invaluable for pro's on the go... And they were irritating as hell to use. Clumsy UI with no ergonomic thought whatsoever. Apple came along and changed that. They had a UI that was intuitive, and even fun to use. The rest upped their games, Win7, Palm WebOS, Android came out and Blackberry stagnated. QNX looks good, but its still not out on phones and when it finally comes, it may be too late. RIM will likely have been sold off by then. RIM is simply too big to become a medium sized phone maker. Too much money to be lost. They will have to sell to get the shareholders some amount of $$$ back.

What's luck got to do? Got to do with it?
By Taft12 on 2/21/2012 12:47:52 PM , Rating: 2
PlayBook OS 2.0 Drops For Lucky RIM Fans

What do the unlucky RIM fans get?

By retrospooty on 2/21/2012 1:14:25 PM , Rating: 4
They get the Bold, the Curve, the Torch, OS7, and obsolescence.

They also get laughed at. =)

By bobcpg on 2/21/2012 11:07:29 AM , Rating: 3
Back when BB was big and kept on releasing new phones everyone would get excited about, I would always think...Gee it's the same phone. Nothing innovative about it at all, just a new name and maybe some upgraded hardware consistent with the growing market.

Funny to see them now playing catch up.

Patent Wars
By mavricxx on 2/22/2012 4:02:43 PM , Rating: 2
Its just a matter of time before Apple tries to claim Bridge as their own. RIM needs to Patent it and the Bridge remote ASAP!

"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook

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