So it looks like Research In Motion’s long awaited PlayBook OS 2.0 is finally going to be released at the end of February, during this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, bringing long awaited updates to the slow selling BlackBerry PlayBook.
PlayBook OS 2.0 will finally add native email, contacts, and calendar functionality, bringing the PlayBook up to speed with other tablets. It will also add the ability to run Android apps, allowing owners to take advantage of the myriad of available Android apps.
While these features are certainly welcome, they should have been included in the original release of the tablet. The lack of apps and the inability to access a native calendar and email are main reasons why the PlayBook floundered in the market.
Personally, I think the update is too little too late. These aren’t groundbreaking additions – the update adds functionality that other tablets have had for months, or years, in Apple’s case. The PlayBook’s reputation is already set; I doubt many people are going to rush out and buy one after the update. I think it’s even less likely as we await the release of the iPad 3. RIM’s PlayBook is now almost 11 months old, so it’s getting a bit long in the tooth compared to the competition.
Specifically, the update will add comprehensive messaging support and a unified inbox to combine or separate personal email, MS Exchange email, and messages from Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. It will also include a contact book and functionality that will allow BlackBerry smartphone owners to use their phones as a mouse for the PlayBook.
Most importantly, PlayBook 2.0 will run reformatted apps, which will be available in the BlackBerry App World.
If you have a BlackBerry PlayBook, you can expect the 400MB update to be pushed out to your device sometime in the end of February.