BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 arrives, built-in e-mail and all

If at first you don't succeed, they say. Still, although PlayBook owners will now have much of what they were hoping for in the first version, they're not getting everything.

Research In Motion's BlackBerry PlayBook
Research In Motion's BlackBerry PlayBook James Martin/CNET

Research In Motion's BlackBerry PlayBook OS 1.0 was criticized for a general lack of built-in features. With a new software update, the BlackBerry maker is trying to address that.

RIM today announced the launch of its BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0. The operating system includes many of the features users were hoping to find in the last version, including a native e-mail client with a unified inbox, and built-in calendar and contacts applications.

The company made the odd decision in the first version of the software to not include native e-mail, calendar, or contacts applications. In order for users to have access to them, they'd need to have a BlackBerry smartphone and connect that device to their PlayBook tablet. The move was a major black mark in PlayBook reviews, and stunted the 7-inch tablet's growth.

Although PlayBook owners will now have much of what they were hoping for in the first version, they're not getting everything. BlackBerry Messenger, which allows users to instant-message each other from one BlackBerry device to another, is still absent from the software.

In the platform's calendar and contacts apps, RIM has added social integration, courtesy of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. The software's updated BlackBerry Bridge application, which lets a BlackBerry smartphone and the PlayBook communicate over Bluetooth, now includes a remote control feature, allowing owners to use their handsets as a wireless keyboard and mouse.

One other major improvement to the operating system: BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 includes support for certain Android applications.

BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 is, as expected , available now as a free download.

 

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