RIM kicks BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.1 into the field

The software upgrade to RIM's BlackBerry tablet adds security and some minor fixes.

Former RIM CEO Mike Laziridis first introduced the  BlackBerry PlayBook in 2010.
Former RIM CEO Mike Laziridis first introduced the BlackBerry PlayBook in 2010. James Martin/CNET

Blackberry PlayBook owners will see a small bump in features and capability with its next OS update to PlayBook software 2.1.

Among the changes available for the Wi-Fi tablet are security features that let owners lock down all data with enterprise-level encryption, not just corporate secrets.

RIM also shares a new version of the BlackBerry Bridge software that lets PlayBook owners access typical phone features; now when you pair a BlackBerry smartphone with a PlayBook tablet, you'll be able to send SMS texts from the PlayBook. You'll need to download the new Bridge app from BlackBerry App World.

There are a few more minor tweaks as well, including using contacts, the calendar, and messaging features in portrait mode in addition to landscape, a capability that's been a long time coming. Developers will be pleased to see that in-app payments now applies to their ported Android apps as well as native PlayBook apps.

PlayBook owners will receive the OS update over the air through an automatic notification. You can also manually check for new software updates. You can learn more at RIM's blog.

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