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Blackberry Playbook update on upcoming apps and Bing search integration

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I’ve been complaining by the fact RIM launched the Blackberry Playbook tablet before the software was finished as that poses a big problem with early adopters that find themselves waiting for the company to fix and improve on the otherwise excellent operating system.

Apparently RIM is listening to its customers and launched update after update (over the air) so that the Playbook you buy today is seriously improved over the one handed to the press a few weeks ago. This means in a few months from now the Playbook will be almost complete as software goes, probably at the same time will current ‘unfinished’ Android Honeycomb tablets.

New Playbook apps

Anyway, lets take a short look at the recently announced Facebook App for Playbook, the first Facebook app specially designed for tablets. It’s already available for download in the Blackberry World App store, so you can take it for a test drive if you own a Blackberry tablet. As you can see it’s not the most advanced app out there and doesn’t support all the features of the regular desktop Facebook version and does not take advantage of the extra space available on the tablet. Probably future version will remedy that. Interestingly enough, you’ll be able to output the Facebook app screen to a big screen TV via the HDMI connector.

Blackberry Facebook app video preview:

Later this month RIM will officially offer for download their Video Chat app that will finally take advantage of that front facing camera. Calls will be made via WiFi and probably over 4G once that Blackberry Playbook model arrives sometime this summer. Another piece of app that you’ll want to download is Angry Birds, which is also slated for a summer release.

The Bing search integration

One important announcement from RIM is the partnership with Microsoft for Playbook which will use Bing as the main search provider. The same will happen with the Bing Maps service. Both services will be integrated at OS level, starting with this year’s holiday season. So Microsoft is not ready yet to quit the search race. Good for them!

Android apps on Playbook demo

Finally we can take a look at that amazing promise for Playbook: running current Android apps inside the QNX operating system. A short demonstration was made today at Blackberry World 2011, showing how apps will run inside the Android player (essentially an emulator) and how Playbook gestures will be used to control Android specific functions. Here’s the video:

I’m glad to see RIM taking serious steps to address all complains from consumers about the software issues of the Playbook. Sure it would have been great not to launch the tablet that soon, but when everyone was doing the same thing not being present in market was not an option for RIM.

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