Thursday, February 23, 2012

Playbook OS 2.0

Come on, did you expect me not to say anything about the upgrade for the Playbook?

I have been accused of being a Blackberry wannabe spammer- I shall wear that title like a badge by the way. Yes I am enthusiastic about the Playbook, probably no more then those iPad stouter out there.

On Tuesday I got home and went to check for software upgrades, this after reading the various tweets that it was available, and commenced the download and installation process. After less then 1/2 hour, I rebooted the Playbook and watched the transformation take place. Right at the top were the icons for "Messages", "Contacts", "Browser" and "Calendar". Right off the bat this got me very interested, I opened up the first two and made the connection with my gmail and yahoo accounts and moved over contact information, email and calendar.

Since these are the big changes, I'm going to concentrate on them for most of this blog post. To me, the biggest change and the one I was most looking forward to was the calendar- I don't use paper any more for my appointments, I have used my Dell Axim for the last number of years- it was good, it kept me organized and it went everywhere I went However the devise was showing its age- and so when the calendar was announced I was excited and looking forward to having this on my Playbook. With the calendar, I've included information from my yahoo and gmail accounts- which has been important since a lot of important family dates are included in those. Adding events is extremely easy. This is going to get a lot of work out of me.

As for messages, yes there was 'apps' for gmail and yahoo mail, but they never quite worked for me, the new Message app does. I get immediate notice of mail entering the box- I now understand the Pavlovian response BB owners have when the devise pings upon that announcement. This can be dangerous. Still it is good to have a place for all the email.

Contacts- another app that will get used a great deal by me. Interesting, I went through it and realized I need to correct a few people, this is a new project for em.

Other aspects- the File Manager. This is very good. It is nice to have some place to check what files are on the Playbook and what ones I can delete. I know it could be done a lot of ways before, but this is handy. I listen to a lot of podcasts and so its good to be able to delete after I'm done, rather then waiting to be connected to the computer.

I like the fact the app world is starting to heat up with more and better apps. I was pleasantly surprised to discover the "Workout Trainer" app from Skimble was available. As you may know I am a big fan of Skimble, and have just started using some of the workout programs. With the great speakers I do not have to find earbuds to listen to the program, which is good because they tend to fall out when doing a lot of shifting. Trust me this is a bit of a problem.

I have noticed there is some positive reviews coming along, CTV had an article from a writer with the Globe and Mail that stated PlayBook update makes tablet an easier sell.

The Inquirer gave a mixed review, which was fair. The writer does comment and rightly so, all these improvements should have been available when the Playbook came out last year- 2.0 should have pushed to new and greater heights. That is true, and the problem is, to use that old adage, You never get a second chance to make a first impression. The Playbook took it on the chin and when one considers what it lacked, rightly so. For all the positives, it was simply a very expensive devise for surfing the web and watching videos. Now it has good use and can be useful in business and for the consumer. I think it would be smart of RIM to keep the price competitive with the Amazon Kindle for example.

Lance Ulanoff wrote in Mashable BlackBerry PlayBook 2.0: Much Better, Yet Not Good Enough. Again the comment was the upgrade is a nice start because it gives it the features and productivity it lacked and should have had right out of the gate.

However, there is now talk of a Playbook 3.0 being designed.

By the way, I just finished a video chat with two friends, now that is a fantastic feature.

If you want to understand why I'm so impressed with the calendar feature, watch this video.

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