Hands-on with BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 email, contacts, and calendar apps


RIM introduced the BlackBerry PlayBook a year ago at CES 2011 without any native applications for email, contacts, or calendar. At CES 2012, the company unveiled OS 2.0 (due out February) for the tablet that promises the long awaited native email, contacts, and calendar without the need to have a BlackBerry phone.

I got a chance to give the PlayBook a test drive and see how well OS 2.0 and the native applications responded. In my tests, it was very smooth, responsive, and very fluid when going through different applications and having at least 6 to 7 apps open.

BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2

The new Contacts app will have the ability to sync your social network profile information with your contacts, and also will intergrate with your Calendar app. If you happen to reschedule an appointment with a contact, an automatic notification will be associated with the event, which is nice.

The Calendar app pretty much works like other calendar apps. The layout was easy to see and adding new appointments was a breeze. I didn't get a chance to see if it allows to sync with Google calendar, but RIM has mentioned that you can sync with online calendars. One feature I liked is that when your day is busy, the date increases in size to show you at a glance that you have a full day of appointments. This will show you the busiest days for the week or month.

The Email app will give you a one stop unified inbox for all your accounts. This will include your social networks as well. When you compose an email, you will have the ability to change your fonts, bold and underline your text, change your font color, and choose ffrom other features you would expect from your desktop email application. An improved keyboard is also part of the new OS and will have better predictive text, auto correction, and some shortcuts.

Will OS 2.0 bring back the BlackBerry PlayBook to stay around another year? With the recent price drop, I may have to give the device another try.

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Hector Gomez

Hector Gomez is a former contributing editor at Pocketables.

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