We’re very excited to officially launch BlackBerry® PlayBook™ OS 2.0, available as a software update to all existing and new BlackBerry PlayBook tablet users. The enhanced OS was made available in beta to BlackBerry developers at BlackBerry DevCon Americas 2011, and we’ve since provided details on how the new features – such as the integrated email and PIM apps – allow you to communicate more effectively, integrate socially, connect to your BlackBerry® smartphone with incredible new functionality, and help to supercharge your productivity. Demonstrations at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show were met with as much excitement from the BlackBerry community as our own. Now, the wait is finally over. So, what does this mean for business users, decision-makers, IT professionals, and CIO’s?
Telling the whole story
You’ve likely seen your share of sneak peeks, specific feature demonstrations, screenshots, and video highlights – but how do all of these aspects tie together into a unified platform that works for your business? The answer: by standing on core functional values of productivity, collaboration, communication and security, as well as introducing brand new features to the market in a device that is designed to perform.
Saving costs, but increasing productivity and performance in your organization
Tablets entered the work space with excitement, but also with caution and a healthy dose of skepticism. Were these devices shiny new toys, outside of feasibility for those with a concern for the bottom line? But as we’ve seen over the past year and beyond, tablets represent a new form-factor within the ecosystem of corporate hardware provisioning and network assets. They’ve found their place in field services, sales groups who travel often, administrative work, and countless other industries and roles. I’ll back myself up here by referencing the BlackBerry Customer Success web site, which showcases the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet in action for businesses like McCain Foods Limited, Edge Imaging, Sun Life Financial Inc., and more.
With BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0, the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet has reached a level of functionality that can allow it to integrate more deeply within both enterprise and SMB environments. In fact, it’s no secret that the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet was designed to meet these needs and thrive as a tool that increases productivity and collaboration, integrates within your IT infrastructure, and provides rich media experiences.
Use cases from experience
I’m a blogger who is most passionate about the topics that I’m familiar with and products that I use on a regular basis. And, being a RIM employee I get to play with unreleased software, so let me share a few ways that BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 has improved my own daily work:
1. Workflow comes with me when I leave my desk
The options are vast, but I personally use a combination of Documents To Go®, which allows me to create/open/edit Microsoft® documents using my BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, and Print To Go, which I use to instantly and securely to shoot documents from my PC to my tablet. With these powerful tools, I’m able to not only read and review documents that are sent my way, but also to make changes, apply comments, and even finalize them completely – all using my BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.
2. A powerhouse in the boardroom
Not me – my BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. Three examples here: taking notes, referencing documents, and presenting. If I’m tasked with recording the events and inclinations of a particular meeting, I can use either the native email, Microsoft® Word® via Documents To Go, or third-party apps. I also like to use my BlackBerry smartphone keyboard to type on the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet using the new remote control capabilities in BlackBerry® Bridge™. For referencing documents, I haven’t found one yet that won’t pop open and allow for smooth interaction. When I’m presenting, all I need is my HDMI cable and BlackBerry Bridge to control my BlackBerry PlayBook tablet using my BlackBerry smartphone. It lets me navigate through Microsoft® PowerPoint® presentations. The icing on the cake is that the 7-inch form factor of the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet allows me to travel light, while still expanding my functionality rather than limiting it.
3. Airports have become fun
Okay, maybe that’s taking it a little far…but I can say that there are two functional aspects of BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 that have made the travel waiting a breeze. First, organizing and referencing my travel documents has never been easier. I always receive 3-5 confirmation documents leading up to a trip, and believe it or not, finding time to print these off physically and then remembering to bring them with me is a pain (does that make me busy or lazy?). Using the Print To Go app, where I’ve already sent all of these confirmations with a quick “File > Print” from my PC as they came in, I simply walk up to a check-in kiosk, reference the flight number, and I’m off – same goes for the hotel. Secondly, the games on BlackBerry PlayBook tablet are fantastic. Waiting at the gate no longer entails watch-checking and foot tapping. Instead, I’m completely engrossed in some of the incredible games, like Cut the Rope, Angry Birds, Plants vs. Zombies, and others. I think I scared the kid next to me with Dead Space from Electronic Arts.
These are just a few examples; I’m constantly finding areas in my work and personal life where my BlackBerry PlayBook tablet running BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 allows for additional tasks, or replaces more time-consuming methods. A few of the features of BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 include:
- Built-in email, calendar, and contacts; all integrated with social media
- Documents To Go and Print To Go
- BlackBerry App World™
- BlackBerry Video Store (initially be available in the United States – support for other countries is expected to be added later this year)
- Updates to BlackBerry Bridge app
- BlackBerry® Balance technology
- Enhancements to Video Chat
To learn more about the free software update for your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, head over to www.blackberry.com/playbook. I’d love to get your reactions once you’ve had a chance to upgrade – share in the comments below!