How to Use BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 Video Chat for Business


I’ve had the chance to use the internal beta of the BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet OS 2.0 for some time now both as a personal device and a work tool. Reflecting back on how it has found its way into countless areas of my life and usage scenarios, I must say that the Video Chat functionality on the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet surprised me in its ability to improve business communications. Sure, I have the ability to connect with friends across the country to stay in touch – but I also have the ability to have a face-to-face conversation with anyone in the company, which is something that’s proven extremely valuable to my work. If you can find me, it’ll be at my desk, in a meeting, in another building altogether, at home, or on the road – and I know that many others operate in a similar fashion. Video Chat included in the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet – as well as the enhancements made with the BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 software update – has the potential to take your business communication to a new level.

What is BlackBerry PlayBook Video Chat?

The BlackBerry PlayBook tablet Video Chat application allows you to communicate with another BlackBerry PlayBook tablet owner using the HD video cameras and stereo speakers equipped on the device. If you set your status as available, individuals can place a video call to your device, which will notify you of the incoming call and allow you to instantly connect.

What’s New?

Several areas of BlackBerry PlayBook Video Chat have been improved with BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0, making it an even easier app to use for collaborating and communicating with friends and colleagues. Check out the new enhancements below:

  • Improved user interface, which is now designed to provide an experience similar to that of the built-in Contacts application
  • Filtering within the Contacts application to display only contacts with access to the BlackBerry PlayBook Video Chat. Existing Video Chat contacts are merged into the new Contacts application
  • The contact’s availability is now displayed: see who is online and start a conversation right from within the Contacts application
  • Invite based on PIN, in addition to BlackBerry® ID email addresses
  • Leverage Presenter Mode while inside Video Chat to display the conversation feed on an external screen through the HDMI connection. This allows you to run another app on your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet while continuing the video conversation on a monitor or projector.

Use Cases of Video Chat for Business

I’ve explored a few use cases for BlackBerry PlayBook Video Chat in business already, but I’m sure that you can think of more (and please share them in the comments!). With the BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0, I’ve made sure to stay reachable and online within the application. Sure enough, I’ve had my share of video calls from colleagues to discuss work-related issues.

The Video Chat app is designed to enable rich communication for remote workers. Many of my Video Chat calls have taken place while I was working from home, and it felt like we were talking face to face. With the ability to see facial expressions the conversation becomes more personal and improves immeasurably. In short, collaborating becomes much more intuitive.

Remote workers may often be on one end of the conversation, but on the other end, the boardroom meeting benefits from the technology as well. An individual who can’t make it to the meeting can still take a virtual seat in the room and contribute to the conversation while the meeting is being displayed on a BlackBerry PlayBook tablet or HDMI monitor/projector.

Tips and Tricks

  • When you’re available to chat, set your status to “Online” to let your friends and colleagues know you’re reachable.
  • Make use of a BlackBerry PlayBook tablet docking station while at your desk, which you can position to be situated in ideal range for a video conversation.
  • Rather than a conference call, schedule a BlackBerry PlayBook tablet Video Chat with an individual who isn’t at your location. The video aspect enhances the communication experience and allows you to maintain and build relationships with colleagues at a more personal level.
  • Heading out on the road for a sales call or a business trip? Use BlackBerry PlayBook tablet Video Chat to stay in touch with friends and loved ones who are back at home, without being tied to a laptop or PC.

Have you used the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet’s Video Chat for business? Which feature enhancement with BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 are you enjoying the most? Share in the comments!

About Luke Reimer

@Luke_Reimer is a Senior Marketing Manager at BlackBerry helping to design, launch, and manage enterprise marketing programs - particularly concerning content across digital mediums. Beyond spreading BlackBerry goodness in enterprise communities, you can find Luke cooking up a storm, out on his motorcycle (when Canadian weather allows), or digging into a good science fiction book.

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