Our post on the Playbook last year brought some thought-provoking responses from our readers. There were definitely a few things missing from the original Playbook, and with the recent launch of Playbook 2.0, RIM has introduced a number of innovations that end-users have been asking for – and should make IT managers happy.
1. Email and Social Media Integration
A new interface integrates email and social media — like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn — into one feed view. Social networking is tightly woven into the fabric of PlayBook, as is extensive push email support. What that means is a salesperson preparing for a meeting could look up that contact and easily access all the relevant information like LinkedIn and Twitter status updates, meeting notes and email history.
2. Better Browsing
The PlayBook’s browser, according to several industry reviews, is one of the fastest browsers out there. It works with Flash and HTML5, and includes a native Reading Mode feature that strips down ads and excess formatting on pages.
3. Remote control capabilities
The original Blackberry Bridge provided modem capabilities which allowed email and browsing on the Playbook. With the new release, a user’s BlackBerry smartphone can now be used as a remote control to click, drag, slide and close apps on their PlayBook.
Users can navigate between apps on their PlayBook and BlackBerry smartphone, allowing them to share images and open attachments from their BlackBerry smartphone directly on the PlayBook — ideal for making business presentations. A BlackBerry smartphone can even be used as a clicker in “presentation” mode. Users can also type out an email or edit a document on their PlayBook and then switch over seamlessly to their BlackBerry smartphone.
Even better, BlackBerry Remote works with most Android tablets (and even PS3!), opening up this handy feature to a broader base of users.
Another important consideration for IT Managers is management across mobile operating systems. Mobile Fusion, launching in mid-March, will manage the PlayBook, along with Android and Apple iOS devices. For customers that like the management and security Blackberry provides and would like to extend this functionality to other mobile platforms, this is an eagerly anticipated launch.
Mobile Fusion includes existing Blackberry Balance technology, which keeps personal data separate from corporate data on mobile devices. It also restricts employees from accessing corporate data through social networking applications, and prevents copying and pasting from an enterprise app to a personal app. And if the device needs to be wiped, only corporate data is wiped while personal data remains intact.
What do you think? Did RIM hit the mark with the Playbook 2.0? Could it get close the gap further with iPad? Add your comments below.