Don’t disregard the BlackBerry Playbook just yet. BlackBerry will soon be releasing their next version of the Playbook software, OS 2.0. Playbook OS 2.0 will add big improvements with usability, multitasking, social integration, and a few other neat features.
The interface is so nice and usable that most of us at Chip Chick actually prefer it to Android Tablets. Playbook is very intuitive. If you’ve never played with it, navigation is optimized with gestures. From the playbook border you swipe into the screen. So, swiping from the bottom border up will access your common apps from any screen. Swipe up again and you access all of your apps. Swiping from either side will transition between apps, which is very efficient for multi-tasking. Lastly, swiping from the top down accesses in-app multitasking features and other options.
Messaging has seen a big improvement in Playbook. Now there’s a unified inbox for Email and social messaging that includes better notifications, in-app multitasking, and an improved keyboard with smarter predictive typing. The in-app multi-tasking allows you to compose and background a number of different emails at once without having to save as a draft and reopen it. The messaging app includes social networks like Twitter and LinkedIn. The contacts and calendar also integrates information from these social networks.
Significant enhancements have also been added to Docs to Go, the app that allows you to work on Microsoft Office documents (Word, Excel, and Powerpoint). Bluetooth keyboards are now compatible as are keyboard shortcuts. Also, you’ll be able to download an app to BlackBerry Smartphones that lets you remote control the Playbook and use the phone as a mouse and keyboard. The BlackBerry Playbook OS 2.0 will be released as a free software upgrade in mid-February. Currently, you can purchase a 64GB BlackBerry Playbook for only $299.