Feeds

RIM unveils The BlackPad BlackBerry PlayBook

Hey, Steve. It runs Flash

Business security measures using SSL

BlackBerry Devcon Update: This story has been updated with additional information from RIM's DevCon keynote.

Research in Motion — maker of the BlackBerry — has unveiled an Apple-battling tablet version of its email-friendly handheld.

They call it the BlackPad BlackBerry PlayBook. And as rumors indicated, it's based on a new operating system from QNX, a RIM-owned outfit whose embedded OSes are used in everything from Cisco routers to automobiles. The OS is known, appropriately enough, as BlackBerry Tablet OS.

RIM PlayBook - navigation

The BlackPad PlayBook

RIM president and co-CEO Mike Lazaridis lifted the curtain on the "multi-touch" PlayBook this afternoon at RIM's annual developer conference in downtown San Francisco. Measuring 5.1 by 7.6 by 0.4 inches and weighing about 0.9 pounds, it includes a 7-inch display, a 1GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, HDMI and USB connectors, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and front- and rear-facing HD cameras. And in a clear answer to Steve Jobs, it offers Adobe Flash 10.1.

Yes, the PlayBook connects to existing BlackBerry Enterprise Servers, which, according to Lazaridis, now number 250 million worldwide. And RIM will offer a full native SDK when the device arrives to market. QNX founder Dan Dodge also said that the company is working on a Java VM. The SDK will handle OpenGL. And it will include Adobe AIR.

RIM PlayBook - email

The iPad email app The PlayBook email app

Dodge indicated that QNX has been developing the PlayBook for over a year — i.e., since before it was acquired by RIM.

Before revealing the PlayBook, Lazaridis unveiled a web-based development platform for the BlackBerry and the BlackBerry PlayBook known as WebWorks, a means of building apps in HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript. It allows for in-app payments, and it provides in-app advertising via RIM's new BlackBerry Advertising Services. It has been open sourced on GitHub under the Apache 2.0 license.

Lazaridis did not say how much the PlayBook will cost, when it will be available, or how it will connect to the interwebs. But a press release on RIM's website says that the device won't arrive until "early" 2011 in the US, with international markets to follow in the second quarter. The release also indicates that, at least initially, the device will not include cellular wireless connectivity. "RIM intends to also offer 3G and 4G models in the future," the release says.

The device will connect to existing BlackBerries via Bluetooth, letting you display BlackBerry data through the tablet. Content from the BlackBerry will be cached on the tablet, but not stored there.

The BlackBerry Tablet OS SDK will be available "in the coming weeks." Developers can register here. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Half a BILLION in the making: Bungie's Destiny reviewed
It feels very familiar - but it's still good
Apple's big bang: iPhone 6, ANOTHER iPhone 6 Plus and WATCH OUT
Let's >sigh< see what Cupertino has been up to for the past year
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
A SCORCHIO fatboy SSD: Samsung SSD850 PRO 3D V-NAND
4Gb/s speeds on a consumer drive, anyone?
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Get your Indian Landfill Android One handsets - they're only SIXTY QUID
Cheap and deafening mobes for the subcontinental masses
Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch
Sizes, prices and all – but not for the wrist-o-puter
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.