Apps are the lifeblood of a smartphone or tablet ecosystem. Despite the fact that the PlayBook had 3,000 on day one, more than any other platform at launch, it’s hard to find many essential ones. There’s an excellent Facebook app – the first one Facebook has optimised for tablets – and the video calling feature is great, though you do have to hold the PlayBook a little further from you than is quite comfortable.
Portrait view of main apps menu
The mapping program from Bing is also good. Beyond that, though, it’s largely a matter of waiting for Android. In the summer, you see, the PlayBook gains an Android player. Android apps that are re-submitted to RIM will be available to download from BlackBerry App World and appear on-screen just like native apps. It’s a clever way to increase app choice quickly, but it’s not ready yet.
The 1GHz dual-core processor works splendidly – the PlayBook is fast and doesn’t keep you waiting, however much work it’s doing. The touchscreen is beautifully responsive and the accelerometer spins the display as soon as you’ve tipped it, though it’s not over-sensitive as the first BlackBerry Storm was. There’s also an orientation lock helpfully placed on the main screen.
Given its media savviness, it’s worth saying how you get content on to the tablet in the first place. BlackBerry Desktop software makes USB syncing easy enough – if you have a Windows PC. Mac users have to wait for a forthcoming update. Never mind, there’s always drag-and-drop, which works fine. Windows users can do this too, of course.
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It's half finished, but might be good one day. But gets a good score?!
How can a tablet possibly justify a 75% rating, when it doesn't offer much in the way of apps and there's no native email even?
Are you going to start reviewing all products based on what they might do one day? Give buggy, unplayable games top ratings because the developers say there will be a patch in a few months?
Also, RIM's excuse for the lack of email: It's a small device and you might lose it on the train, which is a security risk. Okay, so the solution to that is to keep your email on a smaller, and even more easily lost phone. But it'll be available on the tablet soon, somehow magically fixing the problem that made it impossible at launch. This is pure bullshit if ever I heard it, it's not security related, it just wasn't finished in time.
Sure, but its good to have the option
You can use the desktop management software to handle full syncing if you like.
But the easy and fast drag-and-drop is perfect for getting a photo you've just taken off, or loading in a video before you go catch a train etc. Having the flexibility to do either is very handy
@Jemma, do TRY to do your homework
""RIM has no native email" - um excuse me, what 'native email' does iOS for TechMuppets have - Gmail - thats not a native application. iOS proper has no native email either, just varying clients."
Completely wrong. iOS has one email client that knows how to connect to different types of email servers (GMail, MS Exchange, Mobile Me, IMAP and POP3) just like, say, outlook on your desktop. The playbook doesn't know how to connect to any of these. The ONLY thing a Playbook can do is tether to a BB.
Call me when...
...they release a COMPLETE version with integrated email, contacts and security to a BES server.
Until then, it would be as unused as my ex-wifes phone number.
Re: Well, I'm sure...
"...that'll succeed as awesomely as the Palm Foleo did"
Guffaw, eh? Except that the Foleo was never released, and then the netbook surge happened despite idiot pundits claiming that nobody wanted anything less than a full-fat 10kg "runs Office on Windows" mega-laptop.
The only lesson is this: listen to common sense, not to pundits. Oh, and when learning from history, make sure you actually get the history and not someone's "did you hear...?" fiction.