Feeds

RIM PlayBook strikes back at Jobsian internet dream

Professional grade? No. Flash? Ah-ah!

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration

Doing the same with less

Of course, there is one really good reason why existing Flash-based web sites and apps should be tailored to the PlayBook: it's challenging to navigate a site built for a PC-based browser on a 7-inch screen using finger tips that you'd assumed for all these years were really rather dexterous.

So while, no, you don't really need a special NYT or Economist app to read those publications on the PlayBook, not having one makes their sites cramped and difficult to move through. I found just one major news site with a version of their site in App World for the PlayBook: a beta of The Huffington Post that strips out articles and reorients the design for your finger.

Huffington Post on the Playbook

Somebody out there likes me: The Huffington Post built for the PlayBook

Just like a "professional grade" truck must surely need huge shocks, chunky tires, and a really big engine to deserve its title as something the boys on the building site rely on, so must a "professional-grade" tablet targeting the white-collar road warrior super-size its basic features.

RIM is going after the kinds of business users currently ushering the iPad towards enterprise success, bringing their iPads into the boardroom from their living room. Apple has succeeded in part by ensuring that the iPad works with Microsoft's Outlook while more business applications have become available through the App Store – apps such as Salesforce and SugarCRM.

To deserve the title "professional grade" against Apple, the "amateur" according to the logic of RIM's ads, then the PlayBook should do more than just work with the web we know. It needs to provide email, productivity, and business apps, and hardware that's capable of running these and other apps simultaneously - multitasking - and easily, and it must be powered by a battery that's built for some serious long-distance leg work. The PlayBook has the multitasking, so you can play music and surf the web or work on a document, but it falls down on the rest.

The lack of a local email from a company famed for communications on smart phones has been widely reported. On productivity the PlayBook does come with RIM's word, spreadsheet, and presentation documents – Word to Go, Sheet to Go, Slideshow to Go. These are compatible with Microsoft's Office so you can create or import docs, edit them, and they'll retain edits and formatting when you open them again with your regular Office on a PC.

Many features of a full Office suite are missing because of the small screen – as you'd expect. While that's acceptable for Word to Go, Sheet to Go only lets you input data and save. It didn't seem like there was a way to do anything more advanced, like calculations. It was frustrating, too, trying to land on the right field for your data using just a fingertip. A pen and piece of paper is cheaper and less hassle to carry.

The Playbook's store

A 7Digital music store makes the PlayBook a playa

Transferring documents between your PlayBook and PC requires the Blackberry Bridge to sync, so RIM is clearly assuming you're either an existing RIM user or have the profile of a soon-to-be RIM customer who'll buy the Bridge. I'm neither, and without scrambling for a thumb drive – there's a USB port in the bottom edge of the PlayBook next to an HDMI port that you can plug in to – I had to email myself documents as attachments via Gmail or Hotmail. Once downloaded to the PlayBook, the documents were marooned because the mobile versions of Gmail and Hotmail on the PlayBook don't let you upload attachments.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Nice computers don’t need to go to the toilet, says Barclays
Bad computers might ask if you are Sarah Connor
4K video on terrestrial TV? Not if the WRC shares frequencies to mobiles
Have your say with Ofcom now, before Freeview becomes Feeview
PEAK LANDFILL: Why tablet gloom is good news for Windows users
Sinofsky's hybrid strategy looks dafter than ever
YES, iPhones ARE getting slower with each new release of iOS
Old hardware doesn't get any faster with new software
You didn't get the MeMO? Asus Pad 7 Android tab is ... not bad
Really, er, stands out among cheapie 7-inchers
Apple winks at parents: C'mon, get your kid a tweaked Macbook Pro
Cheapest models given new processors, more RAM
VMware builds product executables on 50 Mac Minis
And goes to the Genius Bar for support
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Microsoft stands on shore as tablet-laden boat sails away
Brit buyers still not falling for Windows' charms
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?