LAS VEGAS: Research In Motion has made a bid to improve the fortunes of the PlayBook tablet by adding several key productivity features to the platform.
Among the most impressive new components in the PlayBook OS 2.0 is the contact system. While users can still manually enter contact info, the PlayBook is now also able to gather and organise information automatically. Services such as Twitter and LinkedIn can connect with the PlayBook and update a user profile directly to the tablet.
The result of this is something of a small dossier on many contacts. When looking for information on a colleague or trying to connect with a possible client or business contact this can save time in researching and data-mining before meetings.
This, however, depends on the user having full and active profiles on sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter. Without that cooperation from contacts, the contact page becomes a rather boring and empty window. It is also a feature best suited for business. RIM has been dogged in the past by its reputation as a business-only company, and this feature will do little to win over customers who first and foremost want a fun and enjoyable personal device.
Another interesting feature is the revamped scheduling system. While it might not seem like a big breakthrough, the presentation of the calendar itself is quite useful and impressive.
Small numbers indicate days where few appointments have been scheduled, while large numbers indicate days that have little free time left. With a quick glance, you can now tell when you should book that dentist appointment and when you should opt for a quick lunch at the desk.
For more detail on a day's plan, the Playbook sports a handy side menu. In addition to seeing how full a day is, you can view who the appointment is with and bring up contact information and messaging boxes directly from the calendar.
While the Playbook OS update may not contain any radical redesigns that make people forget about the likes of iOS and Android, it does contain some very nice productivity improvements which will appeal to BlackBerry veterans and enterprise users.
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