What’s new in BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0

Research In Motion is expected to release the much-awaited update to its PlayBook later today. The PlayBook OS 2.0 will bring many new features including a native email client with better social networking integration and a completely new Bridge 2.0 service to connect a BlackBerry smartphone with the PlayBook. Read on for our list of five new features to watch out on PlayBook OS 2.0.

1. Native contacts, email and calendar: Finally, the PlayBook has a reason to exist for non-BlackBerry smartphone users. PlayBook OS 2.0 brings in a native email client with a unified inbox integrating social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn embedded into it. The contacts app too synchronizes social networks and keeps updating the user’s contacts’ latest updates.

2. Android apps: One of the biggest gripes most users had about the PlayBook was the lack of apps. With PlayBook OS 2.0, App World will also be pulling in apps from Android Market. Agreed Android is still does not have the best tablet apps, but it still is much better than the current portfolio of apps available for the PlayBook.

3. Bridge 2.0: In its first avatar, Bridge was the only way to access emails and BBM on the PlayBook. Basically, users connected their BlackBerry smartphones with their PlayBooks, which acted as a bigger display. Now with PlayBook OS 2.0 getting a native email client, Bridge too had to undergo a makeover. In its second avatar, Bridge 2.0 now works as a remote control for the PlayBook. Users can use their BlackBerry smartphone’s touchscreen or trackpad to control the PlayBook, which could come handy especially when the PlayBook is hooked to a HDTV while watching movies or making presentations. The phone’s keypad can also be used to type on the PlayBook. It also comes with a new share app that enables users real-time sharing of content from the phone to the tablet.

4. Productivity suite: PlayBook OS 2.0 will come with Docs2Go pre-installed, which adds a whole new use case to the PlayBook, especially for its enterprise customers.

5. Browser: One of the stronger points of the PlayBook was its HTML5 browser. PlayBook OS 2.0 is expected to add more improvements to the browser with add-on features. While details are scarce at the moment, we hope to see an iOS inspired Reader sort of implementation, which reformats web pages into a more readable style and who knows, even some sharing options.

We are keeping our eyes peeled for the update to go live and will keep you posted as soon as it does.

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