Following the close of RIM’s BlackBerry World 2011 conference, the Waterloo Ontario-based cell phone maker on Wednesday issued two video demos showcasing forthcoming BlackBerry PlayBook features we’ve been very anxious to see. Of course we already wrapped things up with a slightly more interesting exclusive, but current (and future) PlayBook owners will definitely enjoy watching RIM execs show off the tablet’s upcoming native email client as well as its Android app player. The Android player looks very smooth for pre-release software, and the email app has a great UI that should be very familiar to tablet users. We can also get a quick taste of the PlayBook’s upcoming native contacts, tasks and calendar support in the videos, which can be viewed after the break.
The BlackBerry PlayBook isn’t just the first tablet out of Research In Motion it’s the first product to emerge from the company’s new do-or-die strategy. The PlayBook combines and showcases the underlying fabric that will set RIM up for the next 10 years. With RIM rumored to have only started working on the PlayBook within the last 10-12 months, is RIM’s tablet a true, viable competitor in the tablet space? I’ve been using a PlayBook for more than a week now, and I have to say… the PlayBook definitely surprised me in several ways. Hit the break for my full review of RIM’s upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook.
Adobe on Monday unveiled the latest version of its Creative Suite software, version 5.5, which includes a new SDK for building smartphone and tablet applications that can interact with its famous Photoshop desktop software. To showcase some of the possibilities brought about by its new SDK, Adobe also introduced three new apps for Apple’s iPad. Adobe Eazel is a finger painting app with enhanced controls and nifty multitouch support, and creations can be stored locally or beamed over Wi-Fi to Photoshop CS5. Adobe Nav allows users to move menus and other controls off of their PC displays and over to the iPad. The app also allows users to view Photoshop documents on their tablet displays. Finally, Adobe Color Lava turns the iPad into a modern color mixing palette that pushes color creations directly to Photoshop CS5. Eazel, Nav and Color Lava will become available some time next month for between $1.99 and $4.99 pending Apple’s approval, of course. In the meantime, hit the break for a video of Adobe’s new apps in action.
The news we reported exclusively many months ago has just been officially confirmed by RIM the company will indeed support Google Android apps on its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet and on new QNX-based BlackBerry smartphones moving forward. RIM is also offering a suite of tools for Android developers that will allow them to easily port their existing apps to the PlayBook for distribution through BlackBerry App World. RIM’s full press release is after the jump.
It seems like every company on the planet has its own app store these days, though some certainly fare better than others. Falling squarely into the some category is “Samsung Apps,” an app store Samsung launched in June 2010 that is accessible from various smartphones and connected televisions. Samsung on Thursday stated that its app store has now served over 100 million downloads globally less than one year after launch. Samsung Apps is showing no signs of slowing down, either. “We are anticipating that Samsung Apps will show a rapid growth in 2011,” the company said in a statement. In celebration of the 100 million-app milestone, anyone who downloads an app from Samsung Apps between March 25th and April 30th, 2011 will automatically be entered to win one of several prizes including Samsung Galaxy Tab tablets, Galaxy Players, UBS sticks and free app downloads from the Samsung Apps marketplace.
Research In Motion announced this week that its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet will finally launch next month, thus lighting a fire under several analysts excited to resume their PlayBook bashing. Among them was Stifel analyst Doug Reid, who issued a research note on Wednesday suggesting RIM’s first tablet offering will not deliver on the hype. First, PlayBook s lack of basic e-mail and calendar functionality (standalone) immediately gates the device s addressable market to BlackBerry users, a market of only 55 million, Reid wrote. He also points to the PlayBook’s lack of a substantial app ecosystem as a barrier, but we already know RIM is working on that. In the end, all of the analyst’s points echoed the countless complaints we’re been hearing for months: the need to tether, the small screen size, the app ecosystem, the fact that it’s late to market, and so on. In the end, we still won’t know until we know though the PlayBook will certainly shock the majority of analysts and pundits if it sees even the slightest modicum of success at this point.
Amazon’s new Appstore for Android devices could launch as soon as next Tuesday, March 22, according to sources speaking to Wired. Amazon publicly announced that it would be competing with Google’s Android Market back in January, and in an effort to draw users to its site, the company has plans to offer exclusive titles such as Angry Birds Rio. Wired’s source also suggested that users will be able to download apps not only from the web, but also from a mobile application. Just two days ago shots of the Appstore in action leaked, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see this launch date rumor come to fruition.
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