Blackberry Playbook OS 2.0

Intuitive Social Integration on the new BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0

Watch this video on YouTube or on Easy Youtube.

Blackberry greift nochmal auf dem Tablet-Markt an. Nachdem man noch vor zwei Wochen jedem Entwickler ein Playbook schenken will, der seine Android Apps auf Blackberry portiert, taucht jetzt das neue OS Update auf.

Der Werbespot eben fokussiert zwar auf die Integration sozialer Netzwerke, interessanter für die (meist Firmen-) Kunden dürfte aber sein daß nun auch endlich das Haupt-Feature, nämlich sichere Unternehmens-EMail, auf dem Playbook zur Verfügung steht.

Für Privatanwender ist das Playbook ab ca. 250,– für die 16GB Variante erhältlich. Im Vergleich zum iPad ist das günstig, dafür ist es allerdings auch ein geschlosseneres System mit weniger verfügbaren Anwendungen. Den Kindle Fire kann man dagegen schon für 199,– bekommen, und mit etwas Mühe auch in ein vollwertiges Android Tablet umwandeln.

Spannend ist das neue Update daher für Unternehmen. Es bleibt abzuwarten welche weiteren Details zu dem neuen OS auftauchen was Features wie zentrales Gerätemanagement und Integration in Business-Anwendungen angeht.

Old gadgets are still useful: Blackberry 7290

When I’m on the road, I usually have my work laptop with built-in 3G with me. I also carry a Nokia 3270 Classic for phone calls (robust, great keyboard, fantastic battery life) and an iPod Nano for podcasts and music (the iPod Touch is a lot more fun, but crap for in-car usage).
My work phone does not have a data plan, so I have to use the Laptop for Twitter and emails. As the &%$%§ Vista machine needs 10 minutes to wake up from standby, this is not exactly perfect. I have a dual SIM for my data card (it’s my personal SIM), so I decided to get a cheap device with QWERTZ keyboard for email and Twitter.

I quickly found a Blackberry 7290 in mint condition on eBay for EUR 50 – not bad for a start!

Now, the problem is that you usually need to buy Blackberry Service from your operator to use data services, which I did not want to do. So the first step was to update to OS 4.1, which allows you to simply enter a GPRS APN that apps can use.

Then of course the BB still refuses to let you use the built-in browser to download apps. In order for the browser to even appear, you usually (again) need to subscribe to BB service, then your operator will push something calles a “Service Book” to your device, which unhides the browser.
It’s a good thing there are smart people out there, so please got to “Blackberry without BIS” where you can simply download a service book and install it through the BB desktop software.

Then use the browser to download some apps – unfortunately not all will work with OS 4.1.

What I got:

  • The GMail Client which even works with my Google Apps account, and will flash the LED when new mail arrives. This is as good as push for me, without requiring the BIS service.
  • Opera Mini for browsing
  • GoTalkMobile for GTalk
  • BlackBird as a Twitter client (not great, but haven’t found a better one yet)

All in all, a decent experience with minimum spending. It’s an incredibly robust device with USB charging, outstanding battery life and a great keyboard. Recommended.