A few comments on the RIM Playbook 2.0 OS update

Just a few comments on the new RIM Playbook 2.0 (2.0.0.7971) OS that was released today.

  • The reboot after the update takes anywhere from 5-15 minutes. Don’t panic! Just let the startup screen with the blooming lights (or whatever they’re called) do their thing. The new desktop will eventually appear.
  • The OS seems faster and more responsive.
  • The update is big. Here’s two screenshots of the update process…
Playbook update 1

Playbook update 1

PlayBook 2

PlayBook 2

 

  • …and a screenshot of the new desktop!

 

Playbook 3

Playbook 3

 

  • You can create folders by dragging and dropping icons on top of each other.
  • The Messages app (Email) is pretty good. It looks and acts like Mail on the iPad with the column/pane layout, but you also get formatting, font and alignment choices, and sorting by tag and priority. It feels like a mini Outlook.
  • When you get a new message, the red light on the top of the Playbook blinks. Nice! (You can turn this off by going to the OPTIONS gear on the upper right of the main screen, and then choosing what you like under SOUNDS & NOTIFICATIONS)
  • You can’t email a photo from inside the Pictures app. You CAN email photos from within the Messages (email) app. Just go to the paperclip attachment icon when composing a new message and choose the PICTURES tab. (You can also email anything in the Video, Music and Documents directory.)
  • App world has a LOT more apps to choose from. Brace yourself.

Overall, I’m highly impressed with this update. If this was the embedded system that launched with the Playbook, Apple might have had a very serious problem on their hands.

I think RIM can still make up for lost time by aggressively flooding the market with cheap tablets in the $150-$200 range. Emphasize the very low cost to get in the door. Target service industries, city employees, the court systems and school districts with tight budgets . Anywhere that a large, typically under-appreciated workforce would benefit from tablet-based connectivity at a 2-for-1 budget over the iPad. Embed Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Acrobat in every system, and emphasize the browser is just like any PC’s desktop browser (IE: Flash!).

Advertising-wise, I would hype the smaller size and easier portability of the playbook, and tag team with Hollywood on the Playbook’s HD screen. (Sorry, Apple fans. Watching a HD movie on a Playbook VS. an iPad 2 screen isn’t even close.) Maybe embed some free movies on there, or team up with Netflix or Redbox. On the flip side of that, I would buy (or write) a iMovie knockoff and emphasize how easy it is to make movies on the Playbook. Make a contest where the best movie shot and edited on a Playbook gets a big prize.

Whatever RIM is planning, if I was in charge, I would move quick on this new system’s features. All Apple has to do is release an iPad that’s similar in size and screen quality as the Playbook (even if it is $50-$75 over the Playbook price point) and that will be it for RIM.

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