Perhaps the most obvious limitation of the BlackBerry PlayBook, the lack of a native e-mail application, won’t be corrected until February, Research In Motion said yesterday. The e-mail update, which would have happened by now if RIM had kept to its original schedule, will come with version 2.0 of the PlayBook OS, now slated to reach customers in February. BlackBerry Messenger will not be included in that update, and RIM did not provide a timeline on when to expect a native BBM app for the PlayBook.
“As much as we’d love to have it in your hands today, we’ve made the difficult decision to wait to launch BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 until we are confident we have fully met the expectations of our developers, enterprise customers and end-users,” RIM senior vice president David Smith said in a blog post Tuesday.
Moreover, “we have decided to defer the inclusion of the BBM application to a subsequent BlackBerry PlayBook OS release,” RIM said. “We are committed to developing a seamless BBM solution that fully delivers on the powerful, push based messaging capabilities recognized today by BlackBerry users around the world and we’re still working on it. In the meantime, BlackBerry smartphone users will be able to continue to use BlackBerry Bridge to securely access BlackBerry Messenger on the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet’s high resolution display.”
Since the PlayBook shipped earlier this year without native e-mail, the aforementioned BlackBerry Bridge is also used to create a link between the PlayBook and a BlackBerry smartphone, bringing the phone’s e-mail, calendar, and contacts to the tablet. A beta version of PlayBook OS 2.0 has been made available to developers, bringing them a runtime to test Android apps on the PlayBook, but RIM says the developer beta “does not contain end user features such as: email, calendar contacts, video store, etc.”