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BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0: RIM details new features

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RIM's PlayBook OS version 2.0 is being previewed here at CES 2012. It finally brings a native email client, support for using a BlackBerry device as a remote, and wireless printing capabilities. It also has a "reading view" mode in the browser and the BlackBerry Video Storefront.


RIM has announced that it will show off version 2.0 of the BlackBerry Playbook OS here at CES 2012 which will become available in February. This version finally brings a native email client to RIM's tablet, complete with unified inbox and tab-based navigation for keeping multiple messages open simultaneously. It also has a rich text editor — something not often seen on mobile devices — and support for setting auto-responders and signatures right from the PlayBook itself. (For those wondering, there's still no BBM.) Similar to webOS, the PlayBook OS now pulls in and consolidates contact information from multiple social networks and email accounts into one entry per person. It also has a "people-centric calendar" that integrates with the address book.

The new OS packs a couple of improvements that should make it easier to get work done on the PlayBook. BlackBerry phones have been tightly integrated with the tablet since launch, but users can now use their device's hardware keyboard to input text or control the PlayBook remotely. Content on smartphone devices can also be opened directly on the PlayBook itself. An updated Documents To Go suite adds support for embedded charts and formulas, while the new Print To Go application enables users to print wirelessly. Finally, BlackBerry Balance and Mobile Fusion are integrated into 2.0, providing a simpler way for IT departments to allow both personal and corporate data on devices it distributes without compromising security.

Finally, version 2.0 adds in support for the BlackBerry Video Storefront (currently only available in the US), which allows viewing before a file has been fully downloaded. The browser also gains a new "reading view" that sounds similar to Apple's reading list and Instapaper.