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RIM Ships BlackBerry OS 7.1, Intros PlayBook OS 2.0

By - Source: RIM Press Release | B 11 comments

RIM has unleashed BlackBerry 7.1 and plans to showcase the smartphone OS -- along with a new version of the PlayBook tablet OS -- this week during CES 2012.

On Monday RIM said that the company will showcase both the BlackBery 7.1 OS and the PlayBook OS 2.0 this week during CES 2012 in Las Vegas. The former smartphone-based OS is officially rolling out from carriers around the world starting today and the roll-out will continue over the coming weeks. New releases of BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), BlackBerry Traffic and BlackBerry Travel will also be available on BlackBerry App World starting today.

"The BlackBerry 7.1 OS incorporates a new feature called BlackBerry Tag that can change the way BlackBerry users share information and content," the company said. "By simply tapping their NFC enabled BlackBerry(R) smartphone against another NFC enabled BlackBerry smartphone, users can make sharing easier than ever. They can instantly invite a friend to BBM, exchange contact information, documents, URLs, photos and other multimedia content, and they can also pair their BlackBerry smartphone with an NFC enabled Bluetooth device."

In addition to BlackBerry Tag, the update now includes mobile hotspot capabilities for sharing an internet connection with up to five Wi-Fi-enabled devices, support for carrier-implemented Wi-Fi calling services, an enhanced Universal Search and an enhanced version of BlackBerry Maps. Customers with a BlackBerry Curve 9360 or 9380 smartphone will also discover a newly-added FM radio app, as the FM radio circuitry is already built into their devices.

As for PlayBook 2.0, CES 2012 attendees visiting the RIM booth will get a chance to play with the new OS and sample new features including an advanced messaging experience (unified inbox, multi-tasking within email, inbox management tools), an integration of social relationships (a people-centric calendar, a relationship-centric contacts app), BlackBerry smartphone/tablet data sharing (remote control and remote playback via BlackBerry Bridge), improved mobile productivity (updated document editing capabilities, Print To Go, better corporate data management), and new apps/content such the Video Store and enhanced web browsing.

"BlackBerry PlayBook is already recognized for delivering powerful performance, true multi-tasking, advanced web browsing and HD multimedia in an ultra-portable design," said Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO at Research In Motion. "With BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 we are building on this strong foundation, as well as leveraging our strengths in communications, social integration and productivity, to allow people to use their BlackBerry PlayBook in new ways throughout the day."

The BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 software update will be available as a free download for all BlackBerry PlayBook users and is expected to be available in February 2012.

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  • 5 Hide
    zak_mckraken , January 9, 2012 4:37 PM
    Good luck RIM! I hope you can keep up with Android and iOS.
  • -4 Hide
    classzero , January 9, 2012 4:44 PM
    I really don't see a future in RIM for much longer. Some one will either buy them for patents or they will just fold.
  • -1 Hide
    freggo , January 9, 2012 5:54 PM
    Sorry to agree but I'd not buy a Blackberry device. Just too unsure of RIM's future and would not want to get stuck with an unsupported piece of Hardware.
  • Display all 11 comments.
  • 7 Hide
    Anonymous , January 9, 2012 6:03 PM
    This little beast is very, very nice. Incredibly easy to use multi-touch interface and the multitasking is unreal. I don;t think they're gonna waste all the tech they've invested here. I hope they get the calendar and email issues cleaned up, but if they open up the android apps on it then all this will take off.
  • 4 Hide
    fonzy , January 9, 2012 7:14 PM
    My mother and my brother both own a playbook and love it. They can't wait for the update.
  • 5 Hide
    Anonymous , January 9, 2012 7:16 PM
    Sounds like they are trying really hard to get ahead or at least back to where they were. Still lots of future for RIM, especially if they license there security software. There are other companies who are desperately trying to get something close.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , January 9, 2012 7:59 PM
    I have a Playbook and think it's an incredible device as is. With additional key apps it should get red hot. Now, about the press release. Did you notice there wasn't even a hint of an Android App Player in 2.0? I think they can survive pushing back BBM, but if they don't make good on Android Apps, they're going to have a massive user revolt on their hands.
  • 3 Hide
    eddieroolz , January 10, 2012 4:01 AM
    Started using a Bold 9900 recently and I'm loving it. It's my first smartphone and it's got me sold just with the hardware keyboard...and since I'm not looking to do random useless things on my phone, the lack of apps compared to iOS and Android doesn't hurt me.
  • -1 Hide
    nael , January 10, 2012 5:24 AM
    The PlayBook is useless without 3G :( 
  • 3 Hide
    iceman1992 , January 10, 2012 9:04 AM
    bought a Torch 9810 recently and it's awesome. fluid fast, a definite leap forward compared to the previous generations. it really feels like a well-built and dependable device, software and hardware wise. i don't know what all the talk of BB7 being under par is about, because it's excellent, and certainly competes with iOS and Android
  • 2 Hide
    LukeyB , January 10, 2012 10:24 AM
    OS 2.0 will make this thing just as capable as a iPad 2 and more. The apps are a given, but do not knock it until you try it. A couple of months ago, Tom's released a somewhat negative article stating "we don't see why the Playbook will go back up in price". I'm interested, and that's all I will say.
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