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BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 Now Available, Says RIM

Early Tuesday morning RIM announced that BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 will be released as a free download for all BlackBerry PlayBook tablets sometime during the day. RIM is also making available an initial release of BlackBerry Mobile Fusion which will include support for managing BlackBerry PlayBook tablets and BlackBerry smartphones in an enterprise. The full Mobile Fusion release will include mobile device management capabilities for iOS and Android devices, and is slated to launch in late March 2012.

However as for the new PlayBook OS, RIM promises that customers will be able to use their tablet in new ways throughout the day. "Building on the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet's proven web browsing, multimedia and multitasking strengths, the new BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 introduces a range of new communications and productivity enhancements as well as expanded app and content support," said David J. Smith, SVP Mobile Computing, Research In Motion.

Here's are a few highlights provided by RIM:

Integrated email client with a powerful unified inbox
With BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0, you have the option to use a unified inbox that consolidates all messages in one place, including messages from Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, as well as personal and work email accounts.

Social Integration with Calendar and Contacts apps
The built-in calendar harnesses information from social networks and makes it available where and when users need it. Contact cards are also dynamically populated with updated information from Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to create a consolidated view of contacts.

Updated BlackBerry Bridge app
BlackBerry Bridge is a unique app that provides a Bluetooth connection between your BlackBerry PlayBook and core apps on your BlackBerry smartphone (including BBM, Email, Contacts, Calendar and Browser) in order to let you view the content on the larger tablet display. With BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0, it's easier and quicker than ever to take documents, web pages, emails and photos that appear on your BlackBerry smartphone and display them on your BlackBerry PlayBook for an optimized viewing and editing experience. The updated BlackBerry Bridge app also provides a new remote control feature that allows a BlackBerry smartphone to be used as a wireless keyboard and mouse for a BlackBerry PlayBook.

Improved mobile productivity
Updated document editing functions, the new Print To Go app, and increased control and manageability of corporate data with BlackBerry Balance allow you to get more out of your BlackBerry PlayBook every day. Plus, an updated virtual keyboard with auto correction and predictive next word completion learns how you type to enable faster, more accurate typing.

New apps and content
Thousands of new apps are being added to BlackBerry App World today (including a range of Android apps that will run on the BlackBerry PlayBook). A new BlackBerry Video Store is launching today. Enhanced web browsing capabilities are also available with BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0.

On Tuesday RIM added that the BlackBerry Video Store will initially be available in the United States -- support for other countries is expected to be added later this year. RIM also pointed out that BlackBerry Mobile Fusion Studio can be used to manage BlackBerry smartphones through a single unified console, supporting devices activated on BlackBerry Enterprise Server version 5.0.3 or later.

For more information about BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0, check out RIM's demo here. To learn how to update your tablet to the new OS, follow the instructions listed here.