By now, you should know a lot about the upcoming Research In Motion BlackBerry PlayBook, as we’ve had multiple hands-on videos of the device but I thought one more dedicated solely to the gesture controls could be useful.
As you may know, the BlackBerry PlayBook sports a 7-inch screen with a high resolution but there’s almost an inch of bezel around that screen in each direction. This will be used to do some gesture controls and it’s somewhat similar to what webOS does but it’s a bit more refined.
If you’re in an app and want to go back to the home screen on the BlackBerry PlayBook, you simply swipe up from the bottom. Like Palm’s platform, this will make the app smaller and put it in a cards-like interface. The dual-core processor of the RIM tablet is powerful enough to continue to run full videos in that minimized form.
If you’re in the app, you can also use the left and right swipes to move between apps – this works pretty smoothly and quickly. If you want to bring up options within an app, you just swipe down from the top bezel. Think of this as the Menu button from Android.
If you want to bring up the keyboard, you swipe from the lower left corner. If you’re in an app or field in the browser that needs text input, the BlackBerry PlayBook will pop up the keyboard automatically but this gives you another option.
As you would expect, these gestures controls automatically orient for how you’re holding the device and I found these to be very natural-feeling. The controls are so smooth on the BlackBerry PlayBook that die-hard BlackBerry fans may have to face a bit of a learning curve to adjust.
Speaking of webOS, HP is on the cusp of unveiling its webOS tablet next week and we should also see some gesture controls with that. Let’s see which one is better.