Those of you itching to get your hands on the upcoming PlayBook OS update will have to wait until 2012, RIM says, and even then, it will be without stand-alone BlackBerry Messenger support. The first glimpse of OS 2.0 for RIM’s tablet is offering up an Android App Player, but there’s still a lot more to add, like stand-alone e-mail, and other native productivity apps like calendar, contacts, and memopad. They were left out of the initial PlayBook launch in favour of Bridge, which made users pair up their BlackBerry smartphone over Bluetooth to simply see the data stored the phone on a bigger screen; that was supposedly a security precaution for businesses, since none of the data resided locally on the PlayBook. Beyond that, a recent customer survey indicates that RIM’s looking at DLNA support, using a BlackBerry smartphone as a mouse/keyboard, more use of the LED indicator, and the addition of two-way Stereo Bluetooth in future PlayBook updates. The next batch of BlackBerry PlayBook 2.0 betas are going out to businesses registered with RIM’s Early Adopter Program, so they can presumably test enterprise management software.
February seems like a long ways off, especially since the operating system is a precursor to RIM’s new BBX smartphone platform, and the timing of any BBX handset launch will likely hinge on PlayBook OS 2.0 being finalized. The investors that haven’t bailed on RIM already are eager to see if the new platform will bring BlackBerry into the future, but their patience might not last another four months, nevermind the six to eight before we’re likely to see a BBX phone. At very least by the time the new software goes public, the device’s pricetag will likely be dipping to Kindle Fire-levels, and who knows, maybe RIM will kick off PlayBook 2.0 with another tablet. 10 inches, anyone?