RIM BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.1 Update now available for download

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Oct 032012
 

RIM BlackBerry PlayBookResearch In Motion today announced that its latest RIM BlackBerry PlayBook OS update is now available for download. Among the new features in version 2.1 are:

  • Updated BlackBerry Bridge: View, respond and compose new SMS messages on BlackBerry PlayBook Tablet when connected to a BlackBerry smartphone over Bluetooth. Increased performance and speed of other BlackBerry Bridge functions.
  • Email and PIM Enhancements: Pportrait support for email, calendar and contacts, giving you the option to use your tablet in either orientation to message.
  • Improved Android Application Support: Includes Multi-Window Applications, Camera Support and In-App Payments.
  • Updated Print to Go app and Canadian video store now preloaded into OS
  • Improved folder and sync management including ability to individually sync email folders over ActiveSync
  • Streamlined setup and software update experience
  • Over-the-air (OTA) enrollment with BlackBerry Mobile Fusion

The update is currently available for the Wi-Fi versions of the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. It will be available for the 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook “within the next month, upon carrier approval of software.”

Loof for a software update notification to come up on the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet status ribbon to trigger the update. You can also manually trigger a check for the software update by going to the settings menu under “Software Updates” and tapping “Check for Updates”.

Read more: Inside BlackBerry

Apple leads smartphone and tablet markets in Canada

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Sep 172012
 

Apple iPhone 4SThe latest Ipsos Reid’s Mobil-ology report, which looks at smartphone, tablet and eReader usage in Canada, has found Apple as the top brand for both smartphones and tablets. The manufacturer accounted for 29% of smartphones and 42% of tablets in August 2012. Holding down second place is none other than Canada’s own Research In Motion. Its smartphones still hold 27% of the market while the PlayBook holds a 19% share. But both are facing fast growing competition from Android.

“In terms of Smartphones, the big story in this wave of Mobil-ology is the success of devices using an Android operating system,” says Mary Beth Barbour, Senior Vice President with Ipsos Reid. “While Apple’s iPhone continues to make steady gains, Smartphones using the Android OS have been living up to the buzz making the most ground in the wake of RIM’s losses.”

In fact, Android is now the dominant mobile operating system in Canada, accounting for 36% of smartphones. This is a 10% increase since January 2011. Android tablets are also showing signs of growth with Samsung, Acer and ASUS Android tablets now accounting for 28% of this market. Samsung in particular has been growing quickly. Both its smartphone and tablet shares have doubled since January 2011 to 18% and 9% respectively.

Overall, the report found that smartphones penetration stood at 40% in August, up from 23% in January 2011. Tablet penetration grew 3% to 15% during the same period.

Read more: Ipsos Reid (Source: Mobile Syrup)

4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook now available in Canada

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Aug 092012
 

RIM BlackBerry PlayBookAs expected, today is the day that the 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook tablet became available in Canada. All three national carriers, Bell, Rogers, and TELUS, are offering it as of today.

Aside from the additional LTE connectivity, there are only a few differences between this model and the Wi-Fi-only models. Th4e 4G LTE model comes with a faster 1.5GHz dual-core processor and is only available with 32GB of onboard storage. It also comes with PlayBook OS 2.0.1 pre-installed (the update is also available as a maintenance update for the Wi-Fi PlayBook).

Both Bell and Rogers offer the 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook for CA$349.99 with a three-year contract. All three carriers are also offering it for CA$549.99 with no contract.

Read more: Bell, Rogers, and TELUS

RIM announces 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook tablet

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Aug 022012
 

RIM 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBookAs expected, Research In Motion today announced the 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook Tablet with built-in support for cellular networks. Very similar to the Wi-Fi model, one improvement is the faster 1.5GHz processor.

“We’re excited to bring customers the first BlackBerry PlayBook tablet with support for 4G LTE networks,” said David J. Smith, Executive Vice President, Mobile Computing at Research In Motion. “The new 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook offers a broad range of premium features, including a stunning 7 inch display, front and rear facing HD video cameras, HDMI out and stereo speakers, and it also offers premium performance on high speed cellular networks, helping customers to be more productive than ever and to make the most of their time on the go.”

4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook specifications:

  • Processor: 1.5GHz
  • Operating system: BlackBerry Tablet OS 2.0.1
  • Cellular connectivity: LTE / HSPA+
  • Other connectivity: GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
  • Display: 7-inch WSVGA (1024×600) LCD
  • Input: Capacitive touchscreen
  • Memory: 1GB RAM
  • Storage: 32GB onboard
  • Rear-facing camera: 5MP with 1080p video capture
  • Front-facing camera: 3MP
  • Connectors: Micro-USB, micro-HDMI
  • Battery:
  • Dimensions / weight: 194 x 130 x 10 millimeters / 425 grams

The RIM 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook tablet will be available from Bell, Rogers and TELUS starting on August 9, 2012. Additional variants with support for different networks will launch in the coming months from carriers across the world. Pricing was not announced.

RIM also announced that PlayBook OS 2.0.1 is now available as a maintenance update for the Wi-Fi PlayBook.

Read more: Research In Motion

BlackBerry PlayBook Video Store now available in Canada

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Jul 252012
 

Research In Motion launched its BlackBerry PlayBook Video Store in the US earlier this year. Good news for Canadians today as the PlayBook app has finally made it north of the border and is now available from BlackBerry App World.

“The BlackBerry Video Store offers a catalog of thousands of movies and TV shows with new releases available for purchase or rent. With the Video Store, customers have the option of streaming a trailer before making a purchase decision, and can also begin watching media as soon as they start to download a file. They won’t have to wait for the entire file to transfer before they can begin enjoying great entertainment on the tablet’s high resolution display or on an HDTV using the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet’s HDMI output.”

RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Video Store

A quick look showed rentals falling in the CA$5 range and movie purchases around the CA$20 mark.

It’s likely that negotiations over digital rights to the content offered are the main reason that the Canadian launch took place a number of months after the US one. RIM would not be the first to launch such a service first in the US and then have to renegotiate the offering for a different country.

BlackBerry PlayBook Video Store requires Tablet OS 2.0.1 or higher.

Read more: BlackBerry App World

Rumour: Leaked changelog reveals what’s new in BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.1

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Jul 252012
 

RIM BlackBerry PlayBookIt looks like Research In Motion is getting ready to release an update to its PlayBook Tablet OS. Version 2.1 has been in beta for some time, giving everyone a sense of what to expect. A leaked changelog document obtained by CrackBerry has now given us a detailed list of upcoming features and changes, including some not in the current beta. It includes the following:

  • Software updates are no longer mandatory during setup. The customer can choose the best time to update for them.
  • Setting Up Wi-Fi connection is no longer mandatory at setup
  • Software updates can be done over a cellular network (4G models only)
  • Portrait Mode can now be used with the Email, Calendar, and Contacts App
  • Greater flexibility and control over which folders are wirelessly synced when using Active Sync
  • Full access to IMAP Email folders
  • The BlackBerry PlayBook now gives you the ability to conduct a video chat over 4G Cellular Networks (Some Carrier Restrictions May Apply)
  • Print To Go – Now you can send content to your BlackBerry PlayBook even if it’s not connected to the same WiFi network.
  • Android Apps will now run in individual windows rather than being lumped into one Android Player Window.
  • Apps which require access to the camera are now supported
  • In-App Payments can now be submitted. Buying that next power-up in your game is easier than ever!
  • Video Store is now available in Canada. Thousands of movies and TV shows, new & old, available on demand to rent or buy New releases available same day as DVD
  • Text Messaging is now supported with BlackBerry Bridge. When Bridged you can read, send and receive text messages on your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.
  • When Bridged, and connected to WiFi, the BlackBerry PlayBook automatically sends and receives data over the WiFi network to decrease cellular data usage, and increase performance.

It’s likely that BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.1 will be the last update before the PlayBook gets upgraded to BlackBerry 10. A Q1/Q2 time frame is rumoured for that update.

There is no word yet on when RIM will release BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.1. Maybe it will do so around the launch of the BlackBerry PlayBook 4G on July 31st.

Read more: CrackBerry

Rumour: Bell to launch 4G LTE RIM BlackBerry PlayBook on July 31st

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Jul 232012
 

RIM BlackBerry PlayBookResearch In Motion first promised BlackBerry PlayBook models with cellular connectivity when it first launched the Wi-Fi-only version over a year ago. It has yet to materialize but rumours consistently resurfaced hinting that it was coming. The last such rumour, a leaked RIM BlackBerry 10 roadmap, indicated it would finally launch in Q4 2012. It now looks like the 4G LTE RIM BlackBerry PlayBook will launch sooner than that.

MobileSyrup has learned that Bell and likely other Canadian carriers will finally launch a 4G LTE version of the BlackBerry PlayBook on July 31st.

Rumoured 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook specifications:

  • Processor: 1.5GHz dual-core
  • Operating system: BlackBerry Tablet OS 2.0
  • Cellular connectivity: 4G LTE / HSPA+
  • Display: 7-inch WSVGA (1024×600)
  • Input: Capacitive touchscreen
  • Memory: 1GB RAM
  • Storage: 32GB onboard
  • Rear-facing camera: 5MP with 1080p video capture
  • Front-facing camera: 3MP
  • Battery: 4,800mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 130 x 193 x 9.7 millimeters / 425 grams

A leaked Bell internal document indicates that the 4G LTE PlayBook will sell for CA$549.95 with no contract.

Read more: MobileSyrup

Jul 152012
 

RIM BlackBerry PlayBookRIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook appears to have found a following here in Canada, thanks in part to the fact that it now sells at a significant discount. According to a quarterly survey conducted by Solutions Research Group (SRG), the most popular tablet in Canada remains the Apple iPad but the PlayBook accounted for 19% of the Canadian tablet market in Q1 2012, up from 2% in Q2 2011 (based on a survey of 1000 people).

The spoils, 25% of the tablet market, is split among Android tablet manufacturers.

Tablet brand Q2 2011 Q1 2012
Apple 86% 56%
RIM 2% 19%
Samsung 4% 8%
Acer 1% 6%
ASUS 0% 5%
Motorola 2% 2%
Lenovo 0% 1%
Others 5% 4%

Much of RIM’s success can be attributed to the fact that the tablet now sells for as low as about CA$200 for the now discontinued 16GB version. The release of BlackBerry OS 2.0 also helped by delivering some of the functionality that the tablet really should have launched with.

RIM is expected to launch a 4G version of the PlayBook sometime in Q4 2012. A 10-inch PlayBook codenamed Blackforest could launch in Q3 2013 with BlackBerry 10 instead of the current BlackBerry Tablet OS.

Update: SRG has now published their report online.

Read more: SRG (Source: The Globe and Mail [Print edition only])

3 billion apps downloaded from RIM BlackBerry App World

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Jul 062012
 

Research In MotionSome good news from Research In Motion today: The BlackBerry App World has topped the three billion app download mark. It took just over three years to hit this milestone.

Three billion app downloads averages out to over 2.5 million downloads each day. What’s even more important – and impressive – is that the number of daily downloads continues to increase. It took 786 days to reach the one billion mark, 210 days to reach two billion, and only 176 days to reach the three billion number. I should also note that this number does not include apps downloaded from third party BlackBerry app stores, or those pushed internally at companies around the world, or those downloaded directly from the web.

The BlackBerry App World now has over 90,000 applications up for sale from some 28,000 vendors.

Read more: RIM BlackBerry Developer Blog

RIM discontinues 16GB BlackBerry PlayBook model

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Jun 072012
 

RIM BlackBerry PlayBookResearch In Motion is discontinuing the 16GB version of its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. The move was revealed in an email from RIM to a CrackBerry forum user. RIM was quick to point out that “we continue to remain committed to the tablet space and the 32 GB and 64 GB models of the BlackBerry PlayBook continue to offer great value to our customers.”

RIM BlackBerry 16GB model discontinued

Further confirmation was provided by RIM in response to an enquiry by CrackBerry: “In regards to your question about the 16G PlayBook – there is more value for our customers in the higher capacity models (32 GB, 64 GB), and as such we have decided to focus our efforts there.”

The move suggests that upcoming 4G BlackBerry PlayBook models will only be offered in 32 and 64GB configurations.

Read more: CrackBerry

WordPress for PlayBook gets update

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May 042012
 

RIM BlackBerry PlayBookWordPress today announced an update for its WordPress for PlayBook app. Version 2.1 adds some “totally radical stuff” including:

  • Comment editing: tap the new ‘Edit’ button when viewing a comment and you will be taken to a new screen where you can edit the comment information including the name, email, URL, comment text, and status.
  • Post Autosave: to better protect your content, the app will now autosave posts you are editing every 60 seconds.
  • New Scaled Image Setting: you can now set the width of linked images. Tap ‘Settings’ and then tap the ‘Upload and link to scaled image’ checkbox.
  • Minor changes including reliability improvements and a new app icon

WordPress for PlayBook is a free app available on the BlackBerry App World. It requires BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 or higher.

Read more: WordPress for PlayBook

Better photos of BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha surface

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Apr 292012
 

Better quality pictures of the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha device have turned up after the initial leak. They don’t reveal much more except to indicate that the device will come with 16GB of onboard storage.

Rumoured RIM BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha

Rumoured RIM BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha

BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha devices will be handed out to developers attending the upcoming BlackBerry 10 Jam conference. Not final BlackBerry 10 devices, they are intended to help developers get their apps ready for the upcoming BlackBerry 10 smartphone.

Read more: CrackBerry

BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha caught on camera

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Apr 282012
 

Developers attending next week’s BlackBerry 10 Jam conference will be given a BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha, a prototype device which will run a modified version of the PlayBook OS to help them prepare their apps for the upcoming BlackBerry 10 smartphone. Pictures of the device have now surfaced courtesy of CrackBerry:

Rumoured RIM BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha

Rumoured RIM BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha

Given all the rumours that the first BlackBerry 10 device will be a touchscreen device, it’s no surprise that the Alpha device is one as well. Just how much of a hint it gives about the first official BlackBerry 10 device’s design remains to be seen. RIM was quick to point out, “Just to be 100% clear – it’s not the final hardware or OS for BlackBerry 10 – it’s a device to help developers get started with designing for what’s coming.” If it is, it owes more to the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet than to the rumoured BlackBerry 10 Colt renders seen last year.

There are no details as to specifications but we should have those next week with BlackBerry World amd BlackBerry 10 Jam taking place then.

Read more: CrackBerry

RIM releases BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0.1.358 update

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Apr 172012
 

RIM BlackBerry PlayBookResearch In Motion today announced the availability of BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0.1.358. The following updates are included:

  • Browser enhancements to address performance with some websites
  • Improvements to support Android apps
  • Optimizations to Video Chat, PIM and BlackBerry Bridge applications
  • And much more!

The update is free and is available over-the-air.

PlayBook users will receive a notification that the software update is available. It is also possible to check for the update using the settings menu under “Software Updates” and tapping “Check for Updates.”

Read more: Research In Motion

RIM to stop PlayBook app sideloading with upcoming OS update

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Apr 092012
 

RIM BlackBerry PlayBookResearch In Motion will put an end to users ability to sideload applications on the BlackBerry PlayBook with the next update. In response to a developer enquiry, RIM Developer Relations VP Alex Saunders’s Twitter response was unequivocal:

we’re removing sideloading for consumers. Pretty sure we’ve got a solution for devs.

Saunders defended RIM’s decision with a further tweet:

piracy is a huge problem for Android devs, and we don’t want to duplicate the chaotic cesspool of Android market

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