When Research In Motion released its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, the device had its fair share of problems. RIM promised an operating system update that would address these problems but the launch was delayed by several months. A new report from N4BB claims the official release of the PlayBook 2.0 update is set for February 21st, just over a week later than the company initially planned. The PlayBook OS 2.0 update will include native email, calendar and contacts apps, but unfortunately native BBM will remain absent from the tablet and can only be accessed through BlackBerry Bridge. More →
Earlier this month, Research in Motion began to offer free BlackBerry PlayBook tablets to any Android developers that repackaged their apps for App World. Due to overwhelming interest, the Monday deadline for registration has been extended to February 15th and all developers will have until March 2nd to submit their apps. As of last Friday, there had been more than 1,500 app submissions and over 6,600 new developers registered in the BlackBerry App World according to RIM. According to a post on its blog late Monday, the company is “working around the clock to approve vendor registrations and app submissions.” More →
At last month’s Consumer Electronics Show, Research in Motion previewed the company’s upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook 2.0 update, which we exclusively reported would land in mid-February. The anticipated update will give PlayBook users the ability to use Android apps that have been compiled for RIM’s platform, but getting developers on board remains the issue. RIM is taking steps to get the attention of developers, however, and one of the first is to offer free BlackBerry PlayBook tablets to any Android developers that repackages their apps for App World. The promotion was announced by Alec Saunders, the company’s VP of developer relations, with developers having been given until February 13th to submit their applications.
Sprint has updated the company’s end-of-life list to include two of its tablets. Shipments of the carrier’s BlackBerry Playbook and HTC EVO View 4G will come to a halt and supplies will run down within the coming weeks, according to the EOL list obtained by SprintFeed. Both tablets will be phased out by the end of of January, possibly leading to the announcement of an LTE tablet from the Overland Park-based company. At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, Sprint announced two new LTE-powered smartphones, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and LG Viper, which will launch some time this spring. The company is looking to roll out its 4G LTE network by mid-2012 in select locations. More →
Research In Motion, for the first time ever, suffered an exploit in which root access was gained on one of their devices, the PlayBook. While RIM initially downplayed the significance of the jailbreak, the exploit tool created by a few hackers was recently released to the public and it indeed gave users root access to the BlackBerry PlayBook, bypassing RIM’s security measures. After the jailbreak was released, RIM made an OTA update available that fixed the jailbreak. RIM’s fix has already been jailbroken however, leaving the company’s only tablet exposed, again. This cat and mouse game is something that RIM has not had to deal with in the past due to the enhanced security of the BlackBerry platform. More →
Research In Motion is reportedly offering its 16GB BlackBerry PlayBook to employees for as little as $99 through an employee-only website. The company is also selling its 32GB model for $149 and the 64GB model for $199, The Verge said Monday, noting that employees can order up to eight units each. PlayBook fans can still pick up a unit at a deep discount even without being on RIM’s payroll. The company recently slashed as much as $300 off of the tablet in an effort to gain consumer attention ahead of the holiday season; the 16GB PlayBook model can be purchased for $199.99 from Best Buy, RadioShack and Walmart, although Best Buy has confirmed with CNET that its initial supply is already depleted and that more units will be stocked in the “near future.” Additionally, RIM recently announced a promotion during which it will provide a free 16GB BlackBerry PlayBook to businesses that upgrade to BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) v5.0 between now and December 31st. More →
Research In Motion’s debut tablet hasn’t bowled people over like the company had hoped, and now it is pushing a huge sale in hopes of drumming up interest during the holiday shopping season. For a limited time through participating retailers, RIM is offering its BlackBerry PlayBook slate for $300 below MSRP, representing savings of up to 60%. Sale pricing comes in at $199.99 for the 16GB model, $299 for the 32GB version and $399 for the 64GB model, and participating retailers include Best Buy, Walmart RadioShack and more. More →
Adobe on Wednesday confirmed that it is ceasing development of Flash Player for mobile devices. Instead, with regard to mobile platforms, the software company will focus on HTML5 and Adobe AIR-packaged native apps moving forward. “Our future work with Flash on mobile devices will be focused on enabling Flash developers to package native apps with Adobe AIR for all the major app stores,” Adobe VP Danny Winokur wrote in a post on the company’s blog. “We will no longer continue to develop Flash Player in the browser to work with new mobile device configurations (chipset, browser, OS version, etc.) following the upcoming release of Flash Player 11.1 for Android and BlackBerry PlayBook. We will of course continue to provide critical bug fixes and security updates for existing device configurations. We will also allow our source code licensees to continue working on and release their own implementations.” More →
Adobe will soon discontinue development of Flash Player for mobile devices according to a recent report. Citing sources with knowledge of Adobe’s future plans, ZDNet’s Tech Broiler blog claims that Adobe will no longer develop Flash Player for mobile browsers, instead focusing on mobile apps, “expressive” desktop content and increasing the company’s investment in HTML5. “Our future work with Flash on mobile devices will be focused on enabling Flash developers to package native apps with Adobe AIR for all the major app stores,” Adobe reportedly wrote in a memo. “We will no longer adapt Flash Player for mobile devices to new browser, OS version or device configurations.” The purported memo adds that Adobe will continue to support mobile Flash on Android and the BlackBerry PlayBook, supplying critical bug fixes and security updates as required.
UPDATE: Adobe confirmed that it will cease development of Flash Player for mobile.
BGR reported exclusive details of RIM’s upcoming BBX-based smartphone code-named the BlackBerry Colt earlier this year, and we have since heard that there is going to be a big emphasis on video calling with the company’s first super smartphone. This obviously means the device will feature a front-facing camera. As far as the BlackBerry PlayBook goes, RIM recently demoed OS 2.0 for the PlayBook, an update to the original OS that brings Android app compatibility along with native email and PIM access. As we reported before, however, there were tremendous obstacles that have prevented Research In Motion from shipping native email, calendar, contacts, BlackBerry Messenger, and other core system apps on the new QNX-based operating system. RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie said during the company’s last earnings call that the PlayBook would see an update in October but unfortunately, RIM is still struggling with these challenges. Hit the break for more. More →
Earlier this week, Research In Motion introduced the developer beta of BBX OS 2.0, which supports the Eclipse Android development platform on the company’s BlackBerry PlayBook. On Friday, one developer released a video that shows a number of Android applications running on a tablet. We’ve seen a clip of a PlayBook running Android apps from RIM before, but now we have raw footage from an outside source. The video shows a folder on the main home screen called “Android Apps” that is populated with IM+ Pro, IMDb, Gmail, Amazon Kindle, Kik Messenger, Google Places and more, which suggests that a wide range of apps will work on the device. We’re impressed with what we see so far; the apps run without any issue and take just a few seconds to load. We last heard Android support was delayed until late fall and, since it was just pushed to developers, we may have some time left to wait until the feature is released to consumers. Hit the break for the full video of Android apps in action on the PlayBook. More →
Following news that multiple retailers across North America have begun to offer deep discounts on Research In Motion’s BlackBerry PlayBook, retail giant Best Buy is now offering the best deal yet on RIM’s troubled tablet. BGR reported on Monday that retailers such as Staples and Office Depot were offering sale pricing on the PlayBook, and Best Buy Canada was among the shops mentioned. Now, Best Buy here in the U.S. is following suit and knocking $200 off of its PlayBook pricing. Unlike other retailers, however, Best Buy is taking off the full $200 at the point of purchase, rather than offering a $100 discount and a $100 gift card like other retailers, including Best Buy Canada, are doing. The discount means RIM’s 16GB PlayBook tablet will cost just $299.99, the 32GB model is $399.99 and the 64GB version is $499.99. A Best Buy spokesperson confirmed to BGR that this is a limited-time sale running from now through October 8th.
During RIM’s second-quarter earnings call, co-CEO Jim Balsillie noted that the company plans to offer price cuts on the not-so-popular BlackBerry PlayBook in the form of rebates, and an incentive program for enterprise sales. Additionally, Balsillie mentioned that there will be a major software update for the PlayBook coming soon. RIM reported during its earnings call on Thursday that it only sold 200,000 BlackBerry PlayBook tablets into channels during its August quarter, after having shipped 500,000 units in the fiscal first quarter. Wall Street was expecting PlayBook shipments to total 700,000 units in the quarter.