Research in Motion has released a software update for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.1 is available as a free over-the-air update. Just visit the settings menu on your tablet and use the “check for updates” option under the “software updates” menu.

BlackBerry PlayBook

So what’s new in PlayBook OS 2.1? Here are a few highlights:

  • There’s better support for Android apps, including support for in-app payments and apps that use the PlayBook’s camera. You can also now run Android apps in separate windows for improved multitasking and switching between apps.
  • BlackBerry Bridge now lets you read and send SMS messages on your tablet when it’s paired via Bluetooth with a BlackBerry smartphone.
  • If you’re using Bridge and you’re connected to a WiFi network, the PlayBook will send and receive data over WiFi in order to use less cellular data.
  • You can now use the email and contacts apps in portrait mode as well as landscape.
  • There’s support for video chat over 4G data connections.
  • Print To Go now works even if your tablet isn’t on the same network as your printer.

RIM says the update also brings improved performance and speed to BlackBerry Bridge and adds new enterprise features including new IT policies, support for full device encryption, and more.

Unfortunately there’s still no support for side-loading Android apps or installing the Google Play Store, so if you want to run Android apps you’ll have to stick with the ones that are available from the BlackBerry App World store.

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