Research in Motion’s BlackBerry platform is probably best known for the way it handles email and messaging. But at launch, the BlackBerry PlayBook 7 inch tablet won’t have a native email, BlackBerry Messenger, or Calendar app. Instead, it will rely on something called BlackBerry Bridge which synchronizes data for those apps with a BlackBerry phone over a Bluetooth connection. This will let Bridge users interact with mail, messaging, and calendar apps on the larger PlayBook screen — but it does nothing for anyone who wants to pick up a PlayBook who doesn’t have a BlackBerry phone because if the BlackBery phone isn’t within range, you won’t even see those apps.

Considering how much buzz the PlayBook is getting, this seems kind of silly. It was truly one of the most interesting tablets I saw at CES this year, and it would be an excellent standalone tablet which would appeal to plenty of iPhone, Android, Symbian or Windows Mobile users. But at launch, Engadget reports, it simply won’t have some of the most basic services unless you also use a BlackBerry phone.

That said, it sounds like the company is planning on developing native calendar and messaging apps “as the platform evolves,” or maybe allowing third party developers to fill in the gaps. It’s not entirely clear at this point.

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8 replies on “BlackBerry PlayBook to launch without native messaging apps”

  1. I don’t have a Blackberry anything and I couldn’t care less what Blackberry Apps it cannot use. I basically want a WIFI tablet PC that allows me to do basically surfing, email, reading, etc and this sounds PERFECT along with a good size. I found the IPAD too big and heavy to have it in my hands all day. If I wanted to do more on a the tablet then I would use my laptop or desktop.

  2. rim expecting people to be happy using web based email and calendars is a pipe dream. I was thinking about giving the playbook a try but this kills it for me

    1. Apple fan boy as usual. GMAIL would work fine, just like every other web-based service (i.e. hotmail, yahoo, etc.). Gotta love how someone can’t think of this before posting a comment.

  3. This author is peddling BS bigtime. Inform yourself, this is by far, in every category, the finest tablet now and in the near future. Don’t proclaim what programs it will or will not have without knowing conclusively Sherlock.

    1. You mean because of the comments made in the interview that I mentioned in the last paragraph of the article? The point is that all evidence points to the PlayBook *launching* without native messaging and calendar apps. I didn’t say it will never have them.

  4. How did any of you think you were going to connect to BIS without a data plan? Its a stand alone wifi tablet without a contract. Anyone can buy a Blackberry phone but BBM and push email apps won’t work without also purchasing BIS service through your cellular provider.
    All these articles make it sound like you won’t be able to use email or messaging apps on the playbook. Why don’t they point out that you can use this just like you use a REAL computer for those needs.

  5. That’s a real shame for those of us who don’t use the Blackberry Net. Hopefully this will evolve in time. Otherwise, as you said, this is certainly one of the more interesting tablets to appear.

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