We’ve seen a lot of information about what an awesome consumer tablet the BlackBerry Playbook is — thanks to support for HD video, Adobe Flash, and multitasking. But BlackBerry is best known for making business-friendly devices, and the PlayBook has some enterprise features as well… some more attractive than other.
You can pair the PlayBook with a BlackBerry phone to share data and a 3G internet connection. That part’s pretty cool. Less cool is the fact that pairing the tablet is the only way to use it over a 3G network for now. The tablet also won’t have its own native calendar, messaging, or calendar apps. Instead those apps will only be available when the tablet is paired with the phone.
You pair the tablet to a phone over an encrypted Bluetooth connection. By doing that, your secure corporate data is actually stored on the phone. When you disconnect your phone, the corporate data disappears from the tablet. That lets a corporate IT department deploy the PlayBook without setting up any new accounts.
When the devices are synced, you can read, delete, or otherwise interact with your email on the PlayBook and your data will be saved on the phone.
From a corporate standpoint, I can see the appeal of these business-friendly features. But I think I’d rather have a tablet with its own native calendar and email apps which can be used without a phone.
You can check out a demo video of the PlayBook paired to a BlackBerry smartphone after the break.
I’m not a big BlackBerry fan, but what no one seems to be mentioning which is HUGE, is that BB connect THRU their BB server to get to everything. That means if your company has a BB server behind the firewall like mine does, all BB phone have their own VPN. As my company uses Cisco VPNs which cannot be bridged by iOS (though it is supposed to be a feature) or Android. So Playbook is the ONLY device that can view my companies Intranet sites outside of WiFi range.
I’m not sure where you got your information from but Ryan Bidan, RIM’s Project Manager for the PlayBook is on record saying that the PlayBook WILL have native calendar and email applications.
See the interview that Ryan did with Inside BlackBerry here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NnBS9Wnv0kg&feature=player_embedded
3:10 into the interview, he says “when the link is not there, those applications aren’t even available.”
Native email and other apps, he says will be available “as the platform evolves.” It’s actually not clear at this point if RIM is developing those apps or if the company expects third party developers to bring them to the table.
Well, one of the key selling points of the RIM devices has been their security. While native apps will make the slate more generally useful it also means you have to worry about sync and could potentially bypass many of the security features.
But we’ll have to wait and see how they work this out, as we can’t rule out a different setup for non-business users, or even non-Blackberry users.
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