We’re excited to announce the availability of BlackBerry® News for the BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet in the BlackBerry App World™ storefront! We’ve optimized the news reading experience to accommodate the larger screen size the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet provides, as well as leveraged all gesture support to help immerse you in your news.
With BlackBerry News, you can add any RSS feed from your favorite news sites, favorite blogs, or other popular sites with syndicated content, so all the news you’ve subscribed to comes to you in one place. This application is an extension of the BlackBerry News Feeds application currently available for BlackBerry smartphones.
This application is currently available in the US and Canada, and will be available in other countries later this year.
Accessing and reading feeds
BlackBerry News takes advantage of your BlackBerry® ID, so if you are a BlackBerry News Feeds user on the BlackBerry smartphone side, your subscription will be automatically brought over and synced up between both BlackBerry smartphone and BlackBerry tablet applications.
First-time users of BlackBerry News – specifically those using the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet – will notice curated news feeds in specific categories, where we’ve chosen multiple content providers to populate content. The curated feeds come in the following categories: Arts & Entertainment, Business, Health & Lifestyle, News Headlines, Science & the Environment, Technology, and Travel. These news feeds are exclusively available for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet version of the BlackBerry News app, and can be found in the “News Categories” section of the app if you’re looking for a way to subscribe to those feeds.
Clicking on a subscription then gets you to an abbreviated summary view of articles within that news feed, so you can quickly scan headlines, view images and a short description of the article to determine if you want to read more of the article. You can swipe to the left to get the next page of articles, and repeat the gesture to get to the last available article.
Once you find an article you want to read, just touch on the article and you’ll be presented with a full article view.
If you’re going to be in a place where network access is unavailable, the BlackBerry News application also provides offline access to your previously downloaded feed content, so you can still read downloaded articles while you’re out of range from a Wi-Fi® signal. Acquiring new content requires connection to a Wi-Fi signal.
Adding new news feeds
You can add your own subscriptions to RSS feeds by hitting the “News Library” button. Once in the News Library, you can either search for a specific feed that you’re looking to add, or you can browse through the content library to find some of the more popular and well-known feeds. As search is currently limited to feeds indexed in the content library of the application, it’s possible you may not be able to find the RSS feed you’re looking for. In those cases, you can input the URL of the site that has the news feed that you want to add, and the app will detect if the news feeds are available for you to subscribe to.
Your subscriptions will be synced up with your BlackBerry ID, so if you’re on the go without your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, you can always catch up on the news through your BlackBerry smartphone by using our BlackBerry News Feeds application available in BlackBerry App World.
Unsubscribing to news feeds and updating content
From the “My News” home screen in the BlackBerry News application, you can use the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet bezel drop-down gesture to pull up an options menu, where you’ll be able to update your content or edit and delete any subscriptions you don’t want anymore.
You can get the recently launched BlackBerry News application for your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet in BlackBerry App World at the link below. We encourage you to post any feedback you have for us in the comments section below or the BlackBerry Support Forums, as your feedback is important to us.