How BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 revolutionizes Email, Calendar and Contacts – again: Part 1 of 2

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In January at CES 2012 and at BlackBerry® DevCon Europe, you had some great opportunities to get sneak peeks at what the BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet OS 2.0 has to offer. We heard loud and clear that you wanted native email, calendar and contacts, and we’ve delivered something that we’re all very proud of. With BlackBerry PlayBook tablet OS 2.0, features like your email, calendar and contacts have unique social integration that is people-centric rather than app-centric.
The approach to these experiences is simple: If you think about how you interact with email, calendar, and contacts on a daily basis, you’re basically in two modes: triage (taking stock of what’s happening in your world) and acting.

Email and the Universal Inbox

The new Messages apps gives a nod to the past by continuing to build on proven experiences. The iconic BlackBerry splat noting the arrival of new messages in the universal inbox remains part of the core messaging experience. But the BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 messaging experience goes a step further; it has been extended to include ‘social messaging’, allowing you to directly integrate messages from some of the most common social networks: Facebook®, LinkedIn®, and Twitter®.

And to take it one step beyond just integrated social messaging, you can now see a contact’s social details right from the Messages application.

Once you have an inbox full of messages, the new Messages app delivers a suite of features that help make managing your inbox really easy:

  • Tabbed email: You can reference one email while you compose another, or put an email you’re in the middle of composing on hold, while you type out a quick response to another message.

  • Rich text editing: You can write and edit email like you would on a computer – including support for fonts, attributes and sizes, as well as formatting. You can even edit or insert your “in-line” comments in an email thread.

  • Message Threading and Quick response: Let’s face it – in an era of ubiquitous mobile devices, email is more chat-like than formal. You can choose to view your messages as threaded conversations rather than single messages. Thread messages reduce a conversation to one inbox entry, thus reducing the signal-to-noise ratio in your inbox.

  • BlackBerry Keyboard: Longtime users know the keyboard input on BlackBerry smartphones is clever, including auto-entry of periods at the end of sentences and “@” symbols for email addresses. The new PlayBook OS 2.0 keyboard also introduces next word prediction, which helps makes hammering out emails on a virtual keyboard so much easier.

  • Search: Sometimes you’re not exactly sure what you’re looking for. The search feature allows you to type out a partial string and constrain the search to specific recipient fields or subject, sent, received, and filter by when it was received (today, yesterday, even last week) – all in real time.

As you can see, there are some very cool things in the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet messaging experience. Hold tight for my next post on the Calendar and Contacts experience!


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About Michael C.

Michael joined Research In Motion® (RIM®) in 2001, and has worn a variety of hats from customer and developer support to product management. In his current role as Director of Software Product Management, his time is focused on building BlackBerry® 10. Always ready to get stuff done, Michael is truly a BlackBerry® power user, but always has time to listen to customers and co-workers on how to improve BlackBerry’s products.

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