BlackBerry gives PlayBook OS power-up

Research In Motion is fighting an uphill battle against Apple and Android with its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. Photo / Supplied
Research In Motion is fighting an uphill battle against Apple and Android with its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. Photo / Supplied

Research In Motion has released a long-overdue new operating system for its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet computer in the hope of gaining ground in a market led by Apple and Android gadgets.

PlayBook OS 2.0 software, available as a free download, comes just shy of a year later than it was originally slated for release by the Canada-based company.

The new PlayBook engine adds email, calendar and other productivity-related capabilities to the tablets.

"The new BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 introduces a range of new communications and productivity enhancements as well as expanded app and content support," said RIM senior vice president David Smith.

Freshly-installed RIM chief executive Thorsten Heins said last month that he planned to focus more on the consumer market but that a "drastic change" is not necessary at the struggling BlackBerry maker.

RIM in October set out to rev up its BlackBerry and PlayBook lines with a tactic from Apple's winning playbook - sexy, entertaining software applications.

Known for serious, work handsets as compared to sleek Apple or Android smartphones tailored for Internet-on-the-go lifestyles, RIM used a developers conference in San Francisco to showcase game applications for its devices.

RIM is also working on a new BBX software platform that it said will provide a powerful new platform for developers for programs that focus on anything from work to games.

Heins took over RIM, which has been losing market share to Apple's iPhone and handsets powered by Google's Android platform, in January from co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie.

- AFP

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