Research In Motion is gearing up to launch the new BlackBerry PlayBook 2.0 OS this coming February, probably at the upcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. That update will basically solve the problem of native e-mail and contacts but the PlayBook needs more than that if it will flourish in a tablet world dominated by Apple and Google. We’ve tried various Android tablets, the Apple iPad, and we compared it to the experience you get with the PlayBook. At the end of the day it boils down to one thing: Apps. The PlayBook lacks essential third party apps that will make it a complete tablet. As it is it’s currently gimped.
Absent or Gimped Apps on the PlayBook
Here’s a list of most used apps (from our experience) that are either absent or limited on the PlayBook.
It’s currently available on the BlackBerry App World but you can’t access it unless you’re online. That means you can’t use it to make notes when you’re not connected to WiFi.
The Facebook App of the BB PlayBook is not as robust and intuitive as the other versions. It also becomes sluggish after you’ve loaded too many stuff on the status feed.
There is no official Twitter app. There are several paid apps available but they’re all not that good compared to the default official Twitter app.
No gmail app yet. This will get solved though with the native e-mail app that comes with the PlayBook 2.0 OS.
RSS Readers: Pulse and Flipboard
There are no good free RSS readers available on the BlackBerry PlayBook. My all-time favorite is Pulse which is available on both Android and iOS.
This is also not available. There are similar apps but they’re not as efficient.
You’ll have to settle with Kobo since there’s no Amazon Kindle app yet available on the PlayBook.
This article wasn’t meant to just get on the RIM bashing bandwagon. We are just sincerely offering our honest feedback and suggestions on how they can make their product better. The hardware is already good, they just need to focus on the apps and they need to do it fast.
Note from EIC: This is a new section of Unbox. Yoda Talks is our official commentary/analysis column. Why Yoda? Because he’s awesome. Expect to see articles like this twice or thrice a month.