BlackBerry DevCon Asia Keynote Videos - PlayBook and PlayBook App Demos and More!

By Kevin Michaluk on 7 Feb 2011 08:22 am EST

Better late than never! DevCon Asia is now well behind us, but when I was there I did capture some of the key keynote presentations on video (I tried to upload while in Indonesia but the internet there hated uploading to youtube). Though DevCon is about BlackBerry development and these presentations were geared toward the developers in attendance, even consumers will find some interesting tidbits in these videos.

First up (above), we have Mike Kirkup of RIM giving a quick demo of the BlackBerry PlayBook. Note how how quick he is on the PlayBook's keyboard! After that (below), we have Julian Dolce of the QNX team giving some further insight into the PlayBook's gestures and Adobe Air SDK for the PlayBook (he shows off some apps too!). Last, we have George Staikos (Torch Mobile founder) walking through the new WebKit browser and what it's capable of. It's looking great on the PlayBook. That's it. Lots of videos to watch, so get started. 

Reader comments

BlackBerry DevCon Asia Keynote Videos - PlayBook and PlayBook App Demos and More!


The calendar is still saying 31 in all the playbook demos I have seen to date.
I thought blackberry fixed that in OS 6?

I don't want anymore videos, I need a release date and to preorder 2 Playbooks ASAP. Come on RIM the Xoom is coming out before the Playbook, whats up with that man?

A good product is not always the first out the door.

Xoom all you want... you're going to kill you're eyes viewing 3D on that small screen!

BTW Motorola only had to build hardware for the device RIM Built the WHOLE thign from scratch... give them some time and give them a break!

Im anxious for my Playbook as well!

Motorola is guiding to lose money in this current quarter. RIM is guiding to make just under a billion in profit. That's what's up.

The PlayBook from day one has been targeted towards enterprise. The consumer usage is going to be a cross-over in the same manner as the BlackBerry itself was.

It has the power and the flexibility in the OS to be adopted by consumers, but they are making it for the enterprise and are not going to push something out the door.

I gotta admit, I was kind of getting bored with these videos, but this one with the 3 graphic demos and Quake all going at once was impressive! I'm excited for this! My birthday is March 2nd, bring it within a week of that and I'll be happy!

Although it looks nifty in the app switcher, what's the actual use of having multiple animations running in the background? I'd rather have them suspend when not visible, to save battery life and so part of the video is not missed (or the game ruined) when you switch to reply to an incoming message.

Almost all he really did here was show they've successfully copied Apple's innovations of 4 years ago. There was nothing better except the ability to watch multiple video streams at once, which could enable picture-in-picture or side-by-side multi-channel viewing of web tv.

But if they don't have a way to turn off that concurrency by default, it will likely backfire. Stuff unknowingly left running in the background would take down the performance of what you're using in the foreground. That's always been the achilles heel of a true multi-tasking platform, and in this case it would also drain the battery unnecessarily.

meh, we know where you are coming from. These demos show the power of the playbook. Of course there will be the ability to suspend, but for many things you won't want to suspend like music playing etc. etc.

What you are trying to do here is make virtues out of apple deficiencies. I don't know what Apple innovation of 4 years ago you refer to.

I went to an academic presentation a couple of weeks ago. An economic analysis of the computer chip market. The bottom lines of the presentation were the following (all based on actual data):

1. Apple product cycles are longer
2. When Apple introduces computers their chips are already out of date.
3. Those chips are really out of date by the middle and end of the product cycles given point 1.

The whole idea that apple is wildly innovate in their products is nothing but marketing hype and nonsense.

Ask any typical consumer if a macbook pro is leading edge when it comes out. They will say yes, and they will be dead wrong.

The 4-years-ago I was referring to was the iPhone OS, this whole business of lagless swiping of icon-filled screens and images around and live zooming with two fingers, etc. It has a look and feel as distinct as the original Macintosh, and when I see the PlayBook, it reminds me of the first time I saw Windows 95: best described as, "It looks and works pretty much like Apple's GUI."

To me, what's in that video looks like QNX with a spin of Apple's iOS for a window manager. That's fine, everyone will copy what the competition is succeeding with in order to stay in the game. Would RIM even have made the PlayBook if Apple hadn't come out with the iPad? It's based firstly on Apple's ideas, and the only added value I see in that video vs. an iPad, other than the more manageable physical size, is concurrent video so we can potentially watch two web-TV channels at once, or watch web TV in a corner while using the device for other things. And that part is nifty.

The power is there for sure, in the hardware and OS. Now I'd like to see them do something that has Apple following RIM for a change.

"Now I'd like to see them do something that has Apple following RIM for a change."

Look at the bezel gestures, now look at the swipe gestures in iOS 4.3 beta. Look similar? RIM invented the smartphone, Apple made a smartphone. Admittedly it was an entirely different device for an entirely different market segment, but could you honestly say that Apple would still have made an iPhone instead of just iPods if there were only dumbphones? While it was probably Blackberry and Android combined, why do you think that Apple even tried their lame attempt at multitasking? Because when every other device could do that they needed to at least be able to say that they could. Apple has done a lot of RIM following, but Apple is the best at taking a new market segment and advertising it to make mindless hoards of people come, which makes all other competitors want to divert some of them to their funds...

Agree that Apple's attempt at multi-tasking is nowhere near what we already had even on OS 4.2, and MacOS also followed a progression to what iOS might be growing through (from no-multitasking, to suspend-and-switch, to limited-cooperative, then more-cooperative with some preemption, and now preemptive. BlackBerry has been using cooperative and now goes preemptive, so it's ahead in that respect. As long as they can make it manageable and maintain battery life, I'm all for it. Have been a fan of GOOD multi-tasking OS's since first used one.

Think Apple was always going to end up making smartphones; Steve Jobs set out to personalize computers and change the way people communicate, so a communications computer that the masses carry around in their pockets was always Apple's destiny. Once it was technically possible to put an elegant easy-to-use GUI in your hand with acceptable battery life, cost, size, and weight, they did it. The whole iPod venture caught me by surprise, but an Apple smartphone was no surprise.

Guess you're right about them following RIM in that respect, but I think it would have happened anyway. RIM are certainly the gods of handheld text communication and notifications, Apple needs to follow them there ASAP. The iPhone still can't even show the real weather in an icon, and can the iPad act as an iPhone display with the kind of automatic security the PlayBook offers, auto-erasing cache?

My point above was not to imply that RIM doesn't have anything over Apple or doesn't innovate, just that the only practical innovation in that video was what I mentioned, while the rest of what was touted in that video was just showing how they've finally copied what Apple came out with years ago, with their own spin on it. In my view.

What you are saying is just silly. It's like saying that the second computer that came out also has a keyboard to input data just like the first one did. So there was no innovation. The truth is that the keyboard is a natural and well known way to input data so why innovate on that.

Similarly the touchscreen interface is also easy and intuitive. There is no need to change that. As pointed out, bezel gestures are an innovation over apple products and a pretty good one at that, although some people say this was copied from web OS.

Also the only really new thing on the iPhone when it came out was the touch screen, which was met with a collective yawn in Japan where they had that stuff for a long time.

The real success of the iPhone was the apps, something I doubt that even apple anticipated. Face it, without apps it wouldn't be long before people would really noticed all the flaws in the iPhone, and there are a ton. You've mentioned some, but others are there that are really basic, but no one talks about. I recall when i used my iPhone that about 3 out of every 10 times I did the swipe to delete my email the swipe gesture just didn't work. It frustrated the hell out of me. Even the slide to unlock gesture was bad, much worse than the berry slider one I have on my Torch. A copy off the iPhone but at least it works!

RIM is doing what they need to do with this product (except releasing it!!!) they are basing it on a powerful underlying OS and they are (hopefully) making it very easy to program for. Programs will be the key.

Another thing I think they got right is the size, pretty simple but I can actually see using this. I used to own a ton of apple stuff including all of my computers, but the iPad was the last straw. From the second I picked it up I thought they can't be serious. I'm going to purchase a product with no power yet is so heavy it's hardly a replacement for a laptop. Then I saw the whole apple media-marketing craze kick in and I finally said I don't want to be one of the sheep that falls for that crap. The playbook is actually lightweight and ultra portable, in short what a tablet should be.

Completely agree about the iPad, even though it's not too expensive I can't see buying one, it's too big, too heavy, and not even that great IMO. Walked into the Apple store a few months ago and told the guy, "tell me why I should buy this, what would it do for me better than the smartphone and laptop I already carry, other than be new & nifty?" And he didn't have an answer, just mumbled about some nonsense that left me seeing it as basically a trendy toy.

I do think the PlayBook is better than the iPad, period. That is something that I could carry, because it can fit in a large pocket and be used while standing or walking without dropping it or having your arm fall off from holding it. It's the right size. As long as there's no website with Flash advertisements or video accidentally continuing to play in the background, sucking down power. Am slightly concerned that it seems expected to mostly be landscape-oriented, personally I'd mostly be wanting to hold in one arm in portrait while using websites. Hopefully that will work as naturally as landscape.

Anyway as for the debate, I guess everyone's got something to offer, the copying goes back and forth, and they'll probably all end up converging until the average consumer can hardly tell BlackBerry from Android from iOS anymore.

I can't think of a single thing in these videos where I would accuse RIM of copying Apple Innovation. Please expand on your comment...

if i remember correctly there is an option to freeze videos and games when moving to another application if the need be. Otherwise, there's always the old pause the video or exit it.

As another has said, they are doing this show the power of the playbook - that it can do it but its not practical in real world uses. But it goes to show how great the multi-tasking is on the Playbook.

Touch screen seems fluid and responsive. This was the deal breaker for the Torch. The touchscreen wasn't smooth and felt like there was a bit of a delay. The Playbook seems promising. Way to go RIM.

Ok Im counting on RIM to release a stellar product. The shock and Awe of releasing a tablet is out the window with the release of all the other tabs that are out there, most recently the Motorola. I think this is going to be a waterloo for BB RIM.

But alas, the only sighting of the PlayBook during the Superbowl, was the animated holding one in one of the commericals.

Now, If RIM has only gotten together with VW and had the Darth Vader kid use a PlayBook to utilize the force on stuff.....that would have been GOLD!

I have to say I was disappointed that RIM did nothing at the superbowl, but this is RIM.

I think a lot of people on here, including me, were hoping that the playbook would lauch RIM to the top of the consumer market for tablets (or at least compete with apple). I am revising my expectation on that front.

RIM doesn't know how to do consumer marketing hype like apple, I think they know this and they aren't trying. Instead, surprise surprise, they are doing what they said they would do all along, build a product for the needs of enteprises. Ture, RIM showed up at CES so they are willing to explore the consumer route but they aren't going whole hog.

What I do see in all this is that one thing the company does know how to do is build a product for mobile professionals. I think the playbook is going to be a very high quality product. I think the system will be powerful and highly reliable. Perhaps at somepoint in the future we will see consumers come to the playbook just as they did to BB smartphones, but that doesn't appear to be the main focus of the company.

I still hope I'm wrong and that they make a big splash with this, but I now think my hopes are not realistic.

I'm still going to buy it because it suits my needs. I'm one that says if I have the web in my hands I don't need more, but there are a ton of people out there who have bought the idea that they need to view the web through an app. Also a place a high value on being able to carry this thing around and to me the iPad and Xoom are a joke in that regard.

OK another playbook video with DOOM, the same 3d fl ballon/fower thing, and some video playing.. cool... we get it. ( was waiting for BBC video of whales jumping to make it complete....)

52 days left in Q1.... ( no release date.. no pricing)........ some red flags maybe??

They were showing it to DEVCON ASIA, not to dwellers. That you don't seem to get.

On the third video it shows thumbnails on start up but the browser on my torch just shows a list. Is the thumbnail stuff something we don't have yet? No a big deal just wondering.

All these apps and cases are nice, but man, RIM is starting to lose their biggest fan. ME! Think about their offerings as of late. Curve 3G with no flash or image stabilization. AT&T no longer carries any Bold model here in north Texas. The T-Mobile 9780 was just another 9700. This is getting very boring. use to be exciting. RIM is not giving you all anything to work with.

The PlayBook???? Release THE FU%^&ING tablet before the Motorola XOOM releases. PLEASE or else. I can't sit around and wait any longer. I have had a BB since RIM started making BlackBerry cell phones. But RIM is becoming so outdated its pi$$ing me off.

Then we get these sneek peaks of these new phones. I am hearing late this year or next year!?!?!?! are you serious? Everyone will have a Droid or iPhone by then. Even people who can't live without a keyboard may jump ship.

I work for a large corp and they are starting to test iPhones!!! Ahhhh!

As was said by others, the Playbook is aimed at the enterprise market. For example it will run certain SAP applications out of the box.

Linked with a corporations BlackBerry's the Playbook will revolutionise how businesses communicate.

Unfortunately for consumers, we're likely to have to wait for the enterprise demand to be satisfied before we get our piece of the action.

There's a reason RIM released data about the Playbook so early. And it wasn't to sell phantom devices to consumers. It was to forestall any purchasing decisions that might be made by enterprise.

As for not needing multi-tasking - if you don't think you need it, go buy Apple. I use multiple apps all the time and frequently flick between them during my day. The Playbook seems to provide an experience as seemless as my very powerful desktop computer.

To early to tell buddy, the Ipad was out for a year alone so basically it was all people had to buy. Samsung tried but Google comment that the software was not for tablets killed the Ipad's first competitor. Think you should wait until next year and then come back and make such a statement. You have really no competing data to back up that the Ipad will kill off the playbook or any other tablet soon to come out. Choice is a great thing for the world.

HTC_Droid_EvO what about the Xoom? you give up so fast??????

Actually I think by the end of 2011 certainly 2012 the iPad and even iPad 2's market share will likely be pretty low with Andriod dominating.

As long as RIM sells to the corporate market it's fine with me. High-quality product here that I am going to be happy to use.

I love my blackberry and I do want a playbook, but RIM is sitting around a lot and letting the competition get way ahead of them. I just can't get that part about RIM. Here they are on to a very nice product but they are so hell bent on being slow to market. If Andriod and IOS start to really focus on better security RIM will be in trouble, so i think its better to stay close to the competition. Being too far being can really hurt RIM's enterprise market share in the nea future. I am Waiting to see also how badly RIM will lose market share with Verizon customers now that the Iphone is released on that network. I am a BB fan for sure, but I have to agree with the Apple fan boys that RIM is just too laid back.