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BlackBerry PlayBook 2.0 introduces rich video chat contacts

PlayBook 2.0 video chat
By Simon Sage on 21 Feb 2012 11:01 am EST
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At CES we got to check out the updated video chat client on the BlackBerry PlayBook, and with today's launch of OS 2.0, everybody can get in on the action. It wouldn't be a stretch to say that this is the app that has seen the most dramatic change out of everything that's new. Now video chat contacts are pulled in from social networks that are registered on the tablet. Each friend also has online and offline status shown clearly, so you can know whether or not to even start calling in the first place. You can even edit the information for those contacts as you would in the new stand-alone native address book. Speaking of which, you can launch into video chat from the address book, too. There's also a new Presenter mode which lets you shunt a video call out to a larger screen over HDMI while flipping through other apps and notes on your PlayBook.   

There are certainly some key use cases for video chat on the PlayBook. For example, moms who don't know much about technology, feel like they need a tablet, and have a kid studying abroad that already has a PlayBook. While I'm not convinced that video chat will be little more than a novelty, especially without hooks into external networks like Skype, it's great to see the existing service on the PlayBook improving. How often do you guys video chat? Who do you talk with? Is it worth RIM's while to invest in this area, or should they just get in bed with Skype?  

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BlackBerry PlayBook 2.0 introduces rich video chat contacts

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Something else that's new is that you can video chat over tether. Something that I couldn't do with 1.8. It kept saying "unable to connect to server".

Good things with OS2!!!

I have only one friend with a playbook and we discuss over gtalk.
All my family and friends are on skype or gtalk.
For me playbook video chat is useless... sorry. I really don't understand why they are trying to do a close software :/

I agree. The playbook video chat is something I wish I could delete from my playbook as it just takes up unnecessary space. Give me something that cross-platform like skype and I'm good.

i LIKE THE ADDITION OF THE CONTACTS AND OTHER NEW FEATURES BUT I AM STILL DISAPPOINTED THAT THEY HAVENT ADDED AN EXTERNAL MESSENGER CHAT FEATURE TO THIS APP, NOT EVERYONE HAS OR CAN AFFORD BLACKBERRY ANYTHING, I FEEL LIKE TAGAZOK, WHY DO THEY CONTINUE TO CLOSE THIS APP IT IS UTTERLY USELESS, WITHOUT THE ABILITY TO VIDEO CHAT EXTERNALLY!!! AND NOT EVERYONE USES FACEBOOK FOR EVERYTHING. AT LEAST ADD OOVOO VIDEO CHAT CLIENT OR ONE OF THE MESSENGERS YAHOO WINDOWS LIVE OR SKYPE I WANT TO TALK TO AND SEE MY FAMILY, AND NONE OF THEM HAVE BLACKBERRY BY THE WAY!

If we can have a unified mailbox, contact, calendar then why not a unified chat service where all the video/audio chat services (gtalk, skype,yahoo, msn) gets integrated?

If that happens then we wont need a third part app..

It might, actually... I'm seeing FB contacts show up in VideoChat that I KNOW don't have Playbooks...

Haven't tried it yet, but it's intriguing :)

most people in the US dont' have playbooks or blackberries anymore. there is no one to chat with. either get skype, tango app or get hooks into it sot hat we can use native video chat and chat with anyone.

Wow a lot of feeling here so I thought I would add my 2 pence worth. I don't need skype.

If most people in the US don't have PlayBook or BlackBerry and communicating with them was such an important issue for you why did you not by a tablet with Skype instead of one without it. It's like buying a 2 seater car then getting all the way home to remember you have a family of five.

I do enjoy video chatting to my friends with PBs the other friends I have I call on this thing I own called a Telephone I even have a portable one called a mobile phone that I can't take with me out if the house, modern technology.

I use the PB Video chat everyday 7 days a week to talk to my fiancee. The video and audio quality is soooo much better than skype. I use skype also and sure i would like to have skype but even if i did i would still use the video chat to talk because it is just so much better quality wise.

There is other multi platform communication software, and what about RIM make a PC and mac app video chat, it will solve the problem, isn't it?

With the new auto address book I was able to find 7 of my contacts have PlayBooks that I didn't know about :)

This is a BIG imrovement. It use to be a pain to find or add someone to video chat

I love this app. My wife calls me every now and I get to see what the kids are doing. I also video chat with my brother in Hawaii and it works great.
The nice thing about the Playbook is portability. We can walk behind our kids or go outside.

I believe RIM should continue to develop this and other types of technology because unfortunately the openness of the web (as are services like Skype) is closing not because of a lack of technology but by corporate competition.

Sure, RIM should continue to seek out new relationships but it should also work on their own stuff. Just in case a competitor does not play well with others.

Good thing this is a closed system and not too many people I know own PlayBooks, now I don't feel too bad about not having video chat enabled due to my region.

I also use this for wifi calling my wife and kids and it's great. If wifi is poor I just use audio-only mode and it's the best audio quality!

I downloaded 2.0 this morning to both my playbook and my wife's playbook, tried the video chat, and was surprised to hear stereo! Wow--if you get the chance, try this out. I tried it with headphones too and I've never heard anything like it!

I love the video chat. Many in my family have PlayBook. It's THE way we communicate. My parents are snowbirds and we simply video chat the video and audio quality are always excellent. My brother is on business in China currently he video chatted me a few days ago and gave me a bit of a walking tour around Shanghai. He also bought a second pb so he can video chat his wife from China and got a 64gb after be tasted the crack with a 16gb unit. I was on business in Vegas and it was my mother in laws birthday and my wife took her PB and one of my tshirts to her mom's and it looked like Sheldon virtual presence device. I said happy birthday day. Last mothers day my wife was at work and I drove down to her parents and when she had a moment she broke away and wished her mom a happy mothers day. My families couldn't even put a price on the joy that video chat has brought us. Looks like my sister in law might be getting a pb for her birthday next month so she can participate in the fun as well.

I have 5 PBs with family in US and CAN.We love the PB for what it can do well however the Video Chat is something that it can't do well. The video breaks up continuously with the old OS and the new OS 2.0. It doesn't matter who chats with who. Not sure how you are managing such "excellent" video quality.

I think it would rock if they integrated all the different IM services into this app (e.g. Skype, Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger, OoVoO etc..)

Wow! I just tried the new video chat, and it sounds AMAZING. It seems to be running in stereo, and with much cleaner/crisper sound. I dug around on Crackberry and confirmed what I heard:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOCMMh8IYyQ&feature=youtu.be -- around 6:30, the RIM guy says "stereo audio chat"

crackberry.com/sitting-down-ces-qnx-powered-porsche-concept-car-crazy-awesome-car-infotainment-i-wantz-have-nao

crackberry.com/qnx-software-systems-shows-latest-porsche-carrera-concept-car-ces

At CES, RIM/QNX demo'd
"ultra HD voice technology, which provides 48KHz full stereo bandwidth for clearer, easier-to-understand hands-free calls."

So there's definitely something new and cool with the VideoChat -- it sounds awesome. I connected a set of half-decent computer speakers to my PB while my buddy used headphones on his PB and the call was outstanding.

I feel duped by RIM- the Android player everybody thought we were gonna get- we DIDN'T get and what's more...there aren't ANY decent Android apps in app world they all suck! I thought we were gonna get the Android that ACTUALLY plays ANDROID and we can open and download Android apps from the Android Market but NOPE! There isn't ANY IM Apps still- Skype, Yahoo Messenger, OoVoO or anything just the sucky video app that belongs to RIM and which I can't use cause nobody I know has a PlayBook! Then there's the books, I'm going to college and Kobo doens't have crap of the ones I need so I figured with Android we would get Amazon, Kindle, etc... NOPE! Not even a decent Navigation App... we didn't get anything, as far as I can tell we got duped...again! I've been so caught up in the bridge remote that the more I've been thinking about it the more I get pissed. So now, what can I use my PlayBook for...surfing the web! TOTALLY USELESS!!!

Why not have the ability within this feature to type in an address of a video chat site for those of us who do not have friends, family, or business associates with a PB?

i tried the android converted skype app.
it starts up all right, but i can't sign in.
not when i'm bridged with my torch, nor when i'm on my wifi home network
can anyone lend me some help?

an about the BBvideochatapp: skype 'owns' the world of video chat. even apple understands that.
so it's making absolutely no sense to sticking to an obsolete propriatory platform.
i think it's one of the main reasons why playbook has not sold enough.