CrackBerry Tip: How To Get BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 Right Now!

Kevin Smash!
By Kevin Michaluk on 31 Oct 2011 02:01 pm EDT

CrackBerry Tip: Want BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 on your PlayBook right now? Rip it in half and you'll have 2.0 PlayBook OS's. KEVIN SMASH!!! :-)

OK, so it's more of a trick than Halloween treat, but you will have 2.0 PlayBook OS's.

I've had quite a few people bugging me on twitter, in the forums, and via email asking me why I haven't done a rant yet on the blogs in regards to last week's announcement by RIM that BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 will be delayed until February (and when it launches it won't have native BBM - to get BBM on your PlayBook you'll have to own a BlackBerry Smartphone and get it via BlackBerry Bridge). Those people felt I've been too easy on RIM on this delay, especially given how much flack I've put on AT&T for not releasing the Bold 9900 yet. So here's my post addressing that (I'm in a ranty mood today since I just bricked my 9900...again)...

AT&T Bold 9900 delay in comparison to PlayBook OS 2.0 delays: Totally different issues. The BlackBerry Bold 9900 could be sold today by AT&T if they wanted to. AT&T is choosing not to release it. They deserve getting a lot of flack as they're really the ones holding it back here (that's what I've gathered from RIM and AT&T sources). Whether it's due to RIM's implementation of NFC or something else (maybe their test units bricked on them?!), they could look past it and sell it right now. Until I get an official statement otherwise, I'm sticking with putting my blame on AT&T. PlayBook OS 2.0 is different. It just isn't ready yet. Ranting won't really help speed up the release.

Reactions to PlayBook OS 2.0 Delays: Obviously it sucks. Especially for PlayBook owners. Judging by some of the action in our PlayBook forums, the anger being exhibited by PlayBook owners reminds me of the BlackBerry Storm days. You have a lot of people who were under the impression that what they were buying will continue to get better, only to find they're being let down continuously. Native email in 60 days... Android apps by the end of summer... a big OS update later this fall... it's understandable why PlayBook owners would be upset here. They have a right to be.

Should RIM do something to make the delays up to PlayBook owners? Compared to the 70 million subscribers affected by the recent BlackBerry service outage, the number of pi$$ed of PlayBook owners is pretty small (probably around 250k... and the number of active daily PlayBook owners is probably half that). Personally I'd love to see RIM do something for PlayBook owners out there as a thanks for the patience sort of message. I'd argue that the average PlayBook owner is still more of the early adopter/enthusiast nature (rather than pure mainstream consumer). Early adopters are the type of people you want to maintain a good relationship with, at any cost. Otherwise, they're the ones who will also become an early abandoner (and early adopter of another platform). I'm not sure what RIM could do here... but something to make up the broken promises would be nice. I actually think more than reparations that PlayBook owners at this point just want to be involved. I think if anything RIM should just let the internal PlayBook builds be available to all PlayBook owners who want it (the DevCon beta build has been updated a few times already, but end users with the build don't get the internal updates). Let us get the updates and at least we'll be occupied until February.

BBX Priorities - the silver lining of hope: Honestly, more than the BlackBerry PlayBook, RIM's priorities right now are getting BBX BlackBerry Smartphones to market. I've said it before and I'll say it again. Right now it's still an iPad market as far as tablets are concerned. Nobody, including Android, has yet to prove otherwise (though I think Amazon's Kindle Fire will likely become the second truly successful tablet). With the phone version of the QNX OS likely to look mainly like a downsized version of the PlayBook OS, the February timeline -- while late for PlayBook owners -- means that BBX phones might actually be a reality in calendar Q1 2012. Fingers crossed we'll see some BBX phones at CES in January and see them get released soon after.

It's All About Execution: For both PlayBook OS 2.0 and BBX Phones, it's really all about execution now. For a long time it's been pretty clear what RIM's go forward strategy is, and leaving DevCon 2011 it's now crystal clear as to what the BBX Platform strategy is. At this point, it's all about RIM buckling down to get the work done and get the products out the door. I have a lot more to say on that subject.... which I'll save for another post. Stay tuned!

Reader comments

CrackBerry Tip: How To Get BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 Right Now!


Kevin do you remember when the Bold 9000 came out (we Sprint customers did not get it) ATT were the proud owners of the 9000....Guess what?? Its sprints turn...I love that ATT does not have it 1st....Att you cant have everything....BUT RIM is hurting so they should release the the Phone to EVERY CARRIER
Jonathan Kopycinski

RIM isn't the issue here - ATT is. ATT has the phone and is sitting on it. From what I can see, ATT is the only carrier not releasing it.

Why is it I get the feeling that RIM is so under staffed that they can only do a few pieces of development at one time ?

I had supposed there was a Playbook dev team that was dedicated to bringing new features to the device. It seems that these folks have been high-jacked to work on BBX phones, abandoning the tablet work. Has RIM become so myopically focused that they are incapable of multi-tasking ?

I suppose running the day-to-day tech support of the devices and network consumes a significant part of the the work force...but really....


Did you get a 2.0 playbook at Devcon? I don't care about side loading apps, but would like to use the new desktop features shown in the preview. Is it worth downloading 2.0 developer OS so that I can use the new features?

With regard to BBX vs Playbook 2.0... you can't have one without the other. Although there are some front-end differences due to the screen dimensions (future BBX phone & PB), I'd wager a bet that 90% of the code will/can be directly transferred between the two platforms.

So if you have three groups of code developers, the largest group would be working on the shared code (email, multi-pin bbm, etc), and the two smaller groups would work on the phone and PlayBook (GUI differences, resolution differences, radio stack, etc).

I have a PlayBook, but I really can't blame RIM if they were focusing more on the BBX phone than the PlayBook.

And I agree, now is not the time for RIM to be under-staffed, they should be looking for the best and brightest minds available.

If the development strategy of BBX phones is to replicate the playbook but scaled down, I'm not very optimistic about a BBX phone with a keyboard.

Will RIM be the company that makes me a dopt a screen keyboard? That would be ironic.

I must say that although I hate typing on glass I do love the swipe interface of the pb and so might just have to try the BBX phone out.

I'd rather them focus on building tools to get developers building the ecosystem. It sounds like Early Adopter Program are getting access to Playbook 2.0 before February and they just aren't releasing it to the public in beta or final form. Elements of the OS are probably just not done and they don't want to face more bad press about an unfinished OS that will have implications on the markets view of the progress with BBX.

Reality is that they need to show that BB7 has held its own the last couple months and that they can get at least one BBX phone in the market by March/April. This gives them a nice window to compete with the Iphone 4S before the Iphone 5 and allows them to create iterations of the devices throughout the remainder of the year to smooth out earnings and keep the device/new OS on people's minds.

RIM should make reparations in some way to all of the early adopters... Those of us who purchased our playbooks already have felt slighted due to the recent price drops and the rebates RIM has issued. Why pi$$ off your fans and run them off to someone else? And give the late-comers discounts and rebates.

Great read. The forums here at Crackberry have been a huge disappointment lately because they have changed from a sorce of info on the PlayBook to a source of complaining about the PlayBook. I'm starting to question the age of the average complainer.

Am I disappointed in the delay of OS 2.0? Sure. Am I going to spend my valuable time compaining about it in the forums? No! It's no wonder that sales of the PlayBook are so low. Any potential customers are coming to the forums and seeing all the negative comments about the delays and looking elsewhere.

I responded to a different post earlier today about somebody reviewing the PlayBook but not recommending it because it was "incomplete" without native email and BBM. My response was centered on how the iPhone is a huge seller and yet they are releasing a new version every year. If the iPhone was complete the first time, why would they have to release a new one every year, leaving last years owners feeling left behind.

I'm not really disappointed with the delay in 2.0 because quite frankly, the bridge apps are working great for me. All I really need to see is a fix for a few of the issues that are present now (notifications not clearing properly, spellcheck and word recommendation missing) and the lack of apps right now. I would suspect if RIM would simple release the software required for developers to take full advantage of the features of the PlayBook (sorry I'm not very knowledgeable in that area so I don't know all the correct terms) then then my second need would be taken care of in short order.

I feel your pain with the problems you're having with your 9900. My wife spilled Pepsi on her 9700 a couple of days ago and because of the manopoly of cell providers here in Canada, it's going to cost me a fortune to replace because of where she is in her contract. The money that I have poured into my cells over the last year and a half have more than paid for all my cellphones and yet I still have to sign a 3 year contact just to afford the phones I have.


What you said was very true. The playbook is only going to get better. People just want to hate on RIM, and it's terrible, because I think the products that RIM is releasing are really great. I am quite glad you posted that comment, because it says so much of what I think, yet I believe you said better than I ever could have.
Thank you for what you said,

They are not able as I heard so far to supply customers with their PRE-ORDERED 9900!

Is this a vodafone or a RIM issue?!

I think its quite clear! Apple paid for it! And vodafone accepted - every time you try to buy a blackberry the sales people try to convince you that apple products are much much better. . .

I agree Kevin that we should be granted updates for 2.0 as they occur. RIM owes us big time for our patience and mine are running out. :(

One of the reasons Kevin has so much patience with RIM, is the fact that he has an Ipad 2 to keep him well occupied until RIM get it together. Why else would he not want to rant about all the Playbook's false promises and disappointments from RIM :)

As BBX phones will be coming out at roughly the same time as PB OS 2.0, does this mean that despite having the same base of QNX, they're going to stick with different names? In the happy days when PB OS 2.0 was coming out "shortly after" DevCon, I thought that PB OS 2.0 would then get BBX 1.0 when that came out in 2012. Is it not going to be quite as unified as system as iOS then Kevin?

Where in the world did you come up with BBX phones released at roughly the same time as OS2 for the PlayBook? The reality is we shouldn't count on OS2 in February ("we expect to release it in February") and we definitely shouldn't count on BBX phones any time soon.

Now here is an idea, for every PlayBook owner that has waited for RIM to do what it promised and then broke (again), a rebate on the purchase of a new BBX phone. You would have to be a registered owner by a certain cutoff date and then provide proof of ownership (i.e. copy of your receipt) and a copy of you receipt for the new BBX phone along with a simple rebate form. Say oh, $100-150 rebate sound fair.

The PlayBook is doomed, and has been for a while due to lack of 3rd party support. For example, Vudu worked at release, but no longer does (iOS is supported). Hulu worked at release too, but we don't even have an app now. There is no hint of Netflix support. Where is DropBox? BlueBox is OK, but I obviously want an official app. Evernote is here, but it's not that good. I tried to upload a note created on the PlayBook yesterday, but it just kept buffering. The games are pretty good, but there's only handful now. I'm just frustrated that I paid full price for this great tablet hardware, in a great form-factor, and it can't do sh*ttt. Don't even get me started on lack of auto-correct.

Auto correct is the biggest gripe I have. I love the bridge function so speaking as a blackberry owner I can care less if they ever bring native email, calendar etc. The only thing I would ask is for the auto correct, some streaming video support and a more fluid format to move information between the playbook and my sexy bold touch.

I've commented both on Blackberry's beta site as well as to Alec Saunders directly through Twitter that they should AT LEAST bring back Bridge functionality to the 2.0 beta users and add a Spellchecker/Autocorrect to both the Playbook OS 1 AND 2.0 beta users.

If they implemented those two small things waiting till February wouldn't be such a drag.

"Bring back" Bridge functionality to 2.0 beta users?

I'm on beta 2.0 and I had no idea I'd lost it. Bridge has been working fine. What am I missing?

Bridge works for me only by accessing the applications through the browser (not the individual bridge apps). Otherwise, internet over bridge works fine.

I am trying to form a class action lawsuit against RIM because of the delay of OS2.0!!! Who is with me?!?! :)

(This was a very sarcastic post for those who didn't get the sarcasm)

Kevin, I agree wholeheartedly that RIM should let the newer builds out into the wild; it's hard to see what they have to lose in doing that, and it would work wonders for keeping the current user base engaged and enthused.

I don't care if RIM spends money on me just because I was an early adopter, but having a community of users contribute to the development process can't hurt.

I have both an ipad2 and a playbook and they both share time just sitting on my desk doing nothing. after about a month or two they lose their luster although with the developer version of 2.0 Ive been messing with the playbook more. Nothing has made me pick up the ipad2 lately though.

I do not mind waiting for 2.0 to be released although it is a big disappointment. But I wish they would continue to release areas that they have improved so we get something to hold us over until then. At the success rate RIM is going this will be my last adventure with them. If they can turn things around quickly I would consider another BB phone in 2012 but otherwise I am leaving them and turning to android or an Iphone. These false promises and delays has caused me to loose all respect and belief in RIM. 250,000 PB owners is not a large number but it is a starting point to the number of people that will be leaving RIM products if they don't upright the ship soon.

I am outta here. Bye bye. I can't avoid or ignore the demise of RIM anymore. And they have really shafted me over the Playbook. I have lost some serious money. The OS7 phones aren't looking up to much. You will find me over on TiPB, which I will be purchasing shortly. Thanks for the memories Kevin.

I don't mind waiting for 2.0, I've played with the Beta and liked what I saw. Don't care for more apps, just better and a few specific ones. Sold my ipad2 because I prefer the size of the Playbook, would love DLNA, Bloomberg, Twitter and Skype!
If they somehow manage to release PB2 with 2.0 they sure as heck better offer a good trade in value for the PB1.

I have a playbook and am eagerly awaiting a BBX phone but no one seems to have brought up that no BBM on the playbook means no BBM on BBX (I'm only assuming this due to the fact that RIM's future phone should be built on the QNX OS rather than the soon to be Legacy OS) My contract expires this time next year and I'm constantly worried I'll get the "early adopter" version of the next gen BBX phone, some single core, frozen screen slow, non focusing, non bbm, back only 5mp camera, ie. my 9800 torch.

I have a PlayBook also, and am very happy with it. I agree there are some things that could make it even better. On the other hand, I think getting upset that the PlayBook doesn't have BBM on it's own is unreasonable. BBM is different from other IM programs. It's secure because it goes through the RIM network, which is a part of the cellular network. I don't see how sending BBM messages over the internet, which is what you'd be doing if you used WiFi access to send the messages, could be considered secure to the same degree. That's probably why the PB is considered secure - it uses the actual BB phone for BBM and email. If people want to use BBM-like messaging on their PB without a BB phone, it should be called something else. Of course, all this would be moot if you could get a 3G/4G PlayBook. I would think there'd be a limited market though. Anyone who already had a BB phone wouldn't need the 3G/4G. I forgot to say that in the Beta Zone, RIM is conducting a PLayBook survey - looking for input on what features are most important for 2.0 and whether users want a few big updates, or small updates as available.

Personally, i'm tried of it. Been RIM for life. Now I just want to take my Playbook back to Staples and get my money back on a 64 GB PB with extended warranty option.

It's BS.

Yes, Kevin, the number of PlayBook users is pretty small, but I'm thinking that's not the fault of the users. If RIM had delivered on its promises, that number would be a lot bigger.

I just returned from yet another trip where my colleagues with iPads were doing things I wish I could do with my PlayBook. I feel stupid for having bought the PlayBook on faith back in April.

Though I have no problems with my my 9700, my PlayBook experience leads me to question the viability of RIM as a company.

My next phone probably won't be a BlackBerry. My next tablet DEFINITELY won't be.

"Early Adopter", That label! What does it mean? For me, nothing. I bought a device, my PlayBook, because i wanted to. I don't expect anything from RIM because I chose to buy it. Promises. Its technology. Stuff is going to happen. If we got the 2.0 today and it had all we wanted, BBM, Email, etc., someone would find another thing to complain about. Maybe I am simple but I am very happy with PlayBook and when new things come, I will be happier. Oh wait, now I'm pissed. I heard my Vizio TV was supposed to get an update and it isn't here. I better take it back! Of course I'm being sarcastic. All I'm saying is it will come when it comes...

Early Adopters: Six months in to the release of the PlayBook, existing and potential customers shouldn't be considered early adopters. This PlayBook is on the shelves of major retailers, in sight of the average consumer who doesn't read or give a second's thought to tech blogs and sites like this, do they really want a PlayBook over an iPad with the PB the way it is?

By now I hoped that I'd have Wordpress, Skype, video chat, native email, Spotify, Netflix (or similar) least one of these things was PROMISED some months ago and not been delivered. The rest will never come because no one is going to write those apps. (I even dared to dream that we'd have a kit so we could plug our digital cameras into the PB and upload our pics, just like the iPad does...)

The only tangible upgrade that I've noticed since April is that the Bridge now actually works - and that's not really an upgrade since it was a selling point - THE SELLING POINT - from the very beginning.

Using the PB no longer gives me joy. Little things like no auto-correct, keyboard flashing up and down whilst you type, notifications not clearing, browser freezing...just not a good experience. I may as well go back to my old 3G notebook! At least that has master USB capabilties too.

I think it's time for me to 'let go' and stick it on eBay, along with the Otterbox and car stand (I had hopes for this thing!). Kindle Fire in the future perhaps. For now I'm gonna spend the money on air travel and paperback books.

if your really gonna put your playbook on ebay dont waste your time ill buy it from you my pin is 32f56572

Geez! Am I the only one happy with my PlayBook as it is?? I mean, bugs need to be fixed, but heck! o.0

I like my PB....I pre-ordered, I'm an early adopter. I am not high maintenance....I just wanted a smaller tablet than an iPad (which my daughter has). The only 'issue' I have is that it shuts down after 5 minutes....I like to stream music....and THAT is where PB kicks iPad's arse...the sound is amazing. I bought an app which is supposed to 'keep it on'....but, can't seem to get it working....or, just got suckered again into purchasing a piece of crap app. I figured they were not going to get Kindle anytime soon, so I just purchased one. I have to admit here, I won an iPad2 through a radio show I listen to in the mornings....but, it doesn't have 3G (so selling it, and investing extra $ to get one with 3G). Do I dislike the fact that I spent big bucks on a tablet and it really isn't living up to the hype...nope. I don't feed into trendy stuff....I love BB products, even with the opportunity to upgrade to an iPhone...I passed. I agree that there needs to be less bitching about this product. Sure, RIM made big promises they didn't live up to....but, I like the portability and I am still excited to see what rolls out in the future. Netflix or Hulu would be nice, though. Patience.

i dont think releasing beta software to the public is a good idea Far too many support headaches Im a software developer and there is no way anyone in there right mind would do that

Kevin, you're NOT making any sense! You complain how the 9900 is "bricking" & NOT very good, yet you whine & whine about how AT&T won't release it?!! They probably are worried about the same problems you're experiencing. Also, how can RIM prioritize a BBX smartphone, when they can't even get their "standard" services to work on QNX?? BBX is just a re-branding of BBOS/QNX, so I don't understand how you can get this confused! Clearly, RIM can't engineer a solution to the merging of the two systems, so the keep delaying. This is obvious to even a basic highschooler. You've been bordering on "delusional" for months, but now you've clearly crossed the line! SMH

I love this little playbook I just bought. I first saw it in the Las Vegas show and now that I have one I am actually excited. I have lots of ipads and mac stuff already, and to be honest i was never a blackberry fan having owned one in the past I found that little red lighting flashing at 2am character changing...for the first time in many years RIM have produced a product i actually wanted.. The OS is clearly first class, it's fast responsive, very nice workflow and feel about it. Very professional little product, even if it is a tad unusable presently.
Ok some may say it was utter stupidity on a monumental corporate suicidal level not to have an email client but that will come in time. I can wait until Feb but after that I am sure like most people I will have moved on to another product never to trust RIM again EVER..
Let's hope that these initial mistakes are not the death knell for this unit because a 3G version of it would be superbly useful.
What really surprises me is that even solutions to the shortfalls are blocked or delayed.
AMAIL for example, what ever happened to that ? Last I head it was awaiting approval and that was last summer. I can't see it on the AppStore I have on my unit here in sunny hong kong.. Surely allowing other people to fill the gap until new features are available would be logical.
Just can't wait for Skype, webex and email all working, then I think the wait will be worth it.
I do agree that the beta versions and internal builds should be released to those who want then, at least it would be a popular stopgap.
But I am not holding my breath.