First Look: Updated Video Chat Client on BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0!

By Kevin Michaluk on 13 Jan 2012 02:43 pm EST

The more time I spend at CES 2012 playing with PlayBook OS 2.0 and talking to others who have gone hands-on with it (and I'm talking people here who are not BlackBerry users and are walking away impressed), the more I'm getting really positive again about the future of BlackBerry. Between the awesome implementaton of native email and calendar and unique features like BlackBerry remote control functionality and BlackBerry Balance, it's showing there's a lot of innovation and great thinking happening at RIM. With PlayBook OS 2.0 leading the way into BlackBerry 10, things will be looking really great come time for BlackBerry 10 phones.

One other area that RIM has made progress on in PlayBook OS 2.0 is with the Video Chat client. You'll want to check out the video above to see it in action, but what I'm loving here in addition to some UI tweaks are two awesome feature additions. The first is automatic detection of chat contacts. By leveraging RIM's NOC infrastructure, they automatically scan the address book to match addresses to BlackBerry IDs, thus auto-populating the list of people you have BlackBerry devices with video chat capability. And secondly, there is now presence awareness, showing you when people are available to chat or not. Definitely welcome features that I can't wait to take advantage of on the PlayBook, and even more so on BlackBerry 10 phones. 

Reader comments

First Look: Updated Video Chat Client on BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0!


Who cares.. Unless I can finally video chat with someone that doesn't have a playbook then its useless.

I would settle for skype/icq/msn/yahoo/google video chat. Or make a client that works on pc/mac.

The IMO website doesn't work worth poop.

Then why don't you do something positive and contact the aforementioned companies and ask them to build an app for the PlayBook!

In the Skype community forums in the "other devices" area there are plenty of threads asking for it. I bumped the one that had 11 pages and no moderator feedback.

Kevin - glad to see you fixed the link .. although that case did look nice ;)

Cant wait for OS2.0 !! I agree ... RIM is making the effort to draw people back. Heck, even if just can keep the customers they already have ... the rest will come back. lol

Ughhh, just makes me feel that I'm trapped on a little island with my Playbook.

I don't care who's to blame for Playbook not having a native Skype, but DAMNIT, just fix it!

I don't know about all of you but that playbook that was mounted on the silver thing looked a lot bigger then a 7 inch playbook???

Good to see RIM/Blackberry working on improvements to PB, but makes me wonder if their energy is being focused in the wrong direction ?

Today as I expect a year from now, I will still have no one I know on PB video. What we need is Skype integration. It seems Blackberry is creating apps w/ only their employees in mind. The rest of us work and communicate to users with a multi-tude of devices so we all seek a common app

The only problem with the video chat is that right now you can only use it with people that has another playbook. None of my friends have a playbook but they have other tablets or laptops so they should implement another way to use video chat with people outside the blackberry world.

I concur. Video chat is a great feature but since I am the only person I know with a Playbook, it is useless.

How about a SIP or H323 client? I want to register to a SIP registrar or h323 gatekeeper of my choosing. You know, BUSINESS video communication. This was supposed to be the tablet for business after all. With all the major video players either putting out purpose built mobile video endpoints or releasing video clients for more "popular" mobile platforms, this would be an opportunity for RIM to include the app with the hardware and lower costs for enterprise customers.
Still loving my PB though.

Rim's video chat would really shake the foundations of our world if a PC based piece of compatible video software was available to allow us Playbook owners to video chat with everyone.

User W Hoa FTW! works better than any video app I've seen and all you need is a browser and webcam/mic. Works perfectly out of a Playbook! This need for Skype is no longer unless AOL servers can't handle the volume. LOL Thanks W Hoa for the tip!

the aim av does work there is also opentok that works really good also. there needs to be a unified video chat system. its sucks having to jump from app to app. rim need to intergrate the bbm with videochat.

For everyone who keeps talking about AIM AV, keep in mind that it doesn't work with the most popular platform: iOS. It wouldn't work since it uses Flash. I wasn't able to get the site to load on my Android phone either, with multiple browsers.

Overall, an app that works with multiple platform is still a major requirement for the PlayBook's video chat capability to be useful. Supposedly, there are less than 1,000,000 PlayBooks in the hands of consumers, but exponentially more computers, tablets, phones, and even TV's that can video chat with each other over a common protocol. The PlayBook needs to get a good video chat app so that people can easily chat with those other millions of devices.

Ditto....never understood why or for what reason this major limitation was allowed to pass the initial release. The others like AV, Reelportal, others are bandwith dependant for voice and being able to see the others video.