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From the forums: Hands on video from the BlackBerry PlayBook Training event in LA!

By Michelle Haag on 10 Apr 2011 02:08 pm EDT
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Some really cool hands-on information showed up in the forums over the last couple of days. CB member theruined attended the LA PlayBook Training Event on Thursday and got to spend some one-on-one time with a BlackBerry PlayBook. He posted some video and some observations in the forums for us. Some highlights of what he found:

  • No sign of video chat yet, but reps did mention it will definitely be included in the BBM on the PlayBook though there was no mention of it being there at launch.
  • PIN's are going to be phased out within the next year or so and replaced with BBID - this is to push cross platform apps, messaging, and ease of use
  • Presentation mode was demoed. It works by splitting the media output stream into two outputs that are independent of each other; meaning you can watch a video or load a presentation on your HDMI OUT and still browse/play/chat/message on the PB screen. Orientation, volume, brightness, etc are all independent features controlled by a Presentation Mode switch function that allows you to swap screen, toggle screens, and control the options on each screen. (We saw this also at BlackBerry Dev Day)
  • Battery Life still unconfirmed but it was reiterated that we have a 5300mAh
  • The OS constantly updates battery performance
  • OS Updates are going to use a push-type system to be installed almost instantly on your device
  • Doc2Go will be Premium for Free!
  • The screen is very durable and hard to scratch
  • Orientation Lock Feature was present on this build
  • .MKV Videos will be supported via native OS soon after launch, but not initially at launch
  • Flash games on the web were not supported with keyboard controls. This wasn't programmed into the OS but may be in the future.
  • Power button will be fully programmable with options on what it does, kinda like your computer i.e. Sleep, Hibernate, Shut Down, Lock
  • BlackBerry Bridge has not been finalized but I have verified that carrier data will not be transferred during bridging. No Texts or call logs folks. This was due to controlling security on the devices, since RIM is transferring over only their data from their end of the game, it's easier to control.
  • The UI for the Bridge stuff was very polished, all updated, refined graphics and functions with even more options for stuff like adding events and such.
Since the PlayBooks that are being demoed are still pre-release models, things are still subject to change. I'm sure RIM is working until the final moments getting the UI polished and refined for us. You can check out the rest of theruined's thread and jump in the conversation over in the forums at the link below. Another CrackBerry member was also in attendance at the same event, and posted his experience in the forums as well. If you want to read his walkthrough of the event, you can do so at the second link below. He posted a lot of pictures of the venue and set up, which I always think are fun to see. Thanks UrbanGlowCam and theruined!

To check out the full post by theruined and join the conversation
For UrbanGlowCam's walkthrough and impressions on the event
Michelle Haag Michelle Haag "@_Miche11e_ and C0001B3B5" 1193 (articles) 1683 (forum posts)

Reader comments

From the forums: Hands on video from the BlackBerry PlayBook Training event in LA!

34 Comments

Im just hoping the final will smoother than this.any thought if silverlight is pre-installed so we can listen to our fave radio station abroad.

I hate the system icons. They should make it look like balckberry 6 icon set.

Too bad they didn't show any flash sites in the vid.

Thinking about getting this or the ipad. I really like how you can tether the Playbook with your blackberry tho!

You can also tether it to ANY other phone as well. Check out YouTube there are a bunch of videos of people going to Flash sites on the PlayBook.

hmmmm i'm not sure if i'm actually liking the device or not. it seemed a little unresponsive. I'll have to wait to use it in person. mixed reviews so far.

I'm not sure about the choppy or unresponsive comments, as the only thing I see might be the user not accurately using the gestures, which of course would be normal for the first time you pick any new device up. But definitely not choppy or unresponsive due to the device.

First time you drive a Ferrari you will look like a noob even if you've been driving all your life. This is a new device with new gestures and a new OS that none of us have ever used before. Stop saying it's choppy or whatever, want RIM to wait a few more weeks to release it? I'll take it as is and they can push updates as needed.

I think the user wasn't doing justice to the presentation. Opening tons of windows , gesturing even before apps opened , trying to do too much .. It is not a souped up PC .. We know it can multitask but it doesn't mean you need to open a music app, video app, kobo all the same time. Overall device looks sharp. Gestures are something i think would need getting used to ..

NFB App!! Finally! They've been dragging their heels on a BB version after launching the iOS one ages ago.

Was thinking the same thing, the user was the one who looked choppy to me lol. Was all over the place, looked kinda like my mom using her ipad she got from work, I'm always saying, calm down, stop hitting the thing, just press it nicely, geez.. lol

I gotta say that I tried the PlayBook at Futureshop in Mississauga today with the same build, and it was much more fluid and responsive than the one in this video.

Wait, so were not going to be able to text while in bridge? That sucks, cause not everyone has smartphones that can send IMs. I was looking forward to be able to do everything with the PB while having my BB in my pocket or something. Hopefully the Bridge functionality will expand to carrier data in the future. Im not buying the security excuse

that sucks :(!

no sms capabilities for the playbook! does anyone know if someone is making an app for that.

i watched the video twice and although the user doesn't help things the overall device smoothness def wasn't what i was expecting. i hope that PB didn't have the gold standard OS on it.

i was going to buy one at launch but i am going to hold off on it now. still a lot of questions. not going to buy it and wait 6 months for updates etc. by then the qnx blackberries will almost be out lol.

the PB for me was going to essentially render my phone to calls and not much else. BUT the PB in it's current form doesn't give me that functionality sadly :( it's very disappointing.

Sms? do you think its a phone or something? The only way for the playbook to have true sms is for it to have a carrier sim card with voice capabilities, because even with just data, sms wont work.
Unless you are talking about bridge being also able to bridge sms, then you have a point, otherwise, you are peeing outside the toilet.

nice long video.the playback is to damn sexy, 8 days & 4 hours until lunch,hope i win the playback contest lol

always nice to see more on the playbook, I plan on walking into best buy when they open on the 19th and buying one. everyone who complains just don't buy it at all. I'm all in because I support RIM and if it fails oh well better luck next time,

Choppiness could be as a result of: (a) the slow WiFi (as the user discussed), (b) the fact he was jumping all around trying different things and trying to figure out the gestures, and (c) this is not the final build -- this looks pretty "alpha" to me still; i.e., not production ready yet.

This build is likely 2-3 weeks old, since RIM would show something that was stable but not recent. Obviously, we saw a build recently (3 weeks ago) that had BBM Video. This build didn't have that app installed, and I'm sure BBM Video is a native app, not one to be downloaded. This gives evidence to the credibility that this build is about 3 weeks old.

It is a little annoying that some stuff isn't yet done 4 or so weeks before launch, but I think they have time to clean up those bits & pieces. What does need to work is the automatic updates.

RIM is certainly throwing everything they have at the PlayBook. It will not fail. They've got a great OS, great looking H/W & specs, lots of decent apps at launch, and a few really good third party vendors on board with some decent showcase apps (e.g., EA's Need For Speed).

Let's not forget that the PlayBook has a few distinguishing advantages:

1. It is more open than the iPad/iPad2 with USB support & no need for iTunes.
2. It is one of only three tablets on the market that can really rock: iPad2, Xoom, PlayBook.
3. The PlayBook can do things none of the other two competitors can: symmetric multiprocessing, desktop-style multitasking, uncompromised browsing with full flash (okay Xoom has that too), and, of course, BlackBerry Bridge.
4. Easy tethering to any phone!
5. A gorgeous and intuitive GUI.
6. The PlayBook is enterprise ready -- works with BES out of the box.

Don't forget that this OS is rapidly changing still. RIM is throwing a lot at this, and it shows. Someone once suggested that this is the fastest they've seen an acquisition bring such a strong product to fruition in the space of 1 year. The acquisition of QNX has brought legs, guts, and brawn to RIM.

This product will only get better as the OS is refined by coming updates -- we won't have to wait for the carriers to provide these updates either as they will become available directly from RIM! In the past, carriers have been rather slow to pass on updates, if some of them do at all.

The hardware is solid and it's the same thing we've been seeing since September. Any problems should have been ironed out by now. The software is the only thing outstanding, so I see no reason to wait but to buy it as soon as it is out. I'm booking off the rest of the week after the 19th so I can play :) Heh Heh!!!!

Oh, I forgot to mention that the GUI is designed for a tablet... not a port of a Phone OS on a tablet platform like the other guys :) Sorry, "other guys"... ;)

Uh oh. I'm getting a feeling of Storm 1 deja vu:
1) A device that takes months and months for a shipment date
2) Insiders promising it is going to be awesome
3) Rumors of software versions incomplete
4) Insiders promise, no, really, it will be awesome WHEN it releases
5) First user previews show an unresponsive, choppy touchscreen and incomplete core software, like Bridge in this case
6) Fanboys claim the choppiness is "just user error" or "time needed to get familiar"
7) Device releases and gets universally panned (except by fanboys who tell us to be patient - it will get better...)

Yup. Storm 1 all over. I got burned by the Storm 1 - shame on RIM. I'm not going to make it "shame on me" by falling for this again. Not touching the VaporBook with a wooden hand on the end of bargepole.

He is testing the PlayBook with ver 1.0.1.1500 and from "BlackBerry PlayBook 101: Software Update" you will see ver 1.0.2.1335 after the OS upgrade and that might be even be the latest OS you can upgrade to.

And you can see major improvements from the first PlayBook video till now in such short period of time, so I am pretty sure the PlayBook will only get better and better!