New video interview with BlackBerry PlayBook Product Manager addresses PlayBook FAQs - native email, calendar, etc. on the way!

By Kevin Michaluk on 9 Jan 2011 08:15 pm EST

Before we left CES 2011 we again sat down again with Ryan Bidan, the Senior Product Manager on the BlackBerry PlayBook team to work through a bunch of the questions we've been seeing here on CrackBerry related to the BlackBerry PlayBook. At the CES BlackBerry booth many of the same questions have been getting asked, so the Inside BlackBerry Blog did a quick interview with Ryan addressing the big questions they too have been hearing.

We'll follow up with our written BlackBerry PlayBook FAQ soon, and in the meantime you can check out the video above. There's been a bit of a misconception going around online that in order to use the BlackBerry PlayBook that you'll need to own a BlackBerry Smartphone, which is not the case. A native email and calendar client may not be there at launch, but it is definitely on the roadmap (likely sooner than later) for the PlayBook and new OS. In the meantime there will be the BlackBerry Bridge for BlackBerry owners that turns the PlayBook into a big screen for your phone's email, calendar, contacts, tasks, and BBM (no data stored on PlayBook) and access is there via the web browser as well. It's clear that the QNX-based BlackBerry Tablet OS is still in early days and it's going to be evolving rapidly. Unlike the phones where carriers dictate OS update releases, with the PlayBook RIM will be able to push them out to consumers quickly, and I'm sure we'll be in for a lot of updates in the early days. It's a solid base to begin with, and it's only going to get better, that's for sure.

Source: Inside BB

Reader comments

New video interview with BlackBerry PlayBook Product Manager addresses PlayBook FAQs - native email, calendar, etc. on the way!


Just putting it out there folks ... BlackBerry Bridge for Desktop Manager! Could you imagine your BlackBerry everywhere!

I think you need to explain that one a little bit more, I don't see where you're going with that idea...

Personally, from watching the vid, it made sense that when you break the link between the smartphone and tablet, that all the data doesn't stay stored on the PlayBook. Some might gripe about that but the solution is simple: Google.

Google Calendar and Contacts made things real simple when it came to switch to or using multiple devices at once. It makes sure that all things stay in sync. So I can easily see myself with just the PlayBook and not have to worry about keeping data all together.

The Bridge concept is very straight forward from the descriptions that RIM has been giving ... When your BlackBerry is in range of your Playbook the Bluetooth 'bridge' enables and the data (email, contacts, tasks, memo, BBM) becomes available. Your BlackBerry in essence becomes the warehouse of all your information.

All I am saying is take that one step further and integrate the same concept into Desktop Manager and be able to manipulate/use your BlackBerry's data in the same way that the Playbook is going to offer. And, like the Playbook, once you disconnect the ability to use the information ceases. Plus it frees RIM of having to build that BBM desktop client that everyone always dreams about.

I've been saying for a few days now that there will be apps to do email and calendar on the PlayBook, native or 3rd party. If anyone doubted that 3rd party developers would be all over these 2 things, you are more naïve than RIM for not including them at launch ;)

Its a shame "a tragedy" RIM dose not have a way of giving us all the "bis" functionality on the Playbook that their phones have minus the calling. They will lose out on attracting many new customers to the platform....Quite simply the Playbook should be given and have the ability to do everything as a stand alone device which includes an individual pin#, the ability to have its own blackberry messenger account, separate calendar and contacts that can sync directly with Gmail etc.....In short it should do everything a Blackberry phone can do ON ITS OWN minus making calls! Anything short of this is a HUGE mistake. With all these tablets coming to market and Apples Ipod touch and Ipad able to do everything their phone can do "minus calling" RIM better get back to the drawing board fast. Its very sad they have some great devices but then blow it on some important items...Not being able to surf the web effectively on their phone is another big mistake that leaves you just shaking your head wondering why? I love Rim's products...I'm totally hooked, just very frustrated!

It's not a catastrophe especially if you're already a blackberry smartphone user but I do agree that they should at least in part have an individual pin (bbm) as that's a big selling point for blackberry phones. Shame you just can't port a pin over.

In saying that, Im glad its not just a tablet minus phone capabilities. It's need to be more than that, more than what the ipad is - a huge ipod touch.

It is possible for the playbook to get a pin, don't forget symbian, winmo and palm were able to get a pin using blackberry connect software and get the same push email blackberrys got, no blackberry messenger though.

can i ask the need for BIS push services on a wifi tablet? you may have a case for the 4G one, but we still haven't heard much of how that will be implemented

It pretty much does do everything your blackberry does except have its own pin. You will be able to check emails (through an app), I am pretty sure you will be able to make calls through apps sooner than later as well, I am sure skype will have an app for the playbook. If google voice has an app for it you will be able to use that and even text. The only thing missing from the experience will be BBM and you are correct thats a big thing for BB users but the people that love using BBM have a BB phone so for others they tend to like using gchat, aim, kik, or one of the 100 other chat programs. So pretty much this tablet can do everything all the other tablets on the market can do.

My only question, and one that determines if I'm going to be standing in line for one, is will there be a desktom manager or apploader written for the QNX software. I want to get rid of my netbook, but want to continue to load an OS wherever I may be.

Kevin, I was reading the summary and I read we will have web access through the bluetooth bridge. What i was wondering is will we have to pay for tethering for that link or will it just be considered your phone browsing?

I have a question not related to this article but I would be very appreciative if someone has the answer.

Is the playbook only shipping to the U.S. in q1 or is it a north american q1 lauch. I would like to be able to pick one up right away in q1 launch in Canada without having to drive down to the U.S.

Thank you!

Theres no way to know for sure, but from looking at it historically it seems RIM releases in the US first then Canada (from my own point of view I don't know if thats a good idea, its usually due to a carrier contract negotiation) but this device will be sold without contracts so it may have a similar release date if not very shortly after.

RIM keep emphasizing that all these personal data won't stay in the PB, but the way it sounds like is that you cannot access the data in PB once the link with a phone is broken, i.e., by way of removing applications to read these data.
Does it mean that, if someone link another phone (of their own), applications become available and they can read the left out personal data in PB?
I am confused.
It sounds like the BB Bridge essentially means a larger display for a phone.

Okay, I need a little clarification providing the answer is known. That being said, we all know the Playbook is designed to work with Blackberries and be able to sync via Bluetooth however my question is more specific and I have yet to hear anyone ask it. I've only seen devices like the 9780 or 9800 being synced with the Playbook but is it backwards compatible with devices as far back as the 83xx or 81xx, 82xx, or hell even the 8700 or earlier???

What OS's is the Playbook compatible with only OS 6 only, OS 5 &6 only, or OS 4, 5, and 6???

What I want to know is, if I accept a event invite on the PB Facebook app will it automatically sync it to the native calendar app and to my BB the next time I sync them?

So RIM has solved the BES/BIS bottle neck that Blackberry's have connection to the internet, with all of the encryption/decryption through their secure servers... The Playbook will not connect through their servers, it will connect directly to the Internet. But in order to keep all the "security" in place the playbook will not have an email client, it will need to connect to your Blackberry and display you Blackberry information and use it's "secure" connection to send/receive email.

You disconnect your Blackberry and no more email.

The more I hear about the PLAYBOOK the less I think I want one!

from what i understand there will be native blackberry email apps so you will actually be able to setup email account directly on your playbook as you do on an ipad or android tablet so you can potentially say whatever to the emails from your blackberry link and setup emails on ur playbook separately.

also for people that aren't using bis there are still ways to get emails with 3rd party apps so you aren't really restricted to using blackberry's email protocols, just thought i'd throw that out as well.