Native. Email. Contacts. Calendar. Are. Finally. Here. REJOICE!!!! You know what they say, better late than never. We would have loved to see native email, calendar and contacts at CES 2011 when we first went hands on with the BlackBerry PlayBook last January, but good things take time and we're really excited by what we're seeing with RIM's implementation of native email, calendar and contacts here on BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2. As you'll see in the video above, RIM went beyond the basics here to provide really value-added integration of the entire messaging experience on the PlayBook.
Beyond just email, you have full out social integration within the messages app delivering a unified inbox for all your messaging, being able to add accounts for things like Twitter and Linked In easily from Settings Menu (and I'm loving the ability to easily compose and jump between multiple email drafts). The contacts app is much more than just contacts, becoming more of a social hub where tapping on a contact will pull in a person's data from connected services. And even the calendar brings people more cleanly into the experience. Toss in autosuggestion/correction on the PlayBook (finally!) that looks pretty solid in its implementation, and things are looking really promising here for the PlayBook OS 2 and the upcoming release of BlackBerry 10.
One of the things I'm sure will get talked about a lot this week is that ActiveSync is being used as the transport here vs. the traditional RIM NOC (or at least is partially in use), but that doesn't seem to be a bad thing for users as the two way syncing back and forth is instant. And for enterprises that have fleets of BlackBerry Smartphones, BlackBerry PlayBooks can be provisioned and managed (control IT policies, etc.) with BlackBerry Fusion running on top of BES. With PlayBook OS 2.0 being the basis of BlackBerry 10, it makes for some interesting thinking though on what will happen to NOC going ahead (and RIM's licensing fees/revenue) down the road.
We'll be following up soon with more of a deep dive feature by feature post of the new apps and what it all means and how it all works (we have some questions we want to get clarification on), but in the meantime you can check out the video above and get intimate with native email, calendar and contacts on the BlackBerry PlayBook. Now we just need February to get here so PlayBook owners can download the update!