RIM preparing for BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.1 rollout as PlayBook 4G launch nears

With rumors of the BlackBerry PlayBook 4G launching on July 31st, it's looking like RIM is getting things lined up for a full on BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.1 rollout as well. As we know from the beta build, BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.1 will bring quite a few changes with it but as noted in the above document, it has some changes and inclusions that weren't present in the beta build plus, some features that will be for the BlackBerry PlayBook 4G only. Some of the highlights include:

  • Software updates are no longer mandatory during setup. The customer can choose the best time to update for them.
  • Setting Up WiFi connection is no longer mandatory at setup
  • Software updates can be done over a cellular network (4G models only)
  • Portrait Mode can now be used with the Email, Calendar, and Contacts App
  • Greater flexibility and control over which folders are wirelessly synced when using Active Sync
  • Full access to IMAP Email folders
  • The BlackBerry PlayBook now gives you the ability to conduct a video chat over 4G Cellular Networks (Some Carrier Restrictions May Apply)
  • Print To Go - Now you can send content to your BlackBerry PlayBook even if it’s not connected to the same WiFi network.
  • Android Apps will now run in individual windows rather than being lumped into one Android Player Window.
  • Apps which require access to the camera are now supported
  • In-App Payments can now be submitted. Buying that next power-up in your game is easier than ever!
  • Video Store is now available in Canada. Thousands of movies and TV shows, new & old, available on demand to rent or buy New releases available same day as DVD
  • Text Messaging is now supported with BlackBerry Bridge. When Bridged you can read, send and receive text messages on your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.
  • When Bridged, and connected to WiFi, the BlackBerry PlayBook automatically sends and receives data over the WiFi network to decrease cellular data usage, and increase performance.

Looking over the information, while meant for the BlackBerry Playbook, it's pretty easy to see a few things that will make their way to BlackBerry 10 as well. Active Sync for email, Video Chat (BBM) working over LTE, possibly offering Video Store on smartphones and what of the Android App Player? Lots of things to look forward to.

Sadly, the documentation lacks any sort of release date but RIM internal builds of BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.1 are getting up there and assuming the launch date of the BlackBerry PlayBook 4G is indeed correct, it would make a lot of sense for RIM to release BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.1 alongside it.

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