Blackberry Playbook OS Review
Friday, August 5, 2011 8:25:45 AM
The tablet hype that started with the ipad is still around. In the rush to capitalize on Apple's success, many manufacture have release their own version of the tablet. I have recently reviewed some of the most tablet's OS. On Steve's request, I have tried out the Blackberry playbook.
The word "blackberry" is a funny name for a phone company. It sounds like the name of the berry! Just take a look at the following video to appreciate the humor!
Humor aside, Blackberry phones is rather popular among buisness types or buisnessman wannabes. However, Blackberry was not able to keep the hype up with its Blackberry Playbook. The operating system of the Playbook, Blackberry's own proprietary tablet OS named BlackBerry Tablet OS, is quite tricky to use. For one thing, there isn't any "physical" menu keys like the ipad or the HP Touchpad. Neither is there a "home button" or "back button." Instead to close the app, you simply have to swipe your finger upwards from the bottom of the screen. This will cause the app to minimize to the middle of the screen in the style of HP's WebOS. In addition, the menu system is quite tricky to use as it utilize both the side swipe and scroll technique. The side swap changes the menu to other prefix such as games favorites, etc. The scroll just scrolls the screen up and down to show more menu options. Also, the desktop of the Playbook cannot be used to pin apps. Instead the top of the menu sticks up from the bottom of the screen.
Another glaring problem with the playbook is the inability to fetch e-mail or access other personal information management data such as address book, BBM, memos, calendar, and tasks, for example without paring with a Blackberry smartphone. Although, I think this may be done to increase the sale of Blackberry smartphone, this feature seems to cripple the Blackberry. It also cannot access 3g/4g (US only) without smart phone paring (although it could access WiFi on its own). Updates also require Smartphone/computer paring
A further problem with the Blackberry OS is that it is slightly sluggish. This caused a problem for me with the music player. That is because after pressing "play" the music doesn't immediately load. The Playbook sports a "play" button as well as the volume rocker at the top of the screen.
On a plus side, the BlackBerry Tablet OS runs flash, but it is hard baked into the system. Flash compatability isn't much of an issue nowadays due to the avent of HTML5 video and audio. But it would be nice for flash support (which many "ipad" killers are doing).
In summary, although Blackberry is quite a popular brand of smartphones, the Playbook is just another fad and ipad wannabe. There are other better tablets out there. I am inclined towards the HP Touchpad cause its operating system is slightly easier to use and supports flash. However, to the best of my knowledge, the Touchpad does not support Opera Mobile or Opera Mini. If you want to run the excellent Opera Mobile browser and have flash support, you better stick with the Android operating system. But check carefully as some Android devices does not support flash. Ask the sales person for more info of whether the device you want to buy supports flash.