Just bought a Playbook for my wife's birthday, now what?!
My wife's birthday is coming up and I decided to get her a tablet. It was a hard choice, but at the end of the day getting a 32GB tablet with a rock solid build quality, a good OS( and a even better one coming with BB10) for $140 was too good to pass up. I have to admit though, I partially got it because I am very intrigued by BB10, but since I recently switched carriers and bought a Galaxy S III I won't be able to pick up one of the two phones being released next year...so I'm hoping to get my BB10 fix via the playbook.
Before the PB arrives, I was hoping I could figure out a few things so that I can give her the best experience possible (this is also her first tablet btw).
She is currently a nursing student and is in love with Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Are the preinstalled apps for the first three the best ones available, or should I download some alternative apps? And while I know there is no instagram app available for the playbook, are there any apps which she can use to edit photos in an "Instagram-like" way and then email to herself?
For her classes its vital that she is able to view and edit powerpoints, and record lectures. I remember reading about a preinstalled app that allows you to view/edit MS Word & Powerpoint files, does it work well?
Also, what is the "ideal" OS version to be on? I was browsing through these forums and read quite a few posts from people who have noticed a decrease in performance with the latest upgrade. Is this still an issue?
Any other tips or words of advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
- 11-28-12, 10:13 AM #2
First, you really have no OS choice. The initialization process immediately upgrades to the newest OS - no choice. Some folks have found that their issues resolved (if they had some - I don't think I have any), if they wiped the device clean and reinstalled the OS. Since a new device would not be weighted down by "stuff" there should not be any issues.
Sorry, I'm not up on some of the apps that might be helpful. I know Powerpoint is somewhat limited.
The included Adobe pdf app is weak but there are 3rd party solutions that rectify that. There are also Reader apps and you can sideload Kindle android apps.
Emailing photos can be a pain in that you have to browse ALL of the photos - the pb does not respect folders when trying to find attachments. I have 3,000 photos and trying to find one is awkward at best. There might be Android workarounds.
- CrackBerry Abuser
11-28-12, 11:31 AM #3
- 382 Posts
Re: Just bought a Playbook for my wife's birthday, now what?!
I find the facebook app a little bit too laggy, for twitter you can use the browser or a third party app(I use blackbird, blaq and lemma), the youtube app works nicely, but sometimes I prefer to use the browser for viewing videos(mostly when I want to play a video multiple times), there are some instagram-like apps(InstaPhoto comes to mind) the ones that i've tried allow to save the pictures and sharing them to facebook or twitter
- CrackBerry Genius
11-28-12, 01:47 PM #4
- 3,609 Posts
If you use the android Camera app that is part of the Playbooks android runtime instead of using the native Camera app, you can take a picture within the app and then have the pic attached to an email and sent in a matter of seconds and with NO hassle. The only tricky part is in accessing this app- you need another app to launch it, and probably Quick App Manager is the easiest to use for this purpose. Editing a pic prior to mailing gets a bit trickier.
Thank you all for replying!
@ F2 - Is the Powerpoint app good enough that it allows you to read them at least? I'm hoping if she can't edit them I'll be able to find a workaround.
@ RedxD - Do you use all 3 for a reason? Does each one lack in a specific feature? And thanks for telling me about InstaPhoto!
Also, is sideloading still possible on the latest OS version? I thought I had read that RIM removed that ability with the latest update due to BB developers having concerns about it?
And does the default video player app play most formats? I was thinking about loading some of her favorite shows and movies onto the PB.
- 11-28-12, 03:57 PM #7
Side loading still works on the latest OS, just did it to one i bought at staples 32GB for $118 yesterday. Playbook pretty much plays every video format out there. If using from the net most will be mpg or avi anyways.
- 11-28-12, 04:17 PM #8
Docs to Go will enable viewing of powerpoints Getting Started with Documents To Go in BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 Inside BlackBerry Help Blog
Smart Office 2 and Smart office lite Picsel International Ltd - BlackBerry App World - read the reviews on other sites, some shortcomings so be aware its good but not perfect. I haven't tried editing powerpoints, and my playbook is in RMA right now so I can't check to see how well it works.
If she can convert them to pdf's then there is a bit more choice in viewers/mark up apps to make notes on pdf files.
- 11-28-12, 04:26 PM #9
The excellent files and folders has just been updated to V6 and submitted to app world so we'll see this version in a day or two, see the specific thread on this upgrade. But anyway it has excellent features for managing and viewing all sorts of files, and it can display powerpoints. http://www.innovatology.nl/apps/file...ual/#slideshow
- 11-28-12, 05:47 PM #12
Everyone's response is excellent. I had your same concerns when I got my PB 2 months ago. I will just add......when you move her music just put on your PC and then plug your PB into the PC and copy and paste the music that way. Nice thread.
- CrackBerry Addict
11-28-12, 08:39 PM #16
- 587 Posts
I have never had a need to edit my PowerPoint presentations on my PB, but the above post addresses that. For sure get her an HDMI cable, because when she does her class presentations she will be able to wow the socks off of her professors. Also, in the forums there is a current disucssion on what apps can't you live without or something ... that should have people's favs. And install the CrackBerry app. It will be her go-to site for getting the most out of her PB. She is going to love it!
- 11-28-12, 09:00 PM #17
Congratulations on the purchase and I hope your wife enjoys her new device. Happy birthday to her.
I am a student myself and have been using the PlayBook since launch day for my university and entertainment needs.
The pre-installed YouTube app is passable at best. It gets the job done, but I much rather use the browser with the full desktop experience.
The Facebook app is quite decent, but it has not been updated for a while. It pretty much has all the features that the app on the other platforms (iOS and Android) has. However, I rarely use it on my PB, rather preferring my phone (Bold 9900) or iPod Touch.
I use Blaq for twitter, but again use the service primarily on my phone and iPod. There are several pretty good 3rd party options for Twitter from my understanding.
I also have sideloaded versions of Facebook and Twitter from Android. The advantage is that the Android Runtime, unlike the native apps have background services and can transfer data between each other. So, for example, I can post news articles from one of my Android news apps easily.
InstaPhoto, as mentioned previously, is the best option you have for an Instagram-like service on the PB.
Now onto the productivity stuff.
The pre-installed Docs to Go is good for doing basic documents, excel and powerpoint (provided that the slides have been loaded separately). I used the built-in recording app, which does an excellent job of capturing audio. For a semester I used a combination of word, recording and the camera to take lectures and you can easily be very efficient. I also have Smart Office 2. While I like the concept, I really wish it was easier to use. The main advantage I see is the ability to load another word document/excel/powerpoint/pdf when the native ones are already in use and connectivity with cloud services.
Now I have migrated to Evernote for notes and use the sideloaded Android version. The native Adobe Air one is incredibly feature poor and the only reason I have it is for a fall back option. I would also recommend sideloading Skitch to go with it to do hand annotations, drawings; Evernote and Skitch become intgrated. I will get to sideloaded apps later. I can also recommend Groovy Notes: great UI and feature rich.
I use qPDF for my pdf annotation since the default Adobe Reader is an insult to human intellect and makes me doubt the long term viability of our race. qPDF is an excellent Android port available on the App World. Performance is smooth and the developer updates the app.
I use File Browser and Files & Folder for my file management needs. Both are paid. I use the former to navigate files within the PlayBook as it is generally faster and has a more pleasing UI. The latter is incredibly feature rich and allows me to connect to all my cloud services: Dropbox, Google Drive and SkyDrive. It also has the ability to utilise the Bridge connection to view phone apps, but is a hit and miss for me.
I would recommend installing Kobo Books unless you use Amazon, then you can sideload the app. Not sure how performance is, but I hear good stuff.
There are a ton of news apps. I have sideloaded Pulse News and Zite as my favourites. Flipboard can also be sideloaded. Native Globe and Mail, National Post, Digital Journal, among others are available.
For GPS navigation, I bought Magellan Compass, pretty good. I also sideloaded Google Maps. Bing Maps is useless without internet.
I have a TON of games too.
Overall, I have probably spent $100-$200 in apps on the PlayBook. To realise the full potential of the device, paid apps are the way to go. Add in the Android sideloaded apps, and I hardly complain about the lack of apps on the device. Of course performance and aesthetics can be improved and native C++ apps would be the best.
Hope I helped. I am sorry this is so long.
EDIT: I forgot to add: I also sideloaded the Android version of Dropbox purely because it allows you to upload any file directly from the device and unlike the native file manager that comes with the PB, it actually respects folders and allows you to navigate to them to find the file you want to upload.
EDIT 2: I would also recommend a stylus to go with the PB especially for PDF annotation. My recommendation would be Jot Pro by Adonit. I ordered my from their website, but Staples also carries them.
Last edited by Elwe Feanorfin; 11-28-12 at 10:22 PM.
Wow, I'm blown away, I never thought I'd get this much help. You guys rock!
@Elwe - First of all, don't be sorry! I am so thankful that you took the time to write your post. It has helped me tremendously! And raised more questions along with it!
And thank you for your suggestions! I can definitely see her taking advantage of the recording app while taking notes.
- 11-28-12, 10:41 PM #21
I use Pocket to grab web pages and random bits of information. It is similar to Instapaper, but far more cross-platform, and there is a third party PlayBook app in AppWorld - Read On Touch Pro. Pocket works pretty much anywhere - Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, etc.
- CrackBerry User
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