08-12-14 01:34 PM
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  1. biggulpseh's Avatar
    Sorry if this is a stupid topic...

    Was looking at the iFixit Playbook teardown here and noticed that on step 7 when looking at the motherboard, it has a WL1283 chip which allows for FM radio receiving (as well as RDS!). Are the relevant physical connections made to enable the use of it? Not too sure.

    Although I don't ever expect this in OS 2.0, I think it might be neat to have an FM radio app! One thing I love about my ipod nano is the ability to listen to the radio and to make recordings of the radio and to be able to rewind (kinda like a PVR). It's kinda neat to be able to do that, because it doesn't require an internet connection and I like being able to listen to sports shows and music on the go.

    Other than if the hardware was not made to support it, it would be nice to see RIM implement an app to make use of the radio. If that's not possible then it would be cool for them to at least make available the APIs in the NDK so that devs could make an FM radio app. Being able to record segments, PVR-like capability, etc, I can see people wanting to use it, and it would differentiate the Playbook from the tablet crowd.

    I like the radio and I like the fact you don't have to stream it through the internet which is ideal for a wifi tablet when you're on the go. Lemme know what you guys think
    CDM76 and BERaddict like this.
    12-29-11 01:42 AM
  2. Unsure2's Avatar
    "Texas Instruments WL1283 WLAN/Bluetooth/FM"

    Interesting.
    12-29-11 02:23 AM
  3. The_Kills's Avatar
    Oh wow..

    They sure as better..
    12-29-11 02:51 AM
  4. GreenCopperz's Avatar
    I would definitely like to see FM radio, that's interesting to note. Any RIM insiders out there know about this?
    12-29-11 06:36 AM
  5. ralfyguy's Avatar
    That would be cool, but that also would require an antenna. I don't think that an internal one would do the trick.
    12-29-11 06:58 AM
  6. Barljo's Avatar
    Most mobile devices with an FM radio chip use the headphone wire as their antenna - I know that this is true for my old nokia and for both my mp3 players.
    Creaulx likes this.
    12-29-11 08:06 AM
  7. GreenCopperz's Avatar
    Most mobile devices with an FM radio chip use the headphone wire as their antenna - I know that this is true for my old nokia and for both my mp3 players.
    Yes, my microsoft Zune uses the headphones.
    12-29-11 08:15 AM
  8. barkomatic's Avatar
    A true radio that didn't depend on a data streaming would be a big plus. I've also always thought that tablets like the playbook would be more awesome if they could receive digital TV signals. That might make them thicker/pricier though I guess.
    Disparishun and Creaulx like this.
    12-29-11 08:19 AM
  9. cogsinister's Avatar
    The chip also supports FM transmit.
    12-29-11 08:26 AM
  10. cogsinister's Avatar
    "Texas Instruments WL1283 WLAN/Bluetooth/FM"

    Interesting.
    And GPS, all in one tiny chip.
    12-29-11 08:27 AM
  11. ralfyguy's Avatar
    That would be really nice. One would think RIM is aware of those capabilities. Question is if they care. Or like you guys said: Let app developers have access to it. Another function no other tablet has that I am aware of.
    12-29-11 08:42 AM
  12. Blackberry_boffin's Avatar
    The chip also supports FM transmit.
    *impressed whistle*
    12-29-11 08:48 AM
  13. cogsinister's Avatar
    I guess RIM thought FM radio in a "Professional Grade" tablet was not quite in keeping.
    12-29-11 08:53 AM
  14. kbz1960's Avatar
    Didn't the new curve get an FM radio with the 7.1 upgrade? If so I don't see why the playbook wouldn't get it.
    12-29-11 10:05 AM
  15. Disparishun's Avatar
    A true radio that didn't depend on a data streaming would be a big plus. I've also always thought that tablets like the playbook would be more awesome if they could receive digital TV signals. That might make them thicker/pricier though I guess.
    Man. The ability to pull in radio and TV over-the-air -- especially TV -- would be amazing. Imagine real-time HDTV streaming without incurring any data charges or needing any WiFi network?

    Just look at how popular over-the-air television is right now. And imagine what devs could do with the ability to mix and match OTA and OTT video in a single PlayBook app. I believe that this capability alone would sell a ton of PlayBooks. Seriously.

    EDIT: Hey, apparently Boxee will integrate an OTA functionality called "Boxee Live TV" into the Boxee Box: check out this interview. RIM buying out Boxee and marrying it with the BlackBerry Presenter to create a supercharged BlackBerry Cyclone is still my dream scenario...
    Last edited by Disparishun; 12-29-11 at 11:29 AM.
    12-29-11 10:47 AM
  16. ralfyguy's Avatar
    It is amazing what hardware capabilities are wasted on the PB. It is kind of a shame...
    12-29-11 10:48 AM
  17. Spinal's Avatar
    It is amazing what hardware capabilities are wasted on the PB. It is kind of a shame...
    what else do you expect? RIM has yet to figure out that the massive of people like random features, its not like every huge enterprise has adopted the playbook there was only recent interest for the feds ordering 1000 playbooks which really isn't that many. i am actually very curious to see how the Lenovo Thinkpad tablet is doing for enterprise customers.
    12-29-11 11:20 AM
  18. biggulpseh's Avatar
    If you guys read through the ifixit teardown they're obviously very impressed with the hardware, but as we all know, the weak spot of the Playbook is the software.

    It will be interesting to see what they do with it. As I said, my ipod nano is able to record and rewind and it's very handy, especially for recording interviews or your fave songs you happen to be listening to.

    I would really appreciate this option on my PB and am happy to see that a lot of you would as well. Not sure if it's woth their time unless it has the same chip in the next generation of phones, but certainly would be nice to see.
    12-29-11 12:27 PM
  19. anthogag's Avatar
    Give it time. There are surely several unlocked features for the tablet.

    I recall seeing something about BB Radio on this forum. Maybe that's coming for the phones AND the pb.

    I hope the camera actually has autofocus and it's just unlocked.

    I know the pb has a built-in compass and there probably will be a compass app in the near future - something slick and lag-free.
    12-29-11 12:35 PM
  20. biggulpseh's Avatar
    Give it time. There are surely several unlocked features for the tablet.

    I recall seeing something about BB Radio on this forum. Maybe that's coming for the phones AND the pb.

    I hope the camera actually has autofocus and it's just unlocked.

    I know the pb has a built-in compass and there probably will be a compass app in the near future - something slick and lag-free.
    I am also intrigued by the camera and did a lot of searching yesterday on some intense parts supplier websites but it didn't give any information as to whether or not it was autofocus. I'm leaning on the side of no.

    As for the compass, I agree that it would be nice if it was enabled. I'm sure most people don't realize that in order for augmented reality apps such as wikitude to work, they need a working compass in order to determine the direction.

    I really hope that they're internally teaching their employees C/C++ or hiring people capable in order to finally get some native work done so the capabilities of the Playbook are unleashed.
    12-29-11 12:48 PM
  21. anthogag's Avatar
    I am also intrigued by the camera and did a lot of searching yesterday on some intense parts supplier websites but it didn't give any information as to whether or not it was autofocus. I'm leaning on the side of no.

    As for the compass, I agree that it would be nice if it was enabled. I'm sure most people don't realize that in order for augmented reality apps such as wikitude to work, they need a working compass in order to determine the direction.

    I really hope that they're internally teaching their employees C/C++ or hiring people capable in order to finally get some native work done so the capabilities of the Playbook are unleashed.

    In a pb teardown article they stated the camera in the pb is the Torch camera. Torch cameras have autofocus and if you look at RIM how-to videos for the pb you'll see a close-up button for the camera. This leads me to think autofocus is available - maybe OS2
    12-29-11 01:06 PM
  22. peter9477's Avatar
    I've written about the FM transceiver before.

    The answer, as always, to "why didn't RIM include this already? Are they idiots?!!!" is a simple: writing software takes time, they're overloaded, it's not done yet, be patient. Nothing else you can do, except dream up conspiracies or imagine incompetence where a simple lack of resources is a sufficient explanation.

    The compass drivers are available in the 2.0 beta at this point, and only in the most recent beta of the NDK do we have access to them. Compass apps (no lag) will be arriving shortly, around 2.0.

    The camera almost certainly has no auto-focus, but on the other hand can do much better than the current implementation, at least in terms of speed. It ought to be able to take many snaps per second, compared to the unbelievably sluggish response time we have with the camera app right now.

    As with many or most such things, the PlayBook hardware is quite amazing, but does need more work on the software side to really start to realize its potential. Stay tuned for the first 2.0 release to really start to show progress in that area though.
    kbz1960, cogsinister and slotime like this.
    12-29-11 01:08 PM
  23. biggulpseh's Avatar
    I've written about the FM transceiver before.

    The answer, as always, to "why didn't RIM include this already? Are they idiots?!!!" is a simple: writing software takes time, they're overloaded, it's not done yet, be patient. Nothing else you can do, except dream up conspiracies or imagine incompetence where a simple lack of resources is a sufficient explanation.

    The compass drivers are available in the 2.0 beta at this point, and only in the most recent beta of the NDK do we have access to them. Compass apps (no lag) will be arriving shortly, around 2.0.

    The camera almost certainly has no auto-focus, but on the other hand can do much better than the current implementation, at least in terms of speed. It ought to be able to take many snaps per second, compared to the unbelievably sluggish response time we have with the camera app right now.

    As with many or most such things, the PlayBook hardware is quite amazing, but does need more work on the software side to really start to realize its potential. Stay tuned for the first 2.0 release to really start to show progress in that area though.
    I agree that writing software takes time, but I guess I have to disagree with you regarding the whole incompetence part. I think we can pretty much say without question that RIM made a mistake trying to implement native PIM using the Java emulator. It's no secret that this set them back considerably and I've been saying this since May. The second I saw it at Blackberry World I was flabberghasted that they would even consider that approach. They've spent a lot of time playing catch-up since then to make everything native and for it to work properly with their infrastructure. Furthermore, I truly believe the Android Player will prove to be a fantastic waste of resources which could have better been spent getting the native tools working properly. None of the Android apps in App World are any good, and the player is buggy and cannot multitask like other PB apps, which takes away from the enjoyment of the PB experience and UI.

    However, they're clearly on the right track by focusing on native from here on out. Although I'm upset Cascades is taking so long, it looks fantastic and I can't wait to see apps that make use of the capabilities. I am certainly looking forward to the release of 2.0 as I've been more or less waiting since launch day, and I've heard that there are a number of features that will make it awesome.


    As a side note, I use Battry Guru every day and it's one of my fave apps! Thanks very much
    12-29-11 01:39 PM
  24. peter9477's Avatar
    I think we can pretty much say without question that RIM made a mistake trying to implement native PIM using the Java emulator. ...
    I largely agree with all you wrote there, but I don't actually think they merely tried the Java approach on its own, then bailed and started a whole new project. I could be wrong, but I've assumed they have sometimes had multiple projects, in effect competing, going on in parallel, to keep from having all their eggs in one basket. Maybe this wasn't one of those cases, but if it was, I wouldn't call the Java approach a mistake so much as an alternative that didn't pan out. Not incompetence to try it, if that's true...

    As a side note, I use Battry Guru every day and it's one of my fave apps! Thanks very much
    You're welcome, and thank you! I hope to see features in 2.0 that will make it much easier to extend and improve it...
    12-29-11 04:33 PM
  25. GreenCopperz's Avatar
    The chip also supports FM transmit.
    Yes, I had an old MP3 Player that could transmit to FM stereo's. Wouldn't it be neat to take the playbook into your car sans wires and have the audio come in on your car audio deck?
    kbz1960 likes this.
    12-29-11 06:25 PM
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