04-09-11 09:42 AM
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  1. CrackBerry Kevin's Avatar
    Hey All,

    So as you probably saw on the blogs, I've been at CTIA this week and managed to get some more time on the BlackBerry PlayBook for a few minutes. The software builds we're the newest to date, so I got to see a lot of new things beyond what I saw at the New York media event a few weeks back, and it also looked newer than some of the videos we pop up from SXSW.

    So for videos, I was allowed to do up the following:

    http://crackberry.com/blackberry-pla...s-apple-ipad-2

    http://crackberry.com/first-look-fac...-photos-camera

    http://crackberry.com/blackberry-pla...app-first-look

    http://crackberry.com/blackberry-pla...app-first-look

    http://crackberry.com/blackberry-pla...tor-first-look

    But beyond that I did get to see a few new things. I wasn't allowed to video some yet as they were a) still going to change before release or b) some of the legal stuff was being worked out. So while I wasn't allowed to video it, nobody told me I wasn't allowed to talk about it in the forums. Here goes:

    a) Notifications - Were working, and as we hypothesized before, the top left corner of the screen glows in and out and you swipe down from the top left corner to pull out the notification popup.

    b) Settings Menu - Had WAYYY more options on it now. When I first saw the PlayBook at CES there were literally six... now there's at least double that. New options I saw included Internet Tethering (i think that's what it was called if I remember right) along with File Sharing.

    c) App World - I was playing around in there... it's looking real nice. SUCH a massively different experience from the phone app. If you check out the PlayBook page on the BlackBerry.com website and click to apps, at the bottom there is a screen cap of the homescreen of it, which seemed spot on still.

    d) Video Chat - I tried logging into this... well, actually I DID login using my BBID, but then it wanted me to add somebody via their email address to chat with. I started to do that, and then I got busted so that was all I saw of that.

    e) Youtube App - There was youtube app installed on the phone. I think a "native" app vs. a third party one... seemed pretty basic but good.

    f) Portrait mode - My first time playing with the PlayBook in portrait mode. Not all of the PlayBooks there were on the latest build... on of the units it was kind of acting funky (the open apps on the launcher weren't rotating to the new orientation, so they were scrolling through sideways), but on one of the units there that had the newest build it seemed to be running quite smooth.

    g) Help - There was a help icon installed that pulled up a help app that looked pretty well populated with topics.

    Beyond that, there were just a LOT more icons on the phone... my time was really limited so I didn't even have a chance to open up everything, nor did I get a good chance to dive through all the new settings (which again, sound like they're not yet finalized).

    Overall, the experience is definitely getting much more polished, and much more "full" compared to when I first used the PlayBook. One of the things that makes me most excited about this new QNX platform is the rate of development. Seriously, it feels like RIM can do in six months on QNX what it may have taken them six years before on the BlackBerry OS. Very encouraging overall.

    Also, I hit up a panel discussion today where one of RIM's Sr. Guys was there, and Walt Mossberg asked him the question on why no native email at launch. Again RIM made it clear that they are working on it. Basically the Bridge came about as a result of enterprise requesting RIM to build a tablet that worked in a similar way to the Smartphones - was secure, could be deployed and managed, etc. At the same time as those conversations were taking place (a while ago now), RIM bought QNX and decided to make that their platform. The bridge is the quick way for RIM to get to market quickly with a secure tablet device for enterprise (since it utilizes the BB as the secure tunnel to the NOC), while RIM works to build all that functionality into the PlayBook itself (a necessity that has to be in place before a QNX phone launches). Hopefully they're working fast on this. And the good thing with the PlayBook of course is the upgrade cycle won't be held back by carrier approvals - RIM will be able to push out the updates as fast as they can onto consumers.

    But overall, getting reallllly excited for the PlayBook. Still lots of questions to be answered, but just want one already!
    03-24-11 12:05 AM
  2. Wailord's Avatar
    Interesting to hear about how the whole tethered email came to be with Bridge. Certainly makes sense and gives me more hope that they actually are making it a priority... thanks for this post, you're the best.
    03-24-11 12:17 AM
  3. quellerie's Avatar
    Excellent post. Thanks for this info. Got the PB pre-ordered. Haven't been this excited about a new device since iPhone 1

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    03-24-11 12:24 AM
  4. SuperCM's Avatar
    My big question for the PlayBook is how browsing and stuff is going to get billed by the carriers. If it's running through the BlackBerry handset, wouldn't that count as tethering?
    03-24-11 12:25 AM
  5. Intosh's Avatar
    I didn't watch all the videos yet but I HAVE TO comment on what you did to the iPad on that 1st video: Hilarious and awesome! And putting the PB in your pocket. LOL
    03-24-11 12:25 AM
  6. smeagle5's Avatar
    Thanks Kevin! Love hearing what you think.

    From playing with a newer build, did you seem to think that the 10 hour battery life was possible?
    03-24-11 12:30 AM
  7. JRSCCivic98's Avatar
    Kevin, what's up with the PB turning the screen on every time you touch it? If it's turned off via the top switch that beyotch should stay off. Imagine having it turn on and do stuff as you're trying to put it in your pocket, just like it did to you.
    03-24-11 12:30 AM
  8. Wailord's Avatar
    Kevin, what's up with the PB turning the screen on every time you touch it? If it's turned off via the top switch that beyotch should stay off. Imagine having it turn on and do stuff as you're trying to put it in your pocket, just like it did to you.
    I'm pretty sure that a swipe of some sort across the screen is the PB's "unlock" mechanism.
    03-24-11 12:36 AM
  9. JRSCCivic98's Avatar
    I'm pretty sure that a swipe of some sort across the screen is the PB's "unlock" mechanism.
    I don't care about the unlock gesture and more about the screen wakeup issue. That's what I'm talking about here. The screen shouldn't wake up just from a touch. That's how batteries die and that was the early OS build problems with RIM's first touchscreen device.
    03-24-11 12:40 AM
  10. Wailord's Avatar
    I don't care about the unlock gesture and more about the screen wakeup issue. That's what I'm talking about here. The screen shouldn't wake up just from a touch. That's how batteries die and that was the early OS build problems with RIM's first touchscreen device.
    Yeah, I was just sort of assuming Kevin was inadvertently giving a little "swipe" that woke the device up. I guess saying unlock was a poor choice of wording... I believe a way to wake it up is to swipe across the screen. Sorry for the miscommunication.

    Edit: that is, of course, not to say that I agree with RIM's design decision... just reporting on why it's waking up. Or, rather, why I'm thinking it is. . Someone actually posted it here on CB, think that's where I first saw it. Definitely a curious design choice.
    Last edited by Wailord; 03-24-11 at 12:46 AM.
    03-24-11 12:42 AM
  11. barrist's Avatar
    just guessing but maybe there's two separate time-outs. one for the screen to turn off but touch gestures can still activate it. and the next to lock the screen and can only be unlocked with the top button. if so then these could be user-configurable.

    kind of like how you can set your desktop/laptop to turn off the monitor after 5 minutes, but still be running and then go to standby after 10
    03-24-11 01:01 AM
  12. JRSCCivic98's Avatar
    Agreed Wailord and it could have been also maybe an accidental push of the top button or something, but it seemed way too easy to muck stuff up on it when putting into some tight jeans, even though Kevin seemed to have plenty of room up front . Still, I wouldn't want it doing that all the time. Just look at all the different screens that were coming up on it during that part of the video.

    (Cue RIM requesting that video be taken down because it shows a small flaw before release.) lol
    03-24-11 01:01 AM
  13. Wailord's Avatar
    Agreed Wailord and it could have been also maybe an accidental push of the top button or something, but it seemed way too easy to muck stuff up on it when putting into some tight jeans, even though Kevin seemed to have plenty of room up front . Still, I wouldn't want it doing that all the time. Just look at all the different screens that were coming up on it during that part of the video.

    (Cue RIM requesting that video be taken down because it shows a small flaw before release.) lol
    Haha, I haven't been in the BB scene long enough to know how RIM responds to negative press... regardless, I really wish they'd implement a better system. Sure, it's super-simple (and that's all well and good), but even something like a three-finger drag or something would be better. A single swipe means any sort of contact with skin (whether it's in a purse, briefcase, or whatever) and it'll flip on and waste valuable battery...
    03-24-11 01:04 AM
  14. JRSCCivic98's Avatar
    just guessing but maybe there's two separate time-outs. one for the screen to turn off but touch gestures can still activate it. and the next to lock the screen and can only be unlocked with the top button. if so then these could be user-configurable.

    kind of like how you can set your desktop/laptop to turn off the monitor after 5 minutes, but still be running and then go to standby after 10
    Obviously it could be but if I push the power button quickly and then go to put it into something, I don't want it waking up and NOT even to a lock screen. Seems like something so trivial to overlook.
    03-24-11 01:05 AM
  15. sivan's Avatar
    Kevin, I'd like to know which app was built using which SDK. I notice the calculator looks like a TAT job, and given the smoothness, probably native. Others, like 7digital, have laggy transitions, I'm betting Air or WebWorks.
    03-24-11 01:07 AM
  16. Wailord's Avatar
    Obviously it could be but if I push the power button quickly and then go to put it into something, I don't want it waking up and NOT even to a lock screen. Seems like something so trivial to overlook.
    Ah, I see what you're saying - the complete omission of a lock screen is definitely troubling too... part of the decision is probably not wanting to look too much like an iPad clone, though. Is there really any other way to do an unlock screen than what's on the Xoom or iPad? How's it done on touchscreen BB handsets?
    03-24-11 01:13 AM
  17. barrist's Avatar
    there is no reason to wake to a lockscreen on a tablet with no front facing buttons imo
    03-24-11 01:18 AM
  18. BBThemes's Avatar
    Kevin, I'd like to know which app was built using which SDK. I notice the calculator looks like a TAT job, and given the smoothness, probably native. Others, like 7digital, have laggy transitions, I'm betting Air or WebWorks.
    i think your reading waaaay too much into it, iv played with native, air and webworks apps and didnt notice a difference. its all about how the app is built, not what its built in.
    03-24-11 01:29 AM
  19. JRSCCivic98's Avatar
    there is no reason to wake to a lockscreen on a tablet with no front facing buttons imo
    There's no reason for the digitizer to register a touch after blanking the screen either. If it does that, you'll be triggering a bunch of touch events/instructions to happen.

    Lol, now I know why Mike was always grabbing the PB by the bezel areas or holding it by the edges with a spanned hand rather than folding his hand around it like you're carrying a book or something to your side. If this issue isn't resolved, it'll be a problem causer for the near future for some people. I'm just saying, the thing will get annoying because you can't place the PB on the top of your stack of papers and tuck it to your side in your hand and walk around from office to office. You'll find yourself having to place it face down to keep your palm from triggering the screen to do ****. Just another thing to trigger the "you're holding it wrong" lines. Something the PB doesn't need out of the gate.
    03-24-11 01:46 AM
  20. dutchtender's Avatar
    it's nice to see a die hard BB fanatic saying the requisite good things about the PB. I am waiting for tnkgrl's review.
    03-24-11 02:42 AM
  21. barrist's Avatar
    There's no reason for the digitizer to register a touch after blanking the screen either. If it does that, you'll be triggering a bunch of touch events/instructions to happen.

    Lol, now I know why Mike was always grabbing the PB by the bezel areas or holding it by the edges with a spanned hand rather than folding his hand around it like you're carrying a book or something to your side. If this issue isn't resolved, it'll be a problem causer for the near future for some people. I'm just saying, the thing will get annoying because you can't place the PB on the top of your stack of papers and tuck it to your side in your hand and walk around from office to office. You'll find yourself having to place it face down to keep your palm from triggering the screen to do ****. Just another thing to trigger the "you're holding it wrong" lines. Something the PB doesn't need out of the gate.
    Well first off we don't know definitively how its implemented yet. you asked kevin why it seemed like the playbook was unlocking itself with touching the bezel. yet to receive an answer yet, you've gone straight to "if this issue isn't resolved, it'll be a problem causer", and "now i know why..." lol. maybe there is something in the settings that disabled the lock on this demo unit? who knows? let's wait for kevin's review .

    just to add, taking a look at the start of this video, the reviewer lets the screen go black, has flipped it around a couple of times, looking like he has touched the screen for sure, but doesn't turn on until the top button is pressed

    BlackBerry PlayBook - Hands on Video
    03-24-11 06:28 AM
  22. Sirhill's Avatar
    Good info Kevin. As for the waking up the screen I kept looking at that and was not to happy with that but I also think like civic said that it was were Kevin was holding the PB. Every time it happened it seem that Kevin kept pressing that top button due to how he was handling it. He would press the button then press it again as he moved the device. This is very evident when he puts it in his pocket due to where he grabbed the PB.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    03-24-11 06:34 AM
  23. drethos's Avatar
    BlackBerry PlayBook vs. iPad 2 form factor showdown | TiPb
    wow the apple gang is being horrible about kevin in general. even ripping on the fact he flipped off HIS ipad. Those people need to just stop and realize that the apple world they live in will gradually shrink and should be open minded to new things. Not like my father who is the ***** caveman who smashed out the first fire because he afraid of change.
    they also view the ownership of a apple product for a blackberry blogger hypocritical. I view it as a better way to know what your up against. Its best to compare when you actually have hands on knowledge of the enem- i mean competition. :P
    Btw love the video's kevin you silly fanboy
    Last edited by drethos; 03-24-11 at 06:49 AM.
    03-24-11 06:47 AM
  24. lnichols's Avatar
    The bridge definitely makes sense as the quick and dirty way to view your e-mail while keeping your customers that need FIPS 140-2 happy. It takes NIST forever to approve something. Hopefully however they are making some sort of basic e-mail app that is considered good for personal use as a place holder. Did notice in some of the latest videos though that their was a hotmail, yahoo mail and gmail app all on the same playbook
    03-24-11 07:08 AM
  25. Fr3lncr's Avatar
    I've already ordered mine so I'm getting one regardless, but if QNX is so easy to build with (as Kevin is pointing out with the new features they are adding at a cool rate), why haven't they just built an email and calendar client in the last month or so?

    It would seem that it would reduce the bad press they are going to get because it is missing... Unless they are really hoping it will help drive Blackberry phone sales.

    I don't know... I just want them to succeed and kick @$$ with this (especially if it's apple @$$) :-) as I really think it is the better product.

    Guess we will see what happens...
    03-24-11 08:27 AM
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