05-22-13 06:55 PM
35 12
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  1. rthonpm's Avatar
    Anyone who's a regular visitor to the forums has seen all of the 'When is BB10 coming to the PlayBook' posts. There seems to be this idea that all BlackBerry has to do is wave their magic wand and push this update out right now and everything will be happy in the world. Let's all just take a nice big step back and consider a few things about how an update like that works, and what we need to consider about it.

    *If you've seen about 90% of my replies in these posts, you'll already know a big part of what I'll be saying in this post, so for the regulars, you can read any of those or just read this and not have to worry about any of my myriad of replies to the weeping masses*

    First, let's take a look at the big picture: BlackBerry is by their own admission only about halfway through the launch of their first generation of BlackBerry 10 devices. Right now, getting those devices out and generating new sales is taking the bulk of their time and energy as an organisation. The overall platform is going to be the way of the future for the company: anything that doesn't involve BlackBerry 10 is getting the short side of the stick for the time being.

    So that leaves us with the red headed stepchild of the BlackBerry universe: the PlayBook. To all indications, it will receive BlackBerry 10, and it's running a QNX based core anyway so it's halfway there. The wifi only version has been purged from inventory, even though its sales have continued to be decent for a two year old product. The LTE version has been available in a few markets, but not heavily pushed. The US BlackBerry website does show the HPSA/LTE version as coming soon (Buy 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook - Tablet PC Price - US), so there's going to be a new flush of PlayBooks coming in some form: either as a business only device to flush out the inventory, or as something to build as a standalone part of the platform. But we're still stuck with: where's BlackBerry 10 for it?

    Well, there's a few things in the background that need to happen for the goodness of BlackBerry 10 to make their way to our favourite under-appreciated tablet: developer tools. There are some pretty good apps for the PlayBook (SiteBook, PDF Reader, Remote Desktop, etc), but all of these and most of your other favourites were written for the most part with SDKs for the tablet OS. You'd want those apps to work in the new BB10 order that you want, right? You want some of the great native apps you're seeing on the Z10 and Q10 to be available on your PlayBook right? There's a lot more screen real estate, as well as a slightly different hardware set to account for with the tablet so developers need the tools to rebuild, or adjust, their applications for BlackBerry 10. To that end, if you want BlackBerry 10 on your PlayBook, you need to look for tablet support in the SDKs.

    At BlackBerry Live, some of the breakout sessions cover designing applications for tablets as well as touch and QWERTY devices. There are differences to each device that have to be accounted for. There's also been some initial discussion of BlackBerry 10.2 SDKs: nothing with tablet support has been mentioned in the postings for it so far, but we're still a little ways off from gold level support.

    Without the tools to adapt existing applications, and to build newer and more exciting apps than anything we've seen for the PlayBook so far having BlackBerry 10 on your PlayBook does nothing at all. Think of it as having a high performance sports car, but living in a congested city with poor parking: what's the point of having the performance if you don't have a way of utilising it to the fullest extent?

    We're all fickle, we all feel like we've been waiting and waiting for BB10 since the dawn of time now. For those of us in the US the wait has been even longer since we seem to be one of the last places to get everything in the new BlackBerry world. There is a plan to all of this madness: we've all railed against what we've seen as poor planning from BlackBerry only to see some method behind it all. What better impact in some way could their be than to release all of the devices to market and then show the power of the system by updating an old tablet to show that there's no need to follow the tech porn of the Android crowd? Even two year old hardware can run BB10 and give a smooth and elegant performance.

    Finally, this has been a huge undertaking by BlackBerry: we're still looking at a nascent operating system having its growing pains. The 10.1 update is an attempt to streamline the system even more, and with another revision coming soon after we're going to see a rather rapid pace of development. Take a step back, let's get this OS on the right track and then once it's ready and right we'll see a mature and very stable upgrade coming for our tablets.

    In summation:

    BlackBerry's doing a lot

    Developers will need tools for the upgrade before it's ready to push to the tablets

    The operating system itself is still changing rapidly


    It's all off my chest now. Thanks for the long read, and I'm looking forward to the comments, cheers, and jeers!
    05-15-13 07:11 AM
  2. Innovatology's Avatar
    I agree with most of what you wrote, but IMO completely ignoring the PlayBook during the keynotes wasn't too smart. Even a quick update on progress would have been welcome. Just a message saying "we haven't forgotten our loyal users".

    Don't forget that millions of (potential) BB10 users also own a PlayBook, and keeping those users happy is important.

    Also, promoting PlayBook as "the biggest thing since sliced bread" only to ignore it completely and promote just BB10 phones isn't good for brand confidence, loyalty or credibility.

    Finally, developers will indeed need a head-start, but so far even us developers have heard very, very little. It leaves developers who have invested a lot of time & money in PlayBook in limbo. We need concrete information, planning, direction. Not yet more marketing mumbo-jumbo.
    matrixbk, yueytan, mmarco and 13 others like this.
    05-15-13 07:58 AM
  3. El Bori's Avatar
    Both of you have your points and merit to each. I am just waiting to see what happens and really would like to hear some news good or bad sometime soon. That is my two cents...
    rthonpm likes this.
    05-15-13 08:43 AM
  4. kbz1960's Avatar
    I've been hearing about rapid development for over 2 years now and have yet to see it.
    nappp, antiRIM, howarmat and 1 others like this.
    05-15-13 08:53 AM
  5. rthonpm's Avatar
    I can understand not mentioning it at the keynote: the main purpose of the speech is to show the big picture going forward. The PlayBook was launched under Mike and Jim's watch and was shipped with an incomplete feature set. Bringing it up while trying to show off a new range of features would strike a rather sour note. There should be hope: the number of features that the 2.0 update brought to the device demonstrate that the hardware is capable of a larger range of ability.

    I still think there's going to be more of a push for the tablet as a standalone device. It will be more of a way of pushing BB10 into other areas as opposed to it just being seen as a phone OS. If BlackBerry is keeping the LTE version on the website even in countries where it hasn't sold with a 'Coming Soon' prompt, I'd think that there is some kind of plan that we're not being told about brewing somewhere in the background.

    I agree though: a little word on where it is in terms of the overall scheme of things would be nice.
    05-15-13 09:01 AM
  6. Barracuda7772's Avatar
    I can understand not mentioning it at the keynote: the main purpose of the speech is to show the big picture going forward. The PlayBook was launched under Mike and Jim's watch and was shipped with an incomplete feature set. Bringing it up while trying to show off a new range of features would strike a rather sour note. There should be hope: the number of features that the 2.0 update brought to the device demonstrate that the hardware is capable of a larger range of ability.

    I still think there's going to be more of a push for the tablet as a standalone device. It will be more of a way of pushing BB10 into other areas as opposed to it just being seen as a phone OS. If BlackBerry is keeping the LTE version on the website even in countries where it hasn't sold with a 'Coming Soon' prompt, I'd think that there is some kind of plan that we're not being told about brewing somewhere in the background.

    I agree though: a little word on where it is in terms of the overall scheme of things would be nice.
    if we are going to learn anything of tablet plans it will be today
    05-15-13 09:09 AM
  7. quen-quen's Avatar
    Nice writing! But I think they should at least say something about it. Ignoring the Playbook OS is not right!

    Take the Ubuntu for instance. They already packed their Mobile Computing OS for Smartphone, Tablets and TVs, along with the desktop version. Ubuntu Phone OS was announced in January and weeks later they announced the Playbook version and has already put a BETA version for testing on the Nexus family (Smarts and Talbet)! They don't have the OS finished yet, but at least Canonical has shown it to the audience.

    Let's wait for some good news today on BB Live!
    mmarco likes this.
    05-15-13 09:19 AM
  8. Cynycl's Avatar
    I agree with most of what you wrote, but IMO completely ignoring the PlayBook during the keynotes wasn't too smart. Even a quick update on progress would have been welcome. Just a message saying "we haven't forgotten our loyal users".

    Don't forget that millions of (potential) BB10 users also own a PlayBook, and keeping those users happy is important.

    Also, promoting PlayBook as "the biggest thing since sliced bread" only to ignore it completely and promote just BB10 phones isn't good for brand confidence, loyalty or credibility.

    Finally, developers will indeed need a head-start, but so far even us developers have heard very, very little. It leaves developers who have invested a lot of time & money in PlayBook in limbo. We need concrete information, planning, direction. Not yet more marketing mumbo-jumbo.
    This should be a sticky in case someone from Rimberry drops by.

    Oh wait, why would they be in a Playbook forum? My mistake
    El Bori likes this.
    05-15-13 09:51 AM
  9. nojotech's Avatar
    I don't think Playbook users are forgetting anything. The problem is Blackberry is forgetting Playbook users. This idea that a technology company can only do one thing at a time is not good news at all if true. Why would I even buy a Z10 or Q10 knowing that if they come out with something new next year they'll abandon me because they are focused only on the new? I think it's a poor excuse to use that the company is too busy with other things to fix the Playbook situation.
    kbz1960, mmarco and msps like this.
    05-15-13 09:57 AM
  10. Dallin Crump's Avatar


    It's all off my chest now. Thanks for the long read, and I'm looking forward to the comments, cheers, and jeers!
    Thanks for the thoughtful and well written post! You echo many of my sentiments on the matter.

    BlackBerry proved me wrong when I thought a BB10 phone would probably never see the light of day. I hope they come through on this, too.
    rthonpm likes this.
    05-15-13 09:59 AM
  11. avaio's Avatar
    are we forgetting that this guy said tablets are going to be obsolete or something like that
    05-15-13 10:41 AM
  12. anon(3879737)'s Avatar
    I think there are further indicators besides development tools. These will imho be published shortly before or even alongside BB10 for the PlayBook. My additional indicators that BB10 is coming for the PlayBook are:

    * RAM of low end devices. Unfortunately that seems not to move into the direction of the PlayBook's 1GB.
    * Then there's the number of active frames: If increased on devices with 2GB of RAM, the core OS must have gotten leaner and thus more suitable for the PlayBook.
    * Next point are headless apps: Do they normally sleep, waiting to be triggered? What does sleeping really mean? Do they reside in RAM while sleeping? Do they influence the max number of active frames?
    * HDMI out: Is the restriction to the device's display aspect ratio as well as resolution alleviated? This could make the playbook the stationary counterpart of you smartphone. (I'm still waiting for a proper docking station)
    * Is BlackBerry Link getting features for the PlayBook. (I'm still undecided on this, however, initial support for Tablet OS 2.0 may also be an indicator for the PlayBook's bright future)
    * Of course you should not forget about Bridge updates
    * And there are conference session including tablet material (as mentioned in the opening post)
    rthonpm likes this.
    05-15-13 10:47 AM
  13. CaptainGoodnight's Avatar
    This is a sensible, well-written thread. Kudos to all posters who have kept this so readable. I understand the intent of the OP, but reasonable or not, BlackBerry customers look to these public events for information about the direction a company is going. Particularly a developer conference where, as the OP points out, we are going to see first-hand whether the SDKs for BB10 will include support for the PlayBook.

    I remain disappointed that so far, there is no hint of the future of BB10 on the PlayBook. If BB10 is not coming--and I get why it might not make sense from BlackBerry to do so--just let me know. I won't toss my 9900 in the trash and storm off to Android, but I do have evolving technology needs and my trusty PB is failing to keep up with them. Sooner or later, there will be an inflection point and with no BB10 on the roadmap, I will have to start looking around for a table that does what I need.
    El Bori likes this.
    05-15-13 10:48 AM
  14. mmcpher's Avatar
    Good summaries of the PB - BB10 issue here. Unfortunately, it's true that mentioning the PB, with its over promising (remember those fabulous rolling OS upgrades!) and botched launch would have been a keynote downer.

    PB was the last hurrah of old RIM but TH made it his own, in his own words. To me, he therefore has an affirmative obligation to either see that it is supported or else he has to expressly disown the PB. Otherwise his personal credibility takes a hit and every positive thing he said yesterday, every "coming soon or this summer" begins to look like an old pattern reasserting itself in the new BlackBerry. The grand ideas and solicit stategic vision undermined by a systemic inability to execute on a timely basis.

    So I hope we hear something positive on this, even if it's mumbled as everyone's packing their bags and heading for the doors.
    El Bori, rthonpm and kbz1960 like this.
    05-15-13 11:08 AM
  15. slparry's Avatar
    I've said it before, and I'll say it again, the PB does all I want it to do at present so if and when BB10 eventually comes to it, it would be a nice bonus I guess, but if it weren't to happen I'd not be too fussed either way.

    The current PB OS offering is light years ahead of the abortion they foisted on everyone with the PB's initial launch
    05-15-13 11:22 AM
  16. BerryClever's Avatar
    I agree with some posters above. It isn't that the PB doesn't have it YET (though I really want it to, at least a freaking beta would be nice), but it is more the fact that BlackBerry doesn't communicate at all to their consumers. They don't have to go on news organizations to talk about the PlayBook, they can continue talking about the phones, but take a few minutes to communicate to us in low profile arenas.

    They can mention it in their blog or developer blog, or on twitter, or tell CB and have them post it on their site. The "soon" is not professional and the "We don't discuss future [whatever]" is just annoying and a kick in the...pants (keeping it G rated).

    There is nothing wrong with the PB as it is (other than not having the newest Flash now) and there is nothing wrong with BlackBerry focusing on the phones and existing BB10... there is something wrong with them not being able to or wanting to communicate to their current base. imo.
    05-15-13 11:31 AM
  17. nojotech's Avatar
    A lot of people seem to defend the playbook as is. Sorry I can't agree at all. We are not getting any of the newer apps and what we do get soon will dry up as no one will be writing for the playbook if the OS doesn't got to BB10. There have been far fewer app updates recently for the playbook and even fewer new apps. The apps such as Skype that people have been wanting for ages isn't ever going to come to the Playbook with the current OS.
    05-15-13 11:44 AM
  18. Dallin Crump's Avatar
    A lot of people seem to defend the playbook as is. Sorry I can't agree at all. We are not getting any of the newer apps and what we do get soon will dry up as no one will be writing for the playbook if the OS doesn't got to BB10. There have been far fewer app updates recently for the playbook and even fewer new apps. The apps such as Skype that people have been wanting for ages isn't ever going to come to the Playbook with the current OS.
    It comes down to personal preference, doesn't it?

    If apps are extremely important to you, then go with an iPad, which will allow you to access the best app library on the planet.

    For me, apps aren't everything. I look at the functionality and capabilities of the OS and user interface. I look at the quality and design of the hardware and accessories. The size (7" vs 10") is also important to me.

    The great thing about the tablet market is prices are coming down and options are ever-increasing. So if the PB doesn't do what you want, chances are there's a tablet out there for you. The tablet for me just happens to be a PB for now.
    05-15-13 11:54 AM
  19. Cynycl's Avatar
    I'm irritated as a consumer. I'd be irrate if I was a real developer who invested in the PB os. Talk about being left high and dry. There are some fantastic apps for PB and I think Rimberry has done these folk a dis-service.
    05-15-13 11:58 AM
  20. Innovatology's Avatar
    There is another perspective on this that is often overlooked.

    We switch between devices all day long depending on where we are and what we are doing. Any mobile tech company must have a presence in all those spaces. That means having a portfolio of products (for) smartphone, tablet, hybrid, laptop, desktop and other offerings. Not necessarily hardware, mind you, but a means to continue our activity on whatever device/platform/medium is most relevant.

    Now, if BB wants to make money selling phones and services, they'll need a solution in the tablet space. Part of the success of the iPhone is due to the iPad and Mac. The same is true of Android, Chrome and Google's online services. They are symbiotic relationships.

    Any grocer knows that it's your whole store that makes money, not your individual products. It may be hard to make money in the tablet space, but it's part of the deal. You can't pick & choose.
    FF22, El Bori, kbz1960 and 1 others like this.
    05-15-13 05:50 PM
  21. nojotech's Avatar
    It comes down to personal preference, doesn't it?

    If apps are extremely important to you, then go with an iPad, which will allow you to access the best app library on the planet.

    For me, apps aren't everything. I look at the functionality and capabilities of the OS and user interface. I look at the quality and design of the hardware and accessories. The size (7" vs 10") is also important to me.

    The great thing about the tablet market is prices are coming down and options are ever-increasing. So if the PB doesn't do what you want, chances are there's a tablet out there for you. The tablet for me just happens to be a PB for now.
    Well there you have it. If I want new apps and updated apps, I should buy a different tablet. Don't tell me, you're in BB marketing or something?
    kbz1960 likes this.
    05-16-13 11:45 AM
  22. Dallin Crump's Avatar
    Well there you have it. If I want new apps and updated apps, I should buy a different tablet. Don't tell me, you're in BB marketing or something?
    Yes. If the PlayBook doesn't do what you want, then find a tablet that does. Pretty simple, eh?

    Nice straw man, btw.
    05-16-13 12:37 PM
  23. wired cleric's Avatar
    Yes. If the PlayBook doesn't do what you want, then find a tablet that does. Pretty simple, eh?

    Nice straw man, btw.
    Quick apologize to the apologists before more rhetorical devices are noticed and weighed as sins against your soul.
    05-16-13 12:57 PM
  24. uncle_numpty's Avatar
    I have no idea how all other operating systems manage to be available on varying screen sizes and resolutions without havIng to release a version for each - they are clearly idiots and not developing code like BBRY do.

    There have been some interesting points put forward in this thread - but he underlying fact is TH and therefore BBRY committed to releasing BB10 on the wifi and lte playbooks in january and have nit even had the decency to inform it's userbase and customers of the current status.

    Personaly, the browser from bb10 and working usbotg are all i really crave.
    wired cleric likes this.
    05-16-13 01:04 PM
  25. kbz1960's Avatar
    Yes it's simple to buy something else and let everyone you can know what they can expect if they are thinking about buying a BBRY product.
    nojotech likes this.
    05-16-13 01:11 PM
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