Earlier today I had the opportunity to attend the BlackBerry Innovation Forum 2011 in Washington DC. The event is part of a circuit of forums held by RIM at various locations. The idea behind these forums is to show organizations what BlackBerry can do for them, and how they can take advantage of various solutions that RIM has to offer. This one was not as elaborate as the ones in London or EMEA
, but did provide a wealth of information regarding the future of BlackBerry.
I was able to gather up quite a bit of information from the breakout sessions, and was able to chat with several RIM employees about the star of the show, the BlackBerry PlayBook. Here is a brief overview of some key points that you may find interesting.
- Will have native email client with a a unique feature rich UI. Client will have more options than current bridge based mail client
- Calendar completely revamped, and includes new "people view" feature
- No plans for BBM client
- Native file app
- Contacts app more feature rich, more like current BlackBerry's Contact list.
- Target date around February 2012
- RIM is working on Bluetooth keyboard and case that fit together for the PlayBook. Release around February 2012. Cost is a little over $100
- RIM working on Enterprise App World for enterprise applications
- OS 7.1 is looking like a December release
- UMA update for 9900 may come later this year
- RIM working on 10" PlayBook and larger BlackBerry devices for next year
I was able to see a live demo of Playbook 2.0 and everything was working smooth and crisp. So the final product should not be disappointing. I also got to see the new Bluetooth keyboard and case for the Playbook and they both look amazing. Overall big things happening in the world of BlackBerry. 2012 is looking like the year of the BlackBerry.