This evening, a picture of a PlayBook running an early build of BlackBerry 10 has leaked online. According to the source, this is a picture of the PlayBook in an "engineering driver test." An engineering driver test is usually done to test the device's drivers by loading up the device with hundreds of apps.
Obviously, as with any leaked picture, this shot has to be taken with a grain of salt, but let's indulge in it a bit.
While the picture doesn't show that much, we do get a couple of clues as to the direction BlackBerry is moving with the PlayBook. BlackBerry 10 is not going to get a complete makeover on the PlayBook. It's going to obviously have some differences from our smartphones. It's a bigger device so expecting BlackBerry 10 to look and function exactly the same would be dumb.
Everything we've heard about BB10 on the PlayBook suggests minimal changes are being made to the UI. BlackBerry's idea is to have someone that has used a Z10 or Q10 be familiarized with what the PlayBook shows right when you pick it up.
BlackBerry 10 on the PlayBook is as hot a topic as any in the BlackBerry community. After telling us over a year ago that our favorite tablets would be getting the ultimate BlackBerry 10 upgrade, BlackBerry has remained quiet about when this would exactly happen.
Last year, at BlackBerry World, BlackBerry Jam Americas, and even at the BlackBerry 10 launch events this year, the word "PlayBook" was said a total of 0 times in any of the keynotes. BlackBerry hasn't really wanted to talk about the PlayBook all that much anymore.
More recently, CEO Thorsten Heins had his comments completely taken out of context by the tech media, as they erroneously proclaimed he believes tablets will be dead in five years. Unfortunately, these comments also haven't helped those of us with PlayBooks sitting at our desks collecting dust waiting for BlackBerry 10 to arrive on them.
Sure, we definitely understand, and most of us would agree: focusing on the BlackBerry 10 smartphones has been (rightly so) BlackBerry's priority over the past year and few months. That's ultimately what will help the company stay afloat.
Nevertheless, the PlayBook was promised to have BlackBerry 10 at some point in 2013, and until BlackBerry delivers on that promise, some people will unfortunately still feel slightly betrayed.
However real (or not) this picture turns out to be, one thing is for certain, we're really excited about BlackBerry Live and what could be announced in Orlando for the PlayBook.