First look at BlackBerry PlayBook native email, PIM apps

RIM showed off the upcoming native e-mail and personal information management (PIM) apps for its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet for the first time

Research In Motion (RIM) showed off the upcoming native e-mail and personal information management (PIM) apps for its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet for the first time this morning, including calendar and contacts, at its annual BlackBerry World Conference in Orlando. And the company says the native PlayBook apps should be available sometime this summer.

The BlackBerry PlayBook was released last month and the tablet received many negative early reviews, due largely to the fact that it did not ship with native PIM apps.

Contrary to popular belief, you do not need a BlackBerry smartphone to access e-mail, calendar, contacts, etc., on the PlayBook without native apps. But the current lack of native e-mail, calendar and contacts apps means you need to employ the PlayBook browser to access Web-based PIM services. (Read more on why you don't need a BlackBerry smartphone to get mail on the PlayBook.)

The native PlayBook e-mail, calendar and contacts apps look almost identical to the PlayBook apps currently available to BlackBerry smartphone users via BlackBerry Bridge, an app that securely displays smartphone PIM apps on the PlayBook. And they'll be compatible with both the consumer-oriented BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) and RIM's BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES), according to the company.

Notably missing from RIM's PlayBook native PIM apps demonstration were BlackBerry memos and tasks, though the company says both apps will be available this summer along with e-mail, contacts and calendar.

Learn more about the BlackBerry PlayBook on 7bd401aa-8f10-98c9-eaf0-0000634462d3. And check out my list of must-have PlayBook apps.

In related news, RIM also unveiled its latest BlackBerry smartphone this week at BlackBerry World, the Bold 9900. Read my Bold 9900 first impressions for more details.

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Al Sacco

CIO (US)
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