updated 06:10 pm EST, Wed December 8, 2010
BlackBerry PlayBook gets video demo
A nine-minute video demo (below) of the BlackBerry PlayBook this afternoon with BGR has answered several questions about how the interface will work. Most if not all of the bezel is touch-sensitive and, like webOS phones, allows gestures that spill into the screen. Flicking upwards from below jumps into the task switcher, while flicking form the right goes into a much larger task viewer. Users can also swipe to minimize apps or go from the left corner to bring up the on-screen keyboard.
Accordingly, the universal search feature originally from BlackBerry 6 is in development and will eventually arrive on the PlayBook, RIM said. As on the iPad and eventually Android 3.0 tablets, the keyboard supports multi-touch to handle typing smoothly and can work in both portrait or landscape.
Touching on integration with BlackBerry Messenger and other services, a spokesman suggested that those tethering a BlackBerry phone to a PlayBook would get their PIN and most other information ported over. It's not clear if the transfer is permanent or if it disappears when the phone disconnects.
As in the Rogers demo, multitasking works fluidly and can handle 1080p video in the background, even with just a single processor core. The RIM staffer suggested users would have the option of getting videos to stop when switching away rather than continuing to run. The music player takes advantage of the extra real estate by showing full track info while still giving access to the library, much as on an iPad.
Other details, such as how third-party apps will look, are still unknowns and may not be shown until closer to launch. The PlayBook should ship in early 2011, likely closer to March, and should be even faster than demonstrated with both 1GHz cores active.