updated 11:30 am EDT, Tue May 3, 2011
Native BlackBerry PlayBook mail due late summer
RIM during its BlackBerry World day two presentation showed users the native e-mail and calendar apps coming for the BlackBerry PlayBook. The view is considerably more polished than in the BlackBerry Bridge apps used for phone tethering but still has familiar BlackBerry tropes such as checkmarks for successful replies. Contacts and elements were also coming, RIM promised at the Orlando event.
The move saw it also quietly acknowledge a delay for the new features. RIM now expected to miss its original target of posting the apps within 60 days and would ship the missing content by the late summer, or as much as five months away from the original release. RIM didn't say what had triggered the change in timing.
Certain limits would also exist for the planned Android app wrapper. Apps would be 'curated' by RIM in App World, the company said. Limitations also prevented more than one Android app from running at the same time.
The software setback could prove risky for RIM. Multiple critics have already attacked the PlayBook for shipping without major features and could see it on store shelves for longer without the competitive necessity. BlackBerry phone owners don't necessarily face this limitation, though at a maximum 60 million worldwide and with only some on 3G data plans, the actual audience is considerably less than for Apple and other competitors that waited until core apps were finished.