Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) released an updated version of its BlackBerry PlayBook OS v2.0 Developer Beta, which contains support for BlackBerry Runtime for Android Apps as well as the latest versions of the BlackBerry WebWorks and Adobe AIR SDKs. According to RIM, BlackBerry PlayBook OS v126.96.36.19994 also contains two improvements to aid developer testing: BlackBerry WebWorks apps can now successfully call GPS, and Wi-Fi profiles are now saved and no longer disappear during tablet reboots. BlackBerry developers can update their PlayBook tablets by visiting the Support page on both the Android and HTML5/BlackBerry WebWorks developer sites.
RIM recently announced it will delay the official release version of BlackBerry PlayBook OS v2.0 until until February 2012, further casting doubt on the manufacturer's ability to effectively compete with market leader Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) in the fast-moving tablet segment. RIM initially stated it would release version 2.0 of the PlayBook OS sometime in October.
"As much as we'd love to have it in your hands today, we've made the difficult decision to wait to launch BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 until we are confident we have fully met the expectations of our developers, enterprise customers and end-users," RIM senior vice president David J. Smith wrote last month on the Inside BlackBerry blog. Smith adds RIM will defer including its signature BlackBerry Messenger solution to "a subsequent BlackBerry PlayBook OS release." For now, BlackBerry smartphone users may continue to access BBM on the PlayBook via the BlackBerry Bridge solution.
Apple's iPad dominates 68.3 percent of the worldwide tablet market according to IDC research issued in September. As of the second quarter, the BlackBerry PlayBook accounts for just 4.9 percent of the global tablet market. Apple's new iOS 5 operating system also touts iMessage, a BBM rival enabling consumers to send free text messages, photos and videos among all iOS devices.
- read this Inside BlackBerry blog entry
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