RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook Gets OS Upgrade

Tickers in this article: RIMM

NEW YORK (TheStreet) - Research in Motion(RIMM) BlackBerry PlayBook fans - and I know there are some of you are out there - can rejoice. As of this morning, there's a new version of the tablet's operating system for you to install.

Playbook OS 2.1 is now available and is packed with new features and functionality, according to RIM.

Among the most important changes:

Updated BlackBerry Bridge: Now you can view, respond and compose new SMS messages on your PlayBook when connected to a BlackBerry smartphone over Bluetooth. You'll also enjoy increased performance and speed of other BlackBerry Bridge functions as well.

Email and PIM Enhancements: We've delivered portrait support for email, calendar and contacts, giving you the option to use your tablet in either orientation to message.

Improved Android Application Support: Includes Multi-Window Applications, Camera Support and In-App Payments. Improvements to the Android runtime. Running the applications in separate windows allows you to multi-task between Android apps easier, and in-app payments will make it easier for you to enhance your app content.

Enterprise: There are also a ton of new features on the enterprise side so you can separate your work from personal data.

My PlayBook alerted me to the fact the the upgrade was ready as soon as I turned the device on today. The entire upgrade, download, install and reboot, took less than 10 minutes from start to finish.

BlackBerry's OS is based on the company's QNX realtime operating system. QNX is also the basis of RIM's next smartphone platform, BlackBerry 10. That software, and the new phones which will run it, are currently promised for release in early 2013.

--Written by Gary Krakow in New York.

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