RIM Rolls Out BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.1

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Update brings improved security and compatibility options to BlackBerry tablet

RIM has released an update for the Wi-Fi version of its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, which adds a raft of new security features and improvements for enterprise users. BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.1 will be released as a free over-the –air update to users immediately.

The headline addition is the ability to extend the tablet’s encryption to secure personal data stored on the device.  IT managers will have other tools at their disposal, such as the ability to disable developer mode.

BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.1 Update

Administrators will also be grateful for the new features that simplify the deployment of tablets via BlackBerry Mobile Fusion, RIM’s mobile management system. Playbooks can now be enrolled into the enterprise wirelessly and once connected, configurations such as email, Wi-Fi, VPN profiles, or applications can be pushed to the device directly.

Users will also be table to send SMS messages through their BlackBerry smartphone with a new version of BlackBerry Bridge, which can be downloaded from BlackBerry App World. There’s improved support for Android applications and more flexible folder sync options

A less ground-breaking, but strangely previously omitted, improvement is the ability to view messages, contacts and calendar applications while viewing in portrait mode.

RIM unveiled version 2.0 of the PlayBook operating system at CES in Las Vegas earlier this year. The update finally allowed users to access their email without having to tether a BlackBerry smartphone to the tablet, one of the key criticisms of the device.

It also added an integrated calendar and contract application, tabbed interface as well as the first version of BlackBerry Bridge which allows for closer integration with a BlackBerry. However critics described OS 2.0 as “too little too late” for the tablet which was stuggled to capture the imaginiation of consumers and has been subjected to a number of price cuts.

BlackBerry PlayBook users will receive a notification of the update automatically, or can install it by tapping the gear icon on the top right corner of the screen and selecting ‘software updates’.

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