Hands on with BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 Developer Beta
I’ve been using OS 2.0 for the BlackBerry PlayBook for a few days now feeling out its new features and user interface. I gathered a few screenshots for you guys to check out (more after the jump). Some noticeable features include speed improvements, smaller keyboard buttons which allow you to view more on the screen when typing, Reader Mode, new home screen user interface, folder creation and more. Reader Mode allows you to view a simplified version of an article you’re reading rather than going through the actual site. It’s actually a pretty cool feature I think users will enjoy. Hit the jump for more screenshots and walkthroughs of the OS.
Here we see the home screen with your favorite apps lined up. You can have six in total which are all fully customizable. When swiping up or hitting the up arrow button to the right of it, you’ll see your full applications list. You’ll notice that your full applications list shows your six favorite apps list always on top. From here you can control and customize where you want apps. Scroll apps to the right to move onto another page on their own. Again when you go page to page, your favorite apps remain up top.
Here we see BlackBerry Bridge apps which by default are all in a folder on the home screen. Some may like this better than having them all over the home screen. Personally for me it’s great since Bridge apps isn’t something I’m always using (waiting for that Native support!). On the right image you’ll see the keyboard keys have become slimmed up significantly. I guess the intention here is to be able to see more on the screen when typing. I don’t find it harder to type with the keys shorter yet as the width remains the same.
BlackBerry ID setup screen in options. You can change your BlackBerry ID info anytime here without needing to login through the web browser. On the right we see the OS version of this OS which is in beta.
Reader View is awesome! When checking out an article of your choice, you’ll notice a little open book on the upper right hand corner. Pushing it will enable Reader Mode which brings a simplified interface as seen in the image on the right.
This is how you create a folder. Simply take an application icon and drag it over another one and it will automatically create a folder. You’ll then be prompted to create the folder name of your choice. It’s very similar to iOS with the click and drag feature.
Hold down an application when you want to edit it. Then you’ll see them all bouncing around in place where you can delete or move apps around. To move an app to another page, drag it out to the edge of the screen (to the right if you’re on the first main home screen) and then a new page will be added where you can drop the app as seen on the right.
We’re still waiting on the final release of 2.0 to launch already. That’s supposed to include big features such as native PIM apps (email, BBM, calendar, etc.). Until then we have the beta to play around with.
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