Skip to main content

Questions Answered About BBX, PlayBook 4G and Native PIM Applications


Not too long ago we posted some screenshots of the native PIM applications on PlayBook and there was an incredible response. Many people wanted to know more about these apps and the infrastructure behind it. We’ve compiled a list of questions and answers that should shed some more light on these PIM apps, how they integrate with RIM’s infrastructure as well as some upcoming features of PlayBook OS 2.0. There’s also some interesting notes on the PlayBook 4G release and more. Needless to say, we’re very excited for this to finally launch.

Native email

Here is a transcript of some of the questions from the event where we learned about the PIM apps on PlayBook.

Q: If the BES server sits behind the firewall, and you’re concerned about security, are the two email accounts (the personal and the corporate) still separate? In the sense that if I want to send myself a note to my personal account it still goes through the Exchange Server outside the firewall, right?

A: Yeah, so the question was about security within the multiple emails. With this setup, if I send a message from my corporate account to my personal, is it still going back behind the firewall? Absolutely. The infrastructure is the exact same and we’re not doing anything to compromise security. When we get into the BlackBerry Balance portion of the presentation, we’ll talk about resonant data on the device how that is segmented off and protected. Even locally on the device you can’t copy and paste things from one perimeter into another. In that sense, yes, it would go back through the infrastructure, to your Exchange Server, and then follow the guidelines that you have set within your organization.

Q: What do you do about S/MIME?

A: S/MIME on the first iteration of the 2.0 software will not be available initially but will available shortly after.

Q: Will PlayBook 2.0 have the ability to color code the messages?

A: So the question is about setting a border color to denote whether it’s corporate or personal. I have not seen that on the PlayBook but granted I’m not on the final build. We’ll have to get back to that.

Q: Can you edit and spell check on the native email app?

A: Yes, absolutely. The logic we have on the BlackBerry in terms of type ahead and word prediction is all in the 2.0 code. You will have the spell check capabilities.

Q: How fast do the native PIM apps sync with your BlackBerry? Is there a delay?

A: It’s all relatively the same time. I haven’t noticed any delay on messages getting delivered to the PlayBook versus my BlackBerry. Most of the time it’s device, then shortly after PlayBook.

Followup Q: And it’s all the same Push infrastructure?

A: Yes. The infrastructure is essentially the same. The way it works on your BlackBerry is essentially the same as it works on your PlayBook. So the same secure, push channel that you’re accustomed to on your BlackBerry.

Q: Any difference in the ressource requirements on the server side?

A: We’re actually doing those tests now. One of the things that we’re improving is that today on BES you have a 2,000 user limit, with the new infrastructure we’re actually increasing that to several thousand more. We’re reducing the size of your infrastructure including unnecessary load and resources. While I don’t have final numbers on load balancing, the numbers that are coming in are next to nothing. So the normal 1 to 1 correlation to what you have.

Q: What about PIN messaging? As in PIN-to-PIN messaging. We didn’t see that.

A: Yes, and I won’t show you. I don’t believe PIN-to-PIN messaging is in the first iteration but I’ll have to check.

Q: What about Bridge?

A: In version 2.0 there are improvements to the speed of Bridge. There’s not many UI changes, just mostly improvement and small functionality. We’re not abandoning Bridge. While the 2.0 will have performance improvements there will be some updates down the road.

Q: Version 2.0 won’t have cellular connectivity?

A: So 2.0 is just software. The cellular devices or the “4G PlayBooks” will be available roughly around the 2.0 software release. The 2.0 software is designed to run on your current, WiFi only PlayBooks, but we will have 4G PlayBooks around the same time as that 2.0 software.

Q: In many government organizations we don’t have WiFi access. Everything is land based. So I rely on the Bridge for my functionality and we love the video chat but the problem is we can’t use it. Is there a way for us to get access to more of those apps through Bridge?

A: We’ve seen that already. The last update to Bridge allows some applications to use the connection to get out to the Internet. We’re going to of course increase the functionality of core apps to utilize Bridge.

Q: Is the PlayBook 4G being delayed?

A: We have been in testing for several months on 4G devices and on multiple carriers. Several groups are actively testing them and I have not heard of any delays. As of today (November 22nd), I have not heard anything that would put us off schedule from our early 2012 release.

Q: Will the PlayBook come in other sizes?

A: Of course we’re obviously investigating sizes and what makes sense for a larger screen. So yes, I don’t know the exact size and I can’t show you anything, but we’re looking at other sizes.

Q: Does the 4G capability imply voice functionality?

A: Not at first, besides the video chat. There is no ability to make a call from PlayBook to landline call. That’s not the final answer though. Initial release will be strictly data and video chat. There are also third party apps that will let you make a call from PlayBook to landline but not from RIM.

Q: Current video chat – can it be extended from PlayBook to something else?

A: We have teams that are working right now to make it an endpoint to a corporate video chat solution. So we’re in discussions about how that’s going to work. There’s definitely a roadmap for video chat that lets it do more than just device to device.

Q: What about segregating the Address Book by corporate and personal?

A: From a group perspective? The contacts are in one general list and there’s no way to see if they’re a personal or business contact. The device will know based on the service it’s pulling from. Any new contact will be corporate by default (I believe).

Q: What about synchronizing multiple Address Books into one?

A: I have not tried it so I can’t give you a definite answer just yet. I imagine it would still just dump it as one Address Book but I’d have to verify.

Be sure to read our post with screenshots of the upcoming PlayBook PIM apps.

© Kyle for BlackBerry Cool, 2011

Questions Answered About BBX, PlayBook 4G and Native PIM Applications
Kyle McInnes
Wed, 30 Nov 2011 18:12:57 GMT

Popular posts from this blog

Apple Launches Web Tool to Deregister Phone Numbers from iMessage

Apple today released a new web tool for users to deregister their phone number from iMessage in the event they switched to a non-Apple device. To deregister a phone number from iMessage, users simply enter their phone number in Apple's web tool, receive a free text message containing a code, and submit the code to complete the process. Users who still have their original iPhone can also transfer their SIM card back to the device and go to Settings -> Messages to turn iMessage off. 

Users switching from an iPhone to another device were often unable to receive SMS messages from another iPhone due to their phone number still being linked to iMessage. These specific errors with iMessage have been a well-known issue since 2011, which is when the messaging service debuted with iOS 5. They were also made even more apparent this past May, where a server glitch caused widespread message delivery problems. Apple was even sued over the matter in a California court, although the company cla…

Microsoft acquires iPhone email app Acompli

After accidentally announcing it a little early, Microsoft is officially confirming it has acquired email startup Acompli. The surprise acquisition means Microsoft is picking up a powerful email client for iPhone and Android in another move that further cements CEO Satya Nadella’s focus on cross-platform technologies. The Verge’s Casey Newton called Acompl "the Outlook for iPhone that Microsoft hasn’t yet built," and it seems Microsoft was equally impressed with the powerhouse email app. "We’re excited about what’s possible as we build on the app’s success and bring it together with work currently in progress by the Outlook team," the company said in a statement. "Our goal is to deliver fantastic cross-platform apps that support the variety of email services people use today and help them accomplish more." Recode first reportedthat Microsoft would make its latest acquisition official today; the company is said to be paying over $200 million for Acompli. A…

Apple will disconnect ‘obsolete’ first-gen Apple TV from iTunes in May

Apple has announced today it will drop iTunes support for some older devices from May 25. This includes the first generation Apple TV, and also any PC running Windows XP or Vista. The company is introducing new security changes which will prevent those devices from using the latest version of iTunes.
Apple says that the original Apple TV is an "obsolete Apple product" and will not be updated to support security changes. Only those with the second generation of Apple TV or later will be able to access the iTunes store.
Windows XP or Vista users won't be able to use the latest version of iTunes, but older Windows computers can still use previous versions without support from Apple. Those who do so, however, won't be able to make new purchases or re-download previous purchases on that computer. If you're on on XP or Vista, you'll need to upgrade to Windows 7 or later to continue using iTunes normally.
The writing was already on the wall for these devices: Wi…