BlackBerry PlayBook Native Email, Contacts and Calendar Screenshots and Details

44 Comments

Today at the BlackBerry Innovation Forum, RIM gave a demo of the native email, contacts and calendar functionality on the BlackBerry PlayBook. We can’t yet post video of the demo but we do have screenshots of the demo and we can answer questions you may have (assuming the answers were discussed).

Native email

The email client on the PlayBook is simply awesome. RIM has taken the time to create an email experience on the tablet that feels like the smartphone experience, but takes advantage of the tablet’s larger screen. The email experience on your tablet has all the features you would expect including read, write, zoom in and out of email, mark priority etc. The demo of the email experience looks ready for launch and there’s little doubt that RIM will hit the expected February 17th launch date.

BlackBerry PlayBook calendar

The calendar experience on BlackBerry has a fun tablet twist to it too. When you’re really busy on a particular day, the calendar numbers get bigger giving you a quick glance at what your day looks like.

blackberry playbook native contacts

The contacts section of the PlayBook is powered by Gist and if you’ve downloaded the Gist app for your smartphone, you will see it’s a very similar experience. The Gist element is great on a tablet because with all the added screen real estate, you can really delve into a contact and learn more about them without straining your eyes reading a lot of details.

We’re looking forward to when all of this launches on February 17th, 2012. Also mentioned at the event, was that the PlayBook BlackBerry keyboard accessory that we’ve seen a few pictures and video of is coming “early 2012″. RIM can’t push this keyboard out soon enough. It’s going to be the ultimate tool in leaving your laptop behind. More pics below. Let us know if you have questions.

  • Maynor87

    Nice!

  • Anonymous

    I think that you meant February 2012.

  • http://www.intomobile.com/ Simon Sage

    Any of the Tungle stuff going to be found in the calendar?

  • http://twitter.com/Berryreview Berryreview

    Beautiful catch Kyle! Let us know if you see any signs of GIST, Tungle, or any of RIM’s other acquisitions. You can definitely see the Cascades TAT framework at work in this…

  • Allen George

    Was it a live demo, or were these simply screenshots?
    Also, are the UI elements/framework used to construct this available to be used by third-party developers or are they RIM-internal only? (I’m really hoping the former)

  • http://about.me/kylemcinnes Kyle McInnes

    Corrected, thanks.

  • http://about.me/kylemcinnes Kyle McInnes

    I didn’t see any of the Tungle stuff in the calendar. I can’t confirm if it is or isn’t there. Perhaps the fact that there’s a Tungle app already on the PlayBook means that they’ll integrate via API.

  • http://about.me/kylemcinnes Kyle McInnes

    There is a lot of Gist in there. During the demo we heard about how Gist is integrated into the calendar. See the screenshot that says “People” as a section of the calendar. That’s where you can see participants in the event and learn more about them. Really slick implementation.

  • http://about.me/kylemcinnes Kyle McInnes

    This was a live demo. I have the full video recorded on my PlayBook but I was asked to wait to post the video. So I’m playing nice and simply taking screenshots from the video and putting some black bars on the personal stuff. 

    I can’t confirm anything about the UI elements but I know RIM has been working hard to make its BBX UI stuff by TAT available to all developers. I’m sure it will be available.

  • http://www.online-pokerhu.com Online Póker

    Don’t see this being a big player at all! I think these companies would be better off pooling their resources into developing products that Apple hasn’t already got a stranglehold on, rather just offering an alternative.

  • http://about.me/kylemcinnes Kyle McInnes

    Reading some of the comments on Crackberry’s link to this story. Seems people want to know what the briefcase icon was. It’s an implementation of BlackBerry Balance and I believe RIM already demo’d it at DevCon or BlackBerry World. Not sure which one.

  • http://about.me/kylemcinnes Kyle McInnes

    Also, about the following comment on CrackBerry from ttboy_1: “Looking forward to the outrage when people find out the native email, contacts and calendar are going to be using ActiveSync and not Blackberry Push technology” 

    This was brought up during the demo. According to RIM, all of this is based on RIM infrastructure and DOES feature Push technology. 

  • http://twitter.com/gnosys Fan-Ir

    Kyle – will GIST be a paid app or free/core from the App World? Thanks in advance….

  • http://about.me/kylemcinnes Kyle McInnes

    GIST is currently free for smartphones and it will surely be free for tablet. From what I saw, it’s more like a behind-the-scenes implementation of Gist that just makes all your PIM stuff better.

    http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/42426

  • http://about.me/kylemcinnes Kyle McInnes

    Something I’m reading on BerryReview’s comment thread from BarracudaBob: “Assuming these screenshots are from an actual device maybe they are closer than most of us thought. I have a feeling it’s the BES and BIS part of things that are causing the delays.”

    Yes – this was a live demo on a real device and it looks like they’re very close to launch. On target for sure. Doesn’t sound like the BES/BIS issue is really there and it will support BES.

  • Pwgillam77

    Any news on the changes to Docs to Go? Any discussion on Microsoft Office?

    I remember doing a survey from RIM where they asked about which of the two I would prefer to see.

  • http://about.me/kylemcinnes Kyle McInnes

    There was a lot of talk about Citrix and Sharepoint but I don’t recall much about Docs to Go or MS Office. This was a Government and Enterprise event and I think they’re more interested in Sharepoint.

  • Pwgillam77

    Thanks, Kyle. I believe that the invitation webpage stated that they would discuss the innovations to Docs to Go. Will need to wait on that one, then.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7FJIUIARXAY4Q2PWDPGLARDTCA Michael Schmitt

    Can you tell me if they are running the Same NOC Servers with BBX Phones, or running new servers?

  • http://about.me/kylemcinnes Kyle McInnes

    Sorry, I can’t answer that. There wasn’t really any talk about BBX phones or NOC infrastructure. The discussion was more along the lines of – “this is built on the same infrastructure so expect the same features.” Nothing that specific.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7FJIUIARXAY4Q2PWDPGLARDTCA Michael Schmitt

    Ok, thank you for that info. From the pictures it looks good, and since it’s not running through a Java Emulator as far as I can see (looks like you can open up, Mail, Contacts separately) and just wanted to know the Magic trick. :)

  • http://about.me/kylemcinnes Kyle McInnes

    From reading all the comments about this story, it sounds like people want better screenshots. These shots are taken from a video I recorded on the PlayBook which is in full HD. Video will be posted soon

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7FJIUIARXAY4Q2PWDPGLARDTCA Michael Schmitt

    Will it kill the competition? Can you give me a hint?

  • newmobilesource.com

    I am a blackberry adict and i will buy  blackberry for ever regardless what iToys world says. my question to kyle …is it true that blackberry email on playbook does not support regular BIS push technology ,instead activeSync?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7FJIUIARXAY4Q2PWDPGLARDTCA Michael Schmitt

    The response to that is further down. He did confirm that it is True BIS/BES Push Email.

  • Anonymous

    yes. tease. tease. tease. bring it out already please.

  • http://www.willw.net/ Will Robertson

    Hey, I was at the event too – Docs To Go is getting a huge upgrade in 2.0. Docs and Spreadsheets will be pretty much full featured, all the glaring omissions in the first versions are fix. slideshows will be editable now too, very basic text editing, but it is something.

    You can actually use these updated Docs To Go apps now if you update to the developer beta, I am using them and love it. Great with mouse + keyboard too.

  • http://www.willw.net/ Will Robertson

    Yes, seemed like Gist is being used to take the contacts app to the next level. No longer just an address book, but a real personal CRM system. Didn’t seem to have all the Gist features, but seems to have a lot of the good stuff.

    These PIM apps appear to have had some real thought and work put into them, not just a rushed out standard featureless calendar/email/address book like the stock Android PIM.

  • http://about.me/kylemcinnes Kyle McInnes

    Thanks Will!

  • Pwgillam77

    getting great info here! 

  • http://twitter.com/LuaySalman Luay

    Native email/Calendar is reminding me a lot of the BlueBox colour scheme, tell me i’m wrong please. 

  • http://twitter.com/the_seamonkey Jimmy

    my question is.. how will this work on the BES side of things? users are only allowed one device per account on the BES. 

    i’m assuming we’ll see a nice BES update before its updated to 2.0.

  • http://about.me/kylemcinnes Kyle McInnes

    I know that during the demo the presenter had multiple email accounts set up. The PlayBook 2.0 has a lot of BlackBerry Balance features so you should be able to connect multiple accounts and make sure everything is IT compliant.

  • Kappi

    Does the playbook support Push email technology ?

  • Emallari1963

    Will discounted PB able to upgrade to BBX?

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  • Biblewaymin

    Does the Playbook come with G4 connectivity as does the Torch and other smartphone products from RIM?

  • Biblewaymin

    Does the Playbook come with G4 connectivity as does the Torch and other smartphone products from RIM?

  • http://www.willw.net/ Will Robertson

    The PlayBook has wifi only, but can connect to wirless 4G connections via BlackBerry Bridge connection to a BlackBerry. 1 data plan for both devices
    Sent from my BlackBerry

  • http://www.willw.net/ Will Robertson

    The PlayBook has wifi only, but can connect to wirless 4G connections via BlackBerry Bridge connection to a BlackBerry. 1 data plan for both devices
    Sent from my BlackBerry

  • Steve

    Bit late in the day, but as a newcomer to the playbook I have a question…

    Will the new email/calendar client work with my gmail account, or is it designed purely to tie in with a blackberry handset?

    I ask this because I use an Android handset, which is perfect for me.  I hope RIM have taken this into account because IMO this is one of their biggest mistakes – the whole Playbook experience seems geared towards existing blackberry handset users, even if that’s not correct it is certainly the way the playbook is seen by the general public.

    This is a shame because it is an awesome tablet which has huge potential.

    So…Gmail, or not?!

    Steve

  • http://www.willw.net/ Will Robertson

    Yes Gmail will work fine when this email client is released in Feb :-) Sent from my BlackBerry

  • http://www.willw.net/ Will Robertson

    Yes Gmail will work fine when this email client is released in Feb :-) Sent from my BlackBerry

  • Ftw67

    So, are they saying email will be available for the Playbook’s,  which didn’t come with it?