updated 09:30 am EST, Fri March 11, 2011
BlackBerry PlayBook to have official video chat
RIM enterprise strategy VP David Heit at a Boston event said the BlackBerry PlayBook would have an official video chat app. Instead of relying on third-party apps like Android, it should have a new peer-to-peer app intended for all users, similar to FaceTime. Heit didn't tell PCWorld if it would use a standard that would allow chatting with other platforms or if it would be limited to the PlayBook, although the current roadmap shows no BlackBerry phones with front cameras this year.
The PlayBook has been cast as a "professional-grade" tablet suitable for business, but the presence of the iPad has led RIM to focus much more on home users than it has on the BlackBerry. The dual cameras were one of the most immediate signs, but the lack of apps beyond the camera app raised questions about what support RIM would have.
Heit expected the app to be ready "very soon," though he stopped short of saying it would come preloaded.
Much of the PlayBook's home focus has been on getting app support that RIM has previously ignored. It should have e-books from Amazon and Kobo from the start and will serve up 7digital music downloads. The device will also be the first BlackBerry device to take gaming seriously with modern 3D titles.