It’s been a while since RIM has made any noise on the tablet front, but the company announced today that a new version of its tablet OS, BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.1, is now available for the Wi-Fi-only version of the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.
Security and appealing to business users have always been a hallmark of the BlackBerry brand, so it comes as no surprise that the update gives users the ability to secure everything on the tablet by extending the “enterprise-grade” encryption to all personal data on the device.
There are also other features in the OS update, like BlackBerry Mobile Fusion, that “simplify the deployment of the tablets in the enterprise.” These simplifications include over-the-air (OTA) enrollment to the BlackBerry Mobile Fusion server, support for Active Sync authentication, and additional IT Policy controls.
The ability to send SMS text messages through BlackBerry Bridge is now available, meaning that users can send a text from their PlayBook and it will be delivered through their BlackBerry smartphone, provided that the two devices are linked via BlackBerry Bridge. Users will also need the most recent version of BlackBerry Bridge, version 2.1, which is available on BlackBerry App World.
Other new features include being able to use the messages, contacts, and calendar apps in portrait mode, In-App Payment being extended to Android apps, and the ability to “print” documents from a PC to the PlayBook. The latter requires customers to use the Print To Go app, but the file sharing is possible even if the PC and tablet are connected to two different networks.
The update to PlayBook OS 2.1 is administered OTA for free, and users should automatically receive a notification to update on their device. If no notification is received, they can also check for the new version under “Software Updates” in the settings menu and manually update from there.