One of the primary criticisms of the BlackBerry PlayBook, and rightly so, was the omission of native email, contacts, and calendar applications. It was troubling then that they hadn’t considered these primary activities as important to address natively, and it’s troubling that it has taken then so very long deliver these elementary functions.
RIM originally said these reviews weren’t “fair,” but regardless of the quality of the OS and the device itself (both of which seem perfectly fine), it’s criminal to subject your loyal users to such a long wait for an email client competitive with Apple and Google. But at least the apps are being finalized, and were just showed off at the BlackBerry Innovation Forum.
BlackBerryCool has posted some quick shots of the apps. They look clean and more or less as you’d expect, and much better in my opinion than the early versions they showed at BlackBerry World. I have no trouble believing they’re as polished as the rest of the OS, and I look forward to seeing how they have integrated off-screen gestures and the like. Ideally, the PlayBook should be as much of an email and messaging powerhouse as its handset brethren.
Unfortunately the apps won’t be arriving until February 17th, and there won’t be a native BBM client by then either. But there’s a good chance they’ll be included as part of a major update that makes the Playbook, which is in some ways ahead of its time, a more realistic competitor.
The PlayBook’s keyboard accessory should be hitting around the same time as well, which should aid in productivity.