BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 review: An enterprise evaluation

By , CIO |  Consumerization of IT, BlackBerry PlayBook, tablets

Overall, I found the calendar and contacts apps to be some of the most functional tablet apps of their kind that I've ever used. (I did, however, find a few annoying quirks in the native e-mail and contacts apps. I'll share details in the next section.)

PlayBook Android Player

Another notable new feature in PlayBook 2.0 is the Android Player, which lets PlayBook owners run certain, compatible Android applications on their tablets. The Android Player works a lot like a virtual machine on a PC, and in my experience it runs quite well&assuming you can find any quality Android apps in BlackBerry App World or on the Web, and that those apps are compatible.

The Android Player is an awesome addition to the PlayBook OS, but right now, it's severely limited. (More on those limitations in the next section.)

PlayBook Enterprise Security, BlackBerry Balance and Bridge

One of the PlayBook's true strengths from an enterprise perspective is that it was designed with security in mind. And the PlayBook 2.0 software really shows RIM's focus on security.

The crown jewel in the PlayBook's security-crown is RIM's BlackBerry Balance technology, which creates different "silos" on the tablet for secure, corporate information and everything else. Whenever an IT administrator connects a PlayBook tablet to Microsoft Exchange or a BlackBerry Mobile Fusion server, a "work" silo is created on the device that is protected with XTS-AES 256-bit encryption. But the "personal" section of the device isn't affected, so PlayBook users can still use their devices mostly as they please--and IT can be confident that corporate data is protected.

This a very cool, and unique, solution to the common problem of balancing work and personal lives on corporate devices or devices used for corporate purposes.

The new PlayBook software also introduces some significant changes for IT managers looking to secure PlayBooks. Specifically, the PlayBook now supports Microsoft ActiveSync technology, so you can connect the tablet directly to Exchange without a BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES). And it does not connect to existing versions of BES. (You can find more information on this in the following sections. Or read these related articles: "PlayBook OS 2.0: Four Things IT Needs to Know," and "BlackBerry 10 OS to Support Microsoft ActiveSync, No BES: What It Means for IT.")

Originally published on CIO |  Click here to read the original story.
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