A new software keyboard, powered by SwiftKey technology used in Android, gives PlayBook users a tweaked on-screen keyboard that adds a new row of numbers where there used to be only letters, though the overall key size has been reduced to make room for the numbers. The new keyboard also features predictive text, which is a valuable addition since typing on virtual keyboards can be a chore.
RIM also says the Video Chat and Docs to Go apps have been enhanced; I rarely use video chat and when I did I didn't notice any real difference over the past version of the app. I do use Docs to Go somewhat frequently and appreciate that the PlayBook ships will a full-fledged document suite, but I honestly didn't notice too many difference in this app either.
Finally, the PlayBook battery life remains impressive. With my tablet connected to a mobile hotspot all day, various mail going in an out throughout the day and the occasional Web surfing or app download, the PlayBook easily lasts a full day and well into the night. I rarely found myself with a dead tablet, unless I watched a movie or read a book for an extended period of time after a day of use. I didn't notice any real difference in battery life after the update, which is a good thing, because sometimes adding new features or making significant software changes can greatly affect battery life.
Soooo, that's a lot to like. But the PlayBook is far from perfect. Read on for reasons why.
BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 Review: Where RIM Missed Its Mark
I'm going to get this out of the way first, so I don't have to dwell on it: RIM took too long to get this software update out to PlayBook users. Way too long. But now that the 2.0 software is officially available, we can all move on.
PlayBook Native E-Mail and PIM
One thing about the PlayBook 2.0 native e-mail app that drives me mad is that it only works in landscape mode. I've been using the BlackBerry Bridge e-mail app to get my corporate mail via my smartphone since it was released, and that app works in both landscape and portrait modes, so I was accustomed to getting my e-mail in both orientations.
Sometimes I lock my PlayBook in portrait mode, when I'm reading, for example, but when I check new messages, it sometimes gets locked in landscape because the mail app is only available this way. Then I have to unlock my orientation and relock it in portrait again, which gets annoying quickly, especially if you're constantly switching back and forth between apps and mail.