The PlayBook Tablet OS update address two complaints reviewers, including PCWorld's Melissa J. Perenson, have had about the PlayBook: that it has a hard-to-press on/off button and that the unit has an inability to take a battery charge when powered off. The update includes new functionality to the battery icon and allows the PlayBook to be charged when off.
Now, a touch of the battery icon--which appears with a diagonal downward swipe from the upper right corner of the screen--brings up a dialog which not only tells you how much battery power you have left, but also lets you adjust the screen brightness and turn off or restart the unit. This tweak means you can avoid --thus avoiding the power switch. A new warning pops up if you connect the PlayBook to an underpowered microUSB charger like the ones that come with many smartphones.
Other enhancements include automatic Wi-Fi hotspot detection, an extra higher volume level for headset use in noisy environments and support for TURN (Traversal Using Relay NAT) protocol, a video protocol which, according to Research in Motion "enhances Video Chat connections between users when their call is crossing between a public network and an enterprise network behind a firewall."
While the PlayBook's hardware, especially its high-quality cameras, has been lauded by many reviewers, the lack of native apps comparable to those readily available for iOS and Android tablets still leaves the PlayBook in the role of an also-ran among business-class tablets.