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  1.    #1  
    Hiya all,

    This is a very upbeat review for all of the RIMM fans out there!

    Take care of yourselves,

    Jay


    R.I.M.’s PlayBook Tablet Is a Whiz at Flash
    By IAN AUSTEN, April 11, 2011, 12:28 pm

    R.I.M.'s PlayBook Tablet Is a Whiz at Flash - NYTimes.com

    During meetings with executives at the headquarters of Research In Motion in Waterloo, Ontario, last week, everyone was understandably keen to show off the BlackBerry PlayBook, the company’s first tablet computer. It will be released next week, and its starting price of $499 matches that of the iPad 2.

    Denis Doyle/Bloomberg News R.I.M.’s new tablet, the PlayBook.

    As I wrote in an article on Monday and in an earlier story, the PlayBook’s most obvious market is the corporations, institutions and governments that have long embraced BlackBerry phones.

    But the PlayBook has one significant feature of interest to consumers that the iPad can’t touch: its ability to play videos, or anything else, stored in Abode’s Flash format.

    Steven P. Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, famously won’t allow Flash on either the iPhone or the iPad. (You can read his reasons in this open letter.) But not only does the PlayBook embrace Flash, Mike Lazaridis, one of R.I.M.’s chief executives, boasts that it contains hardware and software that enables his tablet to outperform much more powerful computers when it comes to playing Flash videos.

    The Flash video certainly looked good on the seven-inch screens of several demonstrator PlayBooks. Mr. Lazaridis, however, had a much more theatrical demonstration. Using a standard HDMI cable (the connection most people use to link their televisions and Blu-ray players), Mr. Lazaridis plugged a PlayBook into an 85-inch flat-screen television. He then let me randomly choose a variety of Flash-based videos from YouTube and a variety of other Web sites.

    Provided that they were high definition, or 1080p, format, the videos looked more like something that was coming from a DVD or even a Blu-ray disc player than the Web. A lack of time, to say nothing of a second 85-inch television, made direct comparisons with other video sources and formats impossible. But the demonstration seemed to support Mr. Lazaridis’s claims.

    Oddly, the PlayBook owes more to automobiles than the video world for this party trick.

    One of the most important features of the PlayBook is that it uses a new operating system from QNX Software Systems, another Canadian company R.I.M. bought about a year ago.

    R.I.M. had been working with Harman, the large audio company based in Stamford, Conn., to make sure that BlackBerrys could integrate with the various entertainment systems it makes for a variety of automobile manufacturers.

    Particularly in luxury vehicles, those systems feature complex touch screens and provide much more than music. Not only do they control navigation screens, they increasingly are in charge of a variety of other interior functions such as heating and air-conditioning. To help guide it through those tasks, Harman had earlier acquired QNX.

    The more R.I.M. worked with QNX’s software, the more it liked what it saw. Mr. Lazaridis said that he was particularly impressed by its skillful use of Adobe’s Flash software to create on-screen displays in cars.

    “We said: ‘Wait a minute, we can build a PC-like experience into our tablets and our superphones going forward because they had already integrated Flash,’ ” Mr. Lazaridis recalled.

    R.I.M. worked directly with Adobe to further improve the PlayBook’s ability to use Flash. It will be up to reviewers to confirm Mr. Lazaridis’s claim that R.I.M. has found a way to use Flash without straining the PlayBook’s battery, one of Mr. Jobs’s chief concerns.

    QNX wasn’t the only outside company R.I.M. turned to when it created the PlayBook. It also purchased a Swedish software interface designer known as TAT (The Astonishing Tribe), and gave it the task of figuring out how users would interact with the new operating system, as well as its look.

    The result is an operating system that will look familiar to any iPad user but is nevertheless distinctive. Instead of the familiar button on the iPad and iPhone, for example, users summon the PlayBook’s home page by flicking a finger up to the screen from the BlackBerry logo on its bezel.
    Please Support Research into Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain and Spinal Injuries. If You Suffer from These, Consider Joining or Better Yet Forming a Support Group. No One Should Suffer from the Burden of Chronic Pain, Jay M. S. Founder, Leesburg Fibromyalgia/Resources Group
  2. JLegacy's Avatar
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    The Playbook is going to rock. I just hope RIM's QNX phones next year are going to be just as awesome. :3
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