By Jared Newman | Friday, January 7, 2011 at 6:09 pm
In starting from scratch, the Blackberry PlayBook faces a challenge not shared by iOS, Android or WebOS tablets: It will be completely foreign to all users.
Fortunately, navigating the PlayBook is dead-simple, provided you memorize a handful of little gestures. That was my big takeaway after a few minutes of hands-on time today — along with multitasking that blows the iPad out of the water.
Here are the six things you’ve got to know about the Blackberry Playbook interface:
There really isn’t much more to operating the PlayBook than that. I saw a couple other demonstrations — you can plug in an HDMI cable to share content with big screens, and you can sync contacts, calendars, tasks and messages to Blackberry phones via Bluetooth — but that’s just gravy.
As for multitasking, there’s just something better about managing apps yourself and knowing that anything can run completely in the background — you can see for yourself when all apps are in thumbnail view — even if battery life takes a hit.
Of course, I’m concerned as ever about the Playbook’s third-party app support. RIM’s booth units were focused entirely on the Web and built-in functions such as video. But kudos to RIM for laying a nice foundation with its interface.