If you’re a BlackBerry PlayBook owner or have a tablet nearby over the next hours, you may get to play with the new PlayBook OS 2.1, in its beta version. The announcement came via Twitter from product manager Michael Clewley and apparently you need to register your device to participate in the beta.

The new OS brings the ability to use an email client, calendar and contact app in portrait mode, plus multitasking support for Android apps, in app payment for developers and camera APIs. PlayBook OS 2.1 offers the ability to use BlackBerry Bridge to send texts and also comes with encryption features. Sadly there’s also a slight tweak that will remove side loading of Android apps, forcing users to only get their applications from the BlackBerry App World.

This is an incentive for developers to start working heavily on Android apps to run on the BlackBerry tablet. PlayBook OS 2.1 is the second major update for the tablet made by RIM, with the product now going for $199 and the previous update also bringing a lot of new features. Maybe we’ll spot some BB 10 OS aspects in this release…

  • JohnnyL53

    Still the best tablet OS. Needs more apps. No competition as to multitasking or the browser.