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Hands On With the BlackBerry PlayBook Web Browser

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The web browser on the BlackBerry PlayBook is one of the key parts making up the PlayBook experience. I do not think I could cover all it can do in one article but I will attempt to hit the highlights. The browser opens the door for many of the web apps you currently enjoy on your desktop or laptop such as: Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, Pandora, Slacker, etc. It has some limitations in this current build of the OS such as pausing the browser windows and sometimes reloading them when you leave them for two long. Otherwise the PlayBook browser tends to put even my desktop browser to shame in terms of speed. I also like that RIM carries over some nice desktop features like the ability to remember which tabs you had open last time.

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Its nice that RIM lets you choose your default search engine.

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You can also turn off flash or javascript if that is your thing.

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RIM was nice enough to throw in Porn Mode on the BlackBerry PlayBook in the way of Private Browsing. This allows you to browse what you want and then have none of the cookies or session information saved once you close the browser. In case you were wondering WebSockets is an HTML5 spec that lets developers have a website speak to a server without having to resort to AJAX.

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I thought I would first cover the options available to you on the PlayBook. As we mentioned before you

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Full Flash websites like Pandora work like a charm and you simply swipe down from the top bezel to get the menu. From there you can view your downloads and open a new tab.

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You can also view and edit your history by heading to the icon that looks like a clock.

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The same is the case for your favorites. Though I wish RIM would let you reorganize the favorites as you wish.

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When you type in the Go field the top result is always a search with your preset default search engine. Mine is Google.

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As you can see Google maps and other heavy AJAX websites work like a charm

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If you hold your finger on a link or image you are given more options of what to do like saving the file, opening the link in a new window, viewing a full image, etc.

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When you upload files it only shows you the preset pictures, videos, music, and documents. I am not sure if RIM will let you upload any file you wish.

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I then tried the www.plus.im chat client website which also worked like a charm if you don’t like Meebo.

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What REALLY impressed me is that the PlayBook browser handled WordPress, the software that runs BerryReview, with ease. I could upload multiple files. Edit articles with the WYSIWYG editor instead of plan HTML. I am really grateful that it works since that means I won’t even bother with an app.

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RIM also reworked their website for the PlayBook which is nice. Its not the most user friendly but it has some really cool effects!

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There is also the option to browse in portrait mode though I don’t advise it but it does work.

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Let me know if I missed anything!

Just as a fun teaser I was checking out some of the flash game websites and these games are better than most of the games in App World for the PlayBook. Check out Sonic Jump below:

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14 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. looking really good

    i’m very excited to be able to stream live TV from sites like cbc.ca for the playoffs as well as the mlb.com gameday feature which shows pitch by pitch online

    also being able to keep my website up to date on the go

    cant wait for tuesday morning at 7am

  2. Looks cool I’m glad you are happy with it. Everyone says don’t browse in portrait but I can see flipping from landscape to thumb type web addresses., then flip back.

  3. Sweet, I can’t wait till Tuesday.

  4. how to navigate if a website has a hover navigation menu. U know what I mean?

  5. I know someone is putting the screenshot tool to good use..:)

  6. Ronen can you please check to see if theres a download filesize limit? For example, is it possible to download a 200mb AVI or 50mb PDF to the file browser?

    Thanks!

  7. Thanks for the preview! Looks great!

  8. Very nice, can’t wait to take one for a test.

  9. thanks for all the testing man,

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