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Hands On With Word to Go on the BlackBerry PlayBook


I actually started writing up this article on my PlayBook and only stopped when I realized I needed to be able to embed images. The BlackBerry PlayBook ships with a full suite of office apps with my favorite being Word to Go. This is the FULL version of Word to Go from DataViz (which RIM purchased parts of) and lets you both edit and create word documents. That is pretty cool since most other devices need to purchase a suite to be able to edit and open Office documents. The PlayBook version of Word to Go is capable of opening up both Word *.doc and *.docx documents though when you create a new file it smartly uses *.doc for compatibility.

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You can clearly see how Copy and Paste works just by holding down your finger on the screen. It looks a bit different in applications like the browser but more or less acts the same.

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I am really loving the app though it does have one critical flaw that is apparent throughout the BlackBerry PlayBook OS. It does not have spell checking or AutoText which is something I rely on heavily on my BlackBerry smartphone. I spoke to a friend at RIM and heard that it is a high priority to add that ASAP though he would not tell me a timeline.

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As you can see there is a whole slew of options making this a nice text editor. I wish it would have some integration with cloud services but I am hoping SugarSync comes out with their own app ASAP. On the other hand I have found the SugarSync website to work perfectly on the PlayBook browser.

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9 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. I played with one tonight at Best Buy! :)

    Ronen I love the part about sugar sync. it shows how we are just not used to having the web in the palm of our hands. You say you looks forward the sugar sync app and then not the website works just fine!!!!

    I too hope the app comes, but never even thought of using the website until you said it! With the playbook a web-work-around app is nice, but not necessary! :)

    Wow was it cool to have it in my hands. It was so light I didn’t even think about it until after. I was worried it would be heavy to read like a book, I find the iPad too heavey, even the iPad2 but this was just so nice to hold. Great!!!!

    • Hi @kiddo2050,

      Alex from RIM here. PlayBook was designed to pack a ton of functionality into a 7-inch package. Have you tried thumb-typing yet? I love that one, and also being able to quickly slip it into my jacket pocket when I’m on the road – which is most of the time!

      At 0.9 pounds and 0.4-inches thin, not only does the PlayBook feel like a small paperback – especially when holding it with one hand – but it also comes pre-loaded with the Kobo eBook reader application to transform it into an actual book, flipping pages in either landscape or portrait mode.

      Alex, RIM Social Media Team

      • Hi Alex

        Thanks for writing I am writing to you on my playbook now.

        Pretty happy, I look forward to newspapers and magazines on it soon. I hope!

        Also please incentivize someone to do an app whre i can do hand written notes using a stylus. For business i would say that simple app is a killer app because it will make the playbook a real notebook. The thumb typing is good, but i dont see doing it in a meeting

        • Great Idea Kiddo 2050! In addition, I think they should also have the option of transcribing audio into written notes – like a mini dictation device.

      • is there any ruler for the word to go…since many of the document application for mobile is limited to the real office application as in notebook…need to adjust the margin, ready to print via wireless…and hopefully it will not change the position as it often happens to the doc from pc to mobile doc application…just not in proper structure…especially for student that always go mobile…paper, thesis, and other assignments…hope playbook can match the ipad in office application and come out with new size n bigger screen but smaller than ipad…too big…

  2. I’m sure with all the updates RIM is pushing out auto correction is probably just around the corner.

    BTW: Ronen, how come you don’t come out with demo videos or audio podcasts?

    • I tend to be less professional (if that is possible) on video and audio. I also find that I can get my point across much faster in two paragraphs of text than 5 minutes of video. :)
      In short I am not a big video guy. Its the same reason I read the news instead of watching the news on TV. I can consume more in the same amount of time.
      Any ideas what you would want to see in a video and audio podcast? I am thinking of doing an audio roundtable podcast but have not decided yet.

      • Hello Ronen,

        I would like to hear a round table discussion with developers on upcoming apps/ games for the PlayBook and how they will integrate to take full advantage of Adobe Flash and QNX UI.

        I would also like to hear about future plans for QNX in general – different size tablets with qwerty keyboards perhaps? Speculation on when QNX will be fully combined with the BlackBerry OS – Highlander update? You could also discuss upcoming devices – pros and cons.

  3. This is nice. Just as smooth as my laptop.

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