I had a chance to talk to Michael Clewley Product Manger about what PlayBook OS 2.0 brings to the PlayBook community including users and developers. The PlayBook OS 2.0 has been out for over a week now, according to a new report a large percentage of PlayBook owners have upgraded to the new OS which is good news. Here are some of the questions we asked Michael:
How did you guys decide who stayed up late to make a successful launch?
We are a big company we have folks in different time zones around the world to be able to ensure that things launched successfully. There were those who did have to wake up earlier, but we have a really dedicated team that want the company to succeed. People have passion for the job and go the extra mile.
Did you guys have a code name for the OS launch?
No, it was OS 2.0, we didn’t need a code name for it.
I can see that specially with us reporting about it almost every day.
What is your favorite new feature on 2.0?
The social everywhere integration, being able to see the social integration in the message app, the contacts, calendar, even in video chat. Being able to see who I have relationships with and able to see what is going on in their lives.
I see the different inputs from all the companies RIM has acquired, and they’re are in different parts of the world, how did you manage that?
Yes, they are geographically spread all over the world, we have Tungle in Montreal, Gist in different parts of the U.S, and we have TAT in Sweden we been very successful at organizing the teams to build a fantastic products from various regions across the globe.
Going forward with RIM transition to BB10, how does the PlayBook and OS 2.0 fit in the picture?
PlayBook is essentially the foundation for BlackBerry 10, it is the OS that will evolve into BB10.. there is a lot of pieces that will stay the same in BB10 that come from OS 2.0. All the platforms support that we have in OS 2.0 is there and will continue to be there as we evolve into OS 2.0. QNX allows BlackBerry to developer to built great native applications, and the social experience will continue to grow as well in BB10.
Are we going to be seeing similar OS on both devices the PlayBook and BB10 devices?
Yes, that is the goal with BB10, is essentially “a single Platform and OS for multiple devices”.
What did you guys do different with developers to have the OS 2.0 launch, with apps flowing to app world daily?
We launch the OS 2.0 developer beta back at DEVCON America in October 2011, and since then we had two other in Asia, and Amsterdam, and since then we just continued to grow dev. interest in OS 2.0 by improving beta releases and worked with Handster to bring a catalog of Android applications into the store front and since the beginning February we ran a promotion for developers who submitted an application into app world before the end of this month will get a PlayBook. So we are deeply committed to the developer community to keeping them engage and PlayBook OS 2.0 is the foundation for BB10 so the success they have now will only continue success in the BlackBerry going forward.
What you are saying is Devs. should look forward to the transition where they will have more opportunist by releasing an app on both devices?
With this new OS it is easy to be socially connected with contacts, video chat, specifically video chat offers a great experience, and an improvement in 2.0!
This an area that we paid attention ensuring that we scan your address book to scan for BB ID addresses, BlackBerry has always stayed a step ahead of the user on what they want to do and video chat is no exception and we detect video IDs that are active to video chat.
You know lately in the news we have seen Apps get in trouble by accessing users private information without user consent. As far as the PlayBook OS that is not the case right?
We are not uploading any information to the cloud is all being done locally in the device, and is not uploaded to a cloud.
can you elaborate on the new browser, is a far better browser than most of the other mobile browsers out there?
The team has done a lot of work to continue to keep up to date and ensure we are in the leading edge from that perspective as well as some of our own optimization and the power that comes with the hardware in the PlayBook. We essentially achieve the top rated browser in HTM5 in both mobile and tablet devices. We rank in the top 3 for desktop devices on HTML5.
As far as using HTML5, many developers are interested in developing with it, how do you see RIM using that to their advantage?
HTML5 is an excellent way for developers to target multiple platforms, is definitely one of the recommendations we give devs today who want to develop for BlackBerry OS, and our PlayBook. Is a flexible language, allows devs. to developer rich application and easy to test anywhere on the devices or the Browser. BlackBerry is able to cater to this developers.
For developers what are some key points you want to point out to them?
Depending on what type of developers they are, the conversation and the way I approach them will vary. If they have a native app in another OS I would approach them on how easy it would be to port their application to the PlayBook OS. As a web developer we talk about how powerful the browser is, and the capability including things under the hood, like webGL.
If you are on Android I tell them a story about a Tweet I saw yesterday of a developer who had more downloads in 24 hours when they ported their App to the PlayBook than they did in android in 24 days. Developers targeting BlackBerry is real, they are successful and making more money, regardless if is BlackBerry OS or PlayBook OS.
For new users what if any tips you can give them on using the PlayBook?
For users there are a lot of great things they can learn with the tutorial out of the box. We have a great app on app world called discover now that allows the user to continue to learn more on the device to maximize the experience. Is a great thing to see the social community educating users on what they can do as well.
So there you have it guys, if PlayBook 2.0 is a good indication of where BlackBerry 10 is headed, I can’t wait.