One of the things that caught my attention when the PlayBook was first announced was how specifically RIM differentiated it from the iPad. Wish the iPad was more portable, or wish your tablet was a better form factor for using it as an e-reader? We’ll give you a 7″ tablet. Wish it had cameras? Great, we’ll give you two. Wish the iPad’s screen wasn’t so low res? We’ll give you an incredible screen that is higher resolution. Wish the iPad had rich stereo sound. Bam. Frustrated that the iPad won’t let you watch flash videos on the web? We’ll make a tablet that lives and breathes Flash. Interested in being able to browse the web on the go but annoyed by having to pay another monthly fee? We’ll let you piggy back on your phone’s data plan. Wish your tablet was built on top of the military grade security that people have come to expect from BlackBerry? You’ve got it.
Not a fan of the cold metallic back of the iPad, always nervous about scratching it when you put it down? We’ll give you a great feeling tablet with an elegant rubberized back that you don’t have to worry about scratching. Wish you could develop apps using the same language that forms the foundation of the PC (C++), allowing you to re-use existing code, well known toolsets, etc, rather than learning a whole new language (Objective C) that is incompatible with existing code and toolsets? Sure thing. Saddened by Apple’s walled garden, but not excited by the fragmentation of Android? How about a third option?
The list goes on and on. RIM was pretty tenacious about identifying and executing on many point of differentiation.
On the app front, it’s interesting to think about what uses cases benefit from the PlayBook’s points of differentiation. That’s right down the alley of my designer and MBA student friend Graham Huber, who has collaborated with me on a couple of apps. The first app that he did, Solicit, leverages the fact that the PlayBook is easy to pass to someone and have them type in some information. The idea is to take it to trade shows, business meetings, classes, etc, and to grab people’s contact info quickly and easily. More recently, he published Vote, which allows a vote to be setup and the PlayBook to be passed around a business meeting or classroom to get a consensus on a question.
I’m curious about what apps highlight for you how to best take advantage of the PlayBook’s points of differentiation. On a related note, do you feel these points of differentiation lead to unique apps on the PlayBook platform? RIM is making headway getting the big hitting games to the PlayBook and they are working on popular apps but what has been you experience with apps unique to the PlayBook?