As a part of its BlackBerry World introduction, Research in Motion made public detailed plans of providing two major applications in order to improve the feature set of the BlackBerry PlayBook. RIM’s tablet will finally get an official Video Chat application, which will allow owners to make two way calls between other users of PlayBooks on Wi-Fi. Calls are supposed to handle both the front and the back cameras. Like in FaceTime, incoming calls can be taken without needing the application in run mode.
The friends list is limited to a BlackBerry ID but is separate from usual BlackBerry contacts due in part to a native contacts application missing. Users can set the system to the “do not disturb” mode, which ignores calls when involved in another activity.
The Facebook application brings a rather optimized image of the social network that is able to use all of its live and media features, which include photos and equally 1,080-pixel video viewing. Media playback has been optimized for the HDMI video output. Facebook Chat and full friend interaction are expected to work equally.
While Video Chat is already available, the finished Facebook application is expected to be ready later in the same month.
The Video Chat component is important for RIM, as there were many critics to blame the inclusion of the dual cameras without implementing one of the most expected features. Google and Apple think video chat is an important feature on their respective platforms for tablets and both make sure it is included on launch. Meantime, Research in Motion is known to have rushed the arrival of its PlayBook in stores aiming to have a competitor to Apple’s iPad even though the tablet lacked both video chat and other features like e-mail, a calendar or other important applications.