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PlayBook Shows Off The Astonishing Tribe Apps

David Gilbert


RIM remained pretty low key at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona after wowing us at CES last month when we got our first chance to handle its BlackBerry PlayBook. However, it has now released a couple of videos showing off apps from design firm The Astonishing Tribe (TAT), which look pretty nice.

We were seriously impressed by the PlayBook at CES with its true multi-tasking and smooth bezel swiping actions. However one question we did raise, in Podcast 27, was whether there were going to be enough apps, and of enough quality, to satisfy users at launch. Indeed last week we reported that sources claimed in the second half of 2011 the PlayBook would be able to run Android apps. While the issue of quantity remains to be settled, a couple of demos of TAT-designed apps at MWC augers well for the platform. RIM purchased TAT at the end of last year precisely for this reason and that investment seem to be bearing fruit.

The first app, seen in the video above, is a scrapbook program and shows off PlayBook's multi-touch capabilities with easy and quick re-sizing of photos and creating 3D images. The second app, Aura, seen in another video below, is a weather app and shows off the PlayBook's accelerometer and is a pretty simple but attractive app. What is most impressive about the Aura app is that is was built in a week with the WebWorks platform which allowed TAT to build the app in HTML5, CSS and JavaScript and then convert it into a “real” BlackBerry app. If apps can be turned around this quickly then we think that creating a back-catalogue of PlayBook apps may not take as long as previously believed.

Release dates and prices for the PlayBook have not been announced yet but suggestions of a late March/early April date with a price of $500 is currently circulating the internet. We hope, whenever this tablet is released, it will have more of these apps from TAT for us to play with.

Source: Engadget


February 18, 2011, 7:13 pm

Looks very snazzy, the Playbook is quite an appealing device but it is hugely crippled by not including an SD or even a micro SD slot.

I truely believe that Tablets will start to evolve into media creation devices, as opposed to just media consumption devices, and the lack of sd card support means you wont be creating much on this! Such a shame


February 18, 2011, 10:11 pm

Cute and all, but I see nothing here that couldn't be handled natively in HTML5. So stuff like this should be device agnostic.


February 19, 2011, 5:01 am

@ HK Lol, I think the point was the apps were made in HTML5?

Thats why it was made quicker than been a native RIM app.


February 19, 2011, 6:30 am

Did anyone else get tricked into thinking that this device had "Tribe Apps" that were astonishing? So I had to look, only to discover the name of the company was "Astonishing Tribe". The apps are fairly cool, but not quite astonishing.


February 19, 2011, 12:54 pm

Does the company actually use the acronym - TAT ... lol


February 19, 2011, 2:49 pm

Stelph. I son't think that a lack of SD card will hold back the device. In fact looking at the rate of storage progression, your SD cards are going to be a valued as the DVD disc. There was a time I would burn hundreds, but then high capacity memory sticks came into play and increasingly cloud computing means storage handled separately from device (so no tears if you lose your playbook). I imagine a time even when photos you take with your camera are automatically uploaded to cloud storage when in range of mobile signal or wifi(if this isn't already possible).

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