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BlackBerry PlayBook to feature video calling app

PlayBook video conferencing app revealed

BlackBerry PlayBook

Research In Motion (RIM) has revealed that its first tablet, the BlackBerry PlayBook, will feature a new proprietary peer-to-peer video conferencing app. 

CIO reports that in an interview with David Heit, RIM’s vice president of enterprise strategy, he revealed plans for the BlackBerry video conferencing app to be released ‘very soon’. The app will take advantage of the PlayBook’s 3Mp front-facing camera, and could also use its 5Mp rear-facing HD video camera. 

Rather than using a third-party app, such as Skype, to bring video calling to the PlayBook, Heit’s announcement suggests that the BlackBerry video conferencing app may integrate with BlackBerry Messenger. 

No video calling on BlackBerry smartphones

As none of BlackBerry’s current line-up of smartphones feature a front-mounted camera, video calling is likely to be a PlayBook-only app for the foreseeable future. BlackBerry’s heritage of offering business-focused devices may mean that the BlackBerry PlayBook video calling app is focused more on video conferencing than the social video calling offered by Apple’s FaceTime on iPad.

Although the BlackBerry PlayBook was first announced back in September 2010, and we’ve since had hands-on experience of it at CES 2011 (check out our PlayBook video preview), no launch dates have yet been confirmed. 

It is likely to launch in the US in April 2011, and in the UK later this year. The PlayBook is set to be available in a wi-fi only version at launch, with 3G models being available later. UK pricing has also not yet been revealed.

Also see:

  • Apple iPad 2 launch report
  • Tablet buyers’ guide
  • Which? tablet reviews

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