PlayBook OS 2.0

Hankering for a native email client on that dusty old PlayBook? It's coming in PlayBook OS 2.0, RIM announced yesterday, along with calendar and contact apps. We're finally getting a full-featured experience PlayBook OS should have been in 2011.

Included in the new OS is the ability to rearrange apps via drag-and-drop, as well as the inclusion of folders, much like the way it's handled in iOS. On the messages front, RIM is using its new app as a hub for email, LinkedIn and Twitter integration – direct messages from the social media client can be sent and received right from within the app.

There's also a multitasking feature for the new Messages app, which is enabled by swiping down from the top bezel. Composing emails now features a rich text editor support for fonts, lists and colors, along with a contextual prediction for the keyboard – the OS will guess which word you're going to type next before you even type a letter.

Much like messages, the new Contacts app uses information from email, LinkedIn and Twitter. It aggregates all pertinent information into the app itself. Have an upcoming event? You can share that with particular contacts, linking directly into the Calendar app. Because the two are tied together, contacts will automatically be notified when changes are made to upcoming appointments.

PlayBook OS 2.0 will be available in February with a host of visual tweaks as well, The Verge said, along with updated BlackBerry Bridge support that is noticeably faster than its previous iteration. There still is no proper BBM, but RIM says that feature is "still being perfected" before it makes its proper tablet debut.

Will these improvements push Research in Motion in the right direction as 2012 gets into full swing? Right now, it's one baby step at a time for the Waterloo-based company. We'll see how the new OS fares when it hits next month. Cross your fingers and hope it doesn't get delayed.