The Washington Post

Research in Motion announces new phones, official Facebook app for tablets

The RIM Blackberry Playbook tablet. (By Tony Avelar/Bloomberg)

The app will have many of the same features as many current Facebook apps for phones, including Facebook Chat, friend management, an interactive news feed and a photo and video viewer. It is expected to release sometime this month.

The PlayBook will also be getting a video chat application, to take advantage of its dual cameras. The app will only work over WiFi, similar to Face Time on the iPad 2, and only works between two PlayBooks. The video chat app will be available starting May 3.

The BlackBerry PlayBook has gotten lukewarm reviews, particularly for a lack of apps available on the tablet. Introducing these two apps is a step in the right direction, though it may not be enough to help RIM recover from lower than expected first quarter profits.

In addition to the apps, the company also announced two new BlackBerry Bold smartphones adding touchscreens to the new models of the Bold, and dropping them to 10.5 mm, or about .413 inches, thick. The phones also have near-field communications, a feature RIM has said it would include in all of its technology, and will support up to 720p HD video.

Related stories:

BlackBerry PlayBook on sale, with one big issue

RIM’s Balsillie Defends PlayBook Tablet Against Critics

BlackBerry PlayBook: The Review Roundup

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.



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