BB PlayBook to get video chat and first dedicated Facebook app

BlackBerry's PlayBook is hardly bulging with dedicated apps, but Facebook and video calling is a great start

Know anyone hoping to get a Blackberry PlayBook? You do? That means you'll be able to indulge in a bit of face time with them on your 7-inch tab, thanks to the video calling application due to arrive on the PlayBook via an over-the-air software update, due tomorrow. It will also be downloadable from BlackBerry App World.

As with Apple's FaceTime, you can only use it over Wi-Fi, and you have the ability to make a call via a friends list, recent call log, or via an email address - or in this instance, BlackBerry ID. The app also features a picture-in-picture function that'll allow you to switch between the front and rear cameras, so you can show off what's going around you. In addition to that, there's also the ability to make voice call as well as recieve a pop-up notification when a call is coming in. It's a shame RIM has chosen to restrict this feature to PlayBook users only, but perhaps (read: hopefully) this is something RIM will expand to BB smartphones in the near future.

When you're not taking advantage of its face action, there's always the newly announced native Facebook app, which is due to land on the PlayBook later this month. What's interesting about this, and we're sure RIM is feeling pretty smug about it, is the fact it's beaten Apple and Google to the punch.

You can expect the usual Facebook features, like updating your status, adding friends, stalking others, photo and video viewing, as well as instant messaging and news feed updates. And the good news is, because the PlayBook features a mini-HDMI port, you'll be able to show off your snaps and videos from your holiday (or debauched Saturday night) on the big screen.


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