In our initial impressions of the PlayBook last week, we spent a lot of time criticising RIM for the apps it didn’t include with the tablet.We didn’t have time to thoroughly explore the AppWorld store until this weekend. Now that we have, we can see the selection there is no better. It’s almost laughable.
We scoured through every category in the store to try and find some great apps. The following list is the best we could come up with. Seriously.
The store as a whole is full of corny games, third-rate news sources, and overpriced utilities like battery monitors. We even had trouble getting some apps to install after several attempts.
RIM has a lot of work to do with its AppWorld, and it should get better once it allows users access to Android apps, but until then this the best you’re gonna get.
To check out these apps for yourself, just search for the app title in the AppWorld on your PlayBook.
The Reader's Digest app is a lot like WIRED's app for iPad. You download individual issues and swipe through each page. There are some nice interactive elements and videos too. Each issue free, but extremely bulky at around 200 MB a pop and poor swiping controls it's kind of a joke.
The Australian Public Toilet Directly is perhaps the best example of everything that's wrong with PlayBook apps. After browsing through the 'Maps and Navigation' section of the store, this was the best we could find. It works by typing in a zip code or Australian city and points you towards the closest public restroom.
Quick Currency is a dead-simple currency converter. Enter the country you want to convert from, enter the amount, and tap 'Convert.'
Nothing fancy here. BlackFeed allows you to enter the URL of any RSS feed and import stories from it. We didn't like that you have to type in URLs by hand. It also won't sync with Google Reader. But so far, it's the best RSS reader for the PlayBook.
This app is pretty cool. It lets you log in to your company's server and access documents from anywhere. However, it's not very user friendly. You have to know your company's domain and password where files are stored, so ask your IT department for help. We had hoped they included support for Dropbox and Google Docs, but no luck. That makes it a loser.
Price: Free for the 'Lite' version. $14.99 for the full version that lets you sync files offline.
JustDict is a...dictionary. Type in a word and get the definition. You have to be connected to the internet for it to work though.
iGizmo is a tech magazine that has been optimised for the PlayBook. Like Reader's Digest, it's very similar to the way WIRED works on the iPad. You download the app and select which issue to download from within it. There are a ton of videos and 3D models of gadgets, but each issue is over 200 MB.
TweeKL is the best you can do if you want to tweet from your PlayBook. It's very simple. You get two columns, one with your tweets and another with your friends' tweets.
For some reason, RIM thought this app was good enough to be featured in the AppWorld store. Of course, that meant we had to take a look. It's a series of flash questions like the one pictured here. Answer correctly, you move on.
DoodleBlast is the only app we could find that we actually enjoy. It's a quirky puzzle game where you guide marbles into a jar by 'doodling' lines. It's actually quite addicting, and the only must-have game we can find for the PlayBook.
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