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Our colleagues at CrackBerry.com have posted the above video from the Meet the BlackBerry Playbook developer sessions in NYC, and linked to another video from BGR posted a new video showing what purports to be a hands-on with the upcoming BlackBerry Playbook tablet from RIM. CrackBerry points out a few highlights of the "new" interface:

  • The entire bezel is used for navigating. Swipe the sides to get around system-wide. The top is available for specific actions within applications
  • There are "views" much like BlackBerry 6 for navigating that can be swiped through
  • Swipe to move between views and apps, flick up to exit an app
  • Looks like you can open the keyboard by swiping up from the bottom left on the bezel

We put "new" in quotes because, obviously, we've seen most or all of these features before, as integral or homebrew elements in webOS. Navigation swipes, gesture areas, live apps even in minimized (card) mode, the list goes on and on. The PlayBook's interface is startlingly, or perhaps frighteningly, similar to webOS, and while we are pleased to see how good it looks on a tablet (hurry up with that PalmPad!), we're not so happy to see it on an actual, working, competing device from a rather well-funded and strong competitor like RIM. (The comment near the end of the video that developers whose apps are accepted for the PlayBook's marketplace will get a free PlayBook serves to emphasize the power of RIM's resources.)

We don't know whether HP intends to take any legal action against RIM for this "faithful reproduction" of webOS, or whether it might even have the necessary patents to do so. For that matter, RIM is known for its own aggressive patent cases (both offense and defense). Even if HP thought it could and should bring an infringement case, it might decide against to avoid getting countersued by RIM, or because it might then seem like it had to compete in the courts rather than the marketplace.

We're with you, webOS faithful: it's painful to watch the competition, especially when it looks so much like our own favorite OS. We, like you, are more than ready to be blown away by whatever Palm/HP is going to announce whenever it is going to do so. Meanwhile, let's try to imagine that the BGR video was actually a sneak peak of a webOS tablet...but that it's going to be even cooler.

Source: CrackBerry.com; BGR