BlackBerry World is in session and PlayBook talk is all over the web. A lot of that talk centers around apps for the PlayBook, particularly the lack of them. There aren't many apps for the BlackBerry tablet, but there are a few that are pretty darn good. Here are my picks for the top 5 free apps currently available for the BlackBerry Playbook. I only include third party apps on this list and not any preinstalled on the tablet.
GeeReader. This app is an RSS reader that interfaces with Google Reader. It has a very clever UI that takes full advantage of the PlayBook's 7-inch screen, and is fun to use. Sadly, like many PlayBook apps it doesn't work in portrait orientation, but the landscape display is really good. There is a lot of swiping action possible that makes it fast and fun to speed through a lot of RSS feed items. Landscape only.
Poynt. Location-based apps are a perfect fit for the tablet, and Poynt is a nice one. Using Poynt is as simple as tapping what you're looking for, food, businesses, gas, etc. It is lightning fast on the PlayBook and makes nice use of the maps in the program. It's a particularly nice way to find movies in local theaters. Landscape only.
WeatherEye. You can't have a mobile device without a good weather app and WeatherEye is simple but nicely designed. It interfaces with the The Weather Network and supplies complete information about the weather from hourly forecasts to long-term predictions. The graphics are nicely done and the app runs fast and fluidly. Honorable mention in this category goes to the preinstalled AccuWeather app. It may be good enough for many users, and has a nice interface. Landscape only.
Reader's Digest. This publication is as American as apple pie and hot dogs, and the app is a great way to spend free time reading the folksy articles it is famous for. Downloading an issue of the periodical takes a good while as it involves hundred of megabytes of data, but one installed it is a good experience spinning through the edition. The app is free but I suspect new issues of the periodical will cost a few bucks. It's worth it for those who like Reader's Digest. Portrait only.
FourPlay. FourSquare users will want to check out this app for working with the service on the PlayBook. There is not a native FourSquare app, but FourPlay does a decent job with the basic functions of using the service. You can find venues and check-in as expected, and the app is fast and pleasant to use. Landscape only.
These are not the only apps in the App World, but are a good place to start for new PlayBook owners. There are some notable apps missing from this list, Facebook in particular. This app was just released for the PlayBook, and frankly I am disappointed with how it uses the tablet display. I find the Facebook site in the browser to be a much better experience.