RIM announced a beta release of its Tablet OS 2.1.0 platform, enabling developers to test apps on the next-generation version of its PlayBook operating system.

The company noted a number of updates offered by the OS. Among the headline features is an update to the WebKit browser engine, which RIM said in a blog post “keep the BlackBerry Tablet at the forefront for tablet browsers in the market.”

There are also three improvements made to the Tablet OS’ Android runtime. Each app will now run in its own window, which is said to improve user experience and consistency with other runtimes; access to the device camera is now supported; and in-app purchases are also available through the BlackBerry payment SDK.

Other new features include support full device encryption, in order to secure personal information stored on the Playbook

The 2.1 Native SDK will be available imminently, with an update to the Adobe Air SDK to come “shortly after.” The 2.1 Android SDK will be released in beta to coincide with the platform release.

The company has not said when Tablet OS 2.1.0 will be made available to end users.