I have had a PlayBook in the house for a short while and have been putting it through its paces. I have updated it to

Review: Blackberry Bridge on the PlayBook

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I have had a PlayBook in the house for a short while and have been putting it through its paces. I have updated it to the latest OS version 2.0.0358 and find it a very rock stable tablet. Plus, all the initial ommissions have been put in – email client being the most prominent.

Blackberry Bridge lets you connect your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet to your smartphone via Bluetooth. Once you have installed the Bridge app on your BlackBerry smartphone and set the connection up, you can:

1. browse on the PlayBook’s built-in browser using your blackberry smartphone’s subscription (no other costs); downloads also supported using your smartphone’s BIS
2. access your Blackberry smartphone’s file system
3. access your Blackberry smartphone’s email, calendars, BlackBerry Messenger
4. use your Blackberry smartphone as a wireless remote control for your tablet
5. load web pages on your PlayBook’s web browser right from your smartphone’s web browser

The Bridge feature is so nifty and useful. For those who have been wishing that they could use their Blackberry internet subscription on a larger screen, BlackBerry bridge makes that dream a reality. The Bridge can be setup such that anytime both devices are within range and have Bluetooth on, a connection is automatically established.

For one, with my Etisalat BIS subscription, I am able to use email, synchronise contacts and calendars, browse use internet-connected apps, and browse the internet on the PlayBook.

Another example: I do almost all my tweeting on my BlackBerry because the hardware keyboard makes typing easier for me. Very often, i would see a link of interest and click on it, but when it loads, its a one of those stone age websites that are not optimised for mobile. All I do is click the Menu button and select “View on PlayBook”. That webpage is immediately loaded on the larger display of the PlayBook for my viewing pleasure.

In earlier iteration of the PlayBook OS, there was a separate Bridge browser. That is history. Bridge now uses the built-in web browser and works spectacularly well.

Another beauty of the Bridge connection is the fact that it runs on Bluetooth and not Wifi. I often have an active Bridge connection for over five (5) unbroken hours without either device running out of juice. Also, if you have a good BIS service, as i have enjoyed till date, keeping your Blackberry on 2G (GPRS/EDGE) delivers stable and smooth web browsing on the PlayBook. As a matter of fact, except when downloading heavy files, my 9810 is permanently set to run on 2G.

I am also able to use my smartphone as a remote control to navigate, scroll, select and move items on the PlayBook. Personally, I haven’t found much use for this feature yet, but it works anyway.

Blackberry Bridge makes the PlayBook an indispensable companion to a modern BlackBerry smartphone. I will be writing a review of the PlayBook later as soon as I am done with PlirisBlaze, so hang around, all you BlackBerry lovers.


  1. I find myself using my playbook way more than my ipad now, especially since the 2.0 update. The bridge also makes it more useful. I also like the fact that I can use my blackberry smartphone as a keyboard for the playbook.

  2. Nice write up.
    I have always advised people that the playbook is a great companion for their BB, Its really nice how the Playbook links with BB and come on, its cheap.
    But RIM needs to increase their adverts on playbook in Nigeria. Use the radio, TV, billboards, alot of people use BB in Nigeria and if they know how good the PB enhances their BB it will be a market boom for RIM..

  3. Quam, how did I leave that keyboard thing out?

    The remote control and remote keyboard feature alone makes BlackBerry Bridge pure wizardry.

    I am cranking this out using my BB’s keyboard while enjoying the large display of the PlayBook.

  4. Kayode,

    You can order your PlayBook from the Mobility Store and have it delivered to you. Simply text the name of the device and your location (town/LG area) to +2348031991363.

    You will get a price quote via SMS shortly. Cheers.

  5. The new playbooks should be out sometime around June/July and are rumored to carry a SIM slot which means 3G connectivity.

    Once that one hits the market, I’m getting a PlayBook sharp sharp.

    For those without a blackberry phone, they can buy the new blackberry mini keyboard which serves a case too and works via bluetooth 🙂

  6. I love the Playbook bluetooth, its awesone, I saw a demo of it using Ctrix app, and i was sold

  7. Beautiful review. One important question though. Does it make video calls via the bridge software or is video calling wifi only?

  8. Finally got Blackberry Playbook, but I am fixed after the registration the with a WIFI network the PB want to update the software on the machine to the current one but the size 509MB where in Ibadan can I get a WIFI connection that will give me such MB unbroken. I was at Netpoint in Bodija after spending one hour I downloaded 55MB of the update at that rate I will spend 10hrs downloading update alone. I am still looking for ways to solve this dilemma

  9. Hi Mister Mobility,
    I’m a newbie here; my first post. Love the Blog. Very Useful.

    I’ve got a question for you.

    BB BOLD 9900 (or TORCH 9810) and BB PLAYBOOK????

    I’ve got a BB Bold 9870 but I’m looking to upgrade as well as pick up a Playbook soon. Is the upgrade necessary from what I’ve got with playbook?

    If required, why (with details pls)?

    If not, how can max-out what I’ve got already and the playbook?

    Urgent pls. Thanks

  10. Hi Mister Mobility,

    Got another one for you.

    Can use the playbook with any other smartphone device? If so how?

    I’ve got a Samsung Galaxy Note. Thanks.

  11. Alec-Valentine,

    Welcome. Good to have you here!

    The upgrade is not compulsory, as OS 6 devices also can run BlackBerry Bridge (though some users report having issues with it). However, if you’d like to use your BB as a Wi-Fi hotspot, only OS7.1 devices have that, in which case I would recommend an upgrade to the 9900, 9810 or other OS 7.1 devices.

    Of course, replacing your 9780 with an OS7.1 device brings other benefits, including faster processors and Wi-Fi hotspot.

    Yes; you an use the PlayBook with any other smartphone as long as that smartphone has either of the following:

    1. Bluetooth profile for sharing internet. If your device has a Bluetooth profile that allows internet sharing, you can share with the PlayBook

    2. Wi-Fi hotspot. The PlayBook is also Wi-Fi enabled and you can share your Galaxy Note’s internet via Wi-Fi too.

  12. Hi again,
    Thanks for the quick response.

    I’ve have another based on your response. You recommend upgrading to BB 9900/ 9810 for hotspot options (as well as other good stuff); ok, would I be able to use the BIS subscription via the wi-fi hotspot?

    I understand that works via the BB Bridge on devices running OS 6 but, as you said, issues abound.

    Thanks again.

    PS: the Samsung Galaxy Note is a Data Vampire. No way.

  13. would I be able to use the BIS subscription via the wi-fi hotspot?

    That is network dependent. If your network allows you to tether with BIS, then you’d be able to. I am told (haven’t confirmed) that Airtel allows BIS tethering.

  14. Mister Mo.
    I lean on your vast experience in this field. I’ve got an iPad (1st gen), a Galaxy Note and a Galaxy Pocket.

    Planning for a Playbook now (next week) but I’m being told I’m gonna regret it. That the Playbook’s a no show & makes me “downwardly” mobile.

    What’s do you think? Is the playbook really that necessary?


  15. Hi Alec,

    It all depends on what you need. If you need a wide variety of apps, stay away from the PlayBook. However, if your application needs are limited, and you want a tablet with the most advanced web browser, best audio and awesome video qualities in the market, you cannot go wrong with the BlackBerry PlayBook.

  16. If you need a wide
    variety of apps, stay away
    from the PlayBook.
    However, if your
    application needs are

    I thought the playBook supports the whole gamut of Android apps now ?

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