With the release of BlackBerry® PlayBook™ OS 2.0 for the BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet, a new version of the BlackBerry® Bridge™ app for BlackBerry smartphones – version 2.0 – is now available for download as well. BlackBerry Bridge 2.0 adds some new features and enhancements, which I’ll be outlining below as well as answering some commonly-asked questions about using BlackBerry Bridge in combination with the new Messages, Contacts and Calendar apps in BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0.
What is BlackBerry Bridge?
In case you aren’t familiar with the BlackBerry Bridge app yet, you can use it to pair your BlackBerry smartphone with a BlackBerry PlayBook tablet to get even more features. For example, one of the new features available in version 2.0 is the ability to use your BlackBerry smartphone as a remote control to the tablet! To learn more about the capabilities offered by BlackBerry Bridge 2.0, check out the full description which can be found on the BlackBerry App World™ storefront, as well as checking out the BlackBerry Bridge section in the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet user guide.
What are the BlackBerry Bridge 2.0 requirements?
In order to use BlackBerry Bridge 2.0, you must be using a BlackBerry smartphone with BlackBerry® OS 5.0 or above. To find out which version of the BlackBerry OS you are currently using, check out our post on how to identify BlackBerry Device Software versions. Provided you meet this requirement, to download BlackBerry Bridge 2.0, scan the following QR code using the reader in the BlackBerry App World app on your smartphone (Menu > Scan a Barcode), or click here.
Pairing a BlackBerry smartphone and BlackBerry PlayBook tablet using BlackBerry Bridge 2.0
After installing BlackBerry Bridge 2.0 on your smartphone, complete the steps below to connect your tablet and smartphone with the BlackBerry Bridge app using Bluetooth technology. Follow the steps below or check out the How To Demo for Setting Up BlackBerry Bridge.
1. On the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet Home screen, tap the Settings icon along the status bar
- Tip: You can also access the options while on the Home screen by swiping down from the top bezel
2. Tap “Setup” and enter a name for your tablet such as “My PlayBook” for example, then tap “Next”
3. In the event you haven’t installed the BlackBerry Bridge app on your smartphone, tap “Install Now” and follow the instructions before proceeding further
4. Provided BlackBerry Bridge 2.0 is installed on your smartphone, tap “Continue”
5. Using your BlackBerry smartphone, open the BlackBerry Bridge app and select “Add New Tablet” followed by selecting “Continue”
6. Scan the QR code that appears on the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet using your BlackBerry smartphone to start the pairing process.
7. On the BlackBerry smartphone, select which items you want to access on the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. Available items include: BBM™, Bridge Browser, Calendar, Contacts, MemoPad, Messages and Tasks
8. On the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, tap “Done”
After completing the pairing process, you can now use BlackBerry Bridge to access your BlackBerry smartphone apps, which will appear in the BlackBerry Bridge folder on your Home screen.
Remote Control, Presenter Mode and Open On
Listed below is a quick overview of three of my favorite new BlackBerry Bridge 2.0 features, along with links to where you can learn more about them.
- Remote Control – Use your BlackBerry smartphone as a wireless keyboard and mouse to control your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. Learn more about how to use the Remote Control feature by watching our How To Demo for BlackBerry Bridge 2.0 or by reviewing the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet user guide. If you have already set up BlackBerry Bridge and want to try out the Remote Control feature, open the app on your smartphone and select “Use Remote Control”.
- Presenter Mode – Quickly move between slides while using Slideshow to Go® on your tablet. To use Presenter Mode, while viewing a slideshow, press the Menu key and select “Presenter Mode”. To learn more, check out the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet user guide.
- Open On – View documents, photos, links and more using the Open On feature, which allows you to view content on your tablet that’s currently displayed on your BlackBerry smartphone. For example, if you took some photos using your BlackBerry smartphone, while viewing the photo on your smartphone, press the Menu key and select the “Open on PlayBook” feature to have the picture displayed on your tablet. In the screenshot below, since I gave my tablet a Bluetooth® name of “Tys PlayBook”, the “Open on” feature will display “Open on Tys PlayBook” in the menu on my smartphone.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can I pair multiple BlackBerry smartphones with a single BlackBerry PlayBook tablet?
A: Yes. To setup multiple BlackBerry smartphones using BlackBerry Bridge, complete the pairing process listed earlier in this post and when prompted, select “Yes” to disconnect the BlackBerry smartphone that is currently using the BlackBerry Bridge app. After doing this, use the BlackBerry Bridge menu within Settings on the tablet to tap on the smartphone you’d like to use BlackBerry Bridge with.
Q: How can I prevent BlackBerry Bridge notifications from appearing on my BlackBerry PlayBook Home screen status bar?
A: BlackBerry Bridge 2.0 allows you to specify which items on your smartphone can be accessed on your tablet. To review and change these settings, open the BlackBerry Bridge app on your smartphone, highlight your tablet, press the Menu key and select “Options”. If you uncheck an option, this item will not be available on your tablet, and the notifications related to that item will no longer appear.
Q: How do I remove a BlackBerry smartphone that’s paired with a BlackBerry PlayBook tablet for BlackBerry Bridge?
A: On the tablet, open Settings by tapping on the gear icon that appears on the Home screen or swipe down from the top bezel while viewing the Home screen. Tap on “Bluetooth” followed by tapping on the “Paired Devices” pencil icon. This will cause a trashcan icon to appear next to any smartphones you can remove. Before you can remove a smartphone, however, you must disconnect from it if a connection currently exists. To do this, just tap on the connected smartphone you’d like to remove, then tap “Disconnect Device”.
Got a question about BlackBerry Bridge 2.0? Leave a comment and let me know!