Please welcome Julianna, writing a guest post today on a great new feature of BlackBerry® PlayBook™ OS 2.0…read on! – Ed.
One of my favorite new features in BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 is the ability to use my BlackBerry® smartphone to control my BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet. This feature is particularly useful when my BlackBerry PlayBook tablet is connected to an HDMI®-equipped TV. At home, I can control my BlackBerry PlayBook tablet from my couch and have the contents displayed on my TV with the audio output through my home theater system. At a meeting at work, I can apply the same functionality to share documents, web pages, videos, slideshows and more on a large display screen for everyone to see.
If you haven’t tried this feature already, keep reading to learn how you can do this too!
Before we get started, let’s make sure you have everything you need to connect your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet to an HDMI equipped display and control it with your BlackBerry smartphone:
- BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, upgraded to BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 – If you haven’t upgraded yet, check out Ty’s blog post on how to download and update to BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0.
- A Micro HDMI cable – If you don’t have one already, you can purchase the HighSpeed HDMI cable for your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet through ShopBlackBerry.com.
- A BlackBerry smartphone with BlackBerry® Bridge™ 2.0 installed – Don’t forget to bridge your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet with your BlackBerry smartphone before proceeding.
- A display (such as a TV or monitor) supporting HDMI input
Connect your BlackBerry PlayBook to your display
Let’s start by connecting your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet to your display using an HDMI cable. The micro HDMI port on your tablet is located on the bottom:
Connect the HDMI Micro Connector between your BlackBerry tablet and HDMI equipped display. If you’re not sure where the HDMI port is on your display or how to switch to the HDMI input on your screen, please check your display’s user guide or contact the manufacturer.
Once connected, you can go into the HDMI settings on your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet and adjust these settings to indicate your preferences. To access these settings, tap “Settings” (Gear icon) followed by “HDMI” on your tablet.
Default to Mirror Mode – By setting Mirror Mode to “ON”, whatever is displayed on your tablet will show on your display. If you want to selectively show the tablet content on your display, then set this to OFF.
Aspect Ratio – You have the option of changing the aspect ratio to help optimize the way the content from your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet shows up on your display.
Connected to – This is just a field that shows you the name of the HDMI display you’re connected to.
Display Mode – This will give you options for the display mode settings on your HDMI equipped display. You may need to check the user guide that came with the display to determine which display modes are supported.
HDMI Audio – When set to “ON”, this option allows you to pipe all audio through the HDMI connection rather than the speakers on your BlackBerry tablet.
Bridge your BlackBerry Tablet and Smartphone
To activate the Remote Control feature in BlackBerry Bridge 2.0, you can either:
- Launch the BlackBerry Bridge app and click “Use Remote Control”
- Click on the Remote Control icon on your Home screen
Tip: If you cannot find the Remote Control icon on your Home screen, go to the BlackBerry Bridge app on your BlackBerry smartphone and select “Show on Home Screen”.
Once activated, the Remote Control feature will connect to your BlackBerry tablet and show you a splash screen with some tips for getting started. You can use your trackpad to move the cursor and scroll, and BlackBerry smartphones with touchscreens will also support frame gestures and touchscreen controls.
Here are some additional tips for using the the Remote Control feature:
Change the settings – In the Remote Control menu, select “Settings” from the menu. Here you can change various settings for the Remote Control, including tracking speed. (These screenshots are from a BlackBerry smartphone with a touch screen, so you may not see all of these options if your BlackBerry smartphone doesn’t have a touch screen.)
Use the keyboard on your BlackBerry smartphone – If you select “Keyboard” from the menu, you can use the keyboard on your BlackBerry smartphone to type on your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. If your BlackBerry smartphone has a physical keyboard you can also just start typing and if you have touch screen, you can tap the keyboard icon in the bottom left corner to pop up the virtual keyboard.
Menu Actions – In the Remote Control menu, you can also find options to scroll through open apps, call up the Status Bar or an app’s menu, or simply return to the Home screen. You can select these options in addition to performing gestures on your smartphone’s display.
What’s your favorite tip for using your BlackBerry smartphone to control your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet when it’s connected to a display? Share it with us in the comments!