BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 Settings Overview

DEVICES / 03.01.12 / tywill1

When the BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet was initially launched, one of the first things I did was explore the various settings offered so I could customize my tablet to my desired preferences. These settings included ‘About,’ ‘Airplane Mode,’ ‘Wi-Fi®,’ ‘Software Updates,’ ‘Bluetooth®,’ ‘BlackBerry® ID,’ ‘Accounts,’ ‘BlackBerry® Bridge™,’ BlackBerry® Balance™,’ ‘Internet Tethering,’ ‘Screen,’ ‘HDMI,’ ‘Sounds & Notifications,’ ‘General,’ ‘Storage & Sharing,’ ‘Security,’ ‘Language,’ ‘Keyboard,’ and ‘Date & Time.’

With the release of BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0, a few new settings have been introduced, so today, I’d like to share with you an overview of the settings available to you, some useful tips and of course, where you can learn more.

How to access BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 Settings

To access your settings, tap on the “Settings” (Gear) icon that appears on the status bar in the top right hand corner of your BlackBerry tablet.

You also have the ability to use two different gestures to access your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet settings. The first is to swipe down from the top bezel when viewing the Home screen. The second gesture allows you to peek at your status bar while using another app, so you can optionally tap on the “Settings” icon.


The peek gesture in particular is really useful since it’s a quick way to access status bar settings for your screen orientation lock, BlackBerry Bridge technology, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi settings and more. To learn more about the gestures available on the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, check out my post on how to use the BlackBerry PlayBook Gestures.

In the event you need to find out some info about your tablet – such as which version of the BlackBerry PlayBook OS you are currently using, or what your tablet’s PIN is – you’ll want to review the “About” section within settings.

Airplane Mode
The next time you are on an airplane or in a place that requires you turn off your wireless connections, you can use “Airplane Mode”. When enabled, you’ll notice the Wi-Fi icon on the status bar changes to an airplane icon. When you want to reestablish your wireless connections, turn Airplane Mode off. Just tap on the airplane icon then switch to “Off”.

To review and manage Wi-Fi settings and as well as perform basic troubleshooting, you’ll want to review the Wi-Fi settings menu. In addition to the Wi-Fi networks your tablet can currently detect, you also have the ability to troubleshoot if required. To access the troubleshooting options, tap on the icon that appears in the bottom left corner as shown in the screenshot (in the red box).

Software Updates
If you aren’t notified automatically, you can use the ”Check for Updates” option within this menu to check for updates of the BlackBerry PlayBook OS. If you are currently downloading an update, you can view your download and installation progress while viewing this menu in addition to the progress bar that is displayed from the Home screen status bar.

BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 supports several different Bluetooth profiles, which means you can pair things such as your BlackBerry smartphone, wireless keyboard, or a stereo Bluetooth headset. To setup and pair Bluetooth accessories and review paired devices, visit this “Settings” menu.

An important setting you should customize is the Bluetooth nameof your BlackBerry tablet- this will make identifying your tablet during the pairing process much easier. Another thing to keep in mind is that in order to allow other Bluetooth-enabled devices to search for your BlackBerry tablet, you need to make it discoverable by setting the “Discoverable” switch to “On”. To help protect your BlackBerry tablet against unauthorized access, I’d recommend using the “2 minutes only” option.

BlackBerry ID
In order to set up a BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, you must create a BlackBerry ID during the initial setup process if you don’t already have one. After entering your BlackBerry ID login details during the tablet setup process, you can review your BlackBerry ID settings using this menu. You also have the ability to change your password and password recovery question if needed.

Tip: Need help resetting your BlackBerry ID password? Visit our BlackBerry Help YouTube® channel and check out our video on how to reset your BlackBerry ID.

With the introduction of the Messages, Calendar and Contacts apps in BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0, you can now add one or more accounts to your tablet. Visit this menu to create a new account, or review and modify settings for accounts you’ve previously set up.

One setting in particular that you’ll want to review is the “Default Accounts” option, which allows you to specify which accounts are used for new messages and calendar invitations. To learn more, check out our post Getting Started with Messages, Contacts and Calendar in BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0.

BlackBerry Bridge
In case you aren’t familiar with BlackBerry Bridge, it is designed to allow you to connect over Bluetooth to your BlackBerry smartphone, thereby granting you access to your smartphone’s email, calendars, BlackBerry® Messenger (BBM™) and more.

If you haven’t set up BlackBerry Bridge technology yet, tap “Setup”on your BlackBerry tablet, which will direct you to download the BlackBerry Bridge app from the BlackBerry App World™ storefront onto your BlackBerry smartphone and pair with your tablet. You can also check my post on how to set up BlackBerry Bridge for an overview of the setup process.

BlackBerry Balance
For those using a BlackBerry PlayBook tablet in an enterprise environment, this option will appear if your BlackBerry administrator has set up BlackBerry® Mobile Fusion and allowed you to set up your work account. To learn more about BlackBerry Balance technology, review the User Guide for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.

Internet Tethering
One of the Bluetooth profiles supported by the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet is the ability to use Dial-Up Networking (DUN). This allows you to leverage the Internet connection of a mobile phone or other Internet-enabled device.

To help set up a connection using Internet Tethering, review the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet User Guide. I’d also recommend checking this post which includes a video overview: How to set up BlackBerry PlayBook Internet Tethering.

Some settings that you should definitely personalize are the screen settings, which help determine what occurs when your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet is running on battery or plugged in. Two settings I recommend customizing would be the Backlight Time-out and the Standby Time-out, as they can help save battery life whenever the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet is idle.

Tip: You can enter Standby mode by tapping on the “Battery” icon that appears on the status bar.

Tip: The Lock option is the screenshot appears since I have a password set on my BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.

When you connect your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet to an HDMI display, you can view videos, games, apps, pictures and more on a bigger screen. If you plan on using HDMI, you’ll need a micro HDMI cable, which you can get from any number of retailers or at Review the following settings as you may need to customize them depending on the type of display you are connecting to:

Default to Mirror Mode – Mirror Mode shows the same display on the BlackBerry tablet and the HDMI display. If you do not turn this mode on, you will see a separate display on the BlackBerry tablet and HDMI display. This feature can be helpful if you don’t want to share your entire BlackBerry tablet Home screen on the HDMI display, as only the application that you want to view appears on the monitor or TV.

Aspect Ratio – Set the aspect ratio to the correct ratio for your HDMI display. Usually, the correct ratio for a high definition television is 16:9 and a monitor is 4:3.

Display Mode – Set the display mode to the same setting as the display mode option on your HDMI display. You may need to consult the documentation that came with the HDMI display to determine which display modes are supported.

HDMI Audio – By default, when your BlackBerry tablet is connected to an HDMI display, the audio is routed through the HDMI cable. If you prefer to have the sound remain on the BlackBerry tablet, set “HDMI Audio” to “Off”.

Sounds & Notifications
Personalize your BlackBerry tablet by specifying your desired sounds and notifications settings. Regarding the visual notifications, the “Glow” setting refers to the red pulsing animation that appears in the top left corner of the screen. The LED refers to the front-facing LED that is to the left of the front-facing camera.

Tip: You can optionally show or hide the new email indicator and message count if you are using the Messages app. To do this, open “Messages”, swipe down from the top bezel, and select “Settings” followed by customizing the “Alerts” section.

Customize how the applications on your BlackBerry tablet behave when it comes to multitasking by specifying your desired “Application Behavior”.

  • Showcase – All open applications are active and not paused in the background.
  • Default – An application stays active in the background until another application goes full screen.
  • Paused – All applications are paused in the background and activated when tapped.

You’ll also notice an option for “Demo Mode” within the “General” settings. This mode puts the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet in a demo mode for retail purposes and should only be used by retailers.

Storage & Sharing
You have several options that allow you to customize storage and sharing options. Four settings in particular you should review are listed below:

Network Identification – Important details about how your BlackBerry tablet identifies itself on your network can be found within this menu. You’ll need to enter the username that is displayed here in particular whenever using Wi-Fi Sharing to copy files to and from the BlackBerry tablet.

File Sharing – Specify whether or not your computer can access the files on your BlackBerry tablet and media over a USB connection.

Wi-Fi Sharing – In addition to using a USB connection to copy files to and from your BlackBerry tablet, you can also use Wi-Fi Sharing which allows you to copy files wirelessly. To learn how to use Wi-Fi sharing, check out my blog post on how to copy files to and from a BlackBerry PlayBook using Wi-Fi Sharing. Make sure you identify what the username is within Network Identification, as this will be used as the login name if you are using Wi-Fi Sharing.

Password Protect – If you plan on using USB or Wi-Fi Sharing, I strongly recommend using this feature as it prevents others from accessing the files on your BlackBerry tablet.

The Security menu is pretty important since it contains a lot of useful features designed to help protect your data. I strongly recommend using the “Password” option to specify a password, as it’s an extremely easy way to prevent someone else from accessing the information stored on your Blackberry tablet.

To learn more about the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet Security settings, review the User Guide.

You would have selected your desired language during the setup process, but you can optionally specify a new language as well as Country/Region by accessing this menu.

BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 adds several enhancements to the virtual keyboard to help you easily type. Make sure you review the settings in this menu as you can customize options such as spell checking and predictive input.

Date & Time
Need to specify a different time zone or use 24-hour time on your Blackberry tablet? If so, visit this menu to specify these options, including the ability to have the date and time set automatically if you disabled this while setting up your BlackBerry tablet.

…And there you have it, a complete listing of the settings in BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0. If you have any questions or feedback, make sure you leave a comment and let me know!

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