Five Answer Friday – Five commonly-asked BlackBerry PlayBook questions

Today I thought I would change things up a bit by answering some commonly-asked BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet questions I’ve come across while browsing the web, as well as questions from my friends and family. After we’re done, don’t forget to leave your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet questions in the comments section below so we can continue providing answers for you!

1. Can I use other apps or games while downloading, updating or installing apps in the BlackBerry App World™ storefront?

Yes! Multitasking is central to the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet experience. While in BlackBerry App World – or any app or game, for that matter – simply swipe up from the bottom bezel to minimize the app, and then choose the app or game you want to use while waiting for the download or instillation to complete.

If you would like some help getting started with BlackBerry App World on a BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, check out my two-part series I published a little while back called BlackBerry PlayBook 101: Getting Started with BlackBerry App World Part 1 and Part 2.

2. Can I customize my BlackBerry PlayBook tablet’s Home screen by creating new panels?

I’ve been asked this a lot by my friends and family and they are always shocked when I show them how easy it is to create new panels. I personally have five on my BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, including ones that group together similar apps, and of course a few panels dedicated to my favorite games!

To create a new panel, all you have to do is touch and hold the icon so it starts pulsing, then drag the pulsing icon to the right edge of the last panel. A new panel will then be created.

For more on creating new panels or more information on customizing your tablet’s Home screen, check out our blog post BlackBerry 101 – Customizing and Organizing Folders and Icons on your BlackBerry PlayBook.

3. Can I get a different keyboard layout? (AZERTY, for example)

I saw this question posted in a thread on the BlackBerry Support Community, and a community member provided a link to a post here at the Inside BlackBerry Help Blog called BlackBerry PlayBook 101: The Virtual Keyboard, Part One which answered the question (it’s yes).

That particular blog post shows you how to change the keyboard layout, but also explains other features that allow you to customize the virtual keyboard. For a complete guide to the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet’s virtual keyboard, check out BlackBerry PlayBook 101: The Virtual Keyboard, Part One, and then Part Two for even more customizations.

4. Can I use the BlackBerry ID from my BlackBerry smartphone for my BlackBerry PlayBook tablet?

Not only is the answer yes, but we recommend it! BlackBerry® ID is designed to be used on a BlackBerry smartphone and/or a BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. This ensures that your personal information and payment options are all stored in one account.

If you have any questions about a BlackBerry ID, I recommend checking out Ty’s post BlackBerry ID – Common Questions — and should you ever forget your BlackBerry ID password, don’t fret; we’ve got you covered with our post on how to reset your BlackBerry ID password.

5. Can I set up multiple email account with my BlackBerry PlayBook tablet?

The short answer: Yes! The long answer is also yes, but there is so much more — not only can you add your email accounts, but you view each address’s subfolders and sync your contacts and/or calendars with supported email hosting companies. You can also add your Twitter®, Facebook® and LinkedIn® social media accounts so you can do it all from one device.

Check out Getting Started With Email, Contacts and Calendar in BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 and also Setting up Multiple email Accounts on BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0.

Bonus: Can I use my BlackBerry PlayBook tablet charger with my BlackBerry smartphone?

The answer to this question will depend on your model of BlackBerry smartphone. A BlackBerry PlayBook tablet charges or connects to a computer through a Micro USB connection. If your BlackBerry smartphone utilizes a Micro USB connection, then yes, your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet charger will also charge your smartphone.

If your BlackBerry smartphone has a Mini USB connection, then your tablet charger cannot be used for smartphone charging.

Not sure which USB connection your BlackBerry smartphone has? Check out the user guide for your BlackBerry smartphone to find out.

If you are in the market for a new USB cable or charger for your BlackBerry device, first check out our post Replacing a USB Cable? Ensure it’s a Datasync Cable, and then head over to to pick up a new cable.

Have a question you need answered about your BlackBerry device? Leave it below!

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