You may wonder why there are no PlayBook screen prints from the email, calendar and the other BlackBerry Bridge applications. Security! The PlayBook has a built-in screen capture option (press the + and - volume at the same time). This function is disabled as soon as the BlackBerry Bridge is connected, for obvious reasons.
This document is based on the BlackBerry Bold running OS Version 6.x and the PlayBook running OS Version 1.x (see bottom for an update)
The BlackBerry Bridge is a collection of functions that are run on the PlayBook, but reside on the BlackBerry phone. The complete list is
Messages. Email messages
Calendar. Appointments, Meetings and Events
When you launch any of the above Apps, you will be prompted with the BlackBerry phone password on the PlayBook. The same timeout and number of tries applies.
When you tap the BlackBerry Bridge icon on the top of the touch screen, you can Disconnect completely or just Lock the BlackBerry Bridge again. To get to this menu when an App is in full screen mode, you can swipe diagonally from the top left or right corner.
You have all the familiar options such as reply, forward, delete and put in folder. You can compose new messages and attach files from the PlayBook or the BlackBerry phone.
The PlayBook (above) shows the inbox on the left and the message on the right. On the BlackBerry Bold (below) it's two screens.
Having a bigger screen really helps a lot when working in the calendar.
One option is missing on the PlayBook, checking the availability of Invitees. For this, you have to switch back to the BlackBerry phone.
The Contacts are functional but don't show the Recent Activities that are available on the BlackBerry phone. The Notes are simple text on the BlackBerry, phone and PlayBook even so they were entered as Rich-Text in Lotus Notes.
The Memos are simple text only, but the URLs and Email addresses correctly show as a link and launch the appropriate application.
The Tasks work identical on the BlackBerry phone and the PlayBook.
Lets you browse the files on the BlackBerry phone and PlayBook.
Update March 2012: I upgraded to the BlackBerry 9900 and the PlayBook to OS version 2. They introduced an annoyance with the new release, at least that's when I noticed the problem. It is the "Content Protection" message that requires a login to the BlackBerry even after supplying the login to the PlayBook and BlackBerry Bridge. This only occurs if you encrypt the Device Memory. (>Setup >Options >Security >Encryption, then uncheck the Encrypt option). Once unchecked, the Bridge software on the PlayBook will not ask for the 3rd password anymore.
Also new is the Remote Control feature that allows you to control the PlayBook from the BlackBerry. Totally cool when you plug into the TV to show pictures or when you run a presentation.
First published on January 23, 2012