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ID Yourself and Upgrade the BlackBerry PlayBook OS

As part of the setup process for your new Blackberry PlayBook, you will need to apply for a BlackBerry ID or apply an existing one to your new PlayBook.

  1. Identify your home country and agree to all of the legalese.

    You don’t have a choice. If you don’t tap I Agree, you’re not going to be able to set up the tablet. The BlackBerry ID is the single thing you use to sign in for all related sites, services, and applications, including the BlackBerry App World store.

  2. Get that user ID!

    You get to choose your own user ID, and it’s usually an e-mail address associated with your PlayBook. (If IT manages your PlayBook, they may handle all communication with RIM on your behalf with a master ID or make other arrangements.)

    For most users, it makes sense to use the same ID for your tablet and your principal BlackBerry smartphone.

It takes a long time to design a piece of hardware (in Canada and many other places around the world), have it manufactured (in Taiwan), shipped to stores, and then delivered into the waiting hands of customers. But usually, once the hardware is finished it doesn’t change for the life of a particular model.

Not so the operating system and software. They also require a lot of effort, but they can be easily updated and upgraded. In fact, the first wave of BlackBerry PlayBook tablets arrived in stores in April of 2011 with an already-outdated operating system. And the team at Research in Motion and its operating system subsidiary QNX continue to work on new features and improvements.

And so, once you register a BlackBerry ID, the system contacts the mother ship — RIM’s computers — and installs a new version of the OS. You can’t skip this step, and you wouldn’t want to: you’re going to want the latest version of the operating system on your tablet.

The recommended method for downloading the OS to your BlackBerry PlayBook is to connect the tablet to an outside power source (such as the AC adapter or a computer USB port). Don’t rely on the tablet’s not-yet-fully-charged battery during this initial update. Generally it’s smart to use external power during any update.

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