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Your Contacts Database on Your BlackBerry PlayBook

The Contacts on your BlackBerry PlayBook (and smartphone) database helps tie together all of the elements of the personal information apps. To help organize your contacts, you can assign them to one or more groups. For example, you can have a group for your own business, or for clients, prospects, and suppliers. You can have groups of friends or members of the family. You assign groups on the Contacts screen.

Contacts essentials are as follows:

  • To add a contact, tap the + sign at the lower left. Enter the details and tap Save.

  • To find a contact, swipe through the list on your phone, or tap one of the letters on the left side of the screen (a sort of electronic simulation of a Rolodex).

  • To search contacts, tap the magnifying glass. Then start entering a name and the tablet will display a list of possible matches.

  • To edit a contact, tap the edit symbol, to the left of the red X delete button.

  • To delete chats or contacts, tap the red X. You’ll enter into an edit mode, and then you can tap X next to any chat or contact you want to delete.

  • To fill in contact details (including name, title, company, e-mail, phone numbers, and notes), tap the contact icon.

  • To assign an icon for a contact (that little bit of art will appear on your phone or tablet when a phone call or e-mail from that contact arrives), tap the existing photo or the placeholder for the picture. Without a picture, you’ll see a gray icon of a human head, like a clothing store dummy.

  • To change your screen name, pick the name that is displayed when you appear on the screen with someone in a Blackberry Messenger (BBM) session. Click Edit My Info to exercise your creativity.

  • To update your own profile, tap your own name (and picture if you’ve already added one) at the upper left. My Profile opens and you can change:

    • Display Name. The name that appears on other user’s screens when you’re BBMing.

    • Personal Message. Go ahead, give yourself a motto. Or put the title of your company below your name. (A word of warning: everyone who communicates with you by BBM is going to see this. That means employers, potential employers, family, and friends. Think twice before putting in something that might embarrass you in certain circumstances.)

    • Status. You can indicate that you’re Available or Busy. It may not be appropriate for your BlackBerry PlayBook or other device to automatically respond to a request for an instant message session at all times and in all places. (Some consumer versions of BBM, and some customized by an IT department, may have options listed other than Available or Busy.)

    • PIN. Your device’s PIN is automatically filled in here. Every BlackBerry device, PlayBook and smartphone included, has a unique identifier.

    • Time Zone. It helps other participants to see in which time zone you reside. This might help explain to someone messaging you from Rome at 9 in the morning why you aren’t responding from Boston (where it is 3 a.m.). Or perhaps it might explain why the quality of the response at that ungodly hour seems a bit strained.

    • Location. You can adjust the location (and the time zone) to reflect your travels. Attention app developers: come up with a utility for the BlackBerry PlayBook to update this information on-the-fly.

    • PIN Barcode. The BlackBerry PlayBook operating system produces a barcode that can be photographed by another PlayBook or by a BlackBerry smartphone running a current operating system; the barcode contains information to automatically populate a contacts listing on the second device.

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Contacts over the PlayBook Bridge

If you connect your PlayBook to your BlackBerry smartphone using BlackBerry Bridge, your BBM contacts will show up on the tablet even though they still live on the phone. Any changes, deletions, or additions you make on your tablet will show up and be stored on your phone.

Contacts as a PlayBook app

The promised native version of BBM will work with contacts stored on the BlackBerry PlayBook itself or be accessible from a remote site using WiFi or (on some models) a cellular data link.

If you can’t find a message that you started but didn’t send, it’s probably saved in your message box as a draft. If you have multiple e-mail accounts feeding into your BlackBerry device, either look in each account or change the message setting to aggregate all messages from all sources into one inbox/outbox.

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