Explore the BlackBerry PlayBook Browser - dummies

Explore the BlackBerry PlayBook Browser

By Corey Sandler

When a web page is viewed in landscape mode on the Blackberry PlayBook, only about 15 percent of the screen displays the address bar and a simple set of browsing tools, and if you don’t want to give even that much, tap the screen. You can also rotate your BlackBerry PlayBook 90 degrees and look at a web page in portrait mode.

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Here are the elements of the screen, starting in the upper-left corner.

  • Previous page.

  • Next page. If you’ve backtracked a bit in your recent browsing, you can go through subsequent pages by tapping here.

  • Open a new tab. Just as you’d expect from a full-featured browser, you can have open several web pages at a time. If you open multiple tabs, your browser and the PlayBook may slow down if one or more of the pages has active content (such as video).

    • Open a tab: Click the icon, and then tap the New Tab command in the status bar. Once you have multiple tabs in use, the tabs icon shows the number open.

    • Switch between tabs: Swipe down from the top frame to show the thumbnails. Tap the thumbnail you want to view.

  • View certificate. If you’re visiting an encrypted page, tapping here lets you look at the security certificate (one way to assure that you’ve reached the actual page you desire and that the communication is secure).

  • Address bar. Here is the address for the web page you’re visiting.

    • To enter a new address, tap in the bar to bring up the virtual onscreen keyboard.

    • To go to a web page, enter its address and then tap Go.

    • To search for a web page, type in what you’re looking for and tap Go.

    The onscreen keyboard has a .com key, but if the address you want has a different suffix, press and hold down the .com key. You can then choose from .net, .org, .edu, .gov, .ca, or .biz. Also, the default search engine is Microsoft’s Bing. You can change your preference by going to the General screen of Options and choosing one of the offerings.

  • Loopy arrow or X. Tap Reload or Cancel.

  • Browsing history. The tablet keeps track of the pages you’ve visited recently, unless you have enabled private browsing, which helps protect your privacy.

  • View favorites. Tap here to display small versions of the web pages you have chosen to save as favorites.

  • Add to bookmarks. Tap here to add the currently displayed page to your favorites, or to add the current web page as an icon on your PlayBook’s home screen. This means you don’t have to wait for the browser to load before you pick from the bookmarks. To delete a bookmark, tap the pen icon to bring up X marks alongside all the favorites. Tap any you want to remove. Close the favorites listing to end your edit.


  • Hide address bar. Tap the box in the right-upper corner of the browser to hide the address bar and the other commands. This gives you a nice, clean view but you’ll have to re-enable the address bar to go somewhere else. The fastest way to re-enable the address bar is to close the browser and then reload it.