Find Out About Your BlackBerry PlayBook - dummies

Find Out About Your BlackBerry PlayBook

By Corey Sandler

One of the first things you should know how to do is to obtain the whys and wherefores of your BlackBerry PlayBook. To know the basics, consult the About screens (About: General, About: Hardware, About: OS, and About: Network). Here’s a refresher on how to get to them:

  1. Tap the gear icon in the upper-right corner of the home screen.

  2. Tap the About tab on the left side of the screen.

    You’ll see your own version of the report.

  3. Tap the arrow in the upper-right corner to choose an option:

    • General

    • Hardware

    • OS

    • Network


From About: Network details may be of interest to a technician attempting to diagnose a problem with your WiFi connection. Following is the most important details you can get from the other About pages.

From About: General page of your PlayBook

These details are on the General page:

  • BlackBerry ID. The username that’s associated with the PlayBook and registered at Research in Motion. This is essential for all updates, support, and online troubleshooting.

  • Model. Not the phone number for the latest fashion superstar, but the name of the device you’re using. The first wave of tablets were all called BlackBerry PlayBook; subsequent units may add numbers or letters after the model name to indicate later versions or cellular radio models.

  • OS Version. Very important information here, telling you (and anyone who’s ready to assist you) whether you have the latest edition of the operating system.

  • Serial Number. Each tablet has its own number, and together with the BlackBerry ID they link a machine and its user.

From About: Hardware page of your PlayBook

These details are on the Hardware page:

  • PIN. The assigned ID for your BlackBerry PlayBook that’s used for things like BlackBerry Messenger and other services. Just as with the serial number, no two devices are meant to share the same PIN.

  • Total Storage. The first wave of BlackBerry PlayBook devices offered 16, 32, or 64GB of internal flash memory storage.

    Computer manufacturers sometimes play a bit loose and fast with the math when it comes to memory. Some numbers are rounded up and some portions of memory are reserved for things like indexes to the data stored within. For that reason, you’ll see things like “14.7GB of total storage” on a device that you know for certain was marketed as having 16GB of memory.

  • Free Storage. The amount of unused space in storage.

  • Total Memory. All of the first round of models of the BlackBerry PlayBook came with 1GB of internal memory dedicated solely to the needs of the microprocessor, operating system, and apps. Later models may offer more.

  • Free Memory. The amount of unused space in that block of internal memory. If the amount of available memory becomes very low, the tablet may slow down or even crash; consider closing down unneeded apps.

From About: OS page of your PlayBook

These details are on the OS page:

  • Build ID. You already know the OS version in use, but the build ID can tell a RIM technician just a bit more about the system. For example, some cellular phone providers may customize a few screens (or enable or disable some functions). Why? Because they’re the cellphone company.

  • Flash Player Version. The particular edition of Adobe Flash available for use by the web browser is likely to be updated over time with new versions of the BlackBerry Tablet OS.

  • AIR Version. Another Adobe tool, this allows developers to use Flash, Javascript, and other nifty tools to build applications that run independent of the web browser. Again, the version information here may be of interest to a technician.