Reasons to Use the BlackBerry PlayBook Bridge - dummies

Reasons to Use the BlackBerry PlayBook Bridge

By Corey Sandler

If you own both a BlackBerry PlayBook and an up-to-date BlackBerry smartphone, using the BlackBerry Bridge adds a separate level of apps: e-mail, calendar, contacts, Messenger, and more, each enhanced for display on the larger, more colorful, PlayBook touchscreen.

You could think of your BlackBerry PlayBook as an external monitor for your BlackBerry smartphone, also adding a touchscreen and a virtual onscreen keyboard. You can keep your BlackBerry PlayBook on your desk or in your hands, and your BlackBerry smartphone can stay in your pocket or on your belt or in your purse.


And the BlackBerry Bridge can go one step further, setting up Internet tethering between the PlayBook and current BlackBerry smartphones and certain models of third-party smartphones with Bluetooth communication.

Why might using the Bridge be important?

  • Most people keep a cellphone with them nearly all the time. The svelte BlackBerry PlayBook might not be with you at all times.

  • Because the way the BlackBerry Bridge works, the data for the phone’s calendar, contacts, messages, and memo pad aren’t stored on the PlayBook.

  • For some users the BlackBerry Bridge allows Internet access using the phone’s data plan rather than a separate account — at additional cost — for the BlackBerry PlayBook. This access would be valuable when WiFi was not available.

Why might using the Bridge not be important?

  • You prefer to store your data on your BlackBerry PlayBook and your corporate IT department doesn’t object (or if you’re an individual user and manage your own systems and grant yourself permission to carry your data in the tablet).

  • You buy a BlackBerry PlayBook with built-in cellular communication and pay a provider for a separate (or add-on) data plan to gain Internet access.

To use the Bridge browser within BlackBerry Bridge, the BlackBerry smartphone must be set up with Bluetooth DUN (Dial-up Networking) enabled. Some IT managers may block this feature for security reasons.

And some cellular providers may block Bluetooth DUN for BlackBerry smartphones or for smartphones from other manufacturers because it doesn’t fit into their definition of a data service plan; in other words, because the provider wants to sell you a different, almost certainly more costly way to access the Internet.