Software Updates for Your BlackBerry PlayBook - dummies

Software Updates for Your BlackBerry PlayBook

By Corey Sandler

You can count on Research in Motion (RIM) to notify you any time there’s an important update to your BlackBerry PlayBook’s OS. But you can also check whether a patch (a repair) or an update (fixes and new features) has been made available by checking the Software Updates panel.

It is very important that you keep your PlayBook current via updates.

Here’s how to check for updates:

  1. Plug your PlayBook into a wall outlet.

    Don’t rely on battery power during this operation! You should perform any software update while the PlayBook is plugged into a wall AC outlet (or after checking that its battery has 20 percent or more charge). If the update is interrupted because of lack of power, the operating system of the tablet could become corrupted and unusable.

  2. Make sure your PlayBook is linked by WiFi to the Internet.

    Some models with a cellular data link may also permit updates using that method; make sure you understand the terms of your contract with your cellular provider to see if you’ll be charged for using the system to download an update.

  3. From the home page, swipe down from the top bezel to display the status screen.

  4. Tap the gear icon in the upper-right corner.

  5. Tap Software Updates in the left panel.

    On the screen you’ll see the version number for the BlackBerry tablet OS.

  6. Tap the Check for Updates button.

    If an update is available, you’re prompted to download it. A full update might be 300MB or larger; depending on the speed of your WiFi connection and other conditions, it could take ten to 20 minutes to fully download the new OS. You’re notified of the progress of the download as it occurs.


  7. Press Restart (if you’re asked to).

    A restart is usually needed because the operating system underlies all features of the tablet. Here, the update is in place on the PlayBook, but isn’t being used yet.


Most of the changes aren’t usually visible to users, but instead are aimed at improving the system’s performance. But some updates bring new features such as Video Chat, which arrived a few weeks after the BlackBerry PlayBook was introduced to the market.