If you're an AT&T customer who just got a PlayBook, you might be surprised to learn that you weren't able to download the BlackBerry Bridge application to your BlackBerry this morning. That's because AT&T has reportedly decided to evaluate the app before allowing it on BlackBerry's App World. This is more than a little annoying because the other carriers--Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile--have allowed the same app to be downloaded.
As a refresher, PlayBook owners need to download the BlackBerry Bridge application to their phone to tether the two devices. This lets PlayBook owners get access to secure BlackBerry e-mail as well as calendar, tasks, contacts, and BBM. All of that information stays safely confined to your phone and does not leave a trace on the tablet. As a bonus to BlackBerry customers, this unique pairing method also allows them to tether the two devices without an additional tethering cost typical of most smartphone data plans.
You begin pairing the two devices by scanning the QR code on the PlayBook with the BlackBerry's camera, which will load up the app download on the BlackBerry. When we did this with our BlackBerry Torch from AT&T, we were led to the app download screen, but there was no way to download it. Instead, we saw this warning message in gray: "This application is not available on your device or for your carrier." When we scanned the same barcode with a BlackBerry Curve 3G from Sprint, we could download it without a problem.
Fortunately, the folks over at CrackBerry have provided a temporary workaround for AT&T customers to download BlackBerry Bridge over the air. Simply go to this URL on your BlackBerry and download the appropriate Bridge software. We did it with our BlackBerry Torch and managed to successfully download the Bridge software for OS 6. We then paired our Torch with our PlayBook per the app's instructions.
Hopefully AT&T will enable the BlackBerry Bridge app download soon, but in the meantime, this works as an effective workaround.