How to Bridge your PlayBook to a BlackBerry

The recently launched BlackBerry PlayBook is lacking e-mail, calendar, and other important features now expected on tablets. With the help of BlackBerry Bridge, users can access their BlackBerry smartphones' e-mail, calendar, and other PIM applications. This guide will walk you through how to set up BlackBerry Bridge.

Jason Cipriani Contributing Writer, ZDNet
Jason Cipriani is based out of beautiful Colorado and has been covering mobile technology news and reviewing the latest gadgets for the last six years. His work can also be found on sister site CNET in the How To section, as well as across several more online publications.
Jason Cipriani
2 min read

BlacKBerry Bridge applications on the PlayBook Screenshot by Jason Cipriani

One of the selling points RIM has taken advantage and capitalized on over the years with its BlackBerry platform is security. RIM has used the same claim when providing reason for leaving out native e-mail, calendar, contacts, and other PIM applications on its tablet, thePlayBook. Accodring to RIM, the secure way to access this information on the PlayBook is through a BlackBerry smartphone using an application called BlackBerry Bridge.

This simple tutorial will cover how to set up BlackBerry Bridge on both the PlayBook and a BlackBerry smartphone. In the tutorial I will be using a BlackBerry Torch, but the steps should be similar for any compatible BlackBerry.

First thing you will need to do is download and install the BlackBerry Bridge application available in the App World on your BlackBerry smartphone. If you are an AT&T customer you will notice the Bridge application isn't currently available for download in App World; make sure you read this post for a workaround.

Now that you have installed the application, open it and turn BlackBerry Bridge on.

Turn Bridge on
The BlackBerry Bridge application Screenshot by Jason Cipriani

Next you will need to pick up the PlayBook and pull up the settings screen, and select BlackBerry Bridge. If Bluetooth isn't already turned on, you will be prompted to turn it on. (Bluetooth is what Bridge uses to communicate between the two devices)

Bridge setup
BlackBerry Bridge on the PlayBook Screenshot by Jason Cipriani

You will then be prompted to give your PlayBook a name; you can either get really creative here or just leave it as the default, which is "PlayBook." Press next after you have decided on a fitting name.

Give your PlayBook a pet name Screenshot by Jason Cipriani

The next screen you are given will remind you that the BlackBerry Bridge app needs to be installed on your BlackBerry smartphone. We took care of that step earlier in this tutorial, so just click continue.

Next you will be presented with a bar code and some instructions; follow the instructions on the screen to connect your smartphone to the PlayBook.

Scan the barcode with your BlackBerry smartphone
BlackBerry Bridge barcode screen Screenshot by Jason Cipriani

After scanning the bar code, and the two devices are connected, you will be presented with a success screen.

Bridge setup successful on PlayBook Screenshot by Jason Cipriani

Bridge listing the PlayBook name after successful setup Screenshot by Jason Cipriani

You should also see your PlayBook's name listed in the Bridge application on your smartphone.

Congratulations, you have just set up BlackBerry Bridge and now have access to those essential applications that are currently unavailable on the PlayBook. Now, get to work!