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AT&T finally adds BlackBerry Bridge

The BlackBerry Bridge application required to tether a PlayBook with a BlackBerry has finally been approved by AT&T.

AT&T should now allow you to get the Bridge software via BlackBerry App World.
AT&T should now allow you to get the Bridge software via BlackBerry App World. Josh P. Miller/CNET

More than two months later, and AT&T has finally allowed the BlackBerry Bridge software to be downloaded from BlackBerry App World, according to AllthingsD.

Previously, AT&T customers were the only ones who weren't able to download the Bridge application, which tethers the PlayBook to their BlackBerrys. This is the only way PlayBook owners could get secure access to BlackBerry e-mail as well as calendar, tasks, contacts, and BBM messages. With the Bridge software, all of that information is safely confined on the phone and won't leave a trace on the tablet.

To pair the two devices, you begin by scanning the QR code on the PlayBook with the BlackBerry's camera. This prompts the BlackBerry to load the Bridge app download. Previously, AT&T customers would not be able to download the app, and would see a warning that said "This application is not available on your device or for your carrier" instead. As a bonus, this pairing method supposedly allowed you to tether the two devices without having to pay an additional tethering fee typical of most smartphone data plans.

While AT&T will allow you to access basic information without a paid tethering plan, the carrier has said that if you want to use the BlackBerry's Internet connection, you do have to sign up for a $20 per month tethering plan. The Bridge application is expected to be available around noon today from BlackBerry App World.

If you are an AT&T Playbook customer, let us know if you've managed to get the Bridge app this way. Of course, you could also try this workaround, but we'd be interested to know if the official channel works.