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AT&T finally approving BlackBerry Bridge (doesn't allow for free browsing!)

By Jared DiPane on 1 Jul 2011 12:28 pm EDT
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BlackBerry Bridge 

Remember when the PlayBook was released, and everyone was all giddy to go and download BlackBerry Bridge was soon as it was live, only to realize that AT&T customers were not supported? Well, after what feels like an eternity it appears as though today AT&T customers will have the ability to download the application officially through BlackBerry App World. Users will be able to access information that is coming to their BlackBerry device, such as emails and calendars, free of charge, but if you want to use the web you will be forced to sign up for the $20 tethering package. Keep in mind, you can still download the "unofficial" version from right here but AT&T could still try to charge you in order to get tethering to work.

Source: AllThingsD

Update - It's official, folks. A tethering plan will be required for web browsing, and full information on the release can be found here

64 comments

Mojoski

Could you please ask for a clarification from AT&T on this issue? I have yet to see anything in any of their communications that says you have to have a $20 option to use the Bridge Browser. I think the $20 is only if you want to use full tethering. There seems to be a lot of misinformation going around about this because of the use of the vague phrase "use the web"...

Jared DiPane

as per the official announcement "** Note: AT&T users must have a tethering plan included with their wireless service plan to take advantage of the Bridge Browser. To enable tethering on your BlackBerry smartphone, go to att.com/mywireless or dial 611."

Turbo666

What a joke! No wonder it took them so long, it took them awhile to get another revision made to screw their customers out of the free bridge browser!

ugahairydawgs

Anyone who thought AT&T was going to let folks tether for free just because RIM tried to back door it with a built in software solution was just fooling themselves.

I still blame RIM for all of this nonsense. They tried to pull the wool over AT&T's eyes and really should have known better.

Devon2000

Ok tell me how the hell is it RIM's fault that AT&T are some money grubbing assholes. RIM is just trying to look out its consumers by allowing a way to for you to connect to the internet without paying extra charges. You must work for those assholes. Are you also in favor of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer?

nyc_rock

Are you under the impression that ATT is a non profit?

robertdusa

What a ludicrous comment! Obviously AT&Thieves isn't a non-profit, but they are charging you to use data you have already purchased with your plan. I'm pretty sure that's called gouging, or bull$!t. Either way.

Mojoski

I guess we'll have to wait and see if that is really the case.

gravymonster

Its showing in my app world but its .83 and not the .93 i already have installed...

jlb21

Oh A T and T
The Blackberry Bridge is here
Do I even care?

Foreverup

All I know is if I lose my international ATT plan over this so long RIM it has been a fun run but this is the straw.

bquinney

From http://www.wireless.att.com/cell-phone-service/services/serviceDetails.j...

It didn't say 'bridge' per se, but here's the closest that I saw.

--
DataPro 4GB for Blackberry Tethering

Includes:
4 GB of data to share between your phone and your laptop or Netbook
Unlimited AT&T Wi-Fi Basic usage!
Designed for BlackBerry users who primarily:

Provide internet access to their laptop or Netbook
Stream music from music services such as AT&T Music
Watch videos on YouTube
Download apps and files
Surf the web
Send and receive personal email
Visit social networking sites
Use search engines
Reference Wikipedia and other reference sites
Shop and pay bills online
Get maps and directions

Price? $45

Wow, and I was complaining about Sprint's $29.99 charge...

Vajraja

Wow. Seriously pissed off that RIM caved into AT&T. Fortunately one of my phones run off Verizon - so too bad AT&T. I seriously hope they don't get T-Mobile, having AT&T as the only gsm provider is bs and I hope it changes. Especially after they pull this stunt.

Jake2826

wow! at&t customers are getting raped these days. Sprint, Verizon and T-mobile customers get to use the bridge browser for FREE! haha. What's funniest, is that at&t knows that it can have its customers bend over time and time again like this. Thank God I'm with Sprint.

bquinney

I'm interested in knowing how you get to do this with Sprint. They have a $29.99 charge specifically calling out the Playbook.

Willeonabe

I'm a Sprint customer and the Bridge browser works totally fine without the Blackberry Tablet Connection add-on (what they call the tethering fee).

bquinney

That's what I'm saying. Maybe there's a setting I can switch to allow mine to work without that fee...or maybe something is just botched in mine. That's the only thing not working.

Edit: Spotty connection, this is......

ugahairydawgs

Just like with tiered data, Verizon will eventually follow suit. T-Mobile will eventually be sucked into AT&T and Sprint, well....they'll still be Sprint.

cl8baller

Their network is already pretty spotty, and 3G is not the greatest thing given that it literally kills my battery wherever it is available. They have a marketing balls to call HSPS+ 4G (along with any company trying to market it as 4G) which is probably just as spotty as my 3G when I decide to use it.
With all honesty I think AT&Ts network is so bad and falsely marketed that they try to swindle customers out of every penny they have just to have their network meet the standards they are advertising it as.

Although it is nice to surf the web and talk at the same time, but when your bluetooth is dead, your headphones are in hiding and every click, touch and/or swipe can be heard when you are on speaker phone, surf and web at the same time becomes something you dont have the luxury of doing all the time.

With that said, as long as my Bold 9000 is still working and my iPhone 3G doesnt explode on me (or if i chuck it across the room), I will patiently wait for the Bold 9900/30 like a five year old waiting to jump Santa on Christmas night.

mbudden

So wait, on top of the BIS plan I pay for, I have to pay for a tethering plan as well? Non-sense.

wavemadison

Wow, that makes the Playbook like the rest of the tablets out now. One of my main reasons for purchasing a Playbook besides me having a BB was due to the fact that I was not going to be charged additional fees in order to use the web via Blackberry Bridge...so much for that idea. Its a sad day for AT&T users like myself. Greed rules the world...well in AT&T's world that is.

wavemadison

Wow, that makes the Playbook like the rest of the tablets out now. One of my main reasons for purchasing a Playbook besides me having a BB was due to the fact that I was not going to be charged additional fees in order to use the web via Blackberry Bridge...so much for that idea. Its a sad day for AT&T users like myself. Greed rules the world...well in AT&T's world that is.

Foreverup

I guess RIM will have to change the description of the bridge app now for ATT because it is false marketing because you won't be using your existing data plan.

"Pair your BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet with a BlackBerry® smartphone to get even more features.

BlackBerry® Bridge is an app you can download to your smartphone to get access to your email, calendar, contacts, memo pad and tasks—all on the large tablet display. You can even browse the web using your BlackBerry smartphone’s existing data plan."

bquinney

Yeah, that last statement would have to come out.

newcollector

My question is, "How will they know?" Is there a tracking thing in their approved version of Bridge as opposed to the OTA version from our beloved Crackberry friends? I have been using the latter since its release, and there is no way I will download the former. I guess time will tell if I get a charge on my next bill.

gravymonster

If i have to pay for tethering anyway, whats the point of the bridge browser then? Wouldnt i just use the normal one?

trsbbs

I think the saying " we told you so" fits nicely here.

Evil ATT lied and is now gowing after more of your hard earned cash
for something you already pay for.

AT&T said:

"AT&T is working with RIM to make the BlackBerry Bridge app available for AT&T customers. We have just received the app for testing and before it's made available to AT&T customers we want to ensure it delivers a quality experience for our customers."

Amazing.....a lie is a lie period!

Time to leave folks.....or stay and bend over some more.

CB, love the power puff headline! NOT..come one take the gloves off!
Should read " ATT bends their BB users over once again!"

Tim

anty3139

My day was looking smooth and thinking 4th of July weekend and living in South Florida. Sunny weather in the beach, hearing music on the playbook, updating my facebook and browsing the net here and there. I guess I'll have to pack an extra 6 pack of Yuengling to cope with the AT&T rape.

dcscott

The statement that we have to pay a tethering fee to use the bridge browser is on a blog site. I'm yet to see anything "official" to that effect. Until someone can show me an official statement from AT&T as far as I'm concerned it's nothing but a rumor.

In the meantime I'll continue to use my OTA bridge thank you very much. I'd gladly pay a $20 fee to tether my PB but am unwilling to give up my international data and unlimited data to do so. The day my OTA bridge stops working and AT&T tries to force me down that road is the day I walk into Verizon, pickup an Android phone, and put my Playbook on Craigs List.

trsbbs

Bridge won't stop working, browsing will..

Wait 'til the train runs your over then react..cool..

I wish you best of luck, but that won't be enough.

Tim

mnhockeycoach99

I agree that AT&T is a greedy bunch of bastards... however, I have been using the BB Bridge app that was provided in a post by a wonderful Crackberry user.. Not sure how they can track by data through the bridge.. but I'll be damned if I'm going to use their BB Bridge app and pay more money for data that I'm already paying for.

axe50

Simply amazing, but not at all unexpected given how greedy they are. There is not a single viable explanation for why a charge is warranted here apart from a cash grab.

I'm not on ATT but if I was, I would be running this very day to another provider - any provider and letting those greedy people at ATT know that they won't be getting any of my money anymore. While they may not care now, when hordes of people start leaving it will begin to turn heads.

I hope the merger flops with TMO because now I would my UMA, off contract pricing and bridge.

jessebo8247

when i read the title of the blog, they made it sound like a good thing. this is horrible news. being charged again to use data i already pay for. unbelievable. crackberry should be calling ATT out and RIM for allowing this to be approved with modifications in app world. I'm more than a little disappointed with rim for allowing this and will be giving up my playbook, my torch, and ATT within the next 2 weeks when my contract with att is done. unbelievable

Foreverup

If Crackberry does call RIM for an official statement how about you remind Big Jim of this little statement he made.

"Last week at the launch party of the new PlayBook in New York City, RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie said that the "bridging" app for the PlayBook was a big differentiator for the Playbook over either the iPad or other Android tablets that are sold through carriers, because the "bridge" app allows BlackBerry users to get 3G data access on their tablets without paying an additional fee."

deloreancowboy

I think that this is the last straw. I left T-Mobile for the more expensive AT&T because T-Mobile didn't get any service at my job. But if AT&T is going to charge me for using the Bridge App that I have been using for months now I'm done with them as well. I might as well also be done with BlackBerry all together for bending over to AT&T and allowing this to take place.

mnhockeycoach99

I'm with you.. however, I don't think RIM is necessarily the one to blame. AT&T has RIM over a barrel because they (RIM) needs AT&T to carrier phones and thus generate revenue. Look at what the carriers are doing right now to delay the Bold 9900/9930 handsets by testing the hell out of them. With all of the leaked photos/reviews/etc. appearing on blogs,I'm sure the device is ready to go from RIM's perspective... but the carriers seem to be holding up the process.

ChillFactorz

I just went to the AT&T site and compared my $30 unlimited plan to the $45 4gb tether plan. Why would I want to pay more for less data? My Opinion is all of the carriers are looking for ways to get people off of their unlimited plans, this is one way AT&T is doing this.

757EliasHZ

This is part of why RIM is falling behind. If Apple had a similar hardware, THEY would've set the terms to carriers, and told AT&T they couldn't charge for Bridge Browsing. RIM, however, continues to do whatever they want. :(

cchylton

surely you are kidding? you really think that being worth 50-75% more in the market (go lookup apples net worth vs at&t or verizon) would cause a carrier to cave to the desire of a phone manufacturer. no way, no how. carriers may salivate over picking up the latest iOS or Droid device to retain/gain/build customer base, but they are not going to simply allow some kind of end-run around a income generation mechanism b/c an oem says do it. it's probably the OPPOSITE of what you think, how many iPhones and Droids are out there vs Blackberries now, have you seen RIMs marketshare dive in the US. So at&t is gonna allow some kind of 'bridge browsing' feature on all their iPhone devices b/c Apple adds the capability...and they aren't gonna charge for it? Not.

veldacy1

I almost GUARANTEE that apple had someting to do with this.. maybe google too. waiting for someone to grab the official version and test it.

Foreverup

Why would you want to it is an old version of the bridge software ATT won't even approve .93 version. Same slow ATT approval process that means bugs will never get fixed unless you do an unofficial version.

ianbordas

Sad Sad day.... AT&T is just too greedy.

FYI AT&T: "Bridgers" would NOT be using this feature ALL DAY LONG even if it was FREE, we use WIFI where available.

It AINT worth paying $20.00/month to be able to use bridge browser.

igotberryfever

you all need to get ur facts str8! In my app world its 1.0.0.93 and it says right on it browse the web with ur existing data plan. stop going off the deep end till u get ur facts right.

ianbordas

Buddy, it is clearly stated on official post by BlackBerry:

** Note: AT&T users must have a tethering plan included with their wireless service plan to take advantage of the Bridge Browser. To enable tethering on your BlackBerry smartphone, go to att.com/mywireless or dial 611.

igotberryfever

its not true. i just downloaded the bridge thru my att app world and i am typing this using the bridge

jpassarella

I, too, came to this link expecting GOOD news. I was already using the OTA bridge, figured this would just make it official. Instead, it's a greedy money-grab on the part of AT&T. (I'm already paying for UNLIMITED data on my Bold 9700; I can't use the PlayBook over AT&T's network without the Bold; it's not an independent device.) I really only need the bridge browser if my broadband goes down (rare) and for the week or so I might be away on vacation. There is no way I want to pay a monthly tethering fee for something I can do without except for a few crunch times during the year.

Maybe CrackBerry can work up a pros/cons grid for the various providers. Seems like I've heard mostly negatives about EVERY provider. But AT&T has never given me reason to be loyal to them. When my contract is up in several months, I'd like to walk away. So I'd like to see the pros/cons of one provider vs the others.

atuarre

Apparently some people have a difficult time reading and comprehending. How the hell is this Research in Motions fault? AT&T took their time releasing BBBridge, and I knew when the hold was announced, why they were holding it up. This is not RIMs fault. Stop saying it is RIMs fault.

AT&T is doing every thing they can to nickel and dime their customers. They are putting caps in place over wireless (which were already there) and now on their wireline DSL. Bellsouth would have never done this, but the new AT&T is a greedy beast.

So before you go out bashing RIM, like some Jonathon S Gellar clone, why don't you re-read that it is AT&T that is charging the fee.

Even if Steve Jobs and Apple wanted to innovate and make the iPhone and iPad work together (which they would not want), AT&T would do the same thing. So the user talking about Apple throwing out terms that carriers have to follow is ridiculous. The carriers call the shots. If the carriers all decided to stop carrying or supporting the iPhone, that would be the end of the iPhone. Period.

Don't blame RIM because greedy wireless companies want to screw over their customers. And further more, all those people saying the T-Mobile/ATT merger will be a good thing, wait till its done, and AT&T starts raising prices. They gotta recoup that 30 billion some how. They'll start raising rates. They bought Centennial and now they are going after T-Mobile, and Verizon can sit there and say they don't need Sprint, but it's only the logical choice that those two merge. So get ready for the royal screwing of your life when it comes to wireless rates.

fhinton

The reason that this it RIM's fault is that they threw their customers under the bus to satisfy AT&T. All AT&T had to do was threaten to pull BlackBerries off of their product lines and RIM caved. They gave in and blocked the application in the first place, instead of standing up to AT&T and going to bat for their customers.

I have been looking for excuses for not ditching my BlackBerry for an Android device. I just ran out of excuses. I have a Torch and a PlayBook. I like both devices. RIM did as much to stick it to their customers as AT&T did.

According to some of the articles I've been reading lately, it is only a matter of time before RIM's post mortem is written. Only two corporations in the U.S. use BlackBerries exclusively, Boeing and Exxon Mobile. Other companies have given their managment the option of using other brands of smartphones. Now I can see why.

technomensch

Not to be flamed, but why is everyone bitching and complaining HERE?

Shouldn't we be leaving comments on THAT blog post instead of this one?

Out of curiosity, how many of you have left comments on that blog post?

Marc K.
@stayinginsync
stayinginsync.info

Foreverup

i did sent them their CEO Jim's comments saying it will be free also said no other carrier was charging. Oh and that was at the official blog post.

ReccaKun

well anyways it sucks to be an AT&T user who gets raped from every possible angle.

Wolf35Nine

Its a shame that these carriers charge SEPARATE / MULTIPLE fees for using the same DATA CONNECTION.
If I'm paying for a data plan, I should be able to use it any way I want.

Razor213

As soon as i saw this i ran to Best buy to give it a shot and guess what......IT WORKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

YEs i was able to bridge the Torch and view my files in my phone from the playbook. Also was able to use the internet and check and receive emails and contacts. The notes was the only thing that didnt work, but who cares......Now i have a valid reason to purchase one of these remarkable devices......\

BigReg26

I downloaded the Bridge throught the workaround posted shortly after ATT's announcement. I don't see any reason why I'd have to download the version that is currently available on AppWorld. I guess I'd have to continue using this version forever. Or could future workarounds be available?

BigReg26

Don't know why ATT is so greedy. You can't access any of the apps that require the internet through the Bridge, only through WiFi. Such BS.

Foreverup

haha rim changed their description of the bridge app to say it depends on you carrier if you get free access. I'm thinking of calling rim right now and tell them I'm AT&T. Then tell them to jump just to hear them say how high.

def1014

But AT&T said on Friday that it started support for Bridge that day. AT&T customers who want to get access to their BlackBerry email, contacts calendar and BlackBerry instant messages on their PlayBook's bigger screen can do so without paying extra fees to AT&T.

Customers who want to use the Bridge app for browsing the Web on the Playbook will have to pay $20 a month.

Send Again

If at&t starts charging a tethering fee, wouldn't that be considered changing the contract?

Can I cancel my contract without paying the Early Termination Fees?

Regardless though, there are two companies I will not have to think about when my current contract expires. at&t and rimm. I was not too impressed with my Torch to begin with and with the cave in to at&t on the tethering fees, I definately won't be buying another blackberry.

spencerdl

SAD....VERY SAD.....it would be cheaper to pay early termination fees and go to another carrier and get the "bridge" and browser for FREE especially now that the "bridge" is much faster since the last update and its just going to get better

mr_biscuit

The real kicker in this is that using the Bridge Browser is not TRUE tethering. You're paying an extra $15 to ONLY be able to access the internet through your PB browser. Other apps that require a data connection won't work (like GPS apps, streaming radio, etc.), but you'll still be paying the premium price.

I expect other carriers to follow suit in this. Why wouldn't they?