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Forthcoming BlackBerry Bridge update set to bring even more functionality to the BlackBerry PlayBook

BlackBerry Bridge
By Bla1ze on 8 May 2012 07:19 pm EDT
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You'll have to roll with me on this one, as I really don't have "documentation" to show it as fact but word around Waterloo is that RIM has been working hard on the next BlackBerry PlayBook OS update along with an update for BlackBerry Bridge. Right now, we're hearing the OS for the PlayBook is sitting at version 2.1.0.460 while BlackBerry Bridge is sitting at version 2.1.0.3. So what changes has RIM been working on? A few actually:

  • BlackBerry Bridge 2.1 - Now offers you the ability to choose Text Messages as a category from the BlackBerry Bridge folder on your PlayBook.
  • Bridge Over Wi-Fi - You can now seamlessly connect your BlackBerry Smartphone to your PlayBook over a Wi-Fi connection   

Needless to say, that's not all the changes that are forthcoming. There will be plenty more but those are some of the highlights we've been hearing most recently. As it stands, there is no date for this to be released or if the versions noted here are final, they could go higher before actual release but the information was worth sharing with you all. 

Reader comments

Forthcoming BlackBerry Bridge update set to bring even more functionality to the BlackBerry PlayBook

112 Comments

Ha ha yeah so that makes me 1.1st

Can't wait for the update. Been hoping for Bridge text messaging.

One thing to look forward to is that html5test.com score for os2.1 is the same as for bb10. Hopefully it's the same browser that's on the dev alpha.. which is blazing.

Sure will add some interesting capability. But will they "WAKE UP"

I'm thinking for the next RIM public display they should walk sleep back and forth in front of the Apple stores.

BTW ..... someone should have done a google search before using that Wake Up slogan in Sydney .....

Check out this website:

http://www.wakeupsydney.com.au/about.aspx.aspx

Wake Up Sydney is an organisation whose aim is to:

'Our grand vision is for Sydney to start a kindness revolution - to become a "Kindness Capital"; a beacon of inspiration, creativity and peace. The campaign is underway with our free "kindness card" campaign. The kindness cards are beautifully designed cards that encourage anonymous acts of kindness. In just over two years, over 45,000 free kindness cards have been posted out. Order your free kindness cards here and read more about the kindness revolution here.'

RIM DO use google before thinking your ideas may be original!

Nope! it captures the current situation perfectly. People are joining an aging fad by switching to Apple. They need to "Wake up" and see this before locking in on Apple.

I hope "connect over wifi" means remote over wifi and improved sync latency of bbm between the two devices.

Nice to see 1+1=3. Rock on RIM!

This was announced at BB World and we were told that all bridge functions could be performed over wifi as long as the two devices are on the same wifi network. So speed and latency should be fixed as well as being able to leave your BB in one place and take your PB around the house/office and still access bridge functions (though if someone calls, can't answer calls on the PB....not yet anyway).

Personally, I'm still waiting for DLNA support along with the ability of preventing my tablet from going to sleep every 5 minutes; boy is that a pain to deal with when lecturing.

Ditto. I HATE having to turn on and off bluetooth to enable Bridge (I leave it off to save battery on my Bold). Huge win for me.

I leave bluetooth and wifi off on my Torch to save battery, so this won't save me a step. Will be great to be able to send text msgs from PB though.

I love Bridge and am using it more and more for presentations.

What I am (painfully) waiting for is to be able to sync my Outlook thru Bridge! Oh, that will sure be a happy (and productive) day.

The PlayBook is beyond awesome and getting better and better. I just couldn't help myself and have a 64gb coming tomorrow. The 16gb goes to my deserving spouse.

I agree, plus the contacts, memos, calender need to be synced with outlook on native playbook apps. Also hope they tell us if the sideloaded programs are going to be wiped before I keep buying Kindle books.

I have been harping on RIM in the Beta Zone forms about Playbook and this very issue; and I am not the only one.

Yet we have not seen a positive response coming from them on the ability, or lack of, syncing the native contacts and calendar though Bridge or to Outlook through the desktop manager.

I am hoping more BB users write into RIM and get them moving on this. I am also hopeful that this update will bring this functionality but I am not holding my breath at this time.

I'm not sure about you folks, but this is the sore point of the Playbook for me. v2+ has not given me much more functionality if this basic function is not available (and before you say it, using the cloud or syncing with some third party email is not an option).

Bridge over WiFi is a game changer for me! I have a Bold 9930 and I already have battery issues without having to turn on my BlueTooth. The PlayBook is already going to be connected via Wifi and my phone is most of the time too. For these two devices to connect without having to turn on BT on both of them is huge!

I rarely use Bridge because of this. This will be a major game changer for me!

You are absolutely right! If what your saying is what they are doing then I will really appreciate this as the Bluetooth connection kills my battery and makes my phone quite warm at times.

RIM you guys are doing a great job!

Now push us out the 2.1 beta pwease!?

Will Contacts, Messages, and Calendar finally sync properly between my 9810 and playbook through bridge...?!!!

You would think you can "open up" videos via bridge maybe this will be included in this update. :D.

I really hope they push a dev beta out for 2.1 some time this month.

RIM is really kicking a$$ as of late and its great to witness.

"There's an app for that" in App World, lol. It's called "Phone Remote" and it's not perfect, but it works. And the development is a huge BlackBerry supporter.

Ya I tried it & removed it. Found it buggy and slow.
I would think RIM could build a much better interface on the PB to be able to answer your phone etc through it. They have the screen come up when it rings and you can choose to ignore it. Why did they ever stop there?

I've been intently watching your tweets this evening regarding the new improvements. Thanks for posting on the blog as these look like great improvements. :)

Boldly sent from my 9930

QUERY .....if wifi is used to connect phone and PB does that mean that wifi data is being used and not phone (plan) data?

It's good to see BlackBerry handsets being more integrated with the PlayBook. RIM realizes it must be a key component of their renewal plan.

Really looking forward to any bridge upgrades!

If Rim could also add in some more Bes policy's so you have the choice of sharing files from phone to playbook and where they can be saved and how they can be saved would be a big plus.

I hope that with the new updates, my Bold and Playbook will have the ability to make my coffee and toast bread. That will be a huge bonus for me and really make my mornings more productive. Go, Go Gadget RIM!!!!!

I see a new ad campaign in the works.

Transforming Playbooks turn into single cup coffee makers and placing NFC enabled phone between an NFC card and bread will toast it to a golden brown. Nice....

I'm confused....I'm typing this on my 9700 bridged through Wifi right now. I thought I would check and see so I turned off my mobile network and its working through Wifi and bluetooth on. Do this mean it will eliminate bluetooth being required? How would the devices connect? Trying to figure this out, I thought for devices to be paired together it required bluetooth, can someone briefly explain to me I'm confused now and would like to learn more. Lol

Thanks for responding. I get that but am confused on what the benefit would be when I then have to turn on wifi. I don't leave mine on all the time. Kinda seems like the same thing to me? Still confused. Oh well. Thanks anyway.

Turn off bluetooth and you save battery life. Using wifi doesn't kill the battery like using bluetooth does.

Bridge over wifi! Yahoo! I've wanted this and asked for it in a post on the Crackberry forums ten months ago! Nice to see someone at RIM thinks alike.

Nice! I was not expecting bridge over wifi. Ill certainly be bridged more often.

Glad to hear about text msg folder as well. I think these will be useful together, if bridge over wifi is actually seemless, ill be able to use my PB for texts and bbm atleast80% of the time

So thinking through this ..... what disadvantages are there to using Bluetooth to Bridge?

What advantages are there to using wifi to bridge?

Hopefully we'll get to make calls from the playbook as well with this bridge update. If we can silence the ringer since day one from the playbook, might as well let us answer the phone too.

RIM is building momentum... I'm starting to get giddy for BB10. RIM, if BB10 doesn't have EVERY FREAKING FEATURE we've seen in the past week EVERYONE WILL BE DISAPPOINTED. There, I said it. You know what has to be done.

personally, i didnt bother reading all of the comments. Even in recent times, we know whos a trroll and whos the real deal. I will be patiently waiting for any upcoming updates to both brdge and the PB OS. The future of RIM is upon us. The shizznit is gonna be the game changer. The shizznit is BB 10. Please......dont make me rant. i dont like it when i rant.

Bridge over WiFi sounds great ,.. but... is that "pure WiFi", - or is it BlueTooth v3 protocol, which usilize both BlueTooth+WiFi - to give up to 24Mbps - but only for same short distance of max 30 feet as today... -

When we first got some specs about the PlayBook - there was some signs about supporting BlueTooth v3 ... perhaps that is what we will now see,.. soon....

anyway - soon we will all know...

Seriously, if you don't see how awesome the Playbook is then look at the price. If that does not blow you away then you really need to "Wake Up".

I love to see RIM on a roll on so many improvements for the phones and Playbook.

finally, nice to hear that the wifi transport will be available for BB Bridge! that's what we need, good job RIM! but please.. RELEASE IT NO LATER THAN the beginning of SUMMER! (or winter here in Australia..)

and yeah.. PB 2.1, come to daddy!!!

I'm quite confused here..bridge over wifi means they are connected via the same network (through router) or direct connection between the two devices (like adhoc)? Would be quite troublesome if they r over the same wifi connection if im at my uni..but if they are using direct connection, that also means i lose connection to the internet via wifi..or am i thinking too much here @ noob about these things..lol

I'm quite confused here..bridge over wifi means they are connected via the same network (through router) or direct connection between the two devices (like adhoc)? Would be quite troublesome if they r over the same wifi connection if im at my uni..but if they are using direct connection, that also means i lose connection to the internet via wifi..or am i thinking too much here @ noob about these things..lol

Updates are always good, but personally I'd like to see a fully functional Tasks apps (with categories, etc.) and MemoPad app. Why not give the same functionality in the basic bridge apps as we have on the phones?

Sounds really cool. This sort of thing makes me really excited to see what BB10 will look like in regards to the two devices interacting. I am wondering if the whole "bridge" will be a thing of the past. A seamless mesh between the two devices? BB10 should be able to talk to BB10. Would be cool to get a video call on your phone and answer it from your playbook. Hopefully I'm not just dreaming.

Awesome...Sounds like we got something going on here..
Now keeping everything like this going at this pace but building it more friendly and easier to use..
we might have something real real soon!!

I hope more functionality of the PIM is incorporated such as indication Private in calendar, so my secretary can not see details om my private appointments. Tasks more ability to sort and view only active Tasks.

PLAYBOOK with SD CARD INTEGRATION and I"ll buyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy. USB Host on the go tooo bETCH!!

Please learn how to write an English sentence. "That's not all the changes that are forthcoming" is a murderous attempt at something like "Those are not all of the changes that are coming". Journalists who write should know how to write!

OK - so, I think I'm missing something about Bridge over wifi. If I have access to wifi, I don't NEED to bridge, I can just use the playbook directly over wifi to the internet. I only use Bridge when I have no internet connection and want to piggyback on my phone. Perhaps it will be useful to support things I don't currently do, like control my PB with my phone for the purpose of giving presentations?

To me WiFi Bridging just seems like it will extend the range of the connection from the 30 foot bluetooth range to whatever range your WiFi network has... as long as the two devices are on the same network, they'll be bridged.

these two things are awesome! I think bridge over wifi is quite awesome actually, but only if you can use the remote feature through the wifi too so you're not limited to the bluetooth range and of course the wifi should be much faster and more responsive than bluetooth. This could be amazing for presentations.You dont have to remember how far you can go from the playbook when doing a slide show.

Interesting...would like more details on the updates and new features....playbook continues to stay "glued" to my hands...

One thing I agree is the feature should have been available on day 1, and I along with a lot of you purchased my Playbook on the launch date...

Let's go RIM...give us the update now!!!

Bridge Over Wi-Fi - You can now seamlessly connect your BlackBerry Smartphone to your PlayBook over a Wi-Fi connection....haaaaaaa?? seriously why??

instead can you freakin work on getting bookmarks on browser fixed and making them re arrangable so ATLEAST you have the functionality of a browser from the 90s.

I would love to see JayCut video production app in the next release of the PlayBook OS. That would make for a great summer for me & for RIM.

I would also like to see an update to the PlayBook keyboard -- move the ampersand "&” to the main keyboard or at least on the first page of the symbols keyboard.

Must be on same LAN according to what I heard at BB World, so no unless you have a VPN or something and are on the same LAN.

technically as long as you're covered within the same WLAN/VPN (i suppose, the SSID), you can bridge your playbook with your berry anytime anywhere. and yeah, with bridge over wifi, it's faster, lower latency & better battery life as well!

i can't wait for the bridge 2.1!

Better connection and battery life. Thank you rim for bridge and letting us save money!

One time i bridged my pb n bb on accident before i knew how. I made a topic on it in the att forums then i tried to recreate the same exact thing but failed....this was before i knew about the free bridge feature normally att shuts you down and says pay first before you bridge, but yes now that texts come in this is sweet i just wish they would allow for ringtones on here

I would say this:
- WiFi power consumption is high
- Bluetooth power consumption is low (as intended)

You will use more battery to do the same bridge tasks on wifi as with bluetooth.

But I am excited for bridge over wifi regardless and also excited for texting over bridge.

I have a pair of Sony BTDR50 bluetooth headphones. They have have a 17 hour battery life so watching movies and listening to music via playbook is a dream. But there is an issue I have come across when streaming music over bluetooth via playbook, I can't surf the web. The pages will be so slow it almost seems like they don't want to load. If I pause the song and then refresh the webpage, it'll load instantly. I do not have this "surfing while music streaming" issue on my 9900. Anyone have a suggestion on a fix?