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BlackBerry Bridge v2.1 brings text messages to the BlackBerry PlayBook

By DJ Reyes on 4 Oct 2012 11:03 am EDT
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A couple of nights ago a BlackBerry Bridge update dropped for BlackBerry PlayBook users, bringing it to version 2.1.0.26. As well as that, the much awaited PlayBook OS 2.1 update arrived for PlayBook owners too. The BlackBerry Bridge update brings about a few new features, one of which is the ability to view and respond to text messages from your PlayBook.

Much like BBM over Bridge, you have to have it selected to be used over Bridge. However, by default it is already selected and you should find it already in the BlackBerry Bridge folder on your PlayBook. It can also be used in portrait mode.

So, if you are still a big user of text messaging like I am (mainly due to having to communicate with friends and family on othe platforms) then this is a nice addition to the BlackBerry Bridge family.

If you haven't already update to the latest BlackBerry Bridge get it now through BlackBerry App World. Check out the video above for a quick look at Text Messages over BlackBerry Bridge.

Download BlackBerry Bridge v2.1.0.26

Reader comments

BlackBerry Bridge v2.1 brings text messages to the BlackBerry PlayBook

72 Comments

Just like a lot of things should have according to some.. they didn't so people need to stop whining about it because it is here now...

No, no we don't. The PlayBook was the biggest flop in the company's history and it has taken far too long to fix up these small contributing factors to a good user experience. If silly little updates that take months to implement are what we can expect from RIM in the future, the company - and possibly BlackBerrys in general - is kaput. I don't think this procrastination will persist (so far I'm impressed by BB10) but I has to stop.

This is criticism well deserved, fan site or not.

It should have had Bridged SMS when the PB first came out because everyone else has it....oh wait

Complaining about no email, calendar at release, valid criticism. Complaining that they didn't have something that no one else has ever done, NOT valid criticism

+1 It's amazing how people don't realize how cool this is. SMS is sent/received via cellular service, not data. Other apps that try to achieve this feat use email.

Should have done this, should have had that ... blah, blah, blah. It's water under the bridge, kids. They've already taken plenty of heat for everything the PlayBook DIDN'T do when it was released, completely ignoring the things it DOES do that other tabs still do not. Well, they're slowly but surely adding everything in now, so the time for b!tching about it is over. Yes, the b!tching ship has sailed. If you hurry, maybe you can catch it.

As for how long it's taking for these silly little updates, perhaps you need to read a bit more through these blogs to see everything that WAS included in this release. Not to mention the fact that they did it while it's all hands on deck getting BB10 out the door.

So please kindly can it.

The criticism is not really deserved... what in this update (2.1) was added to the PlayBook that people expected in OS 1? I know the multi-level folder support in the email client was long-awaited, but what other tablet can run apps from a completely different OS, let alone in separate windows? On that note, how many tablets can multitask like the PlayBook? How many tablets can directly communicate with your phone? Please, the PlayBook didn't sell well because it was poorly marketed and priced too aggressively in a sea full of iPad imposteurs.

I don't think it's fair to say they "procrastinated" if you had no insight into their development plans. RIM is guilty of a lot of things, I'll admit. And we PlayBook owners have every right to be disappointed with the offerings with the first OS. But come on now, this is pretty impressive. Give credit where it's due.

@Greasy - Do you have any idea what you are talking about? Seriously? While I agree that the PlayBook should probably have had native email, calendar, etc right from the beginning, I'm pretty sure RIM leadership took the easier of two options (Option #1 - release w/o native apps to get it out sooner and target their 70+ million BB user base and release native apps later or Option #2 - delay PB for at least a year to get native apps, which by then many more tablets have been released). As for the updates, while it is frustrating that they take 5-6 months each, RIM has also stated that they went away from monthly minor updates to less frequent larger updates.. Adding texting via bridge, portrait email, and mutliple Android player windows (probably the most important new feature) all take time to code, test, etc.. especially when they are so focus on the BB10 UI for their new phones.. and eventually the PB. How long did it take Apple to finally get basic functions like copy and paste, and other basic functionality? And how many times does Apple release OS updates? Bottom line, this isn't as simple as baking cookies.. it takes time. KEEP CALM AND RELAX.. BB10 WILL BE HERE SOON ENOUGH.

Yeah right. A new feature that is not available natively on any tablet before this should have been on the device from the start. No other device interfaces with a phone the way that the Playbook does with a BlackBerry phone. It is an extension of my Berry and its data plan. It saves me money and gets my work done.

Has anyone had an issue of the "splash" not going away? Also noticed that the order of the conversations are crazy. I have some new ones toward the top and some newer ones at the bottom.

I have that problem too, or it won't show a conversation. Also, when I am typing a lot the sound stops on the whole device. No more key click noise and even videos don't have sound, have to restart to fix it. Any one else have that problem?

My conversation alignment has mirrored my phone. I haven't had any issues. Its refreshing not having to pickup my phone until I get a call.

How long before they add the feature to pass calls through to the PlayBook as well? Would be quite a fancy speaker phone.

BB10 addition anyone???

Within 5 minutes of getting the update I heard a text on my phone, sadly, it was a MMS so it didn't come through to the PB.

Works very well. Mirrors my 9900 and allows me to respond on the PB. It would be great if Word Substitution worked here. It does in most places bringing WS from my 9900 into BBMs, emails, memopad entries on my PB ... but not texts. Hopefully in the next update.

When I first use the bridge txt option I was able to txt from my playbook but the person reply would not come to my playbook. If you are using the app crunchsms the person response will go to your handset instead of playbook because of the firewall. You will have to disable firewall in phone option for your txt responses to come to playbook.

It's likely that the reason it's not working is because in the setup of CrunchSMS, the app developers have you block SMS messages from being received by the native messaging app. If you go to Options > Security Options > Firewall and then uncheck the button beside SMS under "Block Incoming Messages," you should be able to send/receive messages on the PlayBook without problem.

Please note though that any messages that you send via CrunchSMS won't be picked up by your PlayBook (again, only goes through the native app). I was a bit sad when I decided to delete Crunch so that I could stick to texting on my tablet, but I've found that I'm actually enjoying the native SMS/MMS app (if you have it hidden be sure to unhide it, or set your message inbox to receive SMS/MMS messages as well). The toast notifications built into the BeBuzz app help to substitute the quick message feature.

THAT is why it's not working right for me!   HOWEVER I think I prefer crunch over this new feature.  ;)

Its a nifty feature. I just wish they make threaded sms possible. I dont want my response and the recipient's reply in a separate chat window.

I was having some issues after the upgrades, texts wouldn't send etc... I restarted the playbook & now it works great. It's a great feature for when my phone is on the charger in my office & I'm using my PlayBook in another part of the house. I don't have to get up off the couch any more to answer text messages LOL!!!!

Love my PB & my Curve 9630 but can't wait for BB10 to get here in January/February!!! Physical keyboard for me!!!!

DJ Reyes,

I like the alert sound your playbook made. Which app is that please ?

(the alert that sounded like it was off ton & jerry)

Ben, I actually use the default sound on my PlayBook, so it is probably the sound on my Torch that you heard, as that was louder. It's actually from Super Mario Bros. I found it in the CrackBerry ringtone gallery.

@kunamvahees

Go to your phone options > scroll down to security> scroll down to firewall>put a check in box labelled enabled. make sure none of the boxes under the enabled box has a check in it...etc TEXT MSG, PIN, Personal email.

When I open the texts via bridge, my conversation names keep changing until all my contacts are loaded. Its never ends up being the correct name. Also my messages seem to just combine into one message even though its from different #'s. Deleting on the pb won't delete off my phone either. I have backed up, wiped, restored and no luck. Girlfriends works flawlessly. Any suggestions?

I had this problem as well. Turned out two of my contacts had a single non-numerical character for one of their numbers (a period for one and a space for the other). I delete those and SMS messages on my PB now look just like my BB.

This is a wonderful addition to BlackBerry Bridge. So often my phone will be on my desk when I am at home but my playbook is beside me cause it's easier to get things done with the larger screen. So nice to just be able to answer a text without having to go get my phone.

On a related note, I like the speech bubbles on the Playbook better then the ones used in BB 10. I even prefer the colour scheme on the playbook for text and BBM to that of BB 10. I wonder why they changed it when it already looks great on the Playbook.

IF "BEBUZZ" CAN MAKE THE APP FOR PLAYBOOK. IT WOULD BE GREAT. ACTUALLY THE NEXT SHOULD BE- RECIEVES/ANSWERING/& MAKE CALLS USING PLAYBOOK.. NOW! THAT'S A GREAT IDEA..A SUPER AWESOME IDEA..

Mine doesn't work. When I bring up the Text Messages app, all conversations load and look good for half a second, and then they all change to the same person for each conversation, and it's not even a person I've ever texted with. ?!??! Anyone else see behavior like this?

Thanks! The contact that was showing up for all conversations - his number began with a bracket! Changed it so that it began with +1, and now all text messaging conversations are showing the proper contact.

i don't see any other tablet out there that does this type of integration. So having these features added is a positive. I don't see Android or iPads tablets having your text messages or chat messages show up and have it synced. This is more revolutionary than creating your own Map app

Indeed, and for that, Android & ifans will hate us more.. lol oh well, that too bad.. for them. Since they have so many Apps, they need to start diggin.. hah!!

I've noticed 4 issues withe SMS bridge app.
1. I have 7 SMS conversations on my phone, however, only 3 shows on the PB.
2. When I continue a conversation using the phone, it creates a separate contact on the PB. No name just the same phone # as the original contact.
3. Incoming SMS shows on the phone but not the PB.
4. There is a contact list within the app on the PB.
WTH.

I have the same issue as others with the conversations being messed up and all reading as if they were from one person. I am not going through over 600 contacts to find what few may have a non numerical character. Turned off the feature until RIM posts an update. I am not a techie and think the PB has many positive features, and don't whine about the stuff that could have been - but I am amazed by some of the items like this one where RIM must not have tested how the upgrade could be broken and not function as intended. If someone finds a fix that doesn't require a one for one check of contacts, please post.

I'm with you. I have 1200 contacts linked with outlook. Standard format includes a paren. Outlook is pretty common. How did they not test that?
So many good ideas poorly executed. Even Crackberry login page crashes PlayBook browser. Had to switch to bridge browser to post this.

Anyone who has an App "CrunchSMS" Delete it completely. and make sure to update your Blackberry Bridge after you deleted the CRUNCHSMS. it seems like the firewall is confused.

Okay lost connection so if this is a duplicate post please forgive. Whenever I launch text messaging from the playbook the green "loading" circle thing never goes away. I have hard reset the pb and deleted/reloaded bridge on the phone. Any ideas?

Yeah, I've got that too. It's a, little annoying, but I'm still receiving and sending texts just fine. I'm loving this new bridge update! This is definitely going to make it harder to put down my PlayBook!

I keep getting a notifier on my pb saying I have a text message. I've restarted my phone, pb, upgraded bridge on my phone and still the notifier won't go away. Any offers?

Loving the SMS on my PlayBook and using it frequently now. Question is how do you attach photos or view SMS photos on the PlayBook?

The initial version of SMS Bridge does not support MMS messages. Let's see what the future brings us. =)

Unfortunately; the 2.1 update is not available for the 4G LTE PB yet, but the bridge update still allows SMS to go to my 4G LTE PB.

This is absolutely amazing! Well done RIMs for sorting this out, I truly believe this is revolutionary. Don't see any other tablet which these capabilites. I'm sure the bugs will be fixed in future updates for those who are having problems. Can't wait for BB 10, things will work amazingly well. VIVA BlackBerry!!!!

This is a great feature! For those of us having the contacts problem is there an app that will clean up and arrange all contacts in the same format? Rather than going one by one to fix the issue.

Hello,
Can someone explain to me how bridge via sms text works. From what I have read and tried that there are three types of ways you can bridge you phone to the playbook wifi, bluetooth and usb and you would need the bridge app on your phone. Once you connect you will see a bridge folder where you see the sms txt app.
In the demo that was shown she did not show or say what type of connection she was using? It looked like it was a stand alone app that she used and she just clicked on it and it worked.
I was wondering will the sms txt app work if I copy the sms txt app from the bridge folder and run it directly on the playbook and have the bridge app on the phone?
Thank you