The BlackBerry PlayBook 3G+ gets OS 2.1 - Better late than never

PlayBook
By James Richardson on 12 Mar 2014 04:58 am EDT
6
loading...
0
loading...
43
loading...

I've been a PlayBook user since day one, firstly on the Wi-Fi only version and then on the 3G+ when it arrived on UK shores. Unfortunately I had to ditch the 3G+ and go back to my original PlayBook due to software reasons. Once 2.1 was readily available, app developers started to release their games/apps with a minimum requirement of OS 2.1 which rendered my outdated 3G+ more or less useless and here's why....

OS 2.1 for the BlackBerry PlayBook has been with us for what seems an eternity, but could I get it on my 3G+? No, not until this week when it decided to show as available for some reason (version 2.1.0.1753). For well over a year now my 3G+ has been sitting in a draw and every month I take it out and manually look for a software update. And each month it goes back into the draw as no update shows for me. 

My PlayBook 3G+ is network unlocked (supplied direct from BlackBerry) and while some of you that purchased the 3G+ may well have been able to somehow get OS 2.1 onto your tablet I wasn't, so this week as given me a rather pleasant surprise. 

So, if like me you found your PlayBook 3G+ lacking behind in the software update department now may be a good time to dust it off and grab the update. I know that at some point BlackBerry will probably quit PlayBook support altogether, but even though this update is good news for me it also ties in nicely with the open letter to John Chen we recently published about BlackBerry 10 software updates.

At least I can now use my 3G+ as my main tablet if I choose to and use the apps that I want - something that frankly should have been available across the board without any device restrictions.

Rant over - I'm happy now. Are you a PlayBook 3G+ user who had the same issue as me? If it was only me that had the problem then I'll put the experience down to bad luck. Hit up the comments and let us know? 

Reader comments

The BlackBerry PlayBook 3G+ gets OS 2.1 - Better late than never

98 Comments

Stop right there buddy... don't get me started on the conformism that the fearless CB leader Kevin showed, backing up Thor on not supporting PlayBook to get BB10

I think in the UK the cellular capable PlayBook was only 3G as there were no 4G/LTE networks rolled out to consumers at the time.

Posted via CB10 on Z30 STA100-2 /10.2.1.2141 on O2 UK - Activated on BES10.2.1

I guess it's similar but true at that point LTE wasn't available. Happy for sim enabled PlayBook users! I'm on the wifi only tho

Posted via CB10

Great to see some PlayBook lovin'. Now BlackBerry, please give us a PlayBook 2!!!!!

Posted with the brilliance of my Z10

PlayBook is what Thorsten Heins got buried under a huge unsold pile of the day John Chen took over at BlackBerry.

Thorsten was CTO at BlackBerry when the PlayBook fiasco happened. The over production and over estimates of demand were his mistake, which he later repeated with the Z10 and Q10 phones.

Posted via CB10 on Z30 STA100-2 /10.2.1.2141 on O2 UK - Activated on BES10.2.1

I think once the PlayBook 2 becomes official then BlackBerry start making laptops and computers just like apple then it can beat apple

Posted via CB10

BlackBerry making Laptops and Computers? I don't think so. Tablets out sold computer for the first time last year.

Thought I'd put that out there.

Posted via CB10

Actually, BlackBerry has patented laptop type machines in the not too distant past so never say never. The best one as far as I'm concerned was pretty much a laptop shell with no OS or hard drive. It had a CD/DVD type slide out drawer where you inserted your BB10 device and the "computer" ran off of that. It's unlikely to see the light of day though but it shows that BlackBerry isn't afraid to look at ideas that are a little unusual.

You're describing what ASUS has already done with its PadFone form-factor. Which is a pretty awesome design, I just wish ASUS took this more seriously in terms of sales/marketing - especially with Ubuntu Touch.

so wish BB10 had a padfone like tablet. If ASUS has a patent on that Blackberry should buy it off them:P

Isn't the BlackBerry itself supposed to be the computer? How about they keep adding features And put out some form of display that we can connect our Z's and Q's to make the screen larger but not an entirely separate device? That would be innovative, rather following the old desktop tablet phone paradigm.

I have a 64GB PlayBook here in Canada and always wanted the cellular-version as well. Better late than never sure, but the way BB has handled the PlayBook is simply a disgrace.

I have two 64GB HP TouchPads. One is running JellyBean Android just lovely, the other is still sealed in the box. Best $150/tablet I ever spent.

Edit: make that two 32GB HP TouchPads for $150/tablet. My bad - not enough coffee this morning. Although there was a 64GB HP TouchPad in white that was in limited supply that went for sale briefly in France I think and then very briefly on-line in the US.

I have looked everywhere on the web, just no cellular version.

If you're from Canada and can't get one, what hope do I have to get one in Australia? 64GB wifi is not bad.

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

The unlocked 32GB pentaband/LTE cellular version of the PlayBook used to be on the CanadaGSM website for something just north of $500 CDN the last time I looked. Doesn't seem to be there now. That being said, have you tried eBay for Australia/Oceania (in particular I'm thinking Hong Kong) for a cellular-enabled PlayBook? Push-comes-to-shove ask on the Crackberry forums if you want to buy this tablet. I'm sure there has to be stock left somewhere - maybe Kevin and the Gang can get a deal for unloved cellular PlayBooks from BB directly. I use a cellular-enabled 2012 Nexus 7 in addition to my phone with its own data plan and its really nice having a backup device. I'm sure a cellular-enabled PlayBook would be appealing to PlayBook fans although technically you could tether it to a BB phone in any case. Best of luck to you.

The PlayBook is my favorite tablet I just wish they would give it more support,and hope BlackBerry doesn't stop giving support for the many of us whom are loyal users of the PlayBook and along the new phones that are being rolled out,they would develop a new tablet since it was the previous CEO whom scrapped it,this a new chance for Mr Chen to put it out to the public and let us decide.

Posted via CB10

Not possible to get BB10 on the current PlayBook. There is a 2GB minimun required in BB10 for it to run flawless and take advantage of the OS's multi-tasking power.

Posted via CB10

But BB10 will run on a Dev Alpha B with 1GB RAM just fine? If it runs a little less than flawless, I'll still take it.

That was Thor saying that back in the day. Who knows, maybe it was an excuse to discontinue it. He was in place to trim the company down.

Just release os10 for the playbook. My dad uses it to listen to nobex but I want to use it on a daily basis and it's os10 that alone can get me back hooked to it again

Posted via CB10

If tech specs don't permit then at least do something and make it possible to use the os10 apps and android apps with the ease they work on. Q 10

Posted via CB10

Happy to here about the update to the PlayBook 3g in the UK, guess the 2 owners are really happy...see channel C001CB4A1 for comment and earlier story about the mysterious PlayBook 3g UK!

PlayBook UK BBM Channel C001CB4A1

It's nice it's not completely forgotten about.

I do find it hard to believe that they can not run some slimmed down version of BlackBerry 10 on the PlayBook (windows xp ran on 128mb) al I really need is a new browser maybe a keyboard, would be nice if they unlocked the android runtime and allowed direct apk installs if possible also.

Posted via CB10

Have you tried the Origami browser? I agree that the keyboard could be a bit more responsive and as to Android .apk's running directly on the PlayBook I'm not holding my breath to be honest.

I got this about a month ago to my 3G+ UK PlayBook... I managed to get it working earlier via sideload, however video chat and other apps were missing. About a month ago when I turned it on, it got a 30mb update to the same version, which was obviously for the missing apps.

Posted via CB10

Kind of late to the game BlackBerry. Get your head out of your butt, and make a BB10 Playbook. Thank you.

Posted via CB10

I had no idea the software update was so far behind in the cell model. That's a kick in the pants considering the cell model costs even more. Kinda off topic (ok, very off topic), but will the bbm apk that is supposedly compatible with Android 2.3 work on the playbook?

Similar....lol.....i think only Telus rolled it out officially in Canada but it was not showing up via Link for other carriers or non-SIM units.

I still use my PlayBook as my daily tablet. I love it, I just wish that BlackBerry would do an OS 10 update, but I know that's not gonna happen :(

Haven't turned on my tablet in months. Holding out hope that BlackBerry will throw us a bone and give us a useful update. Or unlock the Damn thing already so we can actually use it with real apps

Posted via CB10

I've got the 'justa' PlayBook, not 3G/4G. But I'm wondering if I should be encouraged anyway that somebody at BBRY is still giving the PB some love!

Posted via CB10

I just knew it last week. Playbook has a renowned Wolfson DAC chip so the sound quality is really amazing. I picked up my PB 64GB again and installed the Neutron player app. The sound quality is even better cos' it had an equaliser control. Sweet!!!

Posted via CB10 by Z30

Obviously, something interesting is going on in that little back room at BlackBerry where the PlayBook workbench is. From a business point of view there is no reason to release Bridge updates & now this, unless they are thinking about a future project. I suppose they could be clearing off the desk by finishing nearly complete projects or rewarding BB faithful, but not likely.

Tablets are so popular and Bridge so brilliant, I sure hope there is a PB2 in our future. The market has completely changed since the PB was released, tho. Could they afford the same quality? Probably not. I think it missed the market so had to reduce the price and gut profitability.

Posted via CB from "Z" best

Hey thanks for the rant and hope that BlackBerry does a PlayBook 2 or Phoenix. Shall we cross our fingers

Posted via CB10

I love my PlayBook I use almost every day
When I bought it was not cheap...
Now...i have to agree with some. Members posters, why they don't make a very slim os that will run on ours PlayBooks???
The key board really need an update
And The browser need some Octane

Please BlackBerry Guys!

Posted via CB10

I got this update about a month ago. Since then the PB doesn't accept a sim card and soon after the screen went. Its got these thick fuzzy vertical lines. Its unusable. Been in touch with BB but they keep saying someone will be in touch. Really bad customer service. Its still under warranty too.

I wish they offered this tablet in the states, I'm on AT&T and would love a 4g LTE PlayBook

I flick all my words from my amazing BlackBerry Z10

I stopped using mine as the apps for it stopped working. Ie Facebook doesn't even show people's faces anymore. Would it really be asking too much for them to fix little things like that.

Posted via CB10

My anxiety level increases when Playbook subjects pop up. Thoughts of what could have been, SHOULD HAVE BEEN!

I find this amazing. But there is a distinct pattern BlackBerry needs to learn from 2.1 / 10.2.1 is the OS that both of these BlackBerry products should have been officially released with to a mass of clever advertising!

BlackBerry still needs to understand that a lot of people still use playbooks.

PS. I never wanted bb10 on pb. The PlayBook just does some things better than BlackBerry 10. Of course if bb10 had those features then i'd be all for it.

Posted via CB10

I am confident that the PlayBook could/can run BB10.

The hub in BB10 was blamed for the additional ram requirement but I don't believe that the PlayBook requires a Hub.

I still think that the PlayBook is very relevant in enterprise and plays a large part in BlackBerry offering a one-stop-shop solution to mobile enterprise security.

If BlackBerry were to bring BB10 to the PlayBook, my guess would be that minimum requirements would be 32GB.

Posted via CB10

I find this amazing. But there is a distinct pattern BlackBerry needs to learn from 2.1 / 10.2.1 is the OS that both of these BlackBerry products should have been officially released with to a mass of clever advertising!

BlackBerry still needs to understand that a lot of people still use playbooks.

PS. I never wanted bb10 on pb. The PlayBook just does some things better than BlackBerry 10. Of course if bb10 had those features then i'd be all for it.

Posted via CB10

Glad to know about this. I am a developer. I thought everyone has PlayBook 2.1 OS and indeed set that as the minimum requirements shortly after it was released...

I have a regular playbook, not a 3G and I only got the update this morning. But what I would like to know is what new updates came along with the update? At plain site I couldn't see any difference.

Posted via CB10

Can we please just get a new PlayBook 10
The current old outdated PlayBook is not even available in South Africa any longer.
Please BlackBerry developers

Posted via CB10

So I got my bro.in.laws PlayBook n got it updated to 2.1.0.1753 could someone tell me if the snap app will work on th PlayBook

Posted via CB10

If I was to buy a Playbook to use (watch movies, etc because of larger screen and it's wonderful speakers).. would you all recommend getting the first Playbook or the latter with the 3G?
I wouldn't need the 3G I'm figuring if the tethering (bridge) works without having to use my mobile hotspot. Thanks.

Posted from my Q10 (TMobile) Running OS 10.2.1.2156 as of 3.14.2014!