Video Demo: Pairing your BlackBerry Smartphone with BlackBerry PlayBook via BlackBerry Bridge

By Kevin Michaluk on 6 Jan 2011 03:17 pm EST

Following up on our BlackBerry PlayBook Review yesterday, today we were finally able to see the paired BlackBerry Smartphone/PlayBook experience, which allows you to use your PlayBook as a big screen for your BlackBerry phone. The BlackBerry bridge is carried out via bluetooth, and the means for pairing is really simple. You'll download a BlackBerry Bridge app onto your phone from App World. On your tablet, you'll tap the options icon on the top right corner of the PlayBook (the gear) and from there will be an option to display a barcode. You'll scan the barcode of your PlayBook with your BlackBerry and that will pair the two devices. From there, you can run BlackBerry Messenger, your calendar, emails (and maybe more??) from your PlayBook. Check out the video above to see it in action! (note, we do the BBM pairing at the very end).

Reader comments

Video Demo: Pairing your BlackBerry Smartphone with BlackBerry PlayBook via BlackBerry Bridge


I don't own a blackberry, but I plan on getting one with a playbook and ditching my Droid.

The plan is to slim down the phone and augment with a playbook.

Sick of doing emails on a small screen with a crappy phone.


I have an iPad 3G and an iPhone 4 and have been looking (considering) ditching it for the Torch/PlayBook. My biggest complaint with the iPad 3G is that it won't let me use the data plan form my iPhone to get internet, I have to pay separate when I need the 3G. Obviously not all the time without wifi, but when paired with the blackberry via bluetooth, is the browser on the PlayBook able to use the BlackBerry's data plan. Essentially, can the browser on the PlayBook use the bluetooth link as a "tether"?


I remember the earlier videos when it was first announced stating that it would. And now with 4G coming up that would be even better. Who would pay to have 4G separately for both your phone and tablet? I know I wouldn't!

At first when the guys said it wasn't paired for BBM I said FAIL. Then I watched more and saw the BBM setup and almost wet myself at how awesome it is. I am definitely buying one when it is available.!!! Hopefully it comes out sooner then the March date that people think.


I would like to see a paired BB/PB and then use the other functions like Web browsing. Turn off wi-fi and see it work......

Can't wait to see this thing optimized and in a release ready mode. Then we'll really know what it can do

While I assume it's the case, I'd like to get a confirmation that the video output to the tv was 1080p. It would be sweet to have wireless HD video with picture-in-picture on the tv.

Can I use the calendar, contact, and mail application without pairing it to a blackberry? Can I just setup a normal IMAP, POP, or Gmail?

OK, I like the concept of being able to tether with the PlayBook. I wondering, carriers don't allow that without requiring extra fees. Will we be able to do this without paying additional for tethering?

this isn't tethering it's pairing via BT. Tethering is different. This is a free app you DL and you're connected to your phone thru the PB...

completely free

there has been discussion of data tethering via your phone using this method, so far it's inconclusive but it looks like there probably won't be a charge to use your BB data plan on your PB...

not sure if it was "baked into" the BlackBerry Bridge app but I'm sure that is a question that will be answered soon

A few Questions arise...

1. Can it be simultaneously paired to a phone as well as a Bluetooth headset...i.e. handle multiple device traffic on one BT receiver...I know this is possible with wireless mouse/kb sets for computers, just curious if it's in the has to be right?

2. How many phones can be paired at the same time. If more than one, how will the PB differentiate the phones on calendar, bbm, etc

3. Is there a time out option for the phone to the PB just in case you wanna conserve power

4. Can PBs sync together for gaming like on the DS? - Would be sweeeeet and certainly a plus point...

Kevin, if you see this, ask if you can!

Another question, when linked to the PB, I assume I would be able to transfer files if needed? Send MP3, video files, documents etc?

the same with me, I thought they would just mirror OS6 view on PB but they integrated it rather awesomely..very nice. bring it on RIM..

When paired with my Blackberry, can the PB use it's browser or the Blackberry browser? Nothing said in demo about internet use via pairing??

Does the PB have AutoText?

If so, does it use its own AutoText database or can I transfer the one I have on my BB?

If not, when a BB is paired with it does it use the BBs AutoText database when doing text entry in the "mirrored" apps (BBM, Calendar, etc.)?

One thing I have not seen in any of the demos is any evidence of any kind of predictive text entry. It surely must have it with only a touch screen keyboard, so how does it work? I like predictive text but it is the AutoText that I truly appreciate on the BB.

WHEN WHEN WHEN does this dang Playbook come out...?!

I MUST have one STAT..... The pairing sold me... I can work through the rest of the stuff.

most inconvinient thing i've ever seen. have to carry both your phone and pb to get internet? Rimm needs to just put a 3g radio in that damn thing. Speed will suck i bet

Who goes anywhere without their phone?!?

I was not even considering buying a PB, but if it allows me to "piggy back" my BB data connection and not have to pay for 3G on the iPad that could be a huge deal.

this looks awesome and I must have one when they come out....I hope the Bridge app to pair the BB with the PB gets included in the BB OS for us locked down BES users....

Ok since a lot of people seem worried that the Playbook won't be able to use their BBs internet connection, here is a quote from the official Blackberry website that was recently updated (

3G network access using your BlackBerry® smartphone as a modem
4G network access available on BlackBerry® 4G PlayBook™ tablet
Wi-Fi® 802.11 a/b/g/n
Bluetooth® 2.1+EDR

:D Double-Yai!
Can't wait!

1. I totally want to be able to keep my BB in my holster while browsing the web on my PlayBook using my BB as my "modem" without having to pay AT&T an extra $20 for a tethering plan.

2. It would be awesome to be able to "pair" third party apps (like Trillian) just like BBM is being paired.

3. I'd love to be able to use the PlayBook for video calling while "paired" with the BlackBerry.

4. When the frak can I buy one? Lol

You know whats scary? What if right after CES, Blackberry says screw it and SHIPS the PBs out the door?

That would make Apple and Samsung shit all over themselves....

This PB does exactly what I expect in a Tablet. Apple and Galaxy will have to step their game up... RIM is back in town with pure pwnage!

The BBM looks GREAT! Every video makes me want this more & more. I mentioned this to my wife last night & told her when it's "supposed" to come out, hopefully by March, her response was "you can't wait til your birthday, well that's August! With a look like someone kicked my puppy I said, well I guess I can TRY to wait, lol. I mean, we our having our first baby AND building a house so we have some other things going on right now. I do have a question about the Playbook that a buddy brought up.

1. He heard that you'll only be able to use the Contacts & Calendar function when it's linked to your Blackberry, has anyone else heard this? I'd hope not, I'd hope that after your initial link that your contacts, calendar & other stuff would transfer or maybe even use DM to "restore" that kind of information to your Playbook. I mean if I'm running it on Wifi & it's not connected to my Blackberry am I not going to be able to access my contacts & calendar? That doesn't seem to make much sense to me.

congrats by the way!

yeah from what I've read, because of security once you un-pair the blackberry smartphone with the Playbook, the data disappears from the Playbook.

I too would like to know if you could leave your "synced" calendar and other info onto your PB as an option. Syncing when needed. If thats the case, I assume there will be profiles created to allow for multiple devices usage on the PB.

What would be cool would be syncing with other playbook to play online gaming/chat/conferencing etc.

One question I hope someone can answer: can you type from the BB phone using its physical key board on to the Playbook?

A couple questions:

Will replying to a BBM on the PB turn off the alert indicator on the BB?

Does the PB have its own PIN or do you have to have a BB to use BBM?

Do all messages show up in the PB inbox that show in the BB inbox? Facebook, SMS, BBM, email, etc

Just one question, does the playbook have it's own PIN or would a BB handset be required to use the Email, Contacts, Calendar, and BBM programs. If this is the case RIM is really limiting their market. With the current lineup of Blackberry handsets, I really don't see someone giving up their iPhone 4, or Android phone just to get these features on a tablet that should already have it.

Wait on 4G from Sprint... in the meantime RIM rewards customer loyalty by releasing the WiFi version and letting us genuflect at the alter of Blackberry.

what im loving about all these videos is the no nonsense screen transitions (pretty much none). Therefore you get to where you want fast without having to wait. Sure you can be wowed by a pretty transition that takes a second but after a while you just want it to just do it already!

Playbook is awesome. I love that we wont necessarily need to have a separate data plan! and bbm on a bigger screen. WOOOO

This thing is awesome. I'm handing down my ipad to a family member as soon as this is available. Since i'm a blackberry user for life this is what I need for the whole experience.

not to rain on everyone's parade but I don't think data tethering the PlayBook through your BlackBerry is not going to be as possible as everyone thinks.

Yes the BlackBerry website says you can access 3G data through your BlackBerry device via Bluetooth. However from I've read it does it using the IP modem function. This means that it's up to the carrier whether or not they allow this (basically just like tethering via the Desktop Manager). As an example BlackBerry says ALL of their phones have modem capability but as we all know it's the carrier's decision to allow it.

There's no rain on this parade. When synced with your BB smartphone, you can use either your phone or your Playbook to enter information in calendar or respond to BBM's, etc. The linkage is called Bridge which will also allow you to send/receive data through your phone. This was demonstrated rather smoothly at CES. The Playbook was synced with various Blackberry phones including the 9780 and the Torch. The 9780 was using T-Mobile's 3g network and of course the Torch was using ATT's 3g network. The owners of the phones didn't need to pay for any tethering plan with either cell providers.

So in a nutshell, having a Playbook Wifi version will not cost you anything extra on your monthly bill. The connection to the 3g networks is directly through your smartphone as if it originated from the smartphone. The beauty of bridge is that it allows the Playbook to act as a clone of your smartphone, only larger. The 3g network will be none-the-wiser.