Here's what has changed with PlayBook OS

Here's what has changed with PlayBook OS
By Bla1ze on 5 Oct 2012 04:09 pm EDT

By now, most people who own a BlackBerry PlayBook will have received the notification on their tablet to go ahead and update to OS The latest OS offers a broad range of changes but to the average user, not all of them are instantly obvious.

Luckily, between the information offered up by RIM and the folks in the CrackBerry Forums who have been picking apart the OS like there was no tomorrow, we have a good idea of all the changes implemented.

If you jump below, we've outlined most of the major changes with this release, though there is surely more that isn't documented. For that, there is also a forum thread set up by CrackBerry member ryacht which helps to summarize some of the finer (and not so finer) points of the update as a whole.

  • Software updates are no longer mandatory during setup. The customer can choose the best time to update for them.
  • Setting Up WiFi connection is no longer mandatory at setup.
  • Overall faster browser performance.
  • Faster boot / reboot times.
  • WiFi file sharing performance enhancements.
  • Portrait Mode can now be used with the Email, Calendar, and Contacts App.
  • Greater flexibility and control over which folders are wirelessly synced when using Active Sync
  • Full access to IMAP Email folders.
  • Print To Go - Now you can send content to your BlackBerry PlayBook even if it’s not connected to the same WiFi network.
  • Android Apps will now run in individual windows rather than being lumped into one Android Player Window.
  • Apps which require access to the camera are now supported.
  • In-App Payments can now be submitted in both BlackBerry and Android apps.
  • Video Store is now available in Canada. Thousands of movies and TV shows, new & old, available on demand to rent or buy New releases available same day as DVD.
  • Text Messaging is now supported with BlackBerry Bridge. When Bridged you can read, send and receive text messages on your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.
  • When Bridged, and connected to WiFi, the BlackBerry PlayBook automatically sends and receives data over the WiFi network to decrease cellular data usage, and increase performance.
  • Over-the-air (OTA) enrollment with BlackBerry Mobile Fusion enabled.
  • New IT policies for added security. - Enterprise configurations such as email, Wi-Fi, VPN profiles, or enterprise apps can be pushed directly to the device by IT administrators.
  • ActiveSync Certification Management - Certificate-based authentication can now be configured in order to allow access to work email, calendar, and address book data. These can be securely installed to the tablets over the air with BlackBerry Mobile Fusion, which utilizes Simple Certificate Enrollment Protocol (SCEP).
  • Full device encryption, including personal data - From the Options menu on your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, you can now enable “Full Device Encryption” by navigating to Security and then Encryption.

As noted previously, this update is only for the WiFi version of the BlackBerry PlayBook. Overall, there is additional enhancements that have been added to the OS that are only applicable to 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook and as such, we've not noted them here. So, there you have it. A broader list of the changes. If by chance we missed anything on the list that you've noticed, feel free to drop it in the comments and let us and everyone else know.

Reader comments

Here's what has changed with PlayBook OS


And they've fixed an issue where multiple emails were being sent (up to 3 times) when connected to exchange ActiveSync.

I am soooooooo glad they got rid of the WiFi configuration at setup. I almost returned the unit the day I got it because it was so frustrating to get it to connect to the secured WiFi network at the office.

FYI: I've yet to get Print to Go across different networks working. Document just hangs on sending to device....

Print to Go used to get an issue when sending a document, it'd retreat to the login screen after trying to submit the print job, and anti-virus/firewall software was to blame. Might be worth checking this?

Yeah! I did. First I was unable to send the print from my laptop/PC to my Playbook on different network. I re-installed my Print To Go on my laptop/PC and did fresh pairing of my Playbook over same WiFi.

Since it is difficult to test with different WiFi network in one place unless using someone's help I tethered my Playbook with my Blackberry (of course WiFi Should be turned off on both Playbook & BB phone)
With this setup, I tested out to send few prints to my Playbook. went through without any hitch.

Just got bbpb but aint got wifi so how can I connect it without wifi as startin 2 do my head in !!!!! Arrrrggghhh any help would b appreciated!!!! Thanx 1 confused bbpb owner

Edit - this is in reply to the comment about the email not sending multiple times. A few bugs in this forum still I think!

I still have the problem where it first reports that it didn't send with a big red X, and then it does send properly and only once. So I can put up with the X if I can at least use the thing now. I could never use it before without sending 2 or three duplicates. Very embarrasing.

Rockin' the 9900

how do i use wi fi to use the bridge instead of bluetooth...???

BB 9780 white os 6

BB Playbook 32gb os

It's not instead, it's on top of. The two devices Bridge via Bluetooth but send info/data via WiFi. The Bluetooth connection is still required.

So far I LOVE the portrait mode for e-mail, long over due. Being a day one buyer of playbook I always wonder what could have been if OS 2.1 was OS 1.0.

Everything is great in 2.1. The browser is faster, love the email in portrait mode (for thumb typing), and the new Android player is great on how it lets you have multiple apps open just like native Playbook apps. Something else sweet I noticed, when playing a video you can scan and que it right up to the second on where you wanna go. Over all a top notch 2.1 upgrade. Thanks RIM :-)
Tablets are incredible

Vic_Franklin, let me know if you experience frequent browser freezes. I'm finding it very difficult to read email with the browser.

Still the Skype missing is huge down fall. There are so many people would buy the PB if it is skype compatible. For some reason RIM doesn't listen. I am sure few million bucks to Microsoft would bring the skype on board overnight.

I'm missing Skype too

but I don't think RIM can do much.

It's Skype.

It's bought by Microsoft.

Microsoft want to be Number 3 in the Smartphone market.

The hell they will do to let RIM get even on this one.

8 Billion Dollar (~~), I don't think RIMs million will help there.

My hopes for not high for Skype on BB10.

Me sad.

There are other options guys, the only thing is I'm not sure if RIM is working on getting them onboard. There's TANGO, OOVOO, YAHOO MESSENGER, LIVE MESSENGER etc...

You can go to and use a web based Skype there. Theres always ways to get around Microsoft being to cheap to make a Skype Playbook app.
Tablets are incredible

Imo doesn't allow video calls, I've tried it already. What good is having a front facing camera when you can't even use it.

One feature that I was told they were working on and didn't make it in was to have the movie player remember your position when returning to a previously-viewed movie.

I'm not sure if anyone else has noticed this, or if it is just my PlayBook, but the battery life is DRAMATICALLY improved.

I had updated the last time around to version .6xx (maybe someone could help me out here - it was the update that BB put up for a while, then quickly took down), and after updating, I experienced a serious battery drain, which I deduced was likely from the WiFi components, since shutting off WiFi when not in use lessened the draining effect. If leaving WiFi on, even if connected to the same network all day, my BB would typically not make it through the full day (12 hours or so), even though it was not being used, but was simply left in idle or standby.

After updating to 2.1, I started day one at 100% at 8:30am. At 8:30pm, after a full day of actually using my PB periodically throughout the day, to browse the web, read, check and send emails, check FB, etc., I still had 73% battery life. I had WiFi on the entire day.

This is a dramatic improvement, and a much-welcomed one at that. If I had more technical knowledge, I would have attempted to pinpoint the source of the battery drain in the last update. Regardless, I hope my experience is common, and that others are enjoying the great battery life that has come with OS 2.1.

I did notice that as well. Before 2.1, with it taken off the charge my PB would be near dead at the end of the day and soon after, it would screaming to be plugged in. Now it still has plenty of juice left by midnight. So after I like the improvements they did. Also the email connection don't disconnect any more.

I wanted to throw my PlayBook across the room because it would constantly disconnect when I would be using email and FaceBook, now with the update I have not had it disconnect once and that alone made the update worth it.

I noticed that my battery life does seem to last longer now too.

I have not dug in too deep yet to see what else is better but I am glad the disconnecting while emailing and FaceBook has been fixed.

exactly.... who comes up with these "improvements"? Improvements should be noticeable by anybody not just the hopefully few. my pb takes the same almost 10mins to reboot.
browser freezes and crashes about the same as b4. When an improvement is made there should be no arguing if something has changed it will be obvious.

PS: still waiting on browser bookmark management... but i guess i'll have to wait another year plus for something that simple.

Any improvement in the browser probably will not come until BB10 as the current browser will not be used in BB10.


Yeah I still have more or less the same 'hangs' and slooooooow boot times.

When I saw the video of Crackberry folks demoing the Android apps in different windows? I nearly wept ... I have never had Android apps respond like that. In fact, I don't believe I've had any Android apps work *at all* since the latest update.

Sigh. Really miss my News Republic and others ... oh well. Focus on BB10 please ...

Not sure what is going on with your pb. I did the update and everything I loaded before the update still works including News Republic.

My only problem is POP3 mail and Rim removing the option button for keeping messages on server when deleted on pb mail. They assured me 4 months ago they had the fix and were including it in the last update.

Still waiting and not happy about pop3 mail, but, everything else seems good to me.....

Wifi sharing enhancements? Ill need to look into that. It use to work fine but one day after a windows 7 update it just crapped out. After months of it working when it wanted to ,I just gave up. I hope it works now. Ill be checking out the forums when I get off of work!

Btw 2.1 installed flawlessly on two PlayBooks for me. I had no issues whatsoever except the fact that the first initial boot took about five minutes after the update.

I'm very pleased with the stability of 2.1 and now that its out,what's next?

Can the crack team do an investigation and find out what's next for the playbook? 2.2? 3.0? 10!?!? What's next? :)

I didn't experience any problems either.. I have two playbooks as well and I downloaded the update on one of them during a meeting.. ;) The other got the download as soon as I got home. So far no issue what so ever.. I don't think we'll be getting any new OS upgrades.. Hopefully the next one coming is a jump right to BB10..


I'm also having an issue with wifi sharing using Windows 7. What I've started doing to correct the problem, is turning wifi off then back on on my PB, then refresh my network and the PB would show. Unfortunately, after some time, (Haven't timed it yet) the connection will drop and I'll have to do the whole process over again. Fortunately, this isn't a deal breaker for me. Now, the constant browser freezes is.

Can you do a video of browser speed test between the new OS vs the one previous? It seems like the performance was not as snappy when zoomed in and scrolling the Web while zoomed in. Other than that, I'm pretty satisfied.

Because Netflix isn't available for the playbook, right?
If true, I'm wondering if the Android Netflix app is workable with the playbooks android capabilities.

"When Bridged, and connected to WiFi, the BlackBerry PlayBook automatically sends and receives data over the WiFi network to decrease cellular data usage, and increase performance."

Are you sure about this as being a new thing? My PlayBook is always bridged to my BB and I am usually at home with it where I have weak cell signal. I am 95% certain I have always been using my WiFi data and no my Bridge data.

I wish I could say boot time is improved but for me, anyway, it's painfully slow...perhaps even worse than with 1.x and 2.0.


I agree RIM needs to give us options and specially when watching videos online or my stored movies on my PlayBook.

best part for me is recieves and sends text w/o any duplications or error on Playbook. And can type either Landscape or Portrait.. whew!... Thank You RIM...


I could not find where to create/read text messages. Can you please let me know ?



I found why ! I was looking into upgrading the bridge app on playbook, whereas it is the bridge on the smartphone that needed to be upgraded.

Boot time definately improved. But android apps still don't open directly. I have to select honeycomb and go to the apps folder and select. Also, for some reason I am unable to forward any emails now. It just shows a big X sign next to the email. Tried it 4 times with no luck. Mine was a 331 MB download in India. Any body else facing these problems ? Also, Is there a search feature in this OS ? I haven't come across one right from the start ! Thanks.

"Overall, there is additional enhancements that have been added to the OS that are only applicable to 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook and as such, we've not noted them here." Ummmmmm say wha???????

Video chat over 4G, OS downloads over 4G. No point in mentioning those considering the update at this time is only for the WiFi version.

I don't know about everyone else but the Bridge internet connection (without WIFI) has significantly improved. The speed appears very consistent. Almost no difference than connecting to wifi.

Still haven't gotten the PrintToGo feature to work accross networks yet.

Mine hasn't done that at all. I think it has something to do with your router having a signal drift. Mine does occasionally and ALL connected devices lose the connection.

Anyone else experiencing camera problems? I take a picture but it just doesn't appear in the pictures app!!

*EDIT* video camera works

*EDIT* camera works, pictures app also works, but now saves photos to the end, does anyone know why? (of course different name)

Shut off my PlayBook, with stop watch on my 9810, I timed the boot up of my PlayBook.

Old restart time from pressing of on button in the range of 3 minutes and 20 seconds.

After installing latest OS, new start up time is, 2 minutes, 29 seconds.


Automatic connection to Wi-Fi is also enhanced. 9 time out of 10 under the old OS's when I bring my PlayBook home it won't connect to my Wi-Fi unless I press the Wi-Fi icon and send it scanning for it (unlike my Torch 9850 and my laptop which connects without intervention).

Now with this OS I open my PlayBook and Wi-Fi is already connected all the time. More happy about this than anything else.

Words with Friends works better in it's own Android window, but still crashes after about ten moves or after going into chat.

BB Bridge Text is showing red asterisc beside icon, yet I have read all new texts. Rebooted PB and still there.. anyone know what to do to rid the notification?

I had this problem.I have a torch 9800 and found
that there was one message in the messages folder on the torch locking up the notification on the playbook.I deleted the text messages one at a time in the messages folder on the torch until the notification goes.hope that works for you.

new os is awesome seriously its faster and better in almost every way! cant wait for the next big update!!

Noticed NO real improvements in bootup or web: still have to clear cache constantly because, over time, typing url STILL gets draggy!! And it's unforgivable that you can't manage or even backup bookmarks: isn't browsing one of the key uses of PB!?! And the native apps still don't. Have the same features as my 9900!!! Portrait mode? Big deal! And texting on bridge has clumsy interface! Oh yeah, can't save bookmarks to home pages anymore. Waited for this? NOT IMPRESSED!!

It really would be nice if someone can post some how to do some of these things using the new os. Sofar there was only a few that I could find.
Thank you

I've noticed with the WiFi networks - if you tap a saved WiFi network it tells you it already exists and asks if you want to replace it.

No, I want to connect to it you silly thing...

"New releases available same day as DVD." Really? Not as far as I can tell. Last new release that I saw was Hunger Games and that has been the only one. Not that this has anything to do with the update but it was mentioned in the list of changes.

Everything's fine and I love most of what came with this update, but faster boot up? My boot time went from 2:50 to 5:20, I was hoping to see sub 2:00 but I guess that's not going to happen.

I found the browser to be much faster and the video finally recorded without stuttering!!!
Anyone else find the video to finally run like it was intended???

I have truly enjoyed my playbook. I was thinking about buying a Nexus 7 this year but I have all but talked myself out of it seeing how I am so used to the playbook. I am invested in aplle and blackberry ecosystem so one more seems like much. Go job Blackberry!!!!!! Keep up the excellent support!!!!!!! PlayBook my first prolly not my last!

I love my PB but my god the boot time is still absolutely insane... plz tell me BB10 wont be the same

I've been wanting a tablet for a while now. My Daughter just got an IPad which of course she loves - right from the get go - but being a BB kinda guy I would like to have the PB. I like the smaller size for one thing. However, after reading most of the posts on the recent update I'm not so sure.

Keep in mind, in my case, it would be for simple personal use but I don't really need the frustration conveyed in many of these posts. Hard to sort out all the back and forth - love hate - bantering. I gotta find a place or site to get an accurate comparison on different requirements and needs. Yikes!!!

I purchased a Playbook and then received an Android 7" tablet for Christmas. I much prefer the Playbook. Maybe its because like you, I'm a "BB kinda guy". It just seems a much more powerful device than my Samsung tablet. The predictive text is most useful and very intelligent. Web browsing is great and i get the full site. I'm even making this reply with my PlayBook. I play Slacker Radio on my Playbook with it hooked up to my TV via the supplied HDMI cord to utilize my home stereo system. I've even browsed the web through my PB on my TV utilizing the remote control feature with my 9850 bridged. Switching in and out of apps and windows is easy and efficient. But for me, the coolest feature is the Bridge feature where your PB is connected to your BB device and you can access emails, BBM messages, and now apparently text messages from your PB and read them on the larger screen and more powerful processor. I just think the PlayBook works better and the whole Bridge concept puts it over the top for me. You cant believe everything you read on these comments boards. Some people don't know what they are talking about, just like anything else..

Yeah, really... How much do most people use tablets for browsing, and- wow! I'd like to bookmark this Site! Well, after a few, MIGHT be nice to, oh, I don't know, sort/categorize/backup/export/DO SOMETHING! REALLY!!!

Wow! Calm down, pal...idk, i have 31 bookmarks on mine (which is way too many, imo..) and i still find what I want to find easily. Sounds a little OCD to whine about needing to organize them... ;-)

Anyone have problems with the Text messages not organizing properly? I tried opening up some texts on the Playbook last night, and it organized all my recent text messages into one long conversation, despite it being several conversations with different people. Haven't tried it since to see it it was fixed.

my PlayBook has frozen like 3 times since this update, and I have to do the hard reset to get it back to normal. I've also noticed that Blaq has frozen twice since this update. My PlayBook never did this before. The last two days it has been okay, so hopefully it's done acting weird.

Other than that, I still love my PlayBook. I'd really like to see RIM release a new tablet next year. It would go well with my BlackBerry 10 phone :)

I have been having issues with the texting over bridge either non responsive or multiple texts sent anyone else experience this?

Major issues with the browser now. It's jumpy especially with any flash heavy websites and it crashed a few times already. Only smooth operation happens on very light web pages with minimal images. This stinks, every thing else seems to function properly. Noticed more memory and a little better battery life too. I installed the update twice differently, second time using a security swipe first. Any one with similar issues or fixes? If not I'll definitely be downgrading soon. Everything was super smooth on for my wife and I both! Sucky poo...

My experience mirrors yours. The 2.1 beta did MUCH better web rendering with heavy flash sites. I'm a heavy yahoo email user and using it now is UNBEARABLE! I "could" use the Android mail app, but it's not as fluid as using the browser. Can anyone PLEASE tell me what in the world is going on with the PB email? When I attempt to put mail in folders, it shows they're in a folder, but when I go to yahoo mail thru any browser, the email aren't anywhere to be found. THIS is an absolutely unthinkable mistake on RIM behave.

No, flash player is cumbersome and it does cause the browser to crash on heavy sites. Even youtube did it. Now, turn OFF flash and the browser doesn't crash. Quite easy to do if you ask me. Alas, I have NEVER had it crash on me.

You know what, I found the culprit to be Java! I keep Java disabled until I actually need it and with ease turn it back on. So far so great! Its kind of an out of way action but not detrimental. Yahoo unfortunately uses lot of Java so I don't if it would help you. Instead disable Flash see whats happens.
Also what would be incredible was if there was an adblock for the browser. People asking for Silly Birds and other junk apps, get a $5 adblock app and I'll pay lol! The PB browser in general is awesome but too many junk ads on websites slows down the experience.

My findings so far (mixed):

-Scrolling webpages using Bridge (remote control) seems ultra smooth now.
-Scrolling in general seems better, however facebook's (using top bar now -scrolls/jitters with you when scrolling.
-Browser speed has NOT improved - it's still the same as compared to previous official OS. I feel with the times we've said the browser is faster since every OS update one would think we would by now have the world's fastest browser :)
-Launching apps (contacts, emails, email, etc) are a fraction second slower than previous OS.
-Memory management is WAY better on 2.1 as opposed to previous ones.
-Battery life started off very bad, seems to be stabilizing now.
-Boot up time is still bad, maybe a few seconds faster.
-We lost the triple tap to make a drop down menu "stick" - A huge loss and navigating some pages now has become literally impossible. Now you sort of have to tap and drag your finger across and hope the menu sticks.

Since the update all i have to do to wake up my PlayBook is touch the screen rather than swiping from bottom to top.. Seems simpler but now i sometimes touch the screen while its sleeping by accident & it comes on kinda annoying anyone else?

I NOTICED THIS TODAY! I would rather swipe as well, but I think they did it to make it more User Friendly, since they're use to tapping a button to wake up a device. This is great for that purpose, but for you and me (#TeamBlackberry) not so much. Have you noticed that you can also swipe down from the Top Bezel on the home screen & the Options Menu drops now? Which is SUPER!

HOWEVER! Just discovered that if you use the Power Button to put it to sleep, THEN you HAVE to SWIPE!!! PROBLEM SOLVED!!! Nice job RIM!!!

Wait...nevermind, that seemed to have fixed it. Try it, use the Power Button to put it to sleep and then see if you can still tap it to wake it up.

One thing I noticed in .1032 is that you are now able to click on the app publisher's name in AppWorld listings. It ultimately directs to a blank page instead of a list of their products; but the the link is now there all the same.

If you previously used CrackBerry's published method to view shared/multiple Google Calendars, you'll need to follow the same process again.

For me the upgrade has brought more problems than improvements.
- Most sideloaded android apps block very frequently now whiule before they were working well. When they block they somehow block the CPU and I cannot see videos or play other game until I restart the playbook. (And reboot time has not improved)
- My newspaper reading app "Orbyt" does not work anymore, all newspapers with black pages.
- Print to go does not work when not connected to the same wifi network.
- I see a much better battery life.

For me update brought more problems
- not able to update my applications from app store.
- keyboard is sluggish.
- no visible improvement in browser.
Not sure if this because of update or due to any other issue.

The playbook os NEEDS UNIVERSAL SEARCH!!!! Also now now when i take screenshots of movies or video it blacks out the image booooo! I used it to make wallpapers from a cool scene in a movie now its gone due to 2.1 update :( I like all the enhancements but dont remove things that worked well!!!!

the only noticeable thing that changed is the fact that I cannot sync all the google calendars with the Playbook. Thanks RIM!
I tried to go to with java disabled and used the agent switcher to Apple iPhone and nothing happened for over 12 hours so I doubt it will eventually work.

Any suggestions?

My calendar does not open, when I wipe it it works but when restore won't open. Any1 got this calendar issue?

there is still an issue within the webbrowser.

when you try to type into the search bar for the first time, the field doesnt accept any character.

you have to click aside and back again to the browser bar.

my led doesn't blink when i have a new bbm message (however, it does blink when a new email arrived), does anyone have this same issue? any solution for this so far?

Help. I can't seem to get my SMS to work on my playbook when bridge to my ATT blackberry tourch. Has anyone been sucessfull in getting the text message to work on bridge with ATT balckberry devices?

I have been watching Playbook development since the day it came out.
At the same time I have been using my iPad hoping that my Playbook one day would catch up to it...
I guess back to iPad now...
Hey Rim don't give up.

The green little circle NEVER goes away in the text messages application on my playbook. Anybody else getting that?! I've restarted / hard reset several times. No luck.

I have noticed a huge improvement in battery usage. When I would get to work 100% when I get home it would be at 40% ..

Then the next morning it would be "dong dong" Now when I get home it is at 68% to 52%.. And no "dong dong" in the morning..


Nothing has changed, there are still problems with hardware acceleration in browser, appworld, facebook etc, etc... Browser sometimes crushes or stays as non responsive ( for browser performance try this two links and see for your self: or ) try to compare with iPad, to get an idea.... touch screen sometimes doesn't detect while been pressed, when openng new link in browser it is sluggish and too slow. Same situation is with app world by pressing any of options ( games or apps ) thos part goes to developers: no decent turn by turn navigation with offline maps (please dont mention magellan or anything simmilar, because it sucks) no other browser than native or ported one from android.... Overall satisfaction: very dissaponted.

The most important improvement to me is the android player. Especially because you cant distinguish between native and android PAID apps in app world. Too often I've purchased an app only to find out its android and limited to its environment. Now I can run multiple android apps side by side, and I believe they are in their own processes, so an issue with one won't crash the other. Also of course it just behaves more like a native app because you can take advantage of PB's awesome multitasking. Very nice!

Agreed with the poster above. What is the point of an Android Player if the Android apps run like kids with Down's Syndrome? I'm so pleased with this update, it seems they finally hashed out the major issues they had with their platform. BB 10 is going to be great if this is any indication! Keep up the good work guys.

I'm having issue with the browser since the upgrade when I'm using my wifi connection would doing a hard reset help or can I do something to reset my browser setting without having upload my apps and pictures.

Sad! Very Sad! The nightmare is back after I updated to 2.1. The battery is dying like no tomorrow. I don't know how to downgrade back to .358. I should have known better and backup first... too bad so sad...

Since updating to 2.1 I have lost all my yahoo contacts and can't add them back in??? My mail and calendar are fine - just get an error with my contacts! Any help please :)

Help. Blackberry Bridge Text Messages with the new version incorrectly associates the name of the person who actually texted me with someone else in my contact list. I updated the Bridge on my Blackberry and still happens. When I first open the Bridge Text Messages it shows the true sender for a second or two and then switches to a random person in my contacts.

Any ideas?