How to Update the OS on the BlackBerry PlayBook

By Kevin Michaluk on 15 Apr 2011 12:57 pm EDT

Video PlayBook 101: How to update the Operating System on the BlackBerry PlayBook

While writing up our in-depth BlackBerry PlayBook Review I was on pre-release operating system software which meant I had to upgrade the OS a couple of times as updates were released. On a BlackBerry Smartphone that would make for a slightly long and annoying process, but on the BlackBerry PlayBook updates are absolutely dead simple. RIM has built in a simple and powerful over-the-air software update system into the QNX-based BlackBerry Tablet OS that everyone will appreciate. For a step by step set of instructions you check out our BlackBerry PlayBook Software Update How To, and to see the process in video you can check out the video above.

With a brand new device you may be walked through a software update while going through the initial device setup wizard, but once you're up and running you'll find software updates in the Settings > Software Updates screen. Simply tap the Check for Updates button, and if an update is available you can tap to download it. While the update is downloading, you still have full use of your BlackBerry PlayBook. Once downloaded, you'll have to stop what you're doing to go through the Install process, which takes a few minutes and a device reboot is required. Everything is really simple and really seamless. Kudos to RIM on their implementation of software updates on the BlackBerry. Loving it!

Read More BlackBerry PlayBook Help and How to Articles
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Reader comments

How to Update the OS on the BlackBerry PlayBook


Dude. How about any average user who's gone through the process of having to upgrade the OS on a BlackBerry Smartphone via Desktop Manager or App Loader. This is a great feature.  What I'm curious to see is what happens if you ever brick your PlayBook and need to reload from scratch... maybe it's unbrickable. Curious to know.  Also... just reposting some of the videos that were in my review for all to see for people who may not have seen them in the review (because the review was so dang long).

I'm hoping he meant who cares about being first because this is A HUGE bonus to the Playbook.

anything that keeps you away from iTunes is awesome.

Great video Kevin.

How long did that take from initial download to just after the reboot?

Hoping they deliver on the 19th and don't just you pre-orders!!

Looking at the time at the top of the screen. Initial download was around 7:32, finish of reboot was around 7:45. So around 15 minutes for an OS update/restart is an improvement over a BB phone.

Crackberry is killing me with all these videos, what sucks is I have an exam on the 20th, so I'll pick up my play book but won't open it till the 20th when my summer officaly starts!

I heard CNN bashed the Playbook this morning because of flash being too slow. The "tech expert" was an iPad and iPhone user. He doesn't know what a true tablet is (or how flash is played on a tablet.... because he uses an iPad). He has 2 of the same devices, just one is bigger. Playbook is the best tablet that is going to be on the market.

If that's the same segment I heard, the expert was Jonathon Geller, of Boy Genius Report, so he does know what he's talking about. I didn't hear anything about Flash. The report was basically neutral. He was positive toward BB on the size issue, saying essentially that some people will like the smaller size. When asked about all of the initial negative reviews, he said things would get better when BB released a few software updates.

Yes, when he was asked, he admitted he used an Ipad and Iphone.

Those are some long load times lol but I can live it. Also do you think we we will be able to shrink the OS? :P

Cool gives us one more thing to laugh at iPad users about. iPad2 slogan:No Plu No Play. LOL!!

As someone said on another website, apple users are just so scared of their being competition they will bash anything.

I do hope some Blackberry guys get some screen time, no email? umm sorry? where did you hear that? Let me use Early Bird here to open and check my email....

Currently, I am using BB 9780 and Ipad(1st generation). I'm really tired of this Playbook things. RIM is simply following herd and have no idea wat they trying to prove with this playbook. I like BB but just give me one reason....why I should buy playbook over Ipad? Touch screen phone, tablets ...pls leave it to apple, android. I think its better if they focus on what they are good at.....Just my 2 cents.

Well, on the surface and the way the media portrays the playbook, it looks like they are following the herd. However, this tablet isn't supposed to be the better ipad, that's Apple's goal. RIM has been clear the playbook is supposed to be an entertainment and work device thats portable, multitasking in nature, compatible with a blackberry phone, and some other features :D These are not exactly goals for apple.

If I wanted something in line with what the ipad aims for, such as large screen, smooth experience, lots of apps, and many other things the ipad does wonderfully, I would have bought the ipad.

But I have different needs, which the playbook provides!

I think RIM has accomplished the goals it set out to do and will sell to enough people to make RIM money and have happy customers. I think I've given quite a few reasons why someone (like myself) would buy one ;)

Let's not be hasty and jump to conclusions like the ipad is better. It is better at some things and not at others, where certain strengths benefit some and not all.