One of the cool bonus features I discovered while working on CrackBerry's BlackBerry PlayBook Review was the device's support for a Bluetooth Mouse. I had assumed a Bluetooth keyboard would work, which it does, but was really shocked to see the PlayBook pair with my Apple Mighty Mouse (for those wondering if you can use your BlackBerry phone's keyboard to type on the PlayBook, that doesn't seem to be the case from what I've figured out so far). With a Bluetooth mouse paired, a cursor pops up on the PlayBook's display and you can navigate the PlayBook without having to touch it with your fingers at all.
What's the usage case here? Well, it's sitting on couch with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse and having your PlayBook hooked up via HDMI on a big screen tv, which is exactly what I did in the video above. Party time! Also, without having the software keyboard taking up precious real estate when typing now, in browser apps like Facebook chat become more user friendly. I think the longer term goal of course is to make BlackBerry a powerhouse in mobile computing (they're no longer just a Smartphone maker). Having mouse support built-in is huge for this. You have a tablet for leisure mode, or when you're on the go, and at the office you hook it up to a mouse, keyboard and monitor and get your work done.
Note, it took me a while to figure out the process for bezel gestures with a mouse (jump to 5 minutes into this video to see how excited I get when I do finally figure it out). To gesture on the PlayBook with a Bluetooth Mouse connected,
you click and hold down on the right mouse button when at an edge or corner of the display, and swipe back towards the middle of the screen. Update: ACTUALLY, all you have to do is RIGHT MOUSE click when near an edge and it will do the gesture. No need to hold down and swipe. Briliant!!! Spread the word on that!
While this might not be a feature PlayBook owners put to use every day, it's definitely a cool feature that once again showcases the underlying power of the QNX-based BlackBerry Tablet OS. Check out the video above.... it felt like I was making history with this one. :)