How to set up a BlackBerry Bridge connection
What is BlackBerry Bridge?
BlackBerry Bridge is a highly secure Bluetooth connection between your BlackBerry PlayBook Tablet and BlackBerry handset. By connecting the two devices via the Bridge feature, you can use the PlayBook to access your emails, contacts, calendar and files stored on the BlackBerry handset, plus you can share the 3G internet connection on your phone with your tablet, so you can stay online even when you're not near a Wi-Fi network.
The connection is made between the two devices via Bluetooth, a short range wireless technology. It's made super secure by passing through Research in Motion’s world famous servers.
Prior to the release of the PlayBook 2.0 software update, Bridge was the only way to get your contacts, calendar and mail to the device. Now with the introduction of the new Operating System, you can get these features without the need for a BlackBerry handset. You can also do more with your Bridge connection than ever before, like using your phone as a remote to control your tablet (requires PlayBook 2.0 software and above).
Setting up a BlackBerry Bridge connection
To set up BlackBerry Bridge, you’re going to need three things:
- A BlackBerry PlayBook tablet
- A BlackBerry Handset running software version 5.0 or higher
- The BlackBerry Bridge application (we talk you through downloading this in a minute)
Please note: If you are unsure which software version is running on your BlackBerry smartphone, you can check by accessing this page on the BlackBerry self help website.
If you already have the BlackBerry Bridge application installed on your handset, fab. If not, follow the guide below to find out how to install it.
Installing and using the BlackBerry Bridge app
- To start, tap on the Settings cog in the top right hand corner of your PlayBook. From here, choose BlackBerry Bridge down the left hand side
- Once Bridge is selected, if you don’t have Bluetooth turned on already, you will need to turn this on now. Select Turn On to enable Bluetooth
- Once Bluetooth is turned on, it’s time to start setting up Bridge. Choose Set Up to continue
- Start by choosing a name for your BlackBerry PlayBook. This is the name any connected device will see
- At this stage, you have a split choice. If the BlackBerry handset already has BlackBerry Bridge installed, choose Continue, else, to install BlackBerry Bridge, choose Install Now and follow the prompts
- If you have chosen to install BlackBerry Bridge at this time, grab your handset and follow the prompts. You can either install BlackBerry Bridge by scanning the barcode or by manually finding and downloading it from BlackBerry App World. To scan the barcode, start with it displayed on the BlackBerry PlayBook. On the BlackBerry Handset, open BlackBerry App World, Press the Menu Key and choose Scan a Barcode. Continue through the prompt, then point the device at the barcode displayed on the screen of the BlackBerry PlayBook. This will then take you to the BlackBerry Bridge application where you can choose to download the app itself. Simply hit Download to continue.
Once the app has been downloaded to the handset, it should be ready to use! Continue following the guide below to complete setting up BlackBerry Bridge.
Connecting your devices for the first time
Now that BlackBerry Bridge app is installed on the handset itself, you can continue setting up the pairing connection between your PlayBook and handset.
- On the BlackBerry Handset, locate and launch the BlackBerry Bridge application. If it’s the first time you’ve launched BlackBerry Bridge, you’ll need to read and accept the terms and conditions
- Once launched, read the information and then hit Add New Tablet
- If Bluetooth is turned off on the handset, you’ll need to turn it on
- Once Bridge is launched and Bluetooth turned on, select Add New Tablet to continue pairing with the PlayBook
- On the PlayBook, if the BlackBerry Bridge Installation page is displayed you need to press Back first, if it's not, press Continue to set up the bridge connection
- You'll be asked to scan the pairing barcode and set up an automatic connection. Start by tapping Continue on the BlackBerry Handset
- Point the BlackBerry Handset at the pairing barcode displayed on the BlackBerry PlayBook. Align the red square on the image viewer with the barcode displayed
- The two devices will now communicate and set up the pairing automatically. On the BlackBerry Handset, choose the services you wish to share via bridge by checking the boxes, then hit continue
- Both devices will now show the setup as complete and the connection will be displayed
Using BlackBerry Bridge features
To turn on BlackBerry Bridge, most of the time all you need to do is enable Bluetooth on both devices.
Sometimes however, you may need to fire up the Bridge application on the BlackBerry Handset and make sure the option for BlackBerry Bridge is set to On.
Once the two devices are connected to one another, a new folder appears on the BlackBerry PlayBook called BlackBerry Bridge. Inside this folder you will find icons for Messages, Contacts, Calendar, BBM, MemoPad and Tasks, depending on what you chose to make available to the PlayBook when setting up the pairing.
Don’t forget that with Bridge enabled, you’ll have access to all your normal applications on the BlackBerry PlayBook even if they use the internet. Your BlackBerry Handset can now share its internet connection with the PlayBook, which allows you to surf the web, catch up on Facebook and Twitter, email and enjoy online gaming wherever you have signal on your BlackBerry handset.
Bridge is a great feature not shared with any other device and tablet combo, which lets you take full advantage of owning both a BlackBerry smartphone and a PlayBook tablet. So, if you’re the proud owner of a PlayBook, why not compliment it with one of the latest OS7 BlackBerry Smartphones and take advantage of the services available?