These two screenshots showcase the extent of features available when using BlackBerry Bridge to tether a PlayBook, to a BlackBerry Z10. What….???!!! What happened to all the features? When I discovered that I no longer had access to all the awesome features that I had enjoyed with my Curve 9320, via BlackBerry Bridge, on my new Z10, I was pretty disappointed. BlackBerry Bridge was one of my favorite things about my BlackBerry phone/tablet combo, and arguably, one of the most compelling reasons to get both a BlackBerry phone and tablet. However, the stripped down version of BlackBerry Bridge available for BlackBerry 10 devices is quite disappointing. As you can see in the screenshots above, it still offers data tethering and access to some files stored on the smartphone via the tablet’s file manager. The remote control, presenter, and remote keyboard features are all still present, along with the ‘Open on PlayBook’ option for photos. What is missing however, are all the features you see in the screenshot to the right (when tethered to my OS 7.1 BB Curve 9320), there is no longer the ability to access your BBM, Email, Contacts, Texts, Canendar, Notes and Tasks that are stored on your BlackBerry phone, on your PlayBook. These were features that I used on a regular basis, and I am quite disappointed to see them go.
My speculation is that we will see a new take on BlackBerry Bridge with BlackBerry 10 for the PlayBook, when paired with a BB10 Smartphone. Perhaps new ways of integrating bridged files and information within apps that does not requre seperate apps to access. For example, if in the Remember app on the PlayBook, there was a separate category in the peak menu for bridged notes? Although the example on the left is only my crude edit-in of my educated guess of how it might be implemented, I could see this concept working well.
Hopefully the features that are currently available on Legacy devices when bridged to a PlayBook will be available soon with BlackBerry 10 devices, but at the moment, I am quite disappointed with the lack of features available with BlackBerry bridge when tethered to my Z10. We’ll see what comes along in the way of Bridge features with the BB10 update for the PlayBook, but for now, you’ll be stuck with features that are definitely sub-par to what was previously available. Let’s hope it doesn’t stay that way for long.