BlackBerry Bridge updated for BlackBerry 10, drops some features

BlackBerry has updated its BlackBerry Bridge solution to support its recently launched BlackBerry 10 operating system. For the uninitiated, Bridge allows users of BlackBerry smartphones to share Internet connectivity, in addition to applications like BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), text messages and calendar with their BlackBerry PlayBook tablets. It also allows them to use their phone as a remote control with the PlayBook.

Talking about the update on their blog, BlackBerry informed that the new version of the solution, version 3.0, has been created especially for BlackBerry10 and will allow users to share the smartphone's Internet and Intranet (for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10-activated BlackBerry10 smartphones) connection with their PlayBook. It will also let them use the BlackBerry 10 smartphone to remote control the PlayBook and allow them to browse their phone's files through the PlayBook tablet's File Manager application. A new "Open on" option for bookmarks and files also appears in the Share menu option on a BlackBerry 10 device when a PlayBook is connected.

However, the post also lists out some limitations of the new Bridge solution. Unlike the version made for the earlier generation of BlackBerry OS, this one doesn't offer support for sharing BBM and text messages, calendar, contacts, tasks, and memos applications with the user's smartphone. In addition to this, the new solution also doesn't bring existing email accounts from the smartphone to the tablet. So users will need to configure all email accounts separately on the PlayBook tablet if they want to access them on the device.

This is a step backwards, but we believe that this might have to do with BB10 being based on a completely new platform. We assume that it also might have to do with the PlayBook getting updated to run BlackBerry10 in the near future, going by BlackBerry CEO, Thorston Heins' response to a query following the launch of BlackBerry 10. The company might be a working on a new solution compatible with the future version of the PlayBook OS.

BlackBerry promises to bring BBM and other apps as part of a future update, later this year, but till then PlayBook users who upgrade to a BlackBerry 10-based smartphone will have to live with limited Bridge functionality.

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