The Complete BlackBerry PlayBook Guide

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Got a BlackBerry PlayBook but not sure how to use all the functions on it? Not a problem as we’ve come up with a comprehensive guide to all the basic stuff you can do on your tablet.

Navigate using the links below or download the full guide by clicking on the PDF logo. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, just leave a question in the comments and we’ll try our best to get you an answer.

Software

Is there a software update available for my tablet?

The BlackBerry PlayBook runs on RIM’s QNX operating system and updates will be rolled out from time to time. The easiest way to check if your PlayBook is running the latest software is to check on the tablet itself. Read on to find out how.

How will I know if a software update has been released?

  • Pull down on the homescreen to see the Settings menu.
  • Click Software Updates.
  • Your tablet will now let you know if new software is available to download. If so, follow the on-screen instructions.

Where can I get more help?

If you have any more questions about your tablet’s software, head over to the P4u Forum and get in touch with the team, who will be more than happy to help you out.

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Connectivity

How do I change my tablet’s Bluetooth name?

  • In the Settings menu, click Bluetooth.
  • Choose Properties.
  • Tap on the Device Name box.
  • Change the name to whatever you like. Press Return when you’re done.

How do I pair my tablet with another Bluetooth device?

  • Tap Bluetooth in the Settings menu.
  • Make sure your tablet’s Bluetooth receiver is switched on by checking On next to the Bluetooth Connectivity option.
  • You’ll also need to switch the Discoverable function to On in order for the device you’re pairing with to pick up your tablet.
  • Tap Add New Device and select Search.
  • Choose the name of the device that you want to pair with.
  • If you’re asked for a passkey but are not sure what it is, then use the default password which is 0000.
  • You should now be connected!

How do I turn off Bluetooth?

  • From the Settings menu, tap Bluetooth.
  • Turn Bluetooth Connectivity to Off.

How do I remove a device from my Bluetooth pairing list?

  • Open up the Bluetooth menu from Settings.
  • Next to the Paired Devices option is a box with a pen on it. Click this icon.
  • Select the bin icon next to the name of the device you want to remove.
  • Tap Delete.
  • Hit the pen icon again when you’re finished.

How do I stop people sending me stuff over Bluetooth?

  • From Settings, choose Bluetooth.
  • Tap on the option box next to Discoverable. A drop-down menu should now appear.
  • Select Off.

How do I make a video call?

At the moment, you can only make video calls to others who have a BlackBerry PlayBook, so providing you’ve some mates who’ve got one too, you’re good to go.

To start a video chat, both PlayBooks need to be connected to a Wi-Fi network (you can find out how to do this in the Internet section of this guide). Once you’re online, simply enter the BlackBerry ID email address of the person you want to call and your tablet will do the rest.

How do I connect my tablet to my computer?

  • Before you get started, you’ll need to download the BlackBerry Desktop Software which you can get from the official BlackBerry website.
  • On your tablet, go to the Settings menu and tap Storage and Sharing.
  • Make sure the File Sharing option is turned on.
  • Connect your tablet to your computer using the USB cable that comes in the box.
  • Your computer should automatically pick up your tablet and display it as an external drive.

How do I connect my tablet to my TV?

  • First off, you’ll need to buy a HDMI cable that has a micro HDMI port at one end and a normal HDMI port at the other.
  • Insert the micro HDMI port into the bottom of your tablet and the normal end into your TV.
  • Your tablet should automatically recognise your TV, in which case, you’ll now be able to see the display on your TV screen.
  • If your tablet doesn’t pick up the TV, go to Settings and tap HDMI.

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Camera

How do I take a picture on my tablet?

  • Select Camera from the main menu.
  • You will now be able to see what the PlayBook’s rear camera lens is seeing. To take a photo, tap on the Capture button on the right side of the screen.

How do I capture a video on my tablet?

  • Follow the above instructions to open up the camera.
  • Tap on the Mode icon in the top right hand corner of the screen to switch to video mode.
  • To start recording a video, tap on the Capture button.
  • Press the Capture button again when you’ve finished.

How do I record a video in 1080p?

  • Follow the above instructions to open up the video camera.
  • Swipe downwards from the top of the screen to open up the Settings menu.
  • A list of icons will now appear at the top. Tap on the second one along (it will have the video resolution displayed in it – either 480p, 720p or 1080p).
  • Choose 1080p.
  • To close the menu, simply swipe upwards.

How do I switch between the front and rear cameras?

  • Once in camera mode, you’ll see a camera icon in the bottom right corner of the screen with a green arrow next to it. If this disappears before you get the chance to press it, just tap anywhere on the display to bring it back.
  • Pressing this will switch between the front and back camera every time you tap it.

Where can I view the pictures/videos I’ve taken?

  • To view your photos, tap Pictures in the main menu and choose Camera Pictures.

  • To see a video, select Videos in the main menu. To view just the videos that you recorded, select the Recorded Videos tab at the top.

How do I delete a picture or video?

To delete a picture:

  • Open up the photo you want to delete.
  • Swipe down from the top of the screen to open up the options menu.
  • Tap Delete.
  • Press Delete again.

To delete a video:

  • Go to Videos and swipe down from the top of the screen to open the options menu.
  • Tap Edit.
  • Choose which video you want to delete by checking the small box that appears by each video. You can choose more than one clip at a time.
  • Press Delete.
  • Tap Delete again.

How many pictures can I take on my tablet?

It all depends on how much memory you have left. The BlackBerry PlayBook comes in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB models and as a rough guide, around 4GB of memory will hold about 1,600 pictures, so 16GB can hold a lot more!

What’s the longest video clip I can record?

Unlimited. It just depends on how much memory you have.

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Messaging

How do I set up my email account?

Unfortunately, the BlackBerry PlayBook doesn’t come with its own email app but if you have an AOL, Yahoo, Gmail or Hotmail account, you can get your messages delivered to your tablet using the individual apps found in the main menu.

You’ll need to be connected to the internet in order to get started, so once you’re online, simply open up whatever email app you’re using and follow the on-screen instructions.

What is BlackBerry Bridge?

BlackBerry Bridge is a nifty service that lets you check the messages, email and calendar entries stored on your BlackBerry smartphone using your PlayBook. Your BlackBerry blower needs to run at least OS 5 in order to run BlackBerry Bridge and providing it ticks that box, all you need to do to get it working is connect your phone and tablet up via Bluetooth. Read on to find out how to set up BlackBerry Bridge.

How do I use BlackBerry Bridge?

  • Firstly, you’ll need to download BlackBerry Bridge for your smartphone, and you can get it free from BlackBerry App World.
  • Make sure that the Bluetooth receiver on both devices is on.
  • When you’ve done this, go to the Settings menu on your PlayBook and choose BlackBerry Bridge.
  • Tap Setup, then Next.
  • Press Continue.
  • Open up the BlackBerry Bridge app on your phone and click Add New Tablet.
  • Press Continue.
  • Scan the barcode that appears on your PlayBook’s screen using your phone’s camera then simply leave it to work its magic!

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Media

How do I put music onto my tablet?

  • On your tablet, go to the Settings menu and tap Storage and Sharing.
  • Make sure the File Sharing option is turned on.
  • Connect your tablet to your computer using the USB cable that comes in the box.
  • Your computer should automatically pick up your tablet and display it as an external drive.
  • Drag and drop the music files from your computer into the BlackBerry PlayBook folder.
  • When you’re finished, make sure you safely disconnect your PlayBook from your computer before removing the USB cable.

How do I make a music playlist?

  • Press Music in the main menu.
  • Tap the PlayBook Playlist icon at the bottom of the screen.
  • Select Search All.
  • You’ll now be able to see all the songs stored on your tablet. To start adding tracks to the playlist, swipe down from the top of the screen to open the options menu. Tap Edit.
  • Simply tap on the song you want to add (you can choose more than one at a time). A tick will appear next to the names of the tracks you’ve selected.
  • Press Add. Your songs will now be added to the playlist.

How do I delete a song from a playlist?

  • Open up the playlist and swipe down from the top of the screen to open the options menu.
  • Select Edit.
  • Tap on the names of the song you want to delete (you can choose more than one at a time). A tick will appear next to the name of each track you’ve selected.
  • Press Remove.

How do I add a playlist from my computer to my tablet?

  • Before you get started, you’ll need to download the BlackBerry Desktop Software which you can get from the official BlackBerry site.
  • Once you’ve done this, connect your tablet to your computer using the USB cable.
  • Click Music.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to add playlists that you’ve created on iTunes or Windows Media Player for example to your tablet.
  • Safely disconnect your tablet from your computer when you’re finished.

How do I download music from the Music Store?

You can download music on the go using your tablet thanks to the Music Store app, which you’ll find in the main menu. To download a track from here, you’ll need to set up an account first and you’ll be asked to do this the first time you use the service. Then:

  • Select a song or album that tickles your fancy.
  • Tap the price button.
  • Enter your account details and click Sign In.
  • Confirm your method of payment and tap Buy Now to start the download.

What type of media files does my tablet support?

The BlackBerry PlayBook supports:

  • MP3, WMA and AAC+ audio files.
  • DivX, WMV, XviD and 3gp video files.

How many songs can my tablet hold?

The BlackBerry PlayBook comes in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB models and if you consider that 8GB of memory can hold about 2,000 songs, you’ll be able to fit double that if you have a 16GB version (and even more if you’ve got 32GB or 64GB to play with!).

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Apps

Does my tablet have an app store?

Yes indeed. It comes with access to the BlackBerry App World, although it’s worth bearing in mind that not all the apps in App World will work on the PlayBook.

How do I download an app?

  • Make sure you’re connected to the internet and then tap the App World icon in the main menu.
  • Enter your BlackBerry ID if asked to log into the store.
  • Search for the app you want to download.
  • When you’ve found an app, simply tap Download to start downloading it if it’s free, or select Purchase then Buy Now if you need to pay for it.
  • The app will now download onto your PlayBook.

How do I update an app?

  • Go into BlackBerry App World and tap My World.
  • Select Upgrade and follow the on-screen instructions.

How do I close an app?

Simply swipe up from the bottom of the screen to minimise the app. To close it, tap on the small x icon that appears underneath the app thumbnail in the multitasking area.

How do I delete an app?

Within the BlackBerry App World, just tap on the app you want to delete in the My World section and press Delete.

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Internet

How do I connect to a Wi-Fi network on my tablet?

  • Open up the Settings menu and click Wi-Fi.
  • Next to the Wi-Fi Connectivity option, select On.
  • Your tablet will scan for any available networks. Tap on the name of the network you want to connect to.
  • Type in a password if required.
  • Tap Connect.

How do I sign into my social networks?

The BlackBerry PlayBook comes with pre-loaded Facebook and Twitter apps, which you’ll find in the main menu. Just tap on the one you want to load up, accept the terms of use and enter your account details. Easy.

How do I tether my tablet?

  • You can tether your PlayBook with any Bluetooth-enabled smartphone, however, bear in mind that this will use up data so make sure you have a suitable data plan within your phone contract before you start.
  • To tether your tablet, choose Internet Tethering from the Settings menu.
  • Select the device from the list that you want to tether with.
  • Now, you’ll need to choose a service provider from the list that appears or create a custom profile by clicking Add and then filling in the required information.
  • Tap Connect.
  • To disconnect, go to Settings on your PlayBook, tap Internet Tethering and select Disconnect.

How do I open a new tab in the web browser?

  • Open up the web browser by choosing Browser in the main menu.
  • Once the browser opens up, swipe down from the top of the screen.
  • Select New Tab.
  • Choose from one of your existing bookmarks or enter the URL into the address bar.
  • Swipe down from the top of the screen again to view your open tabs and switch between them.

How do I close a web page?

  • Swipe down from the top of the screen to view your open tabs.
  • Tap on the small X below the thumbnail for each open web page to close it.

How do I bookmark a web page?

  • Go to the web page you want to bookmark and choose the white star icon in the top right corner of the browser (it has a  green plus sign next to it).
  • Select Add to Bookmarks.
  • You can view your bookmarks by pressing the yellow star in the top right corner of the web browser.

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