Feeds

PlayBook won't play nice with BlackBerries on AT&T

Without syncing, it's just a toy

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

RIM's new tablet the PlayBook won't synchronise with BlackBerrys on AT&T's network - a critical failing for a device which lacks an email client or calendar of its own.

The PlayBook is supposed to spend most of its life synchronised with a nearby BlackBerry, operating as a stateless device for security reasons, but AT&T customers who rushed out to buy one have discovered that the BlackBerry Bridge application (which does the synchronisation) isn't available on their network.

Attempting to download the application on a BlackBerry running on AT&T's network results in an error reading: "This application is not available on your device or for your carrier." This means that AT&T hasn't approved the Bridge application for use.

Some have suggested that this is because AT&T doesn't want PlayBooks tethered to BlackBerrys surfing the internet without paying extra, but the operator told PC World that it "only just" received the app and is still testing with a view to getting it out to customers soon.

RIM is very focused on security, but also sees the PlayBook as a means to sell more BlackBerry handsets and accompanying services, so the tablet is much happier when paired with a suitable handset.

The PlayBook will happily read webmail from any provider, but has no local email or calendar client. For those services the PlayBook runs as a bigger screen to the BlackBerry, with no state data stored locally for security reasons. That makes the device much less useful without the Bridge application.

It is only the download which is blocked, not the installation or execution of the application, so it's possible to work around AT&T's lack of approval; but it shouldn't be necessary.

Regardless of why AT&T customers can't get that Bridge it's embarrassing for RIM, and adds to the feeling that the PlayBook was rushed out without sufficient testing or development. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
You! AT&T! The only thing 'unlimited' about you is your CHEEK, growl feds
Man, we did everything but knock on their doors - carrier
The DRUGSTORES DON'T WORK, CVS makes IT WORSE ... for Apple Pay
Goog Wallet apparently also spurned in NFC lockdown
Watch out, Samsung and Apple: Xiaomi's No 3 in smartphones now
From obscurity to selling 19 million mobes a quarter
Brazil greenlights $200m internet cable to Europe in bid to outfox NSA
Only one problem: it won't make the slightest difference. And they know it
Wanna hop carriers with your iPad's Apple SIM? AVOID AT&T
Unless you want your network-swapping tech disabled for good, that is
Knocking Knox: Samsung DENIES vuln claims, says mysterious blogger is a JOKER
But YES, system does store encryption key on the device
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.