Feeds

Finally a use for PlayBook: Tab bodged into Windows, PS3 remote

RIM's fondleslab needs all the love it can muster

Build a business case: developing custom apps

The updated OS pushed out to PlayBooks yesterday can turn a BlackBerry handset into a remote control for Windows 7, or even Android, thanks to the wonders of Bluetooth.

The feature was spotted by the chaps over at the RIM-obsessed CrackBerry blog, who wasted no time demonstrating how a BlackBerry handset, prompted by linking up with a PlayBook, can be used to remotely control a Motorola Xoom and even a PS3, with only Apple devices refusing to place nicely.

The functionality comes from RIM's use of standard Bluetooth human-interface device protocols. The PlayBook already works well with Bluetooth keyboards and mice (though, in our experience it's best to attach the keyboard first), so the BlackBerry Remote application (running on a handset) uses the same protocol to remotely control a PlayBook, which in turn means it can be used to control any device supporting the HID Profile.

The same thing allows a Wii remote to control an Android phone, or to work as a cheap projector pen, and it's a tribute to RIM that they've implemented the standard so completely.

The new PlayBook OS is a significant overhaul, adding a native e-mail client and getting much better at integrating with cloud-based services (including Google calendar and contacts - our initial problems were resolved with a system reset).

But it's still the only mobile platform that can underline one's spelling mistakes in red, for the moment at least. That's not important to many people, but it's a killer feature for some, and the ability to push a BlackBerry handset into being a PS3 remote probably isn't a killer feature for many either, but it's got some wow factor which RIM desperately needs. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Why has the web gone to hell? Market chaos and HUMAN NATURE
Tim Berners-Lee isn't happy, but we should be
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Sin COS to tan Windows? Chinese operating system to debut in autumn – report
Development alliance working on desktop, mobe software
Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store
DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! Naughty, misleading developers!
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.