Feeds

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

RIM's fondleslab needs all the love it can muster

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop
Web giant looking into why version 5.0 of Android is crippling older slabs
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
SLURP! Flick your TONGUE around our LOLLIPOP – Google
Android 5 is coming – IF you're lucky enough to have the right gadget
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search
Microsoft system will be the default for browser in US until 2020
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
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.
The hidden costs of self-signed SSL certificates
Exploring the true TCO for self-signed SSL certificates, including a side-by-side comparison of a self-signed architecture versus working with a third-party SSL vendor.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.