Feeds

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

RIM's fondleslab needs all the love it can muster

The essential guide to IT transformation

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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
Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store
DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! Naughty, misleading developers!
'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder
And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
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

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
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.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
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.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?