Exciting news! An update to the BlackBerry Tablet OS is coming to the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet this week. BlackBerry Tablet OS v1.0.3 brings a bunch of new features to the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, including a Video Chat application and BBM support via BlackBerry Bridge, so we’ve compiled a list of important need-to-know facts and tips so you can take advantage of these features right after you install the update. Let’s get started!

BlackBerry PlayBook Video Chat
The Video Chat application enables video and voice over Wi-Fi calling between BlackBerry PlayBook tablets in peer-to-peer or enterprise environments using your BlackBerry® ID profile. Here are some of the features I’m really excited about:

  • One-Click Calls – With just one click you can make a call from your Video Chat contact list, log of recent calls or simply by entering the BlackBerry ID email address of the person you want to call.
    Incoming Call Notifications – You will receive a notification pop-up when a new video call comes in, allowing you to accept the call as either a video or voice call, or decline the call. For those quiet moments — such as when you’re watching a movie, playing a game or listening to music — you will also have the ability to simply set the “Do Not Disturb” option and the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet will automatically ignore all incoming calls.
    Powerful In-Call Functions – By using the picture-in-picture function you can easily preview what your camera is seeing prior to placing the call to see the video feed you will be sending. You can also easily switch cameras from front to rear so your friends can see what you see, and for private moments you can mute/unmute audio or make or take calls using voice only.
    Friends List – BlackBerry PlayBook Video Chat comes complete with a Friends List for maintaining your contacts. A friendly name and a picture can easily be added to a contact to personalize the entry and a Call Log makes it simple to keep track of who called, as well as when and what calls were missed. Friends are added using their BlackBerry ID profile.
    Video Chat Multitasking – Thanks to the power of the BlackBerry Tablet OS and its true multitasking capabilities, video and voice over Wi-Fi chats can continue running in the background while you interact with other applications.
    HDMI Video Chat – In addition to chatting using the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet’s high-resolution screen, Video Chat supports HDMI output when in ‘Mirror Mode’, allowing you to output what is on your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet’s screen to a larger HD television or monitor.



BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) Support via BlackBerry Bridge
BlackBerry Tablet OS v1.0.3 expands the BlackBerry Bridge experience to include BBM. BlackBerry smartphone users with BlackBerry Bridge enabled can now mirror their smartphone BBM on the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet’s large high-resolution display over a secure Bluetooth connection. BBM via BlackBerry Bridge features:

  • Full BBM Chat Functionality – Either one-to-one or multi-person chats.
    BBM Status Updates – Let your friends know how you feel about your new BlackBerry PlayBook tablet!
    Photo Sharing – Via the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet or your BlackBerry smartphone SD card.
    BBM Alerts – New BlackBerry Messenger alerts will appear on the BlackBerry PlayBook notification ribbon.



Document Editing via BlackBerry Bridge
In addition to BBM, BlackBerry Tablet OS v1.0.3 now adds document-editing support via BlackBerry Bridge to the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. This means that documents sitting on your BlackBerry smartphone can now be accessed via secure Bluetooth connection, edited on the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet’s large high-resolution display and then saved back to your BlackBerry smartphone. Here are some important aspects of document editing via BlackBerry Bridge to note:

  • File Access – Access to your pictures, documents, spreadsheets and slideshows via either email over BlackBerry Bridge or the BlackBerry Bridge files application. With BlackBerry Bridge, you can view photos and office documents and edit spreadsheets and text-based documents.
    BlackBerry Internet Service Support – When bridged to a BlackBerry smartphone with a BIS service plan, users can select to either save their document locally on the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet or back onto their BlackBerry smartphone SD card.
    BlackBerry Enterprise Server Support – When bridged to a BlackBerry smartphone operating on a BlackBerry Enterprise Server, documents automatically get saved back to the BlackBerry smartphone SD card to help ensure corporate data is kept secure.



Home Screen Browser Bookmarks
Users can now quickly save a BlackBerry PlayBook Browser bookmark to the PlayBook tablet home screen for easy access. Select the browser bookmark from the home screen, and the BlackBerry PlayBook browser will automatically launch the webpage you want to see!

How to upgrade to BlackBerry Tablet OS v1.0.3
Users who purchase and activate a BlackBerry PlayBook tablet on or after Tuesday, May 3rd will automatically upgrade to v1.0.3 as part of the BlackBerry PlayBook setup process. Existing BlackBerry PlayBook users will be presented with a software update notification on the BlackBerry PlayBook status ribbon, or they can go check for the software update at any time in the settings menu under Software Updates. The BlackBerry Tablet OS update must be performed over a Wi-Fi connection and will take approximately 15 minutes to complete.

Post a comment and let us know what you think of these new features added to the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet!

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