What Do You Do With BlackBerry Bridge If Using In-Flight Wi-Fi?

Rod Simmons from Simple Mobile Review asked me a really good question about BlackBerry Bridge that I wanted to put here on RIMarkable for debate amongst the BlackBerry faithful.

Let’s say you’re about to leave on an international flight.   You buy in-flight Wi-Fi so that you can browse the web, check and respond to email, play a game or two, etc., etc.  If you have a tablet like the iPad or iPad 2, you simply use it with the in-flight Wi-Fi.  No brainer there…  What do you do, however, if you have the BlackBerry PlayBook and use BlackBerry Bridge for email?

Do you get the Wi-Fi for you BlackBerry so that it can access your email?  Do you get Wi-Fi for the PlayBook so that you can access the web on a bigger screen with full fidelity?  Do you get Wi-Fi access for both devices?  What do you do?

Rod went on to say that he thinks that BlackBerry Bridge has a lot of potential because he is seeing more and more people opting to use their tablet devices for email over their phones, BlackBerry devices included, so long as they have internet connectivity.  The problem, however, is that BlackBerry Bridge is fairly limited if you only have access to Wi-Fi from just one device with no cellular service, and, you would like to do more with your PlayBook than just use it for email.

What do you guys think?  It seems to me like BlackBerry Bridge would play well with road warriors, but, not being able to use your PlayBook effectively while in flight seems like it could be a bit of an issue…


  • Norman R.

    Interesting question. Since BB Bridge connects over a secure Bluetooth connection, would it it be possible to route internet connectivity back to your BlackBerry via that connection?

    • http://www.rimarkable.com Robb Dunewood

      I was wondering about that myself… I know that BlackBerry Bridge doesn’t do this now, but, could it?

      I am sure the next question would be, could the BlackBerry route IP back to the PlayBook over Bluetooth?

  • Larry Hammond

    This won’t be much of an issue once the BlackBerry PlayBook gets a native email client…

  • Laurent Maroun

    The Playbook not having a native email client was a poor decision by Research in Motion. This question highlights the confusion they have created in the market.

    What is most interesting is people are opting to use a tablet over smartphone for email. If the use of tablets over smartphone, due to screen size, is a growing trend then RIM stands to benefit. I think Robb said it best the iPad replaces nothing. It is needed for nothing you cannot already do; yet it is necessary.

    • Larry Hammond

      This was a horrible decision, but, it simply wouldn’t have been a BlackBerry if RIM didn’t figure out a way to screw something major up before it’s launch. I was actually beginning to think that the PlayBook had a shot… Then, no way to get email on a BlackBerry PlayBook unless you have a piece of crap BlackBerry already. That is classic RIM, unfortunately…

      • Norman R.

        That’s a little harsh, dontcha think?

        • Larry Hammond

          C’mon Norm. Whether you are a BlackBerry fan or not, you have to admit, that not putting an email client on a BlackBerry tablet was a mistake that should get at least several people fired.

          My point is that with all the missteps that RIM has made over the passed several years, going back to the original Storm, something this dumb is kind of par for course for them.

          This won’t be much of an issue once the PlayBook gets a native email client, but, RIM should be called out for such a monumental blunder…

          • Steve

            I think RIM has made a lot of mistakes in the last few years, and the market has definitely past them by. I don’t get the sense that 2011 will be their resurgent year, but I am hearing rumblings of some major changes for 2012 (if it isn’t too late).

            All that being said, I think they are really struggling with the security of locking down a tablet for it’s enterprise data. If they allow the device to get email/data from the enterprise directly, it has to be locked down extremely tight. If they leave all the information on the Blackberry itself, and bridge, supposedly they don’t have to worry about it, for when the bridge is broken, the data resides on the Blackberry solely.

            They have boxed themselves into a corner with their relentless focus on security, and since securty is their stock in trade, they need to worry about it on the tablet more than Apple or Android. The two A’s are able to have the luxury of being a consumer first device, and they leave the security to the enterprise to figure out.

  • a1by

    You can use the bluetooth DUN to connect up your internet for PlayBook via your BB. Also when you get in-flight Wi-Fi is it per device?

    • Larry Hammond

      True, but, if you are on plan with no cellular access, that won’t do you much good.

      I can’t speak for every plane, but, wi-fi has always been per device when I’ve used it. You usually just connect up via your browser on the device you want to use…

    • Laurent Maroun

      GoGo wireless uses a login so you can switch devices. Keep in mind a crap load of BlackBerry devices don’t even have WiFi.

  • Larry Hammond

    meant to say on a plane with no cellular access

  • bluehorseshoe

    I’d return the damn device and get an iPad.

    Seriously though, RIM screwed this up. They kill the excitement for folks who may not have a BB but are intrigued about the PlayBook and it’s size (which they may view as an advantage over the iPad). Because of the ‘out-of-the-box’ requirement of a BB to do email, calendar, etc., it’s almost deemed useless. By the time they roll out the native client for the PlayBook, my interest will have dispersed and my iPad will be in my bag.

    Poor decisions by RIM, and it comes straight from the top.

  • Steve

    You could always use UMA with T-Mobile and have SMS and data through the Blackberry and get data on the Playbook as well via the bridge. Nice and easy.

  • Jono

    Getting email through the playbook is a technology problem. As far as I can tell, you can only have one device connected to a BlackBerry Enterprise Server. They decided to make a tablet that could display content from the BlackBerry handheld. Does the Playbook tether and get internet service through a BlackBerry? Are the speeds the same?

    It does seem that they kludged this Playbook technology together. We’ll see.

  • Alejandro

    I have an ipad2 with wifi only, and happen to have a BB Torch with full Internet access.. Is there a way to maKe the two damn things bridge up so I can connect my iPad to the web using the bb’s connection? Or am I just having a sad dream?

  • Anonymous

    The Playbook works perfectly over Bridge using only wifi, I’m using it over wifi only right now! :-)