updated 11:00 am EDT, Mon May 2, 2011
PlayBook gets BBM Bridge, BB7 on new phones only
RIM had a pair of understated rollouts on Monday for the BlackBerry platform. A beta update for BlackBerry Bridge on phones, and a matching BlackBerry Messenger release, now lets the BlackBerry PlayBook lets those tethering a phone over Bluetooth use BBM with the much larger screen of the tablet. The interface on the tablet is very similar to that of other Bridge apps and has the full confirmed message system and other features.
The update doesn't require new software on the PlayBook itself, suggesting that RIM had BBM support on the tablet the entire time and just needed exposure.
Along with the new software, RIM added that the BlackBerry 7 release seen on the Bold 9900 and future phones won't make it to earlier devices. The new OS is too heavily dependent on the graphics performance of the new hardware to work even on 2010-era phones like the Style and Torch, the company said. All previous BlackBerrys have been using processors from 2008 with only basic graphics.
Underneath, BlackBerry 7 is known to be largely just a rebadge of the previously hinted at 6.1 release. Although described as a major update, most of its additions are to both accommodate newer hardware and bring minor features. [BBM via CrackBerry]