Lately we’ve been hearing some grumblings from BES admins regarding an essential feature for the BlackBerry PlayBook. As you might know, the first PlayBook to be released will not have integrated e-mail, BBM, and other native apps. These will get pulled to the PlayBook from your BlackBerry smartphone using the ‘Bridge’ feature via bluetooth. RIM has said the native apps will eventually get added to the PlayBook through software updates, but with no time-frame given.

The PlayBook will not be BES manageable, if you didn’t know. RIM decided to do this as a way to make things easier for BES admins. Although, we’ve been told this decision may be affecting the PlayBook’s appeal to enterprise users, as you will not be able to send data back from the PlayBook. Any data that is sent to the PlayBook will be read-only and cannot be changed using the PlayBook. Any apps developed by a corporation for the PlayBook and accessed, for example to check inventory or patient data, cannot be edited. Since the first PlayBook will only be capable of one way MDS data flow, and it will almost only be a viewer, we’re wondering if there will be much of a need for corporations to pick it up. We almost think businesses could  just stick with the BlackBerry Presenter.

We know the QNX operating system is still in development (with room to improve), but some BES admins have come forward and wonder if the PlayBook may have been pushed out too early. In some respects it seems the BlackBerry Bridge app is really just that, a bridge, to fill a gap for the time being. The general thought is beginning to be that it may have been a better idea for RIM to wait until they had a PlayBook with built in native apps and two way data flow. Rather, not risk it with something you have to patch in order to get it on store shelves quick enough to compete in the ‘tablet wars’.

RIM claims they decided to have the PlayBook pair with a BlackBerry smartphone for security reasons and save on data costs. Both sound appealing, but we are worried that the first edition of the PlayBook may not sell as well as it could. If you didn’t need a BlackBerry smartphone in order to use the PlayBook, are belief is it could draw new subscribers to the world of BlackBerry. Time will tell, but no matter what we hear we’re still psyched for the PlayBook’s launch in the next couple of months!

Does the ‘bridge’ feature worry you at all? Or, do you think it will work flawlessly and it doesn’t matter if you can’t send data straight from the PlayBook? Did you leave BlackBerry, you want the PlayBook, but won’t get it because you’d have to get a BlackBerry smartphone again?


Image via IntoMobile