Traveling with the Playbook is a little challenging
I have been traveling the last couple of weeks with my Playbook since I was able to figure out why my Blackberry would not allow the tether. FYI, there are limits to the number of active connections to Bluetooth. If you exceed those limits with more than 16 services attached to the Blackberry handheld, the Playbook will not connect. Who really knows what I broke to make this work.
So, why is it challenging to travel with this? As I’ve posted before, there is no native mail client on the Playbook. I know I hear it’s coming, but it desperately needs it. Without a native email client, it is physically impossible to do email unless you use webmail, and if you use your Blackberry to get email, using other functionality on the Playbook is impossible. Let me explain.
In order to use the Playbook for email, you have to bridge the Playbook to the Blackberry. While traveling, this is a challenge. First, let me start with traveling by plane. In order to do email and stay connected on a plane, I’ve been using GoGo. So, I turn on WiFi on my Blackberry, connect to my GoGo account, and WiFi starts working. I then bridge the Playbook to my Blackberry. Now, on the Playbook I’m now doing email. I try to launch other apps. Let’s say I try to use Twitter, use App World, check the weather, look up directions with Bing maps, etc. Guess what happens? I get prompted that I need to connect to a WiFi network. So, I launch the browser and try to log in to GoGo, and it wants to disconnect my Blackberry from GoGo in order to connect the Playbook. I can understand one login, otherwise the whole plane can connect with one account in flight. So, what a mess to use the Playbook. I have to use all the apps on the smaller screen Blackberry to do anything.
Next, move to a hotel. Yeah, I have to connect the Playbook to hotel WiFi, or a mobile hotspot (like a MiFi), in order to get the Playbook to do anything other than email. Unless I bridge the Blackberry, I can’t do email. Right now, this is just very cumbersome to use while traveling. No one works this way. OK, maybe some diehard Blackberry fans work this way, but I don’t. The other tablets (iPad, Tab, Xoom) don’t work this way. I have native email support and can completely forget my PDA and Computer.
Time to mothball the Playbook until the updates are there. This just isn’t a usable device for me right now, and the apps are still a limiting factor. I personally think they released it before it was really ready, my again, that’s just my personal opinion.
I know I JUST published my top 5 devices, but I’ll be updating that shortly. I started that blog post a week and a half ago, and after a solid two weeks of using the Blackberry as my primary device (with no other devices to back me up since I traveled without them), and using my Playbook, I’m finding many more issues with the Blackberry, and it’s now slipping in the polls. I’ll update the post later for exactly what I mean, but needless to say, the pro’s (namely the unified inbox) is not enough to keep it at the top of the list with the additional con’s I’ve discovered. That’s always the way it is isn’t it? As soon as you say something or publish something, it’s outdated. No spoilers on how far down my Torch slid after two weeks.