BlackBerry has released a new version of its Bridge client for BB10 and BB10 devices. The new update centers on adding features that were previously available to the older OS 7 devices such as sharing the smartphone’s internet connection with a PlayBook, controlling the PlayBook remotely, and sharing both bookmarks and files between the two thanks to the new “Share” framework built into BB10 itself. The update also adds features such as filesystem browsing for both the tablet and phone and easier account management for PlayBook use.
However the updated client also removes several key features in BlackBerry Bridge that were possible on the older generation of devices, such as BlackBerry Messenger, SMS, and email support on the PlayBook. The reason for this lies in the fact that BlackBerry has yet to update the PlayBook itself and instead will update the client again later this year to add those removed features once again.
While it may seem counter-intuitive to update a client to remove features only to issue another update later, the situation is unique to BlackBerry, owing to the differences between the older BlackBerry OS7-based devices and the newer-generation BB10 operating system and devices.
While the operating system between the PlayBook, Z10 and Q10 is the same on a technical level, the PlayBook is still running an older version of BB10 (which BlackBerry calls PlayBook OS) that is not fully compatible with both BB10 phones yet, thus the special circumstances for the BlackBerry Bridge update cycle.
US carriers have yet to announce release dates for the Z10 and also have yet to announce plans for the QWERTY-equipped Q10. While all of the US carriers have committed to the Z10 and feature their own pre-order pages, the Q10 has so far only been confirmed by Sprint and the initial March target for the US release desired by BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins may slip into late April into early May when taking US carrier testing cycles into account.