While file sharing and transferring to a BlackBerry PlayBook may not be a challenge for the technically savvy I know quite a few people who need tips and pointers. I was in the middle of writing up a great article on how to connect and transfer files to a BlackBerry PlayBook over Wi-Fi and one of my friends at RIM pointed out that RIM already has a pretty nice guide. I even learned a thing or two on how to get it to show up as a hard drive on a Mac over USB until Desktop Manager for Mac is updated to support the PlayBook.
RIM does a nice job of explaining how to connect to the BlackBerry PlayBook file system over Wi-Fi or USB (from both a Mac and PC). Keep in mind that when you are transferring large files like videos I would recommend not doing that over Wi-Fi since it could take an inordinate amount of time. On the other hand Wi-Fi transfers are perfect for music, images, documents, and other files.
The following sections outline different methods of transferring files to and from the BlackBerry PlayBook.
Complete the following steps to share files over a Wi-Fi connection:
- From the BlackBerry PlayBook home screen, select the settings icon.
- Select Storage and Sharing.
- Toggle Wi-Fi Sharing to ON.
- Tap Properties to verify network identification information. (PlayBook name, password etc)
- From a Windows or Mac based computer on the same network as the BlackBerry PlayBook, navigate to the IP address of the PlayBook which can be found under Settings > About > Network.
- On a Windows computer, open the Run dialog box and type \\127.1.1.1 (where 127.1.1.1 should be replaced with the actual IP address of the BlackBerry PlayBook)
- On a Mac computer, select Go -> Connect to Server… and type smb://127.1.1.1 (where 127.1.1.1 should be replaced with the actual IP address of the BlackBerry PlayBook)
- Users will then connect to the media folder which contains several subfolders such as documents, music, photos, videos etc. Users can then move files between the computer and these folders.
File Sharing with a Mac via USB connection
To share files between a Mac and the BlackBerry PlayBook, BlackBerry Device Manager will need to be installed. Complete the following steps to install BlackBerry Device Manager:
- Connect the BlackBerry PlayBook to the Mac.
- On the desktop or within Finder, double click BlackBerry PlayBook CD.
- Double click the BlackBerry Device Manager Installer to start the installation process.
- After reviewing the Read Me and License Agreement click Continue Installation.
- Reboot the computer when prompted.
- After the reboot is complete and the PlayBook is started, a message may be presented stating that a new network interface has been detected. If this is the case, click on Network Preferences and click Apply.
- After the PlayBook has been setup in Network Preferences, the PlayBook share will appear on the desktop whenever the PlayBook is connected to the computer.
- Click the Playbook icon on the desktop to display the PlayBook share. Users can then move files between the computer and the PlayBook.
File Sharing with a Windows PC via USB connection
To share files between a Windows based PC and the BlackBerry PlayBook, BlackBerry Device Manager will need to be installed. Complete the following steps to install BlackBerry Device Manager:
- Connect the BlackBerry PlayBook to the computer via USB cable.
- If BlackBerry Device Manager is not yet installed, the PlayBook will display a screen entitled Installing Drivers.
- On the computer, double click the BlackBerry PlayBook CD drive icon.
- Open the Drivers folder.
- Double click Setup.exe
- After selecting the appropriate region and accepting the License Agreement select Install.
- Select Finish and then OK to the prompt confirming that the PlayBook will need to be disconnected and then reconnected prior to use.
- Once reconnected to the computer, the BlackBerry PlayBook will be mounted as a Network Drive labeled PlayBook [PIN: 500AAAAA]. Double click the network drive icon to access the PlayBook folders. Users can then move files between the computer and the PlayBook.