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Tips & Tricks for BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 Email, Contacts, & Calendar (Help Us Build The List!)


In the last few hours I have had a chance to dig further into the latest released PlayBook OS 2.0. This is a huge step forward for RIM but a totally new interface even for current BlackBerry owners. I thought we could start by creating a tips and tricks list where we can all share what we have learned starting with email and messages. Here are some of the ones I have found so far:

  • If you add a Google Apps account to your PlayBook and it does not recognize it as a Gmail account (to sync your contacts and calendar) you can fix that. Simply delete the account from your PlayBook and when you add it again hit the advanced options button on the first screen and select Gmail account. This worked for me!
  • You can pull down the messages list at any time to refresh the messages list in any folder. This is very useful!
  • When you add a personal contact from your PlayBook then it will sync that contact to all of your associated personal accounts that sync contacts. I noticed this when it added the contact to all three of my Gmail accounts.
  • So far I have seen that only the Inbox, Sent Items, and Outbox folders are synchronized. To view the other folders just pull them up and pull down to refresh them.
  • Gmail drafts show up on your PlayBook!
  • Click on a contact in the header of an email for a popup menu that shows you the address and ability to open the full contact card.
  • View only your Unread email by clicking the search button on the left and then selecting the Unread filter.
  • Move emails to a folder by pulling down the menu bar and selecting “Select.” You then can select multiple emails while on the right you will see the available folders to put the emails into.
  • Change to Conversation view in the settings of the email client by changing the Display As to Conversations.
  • Also in the Email settings change Download Images by Default if you wish
  • Change your Email signature by going into settings in the Email app and then clicking the left tab that says Email Preferences.  From there click on each email account to change the signature or turn it off.
  • You can do a remote lookup in your companies directory if you click search in the Contacts app, type your search, and select remote lookup
  • Change the color of your calendars by going into the settings in the calendar app and selecting Calendar Preferences on the left. You can then change their titles.

This is by no means a complete list but help us add to the list in the comments!

45 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Does Netflix work?

  2. Tom,

    Netflix does work on the Playbook..via Splashtop Remote app…i watched movies on my Playbook weeks before this update…

  3. Ronen,
    Any idea how to do the following?

    1. Import contacts from my BlackBerry handset to my PlayBook contact list?

    2. Set up my email address on my PlayBook (for some reason I get the “You can only view this through the Bridge app” error message.. which isn’t cool because I would like to manage all of my email addresses with my PlayBook)

    3. Import calendar entries from my BB handset to my PlayBook.

    • I am having the same problem. I would like to sync my contact, calendar and pictures. It is a pain to have to use bridge to access my Telus email. Have you found a way to make it work.

    • 1. Import contacts from my BlackBerry handset to my PlayBook contact list?

      SOrry, ity seems you can’t do it without syncing your list through a gmail/yahoo account….

      I just created a gmail account specially for contacts… but not all infos are syncing (PIN for example, pictures etc….)

      And my bridge contacts doesn’t work…

      And you can’t import a vcf file…

      • Thanks. I have my contacts now but still no calendar. Has anyone played with the print to go app yet. Can I print to a network printer without going threw my PC.

        • Print to go allows you to print from your PC to your BlackBerry to avoid using paper. I am hearing they are working on it being bidirectional in the future. I am working on a writeup for contacts sync.

          • Problem so far with PTG I’ve found is you have to be on the same network. My laptop at work is on a different network then my wireless playbook so the PTG doesn’t work. I’m certain this is similar in many places. I’m sure it’ll work fine from home or in a hotel though. Cool feature though!

      • A users SHOULDN’T have to put band-aids on it to get it to work. I guess I’m not sure why someone a RIM wouldn’t think that we would want to sync our BB handset contact list with our PlayBook contact list. Don’t get me wrong, I love OS 2.0 and BB Bridge 2.0 and all of the additional functionality that each bring.. but it is frustrating that I either have to 1. enter all my contact manually, or 2. great a “phantom” gmail account to sync my contacts to. I just want it to work darn it.. is that too much to ask?

        • I agree. I like what I see so far and I fully expected there to be a learning curve. But I have spent 3 hrs just trying to get my torch synced with my play book and the print app is the one thing I was really hoping for. Everything I have read so far tells me I have to print to my PC and then print from there. If I wanted to use my PC to print I wouldn’t need my PB.

    • I cannot get my OWA email accounts set up? I am using the same setting as I did on my bb bold,but OS2 does not set up. Anyone have any ideas?

      Thanks Dave

  4. We just have a Netflix account….Amazon and Hulu Plus are available to us….we haven’t decided to expand 🙂

  5. Ronen, i have that same issue with my Blackberry email address via Tmobile…gotta use the bridge for that 🙁

  6. Tom, we also have a droid tablet and getting on the Netflix superhighway is easier because its built-in…advantage droid tablet…

  7. Now what I would love to know is how to synch my playbook contacts and info with my bold 9900.

  8. Hmm syncing your PlayBook contacts with your Phone would be best done through Yahoo or Gmail contacts sync which is built into BES.

  9. I’m not sure if i’m doing something wrong, but I can’t seem to figure out how to accept meeting invites. There is a note in the invite body that says “Responding to this meeting is unsupported”. Thats a major bummer if this doesn’t work. Will have to test more to see if it is only some types of meeting invites (ie. exchange, google apps, iCal) or if accepting a meeting invite is just unsupported overall (which would be horrific).

  10. I am wondering if anyone was able to get google calendars to show up in the calendar app?

  11. Anyway to mark all emails as read? I have roughly 400 emails; don’t want to click every one of them to clear the notifications.

    • Sure. When looking at your email, swipe form the top to get the menu. Press “select” and then choose all the emails you want to mark. Then hit the mark as read button on the right (it’s an icon)

      • I’m glad you posted this as I was just about to ask that exact question… how to delete more than one message at once.

      • It would be nice if there was a “select all” button.

        • Yeah thats what I was looking for. Major pita having to individually check each email to mark as read; It should only be an issue on initial setup though. I’d like to see a check all or check all by date function in the future. This seems like a minor miss by rim that some people will see as a major problem. I’m a glass half full kind of guy though, so.

          Unfortunatly on the pb I’m setting up now, the person(mother), doesn’t use the delete function in their email. I had to delete the profile because after checking the first 400 it was trying to download another 9,000 emails. lol

  12. Do you know if there is a way to view folders in Yahoo mail? (Besides Inbox, Draft and Sent)?

  13. Is there any way to sync the Calendar from my BB torch 9810 to my BB Playbook? I configured my BB Playbook email through a POP server only. But there is no calendar. BB Bridge doesn’t seem to let me link just the calendar anymore???

  14. Anyone been able to set up their. Corporate OWA email accounts? They work on my bb Bold, but using the same setting on OS 2 playbook, it doesn’t work*?


  15. Suggestions for Gmail sign-in problems:

    try via Wifi, not via Bridge.

    in Gmail (desktop):

    – reset your password. An old or weak password is treated with suspicion by Google.

    – go to Settings > Forwarding and POP/IMAP, make sure IMAP is enabled.

    – go to Settings > Labels, make sure all System labels are shown and shown via IMAP. Here you can choose which of your own labels are shown via IMAP too.

    – go to Settings > Account and Import > Other google account settings and disabe 2-step verification

    In the PB browser, go to, type your e-mail and password and tap Unlock

    In PB Messages app, remove and re-add the Gmail account

  16. Anyone know why my Yahoo mail will not add but the Yahoo calendars and contacts did?

  17. good stuff so far, but it is frustrating about the little things left out.

    i set my blackberry email account on my handset to forward to one of my (unused) email accounts, and set up the gmail account on my PB.

    works fine. would have been better to be able to do it “officially”.

  18. gmail went fine. yahoo? when I first got my PB the Yahoo shortcut on the desktop worked fine from day one. on the PB…vexing.

    I had to try 3 times to get it to work. contacts would set up fine but not email. deleted the contacts account and tried again. on the 3rd try it worked, but gave me 2 accounts, one for email and one for contacts. strange.

    btw, I still like the way the original shortcut handles Yahoo mail. I need to see if there are any settings I can adjust.

  19. In playBook OS2 the new email box shows the emails but no content with the message ‘no body found’ the old email box shows the message as does my 9900
    what have I done wrong

  20. I have been trying to connect my playbook to os x lion server’s ical (caldav) but have not been successful. CardDav was just fine but not calDav. Anyone successful? If so, how…

  21. Anybody figured out how to make the “Remote Lookup” feature actually useful? I was able to search and it found the person, but I couldn’t actually see any of the information–on the phone, I can click the name in the lookup results and see the email address, phone number, etc, and there’s an option for adding to your contacts, but on the tablet I get nothing. Finding the name alone isn’t really helpful…

  22. I want to view other folders in Yahoo other than default inbox, draft sent and outbox. I tried swiping down on folder to refresh but no success? @#$!

  23. I have added my Facebook account several times now (deleting and restarting several times too). I still can’t see my Facebook events in the PlayBook calendar.
    I have a Gmail account linked and that seems fine, I can see my fb events in the Google calendar but they don’t show in the Google account on the PlayBook calendar either. Any ideas what I could be doing wrong? It was so easy on my bb phone. It just worked.


  24. Does anyone know how to add new folders to the email.

    • Sorry I should give more detail I guess….
      I have email set up on my playbook and once I have read it I would like to file it in a folder.
      There are some forlders already set up, but I would like to add more.

      Make sense?

  25. Ok, here is my problem. I am trying to sync my blackberry tourch to gmail. I created gmail account, and downloaded the gmail sync app on blackberry. I changed the settings to sync contacts and calender. It is only syncing 58 of my 200 contacts. I read online somewhere that it says your contacts have to be saved in the “my contacts” group. My phone does not have a “My contacts” group. There is AT&T and then my email contacts but there is only 58 in there. It does not make any sense because i did not add contacts to gmail directly. I created the account to only back up my blackberry. Have been trying to figure this out for DAYS!!!!!!!!! SOMEBODY PLEASE HELP ME!!!.

  26. I want to forward an email but I want to delete the address from the person I received it from first before I send it. How do I do this with the Blackberry Playbook?

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