Archive

Posts Tagged ‘WiFI’

How To: Transfer Files over Home WiFi Network From PC to Playbook

June 2, 2011 13 comments

I’ve had my BlackBerry Playbook up and running for just over a week now and I continue to discover new things about it every day.

One of my favourite features thus far I sort of found by accident: Transferring files (music and movies) from my PC – Playbook over-the-air using my home WiFi network. 

One of the most overlooked benefits of BlackBerry in comparison to other devices is the ability to drag and drop media files from your computer through USB (or a wifi app) without having to use a proprietary music service such as iTunes.

Transferring music, videos and pictures to the playbook is easy. In fact, I discovered it’s even easier than I had expected. After connecting the tablet to my PC with the USB cable, here’s what I found when locating the directories I wanted to open:

Network Settings

That’s right! I Immediately noticed that the playbook was registering as a device on my wifi network! Curiously, I clicked on the playbook icon and it opened up sub directory files…and eventually… the location of where media and music would be stored on the device:

Playbook Folders

From here, all you need to do is select the folder where you would like the respective media file to live. In order to accomplish all of this, you need to ensure that you have network sharing enabled on your PC as well as enabling file & Wifi sharing on your playbook. Which is also super simple to do. Here’s how you enable file sharing on your playbook:

Enable File Sharing on Playbook

You can transfer any type of file from PC to Playbook using this method. Even work documents such as: presentations, client creative, invoices, spreadsheets, word documents, press releases, flash documents – whatever you need to customize your tablet experience.

This activity really highlighted the multi-tasking ability of the playbook for me as well. As I was pushing nearly 4GB of files to the Playbook over my wifi network, my wife was busy playing Papa’s Burgeria and also had the browser (Youtube), appworld, camera application, a stock video and facebook running in the background. There was no degradation of performance and she had no idea that I was uploading those files to the device.

Advertisements

SO you’ve un-boxed your Playbook. Now what?

May 25, 2011 5 comments

Following is a review of my first few hours with my new BlackBerry Playbook.

What are you going to use that thing for?

It’s a common question from my wife in regards to anything technology-based. Since I like shiny new pieces of tech, I usually come up with a really geeky response. The truth is – I’m not really sure just yet.

Based on what I know about tablets the moment I un-boxed my PlayBook, I made the following assumptions of what I would use it for:

For Fun: Movies & HDMI out, Twitter, browsing, writing entries in my blog, music, pictures, downloaded/YouTube/recorded videos.

For Business: Client presentations (go completely paperless), creative approvals and meetings.

Arguably, you can do all of this with a laptop – and that’s completely true. But what a laptop cannot do is offer all of this with the level of portability that BlackBerry can.

I have had my Playbook working for less than 12-hours at the time of writing this post. After un-boxing it, updating the software and registering the device, I started using it immediately and pushing it pretty hard to see what it was capable of. Here’s what I can tell you so far:

What makes it AWESOME: 

  1. Flash: It may be a small point to some, but there’s something to be said for experiencing the Internet as it was intended. I can watch episodes of Fringe (big fan) online, in HD..on my Playbook because it runs Flash.
  2. File Transfer. Transferring files wirelessly over WiFi. This is as easy as drag n’ drop into a folder from my PC to PlayBook.
  3. Power: I was pushing almost 4GB of files over WiFi to the device, running YouTube in the background, ESPN.com on the browser, the Facebook App, AppWorld and my wife was playing Sudoku. There was no degradation of performance & she had no idea I was uploading files to the device.
  4. WiFi: With Playbook, you don’t need a separate data plan. Great for consumers, bad for carriers. It also works really well on WiFi or through BlackBerry Bridge.
  5. BlackBerry Bridge: Without a native Calendar or Email App, the BlackBerry Bridge makes it possible to have both on your PlayBook. It was easy to setup and these applications work very well on the Playbook.
  6. Screen Shots: Ability to take screen grabs of the device’s screen (found this by accident).

What I won’t use it for/What I didn’t like:

  1. Writing long messages (emails, blog posts). Unless you have a bluetooth keyboard, I wouldn’t recommend this. I found even Twitter posts to be challenging.
  2. Facebook & Twitter. These two Apps need work for the Playbook. If you try to open them in the browser, they default to mobile sites which aren’t as feature-rich. One way to get around this is to open up Hootsuite or Tweetdeck in the browser as these seem to work fine. I wanted to see how close these two platforms were to a true browser experience. There is also no native spell-check which is a problem for me as I seem to have breakfast sausages for fingers. Also, when in the photo application, you cannot automatically send pictures to twitter. You need to add them in Hootsuite or with plixi/Lockers which is a little annoying.
  3. Search Sensitivity of AppWorld: This is NOT a PlayBook issue but an AppWorld issue that I’ll address here. I spent some time searching for PaperPlane, which is a very popular game on the Playbook. I tried variations – Paper Planes, Paper Airplanes but I couldn’t find it in AppWorld. Finally, I googled it – and noticed that it was actually called, “PaperPlane”. Tried the search again in AppWorld and it came up right away.
  4. BBM: Not a huge deal to me, but when evaluating the overall experience, I wanted to see if BBM would work. With the new software update – it’s supposed to, but I haven’t been able to get it to work through the BlackBerry Bridge yet. UPDATE: Installed new version of AppWorld and upgrade to BBM. Now works perfectly!
  5. MyWorld Apps: If you have BlackBerry Apps that you’ve already downloaded and paid for, chances are they will not be available for Playbook. I found this frustrating.
Also, if you’ve just un-boxed your Playbook, you’re probably wondering what to do with it. Try these to get you started:
  1. If you have a blackberry, connect with the blackberry bridge. Use your calendar app, contacts, mail and browser.
  2. Visit your favourite flash website. try: www.espn.com
  3. Enable Video chat on the device & call someone you know with a playbook.
  4. Play Need for Speed!
  5. Turn on file sharing to transfer music/movies over wifi from you PC (Settings – top right > Storage & Sharing > File Sharing ON)
  6. Try watching streaming flash video. Here’s fringe: http://www.watch-fringe-online.net/
What’s exciting about the playbook is it’s sheer power and sexiness. The accelerometer is very responsive, multi-touch on the screen is amazing and it feels great in your hands. The high resolution display makes watching videos/movies and viewing photos amazing and it’s incredibly intuitive. I also like the HDMI out, although I haven’t used it yet. You can shoot in HD, and watch in HD on your TV. There is also a lot of potential with the QNX browser and the most exciting applications are likely the ones that have not been released or invented yet. I’m really looking forward to discovering new uses for my Playbook each day from a business and personal perspective.
Although it’s lightweight and portable, it’s not durable or practical enough to take it out during a concert to shoot HD video or take it mountain biking with you. But you can say this about any tablet – or laptop.  Even though I’ve only had the device in my hands for a short while, I’d have to say that if someone asks me if they should buy a Playbook – I would definitely say yes.
%d bloggers like this: