Ina Fried

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AT&T Opens the Bridge for BlackBerry-PlayBook Connection

AT&T, which had held off allowing BlackBerry users to connect their devices with the PlayBook tablet, said that it is enabling the Bridge software needed for such a pairing.

Users will be able to access basic information coming into their BlackBerry from the tablet without a paid tethering plan, but those looking to access the Web using their BlackBerry’s Internet connection will need to sign up for the $20-per-month tethering plan.

“AT&T has thoroughly reviewed the application and at noon today it will be made available via BlackBerry App World,” an AT&T representative told AllThingsD. “Our customers’ wireless experience is always our number one priority.”

AT&T had said when the PlayBook arrived that it had only just received the Bridge application from RIM and still needed to do further testing before allowing it.

The Bridge software is needed for the PlayBook to access calendar and email functions, though RIM has promised a native email client is on the way.

The lack of Bridge support has been just one of several hiccups and challenges for the tablet since it hit the market in April.

RIM also acknowledged in its recent earnings call that the versions of the tablet with a built in cellular connection, originally expected this summer, now won’t arrive until fall. The company said it has shipped roughly 500,000 of the tablets.

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus