BlackBerry PlayBook wireless file transfer, WiFi file sharing [SAMBA]

The PlayBook tablet has some nice features built in:

  • screenshot capability
    • originally missing in Android, but in iOS for a long time
  • Wifi file sharing
    • (using SAMBA, i.e. the default file sharing protocol that Windows uses )
    • this can be accomplished on Android with 3rd parties apps and be fairly tightly integrated into the OS.
    • on iOS, some apps utilize SAMBA but the locked down nature of the iOS file system makes it much less useful that BlackBerry’s straight-up file sharing feature!

To enable the file sharing feature, simply:

Go to Settings -> Storage & Sharing -> Wi-fi Sharing

You can also go toΒ Settings -> Storage & Sharing -> Network Identification -> Properties

and it will show you the Tablet Network Name and the (SAMBA) Workgroup that the BlackBerry will connect to. These are just like the network name and workgroup that you may be familiar with on Windows πŸ™‚

Using a new iPad hotspot* and connecting both my laptop and the Playbook, I was able to transer at about 2-3MBs actual throughput from the laptop to the Playbook over wifi. Unfortunately the MKV file that I copied to test transfer speeds ended up not playing, it had an error of “Media Error” “This file type isn’t supported” πŸ™ But the good news is that I was able to transfer a 3GB+ file over Wifi from my laptop to the PlayBook without using any third party apps/hacks/root/jailbreaks etc!

*when I get home I will try to test using my ASUS 802.11n router as it should outperform the iPad’s routing capabilities and perhaps the BlackBerry will transfer even faster!

NOTE1: using USB file transfer I get 5-7MBs actual transfer when copying to the BlackBerry from a Lenovo X220 ThinkPad.

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