Research in Motion has rolled out a software update that will let users connect to the popular BlackBerry Messenger network. That’s the good news. The less good news? You’ll need to pair your tablet with a BlackBerry Smartphone to use BBM.

That’s because the BBM service is tied to the BlackBerry Bridge software that only works when your PlayBook is linked to a smartphone.

BlackBerry Bridge also lets you access your calendar, contact manager, and email app. If you don’t use the Bridge (or don’t have a BlackBerry phone), the PlayBook doesn’t currently offer native apps for any of those functions — although third party developers are working to fill the void.

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