How to Unlock your Playbook EScreen

Just a heads up before I get into this: At the time of this posting, doing this is UTTERLY WORTHLESS. There is no functionality AT ALL in the Playbook EScreen, at least not yet.

You may or may not be familiar with unlocking the escreen on BlackBerry Smartphones. This gives you access to a lot of information and some functions which are not generally available for your BlackBerry smartphone. For more information about the BlackBerry EScreen, read my tutorial here: http://opensourcebb.com/forums/?mingleforumaction=viewtopic&t=27

RIM has included the escreen on the Playbook as well; getting to it is more difficult, and it doesn't appear to have any features yet, but it's there and if you feel like a moment of sheer geekiness you can unlock it.

First, we need to access the Help Me Screen. On your BlackBerry phone getting there is easy: you just need to hold alt + right shift + h. On the Playbook, it's a little more difficult. OK, actually without a third party app, it's impossible. But there's two different apps that will let you access the help screen. Note that you'll need to sideload these apps to use them.

The first app is called URI and is by xsacha, who you may be familiar with as one of the creators of Dingleberry. You can download uri from http://www.mediafire.com/?itoz5hv20zo54vo.

In my opinion, URI is worth having for any Playbook geek; not only does it let you access the Help Me Screen, it lets you launch any URI (Uniform Resource Identifier). It also contains a game! There's a list of URI's at https://bdsc.webapps.blackberry.com/native/reference/com.qnx.doc.bps.lib_ref/com.qnx.doc.bps.lib_ref/topic/navigator_invoke.html, I'll list them at the end of this post.

If you opt to use URI, you just type  escreen:// in the box in the center of the screen and hit enter. It'll open the Help Me screen right up.

If that seems too complex for you, you can also load an app called EScreen Launcher by peter9477 of CrackBerry. This one just opens the Help Me screen, no typing needed. You can download it from http://nanonet.ca/downloads/escreen.bar.

Yay, you've got the Help Me screen open. It looks pretty unfinished, but that shouldn't surprise anyone; after all, RIM really doesn't intend for us to see this, much less the escreen behind it.

Now that we've got the Help Me screen open, if you want to unlock it you need a code. There's several ways for you to get the code. First, and probably easiest, you can visit http://dl.dropbox.com/u/9610464/HelpScreen.html from your browser. Or, if you'd like an app for it, you can download and sideload an escreen key generator from http://scrapps.tk/blackberry/apps/playbook/eScreenUnlocker.bar. Yes, I realize that app says that it doesn't generate a code for your PlayBook; I thought that was the case when I made it, but I was apparently wrong.

Enter your device information EXACTLY as it shows in the Help Me screen into the escreen key generator. Because the Help Me screen is actually more useful than the escreen on the PlayBook, I recommend you only set it for one day. When your code is generated, swipe up from the bottom left corner of your PlayBook to launch the keyboard. Enter the generated code into your PlayBook Help Me screen. Do not capitalize the letters. When you finish typing it, the EScreen should launch!

Yay, your EScreen is unlocked! Now, like I said at the beginning, doing this is absolutely worthless. The menus are all empty, and trying to launch anything gives you an error. I suppose it's possible we're not doing something right though, so if you find anything different let us know!

And, as promised, here's a list of working URI's that can be launched from xsacha's URI app:

Unlisted:
android://
escreen://

From https://bdsc.webapps.blackberry.com/native/reference/com.qnx.doc.bps.lib_ref/com.qnx.doc.bps.lib_ref/topic/navigator_invoke.html
appworld://myworld
appworld://content/12345
appworld://content=12345
http://URL
https://URL
camera://photo
camera://video
calendar://
calendar://showEvent?accountId=account_ID &eventId=event_ID
calendar://editEvent?accountId=account_ID &eventId=event_ID
calendar://newEvent?accountId=account_ID &dateStart=YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS &dateEnd=YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS &attd=comma_delimited_list_of_email_addresses &subj=subject &loc=location &body=body_of_message
maps://?where1=address
maps://?style=style
maps://?where1=waterloo ontario&style=h
messages://
messages://newMessage?accountId=account_ID &to=comma_delimited_list_of_email_addresses &cc=comma_delimited_list_of_email_addresses &bcc=comma_delimited_list_of_email_addresses &body=body_of_message &subject=subject_of_message
messages://showAccount?accountId=account_ID
messages://showMessage?accountId=account_ID &conversationId=conversation_ID &messageId=message_ID
mailto:comma_delimited_list_of_email_addresses ?to=comma_delimited_list_of_email_addresses &cc=comma_delimited_list_of_email_addresses &bcc=comma_delimited_list_of_email_addresses &body=body_of_message &subject=subject_of_message
music://albums
music://albums/album?id=album_id
music://albums/album?id=album_ID &play=file_ID
music://artists
music://artists/artist?id=artist_ID
music://artists/artist?id=artist_ID &play=file_ID
music://genres
music://genres/genre?id=genre_ID
music://genres/genre?id=genre_ID &play=file_ID
music://playlists
music://playlists/playlist?id=playlist_ID
music://playlists/playlist?id=playlist_ID &play=file_ID
music://songs
music://songs?play=file_ID
file_URL
photos://
photos://file_URL
photos://album_name
videos://recorded
videos://file_URL
musicstore://search=album_search_string
musicstore://search/song=song_search_string
musicstore://search/artist=artist_search_string
settings://about
settings://airplane
settings://enterprise
settings://wifi
settings://softwareupdate
settings://bluetooth
settings://bb_bridge
settings://internettethering
settings://screen
settings://hdmi
settings://sounds
settings://general
settings://storagesharing
settings://security
settings://language
settings://keyboard
settings://date_time
settings://pim
settings://pim/listAccounts
settings://pim/defaultAccounts
settings://pim/createAccount
settings://pim/showAccount?id=account_ID
vchat://URI?camera=camera_param &displayname=displayname_param &callingApplication=callingApplication_param

Shane Cridlebaugh

Co-founder and legal nay-sayer of OSBB. Owner of SCrApps Application Development, WebWorks aficionado, Open Source contributor. SCrid2000 on most blogs. I build awesome BlackBerry apps when I'm not doing legal work or spending time with my wife and two boys.


Follow me on Twitter - @GShaneC

Check out my apps in BlackBerry World

Website: SCrApps.org

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