Why I’m Excited About the BlackBerry Z10

In case you were living under a rock, Research In Motion has unveiled its flagship device for early 2013. One quick thing I’m going to get out of the way – I’m still going to refer to BlackBerry as R.I.M., even though they officially changed their branding (including their stock name as well) to BlackBerry. It’s just dumb. The BlackBerry is the product, not the company’s name. Ugh.  And don’t even get me started on bringing Alicia Keys on as the Creative Director.  Barf.

I’ve always held a soft spot for R.I.M.’s premium offerings. The Bold 9000 and 9900 were always my favourite devices from R.I.M., simply because they got what you needed to get done, done. It was quick to navigate, very little lag time, and of course, the ever popular BlackBerry Messenger.

R.I.M. has garnered wide interest from major developers to create apps for their new BB10 platform, including Skype, WhatsApp, and possibly Instagram and Netflix. Those two apps are quite possibly the deciding factor for me when it comes times for me to decide what my next smartphone is (not BlackBerry Messenger, believe it or not). The entire BB10 operating system is a breath of fresh air compared to Apple’s stagnant iOS and Androids increasingly fragmented upgrade schedules for its flagship devices.

Unfortunately, I’m not going to pick up the BlackBerry Z10 when it comes out on February 5th in Canada. I’m going to wait a couple of months (perhaps sooner) until R.I.M. releases several updates to its operating system, which will eventually iron out its kinks (and the questionable battery life). Call it avoiding the early adopter syndrome.

900 Faulty BlackBerry PlayBooks recalled…Fail!

Just what Research In Motion needed, right? Any publicity is good publicity, right?

Not this time.  We haven’t even had a chance to use the BlackBerry PlayBook for a month, and we’re already hearing news that 900 BlackBerry PlayBooks are being recalled because they’re faulty.  Sorry to say this, but why am I not surprised?  Where was the quality assurance team when R.I.M. needed them the most?

Sure, fanboys are going to defend their PlayBooks by comparing the situation to Toyota and their most recent string of recalls.  Unfortunately, it’s not going to work in their favour.  Research In Motion had a staggering seven months since they announced the PlayBook last September to perfect it.  In my opinion, the hardware was (nearly) perfect, but the software was unfinished, unpolished, and not ready to be released to the general public for at least another two weeks.

Why didn’t R.I.M. take another month to polish and perfect their PlayBook?  I mean, we already waited seven months, which included delay upon delay.  So what would another month or two have been?  Fanboys would still purchase the PlayBook to support their favourite Canadian brand, right?

[via Engadget]

Twitter for BlackBerry Updated – BlackBerry Beta Zone

It seems as if Research In Motion is really pumping out these updates frequently.  Today, R.I.M. updated Twitter to version 2.0.0.8 in the BlackBerry Beta Zone, which has the following updates:

Redesigned Nav Bar

The Nav Bar has a whole new look with simplified icons that provide a cleaner layout and a more familiar Twitter experience. With a single click, you can quickly access your Home Timeline, @Mentions, Messages, Lists, perform a search from the new Single Search Screen, or submit a tweet with the new “Compose Tweet” button accessible from anywhere in the app.

New Compose Tweet Button

The new “Compose Tweet” button in Twitter for BlackBerry smartphones 2.0 is a single touch-point for creating new tweets from anywhere in the app, making it easier than ever to share your location (if setting is enabled) and photos with your followers.

Single Search Screen

With the new Single Search Screen in Twitter for BlackBerry smartphones 2.0, you can search for tweets, tweets nearby, people, as well as go-to @users all from a single location. From the new Single Search Screen, you can also view Trending Topics and Saved Searches – unifying the entire Twitter Search experience.

Another great feature for BlackBerry 6 users: Twitter Search works with Universal Search on your BlackBerry smartphone. Search for anything, and Universal Search will pull in relevant results from your entire BlackBerry smartphone, including all Search categories within Twitter.

External Notifications

A new application header notifies you when you receive other types of messages, like BBM messages or email, as well as displaying your network connectivity while in the Twitter for BlackBerry smartphones app – meaning you no longer need to leave the application in order to discover the types of new external notifications you have.

New Black/Chrome Color Scheme

The color scheme throughout the app has been updated to be consistent with the look of the Twitter brand.

The one thing I noticed about this update is that instead of having to copy and paste the keycode (not just anyone can download these beta updates) into the application, it is automatically generated! That’s one of the key features that is truly impressive, asides from of course the updated Twitter app. Go check it out if you are a BlackBerry Beta Zone member!

My New Journey With BlackBerryOS.com!

Today has been a very exciting day.  Not only am I attending the Rogers Xperia Arc & Play Launch party tomorrow in downtown Toronto, but I have been honoured to work with the legendary website, BlackBerryOS.com!

I have been offered to write for the website on a daily basis, and it is a pleasure to work with people who are extremely talented and passionate about everything related to BlackBerry and Research In Motion.

Keep your eyes peeled very soon for an exclusive look at the BlackBerry PlayBook, only on http://www.roflmaocopter.com and http://www.blackberryos.com!

(Check out my BlackBerryOS profile here!)

 

BlackBerry Trade Up Program – Now in Canada!

This is exciting news for any BlackBerry owner looking to trade their ‘older’ devices to upgrade to a newer model.

Research In Motion has officially launched their Trade Up Program to residents of Canada.  This allows to you get up to $120 in credits towards an upgrade to a better, faster, more addictive BlackBerry.

Check out the details at R.I.M.’s official page here!

BlackBerry PlayBook Hands-On!

Coming straight to us from the BlackBerry Training Event in Los Angeles, here is some first hand high quality footage of the PlayBook in action!  According to CrackBerry, the final retail build of the product is mind-blowing.  I will be interviewed on April 16 by the CBC’s The National, so keep your eyes peeled for my thoughts on Research In Motion’s latest product!

  • No sign of video chat yet, but reps did mention it will definitely be included in the BBM on the PlayBook though there was no mention of it being there at launch.
  • PIN’s are going to be phased out within the next year or so and replaced with BBID – this is to push cross platform apps, messaging, and ease of use
  • Presentation mode was demoed. It works by splitting the media output stream into two outputs that are independent of each other; meaning you can watch a video or load a presentation on your HDMI OUT and still browse/play/chat/message on the PB screen. Orientation, volume, brightness, etc are all independent features controlled by a Presentation Mode switch function that allows you to swap screen, toggle screens, and control the options on each screen. (We saw this also at BlackBerry Dev Day)
  • Battery Life still unconfirmed but it was reiterated that we have a 5300mAh
  • The OS constantly updates battery performance
  • OS Updates are going to use a push-type system to be installed almost instantly on your device
  • Doc2Go will be Premium for Free!
  • The screen is very durable and hard to scratch
  • Orientation Lock Feature was present on this build
  • .MKV Videos will be supported via native OS soon after launch, but not initially at launch
  • Flash games on the web were not supported with keyboard controls. This wasn’t programmed into the OS but may be in the future.
  • Power button will be fully programmable with options on what it does, kinda like your computer i.e. Sleep, Hibernate, Shut Down, Lock
  • BlackBerry Bridge has not been finalized but I have verified that carrier data will not be transferred during bridging. No Texts or call logs folks. This was due to controlling security on the devices, since RIM is transferring over only their data from their end of the game, it’s easier to control.
  • The UI for the Bridge stuff was very polished, all updated, refined graphics and functions with even more options for stuff like adding events and such.

Thanks, CrackBerry.com!

LiveProfile Now Available on All Major Platforms!

The day of R.I.M.’s reign over instant messaging has officially come to an end.  With the impending launch of BlackBerry Messenger on Android and iOS, consumers now don’t have to be locked down to a BlackBerry to enjoy the uber-popular BBM.

Now, LiveProfile has been released for BlackBerry, Android, and iOS, and in a nutshell, it is fantastic. Just think of it as What’s App or Kik Messenger on steroids.  It features the most important feature of BBM, which is the send/receive notification system.  On top of that, you are provided with a unique LiveProfile pin once you sign up.

The only main gripe I have with LiveProfile is that it constantly runs in the background, thus draining your battery more frequently than it should.

Add me on LiveProfile! My pin is LPYE1VHN!