Monthly Archives: March 2011
The new BlackBerry 6.1 icons look pretty snazzy… but I wonder what the
blacked out ones are for?!
If you’re getting sick of the PlayBook tablet talk and have been hoping for something phone related on the news and rumor front, here it is. BG posted some hands-on photos of the upcoming BlackBerry full touchscreen device (monaco/monza… aka Storm 3 but it won’t launch as a Storm) which *could* hit the market as the BlackBerry Touch. Not too much was said by BG that we haven’t already seen or talked about in the past about the device (see 2011 BlackBerry Smartphone Roadmap, Monaco Hands-On Video), but he did note that it seems BlackBerry OS 6.1 requires you to create a BlackBerry ID account. We saw this on the BlackBerry PlayBook Setup Tutorial the other day and have talked about this previously on CrackBerry podcasts – BBID is definitely growing into the centralized “iTunes” like account for RIM. As for specs, here’s where things have been sitting…
BlackBerry Touch Specs:
- Dimensions: Sleek, thin profile – 11.5mm thick (120 x 62 x 11.5 mm)
- Monza / GSM: TBA…
- Monaco / CDMA: Qualcomm 1.2GHz Processor
- Monza / GSM: TBA…
- Monaco / CDMA: Dual band CDMA, EV-DO Rev A, RX Diversity ; Quad band EDGE / Single Band UMTS
- Display: 3.7″ – 800×480 resolution, 15:9 aspect ration, 253 DPI
- Camera: 5 MP – Flash – Image Stabilization – HD Video Recording (720p)
- Navigation: Capacitive touch + BlackBerry navigation keys + optical navigation module. One convenience key
- Memory: 4GB storage + 768MB RAM + up to 32GB MicroSD
- WiFi/GPS: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n + GPS + Bluetooth 2.1 EDR + Mobile HotSpot
- Connectivity: Micro USB – Bluetooth – NFC
- Sensors: Magnetometer – Accelerometer – Proximity
- Software: Enhanced BlackBerry SW v.6.1, BlackBerry Evolution 6, Open GL ES 2.0, APIs for magnetometer and augmented reality apps
As for release date, BG’s hearing the same things we’ve been hearing, that’s it looking like BlackBerry World in May will be the venue where RIM announces most of these new devices, including the BlackBerry Bold Touch, BlackBerry Torch 2, BlackBerry Touch and new Curves. Should be a great show and May can’t get here soon enough! One more photo below showing off the new battery, and you can hit the source link for more photos.
BlackBerry Touch Photos
I am not sure how many of you are familiar with Zillow but it is an awesome resource for home shoppers. When you are looking for a new house Zillow provides you with a ton of vital information about each property. They just announced today that they have released a BlackBerry app for their service that allows you to view a aerial map of your location using GPS displaying
- Zestimate home valuations
- homes for sale
- homes for rent
- Rent Zestimates
- Make Me Move listings
- and recently sold data on the homes around them. Additional features on the
The Zillow BlackBerry App also allows you to have:
- Multiple search filters that include price, number of bedrooms and bathrooms and other valuable home-related information.
- Homes viewable on a map with high-resolution satellite and street view.
- Home search by location or by typing in a city, ZIP code or address.
- Full-screen color photos of homes.
The Zillow app is totally free and you can pick it up at zillow.com/blackberry/ or in App World by searching for Zillow. It supports OS 5.0+ so it should cover most users.
BlackBerry PlayBook 101: How to tether your BlackBerry PlayBook to a mobile device that has a tethering plan (does not have to be a BlackBerrry Smartphone!)
Without having the 4G version of the BlackBerry PlayBook at launch (and if iPad stats prove true for the PlayBook the majority will opt for WiFi-only versions anyway), most users will be looking for a way to connect to the internet when away from WiFi. For that, you simply need to connect your mobile device to the PlayBook tablet via Bluetooth. I’ve noticed a bit of a misconception going around that people think it has to be a BlackBerry Smartphone you tether to, but as RIM has relayed to us the whole time that is not the case.
Retailers are gearing up for the April 19th launch of the BlackBerry PlayBook. I got an email yesterday from Sears Canada announcing that they have opened the doors for preorders for all three variants of the BlackBerry PlayBook. Quite a few readers also let us know that Office Depot in the US is also accepting preorders. The prices are the same across all these retailers but the trend I am seeing is that many of them are only really going to have quantities of the 16GB variant in stock at stores.
RIM is really shaking up their enterprise offerings the past year or so. They threw in BES Express for free, worked with Google Apps, and are rolling out a “Cloud BES” solution. Lucas @N4BB scored a slide showing what is supposed to be the Enterprise Roadmap for BlackBerry solutions in 2011. We don’t have much confirmation on the rumor beyond the releases that already happened but some things are interesting:
- SharePoint 1.0 general availability is “on hold since Nov RTM” whatever that means
- BES 5.0.3 is still showing a late March or April release
- BES Express 5.0.3 seems to be coming later in late May 2011
- Some sort of BES for Google Apps is coming in the beginning of September which looks like part of the “Cloud BES” we have heard of before
- A unknown Contrail 1.0 rel;ease is scheduled for sometime in November. No idea what it is but it may be something to do with the cloud BES solution
Here are two product slides to accompany the roadmap:
- A big portion of the talk is focusing on the benefit RIM will get from centralizing processes and tools. (what RIM’s COO of product engineering, Thorsten Heins,said yesterday)
- One of the key reasons OS 6.1 is falling behind schedule is miscommunication between teams in the critical path of the project
- He didn’t focus on the problems as much as how RIM is going to solve them by easing conflicts in the critical path
The second part of the keynote is where things got interesting talking about OS 7 and OS 6.1:
- There is a new project “Highlander” using the concept from the movies “There can be only one”
- This project is taking the best features from OS 6.1 and the QNX OS to make OS 7. This seems to be where the rumors about OS 6.1 having a QNX core are coming from
- RIM is “very happy” with OS 6.1 but it struggling with losing the features users love
- OS 6.1 is almost 10 years old and has pushed its limits
- Still they are very happy about the “Liquid Graphics” in OS 6.1 adding a WOW factor to BlackBerrys
- This new OS 7 will also be the OS for the Playbook down the road. Seeing the theme of “there can be only one” ?
- RIM is still in the “early stages” of OS 7 with a target of 2012
I am really loving the Highlander references and think RIM should actually give their OS builds a name. For example, OS 6.0 could be Phoenix… So what do you think of the info passed along? It is second hand so its hard to analyze properly but still I am really excited to see RIM has a plan for 2011 and 2012. Here is to hoping they execute it correctly!
We covered the Paper Plane game for the PlayBook a while ago when we found a demo of it on YouTube and we received an email letting us know the game has now been approved and will be available for the BlackBerry PlayBook in App World when the PlayBook gets released. This is an updated video from our earlier post. This is one of those games I am really looking forward to.
Dave provided us with a little bit of backgound on the stats also.
2 days ago it was around 10,000 meters in the stats, now its over 200,000 covered!! and thats purely from people at RIM playing it. So I am hoping there will be some crazy big numbers on there soon
Pretty cool how you can see the overall stats in the game. Wonder what kind of large number this could go to?
We will let you know what the link is in app world or elsewhere as soon as it becomes available.
It looks like RIM is extending their free BlackBerry PlayBook for developers offer yet again. I think this is a great move by RIM though I have not seen the change reflected on the RIM website yet. Long time reader Marc received an email today stating:
The BlackBerry developer community has already begun developing and submitting applications for the BlackBerry® PlayBook™. Registered developers who submit a qualifying BlackBerry® PlayBook™ app that is accepted into BlackBerry App World™ prior to the initial product launch in North America (April 19th) will receive a free BlackBerry® PlayBook™. Learn how to qualify for the free BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet offer.
I am not sure if RIM changed their qualifications for the offer anymore but I expect we will hear from them soon. I think this is a brilliant move on RIM’s part because it will net them many more than the 100 or so Android 3.0 HoneyComb tablet apps available now.
Just the other day we told you about Wakeful for BlackBerry beta getting updated to v188.8.131.52. Well Wakeful has been updated again v184.108.40.206.
- Lots of code re-writes to increase the stability and scalability of the product.
- Offloaded some of the stress to our servers
- Added a cancel button to pop-ups that didn’t have them before.
- Wakeful double checks scheduling on boot.
Make sure you get in on the action by signing up for the Wakeful Beta.
“RIM had a Social Media conference today in Toronto, and my entire college business and marketing class was invited to the event. RIM’s co-ceo Jim Balsillie revealed that they plan to bring BBM and “other services” to iPhone on April 26 via the app store. Major news networks are expected to pick up on this very soon! Balsillie also revealed that they plan to release an update to the app this summer which will take advantage of a new “notification system”!!”
By now, you’ve no doubt heard the rumors of BlackBerry Messenger arriving on iOS come April 26. The issue was raised in the forums while many people have stated they’d love to see it happen — in this case, it’s just simply not true. As you all can tell by looking at the posts from yesterday we never made mention of it despite the forums and our poor email inboxes filling up with tips of the news. Having taken the time to reach out to RIM we can confirm the following:
RIM did not hold a conference in Toronto this week and Jim Balsillie did not speak at any event in Toronto this week.
As much as some would like to see BlackBerry Messenger span across different OS platforms, it’s just not happening yet. Not to say it couldn’t some day but April 26th is not the time. We couldn’t in good faith, post such a rumor without being able to confirm it or at the very least have good reason to believe it to be true. This is common across all of our posts, if we’re not posting something that appears to be popping up everywhere else, we have good reason for it. As it turns out, this one — is complete BS.