Monthly Archives: June 2011
One of the things I have really liked in BlackBerry native apps starting with BlackBerry OS 5 has been the tight integration between them. With BlackBerry 6 and the Twitter, Facebook, BBM, and other add-on apps RIM really perfected the ability to share between the services. In BlackBerry 7 they are finally opening up this API to third party developers. This API has been slightly shadowed by the sexier NFC, OpenGL, and Compass features of BlackBerry 7 but in my opinion it is one of the most useful API additions. I was really surprised when Apple mentioned this as a flagship “magical” feature of iOS 5 when it is something RIM has done for awhile with their built in apps and is on track to open up to 3rd party devs with BlackBerry 7.
In case you don’t know what I mean by this feature here is a brief explanation. Say you are in the Facebook BlackBerry app and want to share a wall post on Twitter. You simply hit the menu button and select “Share” and it will let you share it on many of the communication platforms on your BlackBerry including: email, SMS, BBM, BBM groups, PIM, Twitter, Facebook, and more. Say you get a funny email and want to share it on Twitter. You just go to the email hit the menu button and select “Forward as” and choose one of the networks mentioned above. Same for the camera, memopad, tasks, and many other apps. RIM has been a bit inconsistent about the wording but I love the functionality. The thing is until now those cross communication features were only available to RIM developed apps. That is thankfully changing in BlackBerry 7.
In BlackBerry 7 RIM is exposing a new “Send Menu API” that will allow any signed app to take advantage of this channel. That means apps like BerryReader, Games, screenshot apps, and more will all be able to tap into your Facebook, Twitter, and other networks without having to setup their own solution. It will simply be able to use that built in menu to send a tweet or wall post.
I am really hoping that RIM finds a way to bring this API to BlackBerry 6 devices but I know they usually do not bring features into older OS’s. Still I think it will make a big difference in how social BlackBerry apps can be!
If you want to read more about the API just check out the BlackBerry 7 API docs and search for net.rim.blackberry.api.sendmenu
I just turned on my BlackBerry PlayBook and went to App World to look for an application and look what popped up. Poynt for the PlayBook has been updated to v1.1.3. Now this is not a huge jump so we can only assume this update is just for some bug fixes and not much else. Poynt is a great application that lets you search businesses, retailers, people, restaurants, movies, gas prices (US only), events and weather information around you. Poynt uses GPS or cell-site location to quickly deliver the information you need, whenever and wherever you need it.
You can grab the update in App World.
While I personally recommend most travelers simply use the slick BlackBerry Travel app there are some nice benefits to carrier apps. Ashley let me know about the latest release of American Airlines for BlackBerry. I am not sure exactly when it launched but this is the first I have heard of it. The app lets you manage and plan your AA itinerary along with viewing details like gate, seat, and flight status info. You can also use it to access your Mobile Boarding Pass.
The app packs other features like the ability to monitor your place on the standby list, track your elite status progress, add your flight to your calendar, and set parking reminders. All in all a pretty sweet app that you can pick up at aa.com/blackberry. According to them the app is supported on the BlackBerry Bold, BlackBerry Torch, BlackBerry Curve and BlackBerry Tour Smartphones running on OS 5.0 and 6.0 though I have not tried other devices to see if it will work.
The unannounced BlackBerry Curve 9360 (GSM) is back in front of that camera. The CDMA version will be model number 9350.
- GSM version will work on networks GSM/EDGE/3G
- WiFi will be available in a standard b / g / n
- Screen resolution will be 480 × 360 (standard resolution for example, 97xx, 8900
- Bluetooth 2.1
- EMMC 512MB and 512MB of RAM
- 5MPx camera with flash
- 1050mAh battery
- Tavor processor 800MHz MG-1
- BlackBerry OS 7.0
- 11mm thick
With specs like these the new Curve is more like the Bold 9700/9780. What do you think? Please feel free to share your thoughts.
RIM has just released BBM 126.96.36.199 into the BlackBerry Beta Zone. Earlier, the latest version was 188.8.131.52, with the new update bringing a few new features. The new feature include:
- BBM Connected Apps – With BBM connected apps, you can chat with your contacts and other BBM users. You can also do thefollowing:
- Post recent app activities to your BBM profile
- Host or join events
- Ignore app invitations from contacts
- Block or report an app
- Adding Contacts – The Invite screen has been improved so that you can quickly type contact information in the field at thetop of the screen
- BBM Groups – You can easily share links to GPS locations, podcasts, and webpages with a group.
- Chats – You can send and receive appointments.
To download BBM 184.108.40.206 visit BlackBerry Beta Zone and see if you’re eligible to enroll in the BBM program.
A few weeks back we exclusively received word on some of the details regarding the rumored 10″ BlackBerry PlayBook aka PlayBook 2. However, it seems RIM has changed their mind, as we’ve received new word that the entire 10″ PlayBook development has been canceled. The reason we’re told is for production focus on the first QNX powered BlackBerry ‘Superphone’. Some of the specs we’ve been told on the new ‘Superphone’ include:
- Single-core 1.2GHz processor (same as Bold 9900), word has it that the same dual-core processor in PlayBook is a huge battery killer, but a dual-core processor is still a possibility
- 900+ screen resolution
- 4.3″ touchscreen
We’ve also learned that since development of the 10″ PlayBook has ceased, RIM has started pushing the LTE 4G PlayBook variant. It is currently said to be scheduled for release in October 2011. There is no known release date for the BlackBerry ‘Superphone’ or a known codename. Of course these specs and information are not confirmed by RIM as yet and may change, but make sure you keep it locked to N4BB.com for any more information.
RIM is continuing with their rapid release schedule for their social app portfolio today. The latest out the door is a new beta for Facebook for BlackBerry Smartphones which is now available in the Beta Zone. This new version contains some very nice refinements including integration with BBM and other apps.
Here is the change log provided by RIM:
- Enhanced Notifications – users will now be notified of polled items, such as ‘Likes’ and Event Wall posts.
- Cross-Channel Messaging – Deep integration of Facebook with core BlackBerry applications allows users to share Facebook Content across BlackBerry Messaging Applications. An example includes sending News Feed items to other messaging applications, like email, SMS, BBM, Twitter and more.
- Enhanced Integration with BlackBerry Native Apps – Building on enhanced integration with BlackBerry Native Apps, Facebook v2.0 now includes additional messaging options from the ‘More’ button within a Profile and from the Friends list.
- In-App Error Reporting – Users can install the BlackBerry Feedback Tool through the Menu in the Facebook for BlackBerry smartphones app. The BlackBerry Feedback Tool can be used to send feedback on BlackBerry features, functions, and applications at any time and is currently available in English only.
- Touch Toolbar – BlackBerry smartphone users with a touch screen device will now have Compose, Reply, and Delete icons located along the bottom of the device screen in the Facebook Inbox for quick and easy access to these popular features.
You can pick up this latest release in the Beta Zone at blackberry.com/betazone. You just need to be in one of the allowed Beta Zone countries and be registered. Hopefully RIM will simply release it publicly soon. You can also read more about the features of this release on the RIM Inside BlackBerry Blog.