Tag Archives | RIM BlackBerry

Join Me on Tuesday for Live Coverage of RIM's BlackBerry Event

BlackBerry maker RIM has invited members of the press to an event in New York City next Tuesday at 11am ET. Folks are logically assuming that the company will announce a new touchscreen BlackBerry running BlackBerry OS 6–which would make for some of the year’s biggest smartphone news.

I’ll be in the audience, furiously liveblogging whatever happens as it transpires–and I hope that you’ll be along for the ride. Live Technologizer coverage starts at 11am ET on Tuesday (or–pssst–a few minutes before) at technologizer.com/blackberry. (You can head there now to sign up for a reminder.)

In the meantime, BlackBerry aficionados, feel free to let us know in the comments on this post what you hope next week’s news brings. (I’m hoping for something genuinely exciting–I’d much rather that BlackBerry feels like a vibrant part of smartphones’ future than a distinguished reminder of their past.)

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Report: BlackBerry Tablet Is The Real Deal

My colleague Tim Conneally over at Betanews has a scoop that has seen a bit of play in the tech media over this past weekend: the BlackBerry Tablet is indeed real. While there have been a few stories that quote a research report by Rodman & Renshaw analyst Ashok Kumar, this is the first one I’ve seen that appparently sources somebody from within the company.

The device will have a 7-inch screen and run on a 1GHz processor, and include a front and back facing camera for video-conferencing. Tim adds that his source also says RIM plans to add Flash support to the device, complete with a hardware-based Flash accelerator. If true, it certainly would be interesting to see how Apple responds, given it has been so adamantly against Flash.

No further details have been given about any possible date of launch, but speculation is that it would be released during the holiday season. “Seasonal buying has done wonders for devices like the Motorola Droid which launched during last year’s holiday season and went on to become the best-selling Android phone to date,” Tim writes.

I’m not sure what to make of any potential BlackBerry-powered tablet, or venture a guess on how well it might do. But I think it would probably be a worthy alternative to the iPad for enterprise environments that already employ RIM’s line of smartphones.

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BitBop TV for BlackBerry Goes Live

Got a BlackBerry and feeling a little left out of the excitement this week? Here’s something to cheer you up: a cool service that’s only for BlackBerries right now. BitBop, a TV service that was previously available only as a closed beta, has opened up. And so far it only runs on RIM’s phones: the Bold, the Curve, and the Tour.

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A First Peek at BlackBerry OS

BlackBerry maker RIM has one of the bigger, more fascinating challenges in the whole world of tech: It makes some of the most successful, beloved devices on the planet, but its aging software platform is a dead end. At its WES 2010 conference today, the company previewed the upcoming BlackBerry 6 OS–due in the third quarter of this year–in a video that was clearly meant more to tantalize than to inform.

We can tell that it looks as much or more like the iPhone (and Android, and WebOS) than the current BlackBerry OS. We see social-media feeds and multimedia features, but only a hint of the modern new WebKit-based browser. We don’t actually get a peek at a phone, but the Minority Report-like floating display has a virtual keyboard rather than plastic keys. (Which I hope and assume doesn’t mean that BlackBerry is giving up on physical keys–seems like the most exciting possible next-generation BlackBerry would still be an awesome phone that happened to have an excellent real keyboard.)

Here’s the video–BlackBerry users, does it leave you excited, apprehensive, or a bit of both?


Decent Browser Coming to BlackBerries

More news from Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress: At a keynote by RIM’s Mike Lazaridis, he says that BlackBerries will get an all-new Web browser based on the same WebKit rendering engine used by the iPhone, Android phones, and Palm’s Web OS. It’s due later this year.

This demo shows both that the new browser looks like giant leap over RIM’s current, rudimentary one–and that the fact that most BlackBerries have small, non-touch screens still impacts the usability of browsing.

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The BlackBerry Storm Gets Cheaper

stormreviewsSo much attention is being lavished on Apple’s iPhone 3GS that it’s easy to forget that the old iPhone 3G is quite a deal at its new $99 price. And even if you never buy an iPhone, you may benefit from Apple’s price cut, since it’s inexorably going to lead to lower prices for competitive smartphones. Such as RIM’s BlackBerry Storm–which AT&T is now selling for the familiar price of $99 with a two-year contract. Verizon originally sold the Storm for $250 (before a $50 rebate) and has recently offered it for $150, so the new sticker price represents a steep discount.

Unlike most BlackBerries, the Storm was poorly reviewed; most of the real people I run into who own one don’t hate it, but they don’t rhapsodize over it, either. With the Storm now assuming the same positioning as the iPhone 3G–last year’s technology for under a hundred bucks–the big question is whether the upcoming second-generation Storm will be a smartphone that BlackBerry fans can love.


Google Releases Google Voice App for BlackBerry and Android. Now Let’s Hope It Releases Google Voice.

Google Voice LogoGoogle Voice just got more useful for BlackBerry and Android users: Google has released apps for both platforms that provide access to the service’s features. Sounds like the most significant aspect is that they make dialing outgoing calls using your Google Voice number a whole lot easier. (If you use your phone’s “real” number to call folks, they can use Caller ID to see the number and may add it to their address books, thereby making it a lot tougher to train the world to use your Google Voice number as your only phone number.)

Here’s a video from Google explaining the new apps:

iPhone users (like me) don’t have an app yet–we can access Google Voice from Safari, but only via a pretty basic interface. But over at TechCrunch, Michael Arrington says that Google Voice’s Craig Walker told him that an iPhone app is in the works. Once it arrives,  I can try being All Google Voice, All the Time. (For business calls, that is–I’ll bet I’m not the only proprietor of a very small business who uses my phone-company phone number for personal calls, and my Google Voice number for work stuff.)

The most important remaining question about Google Voice remains the same: WHEN IS GOOGLE PLANNING TO OPEN UP THE SERVICE TO ANYONE AND EVERYONE WHO’D LIKE TO USE IT?!? Google still isn’t saying. But the fact that it’s rolling out these apps and steadily letting folks who requested invites months ago in is a good sign that the rest of world won’t have to wait forever. I hope. (I can’t think of another Web service that’s had such a high profile and received so many upgrades while remaining available only to a smalllish group of users.)


5Words for May 20th, 2009

5wordsBusy day for phone news…

Best Buy’s instant Pre rebate.

Unsubsidized, the Pre is $549.

Various small Google Reader tweaks.

iPhone sales double over 2008.

BlackBerries are selling well, too.

Acer to make Android phone.

Virgin America offers Wi-Fi everywhere.

Dell shows an Android netbook.

Hulu preps for UK launch.

Will Google partner with Twitter?

Pandora’s paid app is cool.

Do you drive while texting?

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