My favorite YouTube app.

My favorite YouTube app.

My favorite YouTube app for BlackBerry is FastTube. It has a lot of features that the YouTube app for Android has, but with BlackBerry flair and cascades.

It gets updated from 1.9.8.58 to 1.9.9.60, and with that, it brings the following:

* The ability to pre-load 5 videos in the free version.
* Added to universal search. (Big plus)
* Option to shorten video share url.
* Continuous play of pre-loaded videos.
* Minor bug fixes.

This is a free app to start, but if you want to sign in to your YouTube account, it will cost you .99 cents.

If you want to give it a try, you can find it in the BlackBerry World by clicking the link.

Enjoy and happy YouTubing.

Porsche P'9983

Hi folks, today is the date where BlackBerry and Porsche Design reveals the P’9983, so without further ado, let’s jump to the meat of the post, the moment you’ll likely to oogle over and over and over again.

BlackBerry Porsche P’9983 promo video.

Below is the official in boxing video.

And the obligatory press release, as usual, but before that, you may also want to read up more about the BlackBerry Porsche right here.

 

STUTTGART, GERMANY and DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES–(Marketwired – Sep 17, 2014) – Porsche Design and BlackBerry Limited (BBRY)(BB.TO), a world leader in mobile communications, today announced the new Porsche Design P’9983 smartphone from BlackBerry. The luxury P’9983 smartphone combines the unique stylish design of the iconic and timeless Porsche Design brand with the fluid and effortless productivity experience of BlackBerry® 10 technology.

Marking the third smartphone collaboration between BlackBerry and Porsche Design, the device integrates premium quality materials such as sapphire glass for the camera lens, forged stainless steel for the Porsche Design floating logo and chassis, and a special glass-weave technology for the back door. Furthermore, Porsche Design has collaborated with BlackBerry for the first QWERTY version with BlackBerry 10 with specially crafted glass-like keys with the durability of rigid synthetic material, and a special 3D effect with silver font characters.

“The Porsche Design P’9983 smartphone from BlackBerry makes a statement about its owner’s impeccable taste and drive for achievement and success, as well as discernment in making the right choices with products that help them stay on top,” says Juergen Gessler, CEO of the Porsche Design Group. “Yet again, the collaboration with BlackBerry has led to a product that blends style and functionality to provide a true luxury experience.”

“Today we mark yet another milestone in delivering an experience that goes beyond luxury,” said Ron Louks, President, Devices and Emerging Solutions at BlackBerry. “The first QWERTY Porsche Design smartphone with BlackBerry 10 experience combines superior productivity, ultimate security and privacy and the performance of the best professional tool with the opportunity to express individual style with the luxury of being one step ahead.”

Bringing together timeless aesthetics with best-in-class security, the new Porsche Design P’9983 smartphone offers the full benefits of the BlackBerry 10 platform, with key features such as:

  • A revolution of the classic BlackBerry® QWERTY Keyboard – The unique, elegantly-designed BlackBerry QWERTY keyboard continues to provide the very best typing experience. The additional personalized auto-correction and next word suggestion help to type faster, more accurately and with less effort.
  • Secure communication and collaboration – BlackBerry brings world class security through encrypted BBM™ instant messaging for your business and personal needs, so you can feel safe in the knowledge all your communications are safe and secure.
  • Unique PIN – Be instantly recognizable as a Porsche Design user. The Porsche Design P’9983 smartphone from BlackBerry provides an exclusive Porsche Design PIN range – 2AAXXXXX – that sets the owner apart and makes them instantly recognizable among other Porsche Design users.
  • BlackBerry® Priority Hub – BlackBerry® Hub is the one place to manage all your conversations and notifications. The BlackBerry Priority Hub intelligently filters messages to give you instant access to the conversations and content most essential to you, helping you stay organized and focused on the most important tasks.
  • Exceptional battery performance – Power designed to keep up with you. BlackBerry is well known for amazing battery life. With the optimization of power consumption in BlackBerry 10, the P’9983 smartphone delivers exceptional battery performance. Enjoy peace of mind knowing that you can be productive and in touch with the people who matter all day long.
  • BlackBerry® World™ – It’s important to have the right tools to get any job done with speed and excellence. You can find the very best business and productivity apps available directly from BlackBerry World.

Find your individual look with exclusive Porsche Design accessories that have been specially selected to perfectly complement your new P’9983 smartphone. In the box, you will find everything you need including a premium stereo headset, an international charging kit, a polishing cloth and a USB cable for high-speed data transfer. The P’9983 smartphone also offers exclusive aftermarket accessories including handcrafted leather backdoors made from fine Italian leather that are available in the colors: Yellow, Blue Green, Dark Brown, Pomegranate, Paloma Grey, Salsa, Blue and Orange so you can choose a look to express your individuality.

The Porsche Design P’9983 smartphone from BlackBerry will be available from Porsche Design stores, select carriers and retailers around the world by the beginning of October 2014.

For more information about the new Porsche Design P’9983 smartphone from BlackBerry please visit www.blackberry.com/p9983.

About Porsche Design

Porsche Design is a luxury brand and was founded in 1972 by Professor Ferdinand Alexander Porsche. The products represent functional, timeless and purist design, and boast an impressive innovative standard. All of the brand’s products are designed by the Porsche Design Studio and are sold around the world in more than 150 retail stores, high-end department stores, exclusive specialist stores and the official online shop (www.porsche-design.com).

About BlackBerry

A global leader in mobile communications, BlackBerry® revolutionized the mobile industry when it was introduced in 1999. Today, BlackBerry aims to inspire the success of our millions of customers around the world by continuously pushing the boundaries of mobile experiences. Founded in 1984 and based in Waterloo, Ontario, BlackBerry operates offices in North America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America. The Company trades under the ticker symbols “BB” on the Toronto Stock Exchange and “BBRY” on the NASDAQ. For more information, visit www.BlackBerry.com.

Contact:
Press
BlackBerry
Kim van Bokhoven
PR Manager Middle East at BlackBerry
+971 50 450 80 99
kvanbokhoven@blackberry.com
Porsche Design Group
Christian Weiss
Head of Public Relations
+49 [0] 711 911-12943
christian.weiss@porsche-design.de
APCO Worldwide
Claire Lawson
+971 55 400 3235
clawson@apcoworldwide.com

 

How do you like it? Sound off in the comments below and make sure make your voice heard in the forums!

 

Right as this is being typed, we see Malcolm Gladwell just finished delivering his keynote address in #Inbound 2014

There are few things that echoed in the ears of the listeners, but before all that, as how Twitter summed it up

 

 

Innovators have

1- courage to be different

2- imagination to reframe

3- a sense of urgency

 

‘Successful transformations and reframing the problem and starting from scratch.’

 

The act of reframing the problem sounds trivial but it makes the solution possible, erasing the existing boundaries.

 

Entrepreneurs succeed because they’re creative, conscientious, and able to tune out the naysayers.

 

“Being a revolutionary isn’t about everyone loving you, it’s more likely about everyone thinking you’re a weirdo.”

 

3 key traits of successful entrepreneurs: openness, conscientiousness, disagreeableness

 

You don’t need the approval of your peers in order to do something you think is correct

 

Transformation is much more than using skills, resources, and technology. It’s all about habits of mind. (an annedote about Steve Jobs’s always in a hurry in a good way, italics are by yours truly the blog writer)

 

If everyone has to think outside the box, maybe it is the box that needs fixing.”

 

And that’s not just it. Right before everything, Malcolm Gladwell pulled out a BlackBerry just to show that he’s a Canadian through and through. His exact quotes?

 

still the greatest smartphone of all time.

BlackBerry phone works as a Canadian passport

and

The BlackBerry is accepted as proof of Canadian citizenship!

 

 

But what phone is it? I’m not sure. It could be the Bold 9900, the Q10, or even BlackBerry Classic. But we’ll never ever know, until it gets revealed. See the pics and guess for yourself:

 

They are here,

Malcom Gladwell showing off his @BlackBerry during his keynote at #INBOUND14 Picture by Christina Bliss , @ChristinaBliss

 

 

more to come at

Simply inspiring. @gladwell at #inbound14 HubSpot ‏@HubSpot

 

He shows it loud, and proud!

Proud Canadian Malcolm @Gladwell showing off his BlackBerry #BoxWorks picture credited to Alan Lepofsky / @alanlepo

 

So in the heat of moment..

Malcolm Gladwell on the Blackberry: “still the greatest smartphone of all time.” #INBOUND14 Picture by Devin Bramhall / @devinemily

 

and this

Malcolm @Gladwell offers proof of his Canadian citizenship: his Blackberry. #INBOUND14 Picture by Joe Chernov @jchernov

and this

.@gladwell’s phone = Blackberry. #inbound14 Picture by Trish Fontanilla / @trishofthetrade

and this

The blackberry is accepted as proof of Canadian citizenship! @gladwell #INBOUND14 Picture by Livingston Cheng / @livcheng

 

and this

Malcolm Gladwell holding up his Blackberry as proof that he is Canadian. #INBOUND14 Picture by Carey Smith / @Carey_Smith

 

and this (he’s about to take out his BlackBerry!)

 

Great start for @Gladwell keynote at #INBOUND14 – “blackberry phone works as a Canadian passport” Picture by Yaron Zakai-Or / @yzakai

and this

Malcolm Gladwell at #INBOUND14 – uses his @BlackBerry instead of a Canadian passport :) Picture by Eleanor K. Duff / @duffeleanor

 

Twitter quotes captured as the way the twitter-er intended it to be, credits to the original owners. We would like to offer our thanks. If the pictures are wrongly accredited, and not yours, and you would like to be credited, please tell us. If you want your tweet and pic removed, please also reach out to us in the comments section.

 

Bonus: If you search Gladwell and BlackBerry together in a single tweet, don’t be surprised at how people thought that Malcolm Gladwell using a BlackBerry is still a joke. Once we have his full video (I was told that there should be one by the organizers, since he was giving a keynote address), we’ll update more details here. Then again, it may be another blog post by itself. But it does feel good when a staunch supporter of BlackBerry goes up a stage, and loudly and proudly tells that his choice of a phone is still a BlackBerry.

 

This is one for the team!

Untitled

Last week at the ‘Laughable Launch’ Apple announced they would market more schlock products to their iCult, specifically the Apple Watch. Starting at a price of $349 cultsumers can buy the watch – so instead of glancing at a 5.5″ diagonal display they can look at a tiny screen under their sleeve.

Take my money please!

Sorry I digress, this article is not about about the watch, it’s features, or the iCult.  It’s about Marketing pure and simple. Tell me deep down who isn’t envious of their Marketing Machine? Who else could get people to camp out to buy a piece of overpriced junk based on technology from 2011 & 2012?  They reap loads of money from iTunes and dump that money into tablet and phone development and marketing.  Now they have the Apple Watch. The watch can do the basics regarding emails, messaging, calendar reminders, etc but it’s also intended to help people get back into iShape via the HealthKit suit of apps.

Therein lies the rub. By crossing over the line into healthcare their apps are now subject to review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) but it doesn’t stop there.  For sake of argument let’s assume their apps serve a function and perform well. If you’ve watched any of their Marketing you’ll notice how they tend to overstate the benefits of their product, heck every company does that to some extent!  While you may not take issue with that the FDA will.

So where does this leave us?  Just last week there was a blog post about the watch where Jay Blahnik, Apple’s director of fitness and health technologies made the following statement, “… an all day fitness tracker and a highly advanced sports watch in one device you can wear all the time,…”. Now this may sound innocent enough to the general public but his terms “all day” and “all the time” fall under false advertising as the watch needs to be charged for a few hours every day.  It may seem trivial or picayune to you or I, but the FDA takes a VERY grim view of this type of marketing.  If they do not change their ways they may be receiving a love letter from the FDA-

(courtesy of myfordassociates.com)

(courtesy of myfordassociates.com)

 

Having dealt with the FDA for over 20 years I can assure you no amount of glitzy marketing, media bias, or arrogance will help them in this arena.

We’ve heard a lot about the venerable BlackBerry 10 browser since its inception, and a few months ago I took my first dip into alternate/Android browsers here.  Then known as RIM, Torch Mobile was purchased in order to bolster the web capabilities of our favourite handsets.

UTBblogs.com rendered on BB10 browser

UTBblogs.com rendered on BB10 browser

But RIM didn’t just bolster the web capabilities, in fact they set the standard to which others are now measured in speed and compliance. Currently, every other platform is playing catch up… a position that must come as a surprise to those that do not currently enjoy a BlackBerry 10 handset.

With the advent of 10.3.x.x looming on the horizon, not only are there competitors in BlackBerry World, we are now capable of running popular web browsers from the Android platform, notably Opera, Google Chrome, and Firefox.

Just for fun, I thought I’d perform some simple tests available to us all on the internet and post them up here for all to see.

First up is a test I’ve seen referred to on numerous occasions, the HTML5 test. For these tests, I’ve chosen 6 browsers, BB10, Evolution, Simplebrowser, Opera, Chrome Beta, and Firefox. The test is to determine how compliant a particular browser is to the HTML5 standard. It determines the compliance and/or readiness for features within said standard. Here we go…

BB10, Evolution, and Simplebrowser share basic code

BB10, Evolution, and Simplebrowser share basic code

 

 

As you can see in the scores above, all three browsers found in BlackBerry World share the important basics in code for HTML5. The difference being that BB10, Evolution, and Simplebrowser have a varying feature set. Now to the Android browsers…

Opera, Chrome, and Firefox

Opera, Chrome, and Firefox

As you can see, Opera, Chrome (Beta), and Firefox lag behind in HTML5 compliance but surprisingly Chrome is only one point behind! Those working on the browser for BB10 need to “kick it up a notch” methinks, as this stat has remained since 10.2.1.x.

That being said, BB10 takes the crown here as expected.

Now onto a different type of test. This particular test was created by some engineers at Facebook (ugh). We shall leave my feelings about that service for a “Grinds My Gears” post another day…

Here is a short explanation for the Ringmark test we’ll use.

Ringmark is a web-based test suite that measures how well a mobile browser supports the capabilities that modern mobile web apps require. Ringmark is an opinionated test suite and the tests are based upon the specifications identified and prioritized by its authors as being important for modern mobile applications. The specifications are arranged into groups of features called ‘rings’, and the higher the ring, the more challenging the tests within it.

 

This test was a little more fun and interactive…

IMG_20140916_200533

Again, notice the similarities between the native browsers. The green sections show successful tests, and the grey bits are failures. Here are the Android counterparts for comparison…

IMG_20140916_210930

Again, Chrome looks to be very good, and I suppose it is, but the telling tale is in the second “ring”. You see, each ring test is more difficult to pass than the previous, which means failing on the lower rings means that you are missing out on the more basic features. One surprise was that while BB10 was building the second ring, I could hear an audible tone in the speaker (the test was for audio multi-track) but it was very low volume. When I test Opera, the sound is LOUD! Made me jump, ha!

Here’s a chart I made to show Facebook Ringmark compliance:

BB10 FTW!

BB10 FTW!

As you can see, the built-in BlackBerry 10 browser is extremely good, and in my opinion (and most others) is best overall and “best in class” from a testing perspective.

That said, there are great things to be said about all of these entrants. One thing I noticed about Evolution as an example, is that you can set the “Browser Identity”. That means that a website will recognize your session as a different browser/platform. One of the systems that I need to access on a daily basis is a PBX platform that only allows IE (Internet Explorer). Choosing that identity within Evolution lets me access that server for the first time without using RDP. Nice.

What do you all think?

Are you currently using different browsers? If so, what are your use cases?

Sound off in the comments!

That’s one long headline, but definitely worth looking out for.

 

Here at UTB we don’t claim to be experts and know-all about BlackBerry. After all we don’t have star-studded ranks of elites and superstars lining up with the intention of writing anything click-baity. We’re just normal average Joes, average Janes, just like any Tom, Dick, and Harry that likes and enjoy BlackBerry products.

And speaking of that, some entity has entered a partnership because they enjoy having BlackBerry as well. They are Tango Networks and they have released a press release about it as per here:

 

Mobile Unified Communications for BlackBerry 10

bb-tango-img1

Frisco, TX, USA – September 16, 2014Tango Networks, a leading provider of Business Mobility Solutions to service providers, channel partners and enterprises, today announced it has reached a definitive agreement for BlackBerry to sell Tango Networks’ portfolio of Business Mobility Solutions to enterprise customers. The Tango Networks solution, now a part of BlackBerry’s Enterprise ISV Reseller Program, is available to customers direct from BlackBerry and its value-added reseller network.

Tango Networks’ portfolio of Business Mobility Solutions offered through BlackBerry includes:

  • Mobile UC Integration with leading UC/PBX platforms from Avaya/Nortel, Cisco, Microsoft Lync, Mitel/Aastra and Unify, among others
  • Enforceable Mobile Call Recording integrated with call recording platforms from ASC, NICE, Oracle (Acme Packet), Verint and more
  • Wireless Business Continuity to maintain communications during unplanned outages
  • SIP Trunking with most UC/PBX platforms

These solutions provide an enhanced Mobile Unified Communications portfolio that delivers desk phone capabilities to BlackBerry® 10, iOS and Android smartphones. Users can answer corporate phone calls on their mobile devices and access enterprise voice features such as conferencing, call controls and extension dialing without having to be tethered to their desk phones. This results in exceptional flexibility and productivity, in addition to higher satisfaction levels for users and the people with whom they collaborate. It can also integrate with leading third-party recording solutions to record calls anchored in the PBX, helping organizations achieve compliance with government or regulatory requirements.

“We are impressed with Tango Networks’ technology and solutions, as they complement BlackBerry’s strategy of creating an enterprise-grade ecosystem that provides a highly productive end-user experience,” said Peter Ng, Senior Director of Global Alliances and Business Development at BlackBerry.

“Tango Networks’ portfolio of solutions positions BlackBerry to help meet the diverse needs of highly mobile workforces, whether they come from small businesses or large enterprises,” said Al Leo, Senior Vice President Sales – Americas at Tango Networks.  “Our market-leading application portfolio provides the seamless mobility end-users require to effectively conduct business.”

#   #   #

About Tango Networks

Tango Networks enables service providers, channel partners and enterprises to offer Mobile Business Services to their customers and workforce. Using its unique and patented federated design, Tango Networks’ award-winning edge services platform offers specialized service capabilities across 4G IMS/VoLTE, 3G and 2G networks that work with all mobile phones, providing value to channel partners, SMB and enterprise customers.

Solutions include Mobile Unified Communications, Mobile Call Recording, SIP Trunking, Business Messaging Service, Business Continuity, Multi-line, Mobile PBX, Mobile Policy Control and Responsible Driver System.

Tango Networks’ customers include Tier 1 service providers in North America and Europe and a rapidly growing base of channel partners, enterprise and government customers worldwide. To learn more about Tango Networks, please visit http://www.tango-networks.com or follow Tango Networks on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tangonetworks.

 

Media Contacts

Al Leo, SVP Sales
Tango Networks
alleo@tango-networks.com
+1 469 229 6010

 

The details are scarce and few in between (not like we got moles and creatures like that, but that’s another thing) about this partnership. But on face value, there are few notable things that we can see for ourselves.

1) Tango Networks’ primary product lies within the concept of a virtualized PBX system. If you’re not aware what a PBX system is, its actually a multiple line system, say for example  123-456-789-ext-1234. The extension behind still uses the main number, but by adding extension you get to connect an outfit (sometimes up to thousand in phone numbers!) into a single organization number (trunk number) and then figure out and distribute individual extension numbers depending on need and function.

2) In the context of virtual PBX system, it is important to note that its not “just an emulation of concept” but it is important to understand that in the context of physical PBX and hosted PBX, the methods used to establish, setup and maintain it is different and have different variable cost. In corporations that have high amount of mobile workers (workers on the go, workers on the road, etc) a hosted PBX system makes sense, and Tango Networks, just like other hosted PBX service providers can and will become an integral part of such a mobile system, bar / sans the pricing issue.

3) Tango Network provides 4 services via it’s hosted PBX services, and if you look at the idea that BlackBerry had acquired Movirtu’s and their virtual SIM technology, it makes sense that it on paper it will play along and nicely with each another, riding on top of BlackBerry’s super secure BES infrastructure.

4) I don’t have knowledge nor I pretend to know to have insider information (doesn’t make sense anyway), but I think should BlackBerry attempt to tie in this package with their offering and still keep it low-priced (as in another report that mentioned that BlackBerry is still the cheapest MDM/EMM provider in overall costs, which you can download and read right here) then BlackBerry will continue to offer the best bang-for-buck EMM/MDM solution that cannot be ignored any longer by CEOs and their cyber/mobile division.

5) It shows that the BES division of BlackBerry isn’t just banking everything on BES12’s software, but provides a selection of package (I always, for the weirdest reasons, kind of think of it as  picking your own menu in a restaurant with “make your own full course meal” setup)

 

Are you a BES user? What do you think of this partnership? Do sound off here, and also lay down your thoughts in the forums to share with others!

 

By the way, if you look carefully in BlackBerry App World here in this link, you’ll actually see Tango Networks App listed as a new app.

Talk about clockwork ninja. Yet people continue to say BlackBerry was supposed to be a sinking ship, aye? Not bad for a supposedly dying company, because I don’t see how partnering = one step closer to death. I’m sure for Tango Networks and BlackBerry, this will be a very fruitful and rewarding partnership.

 

 

grim-reaper-gesture-162352

Well hello again my trusty BlackBerrian congregation!

It’s all happening isn’t it?

Do you remember a sermon of mine some time ago about a mobile phone company here in the UK?

Rev Grim Helps Phones4U See The Light

Well, it has been announced yesterday that the people your good Reverend tried to help down the right path will be closing the doors this week and turning the key one last time…

Phones4u are outta here!

Phones4you

 

This from the same company who earlier on this year decided not to sell BB10 because ‘BlackBerry are dead’.

Hmm.

Whilst I feel sorry for the employees, the business has been run rather badly.

This has come about because early this year O2 and Three (3UK) pulled out from P4U meaning they were only left to offer Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile and EE (Orange and T-Mobile are all under the same roof as EE here in the UK) but today both EE and Vodafone pulled out as well, meaning only one thing, Phones4U can’t offer anyone a contract at all with ANY mobile carrier in the UK meaning 550 stores will now close and over 5000 jobs are gone!

Why have they pulled out?

Well, a Vodafone spokesperson said that the decision to pull out is because of the retailer’s failure to come up with a “commercially viable” agreement.

And EE said “In line with our strategy to focus on growth in our direct channels and to move to fewer, deeper relationships in the indirect channel, and driven by developments in the marketplace that have called into question the long term viability of the Phones 4u business, we can confirm that we have taken the decision not to extend our contract beyond September 2015. We will monitor developments and work to provide any necessary support for customers who joined EE through Phones 4u.”

So, What does this really mean? Phones 4U are doing something wrong… in a HUGE style!

This month there are two big phones being released, the BlackBerry Passport and of course the Amazon Firefly… oh, and fApple have released something… Any way Phones 4U are right up… or should I say WERE right up Samsung’s backside, opening a ‘Store within a store’ in London’s Oxford Street in 2012

(http://www.samsung.com/uk/news/local/samsung-and-phones-4u-launch-new-store-within-a-store)

Maybe EE, T-Mobile (who seem to be crawling back to BlackBerry hey magenta pants?) Orange and Vodafone want to stock and sell the Passport, (after all, who wouldn’t?) and because Phones 4U won’t stock BlackBerry handsets it’s not viable to work with them?

Come on, what phone manufacturer has the ONLY secure operating system? Not Amazon…

What Phone manufacturer is on the verge of releasing the only innovative handset of 2014? Not fApple…

What Phone manufacturer has access to more app’s than anyone else? Not Samsung…

What Phone manufacturer is the only sensible option for business around the world? Not HTC

The list goes on, BES10, battery life, a touchscreen keypad that works, proper keypads for people that want them…

Can you see what I’m saying?

Maybe the decision to not stock BlackBerry is what could be killing a company and 5000+ jobs…

In the past 12 months or so how many people, companies and celebrities have paid for not going #BackToBlack? After all #BlackBerryWorks

Aren’t you glad you’re BlackBerry? Lets hope this is the way its going, if you walk away from the ONLY sensible choice as a phone seller then you are going to pay a huge price… T-Mobile have crawled back after all… Are you taking note 3UK? You could be next!

Well my lucky friends, you can leave now knowing that you have already made the right choice, but while you are out on your travels try to remember the unfortunate Sheeple and Assimilated Droidians that haven’t seen the light and if you do meet some, try and help them #BackToBlack

So, for now…

Rev Grim’s outta here!

galen gruman

This man is Galen Gruman.

He is the Executive Editor for Info World.

And he is an iDiot.

Why so?

Well, Galen has written MANY books. Here’s a few: iPad at Work For Dummies, MacBook Pro Portable Genius, iBooks Author For Dummies. So it would seem Galen isn’t stupid, he just likes to write books for Dummies.

Either way, Galen has a problem with BlackBerry.

In an article dated 18th July, here’s what Galen had to say about BlackBerry and the Passport.

BlackBerry’s Square Smartphone And Other Desperate Moves

(by the way, I put the capital letters in the headline on for him – he didn’t bother)

When you’re desperate, you sometimes do stupid things, though they only worsen your already dire situation. That’s what’s happening at BlackBerry, the struggling smartphone maker now lashing out at a world it doesn’t like while continuing to play at product designs that make no sense.

A year ago, the company brought in a new CEO to turn the page on seven years’ worth of denial that people wanted smartphones to do more than secure messaging. BlackBerry execs pooh-poohed the iPhone, then Android as silly consumer fads, even as more and more businesses adopted at least the iPhone as a secure corporate standard. Last year, the U.S. military granted both the iPhone and some Android devices (those secured with Samsung’s Knox service). No surprise that BlackBerry’s market share is in single digits, down from industry dominance a decade ago.

[ Why it's so hard to believe BlackBerry has a future. | Keep up on key mobile developments and insights with the Mobilize newsletter. ]

That new CEO, John Chen, has talked about returning to BlackBerry’s strengths: supersecure messaging. That’s a small market, but a lucrative one, and frankly it’s the only place where BlackBerry has a shot of being relevant. But that’s a tough nut to crack because, well, BlackBerrys with even the decent BlackBerry 10 OS don’t do much more than serve as messaging devices. The app market for BlackBerry is, simply put, pathetic. And people get smartphones for a helluva lot more uses than messaging.

By attacking competitors, BlackBerry reinforces its desperation
Is BlackBerry working to create a set of compelling, even if niche, apps to make the BlackBerry more than a fancy text-messaging device? It doesn’t seem so. Instead, it attacks competitors like Good Technology, MobileIron, and SGP Technologies (maker of the new highly secure Android-based Blackphone).

Vendors routinely say they’re better than their competitors, but BlackBerry is doing it in an obnoxious way that reeks of desperation, with a “fact check” campaign modeled after smeary election ads. Frankly, all it does is portray BlackBerry as petty and defensive. A self-confident company wouldn’t roll in the mud of perceived slights and alleged misperceptions.

Given BlackBerry’s multiple years of denying reality and claiming apps, iPhones, consumerization, and so on were fads that right-thinking companies would one day recant, this latest hyperdefensiveness brings back to mind all that denial — not what you want to remind customers of.

When BlackBerry slams competitors for daring to say they offer relatively high levels of security, it instead reminds us all how far BlackBerry has fallen — and how its supersecurity pitch is overkill for most users.

For most companies, what mobile management providers like Citrix, Good, and MobileIron provide for the iPhone and even Android is fully adequate. The Blackphone — whose name is no doubt meant to trade on BlackBerry’s security reputation, as well as the “black ops” phrase used in spy circles — is interesting because it brings a deeper level of information security to Android than anything else has to date.

For a while, BlackBerry highlighted its security in a constructive way, showing off how much more secure its BlackBerry platform is for military and other sensitive uses while also promoting its BlackBerry Enterprise Service’s recent support for the good-enough-for-most security in iOS and Android. Then it partially opened up the management of its BlackBerry devices, so enterprises that used other providers’ management tools would be able to keep BlackBerrys in their device mix — a sensible coexistence strategy.

But now BlackBerry is reinforcing its reputation as an old-school product for a tiny niche, using very off-putting tactics to boot. Yeah, that’ll help.

A square BlackBerry gets notice — as another example of not getting it
At the same time, BlackBerry has been semi-officially leaking its Passport device concept, a square-screen BlackBerry that puzzles pretty much anyone who’s seen it. It doesn’t fit in a shirt pocket, a flaw that guarantees it won’t get used. Its keyboard uses a nonstandard aspect ratio, a flaw that will besmirch BlackBerry’s reputation for excellent physical keyboards.

Worse, it doesn’t have a point.

A rectangular screen has the advantage of providing two viewports, one landcsape and one horizontal, so you can adjust the screen view for the content at hand. A square screen eliminates that versatility. It doesn’t offer any additional benefit either. Nothing is really designed to work on a square screen — neither websites nor apps. BlackBerry would need to come up with amazing square apps to change that game, but BlackBerry doesn’t do compelling apps.

The Passport will allegedly ship this September. I don’t want to believe it’s a real product because it’s such a stupid idea. But BlackBerry not only says it’s a real product but that customers who’ve used prototypes are “clamoring” for it. Uh huh.

BlackBerry has said the same thing about every new (failed) product in recent years. Early customers “loved” the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, but no one bought them. Early customers “loved” the BlackBerry Z10 (which I did like), but no one bought them. Customers “loved” the BlackBerry Q10, a throwback to the once popular, keyboard-oriented BlackBerry Bold, but no one bought the Q10 either.

If that’s love, BlackBerry needs to date someone new.

Perhaps BlackBerry should stop developing smartphones, if it thinks the Passport is a good idea. Such a device only reinforces the cluelessness that BlackBerry has stubbornly clung to since the iPhone first shipped and is not a good message to your potential customers.

I really wish that the folks at BlackBerry would shut up and deliver. The more they talk, the worse they look.

Of course, in the intervening period since Galen wrote this…

1) The Blackphone has been hacked a couple of times making it pointless
2) Apple have been hacked repeatedly and, very infamously, with Fapplegate
3) Android’s Knox has died a death due to the fact that it is pretty much unworkable with an open OS
4) MobileIron/Apple almost wrecked Aviva Insurances business as they were hacked with ease and dashed #BackToBlack asap
5) The buzz about this mysterious square smartphone has gone bananas.

Oh, and many of his books are how to deal with the highly successful Windows 8 Operating System. So successful that retailers offer you Windows 7 if they possibly can and Windows 9 is dashing to the rescue asap.

Just to prove Galen’s iCredentials, here are the titles of his latest works:

The 5 lessons both IT and business should learn from Apple

Too big, too small, or just right? Sizing up the iPhone 6 Plus

Apple Watch: The Internet of things’ new frontier

10 ways Apple really has changed the (tech) world

iOS 8’s hidden revolution goes way beyond the iPad and iPhone

Rotten Apple: Apple’s 11 biggest failures (this one I like! Oh, wait, it’s in praise of Fapple in the end)

Fixes flood in for iOS and Android email — but they aren’t broken (of course they’re not! They’re crap by design)

My God.

In other words, Galen likes to deal in software no one really likes.

Still, never mind, there’s so much to learn here from Apple and their amazing watch and their FANTASTIC revolutionaty iOS8 product blah… blah… blah….

Just one thing to learn, Galen.

If you want to play in the iPlayground, that’s your lookout. After all, it would seem that the market for your books is shrinking by the day.

If you want to comment on BlackBerry at least get your facts right.

And if you want to be so vitriolic about it and mis-represent BlackBerry through your own iGnorance?

Expect to end up here.

Congratulations.

I hope you enjoy seeing all those people coming #BackToBlack and are utterly baffled by it.

After all, we don’t really deserve you, do we?

Now, where’s our Resident iDiot with his Passport predictions?

First, the complimentary press release right here from

Inside BlackBerry Blogs

and

Hootsuite Blogs

A snippet, more of an endorsement that perfectly describes this partnership, as in the words of a Barcelona FC’s Board Member who is also the Technology Area Director

 

“Both social media and messaging channels have been a powerful tool for FC Barcelona to engage with our large active global fan base. By bringing together Hootsuite and BBM Channels, FC Barcelona team now has a way to bring their Channels content into their social media workflow to expand the reach of brand and user-generated content. The ability to be more social as an organization is integral for our success, and we expect nothing less.” —Dídac Lee, FC Barcelona Board Member, Technology Area Director

 

This has been an impressive stride for BlackBerry’s BBM division. We at UTB certainly hope to see that more of such collaboration between BlackBerry’s BBM division with other platforms.

Just to pour some thoughts into this;

what we know is that since it can be daunting for a really big organization with huge amount of followers like FC Barcelona to manage everything from a Single device (god forbid how would anyone even manage a single BBM Channel of that magnitude via a Fapple Applauncher or Android) but now there’s an option to do it via Hootsuite. There are few implications that I would think that’s being established here:

1) BBM Channels has more options of managing itself, and be able to put more people behind the administrator (instead of a singular person administrator) . This means administrators won’t get swamped down, and there should be more people that can actually use Channels as a proper channel to real life, on-time, round-the-clock feedback since the other person behind the account would actually be a human being and less likely to post “cookie cutter” answers.

2) BBM Channels have just evolved into an even better mass-scale communication channel, since it has verification system (so that big name channels now also have a mark to indicate that they’re authentic as they say they are, etc) and now if a particular content makes it big, or viral it can share, or also be part of that.

 

3) At the present I see BlackBerry Channel is listed as a “FREE” plugin, but I’m not sure if BlackBerry and Hootsuite will monetize this, as how Hootsuite had charged for other plugins for other sites / content management. Instead of mulling too much with insufficient data, I believe that at this point, since it has developed to such a point, the possibility is yes, and the proper question is “if yes, when and how?”

 

4) This actually marks BlackBerry’s BBM division entering into a new niche that I believe the company hasn’t really fully explored, but they have dipped their toes with Hootsuite, I’m going to pay more attention to this. I see it as a win-win-win for the Company, the customers and the service providers (in the case above, Barcelona FC and their fans) . I suspect that there are room for which Hootsuite competitors will also try to capitalize on this once the idea of BBM Channels grow (the onus is always on the content creator and provider) As for BlackBerry they just entered another market and they’re now the new kids on the block. I expect some serious challenge by BlackBerry to promote its BBM Channels platform for various purposes.

 

If you have thoughts, do speak them here, and also post them in the forums!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not very long ago, I was given an opportunity to try out a beta app, courtesy of someone else sharing a code with me on BlackBerry BETA for an upcoming game. I’m now reliably informed, and also pleased to introduce to you;

BREAKFAST SAGA

(click on the above link to open via BlackBerry App World, and yes its a PAID APP, but worth the buck)

The premise of the game is simple. You find a way to make 3-in-a-row, and voila.

You can chain it horizontally, vertically, and even diagonally.

It has few modes, and I like it very much (especially Zen Mode, where I can just keep on going and going and going and going without even having to bother how much time left)

The gameplay video here (pictures won’t do enough justice)

 

Just some notes from the developer:

+ BlackBerry Q10, BlackBerry Q5, BlackBerry Passport now working correcly and with bigger tiles!
+ NO ADs, Full native smooth BlackBerry10 Games!
+ Almost all suggestions and fix from beta zone testers included in this version.
+ Check Beta Zone for Breakfast Saga Beta Version !

Let’s excuse the part that people may say it’s similar to Candy Crush. Its a different feel altogether and you will find the gameplay different, especially with no annoying in-app-purchases. But if you so insist, fire up the BlackBerry Beta World, look for the app, and give it a try. I’ll still think its worth the buck for such a well made game.