BlackBerry is on the move, and they are moving fast in a most positive direction. The excellent and intuitive OS that is BB10 now stands at 10.3.0.XXXX after only 19 months since initial release of 10.0.
The handset portfolio is second to none with the likes of Z10, Q10, Q5, Z3, Z30, Porsche series, and now the Passport with the much anticipated Classic on the horizon.
The deal with Amazon for a 3rd party app store, the acquisition of Secusmart and Movirtu to solidify security and dual SIM features. I could go on because there’s LOTS of good news this year, but that’s not why we’re here today.
We are here for a killer app, and it is called BlackBerry Blend.
Blend is the natural extension of what was/is BlackBerry Bridge (for those with a Playbook tablet). But it goes way beyond that noble effort. Picture it as a “window” into your phone. It connects to your handset via either WiFi, or a USB connection.
Blend gives the PC/Mac/iPad/Android Tab user the ability to access and use multiple apps on your phone. Today, you are limited to the Passport, and the P9983. Soon all devices will have access to Blend when OS 10.3.1.XXXX drops. Let’s dive in…
As you can see in the above picture, you have access to the Hub, BBM, SMS, Calendar, Contacts, and File manager. This shows my multiple messages today, along with a breakdown of the email accounts I have on my phone, the BBM messages from individuals and groups, and SMS messages as well. The middle shows my next Calendar event. The bottom shows the six things I have access to. Oh, I purposely cut off the bottom of the pictures because it shows the PIN of the handset you are connected to, but on the bottom right, it conveniently shows the current battery level/status of your phone. Cool!
Clicking on the Hub icon shows you all the email, BBM, and SMS accounts you have on your phone. Clicking on any of them shows that account. The killer here is that you can read and respond to any message, right there! Bear in mind that the Blend app does not use your phone’s “sig” in the reply, that’s blank. But what you are doing is replying from your phone… from your PC! Excellent! I’m sure I’m not the only one who doesn’t have all my phone accounts on my PC, so here you go.
Like many of you, I get hundreds of BBM group and personal messages per day. I can’t tell you how amazing it is to be replying to BBMs with all the emoticons available from my laptop. It is a killer app indeed! I have noticed that web links shown in BBM messages don’t open up a browser on your PC, but what you CAN do is highlight/CRTL-C for copy, and paste into your browser anyway. For some reason, right click/copy does not work.
Speaking of BBM, Channels are well represented within Blend. Like on the phone, you see Channels that are featured, but you also can see “My Channels”, the ones that you subscribe to. Clicking on a Channel like the Gif Exchange pictured above gives you the latest entries all animated simultaneously. It is quite the cool thing to view! Oh, and you get to click on an entry and leave a comment with emoticons too! It’s magical! Oops, sorry about that.
The Calendar portion of Blend Lets you view Daily, Weekly, or Monthly appointments, along with the ability to add and/or modify existing meetings.
Contacts are arranged rather nicely as well. You have access to “All, Favorites, Groups, BBM, Email (per account), LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and your SIM stored as well!
The Files option is incredible and powerful. You can manipulate/move/delete/add any file to and from any location on your handset and any location that your PC has access to including local and network drives. This is extremely powerful and convenient. Because your phone has access to your own PC through Link, this is also a file browser/utility for your own drives. As shown, the device, SD card, Cloud accounts, Music, Pictures, and Video are available.
I’ve only scratched the surface here, and it is amazing. This is a killer app. I’ve used it for 6 days and it is still surprising me with features and benefits. Having this much access to my Passport from my laptop is fantastic. Having access to my laptop through Link is fabulous whilst on the road.
Like I said, BlackBerry has a winner here. At the minimum you are extending your handset battery life while communicating on the PC/tablet. The maximums are yet to be seen as this is the first iteration of what I see as a secure merging of mobile and desktop. It has already shown me benefits in efficiencies. And it’s fun too!
This is BlackBerry.
This is the future, in your hands now.
Run, do not walk #BacktoBlack