Tag Archives | BlackBerry

5Words: BlackBerry Bold–Now Even Bolder!

5wordsNew BlackBerry Bold hits AT&T

…and T-Mobile has it too.

Screenshots of Google’s music service?

Google’s music partners: LaLa, iLike

Windows 7 pre-selling like hotcakes.

Apple to PCs: It’s war!

Bing to get Facebook, Twitter?

Time Warner Cable security hole.

RIM working on Webkit browser.

Why Nook’s a Kindle Killer.

Gizmodo reviews new white MacBook.

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Report: BlackBerries to Bundle Flash and Silverlight

The Boy Genius Report says that it is “pretty much confirmed” that Research In Motion will integrate full Flash and Silverlight run time support into its BlackBerry Web browser. If true, that would be a significant step in the transformation of smart phones into functional mini computers.

Flash and Silverlight are not just about games and streaming videos; the run times power Rich Internet Applications (RIAs). Adobe is promoting Flash to be used as a front end for business applications, and Microsoft is positioning Silverlight for business apps.

At SD Times, I have covered component makers that are releasing Silverlight controls (data grids, charts, UI controls) for line of business applications. After all, Silverlight is a subset of the .NET Framework, which is used for business applications.

With HTML 5, Web applications will become even more common, because it will have a built-in application container. Other techniques such as AJAX will also enable Web applications to run within a phone’s browser. (Nokia is betting that standard AJAX Web applications will become popular across its entire portfolio of S60 devices.)

Supporting Flash and Silverlight, assuming it happens, will bring a greater variety of applications to BlackBerry devices. Developers will be able to run their applications on Blackberries using the skills that they have today –without having to learn any specialized RIM technologies. That’s the way it should be; skills should be portable.

By embracing Flash and Silverlight, RIM would break out of the walled garden that smartphones have existed in, making itself more attractive and accessible to application makers. Consumers will win by being able to do more with their devices.


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What’s the Future of the BlackBerry?

RIM BlackBerry PatentBlackBerry maker RIM is a remarkably successful maker of handheld devices and has been so for a very long time–but it doesn’t get a fraction of the press given to that phone-industry upstart Apple. Today, however, RIM is the subject of multiple upbeat stories. An analyst says it and Apple will lead the smartphone market. Fortune has a long and largely positive feature on the company (focusing on the competition with Apple) and says it’s something Apple isn’t: the fastest-growing company in the world.

Seems like a good time for a T-Poll:


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Is the iPhone Accident Prone? Survey Says: Not Much!

Falling iPhoneA TechCrunch article citing research by SquareTrade, a company that sells insurance plans for smartphones, says that Apple’s iPhone is “an accident magnet.” I wouldn’t have drawn that same conclusion.

SquareTrade’s report, “One-Third of iPhones Fail Over 2 Years, Mostly From Accidents,” should be viewed with skepticism. For starters, while SquareTrade used  a sample of many thousand smartphones covered by its warranty products, it didn’t cleanse its data (for instance by removing unlocked phones), and performed no statistical tests. Rightfully, the report includes the disclaimer:

SquareTrade has made efforts to ensure that the data we present is correct. SquareTrade makes no warranty, express or implied, about the accuracy of the data. SquareTrade is an independent third party, and has no affiliation with any of the handset manufacturers cited in this study. Users of the information in this document acknowledge that SquareTrade cannot be he liable for any damages whatsoever to any individual, organization, company, industry group or representative arising from the use of this data.

TechCrunch seized on the report’s findings that over 20% of iPhones have been damaged in the last 22 months, with cracked screens being the leading cause of damage. But the SquareTrade report doesn’t report on damage rates for other phone models, so it’s impossible to judge whether iPhones are any more likely to crack (or croak altogether) than other brands. Phones, after all, are more likely to get dropped than desktop PCs, HDTVs, or printers–no matter who manufactured them.

The study does say that iPhones are “significantly more reliable” than phones manufactured by Palm and RIM (9.9% of iPhones cited in the survey malfunctioned, versus 15.3% of BlackBerry and 19.9% of Treo phones). And it says that the iPhone 3G is a more reliable handset than the original iPhone.

My statistics are a bit rusty, but a common test called a T-test would have shown whether there was any significance difference between the iPhone’s likelihood of being damaged versus its competitors. The same goes for its supposedly higher manufacturing quality. Bottom line: It’s worth thinking twice before drawing conclusions about the iPhone from a single survey or news report. Colorful graphs always don’t tell us much.


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5Words for Friday, May 15th 2009

5wordsSpecial late Friday afternoon edition!

Facebook to launch video chat?

iPhone SlingPlayer: pricey, selling well.

Rumor: iPods Nano with cameras.

Zappos: from shoes to electronics.

iPhone 3.0: background apps permitted?

New BlackBerry Storm sans SurePress?

Sony Pictures CEO hates Internet.

Netbooks aren’t about to expire.

More on Thursday’s Google outage.

Shazam iPhone app sparks lawsuits.


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5Words for May 4th, 2009

5wordsNever assume RIM is toast:

BlackBerry Curve outells the iPhone.

Two trends conspiring against Microsoft.

11.6″ EeePC on its way.

Navigon exits North American market.

“Houdini’s” a great phone name.

MySpace formulates its turnaround strategy.

Myst for iPhone: It’s humongous!

WiiMotion Plus on sale.

The White House gets social.

The world’s lamest cell phones.


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5Words for April 23rd, 2009

5wordsHey, BlackBerry fans, good news:

Spy shots: Skyfire’s BlackBerry browser.

YouTube gets a chat feature.

New Ubuntu available for download.

Microsoft: still under antitrust watch.

$9000 Leica camera: pretty, white.

MSI readying Android-based netbooks?

OQO’s future doesn’t look bright.

Trade your HD-DVDs for Blu-Ray.

Lost laptops cost $50,000. Supposedly.

Asus releases a 17.3″ notebook.

Amazon deletes bribe-revealing reviews.


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Facebook 1.5 for BlackBerry: A More Integrated Experience

facebooklogoI got real excited when I heard about the new Facebook application 1.5 for BlackBerry phones, thinking it would provide the same functionality as is delivered on my iPod Touch or my wife’s iPhone. Question is, does it even come close to the iPhone interface, or does it leverage the strength of the BlackBerry?

I instantly appreciated the following improvements on my BlackBerry Bold:

  • Viewing comments on someone’s status.  Hard to imagine, but no, you couldn’t do that before on a BlackBerry.
  • Commenting on a status update and commenting on those comments.
  • Connecting your Facebook contacts to your BlackBerry’s contacts.  Here is where it gets really interesting.  While in Facebook 1.5, you choose a contact and it gives you the option choose to “Connect to BlackBerry Contact”.  You then get the chance to “Select Contact” from your BlackBerry address or create a “New Contact”.  If the person already in your BlackBerry address book it marks that contact as a Facebook contact then places the avatar picture in the BlackBerry address book.  If it’s a new contact and you choose “New Contact”, it creates a new one in the BlackBerry address book.  In either case, if you don’t have the person’s phone number, it will send a message asking them for it.
  • Connecting your Facebook messages to the BlackBerry’s inbox. Message integration is easy to explain… you see Facebook messages in the BlackBerry’s universal inbox with a Facebook icon to let you know it’s from Facebook.  You can also go into BlackBerry messages and select “Facebook”, to send a message over FaceBook.  I can also go into my BlackBerry address book, choose a friend on FaceBook, then either send that person a message, write on his or her wall, or poke him or her.  This leverages the BlackBerry’s universal inbox and address book.
  • Connecting your FaceBook calendar to BlackBerry’s.  I did not try out the calendar function as I don’t use that in Facebook.  I did go into the BlackBerry calendar and it would allow me to pick “Send using FaceBook.”

So the new FaceBook 1.5 BlackBerry application does leverage BlackBerry’s strengths.  This is impressive to me as I believe for my uses, BlackBerry has a superior universal inbox, calendar, and address book.  But I still want some of the items available on the iPhone, such as the application bar and the ability to easily view photos, links,  the live feed, notes, and other apps.  I can’t have it all!

If you have a BlackBerry and want to give the new Facebook a spin, try it out here. Here are a few images of it in action:

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5Words for April 8th, 2009

5wordsLotsa news tidbits this Wednesday:

Windows 7 users: happy campers.

More BlackBerry Storm 2 rumors.

Nintendo DS: pocket video player.

Apple sued over touch screens.

200 million people use Facebook.

Almost all e-mail is spam.

More and more Twitterers.

Acer unleashes tons of notebooks.

Better broadband? FCC’s getting going.

Word’s father returns to earth.

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5Words for April 7th, 2009

5wordsCare to read some news?

Google searches return local info.

New logos for Intel chips.

New BlackBerry Storm in September?

Problem! Mysterious missing Twitter avatars.

Boxee rolls out API, fixes.

Dual-thumbstick PSP for Christmas?

iTunes variable pricing goes live.

Arrington on FriendFeed: cool, unused?

Drobo introduces eight-bay storage.

AP: hands off our content.


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