Tag Archives: blackberry 10

Blackberry 10 has just become the most unsafe mobile OS

imageBlackberry has always prided itself on the security of their operating system, but this was not enough to ensure their survival in the cut-throat smartphone market, especially with the massive app gap between it and the leading smartphone operating systems.

In a last-ditch Hail Mary pass Blackberry has decided to throw their legacy out the window, and have unlocked their Android emulator and are allowing Blackberry 10 users to download and install Android APK’s directly to their smartphones.

Unfortunately this freedom did not come with access to the Google Play store, the result being Blackberry 10 users who are using the latest versions of the operating system are getting all their software from 3rd party app stores filled with pirated Android software and the malware that goes along with it.

While the Android apps still run in a different environment from the “business” side of Blackberry OS, it seems rather likely that the majority of 3rd party apps Blackberry 10 users will be using will be Android apps downloaded from dubious sources, carried inside the firewall of the few businesses who still support them.

In one fell swoop Blackberry has both solves the “app gap” for their smartphone users, and destroyed the reputation of the company for security and safety for users and the companies who purchase their handsets.  We can only congratulate their genius…

Is Google conspiring with Blackberry against Windows Phone?

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Blackberry’s recently failed sales process has revealed that amongst many other bidders Google also expressed interest in purchasing all or part of the Canadian company.

Of course I strongly suspect due to anti-trust concerns Google would not be allowed to snap up the troubled company, but it seems Google has found another way to exert its influence on the smartphone market.

Recent leaks of the latest version of the Blackberry OS, version 10.2.1, includes a new version of the Blackberry Runtime for Android which removes much of the restrictions which have stopped Android apps from running reliably on Blackberry 10 handsets, mainly those surrounding the Google Service Framework.  There are also rumours that the OS will ship with the Google Play Store, allowing Blackberry 10 phones to run all million Android apps.

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Blackberry’s ‘great’ 10.2 OS updated illustrates Microsoft’s wisdom

windows-phone-blackberry-os-320x198Blackberry is turning out to be a pretty great case study on how not to execute a turn-around, and I am sure for at least the next decade business schools will be talking about the foolhardy decisions their management have made over the last 18 months.

One thing Blackberry fans however remain proud of is their operating system and the updates it has received, with the refrain often being that the next software update will be the one that rescues the company from certain doom.

And looking at the features of the software update it is easy to see why they are optimistic.

Blackberry 10.1 Blackberry 10.2
  • PIN to PIN messaging
  • Improved attachment support
  • Custom notifications
  • HDR Camera
  • Fine cursor control
  • Remote file access to computers
  • Allows password paste into system fields
  • Fix for random software reboots
  • IMAP and ActiveSync email now have “Forever” as a sync option
  • New gesture in Hub to navigate between messages
  • Escalate a text to a call
  • Simple password
  • Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn updates
  • Headless Apps
  • USB Host Capability
  • WiFi Direct and Miracast (Q10/Z30)
  • Flurry Analytics
  • Smart cards
  • Altimeter
  • Geofencing
  • Lock screen notifications
  • Android Jelly Bean runtime (4.2.2)
  • Multiple Alarms
  • Priority notifications
  • Toast notifications
  • Task Manager/Device monitor
  • Screen Reader Mode
  • Simple screen lock
  • Improved text selection/editing
  • Android HW acceleration
  • Dark/light theme toggle

I am sure even our readers will agree some of these features, such as USB Host, HDR mode, Miracast support, Geofencing and Android app compatibility, all added in less than a year, constitute pretty significant updates.

Over the same period Windows Phone added:

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More than half of Blackberry’s 120,000 apps are crApps by only two developers

S4bb

When Blackberry run a number of hackathons and were offering $100 per app to developers, they managed to boost their catalogue by thousands of applications in only a few weeks, leading some Windows Phone fans to wonder of Blackberry was poised to over take the meagre 170,000 apps in the Windows Phone Store.

It seems however we needn’t have worried, as it appears the vast majority of the apps in the store are pure junk produced by as little as two developers.

Developer S4BB has over 47,000 apps in the Blackberry 10 App World, consisting of city guides and individual audio books. Developer Mippin has over 17,000 apps in the BB10 App World, which consist mostly of RSS feeds of websites.

Now the Windows Phone Store is not completely innocent of this practice, but the sheer scale of the practice on Blackberry App World and the dearth of actually popular applications there suggest Windows Phone users can more or less write off the moribund company, which is now up for sale, as competition.

Via Berryreview.com

Nokia Lumia 928 may be selling twice as fast as the Blackberry Z10 on Verizon

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Here is an interesting titbit of information for our analyst-minded readers to mull over.

We do not have direct numbers from Verizon on how the Nokia Lumia 928 is doing there, but we do have some indirect evidence that it is doing reasonably well.

A recent tweet by Alan Mendelevich ?from AdDuplex suggests that Verizon has now in total sold more Windows Phone 8 devices than AT&T.  In part this is likely due to the release of the Nokia Lumia 928 on the carrier.

Another proxy for sales however is the number of reviews left by buyers, and it is there where we can also do some interesting comparisons.


  Blackberry Z10 Nokia Lumia 928 Blackberry Q10
22 March 2013 Release date    
16 May 2013   Release date  
06 June 2013     Release date
09 June 2013 197 143 1

It seems in 79 days on the market the Blackberry Z10 managed only 197 reviews, or about 2.5 per day.

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Symbolic Nokia Lumia 920 poll victory over Blackberry Z10 another sign of Blackberry’s demise

After an extremely hard-fought polling battle which has seen nearly 50,000 votes cast, and also rampant cheating by the Blackberry users, the Nokia Lumia 920 has won Laptop Magazine’s Smartphone Madness 2013 poll.

Now of course our readers are pretty used to winning these online polls and by all account online polls are rather stupid and indicative of little more than the amount of fanboys an OS or device has.

That however is exactly the significance of the win – Windows Phone and Nokia’s Lumia handsets have gained a very large following – much more so that Blackberry users are willing to believe, while their new OS has stumbled out of the gate, despite their much vaunted 80 million users.

The fact is the vast majority of those users are being forced to use those devices, are are just waiting to jump ship to an iPhone, Android handset and hopefully also a Windows Phone.

Blackberry no longer has a significant fan base, despite its large installed base, and as the poll clearly shows, exactly the opposite is true for Windows Phone, making this victory very sweet indeed.

Our advice to Blackberry fans – get used to 4th place.

Revolution put on hold as Blackberry sells less than 750,000 Z10 handsets, lose 9 million paying customers.

Blackberry has released their Q4 2012 numbers, and as expected show that they company is still far from a turn around.

The sales numbers for the 3 months ending 2nd March 2012 includes 4 weeks of UK sales BB Z10 sales and 3 week of Canadian BB z10  sales, and includes the Christmas period.

During the period Blackberry shipped only 1 million of their new Blackberry Z10 smartphones, and managed to sell between 66 and 75% of these, according to their earnings call, which of course makes a lie of their claims of being sold out.

The company also sold only 5 million of their Blackberry 7 handsets – the low-cost phones which have been keeping the company afloat over the last 2 years in the enterprise and emerging markets.

Blackberry has also continued its slide in subscriber numbers, as their Europe, Middle East and African markets continue to shrink.

Their subscriber base slipped from 79 to 76 million subscribers, including BB z10 owners, suggesting 9 million old Blackberry users hung up their last call using the legacy smartphone OS.

Blackberry announced Mike Lazaridis, co-founded of RIM, would step down as vice chairman and director.

In their investors call Blackberry said they expect to release a mid-range Blackberry 10 handset only in 6 months, suggesting their subscriber numbers will continue to see rapid erosion, as their low-cost market switch to cheap Android and Windows Phone handsets in droves, while Blackberry’s new generation of handsets price themselves out of the market.

With Blackberry’s Q4 2012 including 2 months of Calendar Q1 2013, and 1 month of CY Q4 2012, and still producing only mediocre numbers which are close to 50% down from 11.1 million YoY, it seems clear than in Calendar Year Q1 2013 Windows Phone will almost certainly have outshipped Blackberry, especially with the launch of several new low-cost handsets in the period, leaving Windows Phone to solidly establishing itself as the 3rd platform.

Via Yahoo.com

Windows Phone has more than twice as many popular iOS and Android apps as Blackberry

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At the launch of Blackberry 10 Blackberry’s Martyn Mallick was quick to say they would have more than the 46 out of the 50 top mobile apps which Microsoft boasted Windows Phone had.

PCMag’s Sascha Sagan decided to put this claim to the test, given that Blackberry 10’s app store now has more than 70,000 apps, with the promise of 100,000 by their US launch in a few weeks.

Collecting a list from the top free and paid apps on iOS and Android, he came up with 102 applications, and found Blackberry’s claims pretty hollow.

He notes:

After looking at a list of 102 popular apps on Android and iOS, we found that only 34 percent of the apps had BlackBerry 10 versions or equivalents, while 63 percent had Windows Phone 8 versions or equivalents.

BlackBerry had 15 of the 102 apps, plus 20 functional equivalents, for a total of 35. Windows Phone had 35 of the 102 apps, plus 29 equivalents, for a total of 64.

Of the 52 iOS apps surveyed, BlackBerry had 35 percent as opposed to 31 percent of the 68 Android apps.

Windows Phone had 63 percent of the Android apps, and 58 percent of the iOS apps.

Sascha found the majority of the missing apps were games, something which will hopefully be addressed by the easier porting and larger market share brought on by Windows Phone 8.

In the end however, while Windows Phone continues to have an “app gap”, it certainly is much more competitive than Blackberry 10 is.

Read much more at PCMag here.

Sources deny native Instagram or even port coming to Blackberry 10

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One of the things which riles up Windows Phone fans was that Instagram, considered a key app, was heading for Blackberry 10 before Windows Phone.

Now it seems those rumours have been widely exaggerated, with sources reporting to AllThingsD that the app may not be heading to what has been called an Enormous, Record-Breaking Flop.

“There will be no [native] Instagram for BB10 for now,” one of the sources said. “Frankly, I’m not sure there will ever be.”

Of course Blackberry could get the Android version to run on their emulator, which only supports Android 2.3 apps, but apps using the emulator have been described as “perform sluggishly and generally appear divorced from the rest of the operating system”, which means Facebook and Instagram may still not approve the app.

Blackberry would not confirm that issues regarding the Instagram app remains, but their evasive response speaks volumes:

“We have a strong partnership and are actively engaged around Instagram support for BB10,” said Martyn Mallick, BlackBerry’s VP Global Alliances, “but we do not have an availability date at this point.”

I guess those “1,000 of those top applications from around the world committed to BlackBerry 10" has some gaps after all.

BlackBerry 10: How it compares to the competition

The BlackBerry notification hub peeking in from the left

The BlackBerry notification hub peeking in from the left

I watched some YouTube videos of the new BB 10 operating system in action, and I was thoroughly impressed with some of the features. The notification manager is hands down the most powerful notification manager ever seen. The ability to unlock your phone with one swipe is clever. The multitasking interface looks slick and WebOS-like. But it has a number of flaws too! Keep in mind that I’ve never used the new BlackBerry, and am basing my opinions on some simple YouTube videos.
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Awkward Microsoft video makes business case for Windows Phone, targets Blackberry

After Blackberry 10 was unveiled, Microsoft must have smelt blood in the water (RIM’s share price tanked after the event) and they have released the above video, making the business case for Windows Phone and portraying Blackberry as a rather ancient operating system that is really behind the times.

While the acting is pretty cringe inducing, the points are pretty sharply made, and I am sure will be acutely felt in Waterloo.

Do our readers think Microsoft needs more aggressive advertising like this? Let us know below.

Did Blackberry invent the slowest keyboard yet?

Buzzfeed has an interesting article, asking if “The New Blackberry Has The World’s Slowest Keyboard” noting that typing out the sentence "I need to leave early" took 15 seconds on the new BlackBerry’s keyboard in this promo video, only seven on current BlackBerry with a real keyboard, 10.5 seconds on a Motorola Droid 4, 7.5 seconds on a Nokia Lumia 900 Windows Phone and 6.5 seconds on an iPhone.

Of course the video was set up to show the time saving features of the keyboard, but it is pretty funny to note it did not really save that much time after all.

Via Buzzfeed.com