Created by BlackBerry (the company, formerly Research in Motion / RIM,) BlackBerry OS is used exclusively on BlackBerry phones.
AT&T today announced that the BlackBerry Q10 will be available beginning June 21 for $199.99 with a new contract. AT&T is also offering a minimum trade-in reimbursement of $100 to customers who swap their old phone for the Q10.
Skype today announced that its video messaging service has graduated from beta status and is widely available for use. The service, which has been in trials since February, allows Skype users to record and send video messages (up to three minutes long) to other Skype users. Skype said that video messages can be viewed on any platform, but in order to record and send messages users must have devices running Android, BlackBerry, or iOS. Microsoft's own Windows Phone platform is not yet able to record and send Skype video messages. The feature is free to use, and Skype said that users can send an unlimited number of messages.
BlackBerry today announced the availability of Facebook 10.2.0 for devices running BlackBerry 10. The revised version of Facebook brings with it the updated Newsfeed, which has new icons and easier navigation. The app also has expanded photo features. BlackBerry 10 owners can create new photo albums from their photo page, where they can upload photos or complete albums, add tags to photos, and easily switch between photo albums. The app also includes minor bug fixes and performance enhancements. Facebook 10.2.0 for BlackBerry 10 is free to download from BlackBerry World.
BlackBerry today announced that it will make versions of its BlackBerry Messenger application for both the Android and iOS platforms. The application and service will be available to the iPhone and Android devices later this summer. Basic messaging and groups support will arrive first, and other features, including BlackBerry Voice, BlackBerry Video, and screen sharing. Additionally, BlackBerry expects that iOS and Android users will also be able to use the just-announced BBM Channels later this year. BlackBerry Messenger has to-date been a BlackBerry exclusive app and service.
BlackBerry today announced a new piece of its BlackBerry Messenger platform called BBM Channels. It acts similar to social networks in that users can subscribe to channels, which are based on certain topics or brands, and receive updates when the channels have new content. Users can create their own channels and push updates to select groups of followers or users in a manner similar to Twitter. BlackBerry imagines that it will be best-used by companies and brands looking to connect with fans.
AOL today announced that it has struck a partnership with Verizon Wireless to distribute its content on Verizon's smartphones and tablets. The content will show up in the Verizon Wireless Home web portal and will be bookmarked within the browser on Verizon devices. The AOL portal will feature up-the-minute news headlines, weather, and maps, as well as provide access to video content. The portal will appear on smartphones and tablets running Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone, but not iOS. Customers will be able to customize the type of content that reaches their devices. The AOL content is expected to become available later this summer.
BlackBerry today released a new version of Twitter for devices running BlackBerry OS 5, 6, and 7. The revised application adds a handful of new features, including support for BlackBerry ID credentials for easier sign-ins; a redesigned user profile that includes swipe actions; and more granular control over individual notifications for actions such as retweets, favorites, and new followers. Twitter 4.1 for BlackBerry OS 5, OS 6, and OS 7 is free to download from BlackBerry World.
BlackBerry today announced that a new version of Facebook is available to older smartphones running BlackBerry OS 5 and up. According to BlackBerry, the updated app puts Facebook on older BlackBerries on a more level field with Facebook for BB10 and other platforms. The revised app has new tools, such as a sliding navigation list, to make accessing the various different features of the app easier and quicker. The app also updates how photos are handled and gives them more prominence in the timeline. Last, it adds pull-down-to-refresh behaviors for updating the timeline and newsfeed. Facebook 4.0 for BlackBerry OS 5.0 and up is a free download from BlackBerry World.
BlackBerry is winding down its BBM Music service over the next two months, according to an email sent to current subscribers. April is the last month that subscribers will be billed, and songs will start becoming unavailable in May. The final shutdown date is June 2, 2013. BlackBerry is promoting Rdio as an alternative, and offering a 30-day free trial of that service to affected subscribers. BBM Music was never brought to the newer BlackBerry 10 OS, and Rdio is not yet available for BlackBerry 10. BBM Music was introduced just a year and a half ago. It was a social service that let users share playlists of songs. Each user could contribute up to 50 songs, and users with more contacts had access to more music. The service cost $4.99/month.
Google today announced a second round of spring cleaning that will see yet more services discontinued. The most significant mobile app being axed is the Google Voice application for the BlackBerry platform. Google recommends that BlackBerry owners still interested in using Google Voice switch to the browser-based HTML5 app, which Google says is more secure anyway. Google will end support for Google Voice for BlackBerry next week. The HTML5 app is compatible with BlackBerry Browsers version 6 and up. Other products that have limited days remaining include the CalDAV API, Google Building Maker (tool to model 3D buildings on maps), Google Cloud Connect (plug-in that helped users save Microsoft Office documents to Google Docs), Google Reader (RSS feed), the Search API for Google Shopping, and Snapseed for both Windows and Mac OS. Google says better alternatives for all these services are available elsewhere.
BlackBerry will not sell its new Z10 and Q10 handsets in the Japanese market, reports Reuters. The company's share of the Japanese market has shrunk from 5% to 0.3%, and the smartphone maker can no longer justify the cost of modifying its software to accommodate the Japanese language. BlackBerry will also stop selling its older handsets, though it will continue to provide support for its existing user base. "We are in the process of launching BlackBerry 10 globally in key markets and we are seeing positive demand for the BlackBerry Z10 in countries where it has already launched," said spokeswoman Amy McDowell in a statement provided to media. "Japan is not a major market for BlackBerry and we have no plans to launch BlackBerry 10 devices there at this time. However, we will continue to support BlackBerry customers in Japan." The Z10 and Q10 are the first smartphones to run BlackBerry 10, the company's new operating system. They won't go on sale in the U.S. until later this year.
Verizon Wireless today announced the availability of two new prepaid plans that don't require contracts. The first plan costs $60 per month and includes unlimited voice minutes, unlimited messaging, and 500MB of data. The second plan costs $70 per month and boosts the data allotment to 2GB. According to Verizon, the new prepaid plans can be used with a variety of 3G devices, such as Android, BlackBerry, and iOS smartphones. In Verizon's press piece, it suggests that people can bring their own, older devices if they so wish, rather than purchase a new one. The new plans are available beginning today.
Research In Motion today formally introduced all the core features of BlackBery 10, its brand new operating system. BlackBerry 10 is a wholly new platform built on a QNX core with a new gesture-based user interface. BlackBerry 10 is centered on two key ideas: BlackBerry Hub and BlackBerry Flow. BlackBerry Hub is the central repository for all incoming messages, including email, SMS, IM, BBM, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and so on. It can be called up at any time from within any other application. BlackBerry Flow represents the gestures themselves and how the operating system responds to finger movements across the screen. The new platform supports up to eight applications running at any one time, which are accessed in a new feature called Active Frames. The Active Frame panel makes it easy to see what apps are running and switch between them quickly. RIM has reengineered the touchscreen keyboard to be faster and more intuitive. For example, the touchscreen keyboard in BlackBerry 10 learns how users type. It tracks where they hit particular keys as well as what words they use to improve typing accuracy. The browser has been fully rebuilt to support HTML5, in addition to Adobe Flash. It has features such as pinch-to-zoom. The camera application is faster and more feature-rich. It includes touch-to-focus/shoot, different shoot modes (normal, burst), scenes (action, night), and TimeShift for capturing the best shot of peoples' faces. The gallery application has been given far more advanced editing capabilities, including crop, rotate, red-eye reduction, filters/effects, and easy sharing to social networks. BlackBerry 10 adds an app called Story Maker, which can be used to piece together video segments with titles and credits to create mini movies. Last, BlackBerry 10 brings peace of mind to business customers with BlackBerry Safeguard and BlackBerry Balance. Safeguard can be used to encrypt user data, manage online privacy, and find or lock a lost/stolen device. BlackBerry Balance is RIM's work-personal life management tool that keeps business and personal data segregated from one another on the device. BlackBerry 10 is first available on the Z10 and Q10, which will ship in the coming weeks.
Research In Motion today announced the Z10 and Q10, the first two smartphones to run its brand new BlackBerry 10 operating system. The Z10 and Q10 share many features, though physically they are somewhat different; the Z10 is a candybar touch phone, and the Q10 is a monoblock QWERTY device with a smaller touch screen. Both devices are powered by 1.5GHz dual-core processors with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of built-in storage. They also support removable microSD cards up to 32GB. The Z10 and Q10 each carries an 8-megapixel main camera with LED flash that captures 1080p HD video, with a secondary camera rating 2 megapixels with 720p HD video capture. Wireless support includes 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy, NFC, and GPS, in addition to 4G mobile hotspot. They also include microUSB and microHDMI ports, as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack.
- Z10: The Z10 features a 4.2-inch LCD touch screen with 1280 x 768 pixels, making a pixel density of 356 pixels per inch. It is 9mm thick.
- Q10: The Q10 is a more traditional-looking BlackBerry smartphone in that it has a smaller, 720 x 720 pixel screen and a physical QWERTY keyboard.
Research In Motion today announced that it has renamed its company to simply BlackBerry. RIM says the new name and brand is a symbol of its relaunch of its BlackBerry platform, devices, and brand.
Research In Motion today announced details about the music and video content that will soon be available in BlackBerry World for BlackBerry 10 devices. The company said that most of the major music and movie studios are behind the content store, which will offer DRM-free music downloads and video rentals/purchases. According to RIM, most movies will be available the same day they are released on DVD, and television programming will be available the day after its airs. Shoppers will be able to preview tracks and make purchases with a number of payment options. The music and video content will first be available in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, with other regions expected to follow later in the year. RIM recently relaunched the web version of BlackBerry World, and the new BlackBerry World app, music, and video store will be part of BlackBerry 10 devices at launch.
Research In Motion today officially launched BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10, its smartphone management tool for companies and governments that use BlackBerries. The new version of BES works with RIM's forthcoming BlackBerry 10 platform, and can also manage devices running Android and iOS. The service adds a number of other features, including the ability to manage internal corporate apps and public apps from BlackBerry World, easier over-the-air activation for end users, and more IT policies. BES 10 also includes RIM's BlackBerry Balance tool, which helps businesses segregate the work and personal information stored on corporate BlackBerries. For example, BlackBerry Balance can be used to wipe the corporate data from an employee BlackBerry, while leaving their personal pictures, music, and settings intact. BES 10 can be downloaded from RIM beginning today. RIM is prepared to launch BlackBerry 10 on January 30.
Research In Motion CEO Thorsten Heins indicated that the company might sell its hardware business after it launches the BlackBerry 10 platform. Speaking to German publication Die Welt, Heins said the company's on-going strategic review could result in a sale of the hardware business or licensing its BlackBerry 10 platform to other hardware companies. Heins has suggested as much before. "The main thing for now is to successfully introduce Blackberry 10. Then we'll see," he said. RIM has spent the last year focusing on relaunching its BlackBerry platform. BlackBerry 10 is a wholly new operating system that uses gesture-based controls to flow through the user interface. It is based, in part, on the QNX core that makes up PlayBook OS. RIM is prepared to launch BlackBerry 10 on January 30, with its first new smartphones to follow soon thereafter.
Research In Motion today relaunched the web version of its application store with the new name "BlackBerry World." The revised storefront simplifies the look and feel, making it easier to browse and search for content. Beginning today, the web store can be used to download and install apps, and RIM said music and video content will be added later. RIM plans to update the device-based BlackBerry World experience, too, beginning with PlayBook tablets and eventually its BlackBerry smartphones. RIM is relaunching its BlackBerry smartphone platform on January 30, where the first new BlackBerry 10 handsets will be revealed.
T-Mobile USA and Research In Motion today announced the BlackBerry Curve 9315, a monoblock smartphone with a QWERTY keyboard and BlackBerry OS 7.1. The Curve 9315, a variant of the 9310, is an entry-level smartphone that includes a 3.2-megapixel camera, a dedicated BlackBerry Messenger button, GPS and navigation, parental controls, and support for microSD cards up to 32GB. The Curve 9315's display measures 2.44 inches and has 320 x 420 pixels. It supports 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, and includes an FM radio. The 9315 will not be updated to RIM's brand new operating system, BlackBerry 10, which debuts later this month. The Curve 9315 will be available via presale to T-Mobile customers beginning January 16, and should reach T-Mobile stores January 23. It will require a deposit of $49.99 and then 20 monthly payments of $10 if paired with T-Mobile's Equipment Installment Plan. Alternately, customers can pay $49.99 for the 9315 with a traditional two-year voice and data plan.
Research In Motion today amended a licensing agreement it has with InterDigital to include 4G technologies moving forward. The two companies added LTE and LTE-Advanced to the agreement, and extended it by several years. None of RIM's BlackBerry 7 smartphones include LTE 4G. RIM is prepared to reveal its first BlackBerry 10 devices, which are expected to support 4G mobile broadband, later this month. Terms of the extended agreement with InterDigital were not disclosed.
Samsung today announced version 2.0 of its ChatON cross-platform social messaging service. The new version allows users to stay logged in on five different devices at once with a single account. Users can also share and comment on photos and videos in a "Trunk" - one-on-one or in a small group - before sharing them via Twitter or Facebook. It also supports profiles and status updates, turning it into a kind of social network. Animated emoticons and audio clips can be added to messages. ChatON 2.0 is available for Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, and via the web at chaton.com.
Twitter today announced the availability of Twitter 4.0 for BlackBerry smartphones. The new app gains several features that are already in use by the Android and iOS versions of Twitter. These include the Connect and Discover tabs, which let you see who's retweeted your Tweets or what's trending on Twitter, respectively. The new app makes it easier for BlackBerry owners to interact with their followers, find new people to follow, and discover interesting content from their smartphone. Twitter 4.0 for BlackBerry is a free download from BlackBerry World.
The government today introduced a new tool that it hopes smartphone owners will take advantage of in order to protect their smartphones and personal data. The Federal Communications Commission, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Trade Commission, National Cyber Security Alliance, CTIA-The Wireless Association, and Lookout announced the Smartphone Security Checker, a web-based check list that smartphone owners can use to secure their devices. The FCC and its partners make a number of basic recommendations to help protect consumer info that's accessible on smartphones. They suggest smartphone owners set pass codes; avoid rooting or jailbreaking; use security apps that allow for remote location, locking, and wiping; keep the phone's software up to date; and only download apps/content from trusted sources. "With less than half of smartphone owners using passwords to protect their devices, this new tool will be of particular value," remarked FCC chairman Julius Genachowski. "[It] is a perfect time to remind consumers to take simple steps, like setting a password, to protect themselves from mobile security threats." The web site lets Android, BlackBerry, iOS, and Windows Phone users customize their security settings. The Smartphone Security Checker is free to use.
Research In Motion today announced the "gold" version of its BlackBerry 10 software developer kit (SDK). This is the final build of the SDK for developers, which can be used to write applications for RIM's forthcoming BlackBerry 10 platform and handsets. To-date, the SDK has been in various stages of beta release. The gold SDK includes all the components, APIs (application programming interfaces), and other tools needed to create native BB10 applications. The SDK is available in several different configurations, including HTML5 WebWorks, Adobe AIR, C/C++, and Qt. RIM is hoping to stock the BlackBerry World application store with as many apps as possible ahead of BlackBerry 10's launch. RIM plans to fully reveal BlackBerry 10 on January 30.
Wi-LAN has filed a lawsuit against Research In Motion alleging that the BlackBerry maker is infringing on a single patent related to Bluetooth technology. Wi-LAN says a number of RIM's smartphones, such as the Bold, Pearl, Storm, and Torch, infringe on the patent. It is seeking damages and an injunction to halt sales of the devices in the U.S. Wi-LAN is a patent licensing firm. It has filed similar lawsuits against Apple, HTC, and Sierra Wireless over LTE technology. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
Research In Motion today made a final release of BlackBerry Messenger 7 available to BlackBerry smartphones. The software has been in beta testing since mid-November. This new version of BlackBerry Messenger adds the ability to make voice calls over Wi-Fi. The calling feature connects BBM users to other BBM users for free. The app supports a split-screen function that lets customers talk and text at the same time. The app includes a presence indicator so users know when their contacts are available for a voice call. Calls can be rejected with a text message, and the service works with accessories, such as Bluetooth headsets. The new BBM for BlackBerry 7 is a free download from BlackBerry World. RIM has not said if this feature will be included in BBM for its forthcoming BlackBerry 10 platform.
Research In Motion today announced a significant update to the Facebook application for BlackBerry 7 smartphones. The app received a visual refresh and gains yet more integration with RIM's BlackBerry Messenger product. It is now easier to share PINs and start BBM chats from within Facebook. The new version of Facebook makes it easier to unfriend people from the mobile app. Facebook also now includes higher-resolution thumbnails of the user's photo library and loads them faster. Facebook 3.3 for BlackBerry smartphones is a free download from BlackBerry World.
Research In Motion today made a number of announcements concerning its forthcoming BlackBerry 10 platform at a developer conference being held in Asia. First, RIM has published a new version of its software developer kit (SDK) for BB10. The new SDK includes better tools for developing for BB10 from Mac computers, and also makes improvements to Visual Studio and BlackBerry's WebWorks tools. RIM is now accepting apps for its "Built for BlackBerry" program, which certifies apps at a higher level of quality and makes developers eligible for specific financial commitments from RIM. RIM also announced that it has teamed with Appcelerator to help developers port their apps from other platforms to BlackBerry 10. RIM is seeding a second test device to developers that includes a physical QWERTY keyboard. The existing developer device has only a touch screen. Last, RIM has renamed BlackBerry App World to just BlackBerry World. When the new app store relaunches with BB10, it will also include music and video content. RIM plans to launch BlackBerry 10 full at an event on January 30, with devies to follow in late February. RIM's first two BlackBerry 10 smartphones are currently being certified by more than 50 wireless network operators around the world.
Research In Motion today made a new version of BlackBerry Messenger available to BlackBerry 7 devices that adds the ability to make voice calls. The new calling feature works over Wi-Fi and connects BBM users to other BBM users for free. The app supports a split-screen function that lets customers talk and text at the same time. The app includes a presence indicator so users know when their contacts are available for a voice call. Calls can be rejected with a text message, and the service works with accessories, such as Bluetooth headsets. The new BBM for BlackBerry 7 is available in the BlackBerry Beta Zone. It is free to download and use. RIM did not indicate if this feature will be included in BBM for is forthcoming BlackBerry 10 platform.
AT&T today announced the availability of its Enhanced Push-To-Talk service, an update that adds a wide range of new features to its PTT offering. According to AT&T, Enhanced PTT works on 3G and LTE 4G networks and boasts faster call set-up times, presence indicators, and the ability to run on a wide range of smartphones and feature phones. The improved service also adds a bevy of business-friendly tools, such as integration with enterprise applications, supervisor override capabilities for important communiques, and support for large contact databases and large groups (1000 and 250, respectively). The service is launching on the Samsung Rugby III and the Sonim XP5560 BOLT. It is also being made available as an application to devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Rugby Pro, the RIM BlackBerry Curve 9360 and Bold 9900.
Verizon Wireless today indicated via its developer blog that it will shutter the Verizon Wireless App Store come January 2013. Verizon launched its branded app store in March 2010 as an alternative to other established app stores. According to Verizon, it will notify owners of Android and BlackBerry smartphones this month about the forthcoming closure of the app store. Almost immediately, Verizon's app store will cease offering apps that require monthly subscriptions or other regular license checks. This includes in-app content, as well. Verizon will automatically end all monthly subscriptions in December, and begin removing the Verizon App Store from devices entirely beginning in January. It expects the process to be complete by March 2013. Verizon believes that Android and BlackBerry smartphones are well served by alternative app stores, such as Google Play, Amazon App Store, and BlackBerry App World.
Research In Motion today announced that it has submitted BlackBerry 10 to more than 50 wireless network operators around the world for certification on those networks. All cell phones go through a certification process wherein the carrier tests the hardware and software for performance and behavior on that carrier's network. The process generally takes three or four months to complete. RIM said its BB10 platform was delivered to the carriers, but said nothing about actual BB10 smartphones. RIM is expected to launch BlackBerry 10 during the first quarter of 2013.
Sprint today announced that it is now offering Research In Motion's Mobile Fusion device management software to its business customers. Mobile Fusion allows businesses to manage not only their company's BlackBerry smartphones, but also Android smartphones and the iPhone used by company employees. Mobile Fusion is a key piece of RIM's business support software as it transitions from BlackBerry 7 to the BlackBerry 10 platform and BES 10.
Research In Motion today announced that it has begun accepting application submissions for its forthcoming BlackBerry 10 platform. RIM expects to launch BlackBerry 10 and associated devices during the first quarter of 2013, and would like to have a healthy supply of applications available to BB10 devices at launch. Developers can follow the instructions on RIM's developer portal in order to submit their apps for approval. BB10 is based on RIM's PlayBook OS. It combines features of PlayBook OS with those of its BlackBerry 7 platform. It is not compatible with apps written for BB7 or earlier versions of RIM's platform.
Research In Motion today released Twitter 3.2 for its BlackBerry smartphones. The new software adds several new features, chief among them improved tools to find and follow friends. The app has a "Find Friends" button on the home screen that will scan the native BlackBerry address book to see if any of the contacts match Twitter users. The Tweet details screen has been updated to provide more visible information about links, photos, or other content. Last, there's a new quick follow button that makes it easier to add new feeds. Twitter 3.2 for BlackBerry is a free download from BlackBerry App World.
Research In Motion today revealed that its App World store will no longer sell just applications, but will also include movies, music, and televisions shows. The new App World, which will be a part of its forthcoming BlackBerry 10 platform, will sell media content in a bid to compete more directly with Apple's iTunes and Google's Play Store. Further, RIM said that BB10 will launch with dedicated native social networking apps from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Foursquare. BlackBerry 10 is expected to launch in early 2013.
Research In Motion CEO Thorsten Heins today said that the first wave of devices running BlackBerry 10 will reach carrier certification labs in October. BlackBerry 10, the company's new smartphone platform, is on schedule for an early 2013 launch. The company has touchscreen-only and QWERTY-equipped devices in the works, and says that it has several carriers lined up to support BB10 at launch.
Research In Motion today revealed more specifics regarding its forthcoming BlackBerry 10 platform. Speaking at its BlackBerry Jam conference in San Jose, the company revealed two main concepts behind the new platform, which are called BlackBerry Hub and BlackBerry Flow. BlackBerry Hub serves as a main inbox -- or messaging hub -- where all communications are accessible, whether it be email, SMS, BBM, or social networking updates. The Hub is always running and can be accessed via specific on-screen gestures with a single finger. BlackBerry Flow is how the user interface and finger gestures combine so that users may interact with their device and switch from app to app seamlessly without requiring a home app screen. RIM also showed off how the new BlackBerry Messenger will work. It has received a visual overhaul that places greater emphasis on adding imagery (contact thumbnails, etc.) for a more immersive experience. RIM also showed off the new on-screen keyboard, which allows users to switch between languages quickly; as well as talked about BlackBerry Balance, which will further help BlackBerry users separate their work and personal information on the device. RIM is offering revised tools to developers today, and is updating the version of BB10 running on the developer alpha devices.
Research In Motion has resolved the problem that caused a service outage in parts of Europe and Africa today. CEO Thorsten Heins issued a statement apologizing for the service interruption. "The BlackBerry service is now fully restored and I can report that no data or messages were lost," he said. "Up to 6% of our user base may have been impacted. Preliminary analysis suggests that those customers may have experienced a maximum delay of 3 hours in the delivery and reception of their messages. We are conducting a full technical analysis of this quality of service issue and will report as soon as it concludes." This service interruption lasted only several hours and was limited to Europe and Africa, unlike a worldwide outage that took place in October 2011 that lasted for several days.