RIM – 2011 No More Excuses
This year was a tough time for RIM and the BlackBerry platform, end users, and corporate CIO’s alike. Many users began going to the capacitive touch screen only/based smartphones from the likes of Apple and the Android consortium: Samsung, LG, etc – and now even Microsoft is having a few rounds with BlackBerry. In the corporate space infrastructure, security, and Exchange admins had to deal with end users bringing in iPad’s and iPhone’s to work and using OWA setup on their personal devices without any thought to corporate security.
These users should’ve been either reprimanded or scrutinized intensely beyond removing ActiveSync on OWA for Exchange deployments. Layoffs have already created a lean mean corporate environment when it comes to employee head count, and unfortunately consideration of docking corporate salaries for exposing unauthorized access/use of GAL and emails which if leaked could potentially cripple a company: during Auditing, corporate restructuring, negotiations, and even could leak details of an acquisition (for/against) worse than an insider trading on such details.
Yes I’m a little baised in this view, yet I’m not a fully employed or certified BES Administrator (I have a LOT to learn)! I’m a contractor who is VERY low on the totem pole of importance so to speak. This is NOT about protecting BES infrastructure solutions; this is more about the lack of corporate security and protecting corporate assets [remember your work email is NOT OWNED by you according to law in most of the western/eastern world]. This is also about the lack of security of said assets by the manufacturers and OS created by the competing brands. Yet I cannot blame end users for wanting improvements & speed in what their using daily.
Let’s face it – BlackBerry’s are very powerful & yet equally complex devices by OS. So many corporate users from Finance to Application Development, to even Technical Services whom are experts at their roles, are so overwhelmed at how the BlackBerry operates – even with the Torch 9800 & BB6 with its improvements to “dumb-it-down”. Desktop Manager 6 for PC, and 2.0 for Mac gets exceptional mention of improvements for ease of use – especially if you remember 3.x/4.x.
The competing devices even with more powerful single-core CPU’s are becoming VERY fast in navigation, loading media content that is locally and remotely stored (web, DNLA or ad-hoc device-2-device), and web browsing. RIM has made excellent strides at improving already incredible voice quality and battery life for use/standby, and even in sexy design of their devices. But its time for …
RIM – 2011 No More Excuses:
* 1Ghz single/dual-core cpu’s that are Cortex A8/A9 based. Multiple -threaded tasks are taking a tole on single-core 647Mhz cpu’s! Install an application, you’ve seen the spinning clock and your not alone here (every OS does this) but I cannot do anything else until its done.
* 1GB of RAM should be a standard, everyone that used a BB for longer than 4mths knows that more RAM means better performance for Java based OS.
* OpenGL ES 2.0 support standard across the entire platform revamp! It’s not just games that can take advantage of OpenGL and not ALL games need to be in portrait orientation and have a 960×480 pixel type resolution.
* QNX OS for BlackBerry Handhelds – we’re anxiously waiting. BB6, although I LOVE it … needs to be the very LAST java based OS at the core for your BlackBerry lineup. Keep AutoText, BBM, and the incredible email functionality [please allow full IMAP folder redirection, on longer rely on email provider plug-ins]. We want the ability to install applications and still navigate Webkit Browser, check/flag/file emails, view/share media, etc.
* Voice Control. RIM where has the research in this department been?! Readers may recall that I’ve blogged about Nuance Communications, Inc. Here, and Here. RIM, if you thought the BEST company for Text Entry & Prediction was not good enough to license software from to be the core of your smart-phones (AutoText rules) then why have you continually relied on their poor, basic, and seriously lacking Voice Control software? Is this a limitation of Java for being able to use anything more powerful and if so all the more reason to focus efforts on QNX if it can deal with more powerful solutions & augmentation.
In this day & age there should be NO REASON to train a voice recognition system for basic commands: Play/Stop/Next/Previous – track/song/Playlist, Time/Date, Call person/conference another at whichever number listed, or manual dial a number. (even add a twist: “Call Brazil at 34 2534 252 3333; well the international number, local Brazil number, you get the idea even if the number in my example is not even remotely valid). Sure I understand the complexities of coding such an algorhythm to hand such instructions; not to mention variance/variables to handle accented voice ranges for EACH language spoken. Fact of the matter is Apple was able to do this with a 3GS running on a 600-800Mhz range Cortex A8 cpu by Samsung, and Android devices are fairing equally if not better as well.
These, and quite possibly the incredibly powerful menu structure – which unfortunately is overwhelming to many novice users – is what makes the BlackBerry seem well, “dated”, “archaic”, and “aging technology”. Odd how all these dumb-founded “intelligent” financial tech stock analysts uses these phrases to down RIM and the BlackBerry which served their jobs and pocket books we robustly and well over the past decade. Well because RIM is not an American company, it doesn’t create hype to rise the stock – to fatten their wallets, no doubt – and RIM doesn’t make apologies in that End Users NEED some sort of orientation or training to use the full power of the BlackBerry beyond just having calls and sending/receiving emails. What I find even more annoying by these so called professionals in the technological space begging for RIM’s demise, is that when it comes to OLD, or DATED technology they use these terms like “monkey see monkey do” ad verbatim. The don’t realize that Darwin or even UNIX at its core kernel for OSX and thus also iOS used by Apple is over 30 years old! They don’t realize that when the Personal Computer launched, even the MacIntosh came with a manual – heck it was advertised in Time Magazine with an unprecedented 12 page ad teaching potential users what it CAN do and HOW it can do it. So much technical jargon was used and phrases or synonyms to dumb it down where used so that the average consumer to nod their heads in some vague understanding. Smartphones are no different in complexity as a whole to the average consumer.
So in 2011 RIM I say No More Excuses … give the mob, sorry, the masses what they want – the diehard faithful we are also want these two yet without compromises and done eloquently. No More excuses for analysts, developers, and consumers to have a reason to leave RIM BlackBerry smart phones, or to say “RIM is dead”. No more excuses, just bring it to them! Proper!
Many times at work & from friends complain how some html sites just don’t load on the BlackBerry Browser in OS 5.0 devices. Amongst heavy HTML sites is BBC News main page – not the mobile but the full HTML site, sans Flash, still is amongst the hardest to load on RIM’s best BB5 OS device browsers.
After 24hrs of digging several units and testing I found the following settings worked!
Here are the Settings in Browser you NEED to configure to get the most of the BlackBerry Browser in BB5:
- Default Browser: Internet Browser
- Default MDS Browser: BlackBerry Browser
- Default WAP: Do More (or whatever your provider dictated in mandatory browser brandig.
- Browser Push Enabled.
- Auto, Allow All,
- Auto, Deny All,
- Auto, Allow All,
- Auto, Allow All,
- Auto, Allow All,
- Auto, Allow All,
- other messages ….
- Auto, Allow All,
- Auto, Allow All,
- Auto, Allow All,
- Allow wap push applications.
- TCP/IP APN Settings enabled (although that may vary on your providers settings)
- TLS Default: Proxy
- Allow HTTPS Redirections = NO
- WTLS: Allow Weak
- Prompt for Server Trust: Yes
That’s all there is to getting the most of your classic browser on BB5 – BES or BIS Activated.
Yup that’s right … viral post from a user & fan. Lots of incredible announcements the past two days.
|Q1||Quarter End: May 29, 2010||Reporting Date: June 24, 2010|
|Q2||Quarter End: August 28, 2010||Reporting Date: September 16, 2010|
|Q3||Quarter End: November 27, 2010||Reporting Date: December 16, 2010|
|Q4||Quarter End: February 26, 2011||Reporting Date: March 24, 2011|
• Record BlackBerry® smartphone shipments of 14.2 million grew 40% over the same quarter last year
• Revenue grew 40% over the same quarter last year to $5.5 billion • Q3 Earnings per share of $1.74 were up 58% over the same quarter last year • Cash increased by $446 million to $2.5 billion at the end of the quarter
The most important things us BB fans can take home is this …
“We are pleased to report another record quarter with strong growth in shipments of BlackBerry smartphones leading to record revenue, subscriber additions and earnings. RIM’s business continues to grow and diversify as BlackBerry adoption accelerates in markets around the world,” said Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO at Research In Motion. “With strong results and momentum from our recent product introductions, as well as growing excitement from our partners and customers around upcoming smartphone, tablet, software and service offerings, we are setting the stage for continuing success”.
RIM announced today that its board of directors has appointed co-Chief Executive Officers Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis as co-chairmen of the board. John Richardson remains as lead independent director of RIM and will continue to facilitate the functioning of the board independently of management. The board believes these appointments, in conjunction with Mr. Richardson serving as lead independent director, represent an appropriate and effective leadership structure for RIM. RIM also announced today that Jim Estill has resigned his position as a director of RIM due to a business conflict. RIM thanks Mr. Estill for his 13 years of service on the board.
Mr. Estill – thank you for helping RIM remain strong and help keep our CEO’s on the direct path to success. I’m very curious what that business conflict is and why so sudden? RIM going into new waters in the future that is already in the works or is Mr. Estill looking to steer a competitive company??
As a Mac user that also loves the BlackBerry platform, I’m ashamed of all the Mac users that whine & complain across the boards about simplistic issues – most of which are features that already exists, or have minimal issues that have long been fixed or are pending resolutions by a 3rd party not enabling the feature (Full Desktop Manager sync with MS Outlook 2001 for Mac). It’s as if the majority of Mac users have NO technical knowledge or ability to simply use that huge Google search bar on the top right hand corner on the Safari desktop browser?! Most recently is the whining about full backups, device & application software upgrades, or WiFi Sync – all of which have been either there in the original Desktop Manager for Mac, with WiFi Sync a new feature all-together (which has worked flawlessly on my MacBook Aluminum Unibody). It’s gotten so prevalent that RIM’s own Inside BlackBerry Blog editors have taken noticed and their very own member Corey provided a solution. Note: this solution only works with updating your BB’s firmware to the latest approved firmware by your provider or a downgrade to the original shipping (or previously installed) firmware of your HH by the provider as well.
Also, while on the subject of Desktop Manager, the Windows version was updated and released today as well. Some key features include:
- Synchronization – Improvements have been made for synchronizing your organizer data.
- Microsoft® support – The 64-bit versions of Microsoft® Outlook® 2010 and Microsoft® Exchange 2010 are supported.
- Pictures – You can select individual pictures to synchronize to your device.
- Videos – You can synchronize videos to your device without converting the video file.
- Wi-Fi music sync – You can stream your music while you download it to your device and you can download music over an SSL connection
- The encryption of BlackBerry device backups may have left the backup files vulnerable to a brute force password attempt by a malicious user if the malicious user had access to the files. The updated version of the BlackBerry Desktop Software includes changes to the method used to generate the encryption key that encrypts the BlackBerry device backup file. The BlackBerry Desktop Software 6.0.1 uses multiple iterations of the method to generate the encryption key, to help improve resistance against brute force attacks on the encrypted backup file.
So it looks like the future of the BlackBerry platform & family are VERY healthy and far from death like all the haters have declared. Now they have to look elsewhere to complain and pontificate their prognostication engines.
EDIT: BB6 & QNX will begin as 2 separate core platforms initially, yet may merge down the road – when is not a commitment but the goal has been officially communicated.
This is my humble findings of changes in BB6 in the 9780 vs BB5 in the 9700.
First off is my use for years trying to combine music playback on a smartphone vs carrying a separate iPod – I don’t fit the iPod Touch demographic. In the past I’ve transferred music to the MicroSD card in my former 9700 on my primary Mac via USB. Last night I used my family Mac to create an MP3 from a video track and transfer it over Bluetooth to my 9780, and today tried to add it to existing playlist. To my surprise I was forbidden to do this. Some background is that I only sync my 9780 to Desktop Manager for Mac 2.0.057 Beta, and all my music is managed with iTunes.
Something else that has been driving me completely mad, something that even #BlackBerryHelp on Twitter could not find an answer to and suggested I alert my provider to have them escalate with RIM was Folder Redirection. For that that don’t know, Folder Redirection enables the following: Ability to View emails in other folders, Ability to File an email into any of those folders, and ability to search emails within those folders on your mail client. This works on BB6 for BES enabled devices: Torch, 9700 on BB6 Beta, Style, etc … but for some odd reason on my 9780 I CANNOT view any of those subfolders. Instead I get a plethora of system folders – see the screenshot.
Regardless of RIM’s current publicly available articles – which all seem to have documentation for BB5 &/or BES connected units – nothing resolves this. Yes I’ve tried to delete & undelete the service books for my IMAP enabled online email accounts (GMAIL & YAHOO), and have also tried to fully remove the associated service books, remove the email accounts, even remove my unit from the BIS service entirely – since I still have access to my providers portal. NON of this works; if you have a solution PLEASE let me know.
While larger money making blogs are more concerned about fast scrolling and their inability to adjust or adjust the trackpad settings – Kevin of CrackBerry (ahem, no names 😉 ) – I’m more concerned about REAL daily uses of using the BlackBerry 6 in a flagship device in RIM’s smartphone lineup.
UPDATE: Video as Promised (hoping clarity is processed soon)
Rogers Wireless hosted an intimate conference open to a handful of press and consumers that participated in a raffle like ticket access last Friday. Unfortunately due to overwhelming duties at work I could not attend; good thing as I’d have drooled.
I’d like to highlight just who David Neale is and how important and significant he is to RIM and the PlayBooks image. David is Vice President of Special Projects at Research in Motion as of in May of 2010. Previously, he was Senior Vice President, Products & Services, responsible for directing the development of all Consumer products and services for Wireline and Wireless at Telus Communications Inc. Prior to this, he had the role of Vice President, Service Development for Rogers Communications Inc., an advancement of an earlier appointment, as VP Product Development at Rogers Wireless, where he was responsible for long-term network and technology strategy and architecture, and for overseeing the development and implementation of all new wireless voice and data products. There is more to his previous repertoire, but lets just say not only is he charismatic but he KNOWS the market & competition and has evolved his understanding of it beyond all the other presenters & staff at Rogers. What’s possibly a delight is for him to walk into Rogers Headquarters and see previous colleagues with a grin and thinking “Poppa’s got a brand new bag”.
David Neale, the last presenter of the Tablife presentation & undoubtedly the BEST, gave us a teasing taste of where the PlayBook is currently in terms of daily development.
We learn a few things from this presentation. Torch Flash is running in a Flash environment and currently is still not dual core optimized – note that EACH of the TI OMAP 4440 cores are capable of SMP on their own. This is a KEY announcement – and leads up to his comment later that most applications on smartphones/tablets currently are “windows” to the internet. RIM already understands that even with Bit.ly and other short-URL services … users STILL don’t like having to type http://www.xyz.com/blah/bada/bing.
The position of the BlackBerry PlayBook – will initially be focused on the Busines market – yet not exclusive to that market. RIM, like the competition – yet most likely understands target markets & segmentation better – realizes that people live both in Business & Personal worlds. With the “enterprise grade” hardware this is NOT a toy.
RIM’s view of this space includes pushing economies of scale for the END user. initial product launch will have WLAN for networking and multimedia consumption, Bluetooth tethering with the smartphone for presentation and browsing (low multimedia streaming use). This allows the end user NOT to have a data sharing plan like what Rogers is pushing take advantages of NOC compression for things like email, normal internet browsing, ebooks, online document viewing & editing, etc. RIM is NOT locking themselves into a 7″ only form-factor down the road but currently 7″ just feels right in the hand. RIM realizes that battery life is the KEY killer component in enjoying high-end performance.
Think “genuine” mobile computing – taking what was hinted at by iPad. Computing is getting closure to being in the cloud – something google services keep investing and developing in yet users still want things tangible a sense of complete ownership.
Development done in Flash will be compatible for the PlayBook … yet although I imagined this, David hinted that development could be done on the PlayBook.
I’d like to see the power of QNX and the SMP dual core cpu’s used in the PlayBook be harnessed by an ingenious set of applications that can use the WLAN or 3G connection via Bluetooth to distribute compiling of applications for a team of developers on multiple PlayBooks, access and management of databases, a true real-time live “whiteboard” extensible across continents during a video conference with collaboration – auto saving locally & to a protected sharepoint intranet or internet portal. This is BBM on steroids and pumped up. These possibilities for distributed computing are pretty much endless.
Consider this for a moment. RIM Acquires TAT – The Astonishing Tribe.
TAT has been in the GUI business as an underground start-up and rose to fame by augmenting smartphone GUI’s ahead of conception and the competition … and at one time delivered for the legendary Nokia N95 – the original for a limited release. Nokia flirted with the idea of working with Tribe for GUI interfaces yet never really delivered, much to the disappointment of Nokia fans [formerly, myself included].
Many smartphone users that follow the Google wave/Android uplift have heralded them as being the fore-runners of design for smartphone GUI interfaces. Symbian S60 users [past/present] KNOW BETTER. TAT was the first to present augmented reality as a concept, but not just as an application, but as a powerful GUI: from the menu structure down to the file system. Their are the thinkers and dreamers of creative and useful GUI design. Did you know that TAT’s intellectual technology powers [in lesser form] over 470+ devices?
Many long-time BlackBerry users have waited a LONG time to fully use the Webkit-Engine in BB6 and recently it shows just how much we’re enjoying it and using it as a daily tool in our lives. Something so powerful, yet executed so wonderfully can be expected in TAT’s design’s for future devices.
We can DEFINITELY expect to see this in a future Firmware update to the PlayBook. If we look carefully to at RIM’s official PlayBook announcement video you can see a hint of what’s to come from their collaboration and partnership with The Astonishing Tribe. The future Q1 2011 target release date for the powerful PlayBook is beginning to make sense and when its in our hands … beyond just the specs it’ll look and feel powerful to all users and beyond business consumption.
For more on what The Astonishing Tribe can do … check out their youtube channel here – just to get a taste .. TATMobileUI. I suggest looking at the “3D Eyetracking UI”.