Welcome to SeriousMobile … where I try to go beyond the common BlackBerry fan-boy view of products, services, enterprise, and ecosystem.
This last week – fans including myself went nuts over – RIM mistakenly leaking the Bold 9900 on the main page, paired on the BlackBerry PlayBook. WOAH! Make no mistake, that this was intentional by RIM … maybe not the executives or the board, yet surely the silence of the mistake & no public decree that someone or a team would be investigated internally ~ the same day of the leak was the quarterly financial report.
This device … will bring some new, exciting, and tantalizing paradigm shift for BlackBerry users – both corporate and consumer; and programmers alike. Beyond just NFC, Dual-Band WLAN 802.11N (2.4 or 5Ghz A/B/G/N), Bluetooth 3.0 (? one hopes), and a delictable 2.8″ screen – a touchscreen in the size of a Bold 9000. That’s the key.
Although the design shape will noticeably take queues from the Bold 9000 – the original that spawned the current lineup of BlackBerry’s – it also reminds of the Motorola Qh due to its wide, tall, and yet flat design.
Well the the great thing is this will be RIM’s 3rd touch screen device; 2 really as the Storm series was really a half-assed half-backed solution to avoiding capacitive touch.
The real question I’m pondering is this: What will a touch screen really bring to a slate full-qwerty device user?!
The Torch does well with it’s large vertical sliding screen ~ yet many still cannot deal with using it since shortcuts are limited using the on-screen keyboard (yes many are available; just not all). Having to slide open the touch screen to get at a real, powerful, effective, and efficient keyboard was frustrating at the most, tedious at the least. Not everyone will agree and fully enjoys the Torch & will upgrade to the Torch 2.
However, what real importance, what real change in use, what real power or efficiency’s will the Touch-Screen bring to the BlackBerry Bold lineup?!! The trackball ~ while a mistake in choice ~ brought about a significant change in how BlackBerry users can use their devices, the power was in daily navigation and fast menu navigation without cramping like the ol’ Track-Wheel did. The TrackPad made navigation smoother without causing massive returns in less than 6 months ownership for users and did NOT cause RIM to change its warranty for hardware (while working at BMO I’ve seen a desk drawer full of faulty Trackballs completely filled in 8 months :O ). The newer OS, BB6 refined menu’s and further enhanced the use of the TrackPad, and developers improved its use with their applications ~ taking full advantage of using top-bar Tabs instead of adding to the main BB OS menu key heirarchy. Thank you.
So how will a Touchscreen improve upon the existing, die-hard, full-qwerty traditional slate BlackBerry user?! Sure you can select icons directly, yet with such a large device will you need to refine your dexterity? How will applications change to invite the user to engage interactively for this new change? Will using 1 hand with 2 fingers to pinch zoom in/out of images be faster than using ALT key + Trackpad swipe Up/Down; especially when you’re still using two hands to accomplish both use cases? Call me confused or consider this for thought so we can possibly shock programmers minds to build better applications, and themes.
I’m looking forward to the Bold 9900 Touch but not for the capacitive touch, but the large size and what new technologies offered and how NFC will change business’ and consumers’ purchasing habits. I’m dying to see what the Bold 9780 will evolve to in the future. See you all on the upgrade path.
PlayBook – Enterprise Trial
Well I’ve had my personally owned PlayBook for about 4 days now. Watching side loaded movies and viewing pictures and reading eBooks (pdf or downloaded through Kobo) is very enjoyable. The speakers are incredible … theirs actually a dual pair on each side so a surrounding effect is hinted at.
Now to the bread and butter. RIM you’re missing your target audience here, and here is a list of applications we’re going to need. A list that is not exclusive to administrators, those in high level of infrastructure, but also to consumers as well.
- RDP … I NEED to be able to RDP over VPN (Cisco Easy IOS) to servers or workstations; this is your main priority above a stupid local email client.
- SharePoint file access and manipulation – usually hosted via intranet portals. I’m sure those on Symphony or other Lotus Domino hosted intranet sites will require similar access and manipulation.
- BES5 Administration. Although I can access the BES5 hosted WebDesktop URL over VPN I cannot logon and administer BES5 accounts; over IE 7/8/9 I need to add as a trusted site so this maybe something with the environment I’m particularly in.
- SSH Client … many will require this as well ~ don’t skim on the power please!
- Memory Management – specifically RAM for running the OS and UI … with the current 1710 build I’m consistently running at over 550MB of RAM used without anyone launched or WLAN connected. QNX is supposed to have delt with this without breaking a flush. Mr. Dodge … please refine this.
That just skims the top of what we’ll require in an Enterprise Grade Tablet. Maybe that is part of the loop-hole here … its a Grade, not an Enterprise Ready Tablet?! Sorry RIM I hate to say that and I know you’re looking into this at least internally but please get this started.
I figured I’d share some of my favourite Wallpapers for your PlayBooks. Some you may have to slightly reverse-pinch to resize but the quality is still very sweet.
Just a simple entry. What is with the craze of using an Otterbox case on a BlackBerry for consumers that do not live/work in a rugged lifestyle?
– BlackBerry’s are known to have more than adequate construction. Actually their renowned for it. So its really odd to me why would anyone – not working in police force, construction/demolition, extreme sports (y to carry your phone doing this anyone is beyond me) – would want to bulk up their smartphone of choice that has decent build quality.
Some wonderful news and critical aspects are:
What is the BlackBerry Tablet OS Native SDK? What does it allow?
The BlackBerry Tablet OS Native SDK will allow developers to build high-performance, multi-threaded, native C/C++ applications with industry standard GNU toolchains. The BlackBerry Tablet OS Native SDK also allows developers to:
- Create advanced 2D and 3D applications and special effects by leveraging programmable shaders available in hardware-accelerated OpenGL ES 2.0
- Take advantage of the QNX POSIX library support and C/C++ compliance for quick and easy porting of applications built in POSIX-based environments
- Integrate device events like gesture swipes and touch screen inputs
- Integrate the BlackBerry Tablet OS environment into existing code management and build systems using industry standard Eclipse CDT (C/C++ Development Tools)
- Leverage work done in standard C/C++ to make it easier to bring applications to the BlackBerry Tablet OS
- Find and fix bugs quickly with provided debug and analysis tools
We are very excited about the opportunities that are opening up for developers on our tablet and smartphone platforms. With millions of smartphone users and a remarkable level of excitement for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, from consumers and enterprise, we know developers are primed to bring innovative and exciting applications to the BlackBerry platform.
Please join RIM at the BlackBerry World conference in Orlando on May 3-5, 2011, where we will share more information on our evolving platform.
^ This needs to be pushed for quality yet needs to get out there SOON … I’d rather have native apps built using the SDK before an Android/BB OS (5/6) Player to debut in the PlayBook’s AppWorld storefront.
Well folks turns out as I was delayed in posting part 1 – RIM has decided to block the direct download site for Article ID: KB26554.
Use Google Cache when searching: How to install the BlackBerry Bridge application
currently its offered as version: BlackBerry_Bridge_22.214.171.124.zip
I’m curious why the document is access protected directly; is it a question of security (doubtful), a question of going-concern where AppWorld will receive the updates only, or a question of honoring partnerships.
I hope RIM reads this posts and chooses to make the article public again – you DO want to make sales of the PlayBook, not restrict them! If not I’m hoping I do get a reply stating why it was pulled from the public eye.
Oh yes! This is ONE of the amazing features NOT mentioned by the majority kool-aid drinking press. Don’t get me wrong the iPad is great and does what it does well, very well and I’d say its a standard in this tablet space. Yet as the need for options grows with use and the space continues to grow & mature … the PlayBook has legs.
Blackberry.com/btsc article: Article ID: KB26548
The BlackBerry Playbook tablet offers a rich browsing experiences featuring:
- Full Adobe® Flash® 10.1 enabled
- Built-in support for HTML 5
- No-compromise rendering of text, graphics and video
Three methods to connect to the Internet are available on the BlackBerry Playbook tablet. This article compares the 3 methods of browsing available.
BlackBerry PlayBook Browser
The BlackBerry Playbook Browser connects directly to the Internet with an available Wi-Fi connection using 802.11 a/b/g/n – 2.4 and 5GHz.
BlackBerry Bridge Browser
The BlackBerry Bridge Browser is available when paired to a BlackBerry smartphone with device software 5.0 to 6.0 using the BlackBerry Bridge client. When connected to the Internet using the BlackBerry Bridge Browser the Playbook accesses the Internet through the BlackBerry smartphone’s browsing services. With this connection method no Wi-Fi connection on the PlayBook is required. When paired with a BlackBerry smartphone active on a BlackBerry Enterprise Server, The BlackBerry Bridge Browser offers access to corporate intranet websites.
For information on the simplified browsing experienced offered in BlackBerry® 6 please see KB23699.
Bluetooth tethering, Dial-Up Networking (DUN)
The BlackBerry Playbook can connect to a mobile phone (such as a BlackBerry smartphone) that supports Dial Up Networking over Bluetooth, to access the Internet. When browsing with this method the default BlackBerry Playbook browser is used and offers the same browsing experience.