BlackBerry has left their fans without a premium phone since the Bold 9900, and instead focussed their efforts on the new BlackBerry 10 operating system. The day has finally come that we can spend some hands on time with their new Z10 handset, which is major shift for BlackBerry. Gone are services like BIS and BES, but BlackBerry has finally caught up with its competitors with decent software and a great new gesture based user interface.
So is a BlackBerry without BIS and the lack of a physical keyboard still retain what makes BlackBerry a great device? (more…)
Finally, the much anticipated BlackBerry Z10 entered into the smartphone boxing ring. Being a current BlackBerry user myself and looking to update my phone, I was keen to get my hands on the Z10 to see if BlackBerry would be able to convince me to stay on their team. I was quite fortunate to get my hands on the rare white version and immediately peeled off those “fresh device” plastic covers protecting the screen and battery cover.
Setting up the phone was a breeze and BlackBerry takes you through the ins-and-outs with an interactive video, teaching you how to use the new device. The Z10 has no buttons on the front of the phone, and it takes some getting used to to unlock the phone merely from the touch-screen. This was quite a change for me with most BlackBerry devices having a keyboard with which to navigate around the phone. BlackBerry’s previous success was strongly based on making e-mails easily accessible and I found that they’ve put a lot of effort into letting you set up your e-mail accounts without any hassle. Even with my e-mail accounts at lesser known service providers, it was just as easy as setting up my Gmail account.
Whatsapp has finally been launched for the first BlackBerry 10 device, the Z10. Even though it was shown as one of the available apps at the BlackBerry Z10 launch, it has not quite been ready until now.
“BlackBerry has always been about bringing people together in a way that is fast, reliable and impactful,” said, Martyn Mallick, Vice President of Global Alliances and Business Development at BlackBerry. “WhatsApp is a leading mobile messaging app that connects people to their contacts on several platforms, and we are pleased to work with WhatsApp to bring their service to our customers.”
“BlackBerry has been a great platform for WhatsApp for many years,” said Brian Acton, co-founder of WhatsApp. “Delivering WhatsApp on BlackBerry 10 devices is in line with our goals of ensuring that our customers around the world can continue to communicate with the most important people in their lives.”
In building a native application for the BlackBerry 10 platform, WhatsApp has been able to provide a better user experience that leverages the true multi-tasking capabilities of BlackBerry 10. WhatsApp Messenger for BlackBerry 10 provides a messaging experience that utilizes real-time push notifications to alert you when you receive messages- even when the screen is locked.
Fully integrated into BlackBerry Contacts, when the customer launches the app for the first time, WhatsApp can automatically scan existing phone numbers in the contact directory and extract the ones using WhatsApp, to help customers build out their contacts list and get started right away.
Right now we do not see it in the SA BlackBerry World yet, but it is apparently rolling out slowly over the next 24 hours.
You can see the app details over here: http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/2360/
RIM (now BlackBerry) has been having a tough time of late – its phones have quickly fallen out of favour from even die-hard crackberry fans, and the competition is more stiff than ever. Users of high-end smartphones have flocked to Android and iPhone, and even enterprise customers have moved to these alternative devices.
Problem was that until now BlackBerry devices have had to do with sub-par software, poor app selection, slow browsers etc. But fans lived with these issues for the benefit of having flat-rate data in the form of BIS. But time has moved on, and the potential benefit of having flat rate data is just not relevant anymore in the high end smartphone world.
BlackBerry’s BB10 devices hope to convince users that they should give up BIS for the benefit of a completely new operating system.