We were one of the first big tech news brands with an iOS app, but we’ve been one of the last to update it with support for iOS 7. However, thanks to our good friend Sean Kovacs, the new app is available in the App Store right now. It has a redesigned interface, support for gestures, comments are now working again, it uses the dynamic system font sizes, sharing has been updated to take advantage of the iOS 7 share sheet, push notifications work for breaking news, and of course, bugs have been fixed. More →
BlackBerry has been working on a top secret phone internally code-named Windermere, and BGR has learned exclusive details about this peculiar smartphone from multiple trusted sources. For starters, the phone is much wider than any other BlackBerry, and there are some reasons why. The keyboard is not just a regular BlackBerry keyboard — it features three rows of keys instead of the traditional four and all of the keys are touch sensitive. Think of the keyboard app Swype on Android to get an idea of what we mean and how you can use this keyboard.
The keys are physical keys that you can press and type on, but you can also swipe gestures over them and this is how you would access numbers, symbols, accent keys and more. It works very much like how the BlackBerry Z10 and Z30 onscreen keyboards function.
Additionally, because the display and phone are so much wider than any previous models, we are told BlackBerry has toyed with the idea of letting users run two apps on screen simultaneously side by side.
BlackBerry is currently working with a large partner that is interested in the Windermere. We have heard rumors about this partner, but have not been able to confirm with a second source the company BlackBerry is working with. We are told the device would be manufactured and make it out of the prototype phase only if the partner decides to move forward with the phone.
BGR has learned from multiple sources that Executive Vice President Andrew Bocking is no longer with the company. What is unconfirmed, however, is whether Bocking was fired or decided to leave on his own accord. One source of ours tells us he was let go and that BlackBerry is rolling up the BBM group into the enterprise unit and that Andrew was displeased with BlackBerry as whole, replacing his personal phone with an Android phone instead of using one of BlackBerry’s products. Another source of ours, however, firmly denies Andrew was fired and that him leaving is “a big loss” for the BBM division and he was poached by a competitor. Either way, this doesn’t bode too well for one of BlackBerry’s only remaining products that’s still of interest. We reached out to BlackBerry and they provided the following statement to BGR:
I can confirm that Andrew Bocking, EVP, BBM has made the decision to leave BlackBerry. We thank him for his years of leadership and contribution.
Andrew Bocking is pictured in the photo above to the right of ex-CEO Thorsten Heins.
Many people didn’t understand how Apple could take so long with iOS 7.1, though we have been able to detail the company’s progress every step of the way. We have learned that Apple will most likely not release another iOS 7.1 beta for download, meaning that the public release of the software should be available sometime in the coming weeks. One of our sources pegs the release happening in early March, though that does seem far away for us. We expect a gold master build to be available before iOS 7.1 makes it way into general customers’ hands, though there is currently no hard date for that. More →
Another couple of weeks, another iOS 7.1 build. Like we previously reported, iOS 7.1 is going through a long testing period with a tentative public release set for March. There are also about six planned builds to be released for testing, and the latest, iOS 7.1 beta 4 (build 11D5127c), should be released to developers soon as it is already in the hands of Apple’s testing partners. Apple’s last iOS 7.1 beta was released to developers on January 7th. We are told there are various fixes in this latest version, including fixing keyboard issues, problems with the contacts app, more changes to the phone UI, and other changes. We have heard from sources that with iOS 7.1, Apple is working very hard to address some large memory bugs and other issues in iOS 7 that have caused crashes and restarts for a lot of people. Additionally, iOS 7.1 should help unify iOS 7 better graphically, with various user interface updates across the entire system and in apps for a more cohesive feel.
The world thought Typo was a joke when word of its arrival began circulating a couple of months back. And Ryan Seacrest was involved! This was going to be terrible, people joked on Twitter. The thing is, there is a segment of smartphone users that refuses to give up their hardware keyboards. So the question is, is that group of people worth catering to? The answer… is maybe. Read on for my full thoughts on the Typo keyboard for the iPhone 5s. More →
The entire home automation industry is about to be upended by startups. Companies that are starting out small have a clear and concise vision: one in which your home and the many things in it can all communicate and work seamlessly with each other.
I have been looking for the perfect way to automate a room, a whole floor, and an entire house for the past ten years and have consistently been disappointed. Disappointed with the integration, the cost, the flexibility, and the ease of use. More →
Brand new BlackBerry CEO John Chen has written a letter detailing BlackBerry’s strength and strategy for CNBC, and it was was published earlier Monday morning. It contains humorous lies and is an obvious attempt to spin BlackBerry’s current situation into something less dire. Let’s take a look at Chen’s letter, line by line: More →
This might be hard to believe… if it wasn’t BlackBerry. BGR is able to confirm that the company’s upcoming handset code-named Jakarta — the one that new CEO John Chen is betting will keep the Waterloo-based vendor of a bunch of two-way pagers with web browsers relevant — actually won’t even have a physical keyboard. This is the one of the only features that people still try to cling to in markets BlackBerry plans to target with the Jakarta. We are also told the handset will run BlackBerry 10, so it looks like BlackBerry 7 will finally be phased out even for the company’s low-cost and emerging market-focused products.
I’m curious what price the Jakarta phone will retail for. Anything above $150 would be suicide — you can buy a decent Android smartphone in emerging markets for $150 or even a little less, and there isn’t a single thing BlackBerry does better than an Android phone. More →
Apple has begun seeding a new build of iOS 7.1 to testing partners, we have learned from a trusted source. iOS 7.1 beta 3 is said to bring several important bug fixes in addition to some new features, though our source was uncomfortable detailing these for us at this time. The new build has not yet been released to developers, who just gained access to iOS 7.1 beta 2 on on December 13th. Additionally, as strange as it may be, we are told that iOS 7.1 will probably not be released to the public until sometime in March. Apple has historically released an iOS update around January, but it could be that Apple’s upcoming iOS in the Car feature is the reason for the delay here.
Lyve is a new company on the scene, but it’s one industry watchers will have heard about under a different name. Black Pearl Systems, now known as Lyve Minds or just Lyve, is aiming to help make sure you don’t ever lose any of your important moments, like photos, videos and more. The concept isn’t new, but Lyve’s approach is incredibly interesting. It involves leveraging the fact that most of us have more than one device — a computer, a tablet, a phone — by offering a unique cloud service that can move newly captured photos from once device to another, even across platforms like iOS and Android, without you ever having to manually sync a single thing. None of your content is ever stored on the company’s servers, either, just metadata so there’s no concern about your private data being available to anyone else but yourself. More →
It’s been incredibly clear to me for years that BlackBerry as a company was on its way to becoming a complete failure. It’s not just that Apple had introduced a world-changing phone that would flip the entire telecommunications industry on its head. It really wasn’t that. What I saw, from being so closely connected to the company for many years and from all of my sources inside and around RIM, was a company that actually lacked talent among other things, top to bottom. It was a mix of a hundred different problems: company culture no doubt, leadership of course, but this was a company that was so backwards in its thinking, so off its game in just a couple of months after the iPhone was announced, that it actually went on to produce some of the worst smartphones in history. More →