BGR reported exclusive details of RIM’s upcoming BBX-based smartphone code-named the BlackBerry Colt earlier this year, and we have since heard that there is going to be a big emphasis on video calling with the company’s first super smartphone. This obviously means the device will feature a front-facing camera. As far as the BlackBerry PlayBook goes, RIM recently demoed OS 2.0 for the PlayBook, an update to the original OS that brings Android app compatibility along with native email and PIM access. As we reported before, however, there were tremendous obstacles that have prevented Research In Motion from shipping native email, calendar, contacts, BlackBerry Messenger, and other core system apps on the new QNX-based operating system. RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie said during the company’s last earnings call that the PlayBook would see an update in October but unfortunately, RIM is still struggling with these challenges. Hit the break for more. More →
After having initially said the issues were resolved following one day of service interruptions, millions of BlackBerry users across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and even some areas in South America still find themselves without access to the Wen or messaging services for the third consecutive day. Research In Motion confirmed earlier that a bug on a Blackberry server was responsible for knocking millions offline on Monday, and the Waterloo, Ontario-based smartphone maker elaborated on Tuesday that the continued interruption was caused by a core switch failure. RIM now says the outage has caused a large backlog of data that must be cleared before service can return to normal. No firm timeline has been issued.
UPDATE: Our inbox is starting to get hit with reports of service interruptions in the U.S. and Canada as well. Is your BlackBerry not working this morning? Leave us a comment below and let us know.
Research In Motion co-CEO Jim Balsillie took the wraps off a new NFC-based BlackBerry service during his keynote presentation at the GITEX conference in Dubai this week. Dubbed BlackBerry Tag, the new feature will allow BlackBerry users to share contact information, documents, URLs, photos and other multimedia files by tapping one handset against another. BlackBerry Tag will also allow users to add each other as BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) contacts with a simple tap. ”BlackBerry Tag is an exciting and innovative feature that makes sharing contact information and multimedia content effortless and seamless,” Balsillie said in a statement. “BlackBerry Tag opens a new dimension to the BlackBerry platform that is powerful, simple and intuitive and we think it will be welcomed by both users and developers.” BlackBerry Tag will be enabled on NFC-equipped handsets in an upcoming BlackBerry 7 OS update. RIM’s full press release follows below. More →
BGR exclusively reported in March that Research In Motion was working to bring its popular BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) platform to Android smartphones and the iPhone. Now, images that purportedly show a beta version of the chat application running on an Android device have been leaked by TechRadar. Reportedly, the app is set to launch on Android before next year and RIM is already in the final stages of testing the solution. The leak lines up with BGR’s original report that RIM would develop an Android client before an iOS version. In addition, BGR reported that RIM will likely limit the features of BBM on iOS and Android in an effort to woo users who want a more robust BBM experience back to a BlackBerry. RIM has plenty of stiff competition in the chat space, however. Applications such as Kik, Skype-owned GroupMe, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger all offer similar features and are available across multiple mobile platforms, and Apple’s iMessage service will launch this month with iOS 5. Hit the jump for a second image that provides a better look at the UI.
UPDATE: As pointed out by a tweet from Chris Parsons, it appears as though the image used in the screenshot below was pieced together from a marketing shot posted by RIM in August. More →
Samsung is set to make a big splash with new products during the IFA trade show in Berlin, which kicks off later this week, and the phone maker recently announced a new group text application called ChatOn. The application allows Android, iOS, BlackBerry and bada users to create groups to quickly send and receive group text messages. The service will no doubt compete with BBM, Apple’s iMessage, Google’s Huddle, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and GroupMe, but Samsung is trying to distinguish itself from those other services by offering a more robust feature set. ChatOn lets users to see their most messaged friends, complete with “interaction ranks,” send animated text messages and share photos and videos in a shared group “trunk.” Read on for a full intro video and press release. More →
Research In Motion is working on a music service that will tie in with BlackBerry Messenger. CNET reports that RIM will deploy a test version of its subscription-based streaming music service in the coming weeks, and that a final product will come later. BlackBerry owners will be able to share their songs with other subscribers using RIM’s BBM service, the report suggests. It’s unclear how much the BlackBerry maker plans to charge, but The Wall Street Journal said it will cost “significantly less” than similar services such as Rhapsody and Spotify, which both charge about $10 per month for premium access. RIM has already inked deals with Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, EMI and Universal Music to provide the content, according to reports. More →
BlackBerry maker Research In Motion has agreed to work with London authorities as they begin their investigation into recent riots. According to some Londoners, rioters were using RIM’s BlackBerry Messenger service, along with social networks such as Twitter, to organize the attacks. “It is clear that technology is being used, including in demonstrations, to direct people and undermine the police,” London’s deputy assistant commissioner Stephen Kavanagh told Bloomberg. “It is not for us to to moan about this, but to adapt policing style and deal with it.” RIM typically prides itself on the security of its BBM service and has denied access to governments worried the chat platform could be used for planning terrorist attacks. “We feel for those impacted by the riots in London,” RIM wrote in a recent tweet. “We have engaged with the authorities to assist in any way we can.” Read on for more. More →
During the BlackBerry World Keynote in Orlando this morning, Research In Motion announced that it is working with foursquare to include support for the social-network in an upcoming version of BlackBerry Messenger. Users will be able to share their location information as their BBM status, but RIM execs didn’t go into much detail on how check-ins will work or just how feature rich the implementation will be. The native foursquare client, for example, allows users to find nearby deals, compete with friends for check-in points, and more. RIM did not say when the client would make its debut, although we suspect it will be around the launch of its BlackBerry 7 powered Bold 9900, which will occur later this summer. More →