PlayBook owners over on the CrackBerry forums have discovered that, after applying a new BlackBerry Bridge v188.8.131.52 update, they were able to use BBM on their BlackBerry PlayBooks. The feature reportedly only works with BlackBerry 6 devices right now, although there are rumblings that a BlackBerry OS 5 version is in the works as well. You’ll also need to update your BlackBerry Messenger application to the newest version first, and that should be available from RIM’s BlackBerry Beta Zone. Unfortunately some users are reporting that the new Bridge update is causing some lag on their phones, though, so you may want to hold off until RIM issues a release build of the software. Judging from the picture above, we’re definitely digging the multi-frame layout with the BBM buddy list on the left side and conversation view on the right. More →
With BlackBerry World set to kick off early next month, you can expect BlackBerry-related leaks to keep rolling in hot and heavy for the next few weeks. We’ve already exclusively handled RIM’s upcoming flagship smartphones — the BlackBerry Bold Touch, the BlackBerry Torch 2 and the BlackBerry Touch (Monaco/Monza) — but there are plenty more goodies just waiting to be unearthed. Expected to launch alongside BlackBerry OS 6.1, screenshots of BlackBerry Messenger have been posted to a BlackBerry enthusiast forum. The images show a slightly redesigned look and minor UX enhancements, but the full feature list is still unknown so there may still be a few tidbits yet to be revealed. It might not be the version of BBM we’re all anxious to see RIM launch, but it’s never a bad thing when the company adds new features to its beloved BlackBerry Messenger. More →
We knew this story was a hoax when we first saw it, but we reached out to Research In Motion to get an official comment from the company. RIM tells us that rumors that BlackBerry Messenger might launch as an app for Apple’s iPhone on April 26th, is false. “RIM did not hold a conference in Toronto this week, and Jim Balsillie did not speak at any event in Toronto this week.” We’re not saying it isn’t coming at some point in the future, but BlackBerry Messenger is definitely not hitting the App Store on April 26th.
RIM may be forced to shut down its services in India if it can’t provide government intelligence agencies with access to its corporate email system by March 31st. According to a new report from Reuters this morning, India’s junior telecoms minister, Sachin Pilot, said that India isn’t satisfied with the access that RIM has provided to its BlackBerry messaging services. India has asked for access to RIM’s corporate email system in an effort to thwart terrorism and maintain security, but RIM has said such a solution isn’t possible. According to The Economic Times, which wrote a similar report, India believes that RIM provides other countries, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, and China, with access to its corporate email services. India wants the same access, or it will force RIM to stop operating within its borders after March 31, 2011, one official said. RIM doesn’t look like it’s budging either, though. On Monday one RIM executive said India’s security demands are “astonishing.” More →
Research In Motion has just announced that BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) Social Platform is now available in public beta. First announced during BlackBerry DEVCON 2010, BBM Social Platform allows developers to integrate their applications directly with BBM using a set of new APIs, and RIM is banking on developers to make BBM a more robust application. RIM hopes programmers will create multimedia apps, location-based services, games, VoIP services, and more, that can build on the existing BBM experience. Here’s one possible use case: You start up a multiplayer game with a friend and smack talk with him or her inside the game over BBM. When you’re done, maybe you want to share that game with someone else, using features enabled in the BBM Social Platform, you’ll be able to share apps. It will even let developers create custom areas inside a BBM profile, which could be used for showing game achievements or other stats. Now let’s just hope these features carry over to BBM on Android and iPhone. More →
Robert Crow, a VP for Research In Motion, recently told The Wall Street Journal that India’s security agencies are making “rather astonishing” demands for access to RIM’s secure messaging and email networks. India and RIM have been up in arms since October 2010 when India gave RIM until January 2011 to comply with India’s intelligence laws. RIM fired back in January saying that there was no possibility to provide access to its secure email services, but has allowed Indian authorities “lawful” access its BlackBerry Messenger service. ”I think this may well go on and on in India, and frankly it will be one of those factors that people talk about in the Indian business environment—not one that will be seen in India’s favor in international comparison,” Crow said. Crow also discussed RIM’s plans to expand its footprint in India, where 11,000 developers work on BlackBerry apps, and added that there’s a possibility that RIM may begin to manufacture BlackBerry parts in India. More →
BGR has learned from multiple trusted sources that Research In Motion is planning to bring its beloved BlackBerry Messenger app and service to Android, and eventually to iOS as well. According to our sources, RIM has not yet finalized details surrounding timing or pricing, but we have heard that the company might make the software free to all users. We’re also told strategy is still being developed, however, and RIM may end up charging users a one-time fee or even a recurring fee for access to its BBM service on third-party platforms. More →
Research in Motion on Monday announced a new service addition to its popular BlackBerry Messenger platform. Dubbed the BBM mobile gifting platform, the new service will allow carriers to enable mobile gifting for their subscribers using BlackBerry devices. Prepaid and post-paid subscribers will be able to use the BBM gifting feature to pay for airtime, apps and other carrier services requested by friends and family. The feature will support carrier billing, so related charges will be billed directly to a subscriber’s wireless account. The service will also be integrated tightly with BlackBerry App world, and will allow users to make requests of specific BlackBerry subscribers — so, for example, a child might request a certain app from his or her mother, who will then receive a BBM notification that the request has been made and can choose whether or not to fulfill it. No carrier partners have been announced at this point in time. Hit the break for RIM’s full press release. More →
Following our press briefing with the PlayBook early today, we wanted to get a bit more up-close and personal with the BlackBerry Bridge software. Bridge, for those that don’t know, is the bit of technology that connects the BlackBerry handset to the PlayBook and allows for the use of BlackBerry Messenger, BlackBerry Email, and BlackBerry Calendar on the PlayBook itself. For the time being, Bridge will provide the PlayBook with all of its email, calendar, and BBM functionality — there are no stand-alone applications on the device. You read that correctly: without a BlackBerry on hand, you won’t be able to access any of your BlackBerry-specific messaging software. Don’t get us started. Regardless of this fact, RIM was kind enough to give us a demo of the Bridge connection and, for what it is, it works just as advertised. Any edits on the PlayBook are mirrored on your Berry, and vice versa. Drafts saved are accessible on both, and because all of the data is routed through the BlackBerry’s data connection, all Enterprise policies will remain secure and intact, which is definitely a concern for security minded companies looking to integrate tablets into their corporate environment. All told, Bridge does exactly what Bridge is supposed to do… the only question is whether you can live with having to tether your tablet every time you want to send a message. More →
As Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 push kicks into high gear ahead of the holidays, great devices like the HTC HD7 will help foster interest in the new smartphone operating system. Microsoft’s massive advertising campaign certainly won’t hurt either. Putting eyes on the new OS is only half the battle, however, as Microsoft struggles to regain mind share in a category it helped build a decade ago.
Times have changed since the introduction of Pocket PC 2000, and smartphone platforms now battle for billions rather than scrounging for scraps. The global market for smart devices has exploded and in the process, consumers have evolved. Pedigree isn’t enough for smartphone users anymore — the market is changing far too rapidly for major players to rely on blind allegiance to keep customers aboard. Apple has taken the industry by storm, Google’s Android OS is gaining market share at breakneck speeds, and successful platforms like Symbian and BlackBerry are on the verge of revitalization. Smartphone brands need to fight for users more today than ever before.
And on top of all this commotion in the industry, a new mobile currency has been born: apps. More →
If you’ve heard about the Kik messaging app, or as some would call it, “the new BBM”, you probably sat at the cool-kid lunch-table at school. Kik, a multi-platform messaging app designed to do one thing — communicate instantly and effortlessly with buddies — has absolutely exploded over the last few weeks. Originally on track to launch an innovative (and pretty cool) music-sharing, remote-controllable service, Kik soon found themselves creating a messaging app with some of their existing technology while the music service firmed up behind the scenes. After a pretty poor original launch (I tried Kik back then and the beta was definitely a beta — I uninstalled it soon after it was first installed), Kik stripped away almost everything until they ended up with one of the quickest and most reliable messaging apps around.
Kik has over 1.2 million unique users signed up, Kik CEO Ted Livingston told BGR yesterday evening. The company is expecting its user-base to cross the 1.75-million user mark any day. Ted even said that Kik had to charter a plane and load it up with extra servers to bring to their data center just to keep the service up and running to handle the influx of users. Kik’s growth is nothing short of remarkable, with a completely viral marketing initiative spreading like wildfire across Facebook and Twitter. What’s exciting is that Kik knows that their users expect an even better user experience, and even more features. Here is what Kik is planning on doing: More →
Research In Motion has been getting a lot of stick recently for not providing government agencies controlled access to their encrypted servers. In August, the United Arab Emirates threatened to pull the plug on BlackBerry services before the two parties reached an agreement. In October, India chimed in on the situation giving the Waterloo based firm an ultimatum: meet compliance standards by January 31, 2011 or get shut down. BlackBerry users in India will be happy/unhappy to know that RIM and the Government of India have reached an interim arrangement wherein RIM will allow for the “lawful interception of BBM services.” RIM still has until January 31, 2011 to come up with a final solution to put this whole thing to bed. In the mean time, it’s business as usual. More →
One of our Verizon Wireless sources has just forwarded us an internal email detailing some data issues in the Midwest. According to the email, the issue affects only data, not voice, and is currently happening in over 3 states. Additionally, it looks like there is an issue with “RIM’s Switch” that is playing with the emotions of all carriers nationwide, not just Verizon. How you looking out there BGR friends? Phones working ok?