Worldwide there are over 60 million BlackBerry Messenger users — even though other devices have been bogarting the spotlight, BlackBerry is still a contender in the smartphone arena. The brand may have been pushed aside with public attention focused on the neck-and-neck race between Apple and Samsung, but it hasn’t been idle. In addition to developing new sweet BlackBerry smartphones, unveiled in May, the company has been working on a plan to open their exclusive messaging service to the world. Oh, and while they were at it, BlackBerry figured it couldn’t hurt to put its two cents in on the technology that integrates smartphone software with your car. What’s next for BlackBerry? Sneak peek:
Targeting the emerging markets is what BlackBerry had in mind when developing the lower-tier BlackBerry Q5. Its capabilities are comparable to its big brother, the BlackBerry Q10, as they both run on the newest BlackBerry 10 operating system. According to FOX News, both the BlackBerry Q10 and BlackBerry Q5 have 2GB of RAM and 2 mega-pixel front-facing cameras, but the BlackBerry Q5 only has half as much flash memory: 8GB compared to the BlackBerry Q10 16GB. The BlackBerry Q5 sports an LCD screen, but it’s the same 3.1 inches as the BlackBerry Q10 LED. Still, those who have remained loyal to BlackBerry because of its signature physical full QWERTY keyboard will love that it remains right where it belongs, hearkening back to the popular BlackBerry Curve. It has a slimmer, more sleek design, an aspect that that brings the daddy of all smartphones into the 21st Century. Specific pricing hasn’t been set for the BlackBerry Q5 yet but based on the $580 price tag for the BlackBerry Q10 as reported by CNN Money, those with an eye on the BlackBerry Q5 may end up paying as little as $450. According to Richard Goodwin of KnowYourMobile, however, it could be a bit more.
Photo of a Blackberry phone by Mostafa Abdel Samie
BBM All Around
There’s plenty of speculation about BlackBerry’s announcement to make their previously exclusive BlackBerry Messenger service available to iPhone and Android users, but the bottom line is more messaging options in a more secure environment for more people. While everyone else’s attention has been on who can top who’s devices, apps and features, BlackBerry has remained the top in the field of secure data transmission. Cyrus Sanati reports for CNN Money that BBM’s are sent through BlackBerry’s specialized global data network which encrypts both incoming and outgoing messages — the safest data network around. That’s good news for iPhone and Android users who hop onboard with apps that allow them to BBM with their BlackBerry buddies and each other because it all goes through the same secure BB servers. This move is setting BlackBerry up to be the go-to expert in mobile device management for businesses. Their BlackBerry Enterprise Server will help employers manage and protect data on employees’ personal devices, no matter what they may be.
BB10 Behind the Wheel
Sometimes business can be pleasure, and at BlackBerry Live 2013 it was a pleasure doing business with a plush Bentley linked to a BlackBerry 10 smartphone. The generously sized in-dash projection screen displays all, allowing you to text, email and video conference on the go — voice commanded for safety sake, of course. Even hands-on interaction doesn’t require literally touching the display. Brian Bennett of CNET was treated to a demonstration in which he had only to hover his hand over the menu icons to make things happen. Another perk to the BB integrated Bentley is the app that allows you to access the car’s diagnostics. Check your tire pressure and fluid levels at a glance and all without getting your hands dirty. Sadly, it’s just a prototype and a concept — for now. But Bennett reports that Tesla and GM are currently including smartphone features in new techie models, so this luxury reality is just around the corner.
Guest post by Aaron Brooks