Monday, February 4, 2013

Blackberry 10 Announcement

I didn't have a review for this week since I've been very busy since returning from my vacation so I decided to write about the biggest technology news item that was discussed this past week.

The biggest news this week in terms of the things that I've written about (and that I'm interested in) has been the announcement of the Blackberry 10 devices (Blackberry Z10 & Blackberry Q10).

In terms of phones, I have a Blackberry (Bold 9700), an iPhone (iPhone 3GS), and an Android (Samsung Nexus-S). I currently use my Blackberry Bold 9700 a lot mainly for the keyboard since I can type a lot faster with my Blackberry keyboard than I can do with either the virtual on-screen keyboard from my iPhone or my Android phone. My iPhone 3GS functions mainly as an iPod Touch since I don't use it to make calls except when making VoIP calls. I will use my Android phone to check certain things out but will generally avoid typing anything on it mainly because I don't like virtual on-screen keyboards.

When I went to the US on vacation, because of the high data roaming charges, I used my US SIM phone has data service in my Android phone and I didn't really like having to type chat messages or e-mails with the virtual keyboard. The reason I didn't use my US SIM on my Blackberry is because of one of the shortcomings of Blackberries and that is, that it requires a Blackberry specific data plan (a regular data plan will generally not work on a Blackberry phone).

The Blackberry Z10 which will be released in Canada on February 5 and personally I won't be getting it. The main reason I have my Blackberry is for the physical keyboard since as I mentioned I can't get used to the virtual on-screen keyboards for my iPhone and my Android phone. I will probably wait until the Blackberry Q10 which has a built-in keyboard is released before making my decision on whether or not to purchase it since I can probably get an inexpensive Android phone v2.x which has a built-in keyboard for ~$230 brand new (and without contract).

Personally, I think that one of the problems with Blackberry/RIM is that the have too many phone models. About 3 years ago, you could get a Pearl, Curve, Bold, and Torch. If they only release 2 models (Z10 & Q10) with Blackberry 10, I think that this is a good start. However, having 2 phone models with 2 different screen sizes and 2 different hardware specs represents issues when it comes to application development. One of the reasons why I gave up my Blackberry Playbook is that it did not have enough applications for me and at the time that I purchased it, it also didn't have a standalone e-mail, calendar, and contact program (it required a Blackberry phone in order to use the e-mail/calendar/addressbook). I already had a tablet which did not have a lot of applications (i.e. my HP Touchpad) and I was using it mainly for reading PDF documents) and I didn't need another tablet that didn't have a lot of applications on it.

The features of Blackberry 10 does sound impressive but without applications, I don't think that Blackberry 10 will do very well. We'll just have to wait and see what types of applications are released for it when the Blackberry Z10 is finally released. When the Q10 is released later this year, developers will probably have to re-write or port their existing Blackberry Z10 programs for the Blackberry Q10 because of the Q10's smaller screen size.

Hopefully with Blackberry 10, the Blackberry memory leak issue is solved. For me, every few days on my Blackberry Bold 9700, I'm presented with a message that I am running low on memory and I am asked to delete any application that I don't use. However, after doing a battery-pull (or rebooting my Blackberry), the available memory is sufficient for me to do what I want with the phone (at least for a few days). I don't have to do the same thing with my Android phone or with my iPhone.

The Q10 is probably what I will purchase provided that the applications that I want/use is available for the Blackberry 10 operating system.

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