Category Archives: BlackBerry Tablet

BlackBerry Passport – A phablet… with a keyboard

BlackBerry might be in a spot of trouble, but it’s not taking things lying down. During today’s BlackBerry earnings call for the first quarter of 2014, CEO John Chen revealed the company’s third new phone – the Passport phablet, which joins the ranks of the Z3 (launched earlier this year) and Classic (which will be pushed out soon) as the ‘third leg’ of the company’s push for relevance and sales.

BlackBerry Passport phablet
image via techcrunch.com

BlackBerry Passport: ‘Windermere’ no more

The Passport isn’t a bolt from the blue – tech fans may recall past chatter regarding the BlackBerry ‘Windermere’, which was rumored to be quite the phone to watch out for. BlackBerry under John Chen is a company that is attempting to mine its illustrious past for elements that could help it survive and thrive in today’s white-hot, balls-out competitive mobile world, and one of the features that the ‘Windermere’ was rumored to be adopting was a physical keyboard. And not just any keyboard, but one that supposedly could be operated like a trackpad thanks to new touch-sensitive technology.

Details: scant but intriguing

But its keyboard (even though it does look strangely stretched in the images so far released to the press) is far from the first thing that people will notice about the Passport: its unique form factor. It’s got a square display that measures 4.5 by 4.5 inches and has a resolution of 1440 x 1440, making it, for all intents and purposes, a QHD screen. As many have noticed, it’s even wider than a Samsung Galaxy Note, which is no small phone by any measure. All in all, this one will get people staring when it’s used in public. We also hear that the Passport’ll be rocking a quad-core Snapdragon processor and a 13-megapixel camera, among other goodies.

Expect the BlackBerry Passport to drop sometime in September this year. When it’s released, it will have to hit the ground running. BlackBerry’s sales are significantly down from the same quarter last year – they sold 6.8 million handsets then, but only managed to move 1.6 million in the first quarter of 2014. While the brand continues to be strong in markets such as Indonesia, only time will tell if products like the Passport will help propel BlackBerry back to the upper reaches of the tech world.

via [ CrackBerry ]

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BlackBerry Tablet OS: Improved in 2.0

When Research In Motion (RIM) first announced and released the PlayBook and the BlackBerry Tablet OS last year, it was met with mixed reviews. Tablet PC reviews noted the glaring lack of dedicated email, contacts and calendar functions as one of the device’s biggest setbacks. Well, RIM has recently released a major update to its contender in the tablet PC comparison wars, so let’s check out what’s been improved.

Messages. Before BlackBerry Tablet OS 2.0, the only way you can access your email with your PlayBook is through the BlackBerry Bridge app. The newest version of the operating system has rectified this oversight with the Messages app. In addition to email, users can get messages from social networking sites LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Users can set up one account for each social networking site and as many email accounts as they can manage. All the messages and emails are neatly lumped into one feed, but you can easily filter between your accounts and folders.

Contacts and Calendar. PlayBook users can breathe another “Finally!” as the BlackBerry Tablet OS now has an integrated contacts and calendar feature. The Contacts app can pull information from your contacts in social networks, though if you have a lot of friends Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, and they may show up in the list two to three times.

According to tablet PC news, syncing your calendar is similarly easy: you just need to sign in to your Gmail and Facebook accounts and your appointments and upcoming events will automatically be listed on your PlayBook’s calendar. You can also create reminders on your tablet and send it to your Google Calendar.

BlackBerry Remote. The older versions of the BlackBerry Tablet OS introduced us to the idea of tethering a BlackBerry phone to the PlayBook, and well, in this version, you can do so much more than just send BBM. As the name suggests, the Remote feature allows you to use your BlackBerry like a remote. You can use the phone’s screen as a trackpad and use the keyboard to enter text into a presentation.

Android. Yes, BlackBerry Tablet OS 2.0 supports some Android apps. You may have some trouble tracking the said apps in the App World, but believe us they’re there alongside the native apps.

All things considered, the updated BlackBerry Tablet OS looks promising, though some tablet PC reviews note the lack of other features like BBM and say that update 2.0 may be too little too late.

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BlackBerry Tablet OS: Facts and Features

BlackBerry Tablet OS

It seems like every device on the market today started with some rumour or other, and Research In Motion’s PlayBook is not an exception. Announced back in October 25, 2010, the BlackBerry PlayBook was unleashed into the market – and subsequently thrust into the tablet PC comparison wars in April 19 the next year. Despite less than favourable sales, the device’s operating system, called BlackBerry Tablet OS nevertheless stood out. How much do you know about this OS and what features can you expect from it? Read on to find out.

The Features

The BlackBerry Tablet OS is based on QNX Neutrino, a UNIX-like operating system with support for Adobe AIR and BlackBerry WebWorks. It also has full support for Java applications, and later updated to support Android apps as well. Tablet PC reviews were mixed when the tablet and accompanying OS was released, but they do note that the said OS has a couple of interesting features and applications, so let’s check some of them out.

Multitasking. The BlackBerry Tablet OS allows for true multitasking, a feat it can achieve though the base QNX OS’s flexibility. You can push it to do as many things as the 1 GB of RAM and dual core CPU will allow.

Support. As mentioned, the said operating system provides support for Java, Adobe Air, and WebWorks. It also supports Flash 10.1 as well as HTML5.

BlackBerry Bridge. This feature allows you to pair up your BlackBerry mobile to your PlayBook. In the past, this feature is the only way you can access your email, calendar and contacts on your PlayBook. Those have since been incorporated in BlackBerry Tablet OS v2.0.

Multiple Users. The PlayBook was designed for work and play – and RIM acknowledges that you may want to share your tablet PC on the ‘play’ part. The BlackBerry Tablet OS supports multiple users, and you can impose certain limitations to other users’ access.

Like Apple’s iOS, the BlackBerry Tablet OS is non-licensed to other manufacturers and is therefore exclusive to the PlayBook. At the moment, the RIM’s OS is on version 2.0, and tablet PC news reports note that the upcoming BlackBerry 10 will bridge the OS gap between BlackBerry phones and Playbooks.