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BlackBerry 10 Review: Good, But Too Late?

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the uphill-battles-are-always-more-fun dept.

Blackberry 184

An anonymous reader writes "Ars has an extensive review of the newly-released BlackBerry 10 operating system. Since it's such a late entry into the market, the tech community has been eyeballing the new operating system with trepidation — would all that time go to waste with a poor offering, or would BlackBerry 10 be a reasonable alternative to iOS and Android? Well, it seems BlackBerry (the company formerly known as RIM) actually put the time to good use. The review finds most of the UI innovations to actually be.. innovative. "BlackBerry took a lot of time to see what the competition is doing, and then it worked to refine its operating system. It essentially had an excellent cheat sheet, filled with everything that has worked wonderfully and all the things that have bombed. That said, BlackBerry still has to mold its product for its two huge core audiences: the business-oriented multi-tasker and the developing smartphone markets. To that end, it has included all of the essential features and apps to appeal to both of those parties. The corporate user has his or her share of content to watch on the train ride to work, games and apps to help keep busy when not entrenched in a meeting, and the perfect Hub for messaging (not to mention the literal split between work and personal environments)." However, the review also notes that the system is not really designed to make people drop their Android or iOS devices, so uptake is going to be slow at best. The question for the platform's success (and the company's) is no longer 'Is it any good? but 'Is it too late?'" There's also a review of the z10 smartphone itself.

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Regarding the 'too late' part of the equation (4, Interesting)

Qwavel (733416) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815009)

BB appears to think is is an OS company. It even seems to be describing a backup plan that involves selling BB10 into embedded markets.

Surely, this is a mistake. They have/had great smartphone features, particularly around messaging, and they have server software running in most corporations around the world. But they have let these advantages slip away as they pursued the perfect OS.

Instead, they could have done as Amazon did, and skin Android to their liking. This would have got them to market at least a year sooner with a product that could easily still have been uniquely BB on the surface - and the surface is the only thing the smartphone user sees.

Re:Regarding the 'too late' part of the equation (3, Funny)

jjetson (2041488) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815057)

Yup Android is the answer to every mobile companies problems. Please hit yourself with something

Re:Regarding the 'too late' part of the equation (3, Informative)

dingen (958134) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815101)

After all, nothing beats a monopoly!

It's Never Too Late - for the Future (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42815995)

Furthermore, the market is fickle, and can easily drop today's leading product to chase after whatever comes along that proves itself to be demonstrably better. It's only Apple which has the reputation of trying to create some kind of Evangelical zeal for their products to eclipse pragmatic objectivity. That's why that company is reduced to surviving on lawsuits or patents on the rectangularity of phones, etc.

QNX/BB10 is fundamentally superior, and will be able to distinguish itself in meaningful ways that the older generation of OS's simply can't match.

What I'd really like to see is for Blackberry to come up with a similar revolutionary improvement on the hardware side, to complement their big advance on the OS side thru QNX/BB10. They need a good one-two punch combo here. Actually, I think that QNX/BB10 significantly opens up the possibility for this, in facilitating newer and more distributed types of hardware configurations.

Re:Regarding the 'too late' part of the equation (-1, Offtopic)

Qwavel (733416) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815243)

Gotta love a response that says "hit yourself with something" and provides no response or substance at all. Classy!

Re:Regarding the 'too late' part of the equation (0)

jjetson (2041488) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815265)

You just compared BlackBerry to Amazon and suggested the 'skin Android to their liking'. You are oblivious to the things that made BlackBerry what they are and cost of LOL skinning them into Android. You don't deserve a response with substance. To be honest you don't even deserve this retort thinking companies can just 'skin' Android and fix their problems.

Re:Regarding the 'too late' part of the equation (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42815491)

The "things that made blackberry what they are" are frankly obsolete.
The BES->Blackberry network->Carrier->Device scheme which was the foundation of what RIM built their empire on is now functionally, completely obsolete.

It worked wonderfully when cell phones were dumb with tiny cpus, low res BW screens, little-to-no memory and very little bandwith. Their network and carrier relationships were a backbone and glue that made everything work well.

Now everyone has a smartphone with more processing power, memory, bandwith, and storage than your average desktop computer from when BB was at it's height.. And the BB network, frankly, just gets in the way. Now your phone can fetch it's own mail without issue. The BB network is an extra point of failure.

Reworking android in to a bushiness class piece of software/devices with all of the extra "security" or whatever secret sauce that makes BB devices so special would have been a much better move. They'd have a platform that people would actually want to use, and a wedge to keep their existing client base. (And attract new ones)

Re:Regarding the 'too late' part of the equation (2, Insightful)

jjetson (2041488) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815605)

Yup the largest supplier of secure mobile devices to governments and corporations should throw it all away because you say it's obsolete now. BlackBerry is positioning themselves for the future....not for the now. If it was so easy to rework Android the way you suggest company's would be doing it. They're just figuring out the lag problems in the software finally so they can stop throwing hardware at software problems. Yet you think a little "secret sauce" in Android will create a business class piece of software. Give the OP a call and borrow whatever it was he/she hit themselves with.

Re:Regarding the 'too late' part of the equation (3, Insightful)

Qwavel (733416) | about a year and a half ago | (#42816023)

There is this company called Amazon - I guess you haven't heard of them...

"If it was so easy to rework Android the way you suggest company's would be doing it."

Built their own app store, notification system, browser, payment services, user interface, all on top of Android. You should check it out.

" BlackBerry is positioning themselves for the future....not for the now. "

Yeah, unfortunately, companies that don't worry about the 'now' end up not having much of a future. While you are learning about Amazon, you might want to check BB's stock price...

Re:Regarding the 'too late' part of the equation (0)

jjetson (2041488) | about a year and a half ago | (#42816131)

Wow you seriously are oblivious aren't you?

Connecting Android to Amazon services...WHICH BY THE WAY Amazon sells as a service to other companies so they have built it to be easily incorporated.

Is now comparable to

Industry leading, FIPS certified security. Corporate device management. BES, BIS, BBM, their own content distribution!

What a way to ultimately show corporate focus to your stockholders, since you bring them up. Seriously get a clue, bang your head off a desk and get a clue. You are arguing a completely useless position which a piddiily amount knowledge on the subject. Just stop already.

Re:Regarding the 'too late' part of the equation (0)

Qwavel (733416) | about a year and a half ago | (#42816623)

"Connecting Android to Amazon services...WHICH BY THE WAY Amazon sells as a service to other companies so they have built it to be easily incorporated."

You seem to be talking about AWS. OMG, you really aren't aware that Amazon has their own successful line of mobile products based on their own version of Android, are you?

We've had this whole discussion, with your acting condescending and obnoxious throughout, and it turns out that you don't even know what we are talking about.

Now it really is time for you to hit yourself!

Re:Regarding the 'too late' part of the equation (2, Informative)

pherthyl (445706) | about a year and a half ago | (#42816691)

>> There is this company called Amazon - I guess you haven't heard of them...

Oh, you mean that company lost $274 million in Q3, had earnings collapse by 45% in Q4, and is anticipating a big loss in Q1 2013? Not sure that is a model to follow.

Amazon sold lots of Kindles because of the low price that's it. They're bleeding money on that venture hoping to make it up in content sales. That doesn't work for Blackberry.

Re:Regarding the 'too late' part of the equation (1)

Qwavel (733416) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815513)

"You don't deserve a response with substance. To be honest you don't even deserve this retort..."
You have made yourself clear.

Re:Regarding the 'too late' part of the equation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42815997)

Had to stop at the same place while reading ; )

Re:Regarding the 'too late' part of the equation (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42815421)

Well, in jjetson's defense, you are a silly twat.
No...
No...
Be honest with yourself...
You are...
yes...a silly twat...there there lad...

Re:Regarding the 'too late' part of the equation (2)

PhxBlue (562201) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815547)

It offered sarcasm. That's a response, isn't it?

Re:Regarding the 'too late' part of the equation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42815543)

Yup Android is the answer to every mobile companies problems. Please hit yourself with something

He didnt say every mobile company.

And he has a point. Especially considering the fact that BB10 came out too late to ever be mainstream. If they had instead skinned android to suit their stylistic needs then they could have come out on time and implimented into devices early enough to make a decent splash.

But the fact of the matter is BB is pretty much in last place and hasnt been mainstream or relevant since the intiation of ios and even less so when android hit the scene. Why? Because they are superior in every way to anything BB had done. So despite their best efforts its a matter of too little too late. That could have been avoided with an android skinng to keep them relevant while they worked on BB10 for the next itteration.

If you want to add to a discussion then by all means. But atleast have something to say instead of running in, shitting on someones comment and then running off without actually having any insight or intelligent to say. Then again this is slashdot, so most of you retards think a one line comment is noteworthy.

Re:Regarding the 'too late' part of the equation (0)

jjetson (2041488) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815721)

"He didnt say every mobile company." - He gave the same regurgitated comment that always gets said when talking about struggling mobile companies.
"And he has a point. Especially considering the fact that BB10 came out too late to ever be mainstream" - Can I borrow your time machine?
"Because they are superior in every way to anything BB had done" - Well if people buy stuff because it's superior then how is doing the same thing as everyone else a solution? Where is a fish I can throw at you right now.
"That could have been avoided with an android skinng to keep them relevant while they worked on BB10 for the next itteration." - An Android skin would have lost them any of the major corporate and goverenment customers they had that keep them afloat this long. I seriously need to find a fish to smack you.
"If you want to add to a discussion then by all means. But atleast have something to say instead of running in, shitting on someones comment and then running off" - I didn't run anywhere and thanks Captain Comment Commander, here on the internet defend idiodic posters with ridiculous non thought out posts.

Re:Regarding the 'too late' part of the equation (1)

YodasEvilTwin (2014446) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815087)

Amazon is making money from content and services, not devices.

Re:Regarding the 'too late' part of the equation (3, Insightful)

Qwavel (733416) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815325)

Yes, and if were a 'devices' company they would have to charge more, perhaps work with carriers etc., but the part about skinning Android - and putting their effort into that skin, and into getting to market fast - could have been the same.

Amazon has their own appstore, their own push notification service, their own browser, their own payment service, etc. For most of the stuff that matters they made it their own.

Would it have made sense for them to spend an extra year on the stuff their customers will never see?

And in the end, this much touted QNX, which cost RIM so much, doesn't actually sound so great. For example, the battery life is apparently terrible. If I'm not careful to keep my Playbook charged then it is toast (this has happened to several friends). I'm not saying QNX is bad, but it wasn't worth the delay.

Re:Regarding the 'too late' part of the equation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42816101)

Playbook Bad On Battery Life != QNX Bad on Battery Life

Playbook has LTE which uses up a lot of energy, and it also has a big screen, which a Blackberry doesn't.

I think that it's the chipset you should look at more for conservation of battery life than OS. There are Android devices which have very bad battery life, and there are Android devices which have very good battery life.

Here You Go (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42816185)

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-qnx-framework-puts-power-management-back-into-hands-of-developers-70907192.html

Re:Regarding the 'too late' part of the equation (5, Interesting)

kae77 (1006997) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815089)

What you're describing is a chicken and an egg problem.

"They have/had great smartphone features, particularly around messaging, and they have server software running in most corporations around the world." -- They had to build an OS from the ground up BECAUSE they value these things. Android is great for what it does, but security is not one of it's strong points. Blackberry's name is built on security for those messages.

You can't just throw that out and still have a Blackberry. If they were shooting for another consumer reskin, then they could have waded into the bloody waters of the Android market and sold themselves to the highest bidder. Instead they took the hard road, bought a rock solid kernel and built a new OS from the ground up with messaging, security and the future in mind.

iOS and Android are great, but they're starting to get long in the tooth. They ride the cutting edge, but eventually that will show it's age. Blackberry started over the beginning to build an OS for the next 10 years. If they can launch Mobile Computing, it's a bright future.

That, however, is a BIG if.

Re:Regarding the 'too late' part of the equation (4, Insightful)

Qwavel (733416) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815425)

The biggest security issues with Android are
#1. manufacturers who don't provide updates (there was a good article from the ACLU in the last few days).
#2. it is simply not a priority for most of its users and the manufacturers, so not much emphasis is put into it.
#3. the open appstore - in my opinion much less of an issue then #1, and #2.

RIM could easily resolve all of these issues. #3 is the hardest because it means creating their own appstore, but that's what we are talking about anyway.

Getting QNX ready took 2 years. How long would it take RIM to create a distribution of Android that addressed these issues.

One reason I'm bummed about the route RIM took is because I would have loved to have seen what RIM could do with Android. Now, instead, we are questioning whether they even have a future.

Finally, you are talking about QNX as some kind'of salvation. I"m hearing a lot of that these days, but when I read the reviews of BB10 I see nothing to suggest that QNX itself will save RIM. The good stuff is the Hub and Blackberry Balance - both of these have nothing to do with QNX. Yeah, it's nice and slick and responsive, but iOS and Android (as of 4.1) are now too.

The only thing I see in the reviews that is really about the core OS is the complaints that the battery life is horrible.

Re:Regarding the 'too late' part of the equation (1)

yoshi_mon (172895) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815497)

iOS and Android are great, but they're starting to get long in the tooth. They ride the cutting edge, but eventually that will show it's age. Blackberry started over the beginning to build an OS for the next 10 years.

Huh? Android, their version spread issues not withstanding, has had continued innovation. With everything from "under the hood" improvements to UI updates. iOS has been doing the same but with more an eye on keeping their experience very unified and the learning curve when they do update things low.

Windows Mobile was in dire need of an update and it remains to be seen if they can leverage Win8 along with their new tablets to take some of the market away from iOS and Android. And then in dead last is BB10 which again could be a case of being too late to the party.

The thing is we don't need change for the sake of change. The tablet/smartphone UI has been pretty well fleshed out. There are tweaks here and there but overall using a tablet/smartphone with a touchscreen is in a pretty good spot. Just as the WIMP interface for a desktop is...

However some people want to try and force a round peg in a square hole by making the desktop UI something it does not need to be. There have been all sorts of reasons trotted out but none of them ring true. A good CLI and WIMP interface when you have access to a keyboard and mouse works well.

These days I know of few people that have stuck with BB while they stagnated. Their BES still does offer some utility over Exchange but will that be enough? My guess would be no but we will see.

Re:Regarding the 'too late' part of the equation (0, Troll)

stephanruby (542433) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815565)

Blackberry's name is built on security for those messages.

Which is a fallacy.

By default, large enterprise-level organizations end up not setting up their own encryption key on BBMs, because if they did, their messages couldn't be read outside of their organization. Unfortunately, their BES system is not smart enough to specially encrypt only some messages, and not encrypt others. The same goes for non-Enterprise BBM users, their BBMs do not get any protection aside from the one default encryption key which is used by all Blackberry servers and therefore can be read by any and all Blackberry phones.

Combine that with the fact that Blackberry centralizes all emails and BBMs to go through its own centralized servers in Canada, the UK, the US, and Australia, even if you're just sending a BBM to a person sitting across from you in a non-Anglo country. And it's no wonder that several European countries believe that RIM (now Blackberry) is just a front for the US/UK/Canadian/Australian Echelon program.

Re:Regarding the 'too late' part of the equation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42816343)

And it's no wonder that several European countries believe that RIM (now Blackberry) is just a front for the US/UK/Canadian/Australian Echelon program.

You lost me at this point. Tinfoil hat and stating that RIM is now Blackberry(RIM makes Blackberry phones, that's like saying Apple is now Mac/iPhone). If you had a greater understanding of this subject, you would not have made such an egregious insinuation.

Re:Regarding the 'too late' part of the equation (1)

quacking duck (607555) | about a year and a half ago | (#42816563)

And it's no wonder that several European countries believe that RIM (now Blackberry) is just a front for the US/UK/Canadian/Australian Echelon program.

You lost me at this point. Tinfoil hat and stating that RIM is now Blackberry(RIM makes Blackberry phones, that's like saying Apple is now Mac/iPhone).

RIM announced their name change to Blackberry during the official launch. [rim.com]

If you had a greater understanding of this subject, you would not have made such an egregious insinuation.

Just because you use slightly fancier words doesn't mean you actually know what you're talking about.

Re:Regarding the 'too late' part of the equation (1)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | about a year and a half ago | (#42816661)

stating that RIM is now Blackberry(RIM makes Blackberry phones, that's like saying Apple is now Mac/iPhone).

Please see sentence 3 of TFA: Well, it seems BlackBerry (the company formerly known as RIM). Heck it was all over the news [wsj.com] in nearly all tech forums...

If you had a greater understanding of this subject, you would not have made such an egregious insinuation.

Good advice. You should heed it yourself...

You just described BBOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42816443)

You described how BBOS works, not BB10.

There is a new BES and email are client side (read on device). They are not routed through Canada anymore.

Re:Regarding the 'too late' part of the equation (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42816525)

By default, large enterprise-level organizations end up not setting up their own encryption key on BBMs, because if they did, their messages couldn't be read outside of their organization. Unfortunately, their BES system is not smart enough to specially encrypt only some messages, and not encrypt others.

Actually, BBM messages are not sent via the BES, BBM is independent and works without a BES.

Further, did you ever read RIM's documentation about BBM? BBM is encrypted with 3des, and 3des is easily brute-forceable with $1M of computer power (well within the budget of governments & companies).

By comparison, BES email is encrypted by default wit AES. Good luck brute-forcing that.

And it's no wonder that several European countries believe that RIM (now Blackberry) is just a front for the US/UK/Canadian/Australian Echelon program.

Riiight. That's why Austria & Turkey have certified the blackberry platforrm: http://ca.blackberry.com/business/topics/security/certifications.html [blackberry.com]

Turkey & Austria aren't part of Echelon.

Look, if you want to criticize the blackberry, at least choose things that are true.

Re:Regarding the 'too late' part of the equation (1)

kllrnohj (2626947) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815613)

"long in the tooth", "ride the cutting edge", "show it's age"

Those phrases are not compatible with each other.

Re:Regarding the 'too late' part of the equation (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42815149)

QNX is far better than Linux.

Re:Regarding the 'too late' part of the equation (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42815611)

Fool me thrice, shame on me.

I don't care what's better than Linux, unless it's Free. The BSDs are in play. QNX isn't. I care about immortality and orphan prevention.

QNX could be ten times better than Linux, and I still wouldn't give a fuck. If it's not Free then I can't take it seriously as a platform. Not because it doesn't work (it does!) but because I don't know if it'll be there tomorrow. Or what kind of crazy turn it will take.

--A former OS/2 and Amiga OS user. "Never again."

I repeat:

NEVER.

AGAIN.

Those days are behind me, FOREVER.

Re:Regarding the 'too late' part of the equation (5, Funny)

avandesande (143899) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815633)

You have some of your lunch in your beard.

Re:Regarding the 'too late' part of the equation (1)

Lisias (447563) | about a year and a half ago | (#42816655)

GP was very harsh, but he has a point.

I'm also a former OS/2 user, and I lost big money (and time) with IBM while they're playing Plug, I mean, Pin the Tail with Microsoft. On the aftermath, the tail being plugged was mine. :-(

QNX is already rock solid for decades, but I still using Linux (even by paying for support) to adopt QNX on any mission critical of mine. It's cheaper to patch a flaw now and then than to replace all my infra, as it happened with OS/2.

(Man, that was a nightmare!)

Re:Regarding the 'too late' part of the equation (2)

avandesande (143899) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815177)

Interesting blog post on the difference between QNX and the other OS offerings.... http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=217190 [market-ticker.org]

Re:Regarding the 'too late' part of the equation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42815259)

You are obviously unaware of the security features built-into the BlackBerry smartphone software and hardware. If BlackBerry had taken the route of themeing Google Android there would be little point in being in the marketplace. The BlackBerry OS 10 is very good yet has a long way to go due to missing functionality that people grew used to with other BlackBerry devices.

Re:Regarding the 'too late' part of the equation (1)

mrmeval (662166) | about a year and a half ago | (#42816315)

No keyboard no way. Without the keyboard they got nothing I can't get from other sources cheaper.

Re:Regarding the 'too late' part of the equation (1)

farble1670 (803356) | about a year and a half ago | (#42816335)

Instead, they could have done as Amazon did, and skin Android to their liking.

skinning android puts them in competition with sony, samsung, amazon, asus, acer, HTC, and every other android device maker out there. that means they are now competing on price / latest whiz-bang feature only, a market in which they have absolutely no chance.

every mobile device manufacturer wants to be apple. apple doesn't compete on price or even features. they compete on advertising. they charge more and offer less. this is where blackberry wants to be. honestly, it's the best shot they have. try to be the "darling device for the enterprise". try to be the alternative to folks who dislike ios or android, for whatever reason.

amazon had (moderate) success with their tablets because they sold them at a loss. the only reason they were able to do that is because of the future sales of amazon content from the devices. BB doesn't have a content / media network.

Bu dum doom (1, Funny)

iceworks (2766695) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815011)

Its too late for everything but the RIM shot...

bd 10 inches (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42815071)

My lady parts get soaked each time you enter the room
You think you know how I feel- If only you understood
The thought of going down on you makes me feel womanly
Your big, black hard shaft growing inside of me
Pulling my hair and slapping my fat ass from the back as I help you fuck me
Your thrusting, I'm thrusting. Out of sync we both become
Holding back, you gently bite my ear and whisper : tell me you like it, tell me I'm your daddy-
I do as you say.
Holding me still you whisper 'bitch stay'
Already leaked my juices all over the silk sheets- fuck it
It's senseless to even try and hold a conversation
I tell you that I love you - pure manipulation
call it greed, I'm needy. All I want is for you to beat it up
Fuck me till it hurts and my legs go numb
Lets take it from the bed to the floor
If anyone comes through the door so be it
Shit, the condom broke.. your cum combined with mine is leaking down
my thigh..

Re:bd 10 inches (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42815441)

Burma Shave?

Never too late (1)

bobthesungeek76036 (2697689) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815083)

Until the perfect smartphone has been invented, there's always a chance. If BB could hit a homerun with this thing they could rock the smartphone world for sure.

Re:Never too late (1)

Brett Chandler (2834879) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815969)

Personally, I'd say the Z10 isn't a "homerun", but it is a decent double. Maybe even a triple. Great performance, competitive specs, some genuinely useful UI innovations, and a growing app catalog. Unfortunately, there are some things missing even for seasoned BB users (notification profiles being the most glaring omission at this point), but I think there's an excellent chance that many of these will be addressed by the time the device is available in the US. I think they've produced a product that's good enough to attract some attention. It's what they do with it from here that is crucial.

Good (2)

orient (535927) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815091)

Longtime Nexus owner, I got a Z10 yesterday and I am impressed. Die-hard Apple fanboys, iPhone 5 owners, admitted their envy and said they will to get it as company phone (yes, they can do that).

Re:Good (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815123)

I am waiting on the Q10, i have a Bold 9700 running OS 5 now and want a modernized model that is similar.

Re:Good (1)

Miamicanes (730264) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815195)

So, can the Z10 run arbitrary software, written by anyone, and obtained by downloading a file directly from somebody's website, without having to get permission from anybody besides the owner of the phone? If not, it's going to flop even harder than Windows Phone. If RIM imposes even the slightest barrier to entry (especially one that costs money or requires RIM/carrier approval), developers won't bother with it. If it's good AND as open to uncensored apps as Android, it just might make things interesting. It won't be a threat to Android or IOS, but might mess up Microsoft's business plan a bit.

Re:Good (4, Informative)

ArhcAngel (247594) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815569)

can the Z10 run arbitrary software, written by anyone, and obtained by downloading a file directly from somebody's website, without having to get permission from anybody besides the owner of the phone?

Yes. Of course you could always do that with your BlackBerry unless it was connected to BES with a policy set against such a thing. With BB Balance in BES 10 that is no longer a problem since you can install your rogue app on your personal space.

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42815647)

You make it seem like if they are on par with android then they are doing something wrong. You seriously don't understand their customer base or the customer base of any phone company... What you are asking for is so minute a detail that not one of my friends or their friends would even know they could do this with their current phone. Comparing BlackBerry to Windows Phone was a complete laugh... seriously? They don't compare at all.

Re:Good (1)

Brett Chandler (2834879) | about a year and a half ago | (#42816005)

BB has an app store, yes. The barrier is pretty low, though; the tools are free, and there is no cost to set up a vendor account. BB has taken the smart move of limiting evaluation to basically confirm that a) an app functions properly and b) doesn't egregiously violate anyone's intellectual property (and in the second case they don't seem to be doing much). What makes this ecosystem more attractive to developers is that apps must be signed before they can be offered in BB World. Apps are self-graded for content, and "mature" content IS allowed (BB10 also seems to have some decent parental controls). Personally, I think they've struck a decent balance between a low entry barrier and quality assurance.

Too Late? (1)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815099)

Are new cellphones no longer being sold? If its compelling, then people looking to upgrade might go for it. Companies looking for a standard set might elect to use it. Not saying whether it is compelling or not, but the idea that it is too late is just a bit silly.

Re:Too Late? (1)

YodasEvilTwin (2014446) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815139)

This is dead on. You'd have to completely ignore the massive evolution the mobile computing sector has gone through in the past several years to think it's static and settled and Android/iOS will split the market 50-50 until the heat death of the universe.

Re:Too Late? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815183)

Except people are already tied into their current OS in general. How many people do you think really want to pay for their apps again on a different platform (as will happen with anyone who has iOS apps) or for their apps to work better (as will happen for anyone who has Android apps unless the emulator is -much- better than the Playbook, most people will want native versions).

I know people who have literally hundreds of dollars worth of apps on their phones/tablets, I can't imagine them wanting to jump ship and have to pay the $$$ for the same exact program written for a different platform.

Re:Too Late? (1)

jjetson (2041488) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815213)

According to Rogers in Canada....a lot.

Re:Too Late? (1)

DogDude (805747) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815327)

People do it every so often with all Apple hardware. People do it occasionally with Windows software. Platform specific applications aren't necessarily going to stop people from migrating to a different platform. Heck, I've got a Windows 8 Phone with almost no "apps" installed. Certainly, none that I've paid for. I'd consider switching if I needed a new phone. All of my important data is on my Exchange Server and my file server. It would take about one minute to re-sync my new phone.

Re:Too Late? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815367)

-cough- Desktop Linux -cough-

Around the time Vista was released there was a lot of interest in Linux for the desktop. It ran faster, with a custom theme it even felt more familiar. It was a whole lot cheaper. But it mostly fizzled out because of platform specific software. Platform specific software certainly can prevent people from changing platforms.

Re:Too Late? (2)

DogDude (805747) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815463)

Linux on the desktop fizzled not because I'd have to buy another version of Quickbooks in addition to the one that I already have. It failed because there's no Quickbooks to buy at all. There's a huge dearth of "apps" for desktop Linux. We're talking about some people having to re-purchase "apps" for their phones. Different scenario.

Re:Too Late? (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815885)

Also, Linux has huge quality and documentation issues. I tried out Ubuntu on 3 very vanilla PCs around Vista time, one never got past grub2; one wouldn't play video nicely (yes, I tried the proprietary drivers too); and on the one that made it thorough the install and drivers, I never could figure out Upstart nor RDP remoting (VNC is slooooow and ugly) nor tweak my dual screen layout the way I want it (menu bar on the right of the rightmost screen; different resolutions).

Chrome OS and Android are succeeding, with little software to start with, and a Linux codebase. Because, as opposed to Linux, they work for non-nerds. Linux by itself is not failing because of apps, but because it sucks.

Re:Too Late? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42815457)

If you're an Android user, it's very likely you didn't pay for the majority of your apps.

Re:Too Late? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42815593)

Personally, I don't know anyone who has invested hundreds of dollars to apps..

I don't get it (0)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815111)

I just don't see what makes it pop, how it redefines the current "view" of the phone OS. If you ask me all it is, is a mix of iOS + Android. They haven't done enough with it to forge a new path and that is what's killing it. They put effort into the wrong areas and have ended up with a fair clone of the phone market. So is it to late well no but is it not the right product, yes.

Re:I don't get it (1)

jjetson (2041488) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815225)

How is it like iOS and Android? did you read the review or watch and of the videos of it? It's nothing like either of them. And how can you say 'that is what's killing it'? They just reported record sales in Canada and UK for the history of BlackBerry. Where do you get this stuff from.

Re:I don't get it (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815323)

Because I've used it and after using it I can 100% say that it's as if iOS and Android had a baby. Everything has record sales on release, wait a year and lets see how the sale are going to do. Everyone is just excited right now because of the new release.

Re:I don't get it (1)

jjetson (2041488) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815623)

Ohh ok, so "cause I say so" is your stance. LOL very persuading. I've used it to and it's nothing like either of them, so there. "wait a year", excuse me? you just said something was killing it, now it's 'wait a year'. You're beyond repair, I'm not even gonna try

Re:I don't get it (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815855)

Okay well first of all lets look at how you navigate both iOS and Android, you swipe! Now on the big impressive, new, completely redesigned, full blown ground up rework of the mobile platform!!!! Your swipe. BB10 Implements a software keyboard with predictive word guessing ( really poorly done, like all phones ), Android and iOS implement a software keyboard with bad predictive word guessing, so far VERY different! On BB10 you swipe left and right to pull apps open, on Android you swipe left / right to pull apps open.

On BB10 you swipe down for more settings on Android your swipe down for settings!!! OMG BB10 really pushed the limits so far. On BB10 you can rearrange you "desktop", on Android you can rearrange your "desktop". On BB10 you can use your settings menu to change everything, on iOS and Android you can go into the settings menu and change everything!!! Most if not all Android phones ressemble the iPhone, BB10 ressembles the iPhone.

On BB10 you can full utilize NFC, on Android you can fuilly utilize NFC to greater extent. Now I can keep going but so far BB10 is well done implemenation of Android + iOS. What Rim should of done is to include a HARD keyboard, they work much better. Include hard buttons that have multiplexed funcationlity to do away with swiping and made everything eye driven ( it exists!! ). Face it all BB10 did was copy the market and well that would work for anyone doing great in the market already, I don't think it does enough for a company who needs to relanch and start over.

Re:I don't get it (1)

Fishchip (1203964) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815591)

It's the unspoken assumption that BB cannot possibly make any headway against iOS/Android. It has to be tanking... right? Because that's what it's expected to do.

I'm excited for my current contract to be up so I can renew and get my hands on a Q10. Still a year away though :(

Re:I don't get it (1)

farble1670 (803356) | about a year and a half ago | (#42816559)

How is it like iOS and Android?

let me turn that around. how isn't it like android? if you showed me those screenshots and said BB had skinned android, i wouldn't have argued.

really, i'm curious what you are thinking.

Re:I don't get it (1)

countach (534280) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815315)

It may be a mix of iOS and Android. It may be very late. But how is it the wrong product? What else could they have done? What should it have been?

IT Techs hate RIM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42815197)

...and their lack of documentation being available before Johnny Salesman goes and buys a Z10 and expects IT do click their fingers and make it work.

Why don't RIM understand that their crappy back end, and the headaches they give IT implementers and support staff, is one of the reasons they're losing support amongst the IT decision makers.

My Playbook Review (0, Offtopic)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815255)

I bought my wife a playbook this Christmas. A playbook that I periodically charge and then put back (unused) on the shelf. I could make a long list of what does work well in the device but I will still sum it up as the layer cake of crap. To start with it was a huge effort to get her phone upgraded so that the two could talk. Then it was a long trudge through a labyrinth to get it configured to talk. Then it was a bit of an effort to connect the two. Then they are so slow as to be nearly useless when talking. Loading files onto it is slow. The interface is just not well thought out. There are many oddities; not bugs really but oddities such as when you are using it and charging it the charge % doesn't go up but it does seem to be getting a charge.

Everything is just confusing and awkward. Sort of like one of those early product demos where you have to keep guiding the person to what works and away from what doesn't. I consider myself pretty technically adept yet the total time from Christmas to functioning connection between a 9700 and the Playbook might have been 6+ hours and a number of weeks while my wife located someone who knew how to upgrade the handset OS in a company with 100,000+ employees; that same employee a blackberry "expert" took a crack at getting the two to talk but gave up. On my journey I don't think that I received a single useful error. I would install things like Blackberry Bridge and the icon wouldn't show up; just nada. I would then go on the internet and find some horrible but in the end correct advice. Yet BB tried all kinds of cool tricks like having QR codes where you point things at screens to get them to go to some next step. Yet BB would throw in a handful of stupid steps that more than made up for the smart step. Like one where I needed to have some kind of blackberry store account to download software that should be part of the OS. Then when you log in on the other device it says that you can only have one device connected to the store at a time. This is BS. Another bit of BS was there was one agreement where I had to scroll to the bottom to hit I agree. It took me around a minute of scrolling. I suspect that there is some hidden scroll-to-the-bottom button but a hidden button is a useless button.

Then I get BS steps like having to download the software via the cell network. I don't know what my wife's data plan is(if any) so I want to download via Wi-Fi but nope the BB wouldn't have any of that. This software is clearly being written by people who are not under control of anyone who has a single Steve Jobs bone in their body. They desperately needed someone who would say "No that is too many steps. Reduce it to two and ideally one." This person must be near the very top of the food chain not reporting to some lowly department heads. He must be able to say "No no no!" even if schedules are slipping. If you look at all the features as a simple checklist then the BBs that I played with are perfect. But when you actually look at the features almost none of them are "Finished" just in a technical state of "Completed"

The whole experience was horrible and I expect no more from the newest product. Unless they have reshaped how products are internally judged as complete then I suspect that the new phone will be fairly bug free but will bug the hell out of its users.

Re:My Playbook Review (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42815535)

Yeah, my PB mainly gathers dust... I may have used it more if it supported BBM, platform independent Video calling, or even such a simple thing as VoIP (hell even my old Nokia E63 cellphone does SIP, and very well I might add)...

I do wish I had waited and just got a Nexus 7...

And I have 2 more reasons why RIM will fail...

1. Why the name change? What value does that provide? Why not give bonuses to your best and brightest engineers instead, or hire more!

2. I searched for a specific app in the app store... nothing came up... I then scratched my head and searched on the company name and only then the app was found!!!

Re:My Playbook Review (1)

game kid (805301) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815557)

There are many oddities; not bugs really but oddities such as when you are using it and charging it the charge % doesn't go up but it does seem to be getting a charge.

No, I consider that a full-blown bug, even at best.

If the device is simply not telling you what it knows about the battery charge, then you'll leave it on your outlet too long and raise your energy bill. That's a minor bug, but still a bug and one conquered long ago on other devices (where their current worry is which sleek patented brittle design will help sell their walled garden).

Now, if the device itself doesn't know its own battery life, that's a straight drive past Minor Bug Township into VERY VERY BAD Land, and klaxons should be going off and black helicopters should be armed and airborne because do you really want your phone (and pant pocket) with a side of kersploded lithium or whatnot due to overcharge? (I do not, kthx.)

Re:My Playbook Review (2)

obarthelemy (160321) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815945)

The playbook was released as an unfinished product, and they pretty much gave up trying to fix it.

It's getting BB10 though, which by the way is a whole new OS. I'm not sure your experiences are applicable to BB10, though they do show a disappointing disregard for customers. With RIM in such dire straits, I've got a mind to give them a pass on that one though. MS has done pretty much the same crap (my HD2 *couldn't* synch with Win7, and both were the current MS OSes at the time...), and MS never had any excuses.

BES? (3, Insightful)

Scutter (18425) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815321)

Does it still need a BES server to interact with the corporate environment? Is it still a mess of expensive licensing and support? The first person who walks into my office to show me their shiny new BB10 and wants to get his company e-mail on it is going to be sorely disappointed when he finds out that he just blew $300 and a two year contract on a phone that won't work with our network because there isn't a chance in Hell that I'm spinning up another BES. Not now, not ever again. It was Good Riddance when I finally kicked that crap to the curb.

Re:BES? (1)

scream at the sky (989144) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815409)

No. I have a device that I use for work, and with my Bold 9900 we had to use BES to get our corporate email (Bell Canada). With my Z10, it was as simple as putting my new SIM into the device, and setting up Exchange ActiveSync. However (I haven't 100% confirmed this yet) BlackBerry Balance (BBB?) doesn't work unless yo use BES. I can't for the life of my figure out how to split the device into two work environments.

Re:BES? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42815503)

Balance only work with BES 10. We've set it up and it's looks promising.

Re:BES? (1)

scream at the sky (989144) | about a year and a half ago | (#42816303)

Balance quite easily looks like the single best feature of the device.

I wonder if we simply haven't deployed BES 10 yet. I'll have to inquire about that.

Thanks!

Re:BES? (2)

qamerr (1618331) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815729)

These are the highlights I jotted down from an article I read when doing some quick research at work:
  • BES won't manage BlackBerry 10 devices, and RIM won't upgrade BES to do so. Instead, the imminent BES 5.0.4 is the end of the road, though it will be supported for the foreseeable future.
  • RIM now says it will ship a new mobile management server called BlackBerry Device Service to manage BlackBerry 10 devices. But BDS won't manage today's BlackBerrys.
  • At the end of the day, this means an organization will need to run both BES and BDS servers if they have a mix of BlackBerry devices: BlackBerry 7 and earlier smartphones will be managed by BES, and BlackBerry 10 smartphones and any PlayBooks will be managed by BDS.
  • BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 (not Server, as in BES) allows IT to manage both BES and BDS devices from a single pane of glass. It's not a unified BlackBerry management server, just a common front end.
  • If you choose not to deploy BDS, BlackBerry 10 smartphones and PlayBook 2.0 tablets can be managed via a server that supports Exchange ActiveSync, as they support the core EAS policies. Such servers include Microsoft Exchange, System Center 2012, Google Apps for Enterprise, and a whole cottage industry of cloud-based EAS-based MDM services. RIM says BDS will offer more management capabilities for its devices than EAS provides.

Re:BES? (1)

Scutter (18425) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815797)

I can't decide if that sounds slightly better or tremendously worse.

Re:BES? (1)

acoustix (123925) | about a year and a half ago | (#42816051)

Does it still need a BES server to interact with the corporate environment?

Newsflash: Any device using ActiveSync still needs 3rd party software to properly lock it down. AS is a joke. It is sad that Microsoft, Apple and Google are throwing these devices out there for the public to use without any means of managing them in a corporate environment. So now instead of using BES you have to go to Zenprise, Good, Dell KACE, etc. to properly manage ActiveSync profiles and protect company data.

Complex and difficult for you? (1)

accessbob (962147) | about a year and a half ago | (#42816189)

It was Good Riddance when I finally kicked that crap to the curb.

I don't doubt that a system with the number of security/maintenance/update options as BES is a challenge to get your head around, and that is has some very strange quirks indeed, but I worry that you are more concerned about how easy your life is than about the security of your company's data.

BES is difficult/complex in order to enable the granularity of its offerings so that the company has secure content and up-to-date apps, and that this is virtually invisible to the many phone users. Undoubtedly it could be better written, and pricing is an issue, but there is precious little out there that can achieve the same security at present (beyond basic email).

Obviously it depends on what kind of content your users need mobile access to, and the risks to the business if security is compromised, but I do wonder if you undertook a proper risk assessment before you got rid of your BES.

Re:Complex and difficult for you? (1)

Scutter (18425) | about a year and a half ago | (#42816241)

I didn't say it was complex and difficult for me. I said the software licensing and support were an expensive mess. I don't know where you got any of what you're accusing me of.

I think BES is the key obstacle to adoption here . (1)

King_TJ (85913) | about a year and a half ago | (#42816289)

Although I guess they're technically doing away with the traditional BES for BB10 devices, they still have some type of server product you have to install that serves a similar function. This is both a key to the power of BB10 and a real roadblock to adoption -- especially if the software is going to cost money!

The BB users don't really see or care much about the server side of things, but corporate I.T. sure does. Traditionally, small businesses were in for a pretty serious expense if they wanted to add BES to the corporate Exchange server. The last small business I worked at went with Android and iPhone but never Blackberry for that reason alone. The cellular plans and user support were enough of a hassle without adding the high licensing cost of the BES product on top of all of it.

On the flip side, I *really* like the dual profile feature of BB10 (which relies on the back end server-side product). Companies can define all the apps they allow for business use on one side, and then users are still free to install whatever apps they like on the "personal" side of the phone. The two are firewalled off from each other, so for example - Facebook on the personal side won't allow pasting of content that was copied from apps on the business side. That could save a lot of people from carrying 2 phones around ... and is a pretty elegant solution to a long unaddressed issue.

Re:I think BES is the key obstacle to adoption her (1)

Scutter (18425) | about a year and a half ago | (#42816311)

Yeah, the dual profile feature sounds really nice. I wish more phones did that. It'll be interesting to see how well that works out and what kind of security holes will appear.

Re:BES? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42816467)

V 10? my employer (the USG!) uses v 4.6.0.034 ... how do I get an upgrade to that version?
holding my breath ....

Re:BES? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42816473)

Emails are client side. You only need BES if you want to manage the device's "work" sandbox. Else email can be handled natively on BB10. You are obviously a small shop that choose to save money as opposed to added security of a BES (i.e. encryption, deployment of company apps and access to corporate network via BB devices).

You can definitely go the route of VPN with Z10, but then why not BES. And yes the license is not cheap, but you do get a free upgrade if you have the old BES still kicking around.

Re:BES? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42816475)

And what happens when your boss (or your bosses boss)shows you his new bb10?

Cause that's exactly what happened when the iShiny came out

Re:BES? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42816615)

No more BES required for BB10's....they use ActiveSync. There is a new "BES" on the way, but it's only for policy management, and can be used to apply policies for BB10's as well as Android and IOS devices.

Good but 'Good Luck' When 6 years late (2)

BoRegardless (721219) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815407)

Any company that lets a 'new guy on the block' run with your ball for 6 years before you challenge him has been smoking way to much weed.

Too Late? (0)

Grizzley9 (1407005) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815445)

Too late is right, this is Palm Pre all over again and the eventual end of the company.

Re:Too Late? (1)

MyFirstNameIsPaul (1552283) | about a year and a half ago | (#42816509)

I'm not ready to go that far. The Pre was garbage hardware, and the BlackBerry hardware, according to reviews, is competitive.

No buttons! (2)

200_success (623160) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815531)

If Steve Jobs weren't dead already, he would be so regretful of the fact that he could have produced a phone with no button on the front.

DOA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42815573)

Nobody outside the Anglosphere has ever even heard of RIM or BlackBerry. Also, WP is selling like hotcakes. Too little, too late. The future belongs to WP and Android.

Re:DOA (1)

lastx33 (2097770) | about a year and a half ago | (#42816141)

WordPerfect?

Privacy, Finally! (1)

Foresto (127767) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815839)

I don't care if it doesn't have hundreds of thousands of apps. From what I've read, BlackBerry 10 appears to be the answer to the horrific privacy problems known as iOS and Android. User-selectable application permissions so I can put a leash on those apps that want more of my data than they should. File encryption so a lost/stolen phone is a little less risky. Built-in CalDAV and CardDAV so I can sync my calendar and contacts with the server of my choice instead of handing all that information to Google. Yes, please!

Re:Privacy, Finally! (1)

Qwavel (733416) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815963)

The build-in CalDAV and CardDAV are broken. It is Google pushing those standards - RIM and MS are pushing back. Hopefully RIM fixes their support.

User-selectable permissions sounds great. I didn't realize it had that.

Re:Privacy, Finally! (0)

mlw4428 (1029576) | about a year and a half ago | (#42816013)

"File encryption so a lost/stolen phone is a little less risky."

The Droid phones (and I believe at least some of the Samsung Galaxy models) have full encryption.


"Built-in CalDAV and CardDAV so I can sync my calendar and contacts with the server of my choice instead of handing all that information to Google. Yes, please!"

Android wasn't designed to be the "end all, be all" OS. Hell even the Tech demo on Youtube told you that much. It was designed to make an open platform so that OTHERS could have a full-featured phone OS and either modify it to add features OR build third-party applications. This is important because it's much easier to update an app than an entire OS, which usually takes carriers deciding to do their job and almost never happens in the US.


Android is a fairly secure OS. This new Blackberry OS is going to have bugs and security issues too. Oh and for bitching about privacy you're such sucking the long, hard, dong of a company who routes all of their messages through a global server system (which presents a point of failure that has failed before and caused massive issues). And since we all know encryption can eventually be broken, your messages are stored for however long RIM/Blackberry wants to.

Enjoy your delusional fantasy.

"Too late"? Who knows? (5, Interesting)

Brett Chandler (2834879) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815917)

It may well be that no matter how good BB10 really is, it just might be too late to save BlackBerry. Or maybe it will turn out to be so spectacularly good that all other platforms will be abandoned. The thing is, we have no idea what BB10's impact will be on BlackBerry until it's been out in the market for a while. It isn't up to writers to determine BB's future, it's the paying customers who have the most say. Here's the case for BB's survival: 1) Smartphone market penetration isn't 100%, not even in the US--every month there are new users entering the smartphone market 2) Not all smartphone users even care about apps; in fact, I've come across a number of people who seem to be almost "anti-app"; these users won't be so invested in either iOS or Android that migrating to a different platform will pose much hardship 3) Many seasoned smartphone veterans have come to HATE the iOS keyboard, and I can tell you anyone who sees the BB10 walks away impressed (in fairness, there ARE good alternative keyboards for Android, but even there BB10 enjoys an edge) Finally, BB10 seems to have had more thought given to actual, day-to-day usability. That isn't sexy, and it isn't easy to demonstrate in 3 minutes in a phone shop. What I think it stands a chance of doing, though, is building a base of committed customers who will spread legitimate word of mouth.
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