Friday, August 27, 2010

Tests of Tablet and New BlackBerry rival iPhone

Research In Motion Ltd. is readying a slate of new devices and software as it looks to keep its BlackBerry smartphone from losing more ground to touch-screen devices like Apple Inc.'s iPhone and iPad.
RIM is testing a touch-screen smartphone with a slide-out keyboard, according to people familiar with the device. The phone runs on a new version of the BlackBerry operating system and works much like an iPhone, letting users swipe through screens and expand images with their fingers, these people say. It also has a universal search bar that lets users scour all the phone's data and some data online as well, these people say.
Shares of RIM are falling sharply today after the maker of BlackBerry reported quarterly financial results that indicated that the company is struggling to keep pace with rivals like Apple. Eric Savitz has the story.
RIM is also experimenting with a tablet device to serve as a larger-screen companion to its BlackBerry phone, say people familiar with RIM's plans. That device, which is in an early stage of development, will connect to cellular networks via a BlackBerry phone, these people say. It could come out as soon as the end of the year, these people say.
A RIM spokeswoman said the company doesn't comment on rumors and speculation. RIM executives have said they will ship a phone running a new operating system and a new Web browser in the quarter ending Sept. 30, but haven't provided details of the device. They haven't discussed plans for a tablet.
The new offerings come as the Waterloo, Ontario, company, which has long led the U.S. market for smart-phones, faces increased competition from devices built by Apple and those that run on the Android operating system from Google Inc. On June 24, Apple will release the latest version of its smartphone, the iPhone 4.
RIM still sells more smartphones globally than any company besides Nokia Corp., and last year grabbed 19% of the world market for the do-everything devices, according to the research firm Strategy Analytics.
But its share of the key North American market is slipping, as RIM has been slow to match Apple and Android's touch-screen technology, smooth Internet-browsing capability and add-on software. RIM has just one phone line with a touch screen, the BlackBerry Storm.
The iPhone's mountain of applications, or apps, and slick user experience in particular are enticing new consumers. RIM's share of the North American smartphone market by shipments dropped to 38% in the March quarter from 54% in the year-ago quarter. Apple's share has climbed from 18% to 23% in that same period.
Apple boasts 225,000 applications on its apps store. RIM, by contrast has around 7,000 apps, and users complain its BlackBerry interface is clunky and hard to use by comparison.
Most of the iPhone apps also work on Apple's iPad tablet device, which has sold more than 2 million units during the 2-1/2 months it's been on the market—bolstering Apple's strength in mobile computing.
RIM's upcoming smartphone and operating system—dubbed BlackBerry OS 6.0—is aimed at addressing many of the complaints critics have leveled at the company's devices. RIM executives unveiled the software at an investor conference in April.
Users can put icons for the apps they use most frequently on the new device's home screen, and scroll down that screen with a swipe of the finger, say people familiar with RIM's new phone and operating system.
Users can also swipe sideways to access separate screens with other collections of features and apps. One screen could have a collection of games; another could have a group of messaging applications, these people said.
The home screen also contains a search bar that allows users to look up everything on the device—from contacts and calendar data to songs—that relates to the name or keyword they type in. The search may also be able to locate occurrences of the keyword on sites like Facebook or Twitter, some people familiar with the device said.
The new device will have a Qwerty keyboard that slides out from the bottom of the touch screen. Users can also type on a virtual keyboard in landscape mode, which requires the device to be turned on its side, people familiar with the device said.
The device comes with four gigabytes of storage space and a five megapixel camera, these people say.
RIM is also readying a new Internet browser that renders Web pages much faster than the current browser, and allows users to access more than one Web page at a time, people familiar with the device said.
—Sara Silver and Ting-I Tsai contributed to this article.

RIM testing new BlackBerry, tablet

While Apple and Google have been getting the lion's share of attention in the smartphone world of late, Research In Motion isn't going quietly, according to a report.
The Wall Street Journal reports that RIM has a new touchscreen version of its BlackBerry smartphone up its sleeve, this time with a slide-out keyboard. The operating system running on the test device is also new: BlackBerry OS 6, which the company previewed earlier this year. It has some of the same features as Apple's iOS, which allows swiping and pinching motions on screen, as well as a new browser.
And has already been reported, RIM is working on a tablet device that will be a companion to the new BlackBerry. It will be able to connect to the Internet via the BlackBerry but won't be a standalone device like the Apple iPad. The WSJ's sources repeat the earlier report that the device will be available by the end of the year.
RIM has already said that BlackBerry OS 6 will ship by the end of the third quarter, or by September 30. That likely means the new phone won't be ready until then or later.
RIM is still the leader in the smartphone market, shipping 35 percent of the devices in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2010, according to data recently released by Nielsen. Apple is behind RIM with 28 percent of U.S. smartphones, followed by Windows Mobile phones with 19 percent, and Android smartphones with 9 percent.
But Apple and Android-based phones have much of the momentum. And now that Palm and its WebOS operating system have been purchased by tech industry heavyweight Hewlett-Packard, it means RIM needs to show that it's not only keeping up with competition, but pushing the category that it has long defined forward.
Erica Ogg is a CNET News reporter who covers Apple, HP, Dell, and other PC makers, as well as the consumer electronics industry. She's also one of the hosts of CNET News' Daily Podcast. In her non-work life, she's a history geek, a loyal Dodgers fan, and a mac-and-cheese connoisseur.

RIM Demos BlackBerry 6

Today at its Wireless Enterprise Symposium event, Research In Motion gave a sneak peak at its new operating system. BlackBerry 6, as it is called, looks like a solid improvement on BlackBerry's existing strengths, bringing a better, more graphic experience to end users.

Based on the video that RIM showed to keynote attendees, the new user interface looks sharp. Some of the most notable improvements include a refreshed home screen with drastically improved notifications. The new notifications shows clearly new emails, missed calls/voicemails, and upcoming calendar entries. The email application has also been refreshed and looks like it includes much better multimedia support, such as embedded photos.
The multimedia applications have been overhauled from the ground up. The music player has richer icons and graphics, and looks like it will be much better to interact with. The photo gallery app has similarly been re-realized.
The demonstration showed how a call comes in and allows user to seamlessly switch from other tasks to accepting the call and returning to those tasks. Speaking of tasks, the demo shows what looks to be a task switcher of sorts, which should let users move more easily from app to app and task to task.

The user interface has obviously been built to support touch devices. The on-screen software QWERTY keyboard looks different from what's available on the Storm/Storm2. RIM also showed how its SMS/MMS app has been refreshed, giving threaded conversations a much more appealing look.

Click on the demo below:;jsessionid=JJF3SH5T1VBZHQE1GHPCKH4ATMY32JVN

Posted by Eric Zeman, Apr 27, 2010

RIM unveils BlackBerry Torch Latest smartphone will help the Canadian technology giant fend off Apple and other rivals

 by Madhavi Acharya-Tom Yew (Business Reporter)

The latest BlackBerry smartphone may help Research In Motion grab the spotlight away from rival products and the company’s security disputes in the Middle East.
But it isn’t – and isn’t meant to be – an iPhone killer.
“RIM doesn’t need saving,” said Duncan Stewart, director of research technology, telecommunications and media for Deloitte Canada.
There were about 60 million smartphones sold in 2008, and Stewart said that market is expected to reach 600 million in 2014.
“As the market grows, there’s an awful lot of pie for everyone to share,” he said. “It’s not about being an iPhone killer.”
The BlackBerry Torch 9800, unveiled with massive fanfare in New York City on Tuesday, boasts a touchscreen and slide-out QWERTY keyboard. It promises a superior Internet browser and operating system.
Executives also said it offers easier access to apps, the web-based applications that have become the calling card of Apple’s iPhones.
The new BlackBerry 6 operating system also offers an inbox where users can access updates from social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter in the same place as their emails.
“This is one of the most important product introductions in our history. It’s a really special product because so much new goodness has been added to it,” said Mike Lazaridis, RIM’s president and co-chief executive.
Still, the debut met with a yawn in some corners, from analysts who said the device should be enough to help RIM catch up to Apple and devices that use Google Inc.’s Android operating system
“RIM is playing catch-up. This is clearly the upgrade for BlackBerry users, but otherwise not a lot here is super exciting,” Altimeter analyst Michael Gartenberg said.
Shares of RIM fell about 4 per cent in Toronto, with the stock shedding $2.38 to close at $56.77.
“By having a true capacitive touchscreen it will help the BlackBerry Torch to be a good competitor with other touchscreen smartphones,” said a reporter for the website BlackBerry Leaks. “Will the Torch be an iPhone killer? No. However, it is paving the way for BlackBerry to become a true competitor.”
In the U.S, the Torch will be carried exclusively by AT&T.
In Canada, Bell, Rogers, Telus and Virgin confirmed that they will carry the new product. Release dates are expected to be confirmed later this summer.
RIM did not fare well with its touchscreen Storm models, released in 2008.
“They will forever be known as the only devices RIM ever released that were buggy and clunky and not elegant,” said independent technology analyst Carmi Levy. “It put some dents in RIM’s reputation for sterling engineering.”
The Torch is likely the first in a series of big product launches for RIM, observers say.
Levi expects to see the company release a computing tablet – a notion that RIM executives publicly scoffed at less than two years ago. The device, rumoured to be called the “BlackPad,” would compete directly against Apple’s iPad.
But since then, “Apple has proven it’s not just about Smartphones. It’s about building an operating environment that can then be used on different devices,” Levy said.
The tablet may come as soon as the end of this year, he added.
“It’s a matter of blunting the attention that Apple has as the only successful maker of a tablet device,” he said. “RIM has to be seen as a viable alternative well before December, in time for the Christmas shopping season.”
With files from the Star’s wire services

How to use a separate email profile for my BlackBerry in Outlook?

If you are getting synchronization errors when synchronizing your BlackBerry via the cradle, you may find that creating a separate Outlook profile for use with your BlackBerry solves the problem.

Create the new Outlook profile

  1. Take your BlackBerry out of the cradle.

  2. From the Start menu, select Control Panel (or Settings and then Control Panel).

  3. Double-click the Mail icon. Click Show Profiles, and then click Add... .

  4. In the New Profile dialog box, in the "Profile Name" field, type blackberry and click OK.

  5. Select Add a new email account, and click Next. Then select Microsoft Exchange Server, and click Next.

  6. In the "Microsoft Exchange Server" field, type . Uncheck Use Cached Exchange Mode.

  7. In the "User Name" field, type your username and click Check Name to verify the account name.

  8. Click More Settings... , and choose the Security tab.

  9. In the "Logon network security" field, choose Kerberos/NTLM Password Authentication (Outlook 2003) or Password Authentication (NTLM) (earlier versions of Outlook). If you wish to be prompted for credentials every time Desktop Manager launches, check Always prompt for user name and password.

  10. Click OK, then Next, then Finish, and finally OK again.

Configure BlackBerry Desktop Manager to use the profile

Now that you have added the "blackberry" profile, you will need to configure BlackBerry Desktop Manager to use it:
  1. Open BlackBerry Desktop Manager, double-click Redirector Settings, and click the Advanced tab.

  2. Click Profile Settings... . Next to "Always use this profile:", select the blackberry profile you created. Click OK.

  3. A warning will appear stating that you must restart Desktop Manager for changes to take effect. Click OK, and then close and restart Desktop Manager.

  4. Double-click Intellisync, and click Configure PIM... . Verify that the Calendar is set to BlackBerry Wireless Sync.

  5. For each component (Addressbook, MemoPad, Tasks), click Choose... . This opens the Choose Translator dialog box.

  6. Under "Available Translators", make sure Microsoft Outlook is selected. Then click Options... , and verify that blackberry is selected as the user profile. If not, select it. Then click OK.

  7. In the Choose Translator dialog box, click Browse... and verify that the appropriate mailbox folder is selected:

    • For the BlackBerry Addressbook, select the Outlook Contacts folder.
    • For the BlackBerry MemoPad, select the Outlook Notes folder.
    • For BlackBerry Tasks, select the Outlook Tasks folder.
    Note: You may receive one or more warnings during these steps as a result of causing the device to synchronize with a different data source, but there should be no negative impact.
    If you cannot navigate the folder list in the upper window, highlight the folder in the lower "Selected Folder(s):" area and click Remove. This should refresh the upper window and allow you to navigate to the proper folder.
  8. Cradle your device, and initiate a synchronization. Verify that the data have been synced and that no new warnings are logged. To check your sync log, in the Intellisync application, click View log

How to Reconcile email,calendar and other data with a Blackberry?

With a BlackBerry, reconciling keeps the location and status of items like messages or calendar appointments consistent between your BlackBerry and Exchange mailbox (i.e., your Outlook Inbox). For example, if you read a message with your BlackBerry, and later open Outlook, you will see that the message won't be marked as read until you reconcile your email. In this document, "reconcile" and "synchronize" are used interchangeably, though Research In Motion (RIM), BlackBerry's developer, generally uses the word "reconcile" for email and "synchronize" for all other types of data.
Note: If you run the BlackBerry Desktop software on a computer connected to the Internet via an outside ISP, you need to establish a VPN connection for the software to connect to the BlackBerry Enterprise Server. (This applies only to the Desktop Manager and not the Blackberry Web Desktop Manager. No VPN connection is needed for the Web Desktop Manager.) Since the default software installation option places a shortcut in your Startup folder, you may wish to remove that shortcut to keep Desktop Manager from trying to launch before you can establish a VPN connection. Once you have a VPN connection, you can launch the BlackBerry Desktop software from the Start menu.

What´s a Blackberry?

BlackBerry is a line of mobile e-mail and smartphone devices developed and designed by Canadian company Research In Motion (RIM) since 1996.
  • BlackBerry functions as a Personal Digital Assistant with address book, calendar and to-do list capabilities. It also functions as a portable media player with support for music and video playback and camera picture and video capabilities. BlackBerry is primarily known for its ability to send and receive (push) Internet e-mail wherever mobile network service coverage is present, or through Wi-Fi connectivity. BlackBerry is mainly a messaging phone with the largest array of messaging features in a Smartphone today. This includes auto-text, auto-correct, text prediction, support for many languages, keyboard shortcuts, text emoticons, push email, push Facebook and Myspace notifications, push Ebay notifications, push instant messaging with BlackBerry Messenger, Google Messenger, ICQ, Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo Messenger; threaded text messaging and a customizable indicator light near the top right of all Blackberry devices. All notifications and conversations from applications are shown in a unified messaging application which third party applications can access also. Many of these applications would have to be running in the background of other phones to be used. BlackBerry's push gives BlackBerry devices their renowned battery life. All data on the phone is compressed through BIS. BlackBerry has about two thirds less data transfer than any other smartphone, while supplying the same information.
BlackBerry commands a 20.8% share of worldwide smartphone sales, making it the second most popular platform after Nokia's Symbian OS. The consumer BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) is available in 91 countries worldwide on over 500 mobile service operators using various mobile technologies.
The first BlackBerry device was introduced in 1999 as a two-way pager. In 2002, the more commonly known smartphone BlackBerry was released, which supports push e-mail, mobile telephone, text messaging, Internet faxing, Web browsing and other wireless information services. It is an example of a convergent device.
BlackBerry first made headway in the marketplace by concentrating on e-mail. RIM currently offers BlackBerry e-mail service to non-BlackBerry devices, such as the Palm Treo, through its BlackBerry Connect software.
The original BlackBerry device had a monochrome display, but all current models have color displays. All models except for the Storm Series had a built-in QWERTY keyboard, optimized for "thumbing", the use of only the thumbs to type. The Storm 1 and Storm 2 include a SureType keypad for typing, and are the two models that are full touch-screen devices with no physical keyboard. Originally, system navigation was achieved with the use of a scroll wheel mounted on the right side of phones prior to the 8700. The trackwheel was replaced by the trackball with the introduction of the Pearl series which allowed for 4 way scrolling. The trackball was replaced by the optical trackpad with the introduction of the Curve 8500 series. Models manufactured for use with iDEN networks such as Nextel and Mike) also incorporate a Push-to-Talk (PTT) feature, similar to a two-way radio.
Modern GSM-based BlackBerry handhelds incorporate an ARM 7, 9 or ARM 11 processor, while older BlackBerry 950 and 957 handhelds used Intel 80386 processors. The latest GSM BlackBerry models (8100, 8300 and 8700 series) have an Intel PXA930 624 MHz processor, 256 MB (or 4 GB in case of the torch 9800) flash memory and 265 MB SDRAM. CDMA BlackBerry smartphones are based on Qualcomm MSM6x00 chipsets which also include the ARM 9-based processor and GSM 900/1800 roaming (as the case with the 8830 and 9500) and include up to 256MB flash memory. The CDMA Bold 9650 is the first to have 512mb flash memory for applications. All modern BlackBerrys support up to 32gb microSD cards.

Blackberry Operating System

The operating system used by BlackBerry devices is a proprietary multitasking environment developed by RIM. The operating system is designed for use of input devices such as the track wheel, track ball, and track pad. The OS provides support for Java MIDP 1.0 and WAP 1.2. Previous versions allowed wireless synchronization with Microsoft Exchange Server e-mail and calendar, as well as with Lotus Domino e-mail. The current OS 5.0 provides a subset of MIDP 2.0, and allows complete wireless activation and synchronization with Exchange e-mail, calendar, tasks, notes and contacts, and adds support for Novell Group Wise and Lotus Notes.
Third-party developers can write software using these APIs, and proprietary BlackBerry APIs as well. Any application that makes use of certain restricted functionality must be digitally signed so that it can be associated to a developer account at RIM. This signing procedure guarantees the authorship of an application but does not guarantee the quality or security of the code. RIM provides tools for developing applications and themes for BlackBerry. Applications and themes can be loaded onto BlackBerry devices through BlackBerry App World, Over The Air (OTA) through the BlackBerry mobile browser, or through BlackBerry Desktop Manager.

BlackBerry Internet Service

The primary alternative to using BlackBerry Enterprise Server is to use the BlackBerry Internet Service, or BIS is available in 91 countries internationally. BlackBerry Internet Service was developed primarily for the average consumer rather than for the business consumer. BlackBerry Internet Service allows POP3 and IMAP email integration for an individual personal user. BlackBerry Internet Service allows up to 10 email accounts to be accessed, including many popular email accounts such as Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo and AOL. BlackBerry Internet Service also allows for the function of the push capabilities in various other BlackBerry Applications. Various applications developed by RIM for Blackberry utilize the push capabilities of BIS, such as the Instant Messaging clients, Google Talk, ICQ, Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo Messenger. Social Networks Facebook, Myspace and Twitter's notification system is accessed through BIS, allowing for push notifications for them.

Blackberry Enterprise Server

BlackBerry handhelds are integrated into an organization's e-mail system through a software package called BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES). Versions of BES are available for Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Domino and Novell GroupWise. Google has made a Connector for BES which makes BES available for Google Apps as well. While individual users may be able to use a wireless provider's e-mail services without having to install BES themselves, organizations with multiple users usually run BES on their own network. Some third-party companies provide hosted BES solutions. Every BlackBerry has an ID called a BlackBerry PIN, which is used to identify the device to the BES. BlackBerry now provides a free BES service called BES Express.
Alt text
A close-up of a BlackBerry's distinctive layout
BES acts as an e-mail relay for corporate accounts so that users always have access to their e-mail. The software monitors the user's local Inbox, and when a new message comes in, it picks up the message and passes it to RIM's Network Operations Center (NOC). The messages are then relayed to the user's wireless provider, which in turn delivers them to the user's BlackBerry device.
This is called push e-mail, because all new e-mails, contacts and calendar entries are pushed out to the BlackBerry device automatically and instantaneously (as opposed to the user synchronizing the data manually or having the device poll the server at intervals). BlackBerry also supports polling email, which is how it supports POP. Device storage also enables the mobile user to access all data off-line in areas without wireless service. When the user reconnects to wireless service, the BES sends the latest data.
An included feature in the newer models of the BlackBerry is the ability for it to quickly track your current location through trilateration without the use of GPS, thus saving battery life and time. Trilateration can be used as a quick, less battery intensive way to provide location-aware applications with the co-ordinates of the user. However, accuracy of BlackBerry trilateration is less than that of GPS due to a number of factors, including cell tower blockage by large buildings, mountains, or distance.
BES also provides handhelds with TCP/IP connectivity accessed through a component called "Mobile Data Service - Connection Service" (MDS-CS). This allows for custom application development using data streams on BlackBerry devices based on the Sun Microsystems Java ME platform.
In addition, BES provides network security, in the form of Triple DES or, more recently, AES encryption of all data (both e-mail and MDS traffic) that travels between the BlackBerry handheld and a BlackBerry Enterprise Server.
Most providers offer flat monthly pricing for unlimited data between BlackBerry units and BES. In addition to receiving e-mail, organizations can make intranets or custom internal applications with unmetered traffic.
With more recent versions of the BlackBerry platform, the MDS is no longer a requirement for wireless data access. Beginning with OS 3.8 or 4.0, BlackBerry handhelds can access the Internet (i.e. TCP/IP access) without an MDS - previously only e-mail and WAP access was possible without a BES/MDS. The BES/MDS is still required for secure e-mail, data access, and applications that require WAP from carriers that do not allow WAP access.

Blackberry Messenger

Newer BlackBerry devices use the proprietary BlackBerry Messenger, also known as BBM, software for sending and receiving instant messages via BlackBerry PIN or barcode scan. BlackBerry messenger allows for instant messages to be sent internationally without the costs of regular text messaging. BlackBerry messenger also allows for display names, display pictures and personal messages, and deliver and read notifications. There is also the BlackBerry Alliance program of partners who work under contract with Research In Motion to create new BlackBerry applications. Typical applications include digital dictation, GPS tracking, CRM and expense management. On October 6, 2009 BlackBerry Messenger 5.0 was officially released, adding a whole new set of features, including bar code scanning to add contacts, profiles, sharing your location via GPS, and creating groups. The real advantage of BBM is that much like its internet based counter-parts, it also allows its users to connect to another user around the world.
Third-party software available for use on BlackBerry devices includes full-featured database management systems, which can be used to support customer relationship management clients and other applications that must manage large volumes of potentially complex data.

The Blackberry Store

In December 2007 a BlackBerry Store opened in Farmington Hills, Michigan. While it is the only BlackBerry store currently in existence, it actually was not the first. There were three prior attempts at opening BlackBerry stores in Toronto, London, and Charlotte, but they eventually folded. The store offers BlackBerry device models from AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint, the major U.S. carriers which offer smartphones. Employees are trained not only on the BlackBerry devices themselves but in the practices of each service provider. There is also an unofficial BlackBerry store called BlackStore in Caracas, Venezuela, because of the BlackBerry brand's popularity in Venezuela, especially in Caracas and Maracaibo, making Venezuela one of the biggest BlackBerry consumers in the world. There is also a BlackBerry Store in the Atlanta airport.