Monthly Archive for July, 2009

RIM to launch BlackBerry device with front-facing camera?

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storm_front_facing_camera

When we posted the fairly successful article “BlackBerry features request,” one of the comments asked for a front-facing camera for video conferencing. Not only is a front-facing camera great for video conferencing, but it opens up a world of potential for apps.

Ever tried the YearBookYourself web app? It’s a ton of fun and with a front facing camera – you’ll be able to create your own on the device.

Video conferencing is not only great for consumers, but it’s great for business. While sending an email can open the discussion for a potential sale, video conferencing can show the client you’re giving them your undivided attention and you’re serious about the deal.

While the article from TinyComb doesn’t give any proof, or the name of the RIM executive, the “leak” is interesting from a discussion standpoint.

According to the post, the unnamed RIM executive was asked how RIM would respond to the iPhone having a front-facing camera. He allegedly said “we are fortunate to have our relationships with many different carriers, some of which can handle something like live video-conferencing.” He added, “video conferencing is something that could completely change the mobile landscape and it is something we have been thinking about and working on for quite some time. You will start seeing something early next year”.

Be sure to check out the BlackBerry Features Request article and leave your feedback.

[Via with a hat tip to Simon Sage]

BlackBerry App World 1.1 now available for download UPDATE

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App World 1.1

BlackBerry App World 1.1 is now available for download! App World 1.1 features the ability to save applications to your SD card when you aren’t using them, so you can free up memory to download and try other apps. It also goes without saying that you don’t have to pay twice for an app.

Another great feature of App World 1.1 is that you can browse based on free or paid apps. This is not only good for the end user, but it’s essential for developers. It’s difficult to get your application noticed when the apps are all lumped together regardless of price.

Download App World 1.1 today by visiting www.blackberry.com/appworld/download from your BlackBerry Browser.

UPDATE: Inside BlackBerry just put up a post about App World 1.1 and they have some great additional info. It just launched in 9 new countries including: Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, Luxembourg, Netherlands, and Portugal.

Coming to BlackBerry? Rogers debuts HSPA+ (3.75G) network

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The above video is Neville Ray, SVP of Engineering and Operations, T-Mobile USA, discussing their strategy with respect to rolling out HSPA / HSPA+ networks and services in the USA. This demonstrates that several major carriers, now Rogers included, will be rolling out these networks in the near future.

Rogers have just announced the debut of their HSPA+ network in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area). This is incredible news for mobile Internet users, as they can now get access to speeds roughly equivalent to 3.75G with a mobile Internet stick.

From a BlackBerry perspective, this isn’t immediately pressing news. Back when Rogers announced their 3G network, called HSDPA and announced April 2nd, 2007, it took RIM around a year and a half to release a BlackBerry that was capable of taking advantage of the network: the BlackBerry Bold.

From the Press Release: “Rogers has begun the Canada-wide deployment of the 21 Megabits per second (Mbps) high-speed HSPA+ (High Speed Packet Access Plus) wireless network, following the successful expansion and doubling of speed of its high-speed network to 7.2 Mbps last year. Starting in August, Rogers will progressively increase wireless network download speeds up to 21 Mbps in the Greater Toronto Area, and expand quickly over the coming months to other cities across the country.”

The question is: will RIM even bother to make a device that utilizes the HSPA+ network? Currently, 3G seems to satisfy the needs of the market. We know that RIM has plans to make LTE compatible BlackBerry devices, which could mean we’ll skip HSPA all together.

What applications do we envision with an HSPA+ enabled device?

[Special thanks goes out to RogersDude69]

Lessons for App World: Keep your market open for developers

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iphone-smash

Steven Frank, co-Founder of Panic, an iPhone and software development house, has recently posted saying he is quitting the iPhone. While his statements don’t reflect the views of the company as a whole, we’ve been seeing similar complaints from other popular developers. Om Malik of GigaOM is also frustrated with AT&T and Apple and vented his frustrations a couple of months ago.

“I’m furious with Apple and AT&T right now, with regard to the iPhone” says Steven. The removal of the Google Voice application was the final straw for him, as Apple has removed several third-party Google Voice apps that had passed the approval process, leaving developers having to refund customers who had misplaced anger about the removal.

RIM on the other hand is leaving developers very content. App World has left the Google Voice client available for download, regardless of how it may compete with future native software, or what AT&T may think of the client. The software dictates the smartphone in many ways, and RIM understands that you need a flourishing developer community to drive innovation. Removing apps because they conflict with your internal strategy is going to do more long term harm than good.

According to Steven, it’s not that you should approve every single app, “it’s that rejected apps should be rejected for reasons that at the very least make consistent, logical sense, without garbage form-letter rejection notices that explain nothing, and with at least some sort of guidance available to the developer about how to fix the problem instead of meeting them with a brick wall.”

While Steven won’t be switching to BlackBerry, this is a crucial lesson for RIM and App World. While RIM has been known to reject applications based on branding (you can’t use “berry” in your app) and illegal community driven content, they are maintaining a relatively free marketplace. Let’s hope it stays that way.

[Steven Frank's post]

Australia gets EDGE and Telstra Blue Tick for the BlackBerry Bold

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Vodafone EDGE

There’s some good news for the folks in Australia. Firstly, it seems that Vodafone Australia have finally upgraded their GPRS network to EDGE. Although EDGE isn’t necessarily blazing fast, it’s a huge improvement and Vodafone customers.

Another piece of good news for Australian BlackBerry users is that Telstra have announced that the BlackBerry Bold has been accredited with Telstra’s Blue Tick, which recommends devices for handheld use in metro, rural and regional areas. Users can upgrade their existing Bold devices, while new users will get Tick-ready devices out of the box.

[Special thanks goes to Brendan for the tip]

Free BlackBerry app automatically launches apps upon startup

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start_me_up

There are some applications that want to automatically start when you reboot your device because they’re an integral part of your BlackBerry experience.

Start Me Up allows you to select applications that you want to automatically start up but don’t do it on their own. This is a great way to add additional functionality to apps that you enjoy using.

A cool feature of this product is that it allows you to set delay times. If an app requires a network connection, you can adjust the delay time to allow your device to connect to the network before the device is launched.

Features:

* Automatic start up for apps that don’t include this feature
* Runs applications in background while launching
* Small size and does not run in background constantly

Get Start Me Up for free for your BlackBerry.