BlackBerryCool Untether’d Episode 6: BlackBerry Cobalt Tablet and More


Here is episode 6 of BlackBerryCool Untether’d with Rob Woodbridge. In this episode, we talk a lot about the BlackBerry Cobalt Tablet, some quality control suggestions for App World, and a personal Geiger counter app called Tawkon.

Let us know what you think in the comments.

  • Anthony Z?mmit

    On the point of Themes. This is why, no matter how much developers and people hate Apple, they only want great apps to be released in their store. Blackberry is a free for all and they just need someone with a vision to step in. They have the power to stay #1 and really be THE must have cool gadget. I had jailbroken my iphone (back when i thought my iPhone was cool) JUST to have it themed. Let me tell you! there were some AWESOME themes that the community had made. You just don't see that with blackberry until someone comes along and starts to do some cool stuff with it.

  • Anthony Z?mmit

    What ever happened to the @blackberry beta zone? Why don't you let the users decide what makes it to the store?

  • Anthony Z?mmit

    Next generation of kids will be less prone to “brain cancer” from cell phones because all they will be doing is texting (or BBMing since RIM will take over the world)

  • ceb311

    The way to fix the memory issue is to run RIMs OS on a full 8GB or more flash platform just like, I hate to say it but, the iPhone. It runs the OS, apps, phone, everything on whatever memory it has on there. There isn't a seperate memory space for OS/Apps. Can that be possible for RIM in the future?

  • Caspan

    I'm with Rob on the tablet. Where does RIM think they are going to go with this product? Is it just to have in their portfolio so they can say they have one too? I do not see a purpose for this device for BlackBerry users. Unless they come up with some kind of new OS other then 6.0 to put on it, it's just a large BlackBerry and who needs one of those.

    As I showed Rob the other week that I had an iPad 3G in my hand and it made 100% sense why Apple would make a device like this. They have applications coming out the Wing Wang and it's a cool gadget to have and play with and view pictures watch movies, but it is just a gadget it does not replace anything. You still need your laptop you still need your mobile device/smartphone. For RIM to come out with one I question why… there are not killer applications for it nor does the device support crazy graphics. SO you can view pictures watch movies/podcasts and play existing games on a big screen. But thats not the draw for BlackBerry users in my opinion its a extra that cool to have. I could not see buying one myself unless there is something different about it that would add some sort of “Wow I want that factor!”

  • Kyle McInnes

    I can't believe the amount of coverage Tawkon is getting. Their app seems so lame. But you're right, more BBM and texting means less radiation (if that's even an issue).

  • Kyle McInnes

    Improving the review system could really help here. I've always thought having a Yelp style community review system, where users have a history behind their reviews and therefore more weight is attached to certain people, would really help clean up the content.

  • Diego Nei

    This one was really good. You guys got the talking going very nicely and the topics were vapproached in a very good manner. Some of the previous ones kinda felt like “let's bash RIM” , but this one really had a great argumentation!

    Keep it up!

  • robwoodbridge

    Great points Anthony. It wouldn't take much to make this work. Lost in all this is the fact that Apple has had YEARS of experience working with ISVs/partners while RIM is relatively new in this space. They will learn and have a strong base to learn from.

    I will say that when we sent a few developers from Rove to the Apple developer conference they came back completely hypnotized by the “Apple energy.” The same guys came back from the RIM developer conference saying it wasn't as good as the Apple one. If you want energy from your developers you NEED to inspire them!

  • robwoodbridge

    Yup, Caspan, you hit it right on the head. If you want to make it, make it better/stronger/faster/cooler than what's out there. Don't build something that people will compare with other products.

    One of the things that I've heard people do with an iPad is give up the iPhone for either BlackBerry or Android and keep the iPad for the apps…best of all worlds :)

  • robwoodbridge

    Thanks for the feedback Diego. Sometimes, well, we get it right. Don't expect it every podcast :)

  • texaspanhandler

    Excellent episode gentlemen!

    I was reminded of another aspect of the Apps in the Apple Store and their developers that seem to be very successful, during a statement made on this episode about the quick buck verses longevity.

    I am a BlackBerry user and have an iPod Touch and I have a son with an iPhone. One thing that I have noticed in my shared participation of iPhone/iPod and BlackBerry apps (and observing my son) is the amount of free versions available for the Apple devices. This reminds me of the mass of ‘shareware’ developers in the early PC days (and still) providing an acceptable trial version for free only charging for a full featured version. Developers of Apple iPhone apps seem to be benefitting not only from making (in many cases) free versions (hooking prospective buyers), but also selling their apps at a lower price. Conversely, most of the apps I browse for BlackBerry don’t even have a free version and cost between 3 to 7 dollars or more, (including the silly themes that ya’ll mentioned in the episode)! Over 90% of the apps I see on receipts for my son only cost him $.99, but 90% of the apps that he has downloaded are the free (trial) apps, and 100% of the apps he has bought, he did after trying the free version.

    Thanks for the space to share some thoughts and observations!

  • Rashi

    Hey Rob & Kyle - rather than assume it’s lame, why don’t you actually test drive tawkon and then comment based on your real experience rather than what “seems” from a distance? You’ll soon see that it’s far more than a counter. It’s based on a complex algorithm taking many dynamic factors into account, and tested extensively in an RF lab. You can read an overview of the technology at and hear a more detailed overview in a recent Scobleizer interview here.

    Like you, Robert Scoble was also somewhat skeptical before seeing it for himself and talking to the founders about the technology behind the app.

    Bottom line – You mentioned you’re planning your next podcast on great software. It’s easy to be cynical - but I’m sure that if you take more than a cursory look and actually review tawkon, you’ll see that even if you’re not personally concerned about the possible impact of regular exposure to mobile phone radiation, it’s a quality app created by very talented telecom industry & software developers that empowers intelligent BlackBerry users (who don’t want to wait 30 years to read the final results of the studies) to use their phone as much as they want to, but responsibly – just like drinking alcohol in responsible amounts, driving within the speed limit and using sunscreen (which, by the way people are not ‘morons’ for buying ? ).

    And even if you don’t care to know when you are and aren’t exposed to mobile phone radiation, at very least you’ll benefit from some valuable battery saving while test-driving the app :-)

    Anyway, let me know if you’d like a demo version to try for yourself and/or more explanation on how it actually works, and then I’d love to hear your opinion.

    Rashi (the girl in the demo clip

    p.s. Rob – you mentioned holding the phone in your pocket – well tawkon addresses that too. Even if you’re even using your headset but the phone is in your lap, if radiation levels rise beyond the predefined threshold, tawkon will suggest that you distance the phone from your body

    p.p.s. – tawkon is available on AppWorld here as well as MobiHand.

  • Mike Loftus

    I have been interested by the negativity around the Blackberry Tablet. I guess in a pure consumer world there are some reasons to be sceptical, but in the enterprise world the companion device category can feel quite compelling.

    A Blackberry Bold essentially meets the need of most mobile employees, except that there are times where a bigger screen is needed. MS Office attachments are rendered wonderfully on the Bold, but the screen is too small. Hence many carry a laptop. If the companion device eliminates the need for a laptop, then there are huge security and management savings benefits which could accrue.

    In particular think of the fact that there is a Citrix Receiver for Blackberry now. On that bigger tablet screen I could actually access enterprise apps not available from a BB normally, in a useful way.

    So I don't know if RIM will release a tablet, or if it ultimately will succeed or fail, but all the commentary I've seen reflects the consumer bias of most “pundits” watching the Mobility space, to the detriment of enterprise viewpoints. There is interest out there in companion devices - witness the early, admittedly small scale efforts of firms like CelioCorp, Bayalink, etc

  • Caspan

    So are you saying radiation is different from one call to the next? So a 10 minute call to the doctor is different then a 10 minute call to the wife?

    Steve Main

  • Caspan

    I don't mean to be like Kyle & Rob (god help us if there were more than 1 of either) but for the last 30 years everyone has tried to take our money. Exercising, diets, gadgets everyone wants a dollar from us. It's up to you to prove your product work to us, it's not up to us to prove your software works.

    Guess instead of complaining that Rob & Kyle should test the application first you should fire your Marketing team, if they were doing their job you wouldn't have to write the message.

    Rob & Kyle both gave an opinion on a typical software scam.

    Steve Main

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