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RIM Explains How the BlackBerry Trackpad Works


trackpad diagram

The latest BlackBerry devices come with an optical trackpad rather than a trackball. This is great for a couple of reasons: you no longer have to replace your trackball after wear-and-tear, and it looks way cooler.

Inside BlackBerry interviewed David (Vice President of Handheld Products) and Derek (Electronics Designer) to get more details about how the trackpad works. Basically, the optical trackpad is an optical mouse, except your finger is the the desk and you’re moving the desk.

So if you’re interested in knowing how the optical trackpad works, check out the Inside BlackBerry post.

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BlackBerry Storm2 Product Manager on Inside BlackBerry



Former BlackBerry Cool EIC Douglas Soltys sat down with BlackBerry Storm2 Product Manager Yasser Mirza, to talk about the device and what went into it.

It must have been a nerve racking experience to be the manager in charge of developing the follow-up to the Storm 1. Even though many users liked the device, it got some really bad Internet mojo and RIM really needed a good followup.

My favorite part of the interview is where Yasser talks about how fast he can type on his Storm2. “I can actually type faster than a QWERTY keypad BlackBerry smartphone. No joke! I’ve clocked in typing “the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” at 10 seconds, which is 60wpm.” Apparently RIM employees are always doing speed trials.

Read more at Inside BlackBerry.

BlackBerry Developer’s Blog roundup – hidden API’s and how to’s



The BlackBerry Developer’s Blog is posting very regularly like a good blog should while Inside BlackBerry hasn’t had a post in almost a week. It’s truly a shame in that Inside BlackBerry could be a very popular place for users to get an inside look at both RIM and BlackBerry, but the blog simply lacks enough content.

The BlackBerry Developer’s Blog, on the other hand, has had almost 2 posts per day since launch and the content is both interesting and helpful.

Here is a brief roundup of what you can find on the BlackBerry Developer’s Blog:
Click through for a roundup of the content you’ll find on the BlackBerry Developer’s Blog

RIM launches official BlackBerry Developer’s Blog



Mike Kirkup, Director of Developer Relations at RIM, has officially announced the launch of the BlackBerry Developer’s Blog.

The site will cover three main areas:

  • Technical Discussion and Insights – Including best practices for BlackBerry development, code snippets, and general technical information on how to make applications users will come back to time and again.
  • Market Insight – Discussions of trends and opportunities in mobile development and mobile applications that RIM sees from breathing the mobile industry every single day.
  • Developer Engagement – We have substantial plans to get more engaged with our regional and local developer communities all around the world, from Australia to Argentina and everywhere in-between. We will be using the BlackBerry Developer’s Blog to communicate events in your region and opportunities to meet other BlackBerry developers.

There are already some great posts up on the blog. My favorite is a post about Location Based Services. This is a fascinating and growing field in not only BlackBerry, but the mobile industry. Mike posted some excellent examples of how the technology can be utilized in BlackBerry applications such as:

  • An RSS reader could provide local stories relevant to your current location rather than requiring a postal/zip code.
  • A media player could stream music that incorporates local artists, encouraging people to support artists in their own backyard.
  • A travel application could help you find flights automatically knowing which airport you are stuck in.
  • A CRM application could provide you with a seamless experience in moving between your clients on your calendar for that day using turn by turn navigation and the locations stored in the CRM database.

I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next on their blog. Hit the site and leave a comment!

Also, congratulations to Doug Soltys, former Editor in Chief of BlackBerryCool.com for his first post on Inside BlackBerry announcing the Dev Blog. Looking good!

What do you want to know from RIM’s official BlackBerry blog?


RIM executives

Now that RIM has an official blog, we can start to see some great content coming to the BlackBerry blogosphere. The company that is the subject of so much discussion will be able to communicate directly with their market.

Recently, I wrote a list of ways RIM can add to the blogosphere.

But what about content? Here is a list of articles that I would like to see from Inside BlackBerry.

More Jim Dog

Jim Balsillie, co-CEO of RIM is an excellent public speaker and an interesting man. Jim is also a noted athlete and passionate fitness advocate. On top of that, Jim Dog has funded a wide variety of scientific and political ventures.

Jim has provided $10 million of personal funds towards the founding of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. He also also funded the Centre for International Governance Innovation and has donated to the University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University and the Centre for International Governance Innovation.

I would love to hear more from Jim on the topic of not just BlackBerry, but the global business market and international affairs.

Open Mike with Mike Lazaridis

Mike Lazaridis has given some very interesting interviews recently and he’s a constant source of great content. The story of how Mike came to work at RIM is absolutely inspirational. In 1979, he enrolled at the University of Waterloo in electrical engineering with an option in computer science. In 1984, Lazaridis responded to a request for proposal from General Motors to develop a network computer control display system. GM awarded him a $500,000 contract. He dropped out of college that year, just two months before he was scheduled to graduate. The GM contract, a small government grant and a $15,000 loan from Lazaridis’ parents enabled Lazaridis, Mike Barnstijn and Douglas Fregin to launch RIM.

It would be great to hear not only Mike’s views on BlackBerry, but on entrepreneurship and his passion: physics.

How it’s Made – BlackBerry

Remember those great documentaries about how things are made? My personal favorite is crayons. But that’s only because they haven’t made one for BlackBerry. This process would include interviews and film from a variety sources:

  • Interviews with engineers about the design
  • A look at the machinery that manufactures the devices
  • Interviews with suppliers

Initiatives and Topics RIM Loves

RIM likes U2; Jim Dog follows hockey; Mike Lazaridis has a love for physics; why don’t we get some news and posts about things not directly related to BlackBerry, but things that the company enjoys. If the head of PR wants everyone to know about a Breast Cancer marathon they’re sponsoring, let’s hear about it.

Acceptable Controversy

Although RIM has said it will not comment on financial matters or unreleased devices, there is still room for some heated discussion. Is another company talking smack about RIM? Let’s clear up any inaccuracies in their statements. Are customers complaining about a BlackBerry related issue? Tell them something to ease their concerns.

Don’t make too many judgments about RIM’s official blog just yet. It’s just starting out and these things take time. Instead, help build it into the site you want.

Like Mike Lazaridis said when faced with criticism over the BlackBerry Storm: “Nobody gets it perfect out the door.”

What would you like to read about on Inside BlackBerry?