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Highlights from Mike Lazaridis at the Dive Into Mobile Conference

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The above video shows you some interesting highlights from Mike Lazaridis at the Dive Into Mobile conference. Generally, the interview was pretty tough as Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher inundated Lazaridis with questions about where the platform is going and how RIM is going to keep up with the competition. Mike L didn’t do the best job of answering their questions, but it must be hard when every question starts with “so, your brand and phone is terrible…”.

While Mike L wanted to focus on the PlayBook and discuss how powerful it is, Walt, Kara and the audience, wanted to know about the smartphone. Sure, the PlayBook is cool, but what about the actual smartphone? The answer seems to be that RIM is moving in the direction of multicore, QNX OS smartphones, but it won’t be overnight. RIM is definitely working on multicore products, but consider this: the average BlackBerry has a 2 year development cycle, and RIM only acquired QNX this year. It could be that we won’t see a QNX multicore device until be 2013.
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Google’s Andy Rubin Admits RIM is on the Right Track with Acquisitions

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Andy Rubin, VP of Engineering at Google, was on Dive Into Mobile talking about Android as well as the competition. During the interview, Walt Mossberg began explaining how RIM has done a great job of building an “iconic” product but goes on to say that they’re fading in light of the competition, mostly due to the fact that they’re working with a legacy product.

Rubin’s response to Mossberg was to point out the similarities in the story of the RAZR. The Motorola RAZR was an iconic product but it eventually faded away. Motorola’s response was to switch to Android, but Rubin isn’t suggesting that’s the solution for RIM. The solution is to go through design cycles because a legacy product doesn’t allow you to keep up with the fast pace of the competition. Rubin then points to the acquisitions RIM has made with QNX, TAT and DataViz, and says they’re doing all the right things to fill in the pieces and keep up with the hyper competitive market.

Good form, Rubin. You’re a gentleman and a scholar. Stay tuned for Mike Lazaridis at Dive Into Mobile.

RIM Renaming the Wireless Enterprise Symposium – Suggestions?

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Rumor has it that RIM will be renaming the Wireless Enterprise Symposium (WES) conference to reflect the change in the company’s focus to its QNX operating system as well as other content. The new name hasn’t been suggested yet but maybe RIM started this rumor so they could hear suggestions. How about simply “The Awesome Show”.

BlackBerry PlayBook Demo’d at Tablife in Toronto

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As a follow-up to the news that Rogers confirmed they’ll be selling the PlayBook, David Neale, VP of Special Projects at RIM, gave a sweet demo of the PlayBook in action. What’s interesting about the demo is that even though the multitasking is killer, it apparently isn’t yet optimized and it’s still running in single core mode. Imagine what dual core would be like?

Check Out This Fantasy Football App for the BlackBerry PlayBook

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BlackBerry PlayBook Fantasy Football Application from merhl on Vimeo.

Universal Mind’s Joe Johnston built a really cool fantasy football app for the PlayBook and it looks like it will be available when the device launches. The app was built using Adobe Flash Builder and the BlackBerry SDK. Apparently the workflow allowed Universal Mind to deploy a working tablet app “in days with full touch and gesture interactions that you would expect in a tablet device.” Pretty awesome developer review isn’t it? According to the company, the fact that the framework SDK is integrated into Flash Builder and the ability to reuse code made the development process quick and easy.

Another Hands-On Look at the BlackBerry PlayBook

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It’s a shame this group who have a BlackBerry PlayBook weren’t able to record a better video of the PlayBook in action. Currently, the PlayBook has gone out to select enterprise customers and this is when the leaks start to occur. Whoever has the PlayBook right now is probably pretty worried about getting pinched as it would cost their business a relationship with RIM. In any case, the team have put together some impressions in a writeup which is worth checking out. Highlights include:

  • UI is very appealing and fluid with no noticeable hang-ups or delays (even running the currently installed Beta QNX OS, which typically has more bugs than final releases).
  • Opened 12 applications and it didn’t miss a beat.
  • The PlayBook is very light (.9 LBS), yet feels solid and well built.
  • Feels better than the iPad in the sense that you can type in horizontal mode comfortably with thumbs, not feeling like you need to set it down.
  • Pairing your BlackBerry will allow mirroring of your device data (Email, Calendar, Contacts, Notes, Tasks, etc) on the Playbook without physically storing any data.
  • Your Playbook will also be able to share the data plan you already have on your BlackBerry
  • PlayBook was used very heavily for a full day only starting with slightly over half a charge and it ran the distance.

The PlayBook just keeps looking bettter!