Tag: interview

RIM talks BlackBerry Application Center


Potentially lost among the Lazaridis’ statements about netbooks in CNET Asia’s RIM interview are a few important morsels about the BlackBerry Application Center, something we haven’t heard much about since it was officially announced at the BlackBerry Developer Conference. Below, you’ll find what Tyler Lessard, Director, ISV Alliances & Dev. Relations had to say.

Lessard: First of all, we have a strong developer community for many years. We’re looking to build on that and of course take advantage of all the applications that exist today and give them a central spot to be distributed. We think we’ll have a very broad breadth of applications that represent everything from games for the consumer to business productivity-type applications that cater to business professionals. Our focus is to make it a really effective channel for the developers. There are a few important things that we want to make sure we do. One is that the storefront is being designed from ground up for mobile software distribution. We are ensuring that developers will be able to submit applications and upgrades when they need to and letting users set up custom profiles so they can be alerted when new types of applications are posted.

We want to make sure we support free applications, paid applications and also monthly subscription billing or try-and-buy models. Those are things some other vendors have not been able to do because their stores weren’t designed for software necessarily. At the end of it, we want to support the broadest types of applications, different types of billing models and operate a very effective wireless channel for downloading of applications whether it’s via a cellular network or Wi-Fi.

Wireless operators can also offer their own customization to that storefront experience. So this won’t be the only place you can get applications for BlackBerry. If a wireless operator chooses to have a separate store where they highlight applications they want to sell because, for example, they have billing integration with those vendors, or it’s an exclusive application that’s available only on that operator, we want to make sure they can offer those separate applications and customize the storefront experience. We see the application store as a very important distribution mechanism, but it won’t be the only place. We’ll continue to let developers distribute directly as well.

|via CNET|

How RIM perfected the trackwheel


Prior to the development of the BlackBerry scrollball, the BlackBerry trackwheel (found on the stalwart BlackBerry 8700 among others) was probably the best navigation mechanic of any smartphone. It was always a wonder to me how RIM could get it right where so many others failed. RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis gives us the answer in his interview with CNET Asia.

Lazaridis: We had the first symmetric keyboard and the first real successful use of the track wheel. Other companies have tried using track wheels and they gave up. Nobody really got the ball right. The problem with the track wheel was that in the early days, the manufacturers made them very stiff. The plastic was so rigid that, no matter what you did, if it hits the ground like this, it would break and the circuit board would crack.

We have very sophisticated labs with high-speed cameras, electronic scanning microscopes and infrared fast frame rate transform scanners that we invested in a long time ago. What we found with high-speed photography was that there was no deflection in the wheel when it hit the surface. The wheel stayed totally rigid and that snapped it right off. There was no saunter joint, metal pin, nothing. It’s so hard to manufacture and that’s why most companies gave up on it because there were a few phones that had it earlier on.

What we discovered and invented was a suspension in our track wheels. The suspension is sort of like the moon buggies, and what’s interesting about it is, you can’t feel it. It’s so stiff that you don’t notice that it’s got a suspension. But high-speed photography shows that when it hits, it bends in and it doesn’t break. That lowered the breakage a hundred times. Not a 100 percent, but a hundred times. That was a very big breakthrough for the industry, but we patented the technology.

Lazaridis goes onto state that RIM was also first company to come up with USB charging. Two cool pieces of trivia about what makes BlackBerrys so special.

|via CNET|

Judy Mellett talks Telus BlackBerry Storm


Despite both my intentions and best efforts, I actually ended up doing some work during the Telus BlackBerry Storm launch party. Judy Mellett, Director of Product Realization at Telus, was brave enough to spend a few minutes outside with me in the harsh Toronto cold discussing the BlackBerry Storm and the role it plays in Telus’ overall strategy. It was interesting to hear her position the Storm as both a business and consumer device. Check it out.

Magmic VP Phil Giroux talks BlackBerry Addiction


In case you missed it, local Ottawa A-list celebrity and local A-list BlackBerry game developer Magmic’s VP of Business Development, Phil Giroux, was interviewed by CBC National Radio a few weeks ago about BlackBerry addiction.

Although the interview is brief and mostly an excuse for the uninformed interviewer to play sound bites, it’s worth checking out to hear Phil deftly respond to dumb questions with comedic gold. Oh, he also discusses sharing drinks with RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie and whether or not it’s polite to pull out your BlackBerry during a meeting with RIM. Enjoy.

Phil Giroux CBC Interview

RIM product manager talks mobile marketing, branding and product development


The fine gentlemen over at the BusinessCast Podcast have scored an interview with one Michael Younder, a Senior Product Marketer at RIM. As part of a series on mobile marketing for entrepreneurs, the podcast focuses on the product development and branding issues that make mobile marketing “more than those ’short codes’ you punch in your phone to vote for your favourite Canadian Idol.”

We haven’t checked out the podcast yet, but we will as soon as the fresh pot of coffee sitting beside us chases away a heavy case of the Mondays.

Listen to the BusinessCast Podcast

Interview: Tele Atlas talks GPS, LBS, and their Innovator Series


BlackBerry MapsI have a confession to make: although I’m really interested in the future of GPS, and I excitedly follow all the latest news in LBS, I have yet to really incorporate it into my life. The reason? I haven’t (yet) seen an LBS application that makes so much sense for my lifestyle that I’d be stupid not to use it. That’s why BlackBerry Cool has been so intrigued by Tele Atlas’ Maps in Apps developer contest (officially announced earlier this week), which almost seems specifically designed to make me happy by helping to create the LBS application I always hoped to want. We had the very awesome opportunity last week to talk to Tele Atlas’ Darrin Wilkey about GPS, their Innovator Series, and what RIM is doing to help grow LBS.

BBCool: So what’s the big deal about GPS and LBS?

Darrin Wilkey: When you look at mapping, it’s really become a part of our everyday lives. Think about how many new cars have navigation systems. There’s been incredible growth in the personal navigation device market. Think about how ubiquitous maps are with the Internet. It’s really a part of our overall lifestyle and the way we get things done. An interesting thing is that from an install base perspective; some analysts are estimating that by 2010 there will be 30 million in-vehicle navigation systems in use, and the personal navigation market could get up to 100 million.

BBCool: Wow, that’s, over 3 times the population of Canada.

Read the rest of the interview after the jump.

RIM’s Wi-Fi partner enabling VoIP and other services


DeviceSCapeYou might not have heard of Devicescape, since they work largely behind the scenes, but apparently they play an integral role in getting Wi-Fi into BlackBerrys. The folks at Ars Technica got a chance to talk with CEO Dave Fraser, who, in the midst of talking about Skype and their own mobile Wi-Fi connectivity solution dubbed Devicescape Connect, had this to say about the future of VoIP in handhelds.

“[There's] nothing we can announce yet, but within a few months new types of devices will be hitting the market like dual-mode handsets, VoIP phones, game systems, media players, GPS systems, digital cameras… we have designs in all of these areas.”

So VoIP phones are going to be as widespread as Wi-Fi dual-mode handsets? At very least, you’ll be able to subscribe to Devicescape’s service to get access to an alternative to UMA handoff. The interview postulates an enterprise situation where their Wi-Fi solution would be especially helpful; if SIP doesn’t end up coming to the BlackBerry 8820, Devicescape Connect could be the second-best way for enterprise to use Wi-Fi for voice.

Magmic Games Interviewed by GamesOnDeck


It’s always good seeing friends of the ‘Cool receiving well-deserved exposure. In the BlackBerry space, probably nobody deserves it more than Magmic games, who have been providing BlackBerry gamers tons of ways to blow their uptime for years now (as well as kindly giving us free games for our Weekly Contest winners). Those mobile game hounds at GamesOnDeck have posted an interview with Magmic’s CEO, John Criswick, and Bplay VP Nicholas Reichenbach (whom you might remember from a certain podcast we did at WES), about the growing BlackBerry games market. While it’s nothing that BlackBerry gamers don’t already know, the numbers are quite interesting:

From our data, a BlackBerry user consumes maybe two, three times what even a premium feature phone J2ME user does… BlackBerry users have a 6-7% penetration on mobile games, while feature phones have only 2-3%. So 6-7% of all BlackBerry users play games. I think it’s because they’re network enabled devices, and people spend a lot of time on them, it’s an extension of people’s business and personal lives in their hands.

To read the full interview, go here.