New BlackBerry OS 7 Smartphone On the Way

“Wait, what?!” was my reaction when I saw the news the BlackBerry maker Research In Motion, or BlackBerry LTD as they like to go by now a days, was releasing a new phone running BlackBerry OS 7.

If reports from BGR and Crackberry are correct, the new phone will be similar in design to the BlackBerry Bold series devices, but actually be associated with the consumer Curve family of devices.

The new phone is rumored to have the following specs:

  • It’s listed as the BlackBerry 9720
  • Full QWERTY keyboard
  • Display resolution is 480×360
  • Runs BlackBerry OS 7.1
  • Supports: 802.11b / 802.11g / 802.11n / 3G
I’ve carried a handful of BlackBerry devices over my many years in IT, from the pager-like devices to the Curve, and even the Storm 2 (Which, believe it or not, I liked.)
I want to see BlackBerry do well enough that they can at least stay in the corporate game as their devices really are good at messaging.  But I’m having a hard time getting excited about to seeing customers getting excited about a phone running an outdated operating system.  The only way I see this working is if this new phone is the new, cheap – as in low low cost – entry level device to “emerging markets.”  Coming in at north of $300 I don’t see the Q5 doing that.

Getting To Know BlackBerry Messenger

Hey BlackBerry addicts!  Are you using BBM?  Don’t know what BBM is?  It’s BlackBerry Messenger an instant messaging app specifically for BlackBerry users!

So what can you do with BlackBerry Messenger?  It allows you to send IM messages to other BlackBerry users in your contacts list.  Some of the features include being able to send messages without character limits; receive real-time notification when a message is delivered and read; send pictures and videos to multiple BBM users; and share what music you are listening to on your BB.

Hit the Read more link to see a video of BBM in action.

Ready to get started?  Head over to the BlackBerry website to install the software on your phone.

Before you can get started with BlackBerry Messenger, your BlackBerry must be running BlackBerry OS 4.5 or later.  That means that most BlackBerry Curve and later devices will be supported, however, you may need to update your phone’s operating system before you can install.

If you really want to learn the ins and outs of BBM, you can download the manual from the BlackBerry support website.

Facebook Updated for iOS, BlackBerry OS

Along side the Facebook website upgrade, the iPhone and BlackBerry mobile Facebook applications have also been upgraded to versions 3.2 and 1.8.0.49, respectively.

Use the App Store and BlackBerry App World to install or upgrade your software now.

If you don’t want to use Facebook Places, or you want to keep your friends from checking you into Places, be sure to update your Facebook privacy settings.

UPDATE:

The iOS edition of Facebook has been updated again.  This time to version 3.2.1.  This latest updates includes “bug fixes” and limited the Places feature to iDevices here in the United States for the time being.

Research in Motion Introduces BlackBerry OS 6

BlackBerry smartphone maker, Research in Motion, has unveiled the next version of their BlackBerry operating system.

Waterloo, ON – Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ: RIMM; TSX: RIM) today announced BlackBerry® 6, a new operating system for BlackBerry® smartphones that retains the trusted features that distinguish the BlackBerry brand while delivering a fresh, approachable and engaging experience that is both powerful and easy to use. BlackBerry 6 features a redesigned interface that seamlessly works with a touch screen and trackpad, expanded messaging capabilities that simplify managing social media and RSS feeds, an advanced multimedia experience that rivals the best in the industry, a convenient new Universal Search tool, and a new and efficient WebKit-based browser that renders web pages quickly and beautifully for a great browsing experience.

“BlackBerry 6 is the outcome of RIM’s ongoing passion to deliver a powerful, simplified and optimized user experience for both touch screen and keyboard fans,” said Mike Lazaridis, president and co-ceo, Research In Motion.  “Following extensive research and development to address consumer needs and wants, we are delivering a communications, browsing and multimedia experience that we think users will love, and we are thrilled to debut BlackBerry 6 on the amazing new BlackBerry Torch smartphone.”

In today’s press release, RIM talked up four marquee features:

  • Visual, Fluid Interface
  • Fast Rich Web Browsing
  • Social Feeds and Text Messaging
  • Engaging Multimedia Experience

RIM will be working with their carrier partners to develop upgrades for the BlackBerry Bold 9700, the BlackBerry Bold 9650, and the BlackBerry Pearl 3G.  If you are a new BlackBerry Storm2 owner like me, or you have a BlackBerry Storm, it looks like we are going to be out of luck.  RIM stayed quite on upgrades for us.  The new BlackBerry Torch 9800, announced today, will ship with BlackBerry OS 6 pre-installed.

You can read the full press release on the RIM website.

RIM: We Won’t Turn Over Your Data Because We Can’t Access It

BlackBerry device maker Research In Motion (RIM) issued a statement today regarding the security of customer data that is stored on their servers and that traverses their systems.

In an online article appearing on the Wall Street Journal website, Phred Dvorak writes:

“RIM said the BlackBerry network was set up so that “no one, including RIM, could access” customer data, which is encrypted from the time it leaves the device. It added that RIM would “simply be unable to accommodate any request” for a key to decrypt the data, since the company doesn’t have the key.

The BlackBerry network is designed “to exclude the capability for RIM or any third party to read encrypted information under any circumstances,” RIM’s statement said. Moreover, the location of BlackBerry’s servers doesn’t matter, the company said, because the data on them can’t be deciphered without a decryption key.  “RIM assures customers that it will not compromise the integrity and security of the BlackBerry Enterprise Solution,” the statement said.”

While I like to think that my data that passes between my BlackBerry Storm2 and RIM’s network operations center, or NOC, is secured, even from RIM, in today’s day and age, I’m still a little bit skeptical that if the US or Canadian governments came knocking on RIM’s dock that they won’t eventually turn over the data.  For how, RIM is taking the moral high ground and is backing their customer base.  Good for you, RIM!

BlackBerry Bold 9650 Available from Sprint

The Sprint edition of the RIM BlackBerry Bold has gone on sale via the Sprint website today, according to BoyGeniusReport.com. The Bold 9650, which started out life as the BlackBerry Tour 2, will eventually replace the Tour on Sprint’s Now Network.

The BlackBerry Bold 9650 can be purchased for $199.99 after a $100 instant rebate and a $100 mail in rebate when you sign-up for a new line of service or add a 2-year contact extension to your existing plan.

The BlackBerry Bold 9650’s feature list includes:

  • Trackpad
  • BlackBerry® Push Technology
  • Mobile Email
  • BlackBerry App World™
  • 3.2 Megapixel Camera and Camcorder
  • Dual Network Capability for International Travel
  • Wi-Fi Enabled – 802.11 b/g
  • External Memory (Up to 32GB SDHC microSD card)
  • BlackBerry® Messenger and Instant Messaging
  • Attachment Viewing and Editing (DataViz Documents to Go)
  • GPS capable
  • BlackBerry® Media Sync (sync with Apple iTunes)
  • Bluetooth® Enabled including Stereo BT profile
  • Voice Activated Dialing
  • Hearing Aid Compatible (HAC)

For more information and upgrade pricing, visit the Sprint website. For detailed product specifications on the BlackBerry Bold family of smartphones, visit the Research In Motion BlackBerry website.

[Via BoyGeniusReport.com…]