BlackBerry’s BBM comedy shows how not to launch an app

BlackBerry has simply been having its worst year in its history. It has been totally sidelined as a major mobile phone manufacturer and its latest Z10 and Q10 handsets have more or less flopped. Last week, it decided to get a part of that BlackBerry experience onto Android and iOS platforms. This was done by announcing the BBM app for iPhone and Android. The announcement was done in an official blog post on 18th September. The BBM app for Android was to be made available on 21nd September and the iPhone app was to be released on 22nd September.

BBM for All

So far so good but the comedy of errors was about to start. Before the official Android app for BBM was posted online, an unofficial one got uploaded. The unofficial app was downloaded and over 1.1 million users went live inside 8 hours. That led to issues for BlackBerry which they apparently tried to fix but in the end had to roll back the global launch of the app.

The offending unofficially released BlackBerry app for Android was pulled and users who had downloaded it saw that the service was blocked. The few iPhone users who had downloaded the app could use it but app was pulled from the App Store too.

So when is BBM for Android and iPhone available?

BlackBerry is a update post had mentioned that they were planning a staggered roll-out on Android and re-releasing the app on Apple App store. This update was made on the 21st September itself. A couple of day went by and BBM app was still nowhere to be seen. That is when BlackBerry’s BBM chief Andrew Bocking updated in another blog post, that not only were they pulling the app but users should not expect the app to show up for another week. Strangely a new release date is still not announced!

The doomed BlackBerry!

BlackBerry could not compete with the likes of Apple and Google in the mobile phone space. The new BBM app for Android and iPhone would have made them competitors to WhatsApp and WeChat and other similar messaging apps. But wait, even here BlackBerry will hardly compete as most users will simply not give its app a second chance (whenever it gets actually released).

If you are still interested in downloading BlackBerry app on your iPhone or Android visit the link below and enter your email address to get updated on when the app goes live!

Link: BBM for All

Download Hike for BlackBerry

Hike for BlackBerry is now officially released. Hike has been available on the BlackBerry platform since the past few days with the ‘Beta’ tag. Now, it’s officially available for the BlackBerry devices with full functionality.

Hike for BlackBerry is available for all the devices running BlackBerry OS 5.0 and above. With Hike for BlackBerry, you can make one-on-one, group chats and even send photos, videos and a lot more! Hike says that many more features will be added in the near future.

Hike-BlackBerry

Image Credit : Hike’s Blog

Hike is one of those coolest IMs that one can ever come across. Some of the latest updates on Hike include Stickers, Walkie-Talkie and Hike Offline. Hike bridges the gap between data messaging and text messaging aka SMS.

Hike’s free SMS is probably the best thing about Hike’s heavy competition against WhatsApp. With Walkie-Talkie, you can now send voice messages to your friends instead of typing out the words. Hike Offline is the best addition till date. If you are texting a Hike user and he/she happens to go offline, the texts will be sent as free Hike SMS to that user. The recipient can now reply to that text and it’ll delivered straight to your Hike inbox.

Link: Hike for BlackBerry

BlackBerry 10 Launched with New Handsets Z10 and Q10

Research in Motion, unveiled three new products yesterday at the event where BlackBerry 10 was unveiled. But they first started off by renaming their company as BlackBerry from Research in Motion. So the company will no longer be known as RIM.

BlackBerry needed to showcase something fantastic that will mark a turnaround. In the past few years competition from iPhone and Android has more or less crippled BlackBerry’s dominance over smartphone markets.

BlackBerry started off by showcasing BlackBerry 10 the OS, Z10 a touch screen phone device and Q10 a device that supports a physical QWERTY keypad.

BlackBerry10

BlackBerry 10 Features

  • The BB10 OS supports multi-tasking and sharing seamlessly. The design is such, that it encourages users from moving into an app and out of it with swiping.
  • The Peek feature, which allows all apps to get integration with the notifications on the phone is very useful. The OS really leverages the notifications a lot better any phone like iPhone or Android.
  • There are many small changes which make user experiance a lot better. For example the camera starts recording a video without being asked to. A tap anywhere on the screen takes a snap.
  • The app market is where BB10 is looking weak. They have about 70,000 apps and lot of the popular ones on Android or iOS are not available. For example there is no Instagram on BB10.

BlackBerry Z10 Features

  • The device features a 4.2 inch screen, 1280 X 768 display with pixel density of 356 dpi.
  • The phone ships with a removable 1800mAH battery, 8MP rear camera and 2MP front camera.
  • 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 Plus processor with 2 GB RAM.
  • The phone supports Bluetooth, NFC, LTE.

This phone is a the touch screen one and will probably end up as the showpiece phone for BlackBerry. The hardware is decent and it runs on a new shiny OS. But the apps (rather lack of apps) could hurt its prospects over the year.

BlackBerry Q10 Features

This phone is a lot different from the ones most phone makers showcase. The real reason being the a physical keyboard in QWERTY style.

The phone has 3-inch wide screen. The features of the Q10 are very similar to the Z10 device.

Road ahead for BlackBerry?

I am not too convinced that BlackBerry will survive in the long run. The BB10 OS has introduced some amazing features but those might easily get picked up Android and iOS as new updates roll out this year. BlackBerry best change of survival is at displacing the Nokia + Windows 8 phone combine. That will allow it to settle at third place.

At the end of the day, App ecosystem is what makes or breaks a mobile phone and in that regard BlackBerry’s troubles still exist. If it fixes its apps market, which is easier said than done, then we might see a revival of BlackBerry.

Do drop in your comments.

5 Tech Companies for Whom 2013 Could be a “Make or Break” Year

As I decided to jot down things that I might expect to happen in the technology world in 2013, I ended up writing mostly thinking about Apple, Samsung, Google and Facebook. But what about very popular companies that are struggling? I thought it would be interesting to write down about five tech related companies for whom 2013 could potentially be a “make or break” year.

#1. Research in Motion (BlackBerry)

RIM BlackBerryThe Canadian company has been struggling not just from competition by Apple’s iPhone but also Android based phones. Once a BlackBerry phone symbolized the words “smart phone”. It is still a very popular phone with office going executives but it has lost out in being relevant to younger buyers. RIM also has seen its tablet offering called Playbook finding very few takers.

RIM will launch BlackBerry 10 featuring the new BB10 OS on 30th January. The year ahead with new BlackBerry phones could possibly mark its big turn around or its fall into the abyss. Forget an about turn, I am not sure it will even manage to keep a status quo in the mobile market. It will face additional competition from new Windows 8 phones that will enter the market in bigger numbers in 2013.

#2. Nokia

Nokia WIndows PhonesNokia has a glorious past as cell-phone manufacturer just like RIM. The company actually failed to get enough app developers on its platform and saw itself underestimating the acceptability of touch-screen phones. While Samsung bet on Android to produce smart-phones, Nokia shook hands with Microsoft.

In the year ahead, Nokia has a well received Lumia 920 running Windows 8. The next iteration of Lumia 920 will be crucial. The real problem for Nokia is that at the moment its destiny is not its own hands. It is in the hands of Microsoft’s Windows 8 phone becoming popular. Nokia will not just be working hard in 2013 but also praying hard for success of Windows 8 phone.

#3. Facebook

Facebook App AndroidFacebook had a mixed year in 2012. It launched its IPO, bought Instagram and showed off a newly designed mobile app for iPhones and Android. But these were not exactly signs of great innovation by Facebook. These updates and acquisitions were mainly an exercise of catching up.

Facebook has not really been pushed too much by Google+ in 2012 but expect that to change in the year ahead. Facebook is still struggling to find a way to make money from mobile phone platforms. More people will end up using Facebook as an app from their phones or tablets than their browsers. This would mean the current revenue stream of getting clicks from ads will see a decline. Facebook Gifts is a novel idea which would make Facebook’s revenue model as e-commerce instead of advertising. It also has not exactly fixed its reputation on the privacy front.

If Facebook continues to struggle to make money from it’s mobile phone platform 2013, it would with some big questions marks on Facebook’s future. That said its 1 billion users will make sure it remains relevant despite the health of its revenues.

#4. Dropbox

Dropbox_logoPersonally I love using Dropbox. I have used it for over two years. I love its referral program and also use it as a default service to backup my photos.

But the threat to Dropbox is very real. It faces competition from some seriously big players with some seriously deep pockets. Google Drive and Apple’s iCloud services will challenge Dropbox.

The problem for Dropbox seems two-fold. It lacks the financial resources of Apple and Google. Additionally it also lacks having its own mobile phone platform like an iOS and Android or online services like Gmail or Google search. If Dropbox does not hold its own against Google and Apple, it might have to think of a dreaded word called “acquisition”.

#5. Microsoft

Windows8_packageI thought more than a few times before putting Microsoft in this list. But it makes sense that 2013 will be the year, Microsoft will make a incredible turn-around or end up further behind the likes of Google and Apple. Microsoft has faltered with its online business with Bing. It has also invested in So.cl which is a social network that not one has taken notice of as yet.

Windows 8 as an OS is great attempt by Microsoft. It is a real step forward design wise by Microsoft. The company’s big problem is that Windows 8 phone is not exactly getting people very excited. The Surface tablets also have not exactly caught people’s imagination and Microsoft has nothing in the 7-inch tablet form factor.

One major issue for Microsoft has been developing a great app eco-system for developers. At the moment is a bit of a ghost town. It is nowhere close to the likes of Apple’s app store or Google Play. If Microsoft does not fix these drawbacks with Windows 8 over the year, 2013 could end up being the year which would mark the beginning of the end in Microsoft’s history.

What are your expectations from the tech world for the year ahead? Do let us know in your comments. Also as this is the last post before the year 2012 ends, let me take this opportunity to wish all our readers a very “Happy New Year!”

How to reset your BlackBerry ID password [Direct Link]

Are you trying to login to your BlackBerry ID from your smartphone and getting a wrong username/password error again and again? Then it’s always a good idea to reset you password after 2 or 3 unsuccessful attempts or else your ID will be blocked. We will tell you how you can reset your Blackberry ID password in just few steps.

BlackBerry Password Reset

  1. Click on this link for your PC or Phone’s browser. This will open the password reset page. Alternatively you can click “Forget Password” link given on the login page.
  2. Enter your username i.e. your BlackBerry ID E-mail and then enter the image verification code. After that click submit.
  3. Now check your E-mail mailbox by logging in to your E-mail account and open the password reset mail. Don’t forget to check your spam/junk mails if it’s not there in your inbox.
  4. Click on the “Password Reset Link” given in that E-Mail after the text “To change your BlackBerry ID password, simply visit”. This will open a new page. Enter your new password twice on that page and click Submit.
  5. Now try logging in with your new password. In case you’re getting an error please drop a comment below.
(via BB Help Blog)

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BlackBerry Gives Real-time Access to Indian Government

The Canadian firm RIM – owners of BlackBerry have been discussing security arrangements with the Indian government for more than the past 18 months. It appears the government and BlackBerry has reached a settlement on giving access to intercept messages shared over BlackBerry’s messaging service.

Way back in August, 2010 Blackberry had offered a solution that would have allowed lawful access via an industry forum. This solution was not acceptable to the Indian government as it wanted RIM’s servers to be located in India. This was to facilitate easy interception of encrypted messages by security agencies.

Yesterday, according to The Hindu, RIM has confirmed to the government that it has set up a server in Mumbai, India. This will allow real-time access to the government for its messaging service. Though it seems that at the moment, the government has not insisted on interception of mail sent by BlackBerry users.

Why messaging is under scanner?

    • The government seems to take the view that emails cannot be used for real-time communication and hence might not require real-time access. But things are different with messaging services and even Nokia’s Push Mail service has been told to give the security agencies adequate access.
    • Another point to be noted is that the government has moved focus from manufacturers for smart-phones to network service providers like Vodafone, Airtel and others to provide access to interception.
    • The government has in recent months got a lot of criticism, for its recommendations to internet companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter to screen all their content. Hence asking for email interception at the moment might have raised another round of criticism over internet censorship.

BlackBerry’s Future

BlackBerry is available in 175 countries and India is not the only place it has had issues over encryption and access to its messaging service for security purposes. It might even roll out BlackBerry OS for other manufacturers to use, which might be a reason for BlackBerry to get not be too adamant. It also probably wants a clear road ahead in places like India, which is one of the world biggest phone markets and still one of the few markets in the world which prefers BlackBerry phones over Apple’s iPhones.

Unfortunately the recent service outage of its messaging service which lasted several days has not won BlackBerry many fans either.

What are your views on BlackBerry settling their dispute over access to their encrypted messaging service with governments around the world? Do drop in your comments.

How to save images from Facebook for BlackBerry [Without App]

Facebook for BlackBerry; a technically not so good application with some bugs and lots of missing features but still millions are using it as they are using BlackBerry devices and they don’t have any other option. Of course they can use mobile browser for accessing Facebook but Facebook for BlackBerry is a better option.

A very important feature which is missing in this application is that you can’t save an image from Facebook. Suppose that your friend uploaded your picture and you want to use it as your profile picture then you have to take a Screenshot of that pic and then upload it as profile pic. But here’s a good alternative of saving pictures from Facebook using Facebook for BlackBerry, let’s see how you can do this:

How to save images from Facebook for BlackBerry:

  • Open Facebook for Blackberry application on your BlackBerry smartphone.
  • Now open any picture you want to save on your device.
  • Press BlackBerry/options key, from the menu select ‘Set As Home Screen Image’. Please note that this will change your Homescreen wallpaper, don’t forget to change it again to the older one.

  • Finally open your device pictures to see that pic. It will be automatically saved there once you use it as your wallpaper.

Use this method to save images and you don’t have to use any applications for taking screenshots and use pictures with watermarks on them.

{The BlackBerry and RIM families of related marks, images and symbols are the exclusive properties and trademarks of Research In Motion Limited.}

Best App for Twitter on iPhone, Android and BlackBerry

Twitter was made for mobile. Using Twitter form a smart phone just feels natural. All of the major smart phone platforms have multiple Twitter apps, though some are better than others.

I thought sharing the best Twitter apps available on iPhone, Android and BlackBerry.

iPhone: Echofon

Until recently Echofon was a Mac-only client, working with both iOS and OSX. It still works well with those platforms, but it has extended to Windows.

That’s good news for non-Mac users, because Echofon is a simple, stripped down Twitter client that provides a ton of features without taking up too many resources.

Compatibility with desktop: Echofon offers a sync feature that allows users to mark as read messages they’ve already seen on their Mac devices. This makes it easier to skip previously read messages, and avoids unnecessary notifications.

Easy navigation: It has the same four tabs — home, mentions, lists, and search — as the desktop version.

Comprehensive search: The search tab brings up trending topics, and the user can choose whether it’s worldwide or local. It also allows users to search for tweets tagged near their current location.

Versatile retweets: Users can retweet using the built-in style, or with the old RT @username style. Many platforms provide only the new method, or use quotes when users want to add commentary.

Stability: A problem with a few Mac Twitter clients is that they crash frequently. Echofon does not have this problem at all. Even the free version is extremely stable.

While the Twitter for iPhone client is free, it provides far fewer features than Echofon. The basic, ad-supported Echofon is free as well.

Link: Echofon from iTunes

Android: TweetDeck

Testing out all of the Twitter apps for Android could take days. There are just so many of them, and each has some features that the others don’t. After running the gamut and trying about 10 of the best-rated Android Twitter apps, it seems that TweetDeck brings the best of all worlds. Windows and Mac users alike are probably familiar with TweetDeck, since it is one of the more popular desktop clients.

Multiple columns: TweetDeck’s multiple columns is a mainstay of the desktop app, and it comes to mobile. Each column is on a different screen, and users can swipe left and right to change which one they view. This can cover multiple accounts, as well.

Versatile notifications: TweetDeck allows users to set notifications for each column. This can include a sound, vibration, and a blinking LED. Each column also has its own update interval. Users can update their mentions once a minute, while updating the timeline every 15 minutes.

Easy scrolling: When TweetDeck loads it starts with the first unread message. Users can scroll easily to the top by clicking the top bar. This also manually reloads tweets, which makes keeping up even easier.

Even better deck.ly support: On the desktop version, TweetDeck users can use more than 140 characters. Others can read these messages by clicking a deck.ly link. TweetDeck users, however, can see deck.ly posts right in their TweetDeck app. The same goes for the mobile version. Easily expand any deck.ly post right inside the app.

Customizable size: Want bigger-sized tweets? TweetDeck lets you do that, viewing only two or three on the screen at a time. Want to see as many tweets as possible? Just change the size to the smallest. There are plenty of settings in between, too.

Easy retweets: TweetDeck allows for both simple retweets, and retweets that add commentary.

As with many Android apps, TweetDeck is free.

Link: TweetDeck from Android Market

BlackBerry: UberSocial

The BlackBerry has one advantage over the Android and iPhone, and it’s great for heavy tweeters. While Android and iPhone users likely get by with many autocorrects in each tweet, BlackBerry users enjoy a physical keyboard that makes typing fast and accurate. Using UberSocial makes more sense.

Dependability: UberSocial, formerly UberTwitter, is one of the oldest and most used BlackBerry Twitter clients. As such, they maintain a steady product.

Easy interface: Through its many iterations, UberSocial has become a fast, easy way to use Twitter. This is largely because it requires a setup process when first running. This might take a few minutes, but it makes the experience much better later on.

Facebook integration. UberSocial allows users to import their Facebook feeds as well, which brings together two uber-popular social networks.

Many retweeting options: Different users retweet in different ways, and UberSocial provides ways for everyone. There’s the RT @username function, or the quotes method. It also provides support for regular retweets.

Media tab: Easily find pictures and video friends have posted with UberSocial’s media tab. It’s much easier than scrolling through an entire timeline.

Easy access: One of UberSocial’s competitors, SocialScope, requires a sign-up and wait for the beta. While SocialScope is a great app, this filtering process makes it less accessible than UberSocial.

Link: UberSocial on BlackBerry

10 Latest Smart Phones in India this Diwali!

During this Diwali festival, I have decided to go and get myself a new smart phone. I started to do a little research and came up with a list of phones I could potentially buy. In my research, I found 10 new phones that are out there. So I thought I will share this list and approximate prices with you; so if you are looking to buy a new phone it would helpful. So here is the list of 10 latest smart phones you can consider buying this Diwali.

#1. Blackberry Bold 4 9900

blackberry-bold-9900The phone supports QWERTY keypad and has a touch screen. It does seem to be a phone meant for business with document viewer and Pushmail. It has a single 5 Megapixel camera.

Internal storage space is 8 Gb which is expandable to 32 Gb. It does have 768 MB RAM.

OS: BlackBerry 7 OS

Price: INR 33,000

I guess this phone is a little over-priced considering almost a similar phone BlackBerry Torch is priced a lot less.

Link: Blackberry Bold 9900

#2. BlackBerry Torch 9810

BlackBerry_Torch_9810The BlackBerry Torch supports touch screen and also a QWERTY keypad. Its display screen is 3.2 inches. It has a single 5 megapixel camera. Storage space is 8 GB with support for Micro SD upto 32 GB.

It supports GPRS, WiFi and 3G connectivity.

OS: BlackBerry 7 OS

Price: INR 30,000

This phone is considered to the best BlackBerry phone out there.

Link: BlackBerry Torch 9810

#3.Samsung Galaxy R i9103

Samsung_Galaxy_RThis phone handset has a touch screen, size is 4.2 Inches. It has 2 cameras with primary camera being 5 Megapixel.

It does support 3G and WiFi for connectivity. It has internal storage space of 8 GB and it supports Micros SD, upto 32 GB.

OS: Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)

Price: INR 26,000

The smart phone seems to be priced a tad too high and it might be worth taking a look at some other phones from Samsung in the same price margin.

Link: Samsung Galaxy R

#4. Samsung Galaxy S Plus I9001

Samsung_Galaxy_PlusGalaxy S Plus has a touch screen, while it does support a display screen that is 4 inches. It has two cameras with the primary one being 5 Megapixel.

It supports HD recording and storage space is expandable to 32GB.  For connectivity it supports WiFi, 3G and GPRS.

OS: Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)

Price: INR 22,500

This phone is a good buy for its price, especially if one finds Galaxy R phones a little too expensive.

Link: Samsung Galaxy S Plus

#5. LG Optimus3D P920

LG-smart-phones-P920The LG Optimus 3D has a touch screen, with 2 cameras with one of them being a 5 megapixel camera. Camera features that set it apart are ability to take 3D photos and stereoscopic photos.

It has 8 GB storage space while 512 MB RAM.

OS: Android 2.2 (Froyo)

Price: INR 35,000

This phone mainly caters to the market which wants to take and view 3D photos.

Link: LG Optimus P920

#6. Sony Ericsson Xperia neo V

Sony_xperia_neo_vXperia Neo V is considered to be a value for money phone. It works with touch screen and size is 3.7 inches. It does have two cameras with one being 5 megapixel. It has 2 GB internal memory.

OS: Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)

Price: INR 17,500

#7. BlackBerry 9330

OS: Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)

Price: INR 22,500

Link: Sony Ericsson Xperia neo V

#7. HTC Sensation XE

HTC_sensation_xeThis is one of the latest phones from HTC in India. It has support for 3G, and runs on a 1.5 GHz Dual Core processor.

Its internal memory is 1GB which is a bit disappointing but does support Micro SD upto 32 GB.

OS: Android 2.3.4 (Gingerbread)

Price: Rumored INR 35,000

If you are a fan of HTC smart phones and want to stick with an Android, this phone is worth taking a look.

Link: HTC Sensation XE

#8. Nokia 701

Nokia_701Nokia 701 is also a value for money phone, and has a very good 8 MP camera. It is a touch screen phone. It does support 3G and Wifi.

The memory storage is a decent 8GB which is expandable.

OS: Symbian Belle OS

Price: INR 17,000

The phone is pretty good and has decent reviews. The single problem is that Nokia phones have not been received all that well and support for Symbian is considered uncertain after Nokia joined hands with Microsoft.

Link: Nokia 701

#9.  HTC Explorer

HTC_ExplorerAnother Android based touch phone from HTC, it does have 3.15 Megapixel camera and supports 3G. It does have a 3.2 inch display screen.

Internal memory is a disappointing 90 MB but I guess the low-cost of the phone makes it a decent buy.

OS: Android 2.3

Price: INR 11,600

Link: HTC Explorer

#10. Apple iPhone 4

iPhone4You cannot compile a list of smart-phones without the iPhone 4. It has features like Facetime, retina display screen, 5 megapixel camera. It supports a host of Apps thanks to its iOS platform.

You can look up the complete guide to purchasing a iPhone 4 in India or wait it out until next year when iPhone 4S is expected to be available.

The price is INR 34,500 for 16GB and INR 40,900 for a 32GB phone.

Link: Apple iPhone 4 India

Whatever you choose to buy, do a good research on what exactly you want from your phone. On last thoughts, we should be expecting phones running Microsoft’s Mango OS by year-end.

Do drop in your comments and views about these phones. Also wishing all our readers a very Happy Diwali.

Download Facebook Messenger for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry

Facebook recently launched a new Messenger for smartphones like iPhone, Android and BlackBerry. This messenger is an Instant Messaging application just like Facebook chat but it’s directly connected to your Facebook inbox. You directly get a message on your smartphone whenever somebody drops a message to your Facebook profile. If you are using Facebook application on your mobile then this Messenger has nothing to do with it. This messenger is just for your inbox messages not for other Facebook notifications.

Review:

It’s a good, light weight and user-friendly application with neat and clean User Interface. Even if you’re not using Facebook for your mobile you should definitely install it. Messaging with this application is so simple and fast that I always reply my Facebook messages using this application even when I’m online from my PC.

By using this application you can send messages, group messages, location or even pictures within few seconds using your phone’s camera. But for your information this application is for some smartphones only not all. These are Apple iPhone, Android based phones and BlackBerry handsets only.

Download Link:

You can download the application using this link. Alternatively you can open your phone’s browser and go to the link given below:

www.facebook.com/mobile/messenger

This will directly take you to the downloading page.

Read more Facebook posts.