Rabu, 30 Maret 2011

BerryReview.com Giving Back to the BlackBerry Community

BerryReview.com Giving Back to the BlackBerry Community

Free BlackBerry Travel App Updated Again to v1.0.350.99

Posted: 30 Mar 2011 02:08 AM PDT

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I know that RIM is licensing their BlackBerry Travel app using WorldMate's tech but even so RIM rarely releases updates this close to each other. That is unless there is some critical bug that needed squashing. Nikolaus let us know that RIM has updated BlackBerry Travel to v1.0.350.99 which is only slightly newer than the v1.0.341.99 released on the 23rd. In typical RIM fashion there is no changelog to help us decide if the 3MB download is worth it, but we sort of found an update in BetaZone change log that seems kind of helpful:

  • Added Bold 9000 support.
    Fixed issue of disappearing itineraries.
    Resolved device freezing (white screen) on launch of application.
    Fixed settings reset after battery pull:
    Caused TripCatch to turn off.
    Caused users to lose their home city until next sync.
    Updated the splat mechanism to fix various bugs.
    Added Hotel promotions in hotels results screen.
    General push framework fixes.
    Fixed airport selection on new flight.
    New UI control in weather card.
    UI fixes for LinkedIn screen.
    Various small UI changes and fixes ? All screens.
    Improved swipe behavior for home screen cards.
    Added ?All cities? option:
    Will show multiple weather displays (one per each city).
    Will show all LinkedIn connections per trip.
    Yelp links will go to Yelp search screen (instead of results), with the selected category pre-populated as well as the first city.
    Added sort menu items in Yelp screen.
    Added empty images to LinkedIn field like in LinkedIn card.
    Added state to airport name in auto complete field.
    Currency screen: Corrected concurrency issues and added ‘Update Rates’ option in menu.
    Implemented key press: ‘T’ & ‘B’ scrolls to Top and Bottom accordingly.
    Added timer for ensuring GPS deactivation.
    Fixed XML encoding in BlackBerry Maps.
    Fixed calendar sync.

Check out the latest version of BlackBerry Travel in App World at this link.

PS: I am sure we will make Mike Lazaridis cry by the possibly wasted 3MB upgrade data usage.

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Posted by Ronen Halevy for ©BerryReview, March 30, 2011, 5:08 am. | Free BlackBerry Travel App Updated Again to v1.0.350.99 | Leave a comment |

Google Mobile App Gets Tiny Upgrade to v3.9.7 – No Changelog

Posted: 29 Mar 2011 02:58 PM PDT

Google Mobile App Update

Google followed up their incremental update to Google Maps with an update to the Google Mobile App. The new version is 3.9.7 which brings us a few ticks closer to v4. :) Still it has been over 3 months since the last update to v3.9.6. My guess is it is just a couple bug fixes but there is no change log to confirm. Let us know if you spot anything in the comments!

You can pick up the update at m.google.com/search from your BlackBerry

Thanks Tom and Nikolaus for the tip!

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Posted by the BerryReview Team for ©BerryReview, March 29, 2011, 5:58 pm. | Google Mobile App Gets Tiny Upgrade to v3.9.7 – No Changelog | One comment |

BlackBerry 6.1 Will We See a More Evolved UI? Maybe Some TAT Influence?

Posted: 29 Mar 2011 01:05 PM PDT

blackberryroadmap201115RIM promised in the recent quarterly  investors call that the next upgrade to the BlackBerry OS  will be 6.1 due in May. They also promised that it wouldn't be an incremental upgrade but according to edngadget it will be a Major upgrade.  This could be interpreted in many different ways including that we may see a preview of what is to come with QNX. Some analyst have hinted at the the fact that RIM may create a hybrid OS from the current OS and QNX. I think that is not likely that we will see some QNX flavored OS this early, my guess would be if there are some UI changes those may come from the help from TAT.

RIM made it clear that it will be a huge upgrade, we have seen some leaked slides pertaining to new features for the OS home screen interface like the option to set favorites, and frequent apps. There are quite a few other features that will be added to this update but the main concern for most people is the user interface of the OS. People tend to react to the cosmetics part of the OS. Many who compare the visually part of IOS to BlackBerry only see the interface and that's why they believe the OS is better than BlackBerry when in reality the BlackBerry OS leaves IOS and other in the dust when it comes to capabilities but it usually is compare to the appealing visual side and how easy it is to use.

Hopefully with 6.1 RIM has been able to find a happy medium with the UI and also the ease of use. I would love for RIM to prove me wrong and have 6.1 with QNX by this summer but I find that highly unlikely.

What are your thoughts?

No related posts.

Posted by Luis Merlos for ©BerryReview, March 29, 2011, 4:05 pm. | BlackBerry 6.1 Will We See a More Evolved UI? Maybe Some TAT Influence? | 18 comments |

Lonely Turret Update: Tower Defense PlayBook Game Video

Posted: 29 Mar 2011 11:00 AM PDT

RottenOgre, the developer of Lonely Turret, let me know that he has put together a video demonstrating the gameplay of his tower defense game for the BlackBerry PlayBook. I did a quick review of the game  earlier this month and only had pictures to reference at the time.

The video gives us a better idea of what the real-time gameplay will look like. It is obviously still running in a simulator so hopefully the full multi-touch capabilities of the PlayBook will be fully utilized once it is loaded onto a real tablet. I love the idea of being able to use both hands to control tower position and upgrades simultaneously.

Check out the short demo video and let us know what you think.

Lonely Turret

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Posted by jforce for ©BerryReview, March 29, 2011, 2:00 pm. | Lonely Turret Update: Tower Defense PlayBook Game Video | One comment |

BlackBerry Messenger Rolling Out – No Change Log

Posted: 29 Mar 2011 08:19 AM PDT

BBM upgrade

We are not quite sure what this new BlackBerry Messenger v5.0.2.12 RIM has in App World but its older than the found in BlackBerry Beta Zone. RIM has kindly not used their own change log notification in App World so you will have to decide if the 3MB download and reboot for this marginal upgrade is worth it. From what I am hearing this update is mostly backend changes. Let us know if you notice anything!

You can see if BlackBerry Messenger is available for you in App World at this link. via PocketBerry

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Posted by the BerryReview Team for ©BerryReview, March 29, 2011, 11:19 am. | BlackBerry Messenger Rolling Out – No Change Log | 3 comments |

Digital Magazines Coming to BlackBerry PlayBook from… ???

Posted: 29 Mar 2011 07:55 AM PDT


RIM's pictures of the BlackBerry PlayBook tend to throw me for a loop sometimes. Kiddo2050 pointed out to me that RIM has a render of the BlackBerry PlayBook on their website being inserted into an envelope showing off an app with popular magazines. It only shows the top row of titles but it includes National Geographic, Rolling Stones, Harvard Business Review, and Popular Mechanics from what I can tell.

My first reaction was that it had to be the Kobo eReader that is shipping preloaded on the BlackBerry PlayBook. The thing is the app in the render looks nothing like what RIM showed off before or Kobo showed as being the Kobo for PlayBook app. I dug a little into Kobo's magazine and newspaper service that they have for the iPhone and iPad and that's when things got even weirder. While the Kobo Newsstand includes the Harvard Business Review it does not have any of the other three magazines featured on their site.

So I thought I would throw it out to you all. Any ideas what this app is?

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Posted by Ronen Halevy for ©BerryReview, March 29, 2011, 10:55 am. | Digital Magazines Coming to BlackBerry PlayBook from… ??? | 10 comments |

Tablets That Aspire to be Like The iPad 2 Lack Ambition

Posted: 29 Mar 2011 06:57 AM PDT


If there is one thing that Apple does right beyond everything else is marketing/PR. For example, I had one user telling me yesterday that Apple requiring iTunes was a feature. While disabusing this poor man twisted perspective on the whole tablet market I thought I would share what I titled "Tablets that aspire to be like the iPad 2 lack ambition." (hat tip to Timothy Leary)

If you have been reading the press and analysts take on the iPad 2 especially when compared to the BlackBerry PlayBook you would think the device was made of gold and hailed the JesusPad. It truly amazes me how Apple's successful marketing and product promotion has molded herds of followers. These are the same followers that until two years ago told us "who needs copy and paste?" or until last year said "why do we need multitasking?" Don’t get me wrong the iPad 2 has many things going for it like a strong developer base, solid accessory line, simplicity, and intuitive operation but on the other hand you cannot simply ignore its flaws.

So I thought I would share some reasons on why the iPad and the iPad 2 are a bad measuring stick for a solid tablet. This article is not targeted at the Apple faithful but rather the undecided who are hearing about how the iPad 2 unquestionably trumps the competition. There are certain things that Apple sweeps under the rug that nobody seems to care about due to the "Magical" nature of the device. You can then compare them to the complaints fielded against the PlayBook and tell me how they measure in your eyes. So here is my list of why the "Magical" iPad is not the ideal tablet we want the BlackBerry PlayBook, or any other tablet, to aspire to:

Ooooh Baby I love your Proprietary Dongles and Cables

RIM and Android tablets and smartphones have been really good about doing away with proprietary cables. Gone are the days you needed a headphone adapter and charging dock… unless you have an Apple product. No HDMI cable without a dongle and iTunes requires the classic Apple dock connector. Seriously didn't these guys learn anything from the Treo? Did Cupertino miss the memo on MicroUSB? I realize some long time Apple users might see this as a plus for having the 30 pin dock connectors lying around but if you read Apples “Thoughts on Flash” explaining why proprietary is bad you kind of wonder if Apple realizes the hypocrisy.

Multitasking Like its the 1980s

Apple for some oddball reason is a firm believer that users cannot handle true multitasking. Don't get me wrong you will hear iOS defenders clamoring how iOS 4 finally added Quasi-Multitasking and how that is "magical" but who are we kidding? The new "Magical" multitasking is limited to Audio, VoIP, Location, Local notifications, Complete tasks, and "Fast app switching" whatever that means. Talk about a forward thinking OS that all tablets should aspire to. Want to buffer a YouTube video while doing something else? No luck you will have to stare at that evil spinning wheel. Think you can run a chat, social networking, or IM client in the background? Only with caveats that require “push notifications.” Which leads me to..

Are they popup ads or notifications?

Whenever I see Apple's compromise for "notifications" in iOS it makes me wonder where all the UI designers went. To call them "inelegant and disruptive" is an understatement. Running an IM app like Google Talk in the background in "Quasi-multitasking" world? That means you will see a new popup every time you get a new chat message. Very forward thinking just like if you…

Want to play your DIVX, XVID, AVI, etc files? Look elsewhere…

One of the things that always baffled me about Apple is that it almost seems like they are trying to make a market for video transcoders. They simply refuse to support any of the standard high compression formats other than their specific H.264 video encoding and don't even try to throw any 1080p video content on it. Thats for games only for some odd reason. I guess the HDMI dongle is for older pre 1080p TVs to play games while it is connected by a cable? If you are an audiophile with FLAC and OGG files I would look elsewhere too. I realize that Apple is heavily invested in the movie industry along with selling videos and TV shows through iTunes but once again this is another limitation Apple places on customers that does not benefit customers.

The iTunes Ball and Chain:

I actually had the honor of having a colleague explain to me yesterday how iTunes was a "feature." I had to really work hard to hold myself together. Apple's iTunes is the AOL of the 21st century. Its is some of the most bloated software around and the beloved iPad is useless without it when you take it home. Last time I checked the first thing you need to do when you buy one is plug it into iTunes. You will also need iTunes for OS updates, Synchronization, and backup. We thought RIM was really old school in how they do wireless OS updates but the iTunes+iPad combo is an unnecessary ball and chain. While I realize many users appreciate the simplicity of iTunes and that it simply works it just seems like a “Magical” device should be able to be “Magical” without requiring a desktop program.

We don't need no stinking Flash!

There is a reason Flash is installed on 99% of desktops. While some people have swallowed the Apple Kool-Aid without question you have to ask how this benefits users. I won’t go into the pros and cons of Flash since I am not a huge proponent for many reasons but to simply say it is not necessary… Just imagine if tomorrow Steve Jobs announced that the iPad 2 will support Flash. I can already see the droves of fanboys telling me how wonderful Flash is.

Old school cameras! We have your dual old school cameras!

Apple really went cutting edge with their "HD" back camera at 720p and VGA front camera. I guess users are so happy Apple finally added something they can live with cameras that were standard on phones 3+ years ago…

Nothing sounds better than a Mono Speaker

While it is understandable that phones have Mono speakers it doesn't really make for a cutting edge video watching experience on a "HD" screen. I guess that is part of the "Magic"?

Scratch Scratch – Hey a New iPad came out

Even with the new "Magical smart covers" you have to admire how "scratch-able" Apple makes the aluminum of their devices. Even the new protective "Smart-cover" scratches the side of the iPad 2 though it has rubber bumpers to protect it from that. Users are also reporting that the proprietary dock cable scratches the aluminum due to the sloped design. But hey these users can always count on a new one to come out in a year and hope to resell their scratched up device.

This list could go on and on but it still baffles me that people hold the iPad 2 as the "holy grail" of  what tablets should be. I didn't even touch on topics like the laughable security and lack of free native/included office (word, excel, powerpoint) apps. To sum it all up the iPad is nowhere near the perfect tablet yet it has achieved "untouchable" status by many reviewers. I do easily concede that there are many things that Apple simply does "right" on their version of the tablet for their market but to assume it is the end goal for all tablets is ridiculous. Its not that these flaws are deal breakers but they do go to show why even the iPad has a way to go.

Let me know what you think in the comments!

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Posted by Ronen Halevy for ©BerryReview, March 29, 2011, 9:57 am. | Tablets That Aspire to be Like The iPad 2 Lack Ambition | 50 comments |

Top Secret: App World for PlayBook

Posted: 29 Mar 2011 05:55 AM PDT


As I was engaging in my favourite pastime of perusing YouTube looking for interesting PlayBook content, I came across this video I hadn't seen yet from SXSW in Austin Texas.

What caught my attention was that the demonstrator handed over the PlayBook to this guy and let him hold it during the demonstration. This kind of backfired on him as you can see at about the 1' 53" mark. The guy opens App World while asking if it will have tablet specific apps on the PlayBook (a very valid question). The demonstrator quickly snatches the PlayBook, pulls it away from the camera and says, "I can't show you App World…Its got a few limitations."

Very interesting. I think if I was the guy holding the PlayBook I would have played keep away from the demonstrator until I found out what these alleged limitations were. Sorry! It's a little noisy in here! Hey, what's up with App World?

I realize that this was a couple of weeks ago and hopefully these 'limitations' have been rectified. I thought it was a bold move for this demonstrator to put the PlayBook into someone's hands with this limited version of App World even installed.

Check out the video and let us know your thoughts.

Top Secret App World

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Posted by jforce for ©BerryReview, March 29, 2011, 8:55 am. | Top Secret: App World for PlayBook | 8 comments |

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