23 Sep Blackberry Unveil Their New Flagship Phone, BBM For iOS & Android
Despite concerns over the future of Blackberry, the company has launched not just any new handset, but their biggest, brightest and most powerful handset to date.
The Z30 is quite possibly one of the most impressive devices the company has developed, with a huge, 5-inch super AMOLED touch-screen display (1280 X 720 at 295 pixels-per-inch resolution), 1.7GHz processor with quad core graphics and a very decent 2880mAh battery. It also features an 8 megapixel camera, 4G support, Bluetooth 4.0 and a microHDMI out.
Blackberry 10 OS Update
In addition to the upgraded hardware specs, the Z30 comes with a new version of its Blackberry 10 operating system, Blackberry 10.2.
The improvements to Blackberry’s operating software are as follows:
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- Tutorials and videos to make it easier to become acclimatised to Blackberry (particularly when moving from an iPhone or an Android device).
- Lock screen has been tweaked, allowing users to quickly scan their messages on their home screens instead of just the usual numbered look.
- The Hub (where all of the information from your different communication channels are consolidated), has been made smarter with Blackberry including an algorithm that filters out the messages that are important to you and puts them in a special view. These messages are prioritised based on who you have meetings with this week, people with the same last name as you and other people you met with recently and interact with frequently.
- The Hub also features an Attachment View, which displays all of the attachments from your email accounts in one screen so it’s easier to find what you’re looking for.
- Photo sharing has been improved on the camera app, with the app able to create its own shortcuts based on what you share to whom and how you send it.
- Messaging has also been subjected to some improvements, with the addition of a notification bar at the top of the window whenever you get sent a BBM. To improve multitasking, you can tap on the bar and reply in line, which means you don’t have to leave the window you were when the message arrived.
- The software also has some more generic improvements, such as better animations and an improved predictive keyboard. The camera app has also been upgraded to take advantage of the 8 megapixel camera, while the handset’s sound also underwent an upgrade with high-bandwidth voice calling added, which could potentially sound even better than Skype calling based on the specs.
Pricing and Availability
No word yet on how much the Z30 will retail for, however, the device is tipped to be available in Australia early to mid October subject to carrier approval.
BBM For Android and iOS
In addition to the announcement of the Blackberry Z30, Blackberry also announced that BBM clients are finally ready for Android and iOS devices.
Earlier this year, Blackberry announced they would be bringing their once popular messaging platform, Blackberry Messenger to Android and iOS devices.
Back in the day when Blackberries were the ‘must have’ device, arguably one of the best features of the devices was the Blackberry Messenger client. The instant messenger was incredibly innovative, allowing blackberry users to send other Blackberry users messages over the internet, with the Blackberry PIN limiting this functionality to only Blackberry users. Users could send messages, pictures, voicenotes (audio recordings), files and locations on a map either just to a single person or to multiple users via a dedicated discussion or chat group, and for the top spec devices, video calls could be made over the Wi-Fi or cellular network.
The features included in BBM for Android and iOS are:
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- BBM Chat: Instant messaging with other BBM users. It shows you when your message has been delivered and read, as well as letting you know that the person you are talking to is responding to the message.
- Share Files: In addition to sending messages, BBM will allow users to share files on your phone such as photos and voice notes.
- Group Chats: The BBM Groups feature will allow you to invite up to 30 friends to chat together, as well as enabling everyone in this group to share photos and schedules. You can also send a message to all of your BBM contacts at once with Broadcast Message.
- Post Updates: You can post a personal message, add a profile picture and your current status.
- BBM PIN: Every BBM user will be assigned a unique PIN, so you can give this out instead of your phone number or email address to a new or casual contact.
BBM will be available as a free download for Android smartphones running Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean and BBM for iPhones running iOS 6 and iOS 7 will become available for each market on the App Store. While the release dates were pinned for September 22nd (for Android) and September 23rd (for iOS), the release for both Android and iOS has been postponed following a leak of the Android client a day before the release date.
There is currently no information regarding when the clients will be released.
What are your thoughts on Blackberry’s latest push in the smartphone market? Let us know in the comments below!