Once upon a time there were two companies, the first company did something no one ever did well before and released a phone with a full QWERTY keyboard. It did very well and was the toast of the kingdom until a man from a company who made very attractive but sometimes flawed devices released a touch screen phone that allowed users fast internet connection and a huge selection of downloadable applications. In case you didn’t guess we’re talking about Apple’s iPhone and RIM’s BlackBerry.
So, with a new Bold 9900 released, how does it compare to its direct competitor for number one, the iPhone 4.
Processor wise the BlackBerry has got an upgrade and is now running a super powerful 1.2GHz snapdragon processor with 768MB of RAM. Compared to the iPhone which currently runs a 1GHz chip with 512MB, on paper the BlackBerry is the faster chip. Then you have to take into account that the iPhone is a year younger and you have to give it its dues.
The matter of tactility is different; then again it always was and will be. BlackBerry’s really about the QWERTY keyboard and though this one allows dual navigation with keyboard and screen, the buttons are the best bet and are possibly the best BlackBerry have ever made. The iPhone is a touch screen and an amazingly responsive one at that. As far as this is concerned, it really is a case of what you prefer – like a lot of things you seem to be born for one or the other.
The screens do differ in size and the iPhone’s 3.5in is better for what it is meant to do, that is being a multimedia player. Though the BlackBerry has a 3in screen it does have a certain charm. Though quality wise the iPhone 4 wins hands down, with its amazingly clear retina display.
Both devices have 5mp cameras, to be honest there is not much give or take between them and they could be considered equally good flashers.
As far as the operating system is concerned iOS offer an amazing experience and has really set the pace. However, BlackBerry OS 7 is a huge improvement on previous offerings and does put up a good fight but is staring into the face of the best.
Design wise both maintain their classic styles, with the iPhone 4 looking fantastic and the BlackBerry looking stylish in a different way, with its curved chassis and keyboard. It really is a case of personal preference. Some people swear by either brand, though if you want a multimedia experience the iPhone is better and perhaps the BlackBerry is better for professionals.
A number of Blackberry Playbook variants are speculated to launch in the next few months. Firstly, a Wi-Fi only version of the Playbook tablet is expected to launch soon after RIM’s financial year ends in February this year. Besides this, 4G LTE and WiMax variants are also learned to be in the pipeline.
Now another source has claimed that Research In Motion is also gearing up to launch a 3G variant around the end of March or in April. According to this source – apparently a Blackberry administrator who is in the know about RIM’s plans – this device could launch well before the 4G LTE variant launches – presumably in April this year.
Do note that we still do not have anything official at this point in time about either the 3G or 4G variants. So, take this with guarded skepticism for the moment.
A 4G supported version of the Blackberry PlayBook – Research In Motion’s much anticipated tablet computer will be available in the United States on the Sprint network from summer of 2011. This has been announced in a recent media statement where Sprint has noted that the availability will be exclusive. However, do bear in mind that this does not mean a non-4G version or a PlayBook with a different launch window is not possible on another carrier.
The 4G-compatible launch also means we could be seeing the launch of a 3G variant earlier than that. Also, it is speculated that an LTE variant could be launching as we move into the latter half of the year. In any case, this tablet with dual core processors and a multitasking operating system should find popularity among Blackberry users.
There have been rumors in the past that Research In Motion could be working on a 4G LTE variant of their Blackberry models in order to gain greater foothold in the American market. However, those plans seem to have suffered some setback according to sources.
We hear that RIM has been having trouble keeping the cost of producing such a device under check. The high cost is being attributed particularly to LTE chips. However, that is just one concern.
There is word that regardless of the costs, the phone could still see delay because of the company’s trouble with developing a reliable battery that can work long enough. The company is expected to take some more time to sort out these issues which means a 4G LTE capable Blackberry handset is still a long time away.
Are you the kind who connects your computer to a telly while watching a movie? Then if you are a Blackberry user, this app is definitely worth checking out. The Blackberry VLC Remote Control app lets users to turn their Blackberry phones into a remote control to access VLC media files on the computer. VLC, as you know, is an open standard media application that virtually runs all media formats and is thus one of the most popular softwares to play videos.
The VLC Remote Control app is capable of performing a number of functions including browsing the hard drive for media files, play, navigate using play/next/RW-FW controls,etc. All of this is achieved over the wireless network and so the entire process is quite efficient.
The Blackberry VLC Remote Control app is now available for purchase at a price of $0.99 at the App Word. You can check the app by clicking here.
Now here are more rumors. According to some insiders, the Blackberry PlayBook shall be priced at $399, $499 and $599 for the three iterative variants of 8GB, 16GB and 32GB respectively. There is some clarification needed here though. There has been word previously that the tablet shall come in three variants between 16GB and 64GB storage. So, it is likely that the starting model is 16GB and not 8GB as mentioned here.
Anyway, all of this is a rumor and unless Research In Motion does not come forward with its official announcement, we will have to take this with the clichéd pinch of salt.
A new version of the Blackberry Desktop Manager has now been posted online and is now available for download. This latest release, version 126.96.36.199 may not be the official release, but gives all the early birds an opportunity to look into all the new updates that is now available with the software. Some major enhancements provided with the new BDM include
Microsoft Outlook & Exchange 2010 64-bit are now supported
Administrator silent install
Organizer sync improved
Wi-Fi sync streaming now supported for over SSL (BlackBerry 6)
Do note that this is a beta version and could carry bugs. Also, there is apparently no support for Macs as yet. So if you are not one of the Windows people, you may have to hold on for some more time. Otherwise, click here to go ahead and download this latest version of Blackberry Desktop Manager.
Talking about specs, this is a flip phone and so if you are a fan of this model, read on. It comes with the usual 624MHz processor but with a larger 512MB RAM and a 5-Megapixel camera. The phone has the characteristic QWERTY keyboard and runs on Blackberry OS 6. Storage is not huge with only an 8GB memory card. Other features include GPS, Wi-Fi and support for Open GL for 3D graphics.
According to the press release from Sprint, the phone will be priced at $99.99 after a mail-in rebate and along with a 2 year contract. Blackberry Style 9670 shall be available in just two colors – Steel Gray and Royal Purple to begin with.
And the launch? The statement notes that the new Blackberry Style 9670 should be available starting October 31st. Of course you can reserve a unit right away at the Sprint website. In that case, hit this link to go ahead and make your pre-order.
If you are a Blackberry user from North America, you should notice an update to the BIS on your berry. RIM has rolled out the latest version 3.2 of Blackberry Internet Services to users in this part of the world that will bring a number of enhancements to the internet services. This includes updated password criteria and automatic login systems, Google Calendar syncing and an option to show passwords. The new criteria for setting up passwords include,
Must include 8 to 16 characters
Must include at least one letter and one number
Cannot include the word “password”
Cannot include the user name of the BlackBerry Internet Service account or BlackBerry email address that the password is associated with
If you are from other parts of the world including Europe, Asia and Africa, you should have already received this update and so nothing to see here for the moment.