Global TV Tech Buzz: Blackberry 10 Is Winning Fans

rim chartIt’s almost here and the anticipation has people wondering if the 2 horse race between Apple and Android might just get a legitimate 3rd contender. BlackBerry 10 will be officially unveiled this week. The buzz is building, the early returns are promising, and the $RIM stock is up 72% over the past month, and an incredible 136% over the past 3 months. It is all adding up to good things for RIM.

Part of this rise in confidence has to do with how RIM has handled the launch. The official unveiling will be later this week, but over the past 2-3 months, there has been a long road show with RIM showing off the platform to developers and journalists. The reviews have been positive, and while many would have liked to have seen this sort of OS from RIM 18 months ago, the news cycle of anticipation has been building since the fall.

So what can you expect in BB10? Here are the key points that everyone is fawning over:


On the software side, there are 3 main components to the new BB10: hub, peek, and flow.

BlackBerry Hub will replace your message folder. It will be an all-in-one spot for notifications, bbm, tweets, email, and communications.

BlackBerry Peek is a nifty swipe up to see your notifications, while a side swipe will bring in your email box without leaving the app. Think of it as toggling between windows on your desktop. On other devices you have to leave the app to get out and see something else, BlackBerry Peek lets you multitask easily.

BlackBerry Flow takes peek to the next level with multitaksing. You can flow between apps without popping them open or closing them. It’s a much more fluid experience that really lets you operate one handed to go between all sorts of different applications and tasks on your device.


blackberry 10 keyboardThere are two types of smartphone users: touch screen fans, and physical keyboard fans. The physical keyboard takes up a lot of real estate that could be devoted to the screen, or makes the device too thick, so RIM is releasing a touch screen only version first to try and get people to switch. The keyboard in BB10 looks very much like the physical keyboard from older BB models. It has frets, the keys are large, and apart from not having physical keys, it looks just like the keyboard you’re used to.

There is also a funky predictive text that has words floating above the keys as you type. Just flick a letter and the word will appear. It works in both languages, and will even learn words that you like. Say you type Hey with H more often than Hi, BB10 will recognize that and suggest it.


Over the past number of years it has been said the iPhone is what people bought for themselves, a BlackBerry is what they got from work. Blackberry has been coveted by business because of the backend security that IT departments could control. BlackBerry 10 now has an enterprise solution that will work on both Android and iOS devices. A company can have that secure email network, and profile running on a variety of devices. You basically end up with 2 profiles, one for personal, one for work. You can’t copy files between the two, and IT can control the back end. So now, if employees want to have an iPhone or Android, it doesn’t matter – Blackberry can still help provide the corporate software.

Is all this enough? We’ll find out on Wednesday when the official announcement of BB10 and the new hardware will be made.

data-man appAPP OF THE WEEK: Data-Man [99c]
A very personalized app that will help you manage your data usage on your smartphone. You tell it your billing cycle, and then it will easily, quickly, and instantly track your data consumption on WiFi and via mobile towers.

Compared to the built in app that needs to be reset when you want to measure it, or unreliable data meters from mobile providers, this is the most reliable, and fastest app I’ve seen to keep track of your data and know when you might be facing overage charges.

Global TV Tech Buzz: Windows 8 Is Here


It’s what has helped Apple leap to the top of the food chain when it comes to integration across their product line. Apple controls the hardware, and it controls the software. The experience is identical no matter which Apple device you use.

With so much computing being done on mobile devices, you’ve slowly Apple start to merge OS and iOS. Microsoft took a different approach – they ripped off the bandage and did it all at once.

This week, with the launch of Windows 8, the Redmond software giant is taking a shot at building it’s own ecosystem. It wants to control the message from phone to tablet to desktop – and users had better get used to it, because Microsoft is all in.


In a word – everything. Gone is the start button, the desktop is now a screen of tiles and something Microsoft calls “the charm bar.”

That lack of Start Menu is really going to confuse a lot of people. The desktop now looks like a phone or tablet interface. The tiles move and update with notifications just like they do on the mobile spaces. To be honest, I think Windows Phone is gorgeous. I like the big tiles so much better than the iOS interface. That said, having it on a desktop is an entirely different thing, and it’s going to take some getting used to.

A Windows 8 tutorial is available when you first start your machine and you should watch it. There are keyboard shortcuts, and windows will slide in and out depending on where you put your cursor. Windows 8 has a learning curve, and it’s best to take advantage as soon as you can.


Well, it is radically different. Imagine the blowback every time Facebook does a redesign. This is like that, but instead of one website getting overhauled, it’s an entire reboot of the OS.

It will take some getting used to, but those that have spent time with the OS eventually come around. Eventually.


We still run Windows XP on our computers at work. We skipped Vista AND Windows 7. Enterprise is often slow to change, and with this one being so radical you might find business slow to move forward on this one too. That said, it is only a $39 upgrade and Microsoft says most computers currently running Windows 7 will work better with Windows 8. They’ll have better battery life and shorter boot times.

One step ahead you’re a leader, but if you’re two steps ahead you’re a martyr. Microsoft might have taken a step and a half here. Waiting to see how it all shakes out is not a bad strategy.

The thing about the big switch for Microsoft is it might have people make another switch. The Apple storm has been bubbling for a few years now. People just might say, if I have to learn something new I might as well learn Mac.

Lifehacker: Everything You Need To Know About Windows 8
Globe and Mail: Windows 8 Review
CBC: Windows 8 and Surface – 10 Things To Know
CBC: Early Look At Windows 8 Baffles Consumers
Wired: A Big, Beautiful, Slightly Shaky Step Forward

hockey canada concussion appAPP OF THE WEEK: Hockey Canada Concussions Awareness [free]
The Hockey Canada Concussion Awareness app is a great tool for parents, coaches, trainers, players, administrators and anyone interested in learning about the prevention, recognition and response to concussion injury, including responsible return-to-play protocol. Sidney Crosby is on board endorsing the free app calling it a ”commitment to educating families and players about all aspects of the game.”

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