We recently published the announcement that BlackBerry Express was available to download for BlackBerry 10 and at the time we hadn't had a chance to properly play with the new presentation tool from BlackBerry and air our opinions. That time is now and what a beauty the free application is.
One point of interest is that the app (at the time of publication) has a Beta tag in its name. I can confirm that the software is actually final and the Beta name is only there while BlackBerry gather feedback from users. The name 'BlackBerry Express' may not end up being its final name - we'll have to wait and see what users think of it.
I've never been a fan of giving presentations - not because I'm afraid of standing up in front of people, but because I have never been bothered to get the hang of any software that does the job - mainly PowerPoint. Thank god that if the need arises in the future I will be able to now use BlackBerry Express as the application makes it so easy to create a professional presentation - all from your BlackBerry 10 smartphone.
Once you open BlackBerry Express you'll be greeted with two brightly colored tabs. The pink one is an introduction to the app and the orange one gives you a brief tutorial - well worth checking out. Once you have created a/some presentations these too will be listed above the aforementioned tabs.
Before we jump into making a presentation I thought I had better point out that by hitting the 'More' tab at the base of the display reveals where you can create your profile. This information will be shown in the information page and can be enabled in the presentation customization. Not a must, but a nice touch.
Back to business. Making a new presentation is achieved simply by tapping the 'Create new' icon at the bottom of the screen. You will then see three icons appear on the display. These are shortcuts to adding images, text and elements - which include bullet points and chapters as well as images and text.
Selecting the image option will open up your File Manager where you can jump between the device/media card and any cloud storage apps you have set up on your device. Choose the photo and you will be prompted you insert some text. This will appear at the base of the photo in the presentation.
You can add photos, text etc in any order and once you have done so and tapped the 'tick' icon to save you will see your entry appear in a list which contains everything you have added so far. This list can be customized using the icons on the right of each item. You can hold and then drag up or down to reposition which ensures you get perfect final results. At the base of the display you have a 'Play' icon so you can dive into the presentation at any point and view your results so far. If you select the 'More' tab you'll find a couple of extra cool features.
The first is rather straight forward and is 'Export'. This is much the same as sharing and will allow you to share via any accounts you have set up in your BlackBerry Hub. But it's the 'Customize' tab that I like. Here you can tweak a few things, including the Theme, which will give you a choice of color options for the final result - a sweet touch. If you choose the 'Custom' theme you will get a bar under the box which you can slide left and right to alter the colors even more.
And that's pretty much it. Once you have finished, all that is left to do is to connect your BlackBerry 10 smartphone to a TV/Monitor for the presentation via HDMI and you are good to go. You simply just use the BlackBerry screen to swipe to the left to move from slide to slide. Nothing is too complected (which suits me) and the results are pretty amazing.
Whether the name BlackBerry Express stays, only time will tell, although I quite like it. For business users BlackBerry Express will be the perfect free tool to have on your handset. Nice work BlackBerry, bloody nice work.