10 Weeks of BlackBerry 10: BlackBerry Balance

In our '10 Weeks of BlackBerry 10' series we'll explore one feature of BlackBerry 10 each week leading up to the launch event on January 30th. This week: BlackBerry Balance
BlackBerry Balance
By Adam Zeis on 17 Dec 2012 03:23 pm EST

The next stop on our 10 Weeks of BlackBerry 10 tour is one that every BlackBerry business user should be looking forward to - BlackBerry Balance. In case you haven't been keeping up, BlackBerry Balance is already a great part of the PlayBook OS that will come to BlackBerry 10. BlackBerry Balance lets you easily use one device for both personal and work with all the features you'd expect from using two different devices. BlackBerry Balance essentially lets you run two different spaces on your device - one for personal and one for work. Keep reading to check out why BlackBerry Balance is one of the best new features of BlackBerry 10.

BlackBerry Balance on BlackBerry 10

If you use your BlackBerry for work, you know what a pain it can be to have all of your IT-pushed work apps, data and the like mixed in with your personal items. BlackBerry 10 changes all that by creating two separate spaces for your work and personal items. You can easily change between the two, one never interfering with the other, making your BlackBerry 10 device 2-in-1.

By swiping down on the home screen, you will see the option to change between your work and personal space on your BlackBerry 10 device. From the moment you change between them, you will see a totally different home screen right down to your wallpaper. Your work apps sit in your work space, while your personal items won't appear -- and vice versa.

BlackBerry World on your work space will show apps that are pushed down from your IT department that are enabled and/or required for your device. You will also see a public apps section that shows public applications that have been allowed for use in your work environment.

Using BlackBerry Balance you can now have two instances of applications such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. If you use a work Twitter account, all the information (login, settings) will remain separate from that of your personal Twitter. Same goes for Facebook and other applications.

In your work space your BlackBerry Hub will now show your work items as well. Emails, calendar items and other messages for work will show in the Hub on your work space, however they won't carry over to your personal space. You may see that you have work emails but they will show as locked until you swap over to your work space.

Copy a URL or text from somewhere in your work space and you won't be able to then paste that back in your personal email. Balance can send warning if you try to send confidential work items to personal contacts and prevent social media apps from accessing the same data. Super secure and super awesome.

Using BlackBerry Mobile Fusion, IT managers can setup and partition devices all in once place, sending down mandatory applications and settings. While your personal space gives you the freedom to be you, your work space is still controlled by your IT department, allowing them to be able to wipe your work data at any time without touching your personal items.  

BlackBerry Balance makes using one device for work and play a truly great, worry-free experience on all ends. It's definitely one of the features we're most looking forward to in BlackBerry 10. 

Check out more of what we're looking forward to in our 10 Weeks of BlackBerry 10 series.

Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

Reader comments

10 Weeks of BlackBerry 10: BlackBerry Balance


I had no idea this existed on PBOS, but it sounds amazing. Definitely a good feature for those that use their BB for work.

Also: First!

That's awersome. I want to start getting work emails on my phone so I'm wondering if my employer's IT department would go for it.

This is definitively an intuitive feature that places BB a step above the competition in the Enterprise space!

I look forward to all the weekly countdown videos as they sometimes feature new videos that i can drool over the OS.

Hi Adam, good write up. I had a couple of questions on how this works. BB10 supports ActiveSync, so I can connect to my office's webmail URL to get office emails. If I have an attachment (say a word file) from my office email, I would save that file on device (either device memory or the SD card). How is this handled in such situations where a device is not given by the employer? Currently on my 9810, I can access such a file anytime I want, also I get an option to save it anywhere I want.

And what kind of warnings do we expect you know??

Hey Adam, do you know if the regular consumer will be able to use balance as well? Can we take our new BB10 and make a "parents" partition and a "kids" partition letting us hide the more personal stuff from kids when they want to play games on our phone?

well, on the BB 7.1 OS there is a parental control menu built in, therefore I believe that this will also be implemented way better on BB10 OS.

Hey Adam, do you know if the regular consumer will be able to use balance as well? Can we take our new BB10 and make a "parents" partition and a "kids" partition letting us hide the more personal stuff from kids when they want to play games on our phone?

I'm wondering the same thing. Not all of use phones that are provided for us by our company or have BES servers but want these features nonetheless.

And please tell me that Blackberry Bridge will be one of the 10 BB10 feature, write ups.

Out of curiousity, what is it about Bridge that you would like to know?
I don't see much, if anything changing with it in BB10.

While I'm not the original OP - I can say I'd like to see a write up because I still think it is the most underrated feature of the PB - one that people that don't have a PB don't seem to understand the value of.

Also, I'd really like to see that the new Bridge somehow forces all programs to work with it. With my Playbook some apps work great over bridge (WordHero!!!) but some simply don't seem to know there is a connection available via bridge. I'd like to see all apps default to trying WiFi but if WiFi is not available and a Bridge LTE or 3G connection is available use that.

I think the possibilities for Bridge are pretty endless. I would love to see complete synchronization between my playbook and BB10 phone. Play a game on my phone and pick up where I left on my PB, ditto for movies, music, documents, and more.

I also wondered about that. Balance can be put to very good use for regular consumers as well.

~I am BlackBerry by choice~

Hey RIM......Balance a personal phone # and a work #. Yes that means two SIMs, but THAT would be a huge deal in the whole BYOD world.
I would love to have 1 phone and only one.
Carrying around 2 BlackBerry's is a pain. Imagine a world where one phone could be for personal and work at the same time and wasn't just about email and files, but the cell phone part too.

One day, I hope someone at RIM says, "Hey, we should make a phone with 2 cell partitions"
I'm more than sure there's a market for that.

Now that I would love to see. What a great idea. Personally I am lucky that work let's me use my phone for personal calls (within my time limits) but i hear that is going away and I really do not want to have two phones. Although.....a full screen BB10 touch for personal and a QWERTY BB10 for work might be cool :)

There's definitely a market for this, it's just a question of how much. Probably more than the cameraless phones.

Interesting that you said that. There are regular SIM cards, Micro SIM cards, Apple is pushing for Nano SIM Cards but no one is pushing for duo SIM cards (metal piece on both sides)

RIM, there's the first for everything ;).

As was asked a little above this...I am wondering if this option will be able to be utilized for basic consumers as well. More importantly, I want to know if I will be able to possibly have 2 BBM accounts, one personal and one for work. Does anyone know if this is possible? I understand that I would have to use two different BBID's which should be no problem because I have personal email and work email addresses to use. Please somebody figure this out..I don't have access to a DEV unit otherwise I would have tried to see if it is possible. Adam, try it out and let us know!!


with regards to 2 #'s on the phone, in the UK, on Orange this is possible, and doesn't require 2 SIM cards. I had this nearly 14 years ago, it was called Line 1 and Line 2. You would know which number the call was coming in from as the in the top right of the screen 1 or 2 would appear depending on which number the call was coming in from. You could switch between Line 1/2 to make calls on the respective number.

The part I don't understand:

Currently to get corporate email at my company on a BB, it requires you to switch to BES. When you do, IT takes over your internet and decides what you can and can't view. So youtube, facebook, etc is blocked. I don't use them that much but I don't want my company to have any access to data about what sites I use etc on my personal time, who knows how they might use that against you.

With Balance, is this still the case? Or will they no longer have access to the partition that is private? Is there a way to get corporate email and still use BIS from your carrier?

This is a good question. The protection is obviously there for the company from the employees. Will it go both ways? Will there be protection for the employee from the company?

I have asked the same question. Still have not gotten an answer. I asked my BES admin and he said they still have control. I didn't get a very confident answer so I don't know how accurate his answer was. I really wish I could get an answer to this.

there are currently Chinese made phones and others have dual SIM however the battery life is shortened...I am more interested in a phone that can multi-task in the sense of personal and work, without affecting operations on any front

He did say in the video that corporate data can't be copied/shared to personal apps "and vice versa" so I assume that the IT department can't look at your personal profile. I was thinking about the same thing while watching. I no longer work corporate but I know if I did I would not want IT accessing my personal profile stuff.

Will [I] have access to the work account facility for personal use, if that is what i want to do?

"Using BlackBerry Balance you can now have two instances of applications such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. If you use a work Twitter account, all the information (login, settings) will remain separate from that of your personal Twitter. Same goes for Facebook and other applications."

This is useful, if i buy a BBOS10 phone, regardless of whether work is involved it is a feature i want to use.

Can [I] enable the work account for personal use or is it something that can only be activated via authentication with a BBOS enterprise server license?

I think a great idea for balance would be dual SIM cards. One for the personal side and one for the work side. Leave the company and they wipe the data and you return their SIM

I really like this idea, but have a few questions. Can the "work" workspace be password protected? And encrypted? Like if I was to press on work, it'll ask for a keystore. Is there an option to not show your work emails in the hub as well?

If not, rim needs to do this, and I'm sold for the next 10 years!

I understand from an IT admin standpoint Balance can be made to be a fantastic tool but I'm on a Corp account now with a Z10 and I'm allowed access to my email, calendar, tasks and contacts via the Personal side of Balance. The only thing is my work email seems to lock up after 15 minutes, that's something the administrator pushed onto this device as well as when I had my 9800. So I don't see the point of moving from Personal to Work, if I can access my work email and other aspects from the Personal part of Balance. Am I missing something?

“Think highly of yourself, because the world will take you at your own estimate.”

There's few comments suggesting for RIM to bring Balance to the consumer's control so they can set up parents/kids or similar. But lets get right to the point: Is there a workaround or hack for someone to enable Balance right now without having a work-issued BB, or an IT Dept, or BES, etc.... I ask because I am WFH self-employed and I could REALLY make great use of Balance's intended purpose.