In my last From the Editor's Desk, we took a look at the past month of BlackBerry. This week, we're going to take a look at the next few months of BlackBerry and what people should expect and be on the look out for, because there's going to be a lot happening. Not only for BlackBerry but also us here at CrackBerry. There's actually quite a bit to address when you really think about it, so let's get to it.
BlackBerry Passport: The BlackBerry Passport is coming and it's the next device for BlackBerry and us here at CrackBerry. We don't know when the device will officially be rolled out as of yet but what we do know is September is the target month, that's no secret. With that in mind, we've already started planning our review content and like always, we'll be going all out on that device when it arrives. Review, Help and How-To Guides, Comparisons, Best Apps and everything else that comes along with that content. Yes, even another contest or two, but it has to be special and we're not sure yet what that is. If you really want a free Passport and a ton of other goodies, you're likely going to have to work for it. Have a contest idea? Let us know!
BlackBerry Classic: We know NOT everyone is excited for the Passport, that's reality and understandable. The thing is, it's the device of focus right now on all fronts and there's been pretty much nothing happening in the Classic area. No device leaks, no hands-on videos, no images or anything really. It'll come eventually, as it always does and if that stuff starts to flow, we'll be glad to get it all posted up. Everyone waiting on the Classic will get the same love we're showing the Passport when the time comes. It's just not time yet. Yes, we'll have contests for the Classic as well.
Amazon Apps vs. BlackBerry World: The Amazon / BlackBerry deal for apps is done. Come BlackBerry 10.3 and 10.3.x, Amazon will be officially another home for apps and as some of you have noticed and been very vocal about, we've started pulling a lot of those apps from the Amazon Appstore and highlighting them. For the most part, folks don't really care where the apps come from as long as they work but there are plenty of folks out there who seemingly only want to run native apps. I get that and understand it but the reality is, the level of apps going into BlackBerry World is not as large as it once was and Android apps are going to continue to be highlighted. There's no way around it. Of course, when great native apps appear, we'll cover them as always but no matter what, we're going to have to look at Android apps.
BlackBerry OS 10.3 and 10.3.x - BlackBerry 10.3 and 10.3.x are the next major revisions to BlackBerry 10. As we know it, 10.3 will arrive with the Passport and other devices will all get updated to higher version when the time comes. What's the timeframe on that? We don't know but it's coming after the Passport in 'September' and as the releases become available for each device, we'll be rounding up the changes, which means another a review of BlackBerry 10.3 from the Passport and depending on what else has changed, possibly a direct review of BlackBerry 10.3.1. It'll be a fun look at it. BlackBerry 10 has grown a ton since its first incarnation, so it'll be a great look at how things have changed and what all has been improved.
BlackBerry P'9983 / Khan - Aside from the BlackBerry Passport and the BlackBerry Classic, folks in the forums have been tracking several other BlackBerry 10 devices. The Porsche Design P'9983 otherwise known as Khan has popped up quite a few times now through images and bit and pieces of info. The device has been noted several times now to be an adaption of the BlackBerry Q10 but then that moved into an adaption of the Classic, which makes more sense anyway given it really started to show up on BlackBerry OS 10.3. According to info from N4BB, it'll be rocking a 3.5-inch display, 3GB of RAM, Dual-core 1.7 GHz CPU and 64GB of internal storage and sport an aggressive look with a noted release in December 2014 for the normal $2,000+ price tag all Porsche Design devices generally carry. Time will tell I suppose, but there's no denying the device exists (or did) in one way or another.
Manitoba - This one. Yes, the Manitoba. Ah, so many rumors, and so much misinformation in the lifespan of this name so far it's honestly hard to even know where to begin. It started life as this magical device of wonderment with specs that would make any lover of technology drool, and then it all came crashing down with specs seemingly showing it was nothing more than a BlackBerry Z3 with LTE. Now, it has taken on a new form and this time around it's being placed somewhere in between a Z10 upgrade and a Z30 downgrade with styling similar to that of the Z3. Perhaps the worst part is there's STILL conflicting info out there. N4BB has info alluding to it being a 5-inch touch screen device with 2GB RAM and a Dual-core 1.7GHz CPU, while the last info I recieved on it was that it would be a 5-inch touch screen, 1.5Ghz Dual Core MSM8960, 2GB RAM, 8MP AF RF, 1.1MP FF with 720p HD recording, 2500 mAh Non-Removable Battery. At this point, I'm not even sure BlackBerry knows what this device is outside of the fact they know people want a 'Z10-like' replacement. tl;dr: This device is in the abyss, when we know more SOLID info like a spec sheet or similar, you'll know. Until then, let the speculation continue. Just don't speculate that it's some drop dead high spec device of wonderment, because out of all the rumors, that one is least likely accurate.
IoT, Medical and Automotive - BlackBerry and QNX are totally ramping up their efforts when it comes to the Internet of Things, Medical and Automotive and that's awesome! That said, a lot of that stuff is pretty far out there. IoT is hard thing to explain to people and when you start talking big data, servers, accessing data, tapping into API's and such, most folks will give a blank stare or nod and smile. We'll be doing our best to cover all these things for everyone in ways that are hopefully understandable. It might not always work but we'll be doing it and helping push the fact there's more to BlackBerry than just the smartphones the general media seems to only think about.
Enterprise - The Enterprise space is hot and it's one key area of focus for BlackBerry. The Apple / IBM partnership and Google's new Enterprise features in Android L have made it even hotter. Over the history of CrackBerry, we've never really had much of a huge Enterprise focus. Sure, we covered the press releases and noted all the Enterprise stuff when and where possible but really, we could be doing better in that area and helping even more people and that's something we're going to be working on getting better at. Just like our consumer Help and How-To guides, we're going to start doing some of those for Enterprise functions as well.
So, that's my mind dump for this week. It addresses a lot, and looking at it now, it's a lot longer than I expected but that's OK. It gives you all a look at what I'm thinking about, looking forward to and looking to make happen over the next few months.
Next week, I'll try and keep a bit shorter but I make no promises. This seems like a relevant quote to close out on. 'Do what I do. Hold tight and pretend it's a plan!' First person to tweet me an image of who said it, along with what it's from wins a free case of their choosing from the CrackBerry Store. Be following, otherwise I might not see it. Update Winner has claimed winnings.