Mobile World Congress: Hands-On With Application Suite

BlackBerry Application suite
By Kevin Michaluk on 16 Feb 2009 01:43 pm EST

As mentioned in our latest Around SPE, Dieter Bohn is in Barcelona this week to cover all the big news coming out of the Mobile World Congress event currently taking place.

Dieter just did his duty for CrackBerry Nation and headed over to the BlackBerry booth. From the looks of it, it's a similar setup to RIM's display in Vegas last month at CES, where many BlackBerry Alliance members were on hand within to show off their latest software apps and BlackBerry-related products. The most interesting thing on hand from the actual RIM camp is the appearance of an HTC Touch Pro (AT&T Fuze in the USA but not quite as good of a phone) running the BlackBerry Application Suite software. This virtual BlackBerry software brings the BlackBerry OS (v. 4.2.1) to supported non-BlackBerry devices. Dieter, always the fan of Windows Mobile and familiar with BlackBerry devices (thanks to the Smartphone Round Robin) went hands on and had this to say:

In all, I was very impressed with BB Application Application Suite. It ran remarkably well -- certainly better than the janky pre-release beta videos I'd seen to date. I tried to pin them down on a release date (they clammed up a bit when I said "") and the best I could manage was "in the coming months." One interesting note: BB Messenger does work and it does have a PIN. What RIM does is run some sort of fancy algorithm on your IMEI number and then creates the PIN off of that. So the bad news (or good news, depending your openness:security stance) is that PINs are still tied to specific pieces of hardware.

I do have to say that the BlackBerry experience is significantly hampered without a trackball -- having to use the physical d-pad to click click click was a major pain. Otherwise, as I said, the thing ran relatively snappily and also didn't seem to hamper Windows Mobile much at all. And get this: it seems to start from a cold launch in just under a minute, much faster than your average BlackBerry cold boot. :p

Of course, I don't understand why anyone would want to own/use a smartphone other than a BlackBerry, but at least with BlackBerry Application Suite the options are broader and you can still get your taste BlackBerry goodness. It's kind of interesting that the people at the booth said it's OS 4.2.1, yet looking at the images it has the same look (shortcuts, graphics) as 4.6. A ton more photos after the jump! Thanks Dieter!! You can catch more of his MWC coverage here.

Update from Dieter: My memory is jogged by Kevin's comment. The 4.2.1 reference was actually about which 3rd party apps would be compatible with BB App Suite. Anything that works with 4.2.1 will work here. Everything designed for later releases will apparently be touch and go. 

BlackBerry Application Suite Hands-On

BlackBerry Application Suite

BlackBerry Application Suite

BlackBerry Application Suite

BlackBerry Application Suite

BlackBerry Application Suite

BlackBerry Application Suite

BlackBerry Application Suite

BlackBerry Application Suite

BlackBerry Application Suite

BlackBerry Application Suite

BlackBerry Application Suite

BlackBerry Application Suite

BlackBerry Application Suite

BlackBerry Application Suite

BlackBerry Application Suite


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I wouldn't want to use the BB OS except for on a blackberry. You would pretty much go through hell without the trackball.


Hell without a trackball? How do you think we navigate on the Storm?


This would rock on Windows Mobile 6.1 devices (and newer) that make use of the new optical mouse. I have the Samsung Saga and can fly around the desktop with that thing. It works every bit as well as a ball and should work well with the BlackBerry interface IMHO. :)


I really don't know what to think about moving the Blackberry OS to non BB devices. I could see where it would both help and hurt RIM.


i would love to see the BlackBerry Application suite running on an HTC Touch HD. I would definitely be all about getting that combo.

Dieter Bohn

My memory is jogged by Kevin's comment. The 4.2.1 reference was actually about which 3rd party apps would be compatible with BB App Suite. Anything that works with 4.2.1 will work here. Everything designs for later releases will apparently be touch and go.


I would love to go back to Windows Mobile and throw this app on there.. I love how stable my 8330 is and the battery life. But I've had that itch to go back to WM after dumpping my 700wx for a 8330. Problem is that there is no WM device that is really calling out to me at the moment.


is this service availble to download and to install in any mmobile device??? it would be great to have many other options besides the blackberries!!


The iPhone / Android OS (as well as others) may get this too.

Also... it may yield increase sales for BB Connect, but it may mean a decrease in device sales.


there will be only BB users left... Yeah :-D


Don't understand why RIM would provide the Application Suite to other phone manufacturers.

I hate to be rude and blunt, but if you really enjoy the stability and what the BlackBerry OS has to offer, go out and by a BlackBerry instead of running AS on a non-BlackBerry device.

I agree with what Duvi stated, it will raise awareness and probably will yield to more BlackBerry Connect sales but that comes the cost of not being able to sell many BlackBerry handsets.

It's like installing Mac OS X on a PC, if you want OS X, go out and buy Apple hardware to run OS X. Of course it's not the same idea as you don't necessarily get all the benefits of OS X if you run in on a PC, but the way RIM is advertising Application Suite, if integration is near flawless, there would really be no reason to get a BlackBerry if you could get a cheaper, participating handset and install BlackBerry OS even if it is 4.2.1 (though I believe with time, that would be changed/upgradable).

And of course, if Application Suite fails, it's going to affect the BlackBerry image. BlackBerry's, being known as stable, reliable, even though it's not running on BlackBerry hardware, people are going to get the impression that BB OS isn't what people see it as.

If RIM is just trying to raise awareness because it feels that they need to get their market share back, there has to be a better way. RIM makes their money off the hardware more than the OS and that's exactly what they're sacrificing here.


Sorry, a friend of mine just warn me about this article and I wanted to know if it was already possible to switch from WM to RIM tech (blackberry OS) on my HTC P3300. The fact is that I have the same trackball on it than the blackberrys
If you can answer me, it would be great, thank you


i was a BB user for the longest of time then i switched to windows mobile so i could get the best of both worlds.
I like the WM os better because of the customization options there are but at the same time i miss the simplicity of the BB OS which is why i love to use this app corresponding on WM device which happens to be the touch pro....
so there are many circumstances were i would i like to have BB os on a non BB


This could be a way out from my Storm....hhmmmm


People are talking about Rim not selling devices because of being able to use the BB OS on a WM device? There will be a set number of people who are going to benefit from running Blackberry OS on a WM device and others will still buy blackberries for the BB experience.

I work for at&t and have a corporate trainer that is going to rock the fuze with the suite so he can show the best of both worlds.

This won't be for everyone but someone that wants to rock the two it will be nice.


So this is actually pretty cool b/c now it can add BB PIN contact and it doesn't have to be a BLackberry! Would this mean the new generations on others phones being able to add BB Contacts!??


Is there any way to get the cab file to test it I administer a BEs here at work and would love to try it as I have a TYTN II and it's compatible with it?

If any one has the file if you woulod not mind sending it over that woul be supper.


Dennis T

Anyone able to get a Cab file of this? Please pm me thanks!!


I have been waiting for this. People knock the windows platform, I found it very easy to use especially with the Fuze, Tilt format. I'm currently using a bb 9000 and I'm on my 6th one. Tried the Storm could get used to sure press screen and the lack of a physical keyboard. If this is released soon, I'll warranty exchange my way into a tilt2 (already offered) and happiness.


can someone tell me where do i get it????