Netflix, Skype and others - What is RIM doing to close the app gap

Where are the apps? When will RIM get Skype and Netflix on the PlayBook, do they care if they're on the platform?

BlackBerry 10 Apps
By Zach Gilbert on 25 Jun 2012 03:05 pm EDT


These are two questions that I've heard over and over again, heck there was even a petition going around to get Netflix to build an app for the BlackBerry PlayBook. So the question is, does RIM want these apps on the platform, and if so what are they doing to secure the top apps for the launch of BlackBerry 10?

When on the hunt to see what RIM is doing to close the "app gap" there is one guy to talk to, and that is Adam Stanley. Adam is the Senior Application Development Consultant at Research In Motion, and while not talking about bacon or HTML5, Adam and his team are actively working with developers and helping them to get their apps onto the BlackBerry PlayBook and ready for BlackBerry 10. During my visit to Waterloo and RIM, Adam and I had a one on one discussion on apps for the new platform; specifically those from the high profile developers like Netflix and Skype.

While I could beat around the bush for a few hundred more words and then reveal the information I learned about Netflix and Skype, I'm going to spill the beans now. While discussing apps with Adam I was straight to the point and the question I asked was "The CrackBerry community is chomping at the bit, where are Netflix and Skype for the BlackBerry PlayBook?". While I didn't get the answer I was wishing for, I did get some fresh news. Adam informed me that RIM was indeed committed to adding new apps from roughly 100 big name developers for the launch of BlackBerry 10 later this year, and Skype and Netflix are indeed on that list.

Let me dive a little further into what exactly this list means, and doesn't mean. The list means that RIM has selected roughly 100 developers that they feel have applications that consumers are expecting. This includes Skype, Netflix and others that one would expect to be on a platform. The process has already begun where RIM has a team of people working with these selected companies to bring their apps to the platform. If RIM needs to use RIM talent to help develop the apps and have them on BlackBerry 10, then they will offer that as an option. What this doesn't mean is that these 100 selected apps are guaranteed to be on the platform at launch, or at all.

Before you make a negative comment on this blog post you need to think think about this from RIM's point of view. RIM is actively reaching out to developers and doing what they can do to get these apps onto BlackBerry 10. By no means are they sitting in their offices waiting for companies to submit their applications onto the platform. They are actively working with them to bring their content to BlackBerry App World.

So there you have it CrackBerry Nation. No, RIM is not just sitting there twiddling their thumbs and hoping that the big gun app developers bring their applications to the PlayBook and BlackBerry 10. RIM wants these guys to be there just as much (or maybe more) than you and I do -- so sit tight and let the Developer Relations Team at RIM work their magic. Trust me, BlackBerry 10 will be astounding, developers are excited, we're excited and the apps you know and love will be on the platform - that you can count on.

Reader comments

Netflix, Skype and others - What is RIM doing to close the app gap


Ecosystem.. Ecosystem... Ecosystem. RIM needs one, yesterday. Unification of their own offerings and expansion of those from others.

This has always been RIM's problem, and it's a big one. They FINALLY appear to get it. Now, make it happen.

As much as I hate it, the Android App Player has helped but it's not enough. It's a stepping stone, RIM needs to get folks going native for PlayBook and BlackBerry 10.

Throw the whole bank account at those you need to. If BlackBerry 10 is as good as we're all hoping it is, then having the BIG names on board can only help and RIM would have nothing to worry about financially because if the hardware is good, the os is solid and the apps are there people WILL buy BlackBerry 10 devices. It's new and fresh.. iOS is getting stale, Android is frsutrating unless you own a Nexus so you can always be on the "latest and greatest OS" and brand loyalty is fading across the board. People will jump ship to whatever catches their eyes these days, if the key pieces are there.

Without those big names attached, it still remains a gamble. Big names = insurance.

yeah but with RIm's incapacity to deliver quality hardware running quality software, bug-free and finished on time, its hard to throw all the rocks at developpers....

Playbook didnt sell as well because of unfinished software. Hardware revisions are overdue. PB resolution got leapfrogged by retina display.

QNX phone MIA.

They have a terrible track record at keeping their platform homogenous, with lots of orphan resolutions.

The software and hardware markets haven't demanded -- or demonstrated -- anything approaching "bug-free" in decades, if ever. Development lifecycles of both are far too short, and consumers have proven tolerant -- if not happy -- about using products that are 80% there in order to enjoy the benefits of new features sooner. This certainly includes iProducts, and obviously also Androids.

Outside of Cupertino (arguably), homogeneity is a foreign concept in the phone/tablet world. How many different flavors are there of Android? How many form factors? Is WinPhone likely to be any different than Android in this respect? Or even any different than the waffling mess that was WinCE/WinMobile?

Methinks you're being overly harsh, and overplaying the significance of the mistakes RIM has made in the market.

..Ahh good to see someone who gets it...thing is RIM has always (aside from the cheaper models) made rock solid devices, I know as I have owned about one of each...Bold, Storms, and now a 9860 but a lot of people I know own Curves, and Pearls in the past and thought that was BlackBerry...I usually let them try out whatever rendition of Bold I had or my Torch 9860 and they no longer want to 'jump ship'...

BlackBerry Torch 9860
BlackBerry PlayBook O/S 1.xx.xxxx

"the os is solid and the apps are there people WILL buy BlackBerry 10 devices".

this X 1000.

The Apps MUST MUST MUST be there at launch, or you will actually hear a "thud" as these devices hit the market. This is the key and most critical aspect for BB10.

Amen, brother. As to why RIM does not have a unified BlackBerry ID login for apps, Kobo books, music, and video yet for the PlayBook?

It speak volumes. One team is focused on the new BBOS 10 phone and another team focused on the 100 big app developers. But who is looking at the whole ecosystem? Big fail RIM.

Windows 8 is Rim's competition, if Android and/or IOS users are going to make a change, the choice will be between Windows8 and Blackberry 10. I think Rim would be wise to try and market BB10 as more appealing than Windows 8, the 2 new kids on the block.

Give me a break. Windows phone will fail yet again. How many people do you know that ever owned one let alone see one in the real world. Compared to BB.

Ios is already stail and they will need to make a new is soon. No not ios6 something brand new. Look at even an ipod touch 2g to a 4s iphone same boring crap.

Who cares about stupid Skype not exactly free calls just a dumb version like msn yahoo yet. They just make you think your actually calling them.

If you have playon.TV you can watch netflix like I've been for ages.

I believe it would be a good idea to have those apps on board... and I believe they will be there at BB10 launch.

Playbook launch was a debacle. Let's face it. The past three years were crap. The two ex CEOs are no longer at the helm of this ship. People are arguably actually on the edge of their seats awaiting the BB10 OS and a sharp device.

There does need to be more of the "mainstream" apps at launch of BB10. But the problem is all of the custom apps that different companies have that are only for iOS or Android. If I want an app for my Bank, they only support those two.
If I want an app for the local movie house, it only support those two.
Several of the suppliers I work with have apps, but they only work with iOS and Android.

I know that in the future with HTML5 it shouldn't matter, but we aren't in the future right now. So RIM needs to make sure Developers that are working on these type of Apps know how easy it would be to port them over to BB10. Maybe even give them incentives to do it based on the size of the company it is for.

OK, then the question is "How long have they been "ACTIVELY working" with the developers to bring those apps?".

I am just thinking how fruitful their "active work" can be and how likely it is that we'll see the apps in the next decade or so. Or did they just start "actively working?"

Also, what's up with the existing apps from the STRATEGIC PARTNERS? Adobe for instance. Are they "actively working" in that direction as well?

At least their media section is working on it; after all,they did show pictures of the Playbook, prior to and during launch, of the device and the logo's of Skype and MSN.

And we all know that RIM wouldn't ever tell a lie, exaggerate, or make promises to which it.....never mind, I can't finish that sentence without rolling my eyes and laughing.

Yes, I have a question on that too. How long have they been "begging" the developers of these popular apps to come across? Weeks, months, years?? Let's face it, the big fish developers want to be sure the platform is going to prosper and be profitable. RIM can't guarantee that.


i"ll keep praying for skype. The others I won't lose sleep over.

I like to travel and I REALLLY want skype to me able to call home over wifi. I have considered buying an ipod touch or another device to do this for me. The video chat on the playbook doesn't cut it because very few people around me have a Playbook.

Honestly, at this point it doesn't matter what people will and will not use. Everything popular needs to be there.

For example: I'll never use Netflix, but the people who do use it need to see it and RIM needs to do whatever they can to make it happen.

Yeah, I could care no less about Skype - never have, never will - but for those just gots to have it, it should be there...

I don't see why big devs wouldn't want to develop for BB10 even if RIM assisted in building it. The whole point of running a business is to make money. To make more money, have your service available to more people!

Limited resources = fewer platforms supported. Sometimes its about picking. RIM smartly is trying to close the cash-in entry point for there 100 app big names.

Right now if you developed a BB10 Cascades app you would be making your service available to exactly 0 more people (PlayBook does not currently support Cascades). I can imagine that's a tough pill to swallow and a giant leap of faith for any major developer to take. They can just wait until the platform comes out and see if RIM sells devices before they need to worry about releasing apps for it.

Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the Scrapbook app and the Pacemaker app built using Cascades and are they not running on PlayBook OS 2.0?

Yes, yes they are. I think RIM mentioned that the email/calendar apps on the PlayBook are also based off of Cascades. The PB can and does most certainly support it at this point.

Scrapbook uses an old version of Cascades that's only for RIM's internal use. Any 3rd party dev will be using Cascades 4, which is BB10 only. So Sloth12 is correct, build a Cascades app today and it won't run on PlayBook (until the PB gets BB10). The native email/calendar apps on PB are AIR, not Cascades.

Doesn't have to be released tomorrow.

But when BB10 does release, I don't see a reason not to.

I do. Every platform you support requires just that -- that you *support* it -- and that costs a developer time and/or money. Bug fixes, upgrades, idiot support, etc -- it all costs programmer time and money. The alternative to come ringing to spend those resources to maintain a fringe market port of your app is, of course, to abandon it -- which brings its own costs; those of appearing to be behind the times, and of ill will and reputation hits from disgruntled former customers.

There ain't no such thing as a free lunch, even when RIM says they'll help write your app for you.

Basically: Skype possible coming to BB10, BB10 coming to playbook in a few months there will be at least 50+ great apps coming to the Playbook ? :D

Like I have been saying... Skype is being integrated into the contacts app and Video Chat app, so that will not be an issue going forward. I know and willing to put down $500 that Skype will be on the PB by end of Fall

My friend is a network engineer working on the NOC and working with the team for integration into the apps and the network

I know RIM will work their butts off to get the top 20 apps users want on BB10! You can consider it done. Of course, the sun could stop shining tomorrow... Nothing is guaranteed, but then Skype and Netflix are 1 & 2.

Will this allow me to use my Skype account subscription with my PB or BB10 phone to call telephone numbers when I am on wifi?

If not, I'd rather just have a regular old Skype app.

Do you guys really use Skype and Netflix that much? I couldn't tell you the last time I used Skype and I got rid of Netflix a year ago. Amazon Prime and ESPN3 are my main sources for that content. I don't see what the big fuss is over these. I do believe they need an ecosystem for apps/music/videos but I could care less if Skype or Netflix are there.

There are quite a lot of users who still use these. But that's really not the point. RIM is trying to come from way behind. The expectation is that they must have a device that at the minimum does what others out there already can. Those other devices have Netflix and Skype.

Who knows? We all could be using something entirely different next year. But for now just to better compete with other tablets out there Blackberry must support them and do whatever it can to do so. If they can't then the question is why is everyone else able to accomplish this and RIM can't? This question alone is why RIM failed the marketing war on the Playbook. They had an awesome piece of hardware but were lacking where their competition excelled.

Don't worry so much about who's using the apps. Rather think of Netflix and Skype as "canaries". If BB10 is released and these are missing (or not added in short order), something else is wrong.

This is typical of a lot of Blackberry users here, they only think about their own little world. They say I don't need this app. Or that app. Or I just use the browser or I don't like a big touchscreen etc. Try thinking about what BB needs to have to succeed. Try looking at it from a different perspective. I know it's hard for you to do because it involves actually recognizing BB's weaknesses in the marketplace.

It's not really about people needing it or using it. It's about the fact that IF they wanted it, they can't; while they look over at their buddy's who do. So it's seen as a major shortcoming and gives users device-envy and gives everyone else (ie: the Media) ammo to rip on RIM when it's not even their fault.
It's more psychological than anything else.

I really didn't think they would be doing anything else. Few months Saunders was so riled by the constant questions of what RIM was doing about Netflix that he said if Netflix needed any help with bringing their app to BlackBerry and I quote, "they would have engineers at their door step within 24 hours". So I do not doubt they are working on it.

Very happy to to hear about RIMs efforts. All hands on deck for BB10 I say! My $$ is waiting for your release.

Is a Twitter app ever going to show up? I know there is a shortcut to the browser. But that gets old quick with how much it glitches. I believe they need an actual app and I'm not sure why they don't have one already.
Anyone know anything about this?

So in other words, it's coming soon --- maybe. (rolls eyes)

I truly hope that RIM is sincere in their attempt at getting name-brand apps on their devices. And I truly believe that they need to available at launch and not during some mythical time period thereafter that not even "The Doctor" would be able to comprehend.

But, to be fair, I have been seeing much more of an outreach, support, and communication to the developer community - both large and small - which can only be taken as a positive much-needed sign.

But personally, I will NEVER buy another RIM product again until I actually see the these apps functioning on the device; the lesson was well learned from purchasing a launch Playbook.

Clearly, you didn't (perhaps you couldn't) understand what I meant. This is not about appreciating what RIM offers; rather, it's about whether one believes what RIM is promising. And, to date, RIM's track record on fulfilling their promises is questionable.

Maybe we should not look at this as a technical or even a lack of focus issue. Instead, we should look at the reality that RIM's content partners are now competitors.
Look at Amazon''s Kindle promise to be on the Playbook from day one. One year later, it is not there. Skype is now owned by Microsoft that has a competing phone also. Why would they help RIM?
Would the big three like to divide up the spoils of a defunct RIM? Of course they would.

RIM is the company I like and will always get my mobile devices from but I accept that they are up against some despicable business practices. Still, the good news is that RIM still has an advantage on:

Security - yes, after all these years and billions of dollars they are still number one.
e-mail - this is debatable today. Push is no longer unique but it works great for me.
Durable devices. My Bold has been dropped a few times and it still runs great.
RIM will have the newest and most powerful OS out there in just a few months.

Lets face it, RIM will probably NEVER have as many apps as Apple or Android but who cares? My expectation is that RIM continue to improve the UI for users and for app developers.

I'm with RIM and my BlackBerry does what I need it to do BUT it would be nice if some creative developers actually break the old molds and put out some great apps that replace Netflix and Skype. If the RIM guys can actually work their magic on these two it would truly be amazing because what they have to overcome is not technology but corporate politics.

I know this much. Any developer that creates a great content app for BlackBerry is going to make a million bucks or more. I'd buy it and so would most other BlackBerry users. This is why RIM is going to survive and thrive in the end. It makes sense. Plain and simple. Ironically, the small and medium developers (which RIM was late to focus on) are going to help propel RIM for a great comeback.

I agree with the majority of what you wrote, that within business there are politics that must be overcome and RIM at the moment may have a more difficult task overcoming them then Apple or Google. RIM although can and absolutely should put as much money as possible into getting Netflix and Skype and even Instagram among others...these will not be used by the current hardcore BlackBerry user's who love the keyboard, and email and security, but it will be a deciding factor for people looking for a new phone come 2013 and want the OPTION to use these applications.

Apple and Google provide these options and its the user to decide if they want to use Skype or Netflix or whether they need it that ONE time well then they at least have it for that one use. BlackBerry just needs it in the App World, whether its the number 1 downloaded or purchased app is not what matters, it could even be the least downloaded application on BlackBerry, but at least it will bring potential customers over to BB10 knowing its at least there.

With the comment about how any developer that creates great content app for BlackBerry making million bucks or more, thats obviously not true. We have seen the numbers and BlackBerry users will be more likely to spend money for applications they need to use, and for that developers make good money off the ecosystem, but with less downloads an app on the App Store for $.99 will be downloaded 50 million times, meanwhile the same functional app on BlackBerry will cost $3.99 and be downloaded 10 million times...on average blackberry users will spend more, but apple is able to lower prices due to high number of downloads...

BlackBerry absolutely needs the big named applications to MARKET the phone and ecosystem, and this is what other companies like Apple and Google take for granted at the moment that they can brag about the number of apps and people overlook the negatives about the phone OS itself.

Once RIM and BlackBerry 10 show the mass media and consumers that BB10 is a much more powerful OS experience than iOS, and BB10 offers the same big name apps as iOS does..well then we will see the numbers starting to change DRASTICALLY as people flock to their iPhone and Apple (I see this constantly) and they brag about how they have this app or that app and BlackBerry doesnt...but I show them how I can post pictures to FaceBook directly from my Native Photo App on BB and they arent excited over that ability because its baked into the OS and people overlook those little things and just say "oh well I can just go into FaceBook to do that"...but clearly BlackBerry had it right with making the OS perfect as Apple is now integrating FaceBook into the OS...RIM was beyond other mobile phones for years, just behind in the app race, and that is what these past few years have been all about...APPS...

But like almost 10 years ago RIM owned with their Email abilities, and Apple owned with Apps 5 years ago...seems to be a change occurring at the moment and in the Fall we will see some drastic changes...and there will be another new ability that phones will offer that will sell like hotcakes...again email was it 10 years ago, 5 years ago started with touchscreen and apps, and this fall (or next year) will be _________________ (something) but it is happening and apps will not be the major selling point in the near future as all platforms will have the SAME APPS...

BlackBerry with the same big name apps as iPhone, watch the users flock to BlackBerry due to the much better overall phone experience...

Bob Dylan says it best...Times They Are A'Changing ...RIM is changing with the times and Apple is stuck in 2007

I agree. Partners and potential partners have become competitors. We can absolve RIM of the failure to recognise this though. It has been said for too long but RIM didn't make it easy for themselves by missing the winhdow of taking their strategy onto the next level. The deficiencies of BBOS wouldn't have been so glaring if they had done so. It was a mistake to not future proof in market demand devices and enabling them to run future OSes, from OS5 at least. Imagine BB7 was meant to be 6.1 but no device would have it so we went to 7 but just got a few tweaks.
How can we blame Skype when there is no BB smart phone that has a FCC? BlackBerry never supported Skype when they were a stand alone company and when RIM ruled the smartphones roost. Suddenly Skype must come to RIM's rescue? Under the tutelage of a direct competitor WP7/WP8?
How come RIM never leveraged BBM into a video call enabled client or something else whilst competitors snapped at their feet with whatsapp, imessage, Facebook messenger etc. At least if Skype won't come to the party then launch your rival service. BB10 in the PB guise is hard to support for most developers. RIM didn't even put a proper bbm or twitter app on it. Then how do anyone who doesn't need RIM support it? It is not easy.
I dare say nothing of this hasn't been said about RIM and they themselves do not know. Fair to say they are working on it.

I like your comment about BBM Video Chat...I do not know why they have not tried to make this happen, but I have a feeling we will be seeing this within BB10 only makes sense since they have Video Chat on the PlayBook and it shows you who else has Video Chat and if they are available...this is a sneak peak of what BB10 BBM and Video Chat will have...all your BBM contacts obviously have a BlackBerry, so they will/SHOULD include a simple "Video Chat" icon at the bottom so you can change from a BBM chat directly into a Video Chat without skipping a beat...BBM = BlackBerry Messenger (as we all know), but BBM could be a Skype replacement for those with BlackBerry products as you can message each other, and in an instant start a video chat with that person to add the personal touch to the conversation...

RIM and BB10 have to make this feature happen, it is not a question at this point that they absolutely must do this because it will only be a matter of time before another company makes this the moment BlackBerry can make it the most fluid and efficient method with BBM and Video Chat

I might be an odd one, but the only deal breaker for me when it comes to BB10 is whether or not there will be a good running app like RunKeeper available at launch. The handful of apps that I would want other than a good running app are going to be there so it's really down to that one issue for me.

There's an important aspect to sales called "handling objections". The theory goes that if you handle all of a theoretical customer's objections to buying your product, they have no reason not to commit.

When popular apps aren't available for a given platform, each one becomes a potential "objection", even if the customer never actually USES that app. If a theoretical customer goes to buy a Playbook now, they might have all manner of friends/family complain "but it doesn't have Skype/Netflix/Flipbook! How could you?!"

Again, that customer might not even ever USE any of those apps, but each one potentially becomes grounds for a reason to say "no" to the device.

And the fewer "no's" there are, the more "yes's" you'll wind up with.

I actually think skype and the rest will be on the platform at launch, maybe RIM paid them :>

You don't understand how hot the dev alpha looks!

RIM is actively pursuing 100 developers on a list, this is excellent news!

Developers are excited about BB10 and great tools are available, this is excellent news!

The dev alpha device shows BB10 will have excellent specs!

Now RIM...what are you doing about marketing...bland marketing won't cut it!!!!!

I would also like to know how devices will sync, e.g. Phone + playbook + desktop computer + cloud, consumers need to see how easy it is!

It really escapes me why anyone would want a mobile version of Netflix. How can such a trivial thing be a deal breaker?

The only usable option I see is when you're travelling a lot for long periods of time.. and you're unable to bring a laptop or a tablet.. and then you might want to check out a film or a tv series episode. But that's really it!

When I travel to places with only my Playbook and want to pass the time then I would love to have access to Netflix.

Also, when I am away from my TV upstairs and desktop upstairs, I would love to access to my Netflix via my Playbook whilst I am lying in bed or give to my daughter to entertain her.

Those are just a couple use cases.

Users have a lot of options for watching TV and movies...for free

Almost every tv station has a video section on their website and BB10 phones will be 4G and they'll have excellent browsers...

But that's not enough. People choose services like Netflix because it works in a variety of devices, and does not require you to enter various sites of stations until you find a program that you want to see. Everything is in simplicity, in seeking a show, get the episode you want to see, and see the episode.

Netflix is a big brand that most people know, though.

Many of the critics haven't even considered that Crackle/YouTube Movies runs GREAT on a Playbook, or that there are a great many other alternatives are around.

People want that "branded experience".

While I see your point, Netflix blows.. hard!! Bring on Blockbuster/Dish Network and create some combo app that allows streaming movies (new releases) and streaming TV (via Dish and Sling)... folks, we have a winner!!!

Actually, depends on how you use it. I would like to connect my PlayBook in my TV and use it to watch Netflix, without having to buy an set top box just for Netflix.

Halfbrick is particularly interesting since Jetpack Joyride still isn't on Android yet. It would cause a bit of a ruckus if it ended up launching on BB10 first.

This is old news..Alec confirmed this on twitter months ago.

We all know Rim is trying to get the top 100 apps but what we dont know is if its working.

...and, ultimately, it's a business decision on the part of the individual companies.

The bigger question might be, what commitments does RIM have right now, and are sitting on until the BB10 intro?

As a power business user (I have used a BB since 2000) - these App's are necessary for the company to be taken seriously by investment professionals for BB10.

- Bloomberg Anywhere APP
- Barron's App
- Economist (see they launched a Playbook App)
- NY Times App
- Open Table -
- Sono's
- Google Map App

All with full integration to PIM applications (except Sono's). With a Cascades UI all these app's would stand out above the competition if natively designed.

It has been confirmed that GoogleMaps will not be on BB10. RIM has partenered with TomTom for the BB10(as did Apple make that same announcement a short time later). I use GoogleMaps all the time (Torch9800) and I'm glad TomTom is now on board with BB10 because GoogleMaps doesn't run as smoothly as I've seen it run on an iPhone.

That is not entirely accurate. RIM's default mapping tool will be based on TomTom but there is nothing stopping Google from releasing a Google Maps app for PlayBook, except maybe stupidity.

Even with RIM courting 100 plus major developers.... users are sitting there with the usual..."well if it does not have _____________....... Does not matter if Netflix and Slype show up..... People with have a list of other "must have" app to compalin is not at BB10 lauch.... Does not matter how good BB10 is it is this additude that in the long run could sink the launch.... it seems to be human nature.... if it does not have ____ then it is no good.... sad......

Love that RIM has an active team helping out developers.
Would love for RIM to encourage said developers to publicly show some samples.
Anything that propels and gives the appearance of forward movement can only work in RIM's favor.

Sponsored by RIM in their Jam sessions? Sure; can't hurt.

But RIM needs to diversify and find new news outlets. Reach out to online communities such as endgadget, gizmodo, wired, ars, etc. to seed some preview shots, short videos, joint interviews (Adam's teams + developer), etc.

be very open about it; this is RIM paying money to these sites to publish such articles, not being coy or pretending it's the sites that demanded news about Jetpack Joyride for BB10.

Lifehacker has a site dedicated to their preferred apps ( Time for RIM to spend some cash and add a section for OS7.1 and QNX-based OS to get people in the know. Curiosity could generate clicks that give a clear idea to people only partially informed that there ARE apps for these platforms.

RIM just above $9. The company is fighting to stay alive! M&S wrote a devastating piece about them today.

He is a consumer, RIM needs to pay attention to what consumers want, because, if they don't.... people won't have a reason to buy a BB10 phone / tablet.

If RIM pays attention to the individual crybaby who says "you better have this app or else..." that's a band approach.

Honestly, I would like a Skype and a Gist app... but I'm not sure why everyone is getting all bent out of shape about Netflix. I activated a free trial this weekend and the selection is HORRIBLE, unless you want to watch old movies and tv shows. Bring on Blockbuster/Dish Network and ditch Netsuxs.

Will BB Travel, Traffic and Protect be on BB10 at launch? Kevin, I don't get it. RIM has not been able to write these apps for the PB, considering that these are their own apps yet we keep bugging these other companies to write apps for the PB and now BB10. I doubt they will. Sorry to sound negative but RIM appears less focused than they were a year ago.

I pray that Slingmedia is on that list, or my next upgrade I fear i will be switching ships.

PS, just because you have an un-natural hate for certain apps and don't see why they're needed, just read the news, you'll see exactly why they're needed...

Absolutely agree on the above comment. The Canadian version of netflix is horrid. By all means my fellow playbook owners, use the flash capabilities of this device. Free streaming sites like have many tv series' and episodes. Get a micro hdmi to hdmi converter for your tv and you are set. I am catching up on the latest true blood as i type this

This is certainly news that isn't negative - I hope RIM realizes that a released BB10 phone that lacks Skype will have more people flee the product than would be interested in it - not only that but the reviewers will start the flesh eating like there is no tomorrow. If BB10 comes out WITHOUT any excuses I believe they will stop the bleeding dead in it's tracks and build their customer base from there back to a level that removes the company from danger.

RIM has simply ran out of "time-outs" and as such the old 'it will be coming' just won't cut it.

Netflix, Skype... to them the playbook is just a blip on the screen and ZERO phones with the BB10 OS.
Considering an astounding 10mil Galaxy s3 were preorders... I'm probably lying to myself when I think they are seriously listening to what Rim has to say. Rim has no platform to run serious profit for Netflix and with an uncertain future and changes coming in the OS how can you blame Netflix not willing to commit their resources... so they probably don't and Rim is most likely paying them through the nose to develop it.
Skype is now owned by Microsoft and with the Loomia flop and their own hurdles waiting for Windows 8 that will not run on old devices they are not about to give anything to Rim to get the competitive edge until their own product is in good shape.
Amazing, with billions of dollars Rim could not figure out their own systems and with the politics at Rim stupidly squandering these billions like the money is going out of style they need a miracle.
I love my Bold 9900 but I know it is a dead end...

BlackBerry for for those who do.....
not make Skype calls, do not watch Netflix, do not use productivity apps in their work environment (ConnectWise, LabTech, Simple-Help, FortiExplorer, OnForce, Cisco OnPlus, do I need to continue?).

Be bold.

The world gets smaller every day. I run an international division that deals with suppliers and buyers all over the world. I use Skype not only on my desktop while sitting at my desk - but I need a phone that allows me to receive Skype calls from companies that don't keep the same hours we do here in the USA. These suppliers and customers expect to get me when they need me, or they will find someone who values their business. Do I need to continue?

Everyone who says rim needs to do this and that. How many billion dollar companies are you running? None? Then shut the fuck up.

But they can not ignore the comments of its customers.

If they are asking for apps like Netflix, Skype and others, well, they have to pay attention to the requests of them, or RIM may end up losing them to other platforms.

I just want RIM bring decent applications to the PlayBook because, nowadays, apps do not have an experience of use as good as the iPad, and I want them to stop with the "hey, let's add any apps in App World just to say that we have 100,000 apps". Seriously, in the last days I open the App World on my PlayBook, in the section "new stuff", all I see are eBooks and unnecessary Android apps that do not work right.

This is my issue. I've had a Playbook since they gave one out at Blackberry World (2011!!) None of the US based companies want anything to do with RIM now, I think the last App on Playbook by anyone of note is Kayak. I check AppWorld daily and there are no Apps of notes, The gaming section is getting pretty healthy but a lot of big Apps people expect are just not there:

Media Apps (broadcast networks, television, magazine, newspaper)
A decent Map program ...
Travel planning Apps (Trip Advisor, Yelp!, MapQuest etc)
Social Apps - FourSquare, Twitter, IM etc
Finance Apps - Mobile banking, CNBC, Bloomberg etc)

Why doesn't RIM enable DLNA and USB to Go, I have terrabytes of media so have no need for Netflix, Hulu etc. Be the most friendly codec platform and play everything - that would appeal to people.

What gets my annoyed is I know 90% of these work as I've sideloaded the converted APK's so these vendors cannot even bother doing that. That speaks volumes how out of favor RIM is. When a system like the Vita gets Skype / Google Maps and it barely has 250,000 user base you know things are bad.

BB10 will only change things is there is a sizable user base .. couple million would start to attract attention. I'd also target the level B and C players for each App so it squeezes the A level Apps to lose out.

I've been a die-hard RIM supporter since 2001, used pretty much every model BB and use my Playbook daily but it's getting old waiting and waiting. RIM needs a knock them down killer launch of BB10 and a firm release date. Right now it seems their stalling to see what kind of deals they can make. I do think a partnership / platform extension to FaceBook or Amazon would fill key gaps. Right now everyone is making a play for this mobile space. Its the new internet - the growth and potential for profit is there. I hope RIM can make it but negative spin is killing any progress. The market only cares if you make them money, the tech press doesn't care about RIM as it's not a toy (and yes iOS and Android are mostly used for entertainment let's not kid ourselves).

Well said and amen. Funny the tablet of tools not toys getting games before key business apps. This is the same hurry up and wait we've been getting since the PlayBook was released. I thought the Android app emulator was going to solve the problem and remain disappointed. Alec Saunders can stand there with engineers at the ready all he wants is he going to leave them there to support the app after it's created? Perfect example? The PlayBook browser is perfectly capable of playing the web based live broadcasts of MLB games. And yet try and go to you only get the mobile browser. No option to go to the full site. There is a work around. Send the full site link by email to your PlayBook email. Hit the link for the game you want - you get "device not supported". WHY! The next work around is to send the link of the particular game you might like to watch - and that works just fine, if you have a desktop close at hand to send it. But you can't go from game to game as you could if the device was supported. This is absurd. As far as I know you can't watch any of the major 4 sports on your PlayBook easily - and there is absolutely no reason for it. Except the leagues don't believe the amount of money they have to spend to support BB phones and PlayBooks is money well spent.

New Platform under 10k apps quite a possibility = epic fail! RIM should have pushed the app revolution from since OS6 but no so stocks below $10 again.

I am an "ordinary and average consumer" user.

I just don't get it, why we even have a topic to discuss whether a bb10 as a great new platform will get this app or that app. If bb10 is a great future platform which is rock solid with an impressive SDK and could do more than other platforms (such as iOS, Android, WinPhone 8, etc) provide, then bb10 platform will have no problem to attract developer to be in this platform, therefore we will have abundant quality apps in this rock solid future os. So the consumer (and NOT the businesses) would be happy to get this another future toy. Businesses are only need communication tool, remember?

Again, as an "ordinary and average consumer" user, I think I would be ok with other platforms' security feature even though "well informed and qualified IT" people tell me that even bb7 os has a better security features than other platforms. But again, I am not a manager or CEO of Fortune 500 companies and I am also not a government employees that have sensitive data in my mobile so as an "ordinary and average consumer" user, I think I would be ok with other platforms' security features.

Now, I am still wondering what features that I am exactly waiting from this bb10 that exceeds and even "leap-frog"s other platforms? I feel that "flow + glance + peek" is only gesture on steroid just like bbm is chat/messaging on steroid. It is interesting to see how flow will manage a running (for example) 100+ apps? The same question for me just like how "live tiles and hub-s" in windows phone will handle 100+ apps. I think we all must go back to the home screen, eh? As a background, I have used Palm pda since 2002 and I bought a lot of programs (166+) from Palm Gear at that time and we have a lot of customized launchers (the best was ZLauncher) even at that time.

BTW, I only have 8520 for BBM as an ordinary consumer user and I do not use it much anymore nowadays since a lot of my BBM contacts are jumping ship to other platforms. So this 8520 still does voice calling, text and email very good (if BIS is still around). So could anybody enlighten me why I need bb10 since I could use other platforms' fun features to toy around if I want to.

Yes RIM does need the top 100 apps in app world on day one to not get completely ripped to shreds by sales people like Windows Phone has been.

But, equally important is that RIM does everything in its power to leverage the strengths of QNX. With both apple and Microsoft making a big push into auto RIM needs to get the CAR 2 Platform deals inked and automakers on board to help RIM be the phone that best integrates into your vehicle. PLUS RIM needs to push back against microsoft's efforts to grow their position in enterprise. Docs to Go needs a complete TAT Cascades overhaul and RIM needs to succeed with mobile fusion. Maybe partner with former QNX owner Harmon international for a kick ass home automation solution. RIM needs to compete against the others ecosystems beyond just phones. RIM needs to compete and generate new revenue streams in areas outside of phones and tablets to show customers that owning a blackberry device can have a beneficial impact on their lives outside of calls and texts and emails.

LinkedIn PLEASE! I have the latest greatest Blackberry phone and NO LINKEDIN!!!! And I guess, that while bb10 might get linkedin, and I have it on my playbook, sideloaded, my 7.1 bold 9930 will never get it????

I have a few thoughts... Blackberry products don't attract new users because they don't have the apps that are 'popular'. If young adults and teens, or any demographic, can't interact with the same apps, they are not going to buy the product. I've yet to see, in the last few years, someone at the electronics stores go in to look or buy a blackberry. Even a lot of people I meet through work, I notice have a berry for work and an iPhone or android for personal use.

Buying a phone has become synonymous with buying a new 'gadget'. RIM needs to attract new customers. They can't survive on selling to the traditional white collar crowd. They have to find a way to appeal to more demographics and make people want to use the product all day long in and outside of work.

There is not enough people like myself. I use my berry for work because it emails and stores contacts very well. I was issued an android for work and it quickly became pieces of miscellaneous electronic gadgetry on the floor at the base of a brick wall. I love how Blackberries integrate contacts and emailing, but all the other Web surfing and apps, not so much. The one thing I do miss about the android phone was the browser. Surfing on my old bold 9700 or my new curve is almost intolerable.

I think that the QNX system has to do everything traditionally blackberry very well, improve Web browsing, media and all the app fluff that becomes the ecosystem for it to succeed. Just being better at what is traditional blackberry won't cut it. I think people will buy other products that are adequate at what blackberry excel at, but do everything else that is fun, well.

you empty headed animal food trough wiper. I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries.

Precisely why I am not a BlackBerry fan. What should have been done by default is being 'worked on' now that the Company is in dire straits.
Too little too late, I guess

No they will not make it to OS7, OS6, nor OS5. That in itself will be RIM's biggest problem. They have no harmony between app versions. It's like starting all over again with BB10. We'll see how it plays out.

At Least RIM is not alone in this problem as Windows Phone faces a similar issue as Windows Phone 8 Apps will not run on older versions of the OS because they swapped out the Windows CE Kernel for the Windows NT Kernel for Windows Phone 8, screwing over their existing customer base with no upgrade path except to buy a new phone. At least the OS 7 BlackBerrys are almost a year old, the Nokia Lumia Phones in North America are only a couple months old and already they will be yesterdays news this fall. Hopefully that scares a few people away from Windows Phone and RIM had better make long term support a BIG part of their marketing message when BB 10 drops.

But, we still have the problem that our ecosystem is incomplete and apps are only PART of the ecosystem these days. RIM really needs to get some deals inked for CAR 2, Mike L's home automation stuff better still be in the pipeline etc. Apple is putting Siri in cars, Microsoft is redoubling it's efforts for automotive, not to mention enterprise. RIM needs to have a better solution ready to go and stop auditioning to host a remake of Pimp My Ride with demo vehicles. Get deals DONE. Get the platform in actual production vehicles. Give people reasons aside from apps to choose a BlackBerry. Plus get the second generation PlayBook out at the same time as BB 10 and make it available in at least two sizes.

Agreed; the inability to migrate from OS6 to OS7 has been the most frustrating aspect of owning my otherwise awesome Torch 9800. I have only 100% praise for this device; it's 'fallen' (hard) dozens of times gets used ALL day and half the night, and just keeps on ticking.

I think everyone understands how more memory and CPU power are necessary to drive new, more advanced functions, but there has GOT to be more consideration for current users & the devices to support when developing the next evolutionary step of an OS and the software it drives.

Now, to be fair, Android is little-different between its iterations on most devices, but that's of zero consequence to me, the BB OS6 owner and user who wants OS7.

But, backwards compatability to at least 1, but preferrably 2 or 3, generation of devices should be Required or Guaranteed. The fact that it's not for BB's legacy OS is incredibly shortsighted and disappointing, at best.
THAT's the real "Fail" here.

RIM thought they could produce a similar product to Netflix & Skype and avoid working with these two apps and companies. I still doubt that either app will ever be able.

Well that is disappointing to hear as it means we will not be getting these apps short term on the playbook (which to me means long term since i have had my pb for a while now). Owning the playbook has been like cheering for my good old toronto maple but filled with the regular let downs.

Zach said; "By no means are they sitting in their offices waiting for companies to submit their applications onto the platform."

And here's the problem. You're talking like this is some great thing that RIM is doing. Well, I would expect nothing less from a company that is quickly fading into irrelevance. Most of these apps should already have been here, not "currently in development" or some such nonsense. RIM can't even give us the ability to open 2 pdf's simultaneously and it took them a year to get the Playbook where it should have been at launch.

The quicker you guys stop trying to pump their tires and make excuses for them the quicker they'll either get their act together or get out of the business.

I, for one, am tired of waiting and tired of excuses.

I never seen so much flame as on Playbook-Skype issue.
Taking in regard past failures or RIM makes me to be a quiet bit unfaithfull to their promises.

Ad 1). Skype is own by Microsoft and it has closed code. Why and how third party developers could write the Skype app. ?

Ad 2) Why RIM does not develop some Winn/OSX desktop app which will be able to videochat with Playbooks instead ??

Ad3) I would even more appreciate if BB10 is able to transfer files over Bluetooth and to be able read and write USB OTG flash disks.

hey soberone: take a look at your Playbook ... it HAS a video-connect app on it ... but far as I know it's not skype-compatible and (seems to?) only connect to / work with other Playbooks (current Blackberries don't have a front-facing camera, so there's no point).

You're right, of course, about Skype & Microsoft. HOWEVER, RIM can (and it seems "IS") offer to develop a Skype-app for BB "on its own / by itself".
Clearly, they need "legal" access to the source code, which Skype would have to license to them - otherwise it's "IP-lawsuit" time again.

Where RIM has a case is that Skype seems to be available on Android (someone, please confirm!!) which means there is precedent of them making code available to "other" platforms.
IF Skype/MS refuses to do it for RIM, there's the basis for an anti-trust lawsuit by the US government (similar to the IE browser case in the 1990s).

I haven't tried the Bluetooth file transfer yet on the Playbook, but I believe it CAN be done on a Blackberry.
You "sure" it doesn't work ... or are there some settings you should change first?

There are only 4 major mobile smartphone operating systems- iOS, Android, BlackBerry OS, and Windows.

Apple and RIM are the only brands that market their devices and software as a complete package. You will not find iOS software on an HTC Samsung or Motorola device. Neither will you see blackberry os on LG NOKIA and or Pantech equipment. Android market share is partially due to oversaturating thier os amongst every manufacturer across every carrier. In turn, it is more prevalent. Apple's market share is anchored by it consumer base of ipods ipad and mac users. Windows is attempting to gain a piece of the pie through ads ads and more ads. ALL THOSE DEVICES are the SAME with little to minor hardware and software differences!!!! The iphone has the same software no matter the make and model. If you had every android available and pick one blind folded at random it wouldn't be much different from the next one you'd choose. Windows phones are oversimplified smartphone operating systems with a "work in progress app store" available in different colors. Consumers are anxious for something new and fresh as the only popular choices are iOS and android. BlackBerry users are the crux of the original smartphone demographic. However, the wants and needs of that demographic have changed over the years and in some ways stayed the same. The changes include the desire for applications, interface, and network performance. Things that remained the same are battery life, reception and voice call quality. RIM is hands down the best at the latter. Upon the launch of the first bb10 products, it is imperative that RIM executes flawlessly delivering a product that's fully loaded. There can't be essentials missing nor new features that get in the way of practicality. There is no doubt in my mind that RIM can regain traction and turn the company around. The same users that were originally blackberry owners that have switched equipment can be won over. RIM just needs to give them a reason to do so, which it hasn't in nearly 4 years. The market is primed for something different...BB10

RIM's making a desirable platform to work with as a Developer, not just "another" platform. You just need to follow @BlackberryDev to see just how many developers are singing the praises of RIM, the new Platform and the new Developer tools. RIM is trying to be a company that actually cares for it's developers. Pumping Dev Alpha devices out, offering free Playbooks "Remember, back in January/February?", the $10,000 incentive to make a "Quality app" and the ease of porting existing apps to the new platform.

With the exception of Microsoft and Amazon. Third party developers don't care about particular platforms, or one platform beating another. Developers want to make money and/or reach as wide audience as possible. Anyone who developed on Blackberry before (like myself) can vouch for the appalling development tools offered back then. It's refreshing to see RIM has "seen the light" and prioritized WHAT is important to make this new platform a success... Developers.

I have a playbook. The only reason I will not buy another one (and will be buying the Google Nexus tablet when it comes out) is that it doesn't have Skype.... I don't care so much about Netflix, but a lot of others do. The other thing is that the tablet does not support CONSUMER GRADE VPN - this means PPTP, OpenVPN, etc... This is a must for working in a public hotspot such as airports, starbucks, mcdonalds, and hotel wifi. I cannot understand, for the life of me, why they would not support this. Almost all dual bay NAS devices have FTP, VPN, and SSH built into them, yet I cannot use these services with the playbook.

The only advantage the Playbook had was the on screen mouse cursor when you hooked up a bluetooth keyboard and mouse. This is extremely important for RDP sessions. Now, with the latest version of Android, that capability is available on that platform. With that, the playbook has lost it's usefulness. There is no need for me to keep the playbook.

Once I end up buying an Android tablet, there will be no hope for RIM to gain this customer back (me).

Bought wife a playbook. Nice and shiny. No netflix, no skype. She'd rather have the Apple. PERIOD.

RIM was dead in the water when it had 100% of the business market and failed to go after business intelligence, car telemetry... I remember in 2005, father in law purchased a brand new BMW with his bonus... Buddy can hardly turn on a computer and here he is trying to sync his BB to some crappy BMW UI. RIM should have been in there, wasn't, now it's useless...

Look at this website: it's called crackberry. Yet at the top of the screen it has neatly placed a link to all the other OS-s.... See ya later, hope you're wait(s) are enjoyable... I'm out.

When/IF BB10 comes out, I'll have a peek. By then I will likely have gone through at least a couple of tablets. Brutal Canadian tech wreck, Nortel de ja vu.

Let's see if we understand this: "you bought your wife a Playbook that does a LOT - from pictures to music to many "other" functions - VERY well, but Skype is the absolutely ONLY thing she's interested in?"

AND, ... you purchased said Playbook knowing full well that Skype was NOT available for it - which was KNOWN almost from Day 1! - anyway?

Also, how is ANYTHING in your description of your father-in-law's troubles ANY of RIM's or his BB's fault? The iPhone didn't even come out until then, AND "CARS" didn't have Aux-In connectors (except audio-only plugs or proprietary CD-changes plugs) until AT LEAST "maybe" 2008 (mine's a 2007 & has nothing!). How long has QNX been the OS for BMW's audio system ... does anyone know??

So lay off the rhetoric and griping; Go get yourself something else and just be happy, please, and don't let the door hit you on the way out.

I DO agree with your assessment of the "tech wreck," though; maybe not Nortel-style "just yet," but close with potential either way.

I was in a meeting today and we were using Skype to teleconference with Europe... It worked great... But I still got upset with skype because their "get Skype for your mobile phone!" promotion at the bottom included a picture of a device (that may have been a drawing) that was unmistakably a Bold 9000! With the white trackball and everything!

Ok, Skype, where exactly can I get Skype for BBOS5?! And I don't mean that pathetic excuse of a Verizon exclusive abomination turd.

I am just one month user of Blackberry. I can't wait this BB10 anymore, I hope that they will release this soon. I am now a certified Blackberry addict, lol!

Everybody Relax! Rim is working on switching the android sandbox from 2.3.3 to 4.1. when they release it to the public (maybe sometime around mid-march, wink, wink). the entire android catalogue will be available. ecosystem absorbed!
BTW, since BB10 can run a full browser, can you get to netflix that way?

Hey... still waiting for skype on Playbook!!! Will it ever be there?! Any chance?! perhaps if Fairfax takes over?