A quick video look at the BlackBerry Blend Beta dashboard

By Bla1ze on 12 May 2014 12:54 pm EDT

Now that we've have some time to play around with the latest BlackBerry OS 10.3 leak and poke around the files a bit more, we've also dug some more info on the BlackBerry Blend Beta. Previously we showed you some images of how it looks and how we thought it would all work together but we've found some new information as well that's certainly interesting and offers some insight as to where BlackBerry is going with this.

  • Most definitely a web interface that will run on any HTML5 enabled device. BlackBerry has also included device checks to ensure it will work properly. Of those devices supported there is the BlackBerry PlayBook, Android tablets, iPads and of course, desktops.
  • They appear to also be working on apps for Android and iOS as well, likely container apps which serve as launchers to the interface.
  • You'll be able to pair your device(s) by barcode or NFC. For example, launch the BlackBerry Fuse application on your tablet and scan the barcode or ensure that NFC is enabled on your tablet, press the 'Pair' button, and place your devices back-to-back.
  • When you connect from a browser you are greeted with a dashboard page which gives you the summary from each application linked to fuse. Default ones are BBM, SMS, Email, Hub, Calendar, Contacts. You can then go into one specifically and pretty much do exactly what you can do on device.
  • Third-party apps can also interface with the dashboard. There will be developer API's available and apps such as Box, Dropbox and BlackBerry Express are noted in the system already.
  • Supports a file manager system, meaning you can push files to your other devices from your BlackBerry and vice-versa.

You can click play on the video above to get a look at in action though, it is a limited demo of sorts and not fully functional. It just offers a look at how it will all work and how you'll be interfacing with it whenever BlackBerry gets around to finally making it official.

Reader comments

A quick video look at the BlackBerry Blend Beta dashboard


I want this for my job place. This way I can contact all my employees from my desktop and in the house all of my friends. Pure awesomeness....

Although BlackBerry should have shut up about this one and just launched it when ready cause this way you will soon see WhatsApp on desktop before this gets out. Mark my words

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It really is going to be great if executed properly. BlackBerry should have been the first with the cloud services seeing as how they were kinda dancing at the gates of it so early on but I guess you live and learn.

Although this was a contained demo, I really hope the final product moves just as smoothly. It will also be awesome to be able to just jump on the web and start using BBM. So good.

Definitely lots of potential there but BlackBerry needs this to work seamlessly and get it out and available quickly!

Posted via CB10

Exactly. Especially with more and more info becoming publicly available these days. They can't afford to wait another 6 or 12 months for it to be out. Don't want the competition to rush out a functional similar service before BB does. Just this once, let it be handled quick and correct.

Technically speaking, anyone who has 10.3 installed has it. It's just blocked by PIN. If you know how to work with Node.js, Angular and Grunt though you can make some magic happen lol.

So, you mentioned that pairing will be via NFC and/or bar code scanning. Any idea what the connection options will be? USB, network (wifi, wifi direct), bluetooth, etc?

What I'm really getting at is, will I be able to connect to the html5 service using my work laptop browser without having to install anything that requires admin rights?

Posted via CB10

As far as I know, it creates a local server on whatever device and then you can just visit it via a browser window. There may be other options but I can't find them if there is.

Will we be able to migrate the calendar, contacts, and bbm chats to the device we pair it with?

From my z30

I recall Symbian S60 2nd Edition by Nokia had a similar application that did something similar to this ... limited to hosting a web based site from your S60 smartphone, then using SMS to chat back and forth, you able to blog and a few other things. The code went public and this was over 4yrs ago! I'm curious if some of that code came here somehow? Hmmmm.

So we're expecting Blend to be a part of BES initially and not available to the public right?

Posted via CB10

Can not imagine limiting it to BES. This is essentially an evolution of BlackBerry Bridge which was not limited.

Looks cluttered and confusing just like channels on BB10 does. Channels is the dumbest thing ever

Posted via CB10 for Z30

Good attitude to have if you DON'T want customers.

He's right, it looks cluttered and the experience is horrendous at this point. I still don't understand why BlackBerry doesn't create a cloud service, it's always based off the device. I don't know if this is for security or if they just don't want to build the infrastructure, but everyone is moving toward device-independent services and data, and we're still stuck to the phone. Why can't I sign in to BBM or view my Calendar or access my BB contacts from anywhere? They're still relying on third-party services to allow people to sync everything up, I think that a huge opportunity exists in just simplifying things rather than complicating them. Nobody has hit the cloud/sync experience on the head yet, not Apple and certainly not Google, but it looks like BB isn't getting any closer with this "one device multiple screens" approach. Maybe the point isn't universal access to my content, in which case I will pass on this. Why use two devices when I can just use one?

You got all that from a 1 minute video of it? It's far from horrendous and is actually quite amazing how it's all built. You're seeing a portion of it here, not the full window. There's more to see. But, if that's all you got from it then so be it. I'll just say, you'll likely be surprised when it's fully shown off. :)

He has a lot of valid points. From the video it looks like its cluttered far from finished. I think his concerns are right as a BlackBerry fan. I hope Blend experience gets better, personally I lost interest after I hearing it was going to be browser based.

It looks amazing, the concept itself is awesome... you say there is more in there, are you able to show more or is not functional yet?

Can't wait to have this feature, seat at my office with my BlackBerry in a Window in my PC, I think the future of mobile is this concept somehow, small portable devices that somehow pair to bigger interfaces.

Posted via CB10

What are you talking about. This is a brilliant idea and one that revolutionize communication and how we use the cloud simultaneously. The UI looks like a simplified Windows 8 and all the communication platforms packed in. M2M is starting to smack us in the face boys and girls.

Posted via CB10

It has nothing to do with flat design. Think just a minute how this will change your day to day routine. Pretty impressive M2M implications.

Posted via CB10

I think it's pretty clear that this is a very, very rough and early beta, with different teams working on different areas independent of each other, with little attempts made to standardized or integrate the UI.

In other words: Keep your panties on; it'll get better.

It looks top class so far. Question though: is there speak of being able to use the BlackBerry built-in GPS for any apps that might require it? This would be a real boon if so!

Posted via CB10

No mention of that specifically, just that third party apps can interact with it. No broader explanation.

Posted via CB10

This sets blackberry apart from the others.

There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Bingo, you hit the jackpot. If BlackBerry pulls this off in the next 6-9 months, everything else is going to look antiquated. Make it so Mr. Chen.

Posted via CB10

Bingo .........walk up to an Ipad down load the container App secured by BlackBerry and Blend away ....send info , then sign off secure free no info left behind. I am sure the hackers are getting hungry if this catches on to hack the container app

Hate to burst your bubble but Samsung kinda already does this. My sister has an application on her laptop which allows her to control and access everything on her gs4, this includes BBM, text, pics, games, you name it. So yeah, they kinda beat BlackBerry into getting BBM (not including Bluestacks) on the desktop first. But, this looks much better.

This isn't about downloading a program and hard coupling you mobile to a computer screen. This Is about a wireless connection and two devices actively interacting with one another.

Posted via CB10

I'm going to love this, as I sit at my desktop most of my day. Can't wait for the next 10.3 leak. :-)

Will be a battery saver to. Will be able to "use" my BlackBerry via my laptop, while at work, with using the BlackBerry screen.

Need to have a non-BB phone version as well for BBM, with teasers of what other features that the user is missing by not having a BlackBerry phone.

Posted via CB10

Looks awesome..
I expect and very much hope it's like with windows PC now, where if you have wifi on and you automagically see it.

The interface could use some work, not sure what the bottom half is but it seems like wasted space.

Please make this available to consumers as well as BES

Posted via CB10

that really could be a game changer! hope it's fully baked when 10.3 launches (and i hope that 10.3 launches soon!)

I'll use this more often and it might be used more than what id use my smartphone. Perfect when in the office or when your smart phone is on charge.

Posted via CB10

My only concern is that you'd need your phone with you at all times to use it. I get that nowadays everybody always has their phone at least near them but what is that radius that it will work within. If I'm home and my phone is charging can I access it from two stories up or down?

If my Z10 will act as a web server do make this UI possible, can my IE on my desktop access this web server via USB?

the developer APIS will provide a platform for extremely cool apps. Very excited to see where this goes.

Posted via CB10

Very exciting! It reminds me of the Hiptop/Sidekick dashboard (however that was cloud based). Totally happy for this to be device driven... it looks like their intention is for this to replace link eventually.

Posted via CB10

This would really be great. An interface browser type service that will let me use my data securely no matter what platform I'm on!

Posted via CB10

My understanding is that it's a portal of BBM, SMS, Calendar, Contacts, Email, and supported apps to display on another device (desktop monitor, tablet, etc.). By having this Blend UI on your desktop, for example, you can send BBM messages, emails, etc. while working on the office or home computer. The plus side to this is that it is universal.

I'm sure I'm missing something but that's my understanding of it.

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Hey Blaze,
this looks like a computer app.. in the settings, one of the options was, turn on ON computer startup... if it was a browser interface then that wouldn't be an option.

It doesn't need to be an app to run as a service. And on top of that, what you're seeing is part of the developer portion. In other words, some of it is developer only options. ;)

First we wanted everything from our PC on our phones and now we want our phones on our PC... lol

Posted via CB10

So is this essentially a website running on the phone that can be accessed via an paired device?

WOW..just wow!!!!! Want want want!!!.mind blowing with a capitol M....with blend well all be closer to having star trek like communication devices In our hAnds...blend will make our blackberrys a Swiss army knife of communication methods.
This is definitely a game changer for our beloved blackberry!


Posted via CB10

Hey Bla1ze ****
I liked the video. Loved it. But if anyone from BlackBerry is reading this comment, here is my feedback
**1 . Do not make it dependent on connecting your phone. Make it available on cloud.
If that's too much work, maybe you could make subset of this available on cloud? For example, for certain features (like file manager, text messages, hub) you must connect your phone. But for others like BBM - user just needs to login with BBM ID. No need to connect your phone for that. All you need to do is allow multiple/simultaneous logins and sessions of BBM.

**2. Release this (even with limited features) FAST! Then keep adding more features every 6-8 weeks. But release this fast. iPhone users have iCloud so releasing this quickly would give BlackBerry user Blend to talk about! Release this next month or the month after. But definitely BEFORE the end of summer! Before BACK-TO-SCHOOL starts!

awesome. if (when) this ever goes public, i hope it gives us the ability to do, view and edit BlackBerry Express docs.

saw the app/icon, so i hope it come true.

love my BlackBerry!

Posted via CB10

Good stuff. Hope this is just the start, and they add cloud services / cloud integration. I don't want Google...

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

This is incredible i can not wait.... but yes before this is released this has to work smoothly and then out quickly.

Posted via CB10

Blackberry Blend is one of the elements that will save Blackberry! And It will increase sales of OS10.
Release it as soon as possible!
It 'a very important utility!

For the first time i used bbm almost to its core and to be honest can't find anything to complain about quite the opposite my kids got over 50 other kids to download bbm today along ...time for BlackBerry to blow people's minds in real time not 6 months from now when others are catching up.......

Posted via CB10

Made transatlantic video calls and screen sharing at the worst time...(during storm) and it worked amazingly.... all others are just copy cats long live blackberry, always stay real......

Posted via CB10

They need to add voicemail to Blend, like Google Voice. In addition BB should take it a step further and offer an enhanced Voicemail tool from the hub that you could attach to appointments and emails.