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Special Edition CrackBerry Podcast - Following up on our trip to Waterloo for the BlackBerry AGM!

By Kevin Michaluk on 15 Jul 2013 03:25 pm EDT
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Following up on our visit to Waterloo last week to attend the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders and visit BlackBerry HQ, this is our aftermath video. If you filled in our BlackBerry Mega Survey and have been following all of the news since the Q1 Fiscal 2014 BlackBerry earnings report, this is the show you won't want to miss!

Topics: Podcasts

81 comments

offyoutoddle

First in?

Posted via CB10

birdman_38

PlayBook is beyond dead. No OS 10. Only security updates (if we're lucky). Few new apps to come the app store. No additional Bridge functionality. No sprucing up the web browser. No new keyboard.

BlackBerry clearly wants nothing to do with this product. IT'S DEAD! GET OVER IT!!

BlackBerry screwed up royally. It's not like they've never done that before. It's par for the course now. Accept it and move on.

AlwaysSmile

When is it starting?

Posted via CB10 ~ Follow me on Twitter @TheNewsHQ for all news as it happens ~

lorax1284

Bla1ze: My PlayBook is gathering dust because I upgraded to a Z10 and lost the full-functionality Bridge that made the PlayBook a companion for my Torch 9810. I'm not too impressed with how you guys are explaining to us what we already know: are you trying to get the CrackBerry membership to accept why BB let us down, rather than taking BB to task and making it very CLEAR that they ARE letting us down, and that is something they shouldn't be doing? Of course we don't know what you said "off the record" but all I have to go by is what you're saying here.

Kevin: DID you ask Thor "Why not a PlayBook 2.2 with just a much better browser and restored Bridge functionality... throw us a bone?"

Bla1ze, seriously: "PlayBook: not his project". Seriously? Wow.

I trusted YOU guys to represent US to BB management, but it turns out you're representing BB management to US, selling US their bill of goods and apologizing for them dropping the PlayBook.

Look: I'm the king of compromise here: I'd accept JUST a new Browser and restored Bridge functionality. I'm not DEMANDING full BB10 on the PlayBook, but we're not even getting THAT, and here you are trying to get the CrackBerry membership to just accept it and move on.

This is another bad day for the CrackBerry membership. Sad.

123berryaddicted

You speak the truth here. I love my z10, but probably gonna jump ship to BBM on iOS or Android (once it drops this summer).

Fr3lncr

Have to agree. I'm done with being angry about it. (Oddly enough I'm using my PB more recently than before I found out it wouldn't be updated) but lets call a spade a spade instead of making excuses. Heins messed up no matter which way you look at it because he communicated/repeated/reinforced the commitment which came before he was CEO. As soon as he did that, he became responsible. So, Bla1ze, I have to disagree with you on your comment.

Anyways, like I'm said, I'm done with being angry about it. Life's too short and there are more important things going on to belabour it. I'd rather every one tear them a new one to teach them a lesson to meet their own commitments and then just move on. Like pulling off a bandaid, get it over with and hope the memory keeps them inline so they don't screw people over again.

Kevin Michaluk

Not the case. Calm down guys. I *did* go through this.... bottom line it wasn't / isn't going to happen.

Have an idea though lorax1284... how about you join us on our next hangout podcast? We can do it up tomorrow, and you can voice your concerns. Will let you get the message out! It's a community site. Let's get you on there.

lorax1284

EDIT: I posted this between legs of my public-transit commute and it needs some cleaning up.] I would love to... On the road Wednesday, but if it happens tomorrow I will ask you all the questions I would have asked Thor if I could have made it to the AGM if I had time and a larger investment than 1500 shares... But make no mistake, I care about fiscal responsibility as much as customer loyalty: I don't want them dumping $500,000,000 into PlayBook development, but I'm not convinced that marginal investment could not possibly foster goodwill with loyal BB customers like myself: if you have the data to convince me that doing some basic PlayBook OS development was a sound "don't throw good money after bad" decision, I'm all ears... But fair warning: I don't think $10 million would have been too much to spend to save their reputation, but I think the actual cost would be closer to $1,000,000 at a maximum: we are the "CrackBerry Nation" who do a lot of FREE word of mouth publicity, rip a strip off the ignorant bloggers, keep them honest, and talk up the BB10 experience at every opportunity... Thor's "BB10 or bust" attitude was callously un-nuanced and I think did serious harm to customer loyalty.... I know because of its effect on MY loyalty.

Kevin Michaluk

With this new Hangouts setup we're using we can do podcasts super fast... tomorrow afternoon could work.  Just be setup with a Google account and have Google Plus setup... once we're live we can send you a message over chat roll with the link for the hangout and you can join in (try and have webcam/microphone so it sounds decent... and decent bandwidth always good!

victorshikhman

Somewhat ironically, we can't use the Playbook to do Google Hangout video, though upgrading the Android runtime to 4.2 would have given us access to sideloaded apps that do this. Just one more real-life use case...

But as long as Bla1ze can play some games on the PB (and do real work on his 2 Android tabs), it's all good. As for the rest of us...

lorax1284, I hope you can participate in the podcast.

lorax1284

Kevin, I thought I'd record some of my questions here in case you'd care to address them in writing, if arranging the podcast doesn't work out.

1) how much "good effort" was already spent on porting BB10 to PlayBook?

Can this be expressed in person hours / person months? How many humans were working on EXCLUSIVELY porting BB10, while other devs work on BB10 for the handhelds? I understand some of these answers are trade secrets, but I'd hope that off the record he could tell me, or on the record, express it in terms of percentage of the development team resources.

2) What kind of technical problems were encountered with porting BB10 to the PlayBook?

"Performance" a bit vague. Was it directly related to having too much going on at once and the poor CPU having to shunt things out of memory and back in and out? In recent weeks, having put my PlayBook aside because no Bridge functionality, I notice the performance in general is a bit laggy / stuttery compared to other devices. How much of this "lag" is relative to the smoothness of the Z10 / Q10 and competing products?

3) When it became apparent that BB10 would not work, what additional work went into updating PlayBook / Tablet OS 2.1?

The impression I have is that the attitude was "BB10 or Bust" and if BB10 wasn't going to work, doing nothing at all was the alternative. I think there are a significant number of PlayBook owners that disagree.

4) Does BlackBerry consider the PlayBook owners to be "the most loyal" BlackBerry customers or is the PlayBook ownership just considered to be "average customers"?

The PlayBook was, in my mind, the product for BlackBerry fans, not for the layperson, so those that made PlayBook purchases were not just average "tablet purchasers" (at least not prior to the price drop). Indeed, the majority of PlayBooks sold may have been to dumpster divers who see "$99 tablet!? I don't care WHAT it is!" and buy it.

On each of these questions, I imagine it would have gone into a bit of back and forth, where I would have certainly pressed Thor on the point of the false economy of "saving" the cost of a few months of developer resources (say, 12 person months) to update Tablet OS 2.1 to include updated Webkit, a handful of bug fixes if possible, performance improvements if possible, and a "promise" that Bridge would be brought to BB10 devices and the Bridge client on the PlayBook would be updated to restore that lost functionality. Again, the hit here was to loyal customers: BBOS7 device owners that own a PlayBook, updating to a BB10 device, which lost them the Bridge (which we had no IDEA would have happened or there would have been concern expressed long ago), and then, fingers crossed, we wait for this update, and no, we won't be getting a lesser update, we won't be getting ANY update.

I work in high tech and I know it's not a bottomless pit of resources, but I also know that a little goes a long way and what would satisfy a lot of PlayBook owners would not break the bank or unduly divert key resources from more important projects.

If the podcast is going to happen, please PM or email me on the details: I don't know where to look for info about it.

IJKBB10

I'm with you lorax1284!!! An updated browser would make ppl satisfied. An updated browser with an updated BB 10 keyboard would be more satisfying. Them not supporting the PB even with minor updates makes BlackBerry look really bad after them promising it. Fine BB 10 can't be done because of the 1 GB limitation of the PlayBook at least put some effort into updating some features to show your loyal users your still trying to do your best and Not competely adondonining the PlayBook and them.

Posted via CB10

EchoesFX

General rule of thumb when dealing with customers: When you have to serve them a sh** sandwich, make sure to throw them some bread, or at least something to wash away the taste.

Refusing to even try to fix the current problems with 2.1's browser and bridge while making a wishy washy comment about how they may look into a goodwill gesture is basically serving one up low carb style: all sh**, nothing else.

Posted via CB10

mrskycar

If BlackBerry could just send the Playbook the updated Android runtime and browser, I would much more content with my Playbook then I am right now. No bone yet...

EchoesFX

I'd settle for the browser and bridged SMS / BBM. Cascades would be nice.

Android is a bandaid at best. Cascades would let us write useful apps with little effort.

Posted via CB10

IJKBB10

Hey Kevin why can't they at least update some things on the PB OS like the browser and keyboard? You definitely don't need 2GB of Ram for those features

Posted via CB10

axllebeer

Yep, it's official. I'm totally envious. I'd love to chat with you guys on a Podcast. Enjoy yourself Lorax. :)

Pete The Penguin

I agree.
It's hightime CrackBerry and Kevin in particular stop making excuses for BlackBerry. They should represent us to BlackBerry and hold them to account.
Sick and tired of apologies :mad:

Posted from The Force wielding tap-dancing mouse on secret pantless missions (hiding in Jaydee's backseat) :p

fly_branch

Am I missing something here?

Posted via CB10

iwasspartacus

Nope. Just CB rehashing the usual excuses from BBRY.

Things'll be back to normal tomorrow: an unboxing video (Phillipines!) and 2 games reviews.

Sigh.

Posted via CB10

fly_branch

This video is currently unavailable. Maybe you need the Verizon update to watch it.

Posted via CB10

jjjeeezzzyyy

Can't watch the live Crackberry podcast on a Z10. Classic . Client not supported.

Posted via CB10

youknwwho

I use the browser on my pb and its fine

xBURK

Won't open on my z10 in Canada also?

Posted via CB10

John Maczka

Can't watch on my z10 but it is ok on my PlayBook. Does that tell you something?
Still life in playback yet.

Posted via CB10

buckwylder

Mattel drops Intellivision.

Posted via CB10

iwasspartacus

Chuckle.

Early adoption can be tough. Yup.

Posted via CB10

John Maczka

Lorax I agree with all you say, seems our questions on a PlayBook update ie browse r and bridge are never asked.
I own 2 play books and before the last update worked very well.
Seems crackberry has also wrote off. The playbook.
Very very disappointing

Posted via CB10

intrepid_pe

And again, MR. TH did not said anything on how BlackBerry will continue to support the PlayBook, if it ever happen, but that was he said that they will continue supporting it...ain't gonna happen.

Posted via CB10

hankster1988

Couldn't watch it on my Z10 either.

Posted via CB10

donemt

Unable to view the podcast on my Z10 say " Unavailable for this device "

medicdon

lorax1284

One aspect of the usability is that when a device is touted as easy to use, then it's not necessarily "approachable", then user feels a bit of "this thing makes me feel stupid" shame and the device is tainted by shame... I think it is a factor contributing to returns and some users lack of desire to give it a "fair shake". But somehow I think "hard to learn, but awesome and fast and cool once you learn" wouldn't get past marketing as a slogan.

nerdydaddyo

Why isn't the podcast showing up on the official CrackBerry Podcast feed?

Posted via CB10

maqsbb

I agree with lorax, hooking off the PlayBook this way was really lame. Bridge integration with my z10 is a joke compared to my 9900. They should have considered an update on the current OS. But then, hey, what do you expect? They sacked some 5000 workers to persuade shareholders the company is heading in the right direction and that margins will be stellar again. Maybe they hit the ceiling fairly quickly with their high performance inventives policies?
I liked Kevin's comments on the visual aspect of the OS. Actually, I prefer OS 4 and 5 over the current design. It is just very - conservative? boring? afraid to put anybody off? Just open up parameters or have a look at the icons. Bland and incoherent. Luckily, we can change the wallpaper... come on, give us at least a black theme for the z10!

Posted via CB10

freddysrevng3

Kevin - I was kind of surprised that not one person - analyst or member of Crackberry - asked Thor how they, actually, dropped shipments from 1 million a month to under 1 million BB10 phones per month for this last quarter? Would that have been deemed "too controversial"?

That seemed to be one of the most "damaging" data points of all, especially, due to Thor talking about selling "10s of millions" of BB10 phones...

They shocked Wall Street and Main Street with their performance last quarter...

Any thoughts on this?

Carruthers

Podcast works fine on my z10 in Toronto on Rogers. Runs fast, loud and clear. Running 10.1.0.273

Posted from my incredible Z10

Carruthers

On a side note I met two customers w brand new q10's at work recently. One man probably in his forties told me he was frustrated by the learning curve switching from os7. The woman in her thirties was flying through the os and said she was "pleasantly surprised" by the impressive new device. Safe to say reactions are mixed at this point. BlackBerry needs to work on employee/customer education on the new os.

Posted from my incredible Z10

Kevin Michaluk

I've been getting the exact same kind of feedback from the "normal" upgraders out there (not the hardcore Crackies)... it's like a complete 50/50. Ideally I'd want to see it be 99/100 loving it and finding the conversion easy.

freddysrevng3

@ Lorax... In the United States, all you need to know about the "press" in this country is watching the media hob knobbing with the politicians at various "black tie events"... The media loves to attend those parties - where they eat very well on the tax payer dime - and they love the feeling of "importance and power" being at these swanky events and the many other perks of being part of the "in crowd".

The question then is "why would these media types ask tough questions of the politicians that could jeopardize their being 'invited' to these events"?

In that you will have your "answer", Grasshopper.........

lorax1284

I absolutely get that... which is why I went off a bit on the team up there. It's a serious accusation to make against someone, but I understand if you want access to the CEO of BlackBerry you can't interview him and then go on the Interwebs and slag him as a lying cheating tool of the corporate oligarchy.

I don't believe that Thor is a bad guy... but I do believe there is a standard of corporate communication that is upheld by public companies that is obsolete. Most consumers understand that they're being double-talked to and the message is being "spun" and we see through it and, if I may say so myself, as someone who works in marketing, I see through it better than most: what is not said is as important as what is not said. Killing any future support for the PlayBook is a fine business decision, until you take into account that those who are most affected by that decision are the best, most loyal, most FAITHFUL customers... Thor said "No". He didn't say "No, because..." in any credible way, and frankly, neither did CBK, so I'd like that "...because..." or all I have to work with is contemptible indifference... from Thor, not CBK... but CBK's hands may be tied, and I'd like to hear THAT from him as well, if that's the case, rather than just explaining to us the highlights of what Thor explained to him.

Thor said "we will continue to 'support' the PlayBook". That doesn't mean "there WILL be future OS updates, but not BB10" which is part and parcel of what I'D call "support"... I think it was clarified that there will NOT be further OS updates, and I want to know why. I don't accept that it's as hard or costly as a full BB10 migration. I don't accept that it would be so costly as to be a liability.

I think corporations need to know when not doing proper service to their products is MORE costly than just doing it... more costly in terms of customer loyalty AND confidence in the truthiness of what they say to us... but corporate communications is stuck in the 80s with "We value our customers blah blah blah" while simultaneously acting in ways that show the untruthiness of that statement, and time and time again, we customers just say "yeah, screwed again!".

Sirhill

All of the bitching about the PlayBook not getting bb10 is a little much. I do understand the issue but really guys. I have two play books myself a 16 and 32 both of them bought on day one at full retail. I was never expecting to see just an update to the OS of my OG PB but a brand new device.

But no we get news of another BBOS7 device, WTF!!! So they go and put money into R&D for what is suppose to be a dead OS and not even a hint of a new PB.

That should be the major issue here not just the damn OS update. F the update give us who went out and bought the PB a new device. Matter of fact when was the last time the PB had an update (don't worry I'll wait).

Look I get it but bitching and saying that the guys here on CB didn't do their job and blaming them is all sorts of wrong. They report the news. And lorax1284 as a share holder would you not voice your opinion to the company, and not to crackberry? I mean what can they do for you as a person with a vested interest in the company?

Posted via CB10

lorax1284

First: I filled out the survey and expected CBK to ask the "tough questions". Me standing up in front of a bunch of "real" shareholders and asking my silly "Here's why not updating the PlayBook is a bad idea" actually does a disservice to the "cause": a crank small-time shareholder whining because his toy doesn't work. Bad optics. As I say, I "trusted" CBK to ask the hard questions, hence my reaction in the early post... so, now my perception is that I've been "betrayed" (too strong a word, admittedly) by Thor / BB management and NOW by CBK... hopefully that is a premature and unfair reaction, but when the trust issue is about information disclosure, and no information is disclosed, what's left but distrust?

the_sleuth

Amusing, PB debacle is still p!ssing off a lot of users. BlackBerry management has proven it cannot be trusted. Just a lot of hot air. From Thor's comments, it's obvious he is abandoning the tablet market. PB was Mike's & Jim's baby. It's been left in a hot car to die. Have you noticed, we have not received a PB OS update in over 6 months!!! I highly doubt there will be an update to resolve browser issues and bridge functionality. My suggestion is move on to Nexus product or Samsung or iPad Mini. It would be great if BB unlocked PB boot loader for developers and us. But again, BB hypocrisy and arrogance about security prevent this from happening.

lorax1284

Again: dressing up Thor with a black top hat and pencil moustache and cape is not what this is about: I'm want to get down to the truth as I see it: BB could have "tried harder" to do SOMETHING for the PlayBook, and the decision they made to do NOTHING is unsound, and they need to hear why: they THINK it's a sound decision, but they're wrong, and they need to KNOW how wrong they are, especially if they're breathing the rarified air of big corporate investors and have stopped caring about THEIR MOST LOYAL CUSTOMERS. It's absolutely VITAL that BB bring a whole bunch of BRAND NEW CUSTOMERS on board, but the PlayBook decision shows that they've tipped the scales TOO FAR toward "new customer acquisition" and that error must be corrected: I say this as a BB fan (you've pissed me off but you can make it right) AND a small investor (I believe contempt toward your vanguard customers is a huge strategic mistake)

I don't want BlackBerry to fail: but I believe a company that treats their most loyal customers with casual indifference and "they'll get over it" attitude will not succeed: not from this single issue, but more like a slow poison that will spread as a bad attitude throughout the organization. I bet there more than a few important and valuable BlackBerry employees that are not so proud who they work for right now, which is another side effect of this.

Technical limitations I can live with: but to just toss it on the dung heap and "move on" is contemptible.

victorshikhman

Bla1ze, with respect, if you don't understand what would have made Playbook a much more capable and useful device with BB10... come on!

How about FINALLY getting Skype, how about FINALLY getting BBM (before Android and iOS get it), how about being able to sideload any Android app up to 4.2 build, how about a browser that doesn't play checkers every other page you visit, how about updating Adobe Air and Flash runtimes, how about fixing Bridge for all the business owners that deployed Playbooks and already upgraded to BB10 devices?

Do you not see how these changes would have made someone who was using the Playbook as a doorstop pick it up again? Do you really think the rest of us should just be happy that our Playbook runs some games? Just because you have 2 Android tabs and couldn't care less about whether Playbook got a BB10 update or not does not mean the rest of us feel the same.

mrskycar

I think BlackBerry got the idea of the BlackBerry way of things and mobile first with the Hub but I want to see more of this design, that I desire, in the OS updates as I feel one half of BlackBerry is not thinking like the other half.

1roguecanuck

You talked about Canadian stores vs American stores for product placement and sales staff in the US pushing people away for BB10.

I was in a store in Ontario last week just looking at the Q10 and the sales staff could not stop pushing me to the S4. Then I took out the Z10 from my pocket and answered a BBM and they still tried to get me to 'upgrade' to the S4.

Just felt like Samsung was giving incentives for every phone the sold. Makes it hard for BlackBerry to compete with stuff like that.

Posted via CB10

Skyforever

+1 (Hear!Hear!)
Hard or near Impossible to compete with so many sales staff attitude in regard to BB would be buyers. I walked into a Walmart (in Ottawa) in January of 2013 and was told by none other than a young tech person from their staff members that BB had gone bankrupt! Imagine my amazement! BB is not dead (I said)... and may NEVER die so get used to it! New exciting products are now available... But with this kind of young behaviour/outlook we all know it's not just having good/great products and tons of future super adds and marketing that can/will draw people back or into BlackBerry for the first time, no, but word of mouth that will be their strongest ally. BlackBerry is not a perfect company. LOL Still hoping/believing they will be around a long time to make great innovative and competitive products phone and otherwise for us to enjoy.

lorax1284

I'd have called the manager over to complain about that: that is outright disinformation and the staff should absolutely a) not lie; b) know what they're talking about and c) be more professional.

d_elkhori

Kevin can you send me a BlackBerry 10 shirt like the one in your pod cast my size is medium.

Posted via CB10

robin11

Shareholders have no choice but to have confidence in Thorsten Heins. The board and Thorsten have bet the company on BB10. So far, many business users who migrated to the Q10 hate the OS. I worry this will negatively impact uptake of BES10. Give users what they want, not what you think they will want and like.

imcurved

The carrier salesmen tried to talk us out of buying BlackBerry because perhaps they get commission from other phone companies?

imcurved

I just picked up another Z over July 4th weekend in Boston. The salesman there was very helpful and didn't try to steer us away from the BB.

imcurved

Yes Apple bypasses the carriers and releases their official OS. That is now. How did they get to this point in the first place? Building good solid product yes of course but when did they start to say "the heck with carriers"?

imcurved

Please post the survey results when you have time. Thanks.

imcurved

Speaking of lipstick for the OS, where is TAT? We would like to see more work from TAT.

lorax1284

imcurved, 5 posts in a row! Did you know you can edit your posts and add to them and edit them if you feel you have more to say? Just letting you know...

I will respond to some of the good points you make:

1) salesperson incentives are possibly an urban legend: it may be that only specific stores do it... the manager has a discretionary budget and encourages his store staff to push one device or another... or maybe the carriers do do that, but some carrier store employees say "that doesn't happen" and I've never seen any carrier employee say "Yeah, when I sell an S4 on 2 year contract, I pocket $20 bonus!" which is like 3 hours pay for some clerks in Wal-Marts and so on, so yeah, they are going to try to push you away from a device that doesn't give them that incentive... but again, is that really true?
2) Which store and which carrier? I think they deserve a plug so other Bostonites (Bostonians? Bosconian? "Alarm! Alarm!" :-) ) know where to go!
3) It may be that Apple withholds the OS so the carriers have AMPLE time to perform the kinds of tests that they do on BlackBerry. iOS 7 announced in June, won't be available 'til September: is that 3 months enough time for the US carriers? Who knows.
4) Yes, I think BlackBerry has an opportunity to get all freeky-deeky with the TAT stuff... as Samsung is to Android (with their "motion detection" and "eyes-on detection" and other pseudo-sci-fi gimmikry, maybe it's time for a "TAT Add on" package for BB10 that is optional but gives you all sorts of new and bizarre ways to interact with the data on your device. PUSH THE ENVELOPE because otherwise it'll be empty!

robin11

BBM cross platform? For it to be successful, it must also be on desk tops and laptops. Then it will truly kill skype, instagram and whatsapp.

dannyd86

Don't forget it actually has to work, and work well.

Posted via CB10

3Dee

And don't forget that the CB team spent the entire podcast talkijng about how great Google Hangouts is - there are already new cross platform competitors who are looking to take that space (Hangouts is also already on desktops and laptops too)

robin11

I am really starting to wonder if BB can actually compete with Google. I believe Blackberry still has a chance to grow in the market if BBM cross platform:
1. works on desktops and laptops
2. works well from the start.
3. BBM conference calls cross platform
A fail here will really really hurt and will certainly negatively impact user and investor sentiment. The outcome for Blackberry (I am a long time user and own lots of Blackberry shares) appears to be binary now that Thorsten and the board of directors have bet the company and their reputations on BB10 OS. So far, given the early sentiment of business users who migrated to the Q10, it is a huge fail. The user experience and the negative story they tell to associates and others does not bode well. Already the build has been cut from 2 million to 1 million/month. The deceleration in sales is shocking.

Pete The Penguin

The reason CrackBerry big up Google Hangouts is because you can't have a BBM Video Call with multiple participants.
That is a nail in the coffin of cross-platform BBM.

Posted from The Force wielding tap-dancing mouse on secret pantless missions (hiding in Jaydee's backseat) :p

lorax1284

Well, you need a server processing the data and streaming it out simultaneously to multiple viewers, and I'm sure BBM can do that, technically, but even Skype makes you pay $10 per month to have multiple end-points on a video chat. Don't rule out BBM having that feature, but I don't think it should be BB's highest development priority.

nutellapr

Kevin some really good stuff going on on blackberry developer blog that could be covered on your site. How about a Dev Talk section on your site?

Posted via CB10

robin11

For business users, re write OS7 on QNX and put it on a Bold 9900 platform complete with track pad....it will sell like hot cakes.....

oneinfiniteloop

Looks like you all did a flip on BBM Channels - not too long ago while at Blackberry Live it was all "awesome" and now it seems like the euphoria has dropped.

I have been using BBM Channels for almost 3 weeks and to tell you a fact I like it a lot. I have posted my thoughts on improvements that could be done to BBM Channel - but it certainly is a good start.

I have said it on my survey remarks and I repeat it here - the UI has to improve in some areas - I downloaded 10.2.0.483 and there seems be quite a bit of facelift between 10.1 and 10.2. BB10 10.2 is quite good; Netflix loads faster as well. Unfortunately, I cannot get my BB Link to work with the 10.2.0.483 and now I am unable to get the BBM Channel Beta going on my Z10 :(

Blackberry should do its level best to get 10.2 out to all the BB10 devices out there asap.

Astonishing Tribe needs to get some tires kicking soon.

Kevin Michaluk

Not quite, or at least not the intent. I do like BBM Channels, especially as it pertains as a service for businesses, brands, entertainers, etc to connect with their audiences. I think that likely is where it has the most potential. For individual users though, I'm not sure *yet* on how it will pickup. The point I wanted to make though is I like to see BlackBerry continue to evolve and introduce products by solving people's problems, vs. Just thinking about what the platform can do and building a product. Look at the success of WhatsApp... it's had great success not because it was a stellar app... but because it solved the problem of people needing a cross platform IM client. Channels is certainly an opportunity worth pushing... just not sure if it was a problem to solve.

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lotuslanderz

The turn off with Channels is all the spam advertising of other Channels within a stream. So annoying.

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oneinfiniteloop

LotusLanderz, I agree with you. Blackberry should provide a way to filter this out and let users flag these. Currently, I have no way to browse through BBM Channels or advertise my own Channel in an effective way. Why can't they provide a Blackberry World like interface on BBM Channel - this is required before they take BBM Channel cross platform. They also need to provide a capability to "tag" my channel (and posts) to make my channel and posts easily accessible. BBM Channel and the Search interface should list not only the Channels but also the top trending posts on BBM Channel or for a given search string/tag.

There is lot more that can be done and I have already posted my thoughts about this on my personal BBM Channel (One Infinite Loop).

oneinfiniteloop

Thanks Kevin for inking your thoughts. I completely agree with your broader idea that Blackberry should look for the problems that hyper connected people face and should provide an intuitive solution for it. As an example - I see the Hub, Search, Remember, my Browsing and Keyboard habits, ToDos, Calendar, Contacts, Camera, Location, Sensors, Weather data, etc. as a major source for doing some very neat mashups which are relevant to the hyper connected community. The cross cutting mashable attributes embedded in these apps and features can be leveraged by my phone to help create a new meaningful experiences. I as a user am very willing to let this device (my phone) have access to this information provided it can create a new meaningful experience for me. Lately, we carry our phone around so much and for so long that our phone knows a lot about us if you really care to think about it.

IMO, BBM Channel is very good for individuals like me as well. As an example I have my own channel (One Infinite Loop) where I post my suggestions about what areas need to be improved, etc. I am not a celebrity like you but I find it very fulfilling all the same to post things that I like, dislike and how I would like apps, features and functionality in Blackberry BB10 to evolve.

nerdydaddyo

Now I'm gonna happily piss some people off. HP built the TouchPad 4g with fucking Beats Audio built in, and then fire sold every single one of them at ludicrous prices. We can't beat webOS? By the way, I'm not gonna lie. As hard core BlackBerry as I am, I own the TouchPad 4g. It has Beats Audio, and I love music ! That's what I'm talking about! Sell some cool shit in your devices! Stand out from the crowd!

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dannyd86

Kevin.
I like how you mentioned the new moto X feature of notifications popping up on screen rather a blinking LED. The logical next evolution of the notification light. Google now is pretty wild too, I dunno man. Google is winning me over these days. This 90minute recap/rant basically summed it up. I might give the moto X a try, especially if it's cheap. But will probably wait till the next major software update in the nexus. Will blackberry give me a reason to stick around by then? Nope. We might have 10.2 with actionable notifications. A step up but hasn't android had that all year?

Thankfully I'm not one of those guys who treats there phone like a religion, I just want the best. I'll jump over to a nexus running key lime pie and if blackberry gets something out there in 2014 that grabs my attention I'll be tight back in the mix. Which would most likely be the upgrade to the z10.

lorax1284

I've always thought "why is the Red LED such a beloved feature when the ENTIRE SCREEN is made up of MILLIONS of RED, BLUE and GREEN LEDs and they can be made to blink in dozens of different and informative ways and even be made to represent WORDS!"

...but just blinking a single low-power LED saves battery.

...sometimes you don't WANT your inappropriate sext messages showing up in a meeting.

...it's unique and costs hardly anything to add to the device.

...human factors: it's different to be told "you have something new" vs. "you have a new txt from susan". The way the human mind reacts to that information is a different use case.

The LED should stay.

lotuslanderz

The last 20 min of this podcast were excellent. Kevin made some very valid points and I hope BlackBerry is listening.

kojita

Good to see that @gehr (BBM inventor) is paying attention (tweeted him, he replied quickly), now that he is in Malmo with the TAT team, we might see some changes in UI/UX design details in the future (for 10.3) ?

joelwsmith84

Is there a way to download an audio-version of the podcast?

moonfalle

Thanks for the podcast. Agree with most of your rant and points. I just wish the comparison to apple wasn't made ALL the time. If you have a Chevy we don't always compare and say I wish I had these features from that Chrysler. Also let the boys talk more for crying out loud! Adam speak up! Thanks for hearing concerns and taking forward to bb.

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Xano

I love my Z10, but probably gonna jump ship to BBM on iOS or Android.
At least I will get better support and full apps.
In Europe is a giant lack of apps on BB World from Banks, TV, Radio, Airline, Train, Subway, Post, Gas, Water and so on, all this companies and services have an App on iOS and Android and not BB. Sometimes i ask this companies and the response is always the same, we don't intend or have plans to offer a BB app.

brandonwh

Maybe I missed it, but didn't hear much of Thorsten's response about apps and still a lack of very big name apps.