Originally scheduled to reach End of Life status in December 2019 after receiving two years of additional support back in December 2017, BlackBerry has now announced they will continue to support the critical infrastructure and services for BlackBerry 10 as well as network access for BBOS devices beyond 2019.
Much like the previous announcement where BlackBerry noted they would be shutting down some ancillary services such as BlackBerry World, BlackBerry Travel and PlayBook video calling, this announcement has some caveats you'll need to be aware of as well.
Our Commitment to BB10 and Some Changes to BlackBerry Legacy Services
We manufactured our last BB10 and BBOS devices in 2015 and, as the world has seen, our efforts are now growing and evolving as a cybersecurity and software company. In 2017, however, we promised our customers at least two further years of support for BB10 and at least two years of BlackBerry network access for BBOS devices. Today, we can proudly say that we are extending that commitment and will continue to support critical infrastructure and services for BB10 as well as network access for BBOS devices beyond the end of 2019.
It is a testament to the durability of our designs and brand loyalty that there are still millions of people actively using BB10 and BBOS devices—some of which are more than 10 years old.
However, beginning Thursday, August 1, two services on these phones will no longer be accessible to consumers as a result of decisions taken by our third-party partners.
First, Twitter has requested that BlackBerry remove the BBOS and BB10 Twitter apps from BlackBerry World as they are shutting down services that enable these apps to function. Users will no longer be able to download the BBOS and BB10 Twitter apps. For those that wish to continue using the social media platform, they can download alternative apps outside of BBOS or BB10 or use their device's web browser to access the site.
Second, the third-party cloud service that supports the "Full Assistance" functionality in BlackBerry Assistant will also be turned off. Our partnership with the third-party provider that supports "Full Assistance" has ended and they have chosen not to renew it. BlackBerry Assistant will continue to be available, albeit in a more limited function. Users will still be able to make calls, open apps, play music and search their device.
We want to thank our loyal BBOS and BB10 users and appreciate the ongoing support.
While the news of BlackBerry continuing to support the offerings is great, the announcement also highlights the other issue that folks using those devices are continuing to deal with and that's the fact that a lot of the apps and services for those older devices are continuing to disappear or be shut down and finding alternatives is not always easy or guaranteed.
Looking at the original announcement next to this one not much has changed in the wording and I suspect not much will change by way of the 'support' given either. Meaning, I certainly wouldn't expect to see any new BlackBerry 10 updates roll out, some stuff still might break along the way, it just won't be anything deemed a part of the critical infrastructure and things will carry on as they have been for the past two years now, which is certainly fine.
When it comes to BBOS, the situation is a little bit different. BlackBerry has committed to continuing network access but there's no list of partners who will also be going along with those plans. Some carriers already no longer offer BIS services, so while the support might be there from BlackBerry, it might be a bit harder finding the support on the provider side.
I know you all have plenty of thoughts and opinions on this, so be sure to drop them in the comments below.