blackberry · blackberry tablet os · blackpad · citrix · rim

Citrix Receiver Coming to BlackBerry PlayBook

In a community blog post yesterday afternoon, Citrix Vice President of Community and Solutions Development, Chris Fleck, stated that the Citrix Receiver application is headed for Research In Motion’s BlackBerry PlayBook.

“The planned Citrix Receiver for PlayBook will provide a great user experience while making all the company virtual apps and desktops available on-demand anywhere.” He also notes, “PlayBook users will get the freedom to get work done from anywhere with access to any business app they need.”

Mr. Fleck also writes:

“No doubt the PlayBook will do a good job with email and the browser will work well for browsing, but with the 7″ HD display, business users will also want access to all their business apps or even their full Windows 7 work environment. One way to enable that will be the Citrix Receiver for PlayBook, just as 100 million users use Citrix everyday to get virtual apps and desktops delivered to their PC, Mac, thin client or smartphone. The highly regarded Receiver for iPad for example is now one of the top app store business downloads and is used by professionals everywhere to be more productive without the chore of lugging a laptop.”

Alan’s Comments

Having Citrix standing behind your product will no doubt put corporate buyer’s minds at ease because Citrix is recognized as a secure way to deploy applications to a mobile workforce.  With the PlayBook’s connection to RIM’s BlackBerry Enterprise Server and Citrix’s secure application delivery platform, it looks like they are ready for their play date.

You can read the full post on the Citrix Community blog.

blackberry · blackberry tablet os · blackpad · rim · tablet

RIM Unveils the BlackBerry PlayBook

New Professional-Grade Tablet Delivers Unmatched Power and Web Performance

San Francisco, CA – BlackBerry DEVCON 2010 – Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ: RIMM; TSX: RIM) today redefined the possibilities for mobile computing with the unveiling of its new professional-grade BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet and BlackBerry® Tablet OS.
Perfect for either large organizations or an “army of one”, the BlackBerry PlayBook is designed to give users what they want, including uncompromised web browsing, true multitasking and high performance multimedia, while also providing advanced security features, out-of-the-box enterprise support and a breakthrough development platform for IT departments and developers. The incredibly powerful and innovative BlackBerry PlayBook is truly a game-changing product in the growing tablet marketplace.

“RIM set out to engineer the best professional-grade tablet in the industry with cutting-edge hardware features and one of the world’s most robust and flexible operating systems,” said Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO at Research In Motion. “The BlackBerry PlayBook solidly hits the mark with industry leading power, true multitasking, uncompromised web browsing and high performance multimedia.”

Availability

The BlackBerry PlayBook is expected to be available in retail outlets and other channels in the United States in early 2011 with rollouts in other international markets beginning in (calendar) Q2.
RIM will begin working with developers and select corporate customers next month to begin development and early testing efforts.

For more information, visit www.blackberry.com/playbook.

BlackBerry PlayBook pictures and specs after the break…

The Tablet You’ll Want to Take Everywhere

This beautifully designed and incredibly powerful tablet is ultra portable, ultra thin and super convenient for both work and play. Measuring less than half an inch thick and weighing less than a pound, the BlackBerry PlayBook features a vivid 7” high resolution display that looks and feels great in your hand. With such a unique mix of utility, performance and portability, you’ll want to take it everywhere.

The New Benchmark in Tablet Performance

At its heart, the BlackBerry PlayBook is a multitasking powerhouse. Its groundbreaking performance is jointly fueled by a 1 GHz dual-core processor and the new BlackBerry Tablet OS which supports true symmetric multiprocessing. Together, the abundant processing power and highly sophisticated OS enable the BlackBerry PlayBook to provide users with true multitasking and a highly-responsive and fluid touch screen experience for apps and content services.

Uncompromised Web Browsing

With support for Adobe® Flash® Player 10.1, Adobe® Mobile AIR® and HTML-5, the BlackBerry PlayBook provides customers with an uncompromised, high-fidelity web experience and offers them the ability to enjoy all of the sites, games and media on the web. For more than a decade, the mobile industry has worked to bridge the gap between the “real web” and mobile devices through various apps and technologies and, in fact, a significant number of mobile apps today still simply serve as a proxy for web content that already exists on the web. The BlackBerry PlayBook closes that gap and brings the real, full web experience to mobile users while also opening new and more exciting opportunities for developers and content publishers.

High Performance Multimedia

The BlackBerry PlayBook features premium multimedia features to support high-quality mobile experiences. It includes dual HD cameras for video capture and video conferencing that can both record HD video at the same time, and an HDMI-out port for presenting one’s creations on external displays. The BlackBerry PlayBook also offers rich stereo sound and a media player that rivals the best in the industry.

BlackBerry Integration

For those BlackBerry PlayBook users who carry a BlackBerry smartphone*, it will also be possible to pair their tablet and smartphone using a secure Bluetooth® connection. This means they can opt to use the larger tablet display to seamlessly and securely view any of the email, BBM™, calendar, tasks, documents and other content that resides on (or is accessible through) their smartphone. They can also use their tablet and smartphone interchangeably without worrying about syncing or duplicating data. This secure integration of BlackBerry tablets and smartphones is a particularly useful feature for those business users who want to leave their laptop behind.

Enterprise Ready

Thanks to the seamless and secure Bluetooth pairing experience and the highly secure underlying OS architecture, the BlackBerry PlayBook is enterprise ready and compatible (out-of-the-box) with BlackBerry® Enterprise Server. When connected over Bluetooth, the smartphone content is viewable on the tablet, but the content actually remains stored on the BlackBerry smartphone and is only temporarily cached on the tablet (and subject to IT policy controls). With this approach to information security, IT departments can deploy the BlackBerry PlayBook to employees out-of-the-box without worrying about all the security and manageability issues that arise when corporate data is stored on yet another device.

QNX Neutrino Reliability

The BlackBerry Tablet OS is built upon the QNX® Neutrino® microkernel architecture, one of the most reliable, secure and robust operating system architectures in the world. Neutrino has been field hardened for years and is being used to support mission-critical applications in everything from planes, trains and automobiles to medical equipment and the largest core routers that run the Internet.  The new BlackBerry Tablet OS leverages and builds upon the many proven strengths of this QNX Neutrino architecture to support a professional grade tablet experience and to redefine the possibilities for mobile computing.

Key features and specifications of the BlackBerry PlayBook include:

  • 7” LCD, 1024 x 600, WSVGA, capacitive touch screen with full multi-touch and gesture support
  • BlackBerry Tablet OS with support for symmetric multiprocessing
  • 1 GHz dual-core processor 
  • 1 GB RAM 
  • Dual HD cameras (3 MP front facing, 5 MP rear facing), supports 1080p HD video recording 
  • Video playback: 1080p HD Video, H.264, MPEG, DivX, WMV
  • Audio playback: MP3, AAC, WMA 
  • HDMI video output
  • Wi-Fi – 802.11 a/b/g/n 
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • Connectors: microHDMI, microUSB, charging contacts
  • Open, flexible application platform with support for WebKit/HTML-5, Adobe Flash Player 10.1, Adobe Mobile AIR, Adobe Reader, POSIX, OpenGL, Java
  • Ultra thin and portable
    • Measures 5.1”x7.6”x0.4” (130mm x 193mm x 10mm)
    • Weighs less than a pound (approximately 0.9 lb or 400g) 
  • Additional features and specifications of the BlackBerry PlayBook will be shared on or before the date this product is launched in retail outlets.
  • RIM intends to also offer 3G and 4G models in the future.

* This feature will require a Bluetooth connection, obviously, between your BlackBerry smartphone and the BlackBerry PlayBook.

blackberry · blackpad · rim

BlackPad To Be Announced This Week?

Tomorrow is the kick-off of Research In Motion’s BlackBerry DevCon in San Francisco, California.  During the keynote session, BlackBerry fanatics are expecting the unveiling of a new device, the BlackPad.

“The Wall Street Journal reported Sept. 22 that RIM will unveil the BlackPad at its 2010 BlackBerry Developer Conference, which runs from Sept. 27 through Sept. 30 in San Francisco.

While RIM did not comment on the report or the tablet number for eWEEK, the Journal said the 7-inch-screen BlackPad, which will sport two cameras, including one for video conferencing, will feature a new platform built by QNX Software Systems.” (eWeek.com…)

With the Apple iPad very much a consumer product, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab clearly leaning in the same direction, we have to wonder if the BlackPad will have the features to get enterprise customers excited.  iOS and Android have proven to be very flexible mobile operating systems and we’ve seen what developers can do with them.  However, the QNX-based operating system rumored to power the BlackPad will be completely untested, as far as we know, and I for one, will be looking to see if application developer will be willing to adopt yet another OS to write applications for.

We’ll cover be covering all of the goodies that are unveiled this week from RIM.

[Graphic via PCWorld.com…]

blackberry · blackberry os · rim · rumors · verizon

Rumor: BlackBerry Storm 9570 Coming to Verizon

Looks like we know why Verizon is EOL’ing (end of life) the BlackBerry Storm2 – a new Storm is a comin’.

BBLeaks.com managed to snap a few pictures of the unreleased Storm2 refresh.  The new Storm, we’re still not sure if it will be called Storm2.5, Storm3, or something else, bumps up the specs of the current model Storm allowing it to run RIM’s new BlackBerry 6 operating system.  With just 256MB of storage space on the Storm2, there just isn’t enough space to squeeze in BlackBerry OS 6 and still have a well performing phone.
CrackBerry.com wrote the following about the still unreleased BlackBerry:

“As noted, the overall look of the device is just that of a BlackBerry Storm2. No physical design changes will be found here and it’s certainly not thinner in any way. All changes come internally with the memory upgrade and processor being the most significant. Between the minimal RAM and the slower processor of the original, this refresh was needed in order for the Storm2 form factor and SurePress to remain alive.”

There are more photos of the BlackBerry Storm 9570 on BBLeaks.com.
apple · appletv · macbook pro · windows

Studio Execs: Are You Sure Apple Doesn’t Have It Right? I Think They Do.

Earlier this month, Apple introduced the second generation Apple TV.  At about a quarter of the size of the first generation model, the new Apple TV emphasizes steaming content over having to sync and manage content from iTunes running on your Mac or Windows PC.

Along side the introduction of the new Apple TV, Steve Jobs introduced a new 99 cent TV show rental model.  The idea that you would rent your favorite TV shows and movies rather than watching them on TV (does any one actually watch TV shows when they “air” anymore?), your DVR (I honestly don’t have a DVR), or a DVD from your local BlockBuster, library, etc.

Over the last few days, we’ve started hearing studio execs talking about the “value” of their content and that it is worth more than 99 cents.  For example, Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman was quoted as saying “The 99-cent rental is not a good price point,” and that “[I]t doesn’t work for us.” (AppleInsider.com…)

We’re all entitled to our opinions.  When I look around at some of the shows that are on TV today, I’m hard pressed to see the “value” in a lot of whats on.  I absolutely refuse to watch a so called reality TV show; regardless of whether it’s American Idol, Survivor, Kate Plus 8, Jersey Shore…the list goes on, and on, regrettably.  I do like watching scripted dramas, but I tend to watch more and more TV on my MacBook.  But I degrees.

I think that the 99 cent price point does makes sense.  Depending on what show, and whether it’s standard def or high def, to purchase a show, it will cost you $1.99 – $2.99 an episode.  If the rental price is low enough, I’m more inclined to “impulse rent.”  If I have to think about whether or not to rent the show, I’ll start thinking about the various options: the studio’s own website, Hulu, Netflix, a local library, or an app on my iPad or mobile phone.  I can also go rent a DVD for about $5.00 which will include four episodes.

The definition of “value” aside, I still think that the studios stand to make some money from Apple’s 99 cent plan.  There are free TV options out there, but I’m willing to pay a fee to watch TV on my Mac or Apple TV if I’m getting entertainment value, as well as an ease of use or convenience value out of it.  Sure, 99 cents sounds reasonable for a 22-45 minute TV show.

blackberry · foleo · rim

A first hand account of why RIM’s tablet could be end up being RIM’s Foleo

[Editor’s Note: The following article was written by Mr. Geddes, Editor, GadgetsOnTheGo.net.]

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that RIM could be announcing their answer to the iPad at a developer’s conference next week. The code named “BlackPad” will not run RIM’s just released BlackBerry OS 6, instead it will run an OS that was created by a company that RIM recently purchased. The tablet is expected to ship in Q4 of this year, feature a seven-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, broadband connections, AND will need a BlackBerry to access cellular networks.

The last feature, or lack thereof, is reminiscent of Palm’s Foleo, and that’s not a good thing.

It’s been 3 years since I and 74 other people tested the Foleo for Palm. The picture above is the Foleo on my kitchen table (complete with the box Palm was going to ship the Foleo in). The Foleo had a lot of potential (it was the original netbook). It was instant on (no bootup), it was slim, light, good battery life, had a comfortable keyboard that you could easily type on, had both Bluetooth and WiFi on board, ran a Linux OS, Opera web browser, Documents To Go, and the nail in the coffin of what would kill the Foleo.

You needed a Palm Treo in order to use the email application on the Foleo (I was able to get a few non-Palm Windows Mobile smartphones to work with the Foleo, but it wasn’t going to be supported out of the box). The email application on the Foleo synced with the email app on your Treo. It wasn’t a “real” mail app. No Treo, no mail. You could easily use the built in Opera web browser connected via WiFi to get to web mail (.Mac in my case), but why negate potential Foleo buyers because of its dependence on Palm’s golden child, the Treo? I was very vocal with Palm about this issue, it made no sense. The Foleo was very capable and did not need to rely on a Treo for one of–if not the most– important functions people use on mobile devices, email. It was created to work that way to insure that for every Foleo sold a Treo had to be part of the equation. In my opinion, as well as those of other testers, this wouldn’t fly with consumers.

At that time Palm had many Treo users, just like RIM does now with BlackBerry smartphones. I said it to Palm then and have the same feeling about RIM’s tablet, it shouldn’t be dependent on a BlackBerry to function (if it turns out RIM is really going to go down that road). I give Palm a lot of credit that they listened to us testers and ultimately decided it was better to shelve the Foleo than release it half-baked. Hopefully RIM will realize that crippling a device in order to keep BlackBerry smartphones in the equation just doesn’t add up. Ask Palm…

Alan’s Comments

I have also used a Palm Foleo, and agree with Mr. Geddes’ views and opinions about RIM’s upcoming BlackBerry tablet.  Even if RIM doesn’t require users to own a BlackBerry for email and Internet access from the “BlackPad”, RIM will also have another potential risk that Palm also had: Having to support multiple operating systems; BlackBerry OS and the BlackPad OS.

Since the two operating systems won’t be compatible with each other, RIM will have the added expenses needed to keep separate OS development teams in house to upgrade and maintain the software.  Likewise, third-party application developers will have to do the same and support two operating systems.  And lastly, customers will have to purchase separate versions of potentially the same applications.  (eg: Documents To Go for BlackBerry and Documents To Go for “BlackPad.”)


[Editor’s Note: Documents To Go and most of DataViz’s assets has recently been acquired by RIM.]

The similarities between Palm’s Foleo and RIM’s “BlackPad” are striking.  Let’s hope RIM doesn’t make the same mistakes that Palm did when developing the Foleo.

[Via GadgetsOnTheGo.net…]

android · samsung · sprint

Sprint Launches 4G Service in Orlando

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), September 20, 2010 – Sprint (NYSE:S) officially launched 4G in Orlando today. The next generation in wireless service provides speeds that are up to 10 times faster than 3G service1 and it is now available to customers in Orlando.

Sprint offers a growing portfolio of 4G-enabled devices, including HTC EVO™ 4G, the nation’s first 4G-capable handset, and the newly launched Samsung Epic 4G. Both operate on the Android™ platform. These products are part of a large selection of 4G-capable modems, mobile hotspots and routers that enable 4G advantages of rapid mobile downloads of large files, high-quality streaming video and high-speed Web browsing.

“Orlando is the third city in Florida to receive 4G service,” said Matt Carter, president of Sprint 4G. “We are continuing to deliver on our commitment to serve our customers by rolling out 4G in more cities in 2010. Customers in Florida are hungry for the power and speed that 4G provides and today they have it.”

You can read the full version of today’s press release on the Sprint website.  For more information about Sprint’s 4G services, point your browser at: http://www.sprint.com/4g.

Click the Read more link to see the current list of cities covered by Sprint’s 4G service.

Sprint Markets Supporting 4G Service

California – Merced, Modesto, Stockton, Visalia; Delaware – Wilmington; Florida – Daytona Beach, Jacksonville, Orlando; Georgia – Atlanta, Milledgeville; Hawaii – Honolulu, Maui; Idaho – Boise; Illinois – Chicago; Maryland – Baltimore; Massachusetts – Boston; Michigan – Grand Rapids; Missouri – Kansas City, St. Louis; New York – Rochester, Syracuse; Nevada – Las Vegas; North Carolina – Charlotte, Greensboro (includes High Point and Winston-Salem), Raleigh (includes Cary, Chapel Hill and Durham); Oregon – Eugene, Portland, Salem; Pennsylvania – Harrisburg, Lancaster, Philadelphia, Reading, York; Rhode Island – Providence; Tennessee – Nashville; Texas – Abilene, Amarillo, Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Killeen/Temple, Lubbock, Midland/Odessa, San Antonio, Waco, Wichita Falls; Utah – Salt Lake City; Virginia – Richmond; and Washington – Bellingham, Seattle, Tri-Cities, Yakima.