Archive for March, 2013

Z10 keyboard–amazingly accurate!

Posted on March 11, 2013. Filed under: BlackBerry 10 | Tags: , , , , , , |

The largest part of my reluctance to use a touchscreen was a previous bad experience with one (iPhone 4) and a great experience with my BB Bold 9900.  Several people assured me that I’d love the Z10 keyboard. These people (who had a Dev Alpha prototypes) ranged from experienced touchscreen users to those who strongly preferred the physical QWERTY keyboard.  They told me that the predictive text was the saving grace of the Z10.

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(Image courtesy of http://twimgs.com/informationweek/byte/news/2013-Jan/bb10-keyboard.jpg)

After about a week of use, I found the Z10 keyboard familiar, like an old friend.    Below you can see what happens when you type so fast you forget the spaces.  The Z10 simply suggests the correct spacing.  It does not do it for you–you are in control at all times.  I like that!

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(Image courtesy of http://nerdberry.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/IMG_00000137.png)

Please follow the link below for the complete article written by myself for Decoding.com

http://decodingtech.com/the-blackberry-z10-keyboard-predictive-text-is-almost-creepy-in-its-accuracy/

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Sideloading–a first attempt.

Posted on March 9, 2013. Filed under: BlackBerry 10 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

I have always resisted sideloading for three reasons: 1) I like to support developers who make native apps for BB10; 2) I also like to support those who port over their current Android or other OS apps; and 3) it looked like a daunting exercise and I didn’t want to brick my brand new BlackBerry Z10. However, when I read that both Instagram and Dropbox were available to sideload, I decided to take the plunge. A note, however–I actually don’t use Instagram but do use Dropbox. I decided to sideload Instagram as an exercise since 1) it is a “desirable” app that many people use, and 2) to show doubters that it was possible, easy to get and it worked.
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So – – how to start? I followed links to two websites with directions on how to sideload. You may find one easier to follow than the other but for me, the one on CrackBerry http://crackberry.com/how-put-android-apps-your-blackberry-10-device was the clearest (the above link is for PC, the link for Mac is http://crackberry.com/how-put-android-apps-your-blackberry-10-phone-your-mac).
Ok, so the directions were easy but…where do I get the apps? I tried Google Play but as I had no Android device that was not an option.
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Plus, unaltered Android apps will not work – they do have to be made into .Bar files to work on either BB10 devices or the PlayBook. As I am not a programmer, this was not an option for me. Fortunately, I was pointed to the goodereader.com site whose writers/programmers have done the hard work for me. Thanks, people!  They have two sections: one for new PlayBook and BB10 apps and an older one.  I found the .Bar file for Instagram on the new apps page http://apps.goodereader.com/playbook/new-blackberry-playbook-apps/ .  I found the .Bar file for Dropbox in the older section http://apps.goodereader.com/playbook/playbook-android-apps/ .   It took a while to search through all the apps to find some I really wanted to sideload.  I found several, but decided to only try the two in case something went wrong.  (Bricking my Z10 is not my idea of a good time!)
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Now to get to work.  I first installed Java Runtime Environment and the DDPB (Dauden PlayBook) installer (Make sure you have the latest version–at this time it is 1.0.9.  The earlier one doesn’t work.  You can get the current one directly from http://ddpb.dauden.vn/ if you prefer.)  Then went to the GoodeReader site for the apps.  Once they were all downloaded to my computer, I ran DDPB and installed the two apps. When it indicated 100%,  I was very happy.  🙂
Dropbox loaded correctly and I was easily able to access my Dropbox account and files.  However, there was an issue with Instagram.  As posted in forums, there is actually no way to register for Instagram unless you actually have an iOS or Android device of some kind.  Now that was a problem as I wanted to complete everything using only my computer and my Z10 (and did not want to give up and resurrect my old iPhone 4 just for this).  (If you already have an Instagram account, obviously this step is unncessary.)  Luckily, I searched ‘how to sign up for Instagram using a PC’ and got a solution–someone had actually thought of this and posted a link and instructions on how to get your computer to think it was an Android.  😀  I have not posted the link directly as I do not know the site I used so cannot recommend its safety.  You will see lots of options.  This portion is not for the technically challenged as the ability to troubleshoot may be necessary.
I downloaded a launcher (Blue Stacks in this case) which seemed to convert my computer into an Android, went to Google Play, signed in with my Google e-mail username and password, then opened the Instagram app from within Google Play.  It opened–sideways and huge on my 28″ TV (which doubles as my monitor screen).  That was very bizarre! Some of the registration screen was off the monitor but I managed to register for an Instagram account.  Trying to close it was a nightmare without the proper controls!  I finally had to restart my computer lol!
Now on my Z10, however, was a working Instagram.  I took a picture from within Instagram, applied some filters and posted it on Instagram’s website.  I then took a screen shot of my app grid with the Instagram and Dropbox apps on it as proof for the skeptics.
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The only odd thing about the sideloaded apps is their response to swiping down from the top of the screen.  Normally, in a BB10 app, when you swipe down you get a small selection of choices depending on the app.  In the two sideloaded ones, swiping down from the top made the selection of choices appear at the bottom of the screen.  The good news is that apart from that, the apps behave like I expected them to on my Z10 such as minimizing just like BB10 or ported apps so they will run in Active Frames (whether they are truly active, it is difficult to tell without leaving them running for a while).
I was able to engage Dropbox to upload and save my pictures from my Z10, open them and send one to a friend in a text message (obviously no tie to BBM).  The same with Instagram.  I was able to take both pictures above with my Z10, process them and upload them both to Instagram and to a friend via text.
In conclusion, it was fun (and at times frustrating) but I’ll get rid of the sideloaded apps as soon as real BB10 ones come out.  Thanks to everyone who helpied with hints and directions, especially Ash.
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BlackBerry 10 Peek and Flow

Posted on March 2, 2013. Filed under: BlackBerry 10 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

An introduction to the BlackBerry Z10, especially its core feature of the Hub, the Peek action and overall Flow.  It is a very intuitive device–easy and a pleasure to use.  Please follow the link below for the complete article written by myself for Decoding.  🙂

http://decodingtech.com/an-introduction-to-the-blackberry-z10

Swipe to the right to reveal the Hub where all messages are collected. If you don’t want to look at the message right away, just let it go leftward again and you are back to doing what you were doing before.

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