Passport keyboard brings productivity to a new level

Posted on June 24, 2014. Filed under: BlackBerry 10 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

NOTE: post below was copied from Inside BlackBerry. The content is not mine nor has it been altered in any way from the original.

 

Great keyboards have always been a part of the BlackBerry heritage. With our coming Passport device that has generated a ton of interest, we set out to create a smartphone that would break through and deliver a step change in productivity. Passport will show there is a better way to accomplish more.

Besides the massive square touchscreen, we’ve added a new innovative, touch-enabled keyboard to the Passport. It integrates the excellent tactile feel and performance you’ve come to know and love from our keyboards, along with the same capacitive touch technology found on modern phone and tablet touchscreens.

(If you’re a developer, head over to the Developer blog to learn how you can take advantage of the new Passport keyboard in your apps.)

Ever been annoyed by your fingers obscuring, or worse, smudging, your touchscreen? Or had difficulty getting the cursor to just the right spot? Passport’s efficient design makes those problems things of the past. You’ll be able to navigate web pages, apps and e-mails by lightly brushing your fingers over the keys. It’s a minimalist design that eliminates dedicated arrow keys while maximizing the already-awesome amount of screen real estate. You’ll also enjoy Passport’s other custom commands that take advantage of the touch-enabled keyboard to boost your productivity. Here are some of the ways:

  • Scrolling: As noted above, you can use the keyboard to swipe up and down to scroll on long lists or in the browser. Keeping your fingers off the screen and focused on what’s happening.
  • Cursor Control and Text Selection: This is a classic BlackBerry productivity enhancement reinvented for the Passport. Double-tap the keyboard, then drag your finger across the keyboard to drop the cursor at precisely the right point. Or select the text just as you would on an older BlackBerry: hold the SHIFT key while dragging your finger across the keyboard to extend a selection.
  • Contextual virtual keys: In addition to the Passport’s very clean physical QWERTY keyboard, we have added a dynamic virtual row on-screen that smartly shifts depending on context. So if you’re typing a password on-screen, numbers and symbols commonly used in passwords will automatically pop up. Or if you’re typing an e-mail address, the ‘@’ symbol will be displayed. Or if you’re surfing the Web, the colon and backslash characters needed to type in a URL will be displayed. And if you need access to any special symbol or character, just swipe down on the keyboard to see all of them at once. Like I said, smart!
  • Flick: Stuck on a word? BlackBerry 10’s Next Word Suggestion feature learns from you to give you smart, personalized choice of words you’re likely to type. You then just flick up to complete the word. No more Darn Auto-Corrects, as you type faster and more accurately over all.
  • Delete: Made a mistake? No problem, just swipe back (left) to Delete the last word, just like on our virtual keyboard!
  • Entering an accented character? Hold the letter key down, and then lightly tap on the key to add the appropriate accent!

As you can see, we’ve taken something great – the BlackBerry 10 keyboard – and innovated with the bold Passport form factor, while staying focused on one thing: YOUR productivity. Stay tuned as we look forward to bringing you more details in the near future!

Michael C. | 06.24.14 at 4:01 pm | Tags: BlackBerry passport, capacitive touch, keyboard, productivity, smartphone, touchscreen | Categories: Devices, News, Productivity | URL:  http://wp.me/p1ajMG-5ka

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BlackBerry Experience Toronto – May 8, 2014

Posted on May 9, 2014. Filed under: BlackBerry 10 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

BlackBerry Experience is a series of Enterprise-focused events intended to bring details of the BlackBerry Solution to Enterprise customers or potential customers.  There have been several US events (the last one being in New York City) and Canadian ones.  After this Toronto event, BlackBerry personnel return to the US for more Experience events.  Breakfast and coffee were available for early risers, which was greatly appreciated.  Most attendees could be seen using BlackBerry 10 devices – many of these were Q10’s, followed by Z30’s.  There were several displays at the back of the room with BlackBerry representatives available to answer questions about BES 10, BES 12, devices and Enterprise apps.

There were several BlackBerry executives speaking to a large crowd attending the event today.  Each spoke about a different way that BlackBerry can help businesses manage their present and future Mobile Device Management needs.

James MacKay

James MacKay, Executive Vice President for Corporate Development and Strategic Planning, spoke first.  He spoke about the high level of trust and security that BlackBerry can provide to its customers and users – including devices, Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM), communications of all kinds and embedded software.  An example is Nanthealth – the healthcare company that BlackBerry recently invested in.  Companies will use the BlackBerry Solution to communicate with doctors – it is a holistic solution which will preserve patient data and confidentiality while allowing those practitioners who need and are allowed access to quickly check, update and act on a patient’s condition.  Only the professionals with an appropriate access level will be able to see this data.  Medical professionals will be able to make quick decisions based on real-time data – they will be more productive and this will benefit patients, possibly save lives.

Many BlackBerry users did not want to switch to BB10 devices because they felt more productive with the BBOS device.  Amongst other features, in response to users’ feedback, BlackBerry is bringing back the physical ‘belt’ from BBOS devices.  On their side, IT administrators didn’t want a radical change in the way they configured and managed corporate devices from BES 5 to BES 10.  Furthermore, since BES 10 did not manage BBOS devices, many IT and administrative professionals simply stayed with their BES 5 server and BBOS devices.  BlackBerry recognised IT professionals’ desire for a simplified, user-friendly and familiar UI and ability to manage BBOS.  As of the fall, BES 12 will be introduced, bringing with it an enhanced way to manage ALL devices – BBOS, BB10, iOS, Android and Windows Phone.  The UI of BES 12 will not, however, be radically different from BES 5 but it will be easy to load and activate devices and applications.

BES can be utilised to exchange date, messages and video to the workforce.  Mobile apps are being developed especially for Enterprise.  They provide a challenge that is not present in the consumer space as companies have their own needs for both mobility management and the apps different groups of workers use.  Some should have access to enterprise data (and at varying levels) and others do not need this level of access or any at all.

BlackBerry is working in the Machine to Machine (M2M) space with smart machines.

 

Video: In the Palm of Your Hand

JohnSims_thumb.jpg.pagespeed.ic.Dby02sdMcLJohn Sims

 John Sims, president of BlackBerry’s global enterprise services division, spoke about BlackBerry’s Enterprise strategy, stating firmly that BlackBerry’s centre of gravity is the Enterprise.  The future of mobility is growing and BlackBerry intends to serve its Enterprise customers by protecting them and arming them as more and more data goes mobile.  The scale of growth is so large that data use is measured in the zetabytes – that’s 10 to the power of 21 bytes!  With 1,000 times the data, that gives 10,000 times the opportunities – for both empowering employees and for raising risk of a breach.  BlackBerry gives the ability to access that data and manage it securely, monitoring the interaction between BES (behind the firewall) and outside.  In 2012 the average cost per data breach for US firms was $5.4M – some much higher. Adding in the cost of the reputation breach and you can see why data management, especially on mobiles, is so important.  There are a predicted 753M smartphones and 83.9M corporate liable devices to be shipped in 2016 and 60% EMM adoption.  That makes for a more fully-engaged, collaborative and productive workforce with the corresponding risk to corporate sensitive data.  Other vendor’s products just don’t support the range that BlackBerry does.   With the BES 12 launch, BBOS devices will be supported as well as BB10, iOS and Android ones from BES 10.  BES 12 gives application management, secure connect, secure workspace, basic MDM EMM, professional services, offering a stack, mobile application enablement, ecosystem enablement and applications.  Enterprise is not like the consumer space where applications are concerned – while consumers want hundreds of thousands of apps, Enterprise typically downloads between 10 and 40 apps.  Customers can use the BlackBerry servers for file sharing and collaboration.  To top it all off, BlackBerry has been a trusted mobility provider for many years and still has the lowest Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of all vendors over 5 years.

Maribel Lopez

Maribel Lopez of Lopez Research spoke comparing the mobile marketplace to Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities – “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times”.  In other words, paralleling this cautionary tale, the mobile market holds so much promise but so much complexity at the same time.  Top IT concerns were managing big data and analytics, mobilising the business and managing those devices, security, cloud computing deployment/strategy, risk/governance, application development.  The top Enterprise applications were email, calendar/contacts, CRM/SFA.  Organisations are thinking about mobile in a strategic way – in other words giving access to the right data on the right device at the right time.  C-level executives need access to data that factory floor employees do not, for example.  MDM needs to take these varying needs within the organisation and be able to manage them seamlessly.  BES 10 and BES 12 will do that without IT and end-user headaches.

The mobile evolution is extending and enhancing existing business processes – for example, adding location, time stamping etc to deliveries or personnel; in healthcare, e-scribing (prescribing digitally), equipment monitoring, video conferencing/collaborating from an ambulance, remote diagnosis via tablet, , automated drug tracking – how drugs are stored/treated/kept (eg. temperature).  Logistics are covered by applications such as signature capture to monitor cargo.  From devices to apps to people and content, the content within the app must be secured.  So an individual user’s apps are synced and monitored across devices for unusual patterns or deviations which may indicate a breach possibility.

jeff_holleran_blackberry-smallJeff Holleran

Jeff Holleran, Enterprise Product Strategy, compared the cost of the BlackBerry Solution favourably vs competing vendors.  Since BES 10 can secure iOS and Android in the Secure Work Space, it gives iOS and Android devices the same filing and sharing abilities as BB10 devices.  The browser uses the same connectivity as BlackBerrys and gets full Docs To Go.  The latest Android and iOS OS’s get support with push email just like a BB10 device would.  BlackBerry also assured businesses that BBOS devices will continue to be supported “until the last BBOS device is off”!  BlackBerry will keep BES 5 up-to-date as people who use it like it as it is since they know and trust it as a stable solution.  To make it seamless and cost-free for organisations to switch to BES 10, BlackBerry is offering EZ Pass – this programme allows holders of either BES or competitors’ MDM licenses to exchange them one for one for BES 10 licenses with Silver tier support.  Also, when BES 12 is launched in the fall, organisations will get a free upgrade to it.  BYOD is the loosest level of corporate control, followed by COPE (company-owned, personally enabled), then COBO (corporate-owned, business orientated – totally controlled, user fully compliant with corporate strategy and rules).  BES 10 will support all levels of control.  The phone application remains one app and if administration allows, can access the work space.  Each device (if allowed) can search its appropriate Application storefront for the apps needed and download.  Alternatively, apps can be pushed to devices by IT.

The server software is free and it takes one hour max to install.  Network World said that BES is the easiest to activate compared to other vendors – average 20 minutes shorter per device.  Adding up thousands of devices, that saves organisations a lot of time and money.  There is a BB helpdesk to configure what is necessary but much of the setup is user-friendly and familiar.  BES 10 also automates certain set-up tasks, eg matching active directory groups to BES groups.  When a new member is added, it propagates to the server right away.  Since 50% of calls to the helpdesk were for password resets, IT professionals get the choice to assign a different policy at the user level.  As end users are typically not IT professionals, end-user enrollment is a challenge.  To meet this challenge, BlackBerry built help into the enrollment by a screen-by-screen step-by-step process to activate the device in the Secure Work Space.

Approximately 800,000 licenses have been traded up through the EZ Pass programme so far.  BES 10 users get 24 x 7 x 365 support worldwide with telephone access to the BlackBerry expert support centre.  The BES 12 pre-release will be out this summer to users who signed up for it with general release in the fall.

BB10 is an OS built for business, enabling IT to prioritise and respond on your terms.  BB10 devices (eg Q10, Z30) give battery life that keeps up with employees and new devices are coming, such as the Classic in the fall, aimed at those who value productivity.

John Tinoio, telecommunications at Toronto District School Board, told how the TDSB uses BES 10 to give end users the apps they need (for example QR readers), maintain confidential student records, and manage employees use of resources or expenses eg gas/travel.

Jeff Gadway

Jeff Gadway, Head of Product Marketing, BBM, spoke on Enterprise-grade BBM, called eBBM.  BBM has been a consumer-level success with a current level of about 85M average monthly users, 65% of whom use BBM daily.  BBM created value in terms of speed (the majority of BBMs are read within seconds), reliability and privacy (no telephone numbers to give out – BBM works on PIN only).  BBM for business means greater productivity – real-time collaboration means increased efficiency – shown by the statistic that 85% of BES 10 users use BBM.  An anonymous government customer reported 90% of users on BBM with 75% of the chats to internal users.  A healthcare customer reported different data – with 2300 users on BBM, 70% of users were chatting outside of the organisation.  This shows the difficulty in management.  BlackBerry introduced the eBBM suite – not a single product but a line of products and services. BBM can be used not only for messaging co-workers and staff but voice and video calls, both of whom manage cost and enhance productivity.  BBM groups for 50 or fewer employees in a team and Private Channels for greater than 50 allow real-time collaboration between employees within and between teams.

Gold tier services include logging and auditing of BBM chats.  BBM Protected provides secure transit for data whether at rest or in transit.  There are three layers of security – TLS encryption eg online banking protects BBMs from eavesdropping; BlackBerry secure 3DES BBM key is already in BBM; third level is public/private NIST suite B encryption which is FIPS approved.  The BBM is never decrypted until it is on the receiver’s device and each message is individually secured.  BBM Protected is activated through BES and pushed to devices when BBM 6 or BBM 10.2 and higher are activated.  This enhances for Enterprise but doesn’t change the UI.  This last is very important to both end users and the corporate clients who manage their devices.    Users have a very similar UI when BBMing Personal or Work contacts – the Work (protected) chat is subtly labelled in the chat window with the familiar lock symbol and the chat is blue, rather than black.  BBM Protected will be rolling out in June.

Martyn Mallick

Martyn Mallick, Vice President of Global Alliances and Ecosystems, spoke about business applications.  Since BYOD has infiltrated Enterprise, the tactical focus was on MDM while business transformation was put on hold.  However, managing devices is only the start.  Enterprise-grade apps are more challenging since new technologies are emerging which cause market confusion.  For example, typical apps were built for desktop with data sitting behind a firewall.  However, as business goes mobile, apps that run the business need to go mobile as well.  The challenges are that as BYOD began, more devices proliferated with more apps and more integrations.  A complete ecosystem contains a secure app platform – the gold standard for secure, regulated end-to-end mobility.  Cross-platform meant app management and distribution headaches, apps for work and play – secure vs recreation.  Corporate in-house apps are also needed to serve organisations unique needs.BES solves the mobile VPN issue with secure containers for iOS and Android so tha tthese OS’s can leverage the same secure VPN as BlackBerrys – they don’t need a separate VPN.  The apps come through the firewall and BlackBerry infrastructure as approved by admin.

App management is done through the enterprise app store according to IT criteria.  Some apps are determined as ‘necessary’ so are pushed through BES.  Users get near rel-time notifications with guaranteed delivery and acknowledgement and offline capabilities.    BlackBerry works with organisations on custom apps, ecosystem support and developer relations with developer experts supporting app development across a broad section of commercial apps.

Take home: BES 10 and BES 12 solve mobile VPN, cross-platform apps, mobilise business users and apps, recognising that users need more than email – that freedom of choice is important.  Organisations must future-proof their investments and simplify to enable them.

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Posted on February 12, 2013. Filed under: BlackBerry 10 | Tags: , , |

For all the physical keyboard lovers!

Inside BlackBerry

Top 5 things about the BlackBerry Q10

The BlackBerry Q10 is the first BlackBerry 10 smartphone to feature a classic BlackBerry hardware physical keyboard. This device combines the iconic BlackBerry keyboard and the power of the BlackBerry 10 platform to bring you what we consider the best smartphone with a physical QWERTY keyboard on the market. Since I previously showed you five highlights of the BlackBerry Z10, I wanted to share five things you need to know about the BlackBerry Q10 experience.

  1. The keyboard is bigger and better. The BlackBerry Q10 features a straight keyboard design, and is wider than earlier BlackBerry smartphones. The metal frets between the keys are also bigger, offering a more visual appeal while helping to eliminate errors while typing on the go.
  2. The BlackBerry Q10 has the largest battery of any BlackBerry smartphone, ever. The BlackBerry Q10 battery is 2100 mAh in size, which means, well, you can talk, work…

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