My Continuing Half-Hearted Attempts to Buy a PlayBook, or Not

3 05 2011

I thought I finally had dismissed the idea of purchasing the PlayBook and then Lazaridis (the CEO with some tricks up his white sleeve,) announced today at BlackBerry World in Orlando, that the PlayBook has some enhancements coming. Chris Umiastowski of the Globe and Mail reported on some of the new features here.

RIM has also joined up with Adobe and Bing for some integration on their new devices: Globe article from today

Where does that leave me? Well I have to say I am intrigued by their efforts. Lazaridis claims the number of apps available at launch exceeded what the iPad had available at launch (in fact greater number of apps than any other tablet. The BIG NEWS seems to say that even Rovio likes RIM and soon businessmen will be launching birds at pigs all over the world.

Is RIM losing its way or have they finally found it? Their market projections seem to suggest they are being realistic given the number of players and the market stresses, but the new way they wear their hat seems to suggest they are flexible and a force to be reckoned with once they decide the consumer/business mix. Maybe they finally noticed all of those high school students with BlackBerrys who don’t care about security and want to play games. The Bing-thing and the joinder with Adobe Creative Suite bodes well for RIM and having Balmer in your corner can’t hurt.

Now if only I can get my device OS upgraded to thwart the attempts of my provider to usurp my unlimited data plan, I will acquire a PlayBook (which should have been called a BlackPad,) and I will data squander to my heart’s content.

Did I mention the new integrated email too?


BlackBerry PlayBook – A Few Observations

20 04 2011

First, it looks good. The sales people at Staples didn’t have a lot of product knowledge but they were friendly. They knew nothing about Bridge but tried to fake it as best they could.

Second, they have no idea what ships. The guy I was talking to looked in the box, looked at me, and basically said, “I guess that’s it”

Third, I think I need version 5.0 of the device OS and although version 5 is listed as available for my phone, conveniently it can’t be downloaded and it would be necessary to run Bridge. I guess that means to fully take advantage of tethering options I would need to upgrade my phone as well, something I haven’t considered until now.

Four, RIMs stock dropped with the launch but seems to be levelling today. Yesterday might have been a good day to buy and if the rumours are true the PlayBook will get better once they do the emulation thing with the Android store and there is more positive written about it.

Bottom line – I don’t have one yet, I am cautiously optimistic, and it has to improve. . .for $700 I can wait.


Practical Use of SmartPhones Roundtable – ABA Techshow 2010

26 03 2010

I am in a Roundtable session with Reid Trautz and Dan Pinnington in the opulent Conrad Hilton Suite on the top of the Chicago Hilton. This is the first Techshow event I have been to up here and I have to say, I am impressed with the surroundings!

We just surveyed the room and there are about 30 people in the room and only about 6 have Blackberries, the majority have iPhones (I never would have guessed), and there are a dedicated group of Droid users. OK, there are a few Palm users but I heard a rumour that Palm has abandoned their OS and will not develop more. I got a chance to use a Droid downstairs a few minutes ago and I loved it.

Reid and Dan are veteren Techshow guys and Dan is a past Chair and I think both are either on the Planning Board or were on the the Board at various times.

People are mentioning the limited app functions of Blackberries, and the ease of uploads/interface with the iPhone. RIM/Blackberry has been updating their OS and look for some improvements in the future.

People in the room are commenting on the intuitiveness of the Droid. Apps are easy to get and they have an AppKiller which they love. People love the slide out keyboard and it also has a poop-up keyboard on the screen.

Some people find the Blackberry keyboard too small but once you adapt its fine. Reid likes the adaptive keyboard on the iPhone (I for one hate it because it never ever guesses that I am trying to say. . .that might say something about me!)

Dan is saying the keys on the BB Bold are more sculpted and easier to use.

Reid gets all of his emails from Gmail account and Outlook on his iPhone. He says its easy. You can also run the iPhone off whatever server without running an enterprise server like Blackberry BES. Reid is saying you can subscribe to a server with iPhone for $100/month.

The Droid can also be remotely wiped but the user who mentioned it isn’t sure how its done – it was taken care of by his IT person.

Reid says in Chicago, taxi drivers turn in more than 5000 cell phones each month and the number is the same in San Francisco. We have an emphasis on security and yet we don’t worry about as much about physical security. There has been a point made about the lack of security with the iPhone being hacked but maybe we should be more worried about the physical security.

There are questions about the Blackberry server (BES). There is an enterprise version and there can be individual solutions or shared/hosted versions. Google enterprise servers and hosting and follow this thread if you like.

There is some discussion around the room about Verizon vs AT&T vs Sprint and the coverage of each provider. Dan says Consumer Reports has an issue about the various phone companies and the coverage in each city. Check it out here

There is a lot of talk about various apps like Google Mobile, and Bing, and things like that. These are apps for iPhones. Reid likes Bing as a search app for iPhones (its a Microsoft product and not a Google product).

There is also an app called “Documents to Go”. Its not full featured like a desktop version but you can do a lot including editing docs. Reid is anticipating the arrival of the iPad (Reid is a Mac user and Dan has a Toshiba in front of him.) There is a “dumbed down” version of Documents to Go on the Blackberry which enables you to view docs, etc and Dan says it has been a lifesaver for him at times. You won’t be doing major editing on it but it can save you from time to time.

Reid also mentions Zosh app for iPhones which allows you to sign a pdf doc and send it back! This looks like a cool app and it was mentioned in a session this morning as well by Rodney Dowell.

Reid also uses an app called ScanR Business Center which allows you to snap a photo of a document and the app sends it through a server and converts to a pdf file. Useful app.

LogMeIn Ignition app for the iPhone. You can access your desktop via your iPhone. Its a small screen but it might save you a drive to the office if you are sending a file or moving folders around, etc.

Dropbox is another iPhone app that Reid finds useful. Its a free app, drag and drop on your computer and can work on the document from anywhere. Works through your browser or as an iPhone app.

There will be a built-in microphone in the new iPad. You will need a WiFi connection. This seems fairly simple and then I say to myself, gee, I was in a session at ABA Techshow and I could not access WiFi in a session on Cloud Computing. . .maybe WiFi isn’t that accessible in the real world, or at least all the time. Apple has some concerns about battery life so the iPad is a little stripped to make it useful for a longer time period. There is a debate on whether there will be people grabbing the iPad or will they wait for the next version when things are added/improved.

Dan’s Toshiba laptop is also a tablet and he obviously likes it as this isn’t his first.

Reid is talking about the Kindle and how it would be useful for reviewing a 20 page pdf, full colour and more features.

You can read Reid Trautz’ Blog here and you can find out anything you may want to know about Dan here

Dennis Kennedy has made lots of comments this afternoon so I will mention his blog is here.

That’s it, not live blogged but “almost live”!