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Blackberry has Unfortunately gotten a Bad Rap

by Kerry Dawson

At the Mac View and Daily Mac View the principle focus is on technology mainly as it relates to the Mac market. The theme though is how technology affects you, how do you stay current and how do you best take advantage of the things brough to you such as knowledge and productivity enhancements through the technological tools. To objectively do this, it is essential to look at tools from a broader perspective. Cross platform is becoming a new harkening (actually it is something we’ve been after for a long time yet only now is it possible) and in that not only one platform will be used. However, these platforms, rather than vigorously competing with each other, are beginning to move towards how do they work with each other the best to again improve productivity.

In the process of assessing cross platform trends its become clear that BlackBerry 10 has gotten a very bad rap. For some, the BlackBerry might prove an ideal tool in a complete Mac environment and in no way disrupt the environment but enhance things completely for a fully Mac person who has an interest in a Smartphone that accesses the information differently. It’s a double sword though. The more the BlackBerry gets labeled this dated or useless tool the more the capability of the platform is not utilized. The reverse is true. Those that see the value of the platform without a threat for it the more the tools that are needed in todays IT world will be produced. Not every platform is equal in its ability to pull things off.

BB 10 a Powerful OS

BB 10 or the current OS for the Blackberry and more specifically OS10.3.2 is a powerful OS. It has the capability to network easily, display its file system, link to a Mac and a Microsoft infrastructure plus run not only BlackBerry apps but all Android apps.

When people say there are no apps for the BlackBerry this is blatantly incorrect. The BlackBerry can run all the BlackBerry apps, which tend to be more business oriented and then also every Google or Android app. This is one slew of applications.

However, of greater importance is the inability of the BlackBerry to run IOS apps and these ones, at least to this author, seem more interesting and they are more reliable. Regardless, it is a complete fallacy that the BlackBerry doesn’t run many apps. One thing should be kept in mind though and it is that the apps are becoming cross platform so IOS apps are being ported to Android with the full capability to look the same and work with the exact same information via the cloud. The IOS limitation on the BlackBerry is dissipating fast.

Android Equivalent Apps are being produced to work with IOS

On the application front it is looking far more promising. Android apps are being produced that work and sync transparently with IOS apps. Thus, regardless of whether you run an IOS device or/and BlackBerry the data is the same on both.

Further, there are a slew of products that make the transfer of files or information in the clipboard a piece of cake. Both Instashare and Clipboard Fusion are easy to use and very powerful. In fact, they’re almost magical. This trend will only gain in momentum and cannot be stopped. Such is one of the ways with technology.

BlackBerry‘s Killer Application

One might still wonder though why they’d run a BlackBerry as it does seem like a bit more work for an interoperable system. It really is not that problematic. However, BlackBerry has what is referred to as the hub where all communications goes. No longer do you need to look around your device for any communication. It is all in the hub. To add to this, there is a blinking red light identifier that goes off to tell you something has arrived and you will find it in the hub.

No longer do you need to check your device constantly for communication. You will be alerted to it’s arrival. If you say go for a coffee and information were to arrive on your iPhone, as an example, you would not know it’s there unless you looked. With the BlackBerry, you’re just told and again everything is in the one spot (the hub). This is a killer app, if there ever was one.

The Killer app tames the Potential Beasts

BBM is the messaging device on the Blackberry. It is available on every device so whoever you need to communicate with can use BBM. What is the advantage of this over iMessage. Privacy and security are your major advantages. For someone to talk to you on BBM you have to allow the link.

On iMessage anyone can just start to iMessage you. There is no way to control this. You have both a security and privacy violation all rolled into one. The ability to invite who you talk to is a major plus and there are many people that wish they had this capability on iMessage.

The Hard Knock can be Defeated

BlackBerry is the unfortunate inheritor of a hard knock. They brought this on, in large part, themselves. Yet, things like this can be reversed. The message just needs to get out there that there are reasons to use the BlackBerry in a Mac environment without concern.

The final thing that is in BlackBerry‘s favor is price. The iPhone is one pricey device. A BlackBerry z30, a device very much like an iPhone, can be had for $399 from Shopblackberry. An unlocked phone from Apple with 64 megs of memory is approximately $1000. This is a huge difference and with the move to bring your own device by the telco’s this definitely needs consideration.

BlackBerry‘s Survival

Blackberry may or may not survive. No one knows. However, they should go down with the facts in place. They’ve done a poor job at relaying the facts. They are touting security to the nth degree, which is fine but people relate to “where are the apps”. Well why doesn’t BlackBerry tell us there are apps and a lot.

Time will tell us the story of BlackBerry and their fate. However, at the Daily Mac View one of our premises is to relay good information to the Mac community. BlackBerry can be a solid player in a Mac world where certain functions are critical such as the hub. I would say the Android world is too competitive for a nice co-relationship with the Mac world and even though BlackBerry runs Android apps it is a BlackBerry and not an Android device. Think of it as just a pleasant team player in a Mac environment where it’s particular functionality might fit better. This perspective is consistent with a solid systems architecture and in no way works against it.

BlackBerry‘s stock is down. In a Bloomberg press release Chen (CEO) says “BlackBerry Is Not for Sale ‘at This Price,. He’s hanging tough and so he should. Would a tech analyst get to him what’s important at this point. Is BlackBerry misguided in what they keep touting that the average consumer can’t relate to. It is only corporate IT that understands what is being said by the company but the irony here is corporate IT is listening to their employees and giving them what they want. There’s clearly a schism. BlackBerry desperately needs to change it’s message to we are:

  1. Cost effective
  2. Have tons of software to choose from and there is more coming
  3. We have a killer app called the hub
  4. We play nice in an Apple environment and why I stress this is the Android marketplace, at least from an IT perspective, is a mess and the last thing IT needs is a mess.
  5. We have a variety of devices to meet different user needs for input functionality etc

Apple, BlackBerry and Microsoft: Killer Combo for Corporate IT

Stepping into the realms of Corporate IT is essential as where do you use your iPhone a lot of the time. Work. In this world of “Bring Your Own Device” it is important to know what can work effectively for corporate IT. When they allow BYOD they are taking a risk. Is what you have secure. Will it play well with the Data Infrastructure of the company. Will teams be able to work together. Will personal productivity be enhanced, enhancing that of the Company. Don’t be fooled. This BYOD is all about company survival and profits. The executive looks to IT to ensure the blood of the company is flowing through the veins nicely.

I think that the combination of Apple, BlackBerry and Microsoft can produce a killer outcome. Apps that we may not have thought of or on the drawing boards can be delivered from the above scenario. How? Briefly:

  1. Apple brings to the table a device that is wanted and is used by millions
  2. Apple has a nice tie in networking strategy
  3. BlackBerry has cost effective device enabled by apps that play well with Apple and specifically Microsoft or for that matter the IBM world
  4. They are robust devices, designed in different fashions, to meet differing needs with an OS that is very advanced
  5. They have a killer app that corporate IT loves; a centralized hub where all communications arrive and a method of alerting the user that something has arrived
    a. Work is dealt with more rapidly and the possibilty for important commnuications being lost is reduced dramatically
    6. Microsoft brings to this table a corporate enterprise system that is shared and is extremely cost effective
  6. Office 365 works beautifully with both the Mac and the BlackBerry
  7. It is Enterprise class and no less
  8. It is 7/24 and fully supported by Microsoft
    9a. The corporation does not need to spend any money to support the vehicle’s operation
  9. Fielded with a killer system the corporation and you, the employee, are enabled to do things with current applications and those that are to come decisively whilst corporate IT can manage effectively a powerful conglomeration

Thus BlackBerry‘s success or failure rests with them and their ability to get out the right message which they aren’t doing. Microsoft is doing a better job at getting out the message. Apple just continues to provide extremely good products that people want but Apple should be very aware; this is tech and you can be on top of the crest of the wave only to be buried by the crest the next day if you don’t know what you’re doing. It is clear, that of all the players, Apple is the least poised to understand corporate IT thus their turning to IBM. Not a bad move as no one understands corporate IT better than IBM. But I would say for the delivery of a highly robust, killer system that corporate IT and users will grab onto, the one that gives everyone what they want to march forward is the one that will win the day.

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