BlackBerry C-Series Smartphone Spotted

Reports coming in from BBIN suggest that Canadian smartphone vendor BlackBerry is preparing a new smartphone that will fit into BlackBerries C-Series. The handset pictured above is codenamed “Americano” and uses a 4 inch 720 x 1280 LCD display. The phone draws design inspiration from the BlackBerry Z30 but is said to have the hardware specification of the BlackBerry Q5 (Dual Core Snapdragon 1.2GHz processor, 2GB RAM, 8GB storageand a 2180mAH battery).

The “Americano” handset is also expected to have 4G LTE connectivity and should be available in QWERTY or full Touch-Screen variants.

Image courtesy of BBIN

BBM For Android And iOS Coming September 21st

Blackberry have announced that BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) will be available on Android and iOS from September 21st. To run BBM on your Android or iOS device you must have iOS 6 or iOS 7 and Android 4.X or higher.  BBM is a BlackBerry-developed messaging platform that has over 60 million users who spend nearly 90 minutes on average using the service per day. 10 billion messages are sent via BBM every day which BlackBerry claim is nearly twice that of rival messaging platforms when comparing average messages sent per user per day.

Key Features

  • BBM Chat – Enjoy real, immediate conversations with friends on Android, iPhone and BlackBerry smartphones. Not only does BBM let you know that your message has been delivered and read, it also shows you that your friend is responding to the message.
  • More than chat – With BBM you can share files on your phone such as photos and voice notes, all in an instant.
  • Keep your group in the loop – Multi-person chats are a great way to invite contacts to chat together. BBM Groups lets you invite up to 30 friends to chat together, and go a step further than multi-chat by sharing photos and schedules. And, with Broadcast Message, you can send a message out to all your BBM contacts at once.
  • Post Updates and stay in the know – BBM lets you post a personal message, profile picture and your current status, and lets your contacts know instantly in Updates.Your unique PIN – Every BBM user has a unique PIN that maintains your privacy, so you don’t have to give out your phone number or email address to a new or casual contact.
  • Your unique PIN – Every BBM user has a unique PIN that maintains your privacy, so you don’t have to give out your phone number or email address to a new or casual contact.

BBM will be available to download from the BBM website from September 21st.

Image courtesy of BlackBerry

Blackberry Z30 Is Made Official – Snapdragon S4 Pro and 5 Inch 720p Display

BlackBerry have revealed their latest flagship Smartphone the BlackBerry Z30. The Z30 is the successor to the Z10 and is a full touch screen device. The phone ships with BlackBerry OS 10.2 and opts for a 295ppi 1280 x 720 Super AMOLED display.

Internally the Z30 is powered by a dual core 1.7GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU, 2GB of RAM and an Adreno 320 GPU putting it on par with similarly spec’d devices like the Moto X and Google Nexus 4. The Z30 uses a 2880 mAh battery internally which is slightly beefed up over the Z10 predecessor – though the battery is non-removable. The Z30 measures in  at just 9.4mm thick, 140.7mm tall and 72mm wide due to the 5 inch display. Internal storage is at 16GB but with room for MicroSD expansion.

The BlackBerry Z30 will support 4G LTE, dual band b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC. The camera is nearly identical to that of the Z10 with a 2MP front and 8MP rear that are capable of 720p and 1080p video respectively. The Z30 also comes with an improved antenna for better reception in low signal areas and “natural sound” audio enhancements.

Pricing and availability was not announced though the UK and Middle East are expected to get the handset next week.

Image courtesy of BlackBerry, Information Via Engadget

BBM For Android Will Not Be Samsung Exclusive Says BlackBerry

Android Central reports that BBM for Android will not be a Samsung exclusive like previously reported. An official Samsung Twitter account recently tweeted that this was the case and that Samsung had secured a 3 month exclusivity deal with BBM but BlackBerry have dispelled such claims, stating that:

“The tweet, though very exciting, is incorrect … I want to clarify that no one will have an exclusive on offering BBM. We’ll be bringing the app to Android and iPhone users across the globe soon.”

Interestingly this means that when BBM does come out for Android and iOS it will be open to any handsets and for any network carriers to use – there will be no restrictions on it. Of course its interesting that BBM are even taking the route of letting other operating systems use its proprietary chat software. With the declining popularity of BlackBerry handsets BlackBerry feel this is a necessary move to stay competitive and personally I agree with them. Who knows in a few years time BlackBerry might just scrap the BlackBerry OS, use Android phones and specialise in their existing software portfolio of BBM and their email platform.

Image courtesy of Android Central

BlackBerry Z30 Pictured

The BlackBerry Z30 smartphone is yet to go official but already the smartphone has been pictured again this time courtesy of CrackBerry. The BlackBerry Z30, pictured above on the left, was put side by side with the Sony Xperia Z1. The BlackBerry Z30 is expected to debut later this month or in early October and the smartphone is confirmed to be arriving on Canadian network carrier Bell.

BlackBerry’s Z30 is expected to run the BlackBerry 10.2 operating system with a 5 inch capacitive touchscreen display, the resolution isn’t known but will probably be either 720p or 1080p depending on what price point BlackBerry target. The internals are expected to comprise of a dual core processor, 2GB of RAM and full LTE support.

More details to follow soon as we come closer to the official launch.

Image courtesy of CrackBerry

The NSA Can Tap BlackBerry OS, iOS And Android Says Der Spiegel

A fresh report emerging from Der Spiegel suggests that the NSA is capable of accessing data on any smartphones in the world running popular operating systems like BlackBerry, iOS and Android. Apparently the NSA has tapped into all leading mobile operating systems and can gain access to contact lists, SMS traffic, notes, user locations and more. Der Spiegel’s sources are reportedly classified internal NSA documents.

The leaked documents reveal that the NSA has working groups dedicated to the hacking of each mobile operating system and each working group is responsible for gathering data from targeted handsets running the respective operating systems. The NSA’s greatest successes have reportedly come with the iPhone where it is able to hack into the computer used to sync the mobile device enabling them to access 38 iPhone features.

In terms of the Blackberry OS the NSA had troubles in 2009 when Blackberry compressed data in a certain way but by March 2010 they had found a way around the problem – a cause for internal celebration at the NSA. The most damaging part from Blackberry’s reputation is that their email service, thought to be one of the most secure in the mobile world, was also hacked. Blackberry have always claimed their email service is impenetrable and Blackberry commented that they have not built a back door pipeline and that it was not their place “to comment on media reports regarding alleged government surveillance of telecommunications traffic”.

Der Spiegel did however note that smartphones are not currently subject to mass surveillance and the tactic was used to target only specific individuals without the knowledge of any mobile handset companies or OS developers.

Details on the Android OS hackings were not covered and the Windows Phone OS was not mentioned in the Der Spiegel report.

Image courtesy of Reuters/Pawel Kopczynski