BBM: A Conspiracy Theory

So BlackBerry stated they would be launching BBM on Android and iOS this past weekend, the official announcement was made months ago. As the hype was built, here in the Asia Pacific region specifically, BBM was the topic of discussion for the first time in a long time, reminiscing back to its former glory.

So they began the roll out slowly, confusingly however they started rolling it for iOS first, whereas they had announced that it would be coming for Android first. A couple of days before the rollout, the apk was leaked. Many people installed it but couldn’t get set up and connected, which changed this past weekend. Before it even launched on the Play Store, the apk was installed and activated on numerous devices, the number floating around is 1.1 million however it is not clear whether that was iOS and Android or just android. As time went on and people were clamoring away, posting their new PIN’s on any and every form of social media, BlackBerry dropped a bomb. They said they would be halting the roll out for the foreseeable future and would also be deactivating the accounts of those who signed up through the leaked apk.

Now here’s where my conspiracy theory comes into play. Take BlackBerry, a company that’s failing, dying. Soon enough they won’t even exist in the consumer world. Their former fame and glory now a shadow in the distance, fading away. Sunk-ed so low that they’re offering their only selling point to their competitors, for free. The picture that comes to your mind is of a BlackBerry, one that has not been picked and left to dry, withering on the vine, frail and wishing for death. But here’s where the twist comes in, the metaphorical rebirth. What if it was BlackBerry themselves who leaked the apk? It would make more sense would it not? A one last hurrah! Think about it, people were already forgetting about blackberry and preparing to throw their old blackberries away the minute they migrated over to BBM on their other, more loved platforms. So the minute BBM was on the Play Store and App Store all over the world that would be the last nail in the ill fated companies coffin. So they leaked the apk, gave people a small taste of what they wanted and got the world hungry and in a split second, took it away from them. Its a classic mind game and a good one at that. It’s been 3 days and my timeline is still cluttered with people asking what happened about bbm, how do you get bbm, etc. That’s the most anyone’s spoken about the company in a while. Now, people want it, they want it bad. Giving BlackBerry back a little control of the market they once dominated.

Now with this in no way am I saying “blackberry is back”, they’re still going to die soon and there’s no stopping that. This has merely prolonged the consumers acknowledgment of their existence. It is unclear what can become of this now, whether that was it and they just did it to do it and go out with a very minute bang, more of a pop! you could say. Or, did they do it so they could test the market and see how many people were actually interested in BBM, so that they could probably spin it off into a separate entity or even monetize it. What they do with it is up to them, all we can do is sit back and watch.

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Mobile operating system alternatives that stand a chance

How many of you out there are sick of the smartphone wars? You know the war of the mobile OS’, largely dominated by Android and iOS. The smartphone wars has chewed up and spit out lot’s of competition over the years, completely destroying some companies (Palm/Hp, Symbian) and some who just refuse to give up (RIM, Microsoft). There’s certainly no lack of choice when it comes to mobile OS preference, but what happens if you get bored with the so-called “Big 4”, wouldn’t you like more options? Well here’s a list of the mobile OS’s that I think may actually stand a chance.

MeeGo

You may have heard of MeeGo before, it’s the OS everyone claimed was doomed. Nokia released it on the N9 stating it was “Our first and last MeeGo phone”. It released to mixed emotions, some praised it for its great simplicity and multitasking where many thrashed the lack of apps and the Ovi Store. No one really paid much attention to MeeGo presuming it would be gone forever, but alas! A group of Nokia employee’s and MeeGo fanboys left Nokia to work on MeeGo and asked the great king Elop if they could have the necessary legal documents to pursue their dream, so with Nokia’s blessing they continue to develop MeeGo and offer it as a free, open operating system, and they all lived happily ever after. The End. (Notice how this story actually works as a fairy tale? that’s pretty neat!)

Mozilla Firefox OS

A Firefox, everyone’s backup browser. The way I see this is, Mozilla saw that google was making “Chrome OS” and they decided that they would do the same thing, but mobile! Firefox OS offers the same experience you get on the Firefox browser, plus a few more features. It’s a very simple operating system with all the basic features you’d expect out of a phone, it’s not really for people who do everything on their phone, it’s for people who do only the basics. App support isn’t that good but considering all the apps will be HTML5 based you should see a lot of web apps appear, they’re not as speedy as native apps but developers won’t mind making them as they’re easy to program and debug and will release them to have a larger market share/consumer base. There’s not much else to say about this other than what we know so far, so we’ll have to wait and see!

Open WebOS

WebOS was actually really promising before HP sent it packing. I always wanted to buy an HP Pre 3, at heart I might still be a webOS fanboy. If you’re like me, there’s hope my brethren! A while back HP released WebOS to the public (this allows anyone to work on the code) and some people got it running on the Galaxy Nexus! So you can say that I’m fascinated, and can’t wait for further development!

Ubuntu Phone

And here we have reached my favourite of the bunch, the ubuntu phone! I’m a huge fan of Ubuntu, I use it on my PC and laptop and have Xubuntu (forked Ubuntu with xfce) running on my laptop. I love the open-ness, the interface, Linux and everything about it. Ubuntu’s been great for me the past couple of years and I’m super stoked that it’s finally going to be arriving on the phone. It has a great new user interface and has support for native apps as well as HTML5 and, when you dock the device it has the capability to turn into a full-fledged ubuntu desktop. The only thing that would make this better is if you could dual-boot it with android and open webOS (high hopes).

There are a couple I didn’t go into detail with such as the Jolla Sailfish and Samsung’s Tizen, but these are the ones I felt would have the most potential to turn into your daily drivers. Sadly we now reach the end of this post, but fear not as there shall be more in the near future, for now you can keep in touch with my twitter @SnazzyHam, thanks for reading folks and as always, Stay Snazzy!

Why I Love Skeuomorphism

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Skeuomorphism is defined as

 “a design feature that is carried forth from the original version of a product in order to make people feel comfortable with the new device..”

Apple uses skeuomorphism throughout their products, Scott Forstall (Before he left Apple) strictly enforced the use of skeuomorphism when designing iOS. What this basically means is that he designed iOS to make it feel realistic. Such as the Wooden pattern in iBooks, the leather pattern in Reminders, the game table background in game center, the design of the calendar application and in many other instances throughout iOS. If many of you read my blog regularly you’d know that I love Android, a lot. Everything about it feels amazing, but if there’s one thing I preferred about iOS it was skeuomorphism. The design feature was brilliantly elegant and classy, and in my opinion really blended in with the name Apple has set up for themselves. The sexy-leather business people type of thing. That was subtly brought out in their products via skeuomorphism. It just gave users a sort of comfort when using that product, and assured them that it did feel like a classy, expensive device. It started of only on iOS but soon was implemented throughout Apple’s products such as in OSX Lion’s log in screen and even their online iCloud control panel.

icloud

 

Rumors suggest that with Scott Forstall’s departure, skeuomorphism is out the door. This deeply saddens me as it basically deletes everything that I wrote about in the previous paragraph. What’s worse than that is that rumors suggest iOS is going towards the more cartoony and toyish design, similar to that of the MIUI android ROM. That’s just majorly disappointing.  To me it’s clear that Skeuomorphism played a major part in Apple’s branding, but obviously many geeks don’t agree with me. All I’m saying is that people should think about it, won’t Apple lose its credibility as a high end company if they implement a cartoony OS?

Most Useful Application for Students (High School)

Students have a hard time keeping track of what’s going on, especially if you’re like me, and if you’re like me, then you most likely don’t have your phone with you at all times, sometimes you have maybe a tablet or media device, or sometimes just your computer.
Not only that, but most probably you’re always distracted by your tech? Am I right?
Well for me, I always seem to forget my homework, or what I was supposed to do at home, that’s when I started writing notes on my phone’s memo app, like I’m sure many of you do.
But how many times has it happened that you’re sitting at home, away from your phone, or maybe its dead, and you’re just chilling with your comp, tablet, ipod, etc. Then you realise that you need to do something on that day, and saved your notes on that other device, then you’re at school again and have only your phone with you, check the notes and that’s not there, then you forget your work and might just end up in a crapload of poo. (haha, poo)
So what’s the answer to that? Evernote. Evernote is not just your basic note taking application, it allows you to keep text notes, audio notes, snapshots/pictures, etc. And it even let’s you upload PDF and .doc files. What’s unique about evernote compared to all the other notetaking apps? Well it let’s you keep all those notes in sync!! Now you must be thinking wha?? What the hell is wrong with this guy??? All other applications let me do that too? Well yes, while this statement may be true, not all note taking apps are available everywhere!! yes well literally everywhere, its got a native app for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry OS, and even that dinosaur:- symbiosaurus ( only nerds will get that)
Well what’s appealing to me about this app, the logo is an elephant on freakin green background!! Even though blue is my favorite colour, this logo is KEWL!!!

Would I really need Android?

I’ve always wondered why people say they don’t want to move away from android or iOS because of the lack of apps, but do you really use that many apps? Really? I mean most people don’t only have smartphones, some have tablets (which I don’t think are necessary but that will be in a whole different post) and some people have replacements, the way I have my iPod touch, so is there really a need for a super smart phone or do you just need a normal smartphone or even a dumb phone just to stay in contact with people.

I myself hardly use the apps on my phone now days, besides the occasional doodle jump/cut the rope, Evernote for all my notes, imdb for my movie stuff, pulse for my news and and tweetdeck for my twitter/Facebook needs. And if I want to use the other apps, there’s always my iPod. So whats keeping me from switching to windows phone or even a blackberry?

Well it’s not that simple, of course budget plays an important role. Then there’s the fact that windows phone is not at all supported in Indonesia, no acess to the marketplace, no bing local scout and no other goodies that makes windows phone so awesome. Ive expressed many times how bored I am of android, yes shocking coming from a guy like me, but there’s no denying its true. If you have used android, you’ll know that it dosent feel as refined as something like iOS or Wp7.5, because it feels all laggy and stuff, like were using beta software. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been in love with android every step of the way but it’s possible for a person to get bored of something, especially since my phone got outdated 3 weeks before I bought it (yes I was stupider back then)(stupider cause I still do stupid things at time) and it’s been really laggy and slow lately, not to mention what a terror it is to type on that drastically small 3.2″ screen. So why haven’t I moved to another phone?
Especially since I can get all the apps I need on my iPod, well the reason is, Internet. In case you don’t know, wifi availability is shit in Jakarta, and even when they say “we have wifi hotspots at every corner” barely any of them actually work, so what’s the point?

So I guess I’ll end this post now, leaving you as confused as you were when you saw the ending of inception.

BlackBerry DevCon 2011

so are you still on the RIM bandwagon? you are? you’re probably from Indonesia, just sayin. we have 89% of RIM marketshare, and I’m proud to not be part of that. but if you are still a BB geek, or even the “i hate blackberries but i have to keep up with my social life” type of person, then you’ll be glad to know that DevCon begins soon, exactly 10:30 pm WIT. before I explain what DevCon is, I would like to make it clear that I am not insulting RIM, Blackberry users or even the phones themselves. Blackberries have fine hardware and some pretty decent software and not to mention the amazing phenomenon known as BBM. I love BBM and like blackberries, what I don’t like is the effect that blackberries have on the people of today’s generation. People have become so distracted with their phones, always clicking away on that “thing” whether its at mall, a movie theater, in class or even while driving! people have no self control and receive the urge to check their phone every single time they see that red light flashing! It’s become such an obsession, worse than the spread of zombie fever, but thank God not as bad as Bieber fever, thats just horrifying! Ugh! bieber…

Okay back to DevCon, as the name suggests, it is an amalgam of the words Developer and Convention. Most likely expected to be showcased at DevCon this year are
1. Android App support on the BB PlayBook
2. BBM on Android and iOS
3. The new all touch Curve and the new bold 9790

Android App suport is something that had been promised to us by RIM almost a year ago, and not surprisingly, they have failed to deliver. But speculation still arises that it will finally be shown of now as RIM has just pushed out an update to the playbook, entitled Blackberry Tablet OS 2.0, and videos have recently been leaked of an Android source code compiler for blackberry based platforms.

Probably the most stand out feature on my list, BBM for Android and iOS. some of you may be thinking? whaaaattt?? what did he just say? oh no he didn’t! well yes, yes I did. The day might finally come- the day that was speculated to happen after pigs learn how to fly- the day BBM subtracts BB out of the equation. Well you must be thinking why? well images have already leaked of BBM running on Android, and it’s actually a pretty smart and strategic move, according to myself. RIM already has an astoundingly high rate of decline in the market, and its taking time for their QNX based devices to come out(chill, I’m getting to that) and this may be a move, just to make sure they don’t hit rock bottom, before they think of a gamechanger. If they license BBM to Android and iOS at a monthly subscription based fee, they’ll be maintaining their market share at the consumer level, while at the same time persuading their Enterprise market (the business people) to not shy away from their blackberries (possibly to iOS for iMessage). It is speculated that BBM on a non BB device will cost you approcimately $5 a month, now that’s not bad. not bad at all.

And now moving on to the new Curve and Bold. the curve was leaked a long long time back, along with the leak of the current OS7 devices and hopefully this one actually surfaces tomorrow. we already have the 9900, the Torch 2(9810), the all touch torch (9860) and the new curve (9560). the Curve touch(9380), is speculated to have a 3.2″ diagonal multitouch display with liquid graphics and a 1.2GHz snapdragon processor. At first it was rumored to have an 800MHz processor but a recent leaked on the BB Developer website indicates it will in fact have a 1.2GHz chip, SWEET!
The Bold 9790 however, is completely unleaked! nobody knows what it is. Could it be the QNX based BlackBerry Colt (“told ya I’ll be gettin here) that we all are oh so eagerly awaiting? QNX is the software/OS that RIM purchased some time back and coupled with their PlayBook tablet, and it was rumored to be coming to handheld BB’s by 2012. If this is the rumored QNX handset, then boy o boy am I excited 🙂