We told you yesterday that BlackBerry 10 devices were having issues with sensors that was resolved by BlackBerry and required a restart. Now BlackBerry manager, Michael Clewley, has put out a statement on the resolution. Here is what he had to say:
A server that provides sensor calibration information to the phone was sending corrupt data that would affect the sensors to the phone. The issue was resolved at the server. Customers that are affected can simply restart their phone to resolve the problem.
This really just raises more questions for me. How is an issue with my devices sensors caused by BlackBerry’s severs. What exactly is my device doing during a reboot that is reaching out to BlackBerry servers to correct? BlackBerry really should be more transparent on this issue… »Continue reading«
BlackBerry is really putting on a nice show for the holidays. They are running a new “25 days of gifts giveaway” for BlackBerry World. This means they will be offering a new free premium download every day from December 1st to December 25th. Every day it will be a different item that is available for 24 hours only though they don’t say what time zone that is for. The promotion may be different based on location and handset model and is only available for BlackBerry 10 devices.
All you have to do is visit BlackBerry World starting this Sunday and click on the 25 days of gifts giveaway banner!
Interim BlackBerry CEO John Chen has wasted no time in overhauling the company as both chief marketing officer Frank Boulben and chief operating officer Kristian Tear have now left for other endeavors. While news of executive departures is rarely a good sign for any company, in this case it’s a much-needed showing of accountability, something the one-time Canadian smartphone dynamo has lacked in recent years. Boulben’s departure in particular signals that BlackBerry executives will no longer get away with lighting large piles of money on fire without facing any consequences.
To get a sense of Boulden’s reign of error as BlackBerry’s marketing chief, you have to step back and recall the two major marketing decisions that BlackBerry made over the last year: The hiring of Alicia Keys as a “creative director” and a Super Bowl ad that literally showed you the things that BlackBerry’s new platform was incapable of doing. Both choices were costly and both did little to stop BlackBerry’s slide in the smartphone market.
The Alicia Keys decision had “debacle” written all over it from the start, especially after the pop star showed a decided lack of commitment to the company by sending out a Tweet through her iPhone saying how much she loved BlackBerry 10. As Apple, Samsung and even Microsoft lately have shown, you don’t need an expensive celebrity endorsement to create a killer marketing campaign and tech companies that do choose to go with the celebrity spokesperson route — think HTC and Robert Downey, Jr., for example — aren’t guaranteed a good return on their investment.
While the Alicia Keys ploy falls into the category of “misguided,” the Super Bowl ad disaster falls into the category of “unforgivable.” In case you don’t recall, this is what BlackBerry spent millions of dollars to show tens of millions of viewers during the Super Bowl:
It’s been more than a month after BlackBerry Messenger debuted for the iOS and Android platforms and it is still doing remarkably well on the iPhone. On November 22nd, BBM was a top 5 iOS app for downloads in no fewer than 50 countries, including important markets like South Africa, Nigeria, Argentina, Colombia, the UAE, Canada and the U.K. I think it’s safe bet to say that almost nobody expected BBM to be battling evenly with WhatsApp in their download competition in markets like India and the U.K. at the end of November. Yet BBM has been able to demonstrate uncanny longevity in a variety of Latin American, African, European and Asian iPhone markets.
If you find that your carrier is pushing you away from smaller smartphones and toward phablet behemoths like the Galaxy Note 3, there could be a good reason for it. Research released last week from the NPD Group shows that users who buy smartphones with bigger displays on average use more data per month than users who buy smartphones with smaller displays. In all, smartphone owners with devices at less than 4.5 inches used an average of 5MB of data per month while smartphone owners with devices of 4.5 inches or greater used an average of 7.2GB per month.
Although you’d certainly expect to find people who own larger smartphones to watch more videos on their devices, NPD found that large smartphone owners also used more data across multiple types of apps including social media, navigation, retail and music. The means that carriers such as Verizon and AT&T that have tiered data plans should really love selling bigger devices whose owners will either subscribe to more expensive data plans or get hit with data overage fees. Or put more simply, bigger smartphones may mean bigger money for wireless companies.
- The NPD Group, BGR
The Google Play Store is starting to take tablet apps seriously. Announced last month on the Android Developers Blog and spotted on Friday by Android Police, the Google Play Store is now only showing tablet-optimized apps in its top lists when accessed through a tablet. Apps that are not optimized for tablets will receive a “Designed for phones” tag, on the other hand. The Google Play Store has always lagged behind the iOS App Store in terms of tablet apps, so this move should encourage app developers to optimize more of their apps for tablets.
Here’s some rare cheer for BlackBerry fans — the company’s next smartphone might actually be promoted with a decent marketing campaign. Per StreetInsider, BlackBerry announced on Monday that its chief marketing officer Frank Boulben and its chief operating officer Kristian Tear are both leaving the company. BlackBerry is also appointing James Yersh to replace Brian Bidulka as its Chief Financial Officer.
We have been seeing quite a few apps that allow you to download YouTube videos disappear from BlackBerry World over the past year. Now we have an interesting new take on the subject. Down Tube simply says it is allowing you to cache or preload the YouTube video to watch it later. This is great for people who do not want to wait for buffering video and can just watch the video when it is done. You specifically cannot save the YouTube videos afterwards but you can save Vimeo videos.
Check out Down Tube for $1.99 in BlackBerry World
BlackBerry keeps pushing with updates to Twitter for BlackBerry legacy devices in the Beta Zone. The latest update brings us to v4.4 with some nice new features. This includes in tweet media player, Twitter 2 factor login, and direct message read/unread tracking. Here is the full list:
- Photo Thumbnail size uniformity
- In-Tweet media player card
- Twitter 2-factor Login — Temporary Password Support
- Password Reset on Login/Add account dialog screens
- Direct message Read/Unread tracking
- Display number of Favorites & number of Retweets on Detailed Tweet Screen
- Typeahead functionailty on search function
You can find the updated Twitter for legacy devices in the Beta Zone
See, when the Chromecast first launched, it was intriguing primarily because of its exceptionally low price point. People who ran out and bought one (which included more than a few Engadget editors) were investing in promised future functionality, not its current feature set. Well, it’s safe to say that money was not wasted. With today’s announcement that HBO Go will now support Chromecast, Google has brought most of the major non-sports streaming properties to its tiny dongle, including Netflix and Hulu. It’s particularly impressive given how notoriously slow HBO has been to bring its streaming service to “new” platforms. Now Google-loving nerds across the US will be able to get their “Game of Thrones” fix on demand on their TV simply by tapping an icon on their Android or iOS tablet. Of course, that is if you’re an HBO subscriber. The update is already hitting both the iTunes App Store and Google Play, so go download it now.