BlackBerry warned us it had something odd coming, and this is it: the unusually proportioned BlackBerry Passport. Snuck into BlackBerry's latest financial results presentation - where the company announced a smaller-than-expected loss for the most recent quarter - the Passport has a 4.5-inch 1440 x 1440 resolution display that's square, not rectangular.
It may be the day for Amazon's own smartphone to launch, but BlackBerry is getting in on the action too, announcing that the Amazon Appstore will be coming to its own handsets later this year. Support for the Android download store will be added as part of BlackBerry 10.3, which the Canadian company says should hit handsets this fall.
Thought BlackBerry was gone? Thought physical QWERTY keyboards have gone the way of the Dodo? Perhaps many thought so too, but BlackBerry clearly doesn't think so, and apparently neither does someone on eBay. A used BlackBerry Kopi, flaunting its glorious hardware keys, is up for bidding on eBay, which is, of course, suspicious considering the device has never been announced.
BlackBerry has teased an upcoming device with an unusual 4.5-inch square display, potentially making it one of the most outlandish form-factors in the company's smartphone history. The new phone was confirmed alongside the BlackBerry 10.3 SDK Beta, as sticking to the 1:1 square aspect ratio and having a 1440 x 1440 resolution and 453 pixel density.
The explosive growth of smartphones will slow over the next four years, IDC analysts predict, with Android dominating in bulk but iOS making the most money from each handset buyer. Emerging markets, though adding to the smartphone count in numbers in 2014, IDC suggests, will still leave high-end devices struggling to find as many buyers as before. "New markets for growth bring different rules to play by" IDC's Ryan Reith says, "and 'premium' will not be a major factor in the regions driving overall market growth."
Just in case you're having trouble finding friends using BlackBerry's own BBM on your iPhone or Android device, BlackBerry has added a feature called "Find Friends on BBM" to the mix. This update allows the user to detect all the friends you've got in your contact list (harvested from your phone) that already use BBM. Doing this allows you to quickly choose who you'd like to connect with by sending them a unique PIN code.
In an effort to make BlackBerry 10 a bit easier to work with, the folks at BlackBerry have issued update 10.2.1, complete with a few gesture updates and oddities. Here you'll be able to swipe right to answer a call, left to ignore a call, and work with a number of icons that allow you to instantly silence a call or use your device's "Reply Now" function with BBM, SMS, or email.
New BlackBerry CEO John Chen has promised a new age of transparence as he tries to turn the ailing Canadian company around, blaming rival phone manufacturers for trying to spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt around how it is holding up. "Don't be fooled by the competition's rhetoric" Chen wrote in a piece for CNBC, echoing parts of the company's manifesto as set out in its recent dire financial results, when it announced it would be pushing over some of the responsibility for handset design to Foxconn.
Earlier this month, Blackberry pushed out an update to the Twitter mobile app for Blackberry 10, bringing it up to version 10.2.2. Along with the new release came some new features, such as the ability to be BBM connected, to reply within tweets, a boost to the search function and more. Unfortunately, the update also brought a variety of bugs with it, and as a result Blackberry has pulled it a little over a week after its release.