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Jan 28, 2014

BlackBerry Confirms BBM for Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread Coming in February





It's no secret BlackBerry is trying to bring one of the most popular services is still providing, BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), to as many customers as possible.

We reported about two weeks ago the Canadian company plans to launch a BBM client for devices powered by Android 2.3 Gingerbread. The first details on the upcoming release of BBM for Gingerbread devices leaked in mid-January, but BlackBerry had been mum on the subject until recently. Today, Jeff Gadway, head product and brand marketing for BBM, announced his company will be launching BBM for Android 2.3.3+ Gingerbread devices very soon. “We’ve got some exciting BBM news for Android Gingerbread users – you’ve been asking and we’ve heard you loud and clear. We’re now pleased to announce that BBM will soon also be available on Android Devices running Gingerbread (v2.3.3+).”

It looks like BlackBerry wishes to tap into the Android Gingerbread market, which according to the latest Android Developer Dashboard, represents no less than 21% of the total Android platform. Bringing so many new users under its wing will hugely increase BBM's market share in comparison with other instant messaging services. The upcoming launch of BBM Voice and BBM Video services for Android and iOS platforms is another aspect that could contribute to another success on the instant messaging market. According to Gadway, BlackBerry will launch a open beta BBM application for Gingerbread devices sometime in February.

“The team at BBM has been busy in the kitchen over the last few months cooking up this special release of BBM for Android smartphones running Gingerbread and are now moving into an external beta ahead of the launch in February. We couldn’t be more excited, too! Supporting Gingerbread will allow millions more Android users to download the popular BBM instant messaging app,” added Jeff Gadway.

BBM for Android
Image credits to BlackBerry

Samsung’s Tizen-Based SM-Z9005 to Arrive as ZEQ 9000





Samsung hasn’t announced a smartphone running under Tizen as of now, but rumor has it that it could make the move as soon as the next month, at the MWC show in Barcelona, and that the first such handset from the company might be called ZEQ 9000.

The mobile phone has made it online before, and even leaked in a hands-on photo via @evleaks, but no specific info on Samsung’s plans for it has emerged until now. However, the device was spotted recently on the Korean site MovePlayer, where the the ZEQ 9000 branding is visible once again. The SM-Z9005 is also said to be the dual-SIM version of the smartphone, with the single-SIM variant expected to arrive on shelves with model number SM-Z9000 attached. The available image with the device also shows a design similar to that of Galaxy S4, while the UI appears to resemble the Tizen 2.1 interface that leaked online a few months back, as SamMobile notes. ZEQ 9000, provided that this will indeed be the phone’s name, should land on shelves with a 4.8-inch capable of delivering a 720p resolution.

Moreover, the handset is expected to be powered by a 2.3 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, which suggests that Samsung might aim it at the mid- to high-end of the market. On the other hand, we should note that a certain Samsung SM-Z9005 smartphone has emerged on eBay with a price tag of only $250 attached, as can be seen on this page. The phone is said to be running under Tizen, and chances are that it is the ZEQ 9000 mentioned above. According to the eBay description, the smartphone sports a 4.7-inch touchscreen and 16GB of internal memory, while featuring support for GSM networks. Should previous reports on Samsung’s plans for the MWC 2014 show pan out, we might see this device being at least showcased at the event, so keep an eye on this space for additional info on the matter.

Samsung SM-Z9005 (ZEQ 9000)
Image credits to evleaks

Samsung SM-Z9005 (ZEQ 9000)
Image credits to eBay

Samsung SM-Z9005 (ZEQ 9000)
Image credits to MovePlayer

Samsung Confirms 2K AMOLED Smartphone Panels, Points at 4K Too




South Korean mobile phone maker Samsung Electronics has officially confirmed that it has a 2k smartphone screen in the works.

According to daum, Samsung unveiled that it was working on an AMOLED QHD (2560 x 1440 pixels) screen during the Semiconductor and Display Technology Roadmap Seminar, but did not provide specific info on what devices might feature it. However, it appears that the company also said there that a smartphone packing an AMOLED UHD (3480 x 2160 pixels) display could also be launched in the not-too-distant future.

One thing that is certain is that a 4k resolution on a 5-inch device could be a little over the top. After all, 2k smartphones have yet to arrive on shelves and prove themselves worthy of spending money on. For the time being, no official confirmation on whether Galaxy S5 will pack a 2k screen or not has been provided, so stay tuned for more on the matter.

Samsung confirms 2k smartphone screen
Image credits to Samsung

Leaked iPhone 6 Logic Board with A8 Processor [Video]




The next-generation A8 System on a Chip (SoC) is allegedly shown in a new YouTube video uploaded by MrVoolp. This is the third such leak from this user in under a week.

Apparently, someone at Foxconn has access to a lot of iPhone 6 parts, as both the chassis and (now) the logic board have been videotaped and posted online for everyone to glance at. We can’t confirm the accuracy of MrVoolp’s claims, but the hardware does seem to pertain to an Apple handset, albeit a much larger one than what we’ve become accustomed to.

There are no clear markings on any of the chips shown in the video, but the source says we’re looking at the all-new A8 processor that will power the iPhone 6. Hit the play button and see for yourselves.

iPhone 6 Parts New Processor A8 Exclusive
Video credits to MrVoolp

BlackBerry OS 10.2.1 Officially Announced, Changelog Available




Earlier today, BlackBerry 10 users around the world started to see the BlackBerry OS 10.2.1 update emerging on their devices, and the full changelog for the release is now available.

The Canadian mobile phone maker has confirmed the rollout, announcing that users will benefit from hundreds of enhancements as part of it, and that they will be able to do more after installing it, while also being more productive than before. The company has also noted that the new platform release is available starting today in the US, Europe, Canada, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America. The new operating system flavor is still subject to carrier approvals, but it should not be too long before all owners of BlackBerry 10 devices, including the Porsche Design P’9982, receive it.

The release notes for the new update include the option to customize Pinch Gesture to Filter BlackBerry Hub, a simplified Phone Experience, SMS and Email Groups, Actionable Lock Screen Notifications, and more. Following the installation of OS 10.2.1, users will be able to filter the message list in the BlackBerry Hub. They can set it to show only Unread Messages, Flagged Messages, Draft Messages, Meeting Invites, Sent Messages, or Level 1 Alerts, BlackBerry announced. Moreover, the OS brings along a new incoming call screen, which allows users to swipe to the left to answer, or to the right to ignore a call. “New intuitive icons allow you to instantly silence the call, or send a Reply Now response through BBM, SMS or email that you can’t answer the phone right away. You can choose from a list of standard automated responses or respond with a personalized note,” BlackBerry announced.

For efficient communication, OS 10.2.1 will enable the creation of SMS and email groups, while also allowing users to tap to open a message that appears on the lockscreen. Faster unlocking is also possible through using a combination of a picture and a number (0-9). At the same time, the Quick Settings Menu is customizable in the new OS version, so that owners of BB10 devices can set what appears on the Settings menu, with options such as quickly changing the Brightness, toggling various network connections, and more.

Other enhancements in BlackBerry OS 10.2.1 include:
  • Offline Browser Reading Mode – You can now save the current web page you’re on for later viewing, even if you are offline or without an Internet connection.
  • Preferred Contact Sync – You can now choose the sync source for your Contacts ensuring you always have the most up-to-date contact details. When adding a new contact you can designate which sources you want the contact info to sync with, such as the corporate address book, Gmail, Hotmail, etc.
  • Device and Battery Monitor – A new and improved device monitor provides you with essential details on battery usage, the impact of installed apps on battery life and memory usage and storage, as well as CPU stats.
  • FM Radio – If you have a BlackBerry Z30, BlackBerry Q10 or BlackBerry Q5 smartphone, the new software update unlocks the built-in FM radio in those handsets. You can listen to local FM stations, which does not require any network connection.
  • Automatic Software Updates – OS updates can be set to happen automatically over a Wi-Fi connection to help ensure you’re always benefiting from the latest and best possible customer experience.
  • Enterprise Features – When combined with BES10 version 10.2, enterprise customers will gain additional security features and IT policies for when more granular controls are required, such as for regulated industries and for organizations that work with sensitive data. 

Additional info on the new update can be found on BlackBerry's website.


BlackBerry OS 10.2.1 officially confirmed for global roll out
Images credits to BlackBerry

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