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Mar 8, 2014

BBM for Android, iOS Getting Groups Notification Settings in Future Version




The following is aimed at BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) users who are active in BBM Groups and do not use a BlackBerry smartphone.

Since BlackBerry launched BBM on Android and iOS platforms, the Canadian company has been adding new features and tweaks, but there are still lots of functions and capabilities that these apps do not have as opposed to the BlackBerry version of BBM. BBM Video is one of these features that have yet to be included in BBM for Android and iOS, but BlackBerry promised it would bring it at some point this year. Another useful feature that's been missing from BBM for Android and iOS since the beginning is the ability to control your Groups notifications. For the time being, there are no settings that would allow a BBM for Android, iOS user to customize the way they are receiving Groups notifications. Unlike Android and iOS, the BlackBerry version of BBM features a separate Settings option that allows Groups users to customize notifications as they wish. They can, for example, mute all notifications received via BBM Groups or disable the LED, vibration or sound for each message received.

Luckily, BlackBerry is very much likely to bring this capability to its BBM for Android and iOS in a future version. Although there's no word on when exactly BBM Groups notification settings will be added to BBM for Android, iOS, users will be pleased to know BlackBerry is currently testing this feature. N4BB reports that iPhone users who have been accepted into the BBM beta testing already have the Group notification setting on their application. The BBM beta for iOS now allows users to mute notifications from Groups, as well as group pictures with a click of a toggle that's been included in the Group settings menu. Even though there's no evidence for now, we can safely assume this feature is being tested on the BBM beta for Android as well.

Hopefully, more options will be added to the Groups settings menu, such as the ability to disable the LED or sound, so BBM users can have more control over their notifications. There's a high chance that the BBM Groups notification settings feature will be delivered via update on both Android and iOS platforms at the same time, so stay tuned for more info on when the next version will be available for download. Here is hoping that will happen sooner rather than later.

BBM with Group Notification Settings (screenshot)
Image credits to N4BB

OPPO Find 7 Emerges in Leaked Photos Before Official Launch




Chinese mobile phone maker OPPO has already confirmed plans to make official a new high-end device on March 19, none other than the Find 7; yet, the company hasn’t provided info on what the phone would look like when announced.

However, this has changed today, when leaked photos with the smartphone made it online, courtesy of red-dot. Press photos with the device are now available for your viewing pleasure, only 11 days before the smartphone gets fully detailed on March 19. One thing that appears certain when looking at these photos is that the upcoming smartphone will sport a very appealing design, which is expected to be accompanied by high-end hardware capabilities, given previous leaks on it. For those out of the loop, we should note that OPPO has already confirmed that the upcoming device will sport a 5.5-inch touchscreen display capable of offering a 2K resolution. Moreover, the handset vendor said that there would be too versions of the phone made official during the launch event, and one of them is expected to pack only a 5-inch screen of full HD resolution. The newly leaked photos with the smartphone show an updated design when compared to what OPPO Find 5 had to offer last year, though some of the main improvements inside the phone are not visible here, as Engadget notes.

This would include the recently rumored 50-megapixel camera on the smartphone’s back, which should be capable of recording 4K videos at ease. The phone in these images shows only a 13-megapixel camera, which suggests that this could be the lower spec’d version, and not the premium flavor. In addition to confirming that Find 7 would feature a 2K screen, OPPO also confirmed that the upcoming mobile phone would land on shelves with 4G LTE connectivity packed inside, though the company has yet to deliver full details on the matter. If flagship smartphones that were made official during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last week are to be taken into consideration, we might also expect the new OPPO phone to sport one of Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 801 processors inside.

Furthermore, the phone might also sport 2GB or 3GB of RAM, along with a powerful front camera, and an OS based on one of the newest Android flavors out there. Take this with a grain of sale, since it is only speculation from our part for the time being. However, specific info on the device will emerge soon, so keep an eye on this space for updates.

Oppo Find 7 press photo
Image credits to red-dot via Engadget

Oppo Find 7 press photo
Image credits to red-dot via ausdroid

BlackBerry May Introduce Custom BBM PINs, but You Might Have to Pay for It




Lots of new stuff coming from BlackBerry in the last couple of weeks. Since the company changed its CEO, it has become more obvious that BlackBerry is looking for ways to monetize some of the service it offers.

For the time being, one of the few services that haven't been compromised is BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), so it's safe to assume that the Canadian company would want to monetize on this one as much as possible without hindering the use of the standard features. We've been reporting for about a week or so about BlackBerry's recent statements that it does not take into consideration any ads for the BBM Chats, as well as on the introduction of Stickers, something that only BlackBerry OS users can now take advantage of. Selling packs of stickers for BBM users on Android and iOS users makes sense and this is now being tested by BlackBerry. Another smart move from BlackBerry may be the introduction of custom BBM PINs.

A BBM PIN is an eight-digit code that can be used to add another BlackBerry Messenger user to the list of contact. Each BBM users has his/her unique PIN (personal identification number), which allows them to communicate with other BlackBerry users by sending them their PIN code. Well, it appears that BlackBerry thinks it would be wise to allows BBM users to customize their PINs for easier use. That means that instead of having to memorize an eight digit code that has been randomly issued to you by BlackBerry's systems you will be able to use your own code. The folks over at N4BB have just uncovered evidence that BlackBerry is now doing some research among BBM users to see if people would be interested in customizing their PINs. But that's not all. According to some screenshots taken from a survey BlackBerry has sent to BBM users, those who wish to customize their PINs would have to pay in order to get their own PIN attached to their BBM account.

No amount has been decided yet, but BlackBerry is asking BBM users how much they would be willing to pay for their customized PINs. BlackBerry is considering the introduction of a one-time fee for the customized PINs feature or an annual subscription. The latter would probably mean that you would be willing to change your PIN more than one time in one year, while the former option is likely to offer you the possibility to customize your PIN only one time, after which you will have to pay the same fee if you wish to change it again. Given the fact the new feature is not yet implemented and BlackBerry is only gathering information, we don't expect customizable PINs to be available for BBM for at least a few months, but stay tuned for more updates on the matter.

BlackBerry custom BBM PINs survey
Image credits to N4BB

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