This blog now supports the json feed format, with a feed offered at news.ebscer.com/feed/json as an alternative to the traditional rss feed (which is also still available). This is in order to offer this blog in a format that is easier to parse, and more widely used by modern applications.
As BlackBerry 10 has just passed the 5 year mark it seemed like a good time to take a look back at the platform. The very first BlackBerry 10 phone, the all touch screen Z10, proved to be the most popular accounting for 63% of all devices.
The second phone to launch, the Q10, proved to be the second most popular. This shows how the BlackBerry 10 platform never really got all that far past the initial launch of the devices. The three devices that were launched in the first half of 2013 (Z10, Q10, Q5) ended up accounting for 88% of all BlackBerry 10 phones. While later devices such as the Passport and Z30 got a good amount of media attention, they never got quite the same sales as the initial batch that BlackBerry released.
Mostly this is probably due to the lack of support for BlackBerry 10 from the wireless carriers (especially in the United States) after the initial launch of the platform.
This data was collected by BlackBerry World for downloads of the free checklist app Stuff I Need. Data shown on the chart is from the launch of BlackBerry 10 in January 2013 through the end of January 2018.
Last week marked the fifth anniversary of the launch of BlackBerry 10, and with the OS abandoned at this point we can look at the complete history of OS adoptions by users of the platform.
Throughout the life of BlackBerry 10 users were fairly quick to update to the newest version of the OS with almost every version exceeding 70% adoption after the first two months. This rate slowed down for the final version of the OS (currently around 64% adoption rate) as the users that cared most about getting updates have probably moved on to other platforms that are still planning future updates.
This data was collected by BlackBerry World for downloads of the free strategy game Pixelated and the free checklist app Stuff I Need. Data shown on the chart is from the launch of BlackBerry 10 in January 2013 through the end of January 2018.
The BlackBerry 10 Hockey Scores app has been updated to version 4.4. The app now offers the option to show the scores for different dates, so you can easily check to see yesterday’s scores, or tomorrow’s game times.
About Hockey Scores
In addition to showing the scores of each game, the app also shows the game time, shot on goal, shot attempts, hits, faceoff percentages, and a full list of all of the game’s goal scorers.
A one time in-app purchase can be used to remove all advertising from the app.
The version will not be released on BBOS, and should be coming to iOS soonish.
Links & Information
The final two months of 2017 saw a slight uptick in the use of OS 10.3.3 but things were mostly unchanged over the course of the past year as BlackBerry is no longer updating their OS.
This data was collected by BlackBerry World for downloads of the free strategy game Pixelated and the free checklist app Stuff I Need. Data shown on the chart is from the beginning of December 2016 through the end of December 2017.
A year after the release of version 10.3.3 the distribution of BlackBerry OS versions looks the same as it has since last summer with roughly half of all users running the final version of the OS.
This data was collected by BlackBerry World for downloads of the free strategy game Pixelated and the free checklist app Stuff I Need. Data shown on the chart is from the beginning of October 2016 through the end of October 2017.
With the iPhone X launching this fall without a home button, many iOS users are going to have to get used to controlling their phones with just gestures. For those of us with a history on BlackBerry 10 we know how this works, and we are here to tell you that it is awesome.
Swipe up to home
Honestly this gesture is perfect. A simple swipe up to get back to the home screen is super intuitive, and as much as I enjoy the fingerprint reader, having to use a button on my iPhone still feels like a step backwards.
Swipe down for control center
Again this is straight out of the BlackBerry 10 interface and it works well. Honestly this isn’t much different than the current iOS approach, but moving to the top to have the more reachable swipe sending you home makes sense.
Lift to wake
This was added in BlackBerry 10.3.1 and while conceptually neat, I actually went and turned this off. Just reaching to place the phone in my pocket the screen would flash on and I found this to be too distracting, so I went without this function.
BlackBerry didn’t have this one. Apple seems confident in their technology, and honestly it is going to make or break this design. If it can not match the speed of touch id then I probably won’t be getting the iPhone X.
Apple hasn’t shown off notification on the new phone, so I am going to keep the dream alive. Probably not going to ship with iOS 11. Still I think this is one area where iPhone will remain behind BlackBerry’s ease of use.
With a higher resolution screen, a better camera, LTE support, and an OS that has been updated in the past eight years, the iPhone 7 is far superior to the BlackBerry Storm. Still there are a few things that the old phone still does better. With Apple releasing iOS 11 next month, lets hope that some of these features get included.
The BlackBerry Storm had a messages app that combined multiple email accounts, SMS, BBM, Twitter, and almost all other messaging platforms into a single feed. While not as complete as BlackBerry 10’s Hub, it was still superior to the siloed experience found on iOS. Attempts to address this issue on iOS with a notification center are not remotely useful.
A default email client that supports push for gmail accounts
The default email client for iOS is bad in many ways. However the lack of push support for the world’s most popular email service is particularly embarrassing. Third party clients support this, and BlackBerry has had this feature since well before the iPhone was ever launched.
One of BlackBerry’s simpler features was a small led that could be configured to blink different colors for different types of notifications. This allows you to know if you have any messages just a glance, and without even touching your phone. I am utterly baffled as to why other phone manufactures have not copied this feature.
An accessible file system
My iPhone has 128 GB of storage, yet I am unable to download email attachments simply because there is no place to just store arbitrary files. This could also be useful for transferring songs and pictures on and off from the phone. Apple’s attempt to hide complexity is actually making simple operations more complex.
A clickable screen that actually clicks
Honestly, neither the BlackBerry Storm’s click screen, nor the iPhone’s 3-D touch are good ideas. An interface that can work with a simple touch screen is a superior experience. But if you are going to have a clickable screen, you may as well commit to having a clickable screen. The 3-D touch feature on iOS is difficult to trigger intentionally, and in practice is more likely to trigger a long press event.
This data was collected by BlackBerry World for downloads of the free strategy game Pixelated and the free checklist app Stuff I Need. Data shown on the chart is from the beginning of July 2016 through the end of July 2017.
Indulge me for a minute while I talk about two dead technologies.
Yesterday, Adobe finally announced the end for Flash, although it has been mostly dead for a few years now. This was driven largely by the lack of support on smartphones, and while the lack of Flash support on iOS is well known, BlackBerry quietly did very little to help Flash along.
In 2013 BlackBerry 10 was launched, and Flash support was finally included in the browser. However it was disabled by default. Less then two years later in early 2015 BlackBerry released OS 10.3.1 which removed support for Flash.
Despite almost a decade of standing behind Adobe Flash, BlackBerry only actually included it on their phones for a bit under two years, during which time it was always disabled by default. Furthermore, they did this years after everyone else had already moved on. Apple was far more straight forwards in their rejection of Flash, but BlackBerry did the technology no favors as well…
The distribution of BlackBerry 10 OS versions is just as boring as you would expect it to be for an abandoned operating system. Almost all users are on some variant of OS 10.3.X with roughly half running the newest point release.
This data was collected by BlackBerry World for downloads of the free strategy game Pixelated and the free checklist app Stuff I Need. Data shown on the chart is from the beginning of May 2016 through the end of May 2017.
As a developer, a lot of time is spent continuously refreshing a web page. This can be made faster by using a keyboard shortcut, for most browsers refreshing is done by the F5 key. However, despite repeated requests Google has still not built in this functionality to the Mac OS version of Chrome. Fortunately there is another way to add this feature.
- First open up “System Preferences”
- Select “Keyboard” and then the “Shortcuts” tab
- On the left panel select “App Shortcuts”
- Then press the “+” button below the white boxes
- From the application dropdown select “Google Chrome”
- For the Menu Title enter “Reload This Page” (This text must be exact)
- In the Keyboard Shortcut field hit the F5 key
It is a bit of a work-around, but this adds the ability to use the F5 key to refresh a webpage when using Chrome on the Mac.
After eight years of requests, Pixelated Plus is finally available for the iPhone. This new version of the game has all the same features as the BlackBerry and Windows releases of Pixelated. A one time in-app purchase can be used to unlock all statistics and features and grid sizes in the game.
The BlackBerry 10 version of Pixelated Plus has also been updated to add make showing the number of remaining moves in a game to be optional.
Pixelated is an addictive puzzle based strategy game that requires a mixture of skill and luck in order to accomplish. The object of the game is to change the colour of the squares until the entire screen is a single solid colour. Starting with the square in the upper left corner you can change the colour of the blocks in order to match that of the surrounding squares. This is done repeatedly until the entire screen is a single colour. The object of the game is to clear the screen in as few moves as possible. Under the default settings you must do so in under 22 moves in order to win. The game is controlled by the large colored blocks at the bottom of the screen.
Links & Information
The launch of BlackBerry 10.3.3 remains slow, but has finally reached half of the users running BlackBerry 10 phones. Use of BlackBerry’s newest (and final) OS has reached 52.8% of Pixelated users, and 48.5% of users of the Stuff I Need app.
This data was collected by BlackBerry World for downloads of the free strategy game Pixelated and the free checklist app Stuff I Need. Data shown on the chart is from the beginning of April 2016 through the end of April 2017.
The BlackBerry 10 game Head Words has been updated to version 1.4 in BlackBerry App World. This update expands the number of items in the game’s existing categories. This is partially to account for new movies and tv shows that have been released since the last update, and partially to simply add more depth to the other categories.
About Head Words
Head Words is a native multi-player guessing game where after selecting a category, one player places the phone on their forehead while the other players give clues. With one minute to guess as many words as possible, the player can tilt the phone down for each correct answer, or tilt the phone up to pass. At the end of round a word list will show what was guessed right and wrong. The swipe down menu provides an option to turn the sound on or off.
The game includes five categories for free, and the option to purchase access to ten additional categories for a dollar each.