The comeback trail continued in earnest for one of the biggest names in mobile this afternoon, as BlackBerry (the company formerly known as RIM) embarked on its annual conference, BlackBerry Live (the event formerly known as BlackBerry World). Heading up proceedings on stage in Florida was CEO Thorstein Heins’ unveiling of the BlackBerry Q5 – a scaled down version of the recently-released BlackBerry Q10. An official launch of the BlackBerry 10.1 upgrade followed, with the OS now shipping with BlackBerry Q10s and being rolled out to the BlackBerry Z10 from today. Follow the link for images of the new Q5 and more revelations from Heins.
But that wasn’t all from the keynote. BlackBerry is set to significantly ramp up its social and messaging strategy, having announced that BBM will be launched as a standalone app on other mobile platforms, while also unveiling a new service dubbed BBM Channels. The arrival of long-standing IM service BBM on other platforms could well reinvigorate an app that has been on the wane, with iPhone and Android users able to download the service from “this summer.” BBM Channels, meanwhile, looks to connect brands and celebrities with their fans in the style of a social network. Users can post news and statuses on the service which fans can like or comment on, while one-on-one communication can be enabled if the Channel owner initiates a chat. BlackBerry was determined to portray the image of a resurgent company today. Have the announcements made you believe them?
In a pretty hectic day for mobile, Nokia unveiled its latest flagship handset, the Lumia 925, at a special event in London, alongside a new mid-range device, the Lumia 928. We bunkered down to bring you live coverage of the launch as it happened, and after the main presentation, braved the scrum in the demonstration area to get hands-on with the new smartphone. Once known obliquely as the 'Catwalk' phone, the Nokia Lumia 925 is essentially a beautified Lumia 920 - and that's scarcely a bad thing. With an all-metal build, it's a slimmed down, sexed up version of its predecessor, measuring 129 x 70.6 x 8.5mm (LWD) and weighing just 139g, where the Lumia 920 measured 10.7mm in girth and tipped the scales to the heftier tune of 185g. Make no mistake: in the Lumia 925, Nokia has a smartphone that's well and truly at home in the age of the super-svelte. Follow the link for our full Nokia Lumia 925 hands-on preview.
Developers are eagerly embracing Google's Glass, and the latest offering is MedRef, an app designed for hospital employees to easily access patient records, with the help of facial recognition software. So far, many of the most talked-about Glass apps have focused on social networking or easy photo taking but there is increasing discussion over how the futuristic product may be used in the workplace. The app takes advantage of Google Glass timeline cards, which are managed via voice commands and, in the case of MedRef, provide options to "Set Patient" or "Add Note." Medical workers can keep a log of their patients, complete with text and photo notes for future reference. Say the patient is allergic to peanuts and has bed sores that require him to be turned every hour. Just tell Glass, and those details will be stored for later reference. Read on for more about the latest innovative use of Google's augmented reality headset.