RIM to incorporate Android- and WP-inspired features into BlackBerry 10

August 19, 2012
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RIM may have missed the Android ship when it chose to soldier ahead with its QNX-based platform instead of adopt or license Android. However, this doesn’t mean that RIM isn’t getting inspiration from other platforms in its next major release of its BlackBerry OS, Blackberry 10. Information Week reports that the next iteration of the enterprise-focused OS would include a unified approach to displaying contact information.

With BB10’s contact management approach, all details pertaining to a particular contact will be pulled onto a single page, including social networking streams like tweets and Facebook status updates.

BB10 will go a step further, by including enterprise-specific information such as upcoming meetings with that particular contact, as well as recent email messages.

T.A. McCann, who handles development of BB10’s contact management application, says the focus is on productivity. “BlackBerry has always had this heritage of productivity … We are just going to make it better yet again, when we launch BB10,” he said in a statement to Reuters.

A similar feature is also present on Windows Phone, with contact cards in People Hub displaying social network updates. McCann actually has expertise in this field, being the former chief executive of Gist, which was acquired by RIM in early 2011. Gist ran a popular CRM app that pulled in social networking feeds and updates to contact pages and emails, which can help add context to an email or IM conversation. The service has been “sunsetted,” as of this month, though, as the team is focusing on building the BB10 contact mangement app.

RIM hopes that its upcoming BlackBerry 10 OS will help keep the platform relevant among enterprise users — its main clientele. It can be noted that other platforms, like iOS and Android, are increasingly becoming popular among business users and professionals, especially with the popularity of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs in the corporate setting.

RIM is also looking into the possibility of licensing its OS to other manufacturers, although a potential partner, Samsung, has already stated it is not interested in running BlackBerry on its smartphones.

With this, RIM has to up the ante, by incorporating their own improvements when they get inspiration from other platforms. It’s not just about the features, but the execution. Oh, and perhaps they should check if these are patented technologies, too.

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