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back to article Rogue Android: We show you how BlackBerry's pain can be your gain

BlackBerry's comeback with a new operating system, BB10, turned into one of the greatest tech flops of all time. Almost one year after the launch, BlackBerry still sells far more of its ancient BB7 devices than it does BB10 devices. But could you turn BlackBerry’s misfortune to your advantage? With a street price of around £140 …

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interesting article

I had wondered why Skype was a bit clunky compared to all the other apps. I had assumed it was Microsoft Quality control.

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Re: "You can now tap into a rich and vibrant Android ecosystem and minimise your exposure to Google"

Someone please explain how. As I understand it you still need a Google ID to get into the Play store.

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Re: "You can now tap into a rich and vibrant Android ecosystem and minimise your exposure to Google"

Minimise != Eliminate

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Re: "You can now tap into a rich and vibrant Android ecosystem and minimise your exposure to Google"

Yes, but you can use a Google ID just for the phone and I'd imagine that you'd have the bare minimum for app compatibility for Google Play Services running in the background instead of the real thing constantly slurping data.

So, as I commentarded in the Tizen article, that's three OSes which can run Android apps, so Google can't just rely on apps to patch over a deficient OS. The other OSes have greater attention to detail, fewer bugs, longer battery life, and better privacy controls and Google will hopefully be forced to up their game... unless they pull your account for not using the official Play Store citing T&Cs.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "You can now tap into a rich and vibrant Android ecosystem and minimise your exposure to Google"

Amazon app store?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "You can now tap into a rich and vibrant Android ecosystem and minimise your exposure to Google"

So doesnt doing this make your Blackberry a very insecure device? Android devices are well known for lots of holes, loads of malware and a complete lack of security...

To make Android pass security tests that say Windows Phone or Blackberry phone pass out of the box, Android requires bolt-ons like Knox. I guess that's due to it's Linux heritage - where you also need bolt-ons like SEL to approach the inbuilt security of most other OSs...

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Sign...

.... another reason to be hugely disappointed by BB10's early failures. If they had had this working well at the time of launch it may have all be so different for BlackBerry :(

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£149 for a nearly android, or £99 for a good one?

Given that you can pick up a Moto G for £99, which given my brief play with it before it became number one Son's birthday present, is nearly oh so nearly as good as the Nexus 4. Why on earth would you spend £50 more to get the Z10?

You can get BBM on the Moto G.

It does push email.

What would my extra £50 get me to compensate for the ridicule of everyone else when they see I've paid money for a blackberry?

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Re: £149 for a nearly android, or £99 for a good one?

A few reasons:

1. LTE/4G. Makes a big difference to your internetting experience.

2. MicroSD. 8gb, or even 16gb isn't enough nowadays, and certainly won't be enough in 2 years time. Bit of future-proofing, I've a nice 64GB card I picked up for £50 some time ago that will go nicely with it.

3. Camera, bog standard 5MP snapper vs mid range 8MP job

4. Secondary camera, 2MP vs 1.3MP. Every little helps.

5. MHL support for HDMI out.

6. Almost the same height and width, but 2.6mm thinner, and a smidge lighter.

well worth the extra money.

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Re: £149 for a nearly android, or £99 for a good one?

Am I missing a trick here?

The article claims you can get a sim-free Z10 for £149 from carphonewarehouse, but when I look it's £189.95 sim-free. You can get pay as you go z10 for £150, but you also need to buy a top up and there is no guarantee it isn't locked to the network.

Then Ian say you can get a Moto G for £99, but again when I look it's £129 according to various price tracking sites it hasn't been lower than £125 in the last few months, so what gives?

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Re: £149 for a nearly android, or £99 for a good one?

The "Pay As You Go" option is £149.99, the SIM Free is £189.99.

However, the PAYG option is essentially SIM Free, as Carphone Warehouse always sell phones that arent' locked to a network. So there is nothing stopping you buying the phone on PAYG with EE but sticking your O2 SIM Card in it.

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JDX
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8gb, or 16gb isn't enough nowadays, and certainly won't be enough in 2 years time

Why not? Are all my MP3s suddenly going to be in a much higher bitrate?

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Re: £149 for a nearly android, or £99 for a good one?

"What would my extra £50 get me to compensate for the ridicule of everyone else when they see I've paid money for a blackberry?"

Maybe that anything you type into the phone isn't being pushed up to Google's servers?

I think you're missing the point to an Android compatability layer. It's not about turning another phone into an Android phone, because yes, it'll always be worse than an actual Android phone. It's about extending the software catalogue

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Re: £149 for a nearly android, or £99 for a good one?

What could really set the cat among the sky-rats is the news that Blackberry intends to make flagship-level phones with their famous Qwerty keyboards again. It wouldn't be for me, but a lot of people have a raging erection for Qwerty phones - and no other manufacturer is putting out top-end Andriod-app-capable handsets with a physical keyboard these days.

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Re: £149 for a nearly android, or £99 for a good one?

Er.. you missed...

7. Security

8. Security

9. Security

Android keeps turning up bugs and security issues.

Not really interested in loads of (cr)apps filling up my Z10. I have one or two but they are otherwise all pretty much useless to me. I also run the Android Kindle app - works perfectly. bit slow on startup but otherwise ok.

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Re: 8gb, or 16gb isn't enough nowadays, and certainly won't be enough in 2 years time

What about videos, podcasts, apps?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: £149 for a nearly android, or £99 for a good one?

No, the press and security software vendors keep inventing bugs and security issues.

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Re: £149 for a nearly android, or £99 for a good one?

Gimme a blackberry with a sliding keyboard, android apps and... shut-up and take my money!

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Re: £149 for a nearly android, or £99 for a good one?

"keeps turning up bugs and security issues"

BB10 however is well known to be entirely free of bugs ;-)

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Re: £149 for a nearly android, or £99 for a good one?

For better hardware, or because you prefer the BB10 OS. Or maybe, as the article points out, you are trying to escape the google web. Maybe you just want to support a 3rd competitor in this space.

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Re: 8gb, or 16gb isn't enough nowadays, and certainly won't be enough in 2 years time

BB world has that too.

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Re: £149 for a nearly android, or £99 for a good one?

I think he meant relative to the other mature OS, iOS. Given BB10 is 1 year old, it is remarkably bug-free. Still needs improvement though.

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The android layer in the playbook is older than BB10 and it doesn't have that clever hack to enable native android files to run. Goodereader does have a number of apps converted to run on it though.

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on point!

got a Q10 last week and Snap has made this phone next level!

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Native or Android

The one thing you notice is that, I am running z30 with 10.2.0.*, these Android apps ask for insane privileges, some of which cannot be turned off ... with native BB10 apps, you can pick which privs the app is allowed, some features in the app will then be disabled, but at least you have control ...

... when you now think of all the shit the Android apps can do on an Android phone and should not be able to, like a game accessing your contacts, could well be harvesting your contacts and sending them to a SPAM house, for example ...

One thing I must say, the hub beats anything I have ever used and I have iPhone 4, Ipad Air, and a couple Android/Sony's at home as well ... a must get used to (takes a day or two) The keyboard / typing aid is the first I leave on ... actually, after three days use it did a very good job a guessing words that I just "swipe" into place and I write email & sms in three languages on a regular basis. It detects the language, unlike iOS where you switch keyboards and text swiping is best thing since sliced bread !!!!

I have not installed Android apps yet, BB10 apps cater for all my needs, YMMV ...

Ohhhh and NSA-proof!

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Re: Native or Android

I notice that when I install android ported apps to my playbook they're asking for access to files, internet, GPS, and ID information for something like a puzzle game that works when I put the playbook in flight mode.

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Re: Native or Android

If you don't like the permissions an android app requests, don't install it. Works for me.

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Re: Native or Android

It's hardly NSA-proof if the President of the USA uses one.

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Re: Native or Android

>If you don't like the permissions an android app requests, don't install it. Works for me.

True, but you might want to use part of the app that does not require those privs (I have disabled privs for some BB10 apps and they work flawlessly ... except for the one feature I do not care about ;-), this I can do on BB10, not on Android and is the whole point of my post ....

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Re: Ohhhh and NSA-proof!

I think resistant is probably more accurate.

I think a properly controlled corporate device would be pretty hard for them to access, I would think an out of the box device would also be hard to get into, but once apps have been installed all bets are off.

Obviously Skype, Facebook, whatsapp, googletalk etc, would give them a level of surveillance, just from the service end and since they are American owned, what is to stop the NSA ordering one of the companies to issue you a trojan update? (I use all of these on my Q5, but were I a CEO or in a position of similar sensitivity, I wouldn't)

But obviously the situation is much better (or worse from the NSA's POV) than where the OS is controlled by an American company, they can just order a trojan update targeted at any person of interest. (And that is assuming they've not required a backdoor shipped in all versions.

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Re: It's hardly NSA-proof if the President of the USA uses one.

But the controlling BES would be American controlled in this case. The obvious implication of the comment would be for anyone outside America. (And isn't it homeland security for spying on themselves?)

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Re: Ohhhh and NSA-proof!

The NSA only lets Obama use a Blackberry after they harden it themselves, that should tell you how nsa-proof the standard ones are.

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Re: Native or Android

Some of your contacts may get up to one extra spam email a week, OH THE HUMANITY!

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Re: Native or Android

You are obviously not familiar with the app settings menu you can access for each app on JB/KK.

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Re: The NSA only lets Obama use a Blackberry after they harden it themselves

But what does their hardening do?

Most organizations would block the ability to install things that would compromise the system.

Does it involve the SIM which apparently has enough of an OS to have security issues?

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I've used the Z10 for nearly a year now, and it's still the best phone I've ever had - even before the Android playtime thing.

It was quite rough to begin with, but 10.2 brought it to the next level. The phone can be loved. In my organisation I bought the Chairman a Z10 to use for business needs, and she's only ever used iPhones before. But she was very impressed with how the phone worked, and she likes it more than the iPhone.

I wouldn't say BB10 is a flop, I would say it's a slow burner.

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Don't get the operating system BB10 confused with the Z10 which they had to write down.

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Re: I wouldn't say BB10 is a flop, I would say it's a slow burner.

I would agree. The Q5 is excellent, I'm very pleased I bought it.

There are still enough BB7 owners who will love BB10 to recover. (Now the price is right).

Of course they'd not be in the dodgy situation, had they handled the launch better.

They should have started with a device like the Q5 that could dual boot to BB7 or 10.

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Absence of quality third party applications

"However there was a serious obstacle for anyone considering adopting BB10: the absence of quality third-party applications."

Can someone please point out quite what this supposed gap is in BB World? What particular killer apps are missing?

On my Z10 I have numerous great apps installed which I consider to be pretty damned good 'quality', and more keep turning up all the time. The other week I linked up with a bunch of people on BB native implementation of WhatsApp, for example, which hooks right into the Z10's messaging hub.

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Re: Absence of quality third party applications

I felt just the same way when I got WinPhone - I was perfectly happy without the iPlayer, I have it now and haven't used it (not quite true, once I watched the end of a show while I was otherwise engaged but it was hardly a requirement).

I get that some people might feel having the ability to watch a TV show right now while they are mobile is useful but it is hardly a reason for not buying an otherwise better phone (IMO).

An argument that carries more weight by far is something like "I can't have an iPhone because the pictures are rubbish" which certainly applied prior to an iPhone 5 and still applies if you want good pictures rather than not-rubbish pictures. iPhone owners may dispute this and yet Instagram is very popular (another app no-one needs).

The other, often ignored but extremely obvious argument is "I can't have a iPhone because they drop calls all the time". It has been my experience knowing owners and testing phones (Nokia), that iPhones, especially the ones in metal cans, are less good at signal capture and retention resulting in lower quality overall. To me, a cellphone is still a phone, often more important that the quality is higher because of noisy surroundings. I have never used a cellphone with better call quality than a Nokia, I suspect there isn't one, generally speaking and I am sure it isn't an iPhone. So, you play Candy Crush and drop the call and I will read a book and sustain my call.

The only apps that would be killers would be something like a banking app or payment receipt where you are basically a small business using a mobile to do you POS stuff. Much of this stuff is iOS only, partly because a lot of it is used or started in the US. To me, it is a niche market, a wireless credit card is still tons better to me.

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Re: Absence of quality third party applications

You can't help being a fuddy duddy, I am not judging so why are you complaining?

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Re: Absence of quality third party applications

Depends what you are looking for, but things like the app for your local buses, your train operator, shops that you like to check prices for, apps for local taxi companies, that sort of thing.

Anything that is of local or niche interest rather than global / mass market interest is generally only available for iOS and Android.

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Re: Absence of quality third party applications

"Anything that is of local or niche interest rather than global / mass market interest is generally only available for iOS and Android"

But thats my point! I have apps for the London tube and busses on my Z10, and all sorts of others. People keep talking about this massive lack of apps in BB World, but fail to qualify with examples.

The only thing I went to install and found that BB world doesn't have is Viber - which wasn't exactly the end of the world since I have Skype on the Z10 as well as BB Messenger, Whatsapp, IRC Chat, etc.

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BB10 is a capable OS

The staff here thank you, due to this article I have been able to provide them with the business app they have been clamoring for since our last phone upgrade.

Pocket Frogs

What will probably kill this dead before it goes much further, is a lot of apps that also appear in the BB World market are pay for on Blackberry. so getting these apps for free from the Android Market is probably legally the same as genocide or something. I suspect lawyers will be warming up the outrage bus as I type.

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Really?

People still bother with Blackberry and Windows Phone?

They must be total plebs, when a Moto G is £110, and a Nexus 5 is £299

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Re: Really?

I am a total pleb. And your point is?

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Re: Really?

Moto G - £110

Nexus 5 - £299

Not having to muck about with OS variants to avoid having Google track your every move - priceless.

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Re: Really?

He isn't judging you for your stupidity, he is just hoping like me that you take steps to fix your own dire situation.

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Anonymous Coward

You just can't beat...

a good fire sale.

But oh, the humiliation of needing someone else's app ecosystem to make your devices attractive on top of a massive price cut.

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