back to article Calling all Droids: BlackBerry’s giving away the Hub

Any modern Android device running Marshmallow will soon be able to run BlackBerry’s Hub, launcher and its other PIM software previously restricted to BlackBerry devices. The Canadian company will sell them through the Google Play Store for non-BlackBerry devices for free, or a 99 cent per month subscription. The deal includes …

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Re: "The Canadian company will sell them [...] for free, or a 99 cent per month subscription."

You missed the bit about adverts.

$12 a year even when we reach $/£ parity is not a bad deal for something which will make much better use of your data allowance and work better in poor signal areas.

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Re: "The Canadian company will sell them [...] for free, or a 99 cent per month subscription."

I did, yes — original comment withdrawn.

My personal preferential order is (i) paying for something outright; (ii) getting it for free with adverts; (iii) paying a subscription. So I'd probably still go for the 'free' option but, no, that isn't what I was originally alluding to. I had just somehow completely missed the second paragraph.

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Meh

As per the title meh.

I have a Priv so have all these things, however I don't find the Tasks and Notes apps useful, the launcher is perfectly serviceable but nothing to write home about, the Hub is something I have actively turned off as it's next to useless.

It's not that the Hub doesn't work, it's just that it doesn't really seem to serve any real purpose.

Sure you can read all your messages in one place, but it's not actually an email client or and SMS app, it's simply pulling in content from the apps you have for that already.

So you can read all those messages in one place but should you try to reply the Hub simply launches the app the message belongs to. Particularly for email this achieves nothing since I have all my email accounts in a single app anyway, and when I reply to a message it doesn't require another app to be launched to do it.

RIM's own messaging service BBM is even worse, once a day or more I get a notification that some random foreign sounding name has added me as a contact. Or at least I did until I disabled the app, I can't remove it altogether since it's a system app.

Stick to hardware RIM, you do that quite well. Software not so much.

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Re: Meh

The Hub and the blackberry (virtual) keyboard are the main reason I continue to use a Blackberry as my main phone, despite having numerous other phones I could use. It sounds like the Android version of the Hub isn't as fully integrated, but hopefully that can be addressed in the future. It really does make BB devices by far the most effective phones for communications.

I know many people are far more concerned with the ability to post their duck face photos and chase non-existent creatures, but I'd rather be able to manage the numerous communications channels as effectively as possible.

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Re: Meh

"but it's not actually an email client "

Yes. Yes it is.

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Re: Meh

Phil - if I got a couple of hundred emails a day with some really important stuff mixed up in the dross and if I were a bit busy/disorganized and didn't read all my mails as they came in then the hub would be useful because of the VIP function and the ability to quickly see unread messages. However, I gave up that life to go contracting and don't seem to need tools to manage corporate overmessaging any more.

I agree 100% about BBM.

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Re: Meh

Tried a small pile of different aggregaters over the years, some preinstalled and deeply integrated, some apps less dug in and like Phil, never found any benefit to it. I don't get a flood of stuff on my phone but can't imagine how combining multiple floods would help. Leaving it segregated in it's separate channels leaves it more manageable for me. There are times I care, times I just clear the notifications and those times change and are different for each channel.

Firmly in the 'no, it won't improve my phone' camp.

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Re: Meh

So bloke says something factually incorrect.

I say the opposite, which is factually correct.

Get downvoted.

Welcome to the Internet....

Xxx hugs xxx

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Re: Meh

"some really important stuff mixed up in the dross"

Obviously your experience may vary depending on circumstances, but for email from important contacts I just have separate folders for each person/organisation and server side rules filtering messages from them into those folders. Then when I look at my email I can largely ignore the inbox when checking for important messages and look at the unread message count against each folder.

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Re: Meh

Agreed, the BlackBerry soft keyboard is fantastic - I've got it installed on my Android device and can't imagine ever going back to the craptastic Google version.

I found the Hub pretty useful when I had a Z10. I really appreciated being able to look in just one place for whatever was coming in via email, Twitter, Facebook, SMS etc instead of opening apps.

However, I'm brutal about managing my accounts - I unsub from any email service that isn't entirely essential, or of significantly high signal to noise. I also have a few people that I need to hear from but who can be ignored 75% of the time - Gmail pushes their messages a folder that I only see once I'm back at my desktop.

I keep social media accounts to perhaps a dozen or two people or entities followed, and regularly pare that list to those that I find most useful. I also quietly block people whose crap to value ratio is below a certain threshold. Including family members.

Really, if you're complaining about getting too much email to use the Hub, you're doing a pretty pathetic job of managing your communications.

I'm always amazed at the people who are on fifteen or twenty mailing lists from decade earlier, plus all of the opt-in commercial stuff from every time you shop on-line.

Click "Unsubscribe" for God's sake on anything that you know is legit.

Sadly I rely on a Canadian wireless company for service, so don't expect to ever see Marshmallow on my phone.

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BBM

In the last couple of years, I have received exactly zero contact requests from random foreigners seeking new friends on my Blackberry.

Is it because I'm unlovable, or because I take care about how much of my contact information I allow the rest of the world to have access to?

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Re: Meh

Really, if you're complaining about getting too much email to use the Hub, you're doing a pretty pathetic job of managing your communications.

...if you're managing your comms, regardless of high or low volume, what does the hub do for you...

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Pint

Re: BBM

Unlovable.

Sorry to break it to you. :)

Cry into this -------------------------->

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Re: BBM

"Is it because I'm unlovable, or because I take care about how much of my contact information I allow the rest of the world to have access to?"

I assume it's the unloveable thing tbh, since I've never used BBM ever and it only exists for me because I have a Priv, I think my problem has nothing to do with my contact information being out in the world and more to do with foreign scammers randomly generating BBM PINs and adding them as contacts.

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Happy

Ha! Inception here we come!

Install it on my Blackberry Passport, so that it's running inside the Android VM? That would be cool :-)

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QNX firmware

I wonder how well they would at selling a QNX ROM installable on Android phones?

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Compatibility

I assume that BB have made sure that the Hub doesn't fit on the Android device screen properly, doesn't recognize dedicated buttons and is deathly slow with plenty of blank screens and waiting for minutes for stuff to load. You know - like what happens when you use Android on your BB.

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The Hub works really well for me on a Q10. So does BBM, with a group of my son in Vegas, daughter and ex here in Vancouver, with no random msgs, ever. Coupled with the news that BB phones will get immediate Android updates, it's clear where my future phone path lies.

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Great timing, El Reg

Picked up an Asus ZenPad z8 last week and found the Blackberry launcher, hub, et al elsewhere - works great, but I'll rip it all out again to give Blackberry (actual) $12 a year if that's what it takes to keep them alive until they pull their respective heads out of their asses. Yes, I'm *still* bitching about $720 Priv even though I'm happy as fuck with my LG G5, which is hella better hardware-wise than the Priv.

The security of Blackberry with better hardware? Oh fuck yes!

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First impressions I really like it.

Seemed a bit confusing the set up though, I downloaded the Hub+ and enter all my email account details but there seemed to be no way of accessing the "hub". I then downloaded the Hub (without the +) for email and that seems to work fine.

I'll give it a few days and see how I get on.

There's a mention somewhere (I forget if in the article or comments) that Blackberry better manage the data usage. I know this used to be the case with the old school Blackberrys but I thought since Blackberry 10 they use the same as any iPhone/Android would be emails. Is that not right? In not then does using the Hub use less data than any other messaging app?

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people hub

Still looking for something as good as the original WP7 people hub, the one thing MS got right and promptly ditched...

I have never used a BB but it doesn't sound like their hub achieves the same goal of a unified messaging hub where you can aggregate messages from each contact and reply to them through your choice of IM/email in one place.

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I've been hoping the Hub would be released for other devices but after reading the reviews I'm not sure it works in the same way as it did on the BB10 devices by calling the other apps. I will give it a go though.

Since transferring over to Android I've been using an app called Disa which is along the similar lines of the Hub but only covers SMS, WhatsApp and FB currently. It deals with sending messages itself though without the need of opening up external apps. If it did email as well it would be perfect.

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