Feeds

BlackBerry brings back call, end keys, touchpad to Q20 keyboard cutie

Oh, all right then

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

MWC 2014 BlackBerry has admitted that its made its some of its traditional users who stayed loyal to the company very fed up when it dropped some of its best-loved features.

At Mobile World Congress today, the company formerly known as RIM said it would bring back the classic trackpad as well as Call ("Send"), End and Menu keys to a QWERTY phone running BB10. The Q20 will be out in the second half of the year - and will probably look something like this.

The first popular BlackBerry included a scroll wheel (or "track wheel"), but as its popularity grew, a trackball (and later an optical trackpad) was introduced, which allowed the user to edit text very accurately and quickly. But this was chucked out in the uneasy transition to BB10.

As a result, although the more modern Q10 looked like older BlackBerry, anyone expecting it to work just like one was disappointed. Text was manipulated on the touchscreen instead, which required the user to juggle the device around in the hand. It also made task switching and accessing features one-handed a lot easier. So gone was the speed that made a QWERTY BlackBerry so productive.

BlackBerry didn't announce much more about the Q20 other than that it would feature a 3.5-inch screen, larger than the Q10's 3.1-inch screen. Here's hoping BlackBerry puts more effort into the design and materials than it did with the Q5, reviewed here.

At CES earlier this year, the company said it would defend its keyboard IP against knock-offs.

BlackBerry also announced its fourth BB10 device, a low-cost 5-inch full-touchscreen phone for growth markets like Indonesia, which it had hinted about earlier. The Z3 will be the first device manufactured by Foxconn, will sell for under $200, and will be available in April. Specs haven't officially been confirmed yet. BlackBerry has "a plan to take that phone out globally with LTE sometime in the future before I die," said the very quotable CEO John Chen today.

Newer BlackBerrys running the latest version of the OS can install Android apps directly and run them with a high degree of compatibility – unlike Nokia's Android, revealed here yesterday. Although BlackBerry doesn't even mention it - its news release didn't refer to the new Android runtime at all. That's probably because you need to sideload an app like Snap first, which is fairly trivial for technical users but perhaps not for the mass market.

BlackBerry also announced new version of its enterprise MDM software, BES12, and said BBM messenger would come to Windows Phone as well as to the mutant "Nokiadroid" open-source Android in the new cheap Nokia devices. ®

Application security programs and practises

More from The Register

next story
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.