Feeds

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

Oh, all right then

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
Sorry London, Europe's top tech city is Munich
New 'Atlas of ICT Activity' finds innovation isn't happening at Silicon Roundabout
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.