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Blackberry 10 passes U.S. security clearance

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Hillary Clinton is one of Blackberry's most famous users. Photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters.

An early leader in the smartphone industry, RIM’s Blackberry missed the boat on touchscreen user interface innovations of the iPhone and Android platform. Not to be left out of the mobile game, Blackberry has been struggling to rebrand to catch up to its competitors.

Once the darling of celebrities and devoted Frappucino-sipping “Crackberry” addicts, Blackberry has settled into an industry niche as the go-to company phone. Corporations use it to send highly sensitive information because of its excellent security features. It is the standard phone in most levels of federal government and is famously used by American President Barack Obama as well as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The latest announcement from RIM touts the security capabilities of a Blackberry new operating system, Blackberry 10. BlackBerry 10 has received FIPS 140-2 certification, meaning that it can be used by government agencies. Time will tell if Blackberry can also step up its game to become a more consumer-friendly device.

The security clearance passage hints that the new operation system may be ready soon but there is still no release date for Blackberry 10 or word on what hardware it will run on. Blackberry phones have notoriously bad cameras—all have less than 5 megapixels and Blackberry’s lack of third-party applications is a huge turn off for mobile photographers. (Of course a good photographer can capture a great image with any camera, no matter megapixel or software limitations. Blackberry's Flickr account has some great shots.) If RIM wants to make Blackberry a major mobile competitor on a consumer level, it is going to have to improve its hardware as well as its operating system. 

Comments

Total comments: 7
grid29
By grid29 (Nov 9, 2012)

I would like to see a little more research on the writer's part. Is the FIPS 140-2 certification a big deal? It seems impressive for a mobile device. Is this a worldwide standard?

Considering the amount of work it takes to make a certifiably secure device, it sounds like they did step up their game.

I found the 5-megapixel comment pretty weak, too, considering this is a dpreview-related article. There are many other factors that determine the quality of photos produced by a device.

I know it sounds nitpicky, but it's operating system, not operation system. If you're going to write tech articles you need to step up your game.

Why do I get the feeling the author really likes Apple products?

1 upvote
noegd
By noegd (Nov 9, 2012)

I have a BlackBerry Playbook . It was an impulse buy, my main tablet remaining an iPad, but its Tablet OS (pretty close to what the BB 10 OS will be) is really excellent. Great multi-tasking, excellent browser, mail, contact and productivity applications.

The few games that are available show the potential of the platform. Having had a quick look at the SDKs, there seem to be more ways to develop proper apps for the platform than for iOS: C++ native, HTML5, Java, Adobe Air...

The current Playbook has some hardware issues (average battery life, poor WiFi and GPS sensitivity) but nothing that can't be solved in a new generation of device.

If RIM manages to attract enough developpers, its platform could attract a lot of consumers. But that's a big IF...

1 upvote
Illumina
By Illumina (Nov 9, 2012)

My onyx 9780 can produce beautiful image and it is 5mpx..
Sorry Lauren, but you are wrong, maybe you should edit ur article..

0 upvotes
Lauren Crabbe
By Lauren Crabbe (Nov 9, 2012)

Admittedly, I based that statement off of my experience seeing only lazily-shot Blackberry photos. As we all know, a good photographer can capture a great image from any camera.

0 upvotes
John King
By John King (Nov 9, 2012)

Agree with Baldhead44.

I have a Blackberry Torch 9810, and it works superbly well as a phone in difficult terrain, remote areas.

Has a touchscreen and very good predictive text.

Has a 5 MP camera that produces surprisingly good images and video.

Has a real keyboard that works, and the browser works better with the 'new DPR' than IE8 or Opera do.

My Palm PDAs have had touchscreens and handwriting recognition for over a decade ... I have just replaced my Tungsten E2 with a new one precisely because none of the "smartphones" ("dumbphones"?) can hold a candle to this device in the integration and usability stakes.

So yeah, Lauren seems to have never held a BB, let alone used one ...

0 upvotes
Baldhead44
By Baldhead44 (Nov 8, 2012)

It seems the Lauren has never seen a Blackberry up close before.
" RIM’s Blackberry missed the boat on touchscreen user interface innovations of the iPhone and Android platform"...Blackberry does have a touch screen phone called the Torch. It works just fine as any touch screen on the market.
"Blackberry phones have notoriously bad cameras—all have less than 5 megapixels"..The Torch does also have a 5MP camera in it as well. Its not the greatest camera but if I want quality images I use my DSLR. Quite honestly Blackberry has the only secure phones on the market. The only thing lacking is the App market, but Blackberry was designed for business and not playing.

0 upvotes
bikinchris
By bikinchris (Nov 8, 2012)

Not just POTUS and his cabinet. Blackberry, when used with the Enterprise server is the standard of the military and CIA/FBI and any company that requires high security. There is no contest between RIM products and the vast majority of other phones.
As far as the camera, it is not why I bought a Torch. Although frankly in good light, it does just fine. I don't think of my phone as a replacement for professional cameras.
I tried several phones before buying the Torch. My wife owns an iPhone and if I didn't buy the Torch, I would have bought a Galaxy S III.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Total comments: 7
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