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  1. GJW
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    Default Could the Blackberry Bridge be a game changer???

    I've been thinking about this for a while...could RIM have the kernel of a true game changer with the Blackberry Bridge?

    What are the positive things that RIM is best known for? Security, email, push technology, bandwidth efficiency, simple and very effective user interfaces (for very specific functions such as email), Enterprise class management and control, battery life, and the ability to integrate with pretty much every carrier's wireless infrastructure.

    What are the things that RIM is best known for being bad at? "Cool" user interfaces, leading edge handsets (they seem to lag 1-2 years behind others), touch screen technologies, web browsers, consumer markets (although their Curve line and BBM seems to have finally given them a foot hold in the 15-22 age range), social media, etc.

    So here's the idea about the Bridge...suppose RIM were to focus on building a mifi type device which embedded inside it all of the cellular radio components, wifi and bluetooth interfaces, and all of the blackberry platform functionality for which they are so well respected - the security, Enterprise management and control features, push email, contacts, tasks, BBM, etc, AND....they left out the screen, keyboard, and UI.

    Suppose they then licensed (an extended implementation of) their Bridge techology (either protocol specs or APIs across the main mobile OS platforms) to every handset manufacturer in the world.

    What could this do to the handset industry?

    Suddenly, every handset manufacturer could focus on building the coolest, most functional and usable UI, without having to worry about how to interface to every different carrier in the world (diff radio spectrums, different underlying technologies such as GSM, CDMA, LTE, HSPA+, etc). In addition, every handset would automatically inherit all the Enterprise class security, push email, contacts, and all the other world class features that RIM is known for.

    Time to market for handset manufacturers would likely be significantly improved because they would no longer need to bring out multiple versions of each handset for different carriers, plus none of the cellular technology would need to be tested by them. In addition, since handsets would no longer need to support cellular radios, the cost of handsets would be reduced, the battery life would be extended, and there would be more room in handset for a larger battery or other components.

    Carriers would have a tremendously simpler landscape for testing new handsets - the difficult testing would sit with new versions of the RIM "mifi" device - actual handset testing with be dramatically reduced. Presumably this could significantly speed up Carrier testing and acceptance of new handsets or even take carriers out of the loop entirely for handsets (and get them out from having to offer rebates or subsidies for new handsets???).

    Consumers would gain far more flexibility to change carriers - they'd only need to buy a new mifi device, not new handsets! And no matter what handset they choose, they'd get all the great Enterprise features of a RIM device (including UMA if their carrier supported it), without being held captive to RIM's slow pace of handset innovations and poor consumer friendly UI capabilities. In addition, since it would be the mifi device where all contacts, emails, tasks, etc are stored, when you replace your handset (with the very latest cool features), there would be literally no migration needed - none of your data lives in the handsets - it's all in the mifi device!

    What do people think? Is this a ridiculous idea or a way for RIM to "rule the world"?
  2. donnation's Avatar
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    RIM needs to focus on bringing new handsets to the market right now and nothing else. They are getting left in the dust.
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    Quote Originally Posted by donnation View Post
    RIM needs to focus on bringing new handsets to the market right now and nothing else. They are getting left in the dust.
    Hm, I still think the best idead would be to loosen the BES/BIS restriction.

    Premium Features with BES/BIS
    Everything else without

    I would assume that a lot of new people would then change to Blackberry since many people have a data flat rate but a lot are not willing to pay additional money for BES/BIS and/or in addition BES/BIS is not available on prepaid.

    BB surely is not as "hip" as n Iphone or as "flashy" as the new HTC / Android phones - but even with all the tiny problems, difficulties I have it still remains the best phone I *ever* had!
  4. belfastdispatcher's Avatar
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    I can see iphone and android owners demanding the same from their tablets.

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  5. Xopher's Avatar
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    Although an interesting concept, I think it would not fly.

    The main reason (especially for BES) is that the data/security is tied to the device's PIN. If the network control is all based on the base unit, then you might break the control over the handset. The base unit controls the communication instead of the BES server.

    The way it is now, the BlackBerry still stays secure. All the data stays on that one device. When you bridge to your device, the data is still actually on the BlackBerry, just viewed on the larger screen. When you turn off bridge, you still have full access to everything, since it is still in the same place. Reversing the bridge concept would either mean that your data stays on the base unit (so you would have to carry two devices), or you would lose radio/connectivity when not connected to the base unit.
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    Bridge is definitely a big incentive for current BB users to get the playbook. However, users are leaving in North America in droves because of the weak phone selection and lack of any new high end phones. Hindsight is always 20/20, but I think RIM should have released the new phones first and then the playbook. Now they will be releasing 3G phones with a non-QNX os in the summer competing against a host of 4G and/or dual core devices and will be coming out with QNX phones less than a year later in 2012. If the new phones were released in March followed by a more finished playbook in the summer I think that would have been better for RIM.
  7. GJW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xopher View Post
    Although an interesting concept, I think it would not fly.

    The main reason (especially for BES) is that the data/security is tied to the device's PIN. If the network control is all based on the base unit, then you might break the control over the handset. The base unit controls the communication instead of the BES server.

    The way it is now, the BlackBerry still stays secure. All the data stays on that one device. When you bridge to your device, the data is still actually on the BlackBerry, just viewed on the larger screen. When you turn off bridge, you still have full access to everything, since it is still in the same place. Reversing the bridge concept would either mean that your data stays on the base unit (so you would have to carry two devices), or you would lose radio/connectivity when not connected to the base unit.
    The concept is in fact that you would carry two devices - the base unit (which would be small because it has no screen nor keyboard) and the handset. the base unit would just stay in your pocket or pocketbook. think of it this way in the context of the playbook - think of your blackberry as a small two inch square (thin) device in your pocket and think of the playbook as your handset. just as with the playbook, the data lives in the base unit, and the handset provides the gui for all the phone, browsing, and other apps.
  8. cavingjan's Avatar
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    The Bridge was the one thing I was looking forward to with Palm's Foleo. Initially not as much of a game changer but once a good installed base is created: huge. And not neccesarily with the PlayBook (or the Foleo) but with a host of other devices. Imagine your tv being able to act as the bridge with the remote to pull up your calendar. Or a dummy terminal at a hotel. It would save you from carrying around a laptop\tablet of your own if you are not using it for work. It would allow you to access your files on a larger screen without always having to carry around another device. Your phone could turn into a radio\storage device with minimal IO capabilities.
  9. ADGrant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GJW View Post
    The concept is in fact that you would carry two devices - the base unit (which would be small because it has no screen nor keyboard) and the handset. the base unit would just stay in your pocket or pocketbook. think of it this way in the context of the playbook - think of your blackberry as a small two inch square (thin) device in your pocket and think of the playbook as your handset. just as with the playbook, the data lives in the base unit, and the handset provides the gui for all the phone, browsing, and other apps.
    Problem is most people don't want to carry two devices particularly not to receive email and phone calls. A tablet is a supplemental device so bridging as a concept makes some sense (particularly for a BES user). The implementation seems to have some flaws though and it was probably a mistake not to ship the PB with Email/PIM apps that could work without a BB but could perhas wirelessly sync with one.
  10. i7guy's Avatar
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    ^^^^Not this. Can you make phone calls from your tablet?

    So if you want to carry around a tablet, you still will have to carry around a phone. If I'm home or in a hotel room, my BB is always within reach.

    -~-~-~-~-~-~-~

    RIM has to enhance the bridge and make it vendor proof. That would be huge.
    They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

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  11. avt123's Avatar
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    I don't see why other platforms really need the bridge. Bridge browser from what I heard is slower, and other platforms do not have BES. The other platforms have Exchange which is built in to both the smartphones and tablets.

    If I was on the go I'd just tether my smartphone to my tablet (doesn't matter if it is iOS or Android) and turn off the notifications on the tablet since I'd be getting them on my smartphone.
  12. belfastdispatcher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by avt123 View Post
    I don't see why other platforms really need the bridge. Bridge browser from what I heard is slower, and other platforms do not have BES. The other platforms have Exchange which is built in to both the smartphones and tablets.

    If I was on the go I'd just tether my smartphone to my tablet (doesn't matter if it is iOS or Android) and turn off the notifications on the tablet since I'd be getting them on my smartphone.
    Everything gets duplicated that way, it's not all about just the internet connection, emails, attachments, calendar etc will all be duplicated.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
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    Quote Originally Posted by belfastdispatcher View Post
    Everything gets duplicated that way, it's not all about just the internet connection, emails, attachments, calendar etc will all be duplicated.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    That's not a big deal to me. These devices have more than enough memory for email, and since the notifications would be off, I would only read what I want, since most of the reading would be done from my smartphone anyways. Attachments don't have to be opened. Calendar notifications can be turned off as well.
  14. belfastdispatcher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by avt123 View Post
    That's not a big deal to me. These devices have more than enough memory for email, and since the notifications would be off, I would only read what I want, since most of the reading would be done from my smartphone anyways. Attachments don't have to be opened. Calendar notifications can be turned off as well.
    Lol, if you're gonna turn them off what's the point having them then?

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  15. avt123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by belfastdispatcher View Post
    Lol, if you're gonna turn them off what's the point having them then?

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    So I don't get two notifications for the same exact thing? I thought that would be obvious, but I guess not...

    Why get a notification on both, when I can just get it on my smartphone, and then chose to read it/interact with it on my tablet if I feel like it?
  16. ADGrant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by belfastdispatcher View Post
    Everything gets duplicated that way, it's not all about just the internet connection, emails, attachments, calendar etc will all be duplicated.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    Why is that a problem. I see it as an advantage to have my data in multiple places.
  17. GJW
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    I don't think you are understanding the idea - it's not about duplicating the data. Imagine you have one very small device that never comes out of your pocket (the "base" unit). It's there to provide a secure access to your carriers wireless network, provide push email services, internet access, a single contact list, etc. All the data stays on the base unit - the handset (or tablet or computer or TV) simply provide user interfaces for seeing/using/updating the data which always stays in the base unit.

    Using Bridge like software on your computer, your tablet, or your "phone" handset, any of these devices can connect (through your base unit) to make calls, securely access email, use your contact list, etc. EVERY device (even your TV) can use your base unit to access your email, send/receive text messages and BBMs, browse the internet, get push notifications, etc.

    The idea is that RIM is really good at this underlying infrastructure, but they are pretty poor at handsets and GUIs. So let everyone else develop cool and innovative handsets, and let RIM provide the base connectivity and security.
    Last edited by GJW; 04-28-2011 at 09:17 PM.
  18. tweak_s's Avatar
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    The Bridging idea is VERY neat, and implemented properly would be awesome to use. Honestly, I really like even how the current Bridge works.

    However, the problem is that well, there are problems. Connectivity issues remain at the forefront, I had a RIM representative at work the other day who had issues with her bridging which was humorous, and also, the file management system is terrible at the moment (not like how the regular berry is).
  19. belfastdispatcher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ADGrant View Post
    Why is that a problem. I see it as an advantage to have my data in multiple places.
    Duplication is only one problem, the other is syncing, how do you keep a wifi only tablet in sync? A wifi only tablet will need an internet connection to synch. Say you get a few emails and you want to reply on the tablet as you'll have lots to write or everytime or every time you ad a calendar entry, you would have to tether the tablet every time with the phone just to keep it up to date.

    Duplication is a problem as sooner or later you'll run out of data as picture/video files are getting larger and larger, it will use your data plan faster and your data storage faster.

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    Quote Originally Posted by belfastdispatcher View Post
    Duplication is only one problem, the other is syncing, how do you keep a wifi only tablet in sync? A wifi only tablet will need an internet connection to synch. Say you get a few emails and you want to reply on the tablet as you'll have lots to write or everytime or every time you ad a calendar entry, you would have to tether the tablet every time with the phone just to keep it up to date.

    Duplication is a problem as sooner or later you'll run out of data as picture/video files are getting larger and larger, it will use your data plan faster and your data storage faster.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    again this is not an issue...we have been over this many times. yes a wifi device needs a connection to sync. Just the same as any device including your BB.

    If you add a calendar entry via your phone it will not be on the tablet until it gets a connection to the outside world, but once that happens it syncs immediately and then it will appear.

    the same goes if you have no cell connection on your phone but you get some emails and you are on the computer and you read some and delete some. Then you get service back on your phone. it has to sync back up. the emails you have read on the PC are also read on the phone. if you left them unread they will appear as unread and you will get notifications for them on the phone.

    All of this applies the exact same way on the tablet. It always in sync the same as your phone, same as outlook, same as on the web portal that you can log into.

    There is a difference between duplication and being in sync. for brief periods if a device doesnt have a connection to the outside world it might not be sync but then again no device really would. The bridge does help in a few random situations in that you can bridge an email onto the tab and respond to it and techinically the PB didnt have to get a connection to the outside world but the cases where this would happen are few and far between for most people
    Last edited by howarmat; 04-29-2011 at 01:07 AM.
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    Apple and Google will come out with something similar, only they will do it 50x better and it will be 100x more popular.

    That's just the way RIM rolls.
  22. belfastdispatcher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howarmat View Post
    again this is not an issue...we have been over this many times. yes a wifi device needs a connection to sync. Just the same as any device including your BB.

    If you add a calendar entry via your phone it will not be on the tablet until it gets a connection to the outside world, but once that happens it syncs immediately and then it will appear.

    the same goes if you have no cell connection on your phone but you get some emails and you are on the computer and you read some and delete some. Then you get service back on your phone. it has to sync back up. the emails you have read on the PC are also read on the phone. if you left them unread they will appear as unread and you will get notifications for them on the phone.

    All of this applies the exact same way on the tablet. It always in sync the same as your phone, same as outlook, same as on the web portal that you can log into.

    There is a difference between duplication and being in sync. for brief periods if a device doesnt have a connection to the outside world it might not be sync but then again no device really would. The bridge does help in a few random situations in that you can bridge an email onto the tab and respond to it and techinically the PB didnt have to get a connection to the outside world but the cases where this would happen are few and far between for most people
    Fair enough, you disagree but let's add something else to the equation, multiple users as in colleagues or family members, you would end up having 20+ email accounts set up on it and multiple calendars synching separately, probably on different email apps as well to avoid contamination between them.

    The Bridge makes this super easy, connect your blackberry and all your stuff its on the Playbook, disconnect it and it's gone ready for the next user.

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    thats a completely different situation with OTHERS peoples data. I dont care about others data. I care about my data on my devices.
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    Quote Originally Posted by howarmat View Post
    thats a completely different situation with OTHERS peoples data. I dont care about others data. I care about my data on my devices.
    That's true to phones but not to tablets/laptops/desktops, those are usually shared between members of the family, I mean immediate family like my wife or kids, I wouldn't give it to a distant cousin lol.

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  25. GJW
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    Quote Originally Posted by belfastdispatcher View Post
    That's true to phones but not to tablets/laptops/desktops, those are usually shared between members of the family, I mean immediate family like my wife or kids, I wouldn't give it to a distant cousin lol.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    I think many of you are missing the gist of the idea. Bridging is all about NOT duplicating data. All the data STAYS on the base unit. The Bridge software simply allows a handset, laptop, tablet, etc to access the data to display and to provide a user interface for the user to do something with it (e.g., dial someone from your contact list).

    It's NOT about sharing your data with someone else - it's about sharing your data across all of your own devices (phone handset, laptop, desktop, tablet) such that ALL of these devices can have all the features that today only blackberry handsets get and without needing each device to have it's own data plan, it's own copy of contact lists, etc.

    So with this concept, as long as everyone in your family has their own "base unit", they could all share the same tablet, but each of them, when using the tablet, would only see their own data on their own "base unit"
    Last edited by GJW; 04-29-2011 at 06:18 AM.
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