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"?
- 04-28-11, 08:41 AM #3
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!
- 04-28-11, 11:18 AM #5
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.
- 04-28-11, 11:29 AM #6
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.
- CrackBerry Genius
04-28-11, 12:55 PM #8
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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.
- 04-28-11, 03:01 PM #9
- 04-28-11, 04:00 PM #10
^^^^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.
- 04-28-11, 04:09 PM #11
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.
- 04-28-11, 04:43 PM #12
- 04-28-11, 04:48 PM #13
- 04-28-11, 05:13 PM #15
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; 04-28-11 at 10:17 PM.
- CrackBerry User
04-29-11, 01:17 AM #18
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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).
- 04-29-11, 01:26 AM #19
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
- 04-29-11, 02:04 AM #20
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; 04-29-11 at 02:07 AM.
- 04-29-11, 04:44 AM #22
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.
Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
- 04-29-11, 05:56 AM #24
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; 04-29-11 at 07:18 AM.