Some weeks we get big news. We’ve had a few of those lately, including many PlayBook revelations and RIM’s 2011 roadmap. Some weeks might seem slower, but what they lack in impact news they make up for in interesting smaller bits.
As usual, we’re a bit dominated by the PlayBook this week, but there’s also an exciting BlackBerry development on the horizon.
Balsillie confirms NFC on 2011 BlackBerry devices
Before we get into what this new development means, you might want to know what NFC means. No, it’s not the National Football Conference, even though that’s what I immediately think of every time I see this acronym. Rather, it means Near Field Communications. It amounts to turning your mobile device into a credit card of sorts.
You know how some retailers have sensors that can pick up a chip in your debit card without you swiping? It’s basically the same idea. When you go pay for something, you’d just hold your cell phone up to the sensor, and it would run through like a credit card. It is a logical and nifty development that should start hitting the mainstream in 2011.
Said RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie at Mobile World Congress this week: “Many if not most of BlackBerry devices throughout the year will have NFC in them.” What a wonderful statement. We already knew this, pretty much, since RIM’s leaked roadmap contained mentions of NFC on most of those new handsets. But its’ nice to hear that coming from the company itself. It will make our lives just a little easier. That might work twofold, as it will provide more competition for credit card providers.
Tip of the Week: Group similar messages in threads in BlackBerry 6. It might be my favorite feature of the new OS.
PlayBook on schedule, accessories leaked
In the final month-plus wait before we get our hands on the PlayBook, I imagine we’ll have something of a weekly roundup of information about the device. This week’s is interesting, in that it puts a sock in some of the critics. I got the ball rolling this morning, and I really should have included this tidbit: RIM is still on track with the PlayBook release.
It might seem as though it’s delayed, but that’s because RIM decided to hype the crap out of the device by announcing it six months early. But they’re still eyeing the same release date as always. More and more it sounds like Week 17 is our target.
Those? Yeah, those are some accessories for the PlayBook, courtesy of Boy Genius Report. There are two more pages of things you can get, including charges, Bluetooth keyboards, carrying cases, and easels.
It looks as though RIM is really going to let loose with this. And in case there was any question, Flash 10.2 is PlayBook-bound.
Also, if you still think RIM is “dead in the water” or any of those other banal phrases that analysts have thrown around, read this counterpoint. It’s not necessarily worth more than the dastardly declarations of other analysts, but it’s proof that these are far from universal opinions.
- The above is a video of BlackBerry Messenger 6.0, courtesy of bbnews.pl, via CrackBerry.
- RIM acquired a company called Gist this week. They will help out with contact management.
- News broke late last week that Nokia will use Windows Phone on its handsets in the future. We knew Android was a player, but did you know that Nokia also talked to RIM? The partnership didn’t seem to make much sense from an outsider’s standpoint.