When the tech world first heard of the BlackBerry tablet, it was greeted with a fair amount of optimism. It was thought that the very daring (for RIM) device could be just what the company needed to get out of its unabashed slump in popularity, particularly in the United States. In addition, rumblings that the device would be able to run Android Market apps (and actually can now) had Android and RIM fans alike excited for the possibilities of cross-platform development.
This is a pretty wild piece of news. Google, George Mason University, and the NSA are working to make Android the most secure OS out there. They're developing a "hardened" kernel so Android can pass all the necessary red tape to be deployed for government use. By 2012 they expect Android to be good enough for classified communication, and eventually they'll hit a higher security clearance level than BlackBerrys. Poor BlackBerry, security was one of the last things they had left.
As an ardent Android fan I spent the better part of the last few months trying to convince my girlfriend to switch over to the green robot after she lost her beloved BlackBerry and required a replacement phone.
A recent report from ComScore indicates that as of July 2011 82 million Americans own smartphones, with Android running on 41.8% of those devices, iOS on 27%, BlackBerry OS on 21.7%, Windows Phone on 5.7%, and Symbian on 1.9%.
The survey clearly indicates that significant gains have been made by Google and Apple at the expense of RIM, Microsoft, and Nokia.
Additionally, the survey also looked at the market share of hardware manufacturers and interestingly Samsung was well ahead of the rest with 25.5% market share.
Today, Motorola announced its newest handset geared towards corporate types: the Pro+. This is yet another offering to fill the Blackberry-style void in the Android world, as it not only offers the same familiar form factor, but advanced security features akin to that of RIM's handsets -- like remote wipe, full data encryption, and password expiration.
The Pro+ packs a 1GHz processor, 512 MB RAM, and Android 2.3 under its 3.1-inch 480x640 Gorilla Glass display and full QWERTY keyboard, along with a 5MP rear shooter and 1600mAh battery.
Former Blackberry users may recognize the name Bellshare from such apps as BerryBuzz/BeBuzz and BerryWeather, but now the devs are trying their hand at Android apps -- and they're asking for users to come forward to do some beta testing. BeWeather looks to be a pretty impressive weather tracker, offering current conditions, wind, pressure, dew point, and humidity in your choice of 11 different widgets.
It doesn't stop there, though, as it also offers high def videos, 7-day and 24-hour forecast, geolocation, weather advisories via push notification, animated maps, sunrise/sunset times and moon phase, all inside of a completely customizable interface.
This morning we told you about RIM's plan to bring Blackberry Enterprise Solution to Android and iOS, with a brief mention of Android apps running on the Playbook. No sooner than we posted the aforementioned article did we find out that RIM had demonstrated just that at Blackberry World Conference. Take a look at the video:
Each Android app will run in its own virtual machine, but will seamlessly integrate into the Blackberry ecosystem.
It's no secret that RIM (Research In Motion) has been dipping their figurative toes in the Android water lately, and it looks like running Android apps on the Blackberry Playbook was just the beginning. RIM plans to bring Blackberry Enterprise Solution to both Android and iOS, further helping businesses manage their wireless infrastructure and security.
Once it's released, network administrators will be able to handle a lot of the mobile grind remotely - everything from activation and software updates, to resetting passwords and wiping devices - all over the air.
NielsenWire has released yet another one of their bar and pie chart-filled smartphone surveys for the US this morning, and it's just more good news for Android. Here's a quick breakdown of some of the key stats Nielsen compiled: