A new operating system, BlackBerry 10, was released for two new BlackBerry models (Z10 and Q10) on January 30, 2013. At BlackBerry World 2012, RIM CEO Thorsten Heins demonstrated some of the new features of the OS, including a camera which is able to rewind frame-by-frame to allow selection of the best shot, an intelligent, predictive, and adapting keyboard, and a user interface designed around the idea of "flow". Apps are available for BlackBerry 10 devices through the BlackBerry World storefront.Further information: BlackBerry 10
The previous operating system developed for older BlackBerry devices was BlackBerry OS which is a proprietary multitasking environment developed by RIM. The operating system is designed for use of input devices such as the track wheel, track ball, and track pad. The OS provides support for Java MIDP 1.0 and WAP 1.2. Previous versions allowed wireless synchronization with Microsoft Exchange Server email and calendar, as well as with Lotus Domino email. OS 5.0 provides a subset of MIDP 2.0, and allows complete wireless activation and synchronization with Exchange email, calendar, tasks, notes and contacts, and adds support for Novell GroupWise and Lotus Notes. The BlackBerry Curve 9360, BlackBerry Torch 9810, Bold 9900/9930, Curve 9310/9320 and Torch 9850/9860 feature the most recent BlackBerry OS 7 (launched in 2011). Apps are available for these devices through BlackBerry World (which before 2013 was called BlackBerry App World).Further information: BlackBerry OS
Third-party developers can write software using these APIs, and proprietary BlackBerry APIs as well. Any application that makes use of certain restricted functionality must be digitally signed so that it can be associated to a developer account at RIM. This signing procedure guarantees the authorship of an application but does not guarantee the quality or security of the code. RIM provides tools for developing applications and themes for BlackBerry. Applications and themes can be loaded onto BlackBerry devices through BlackBerry World, Over The Air (OTA) through the BlackBerry mobile browser, or through BlackBerry Desktop Manager.
BlackBerry devices use the proprietary BlackBerry Messenger, also known as BBM, software for sending and receiving encrypted instant messages, voice notes, images and videos via BlackBerry PIN. As long as your cell phone has a data plan these messages are all free of charge. Some of the features of BBM include groups, bar-code scanning, lists, shared calendars, BBM Music and integration with apps and games using the BBM social platform.
BlackBerry recently announced that it is in the process of shutting down its streaming music service BBM Music, which is in active for almost two years since its launch. BlackBerry Messenger Music will stop working from 2 June 2013.Connectivity BlackBerry Smartphones for use at a museum in Canada.
BlackBerry smartphones can be integrated into an organization's email system through a software package called BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES). Versions of BES are available for Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Domino, Novell GroupWise and Google Apps. While individual users may be able to use a wireless provider's email services without having to install BES themselves, organizations with multiple users usually run BES on their own network. Some third-party companies provide hosted BES solutions. Every BlackBerry has a unique ID called a BlackBerry PIN, which is used to identify the device to the BES. BlackBerry now provides a free BES software called BES Express (BESX).
The primary BES feature is to relay email from a corporate mailbox to a Blackberry handheld device. The BES monitors the user's mailbox, relaying new messages to the handheld via RIM's Network Operations Center (NOC) and user's wireless provider. This feature is known as push email, because all new emails, contacts, task entries, memopad entries, and calendar entries are pushed out to the BlackBerry device immediately (as opposed to the user synchronizing the data manually or having the device poll the server at intervals).
BlackBerry also supports polling email, through third party applications. The messaging system built into the BlackBerry only understands how to receive messages from a BES or the BIS, these services handle the connections to the user's mail providers. Device storage also enables the mobile user to access all data off-line in areas without wireless service. When the user reconnects to wireless service, the BES sends the latest data.
A feature of the newer models of the BlackBerry is their ability to quickly track your current location through trilateration without the use of GPS, thus saving battery life and time. Trilateration can be used as a quick, less battery intensive way to provide location-aware applications with the co-ordinates of the user. However, the accuracy of BlackBerry trilateration is less than that of GPS due to a number of factors, including cell tower blockage by large buildings, mountains, or distance.
BES also provides handhelds with TCP/IP connectivity accessed through a component called MDS (Mobile Data System) Connection Service. This allows custom application development using data streams on BlackBerry devices based on the Sun Microsystems Java ME platform.
In addition, BES provides network security, in the form of Triple DES or, more recently, AES encryption of all data (both email and MDS traffic) that travels between the BlackBerry handheld and a BlackBerry Enterprise Server.
Most providers offer flat monthly pricing via special Blackberry tariffs for unlimited data between BlackBerry units and BES. In addition to receiving email, organizations can make intranets or custom internal applications with unmetered traffic.
With more recent versions of the BlackBerry platform, the MDS is no longer a requirement for wireless data access. Starting with OS 3.8 or 4.0, BlackBerry handhelds can access the Internet (i.e. TCP/IP access) without an MDS – formerly only email and WAP access was possible without a BES/MDS. The BES/MDS is still required for secure email, data access, and applications that require WAP from carriers that do not allow WAP access.
The primary alternative to using BlackBerry Enterprise Server is to use the BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS). BlackBerry Internet Service is available in 91 countries internationally. BlackBerry Internet Service was developed primarily for the average consumer rather than for the business consumer. The service allows users to access POP3, IMAP, and Outlook Web App (not via Exchange ActiveSync) email accounts without connecting through a BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES). BlackBerry Internet Service allows up to 10 email accounts to be accessed, including proprietary as well as public email accounts (such as Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo and AOL). BlackBerry Internet Service also supports the push capabilities of various other BlackBerry Applications. Various applications developed by RIM for BlackBerry utilize the push capabilities of BIS, such as the Instant Messaging clients (like Google Talk, Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo Messenger). The MMS, PIN, interactive gaming, mapping and trading applications require data plans like BIS (not just Wi-Fi) for use. The service is usually provisioned through a mobile phone service provider, though BlackBerry actually runs the service.
At 2011-10-10 10:00 UTC there was an outage in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, affecting millions of users. There was another outage just the next day. By October 12, 2011, the Blackberry Internet Service went down in North America. Research In Motion has been attributing data overload due to switch failures in their two data centres in Waterloo in Canada and Slough in England as the cause of the service disruptions.Phones with BlackBerry email client
Several non-BlackBerry mobile phones have been released featuring the BlackBerry email client which connects to BlackBerry servers. Many of these phones have full QWERTY keyboards.AT&T Tilt HTC Advantage X7500 HTC TyTN Motorola MPx220, some models Nokia 6810 Nokia 6820 Nokia 9300 Nokia 9300i Nokia 9500 Nokia Eseries phones, except models Nokia E66, Nokia E71 Qtek 9100 Qtek 9000 Samsung t719 Siemens SK65 Sony Ericsson P910 Sony Ericsson P990 Sony Ericsson M600i Sony Ericsson P1 Third-party software
Third-party software available for use on BlackBerry devices includes full-featured database management systems, which can be used to support customer relationship management clients and other applications that must manage large volumes of potentially complex data.
In March 2011, RIM announced an optional Android player that could play applications developed for the android system would be available for the BlackBerry PlayBook, RIM's first entry in the tablet market.
On August 24, 2011 Bloomberg News reported unofficial rumors that BlackBerry devices would be able to run Android applications when RIM brings QNX and the Android App Player to BlackBerry. On October 20, 2011 RIM officially announced that Android applications could run, unmodified, on the BlackBerry tablet and the newest BlackBerry phones, using the newest version of its operating system.