After a two year hiatus I am returning to blogging but expanding my coverage to cover the interrelated issues of communications and social networking as well as today’s intelligent devices such as smartphones, tablets and maybe even speech driven devices such as Amazon Echo (for which I recently watched a live demonstration).
During this time we have seen Apple evolve its line-up of iDevices and Android’s adoption on many hardware vendors’ platforms, the emergence of healthcare devices such as Fitbit, the spread of messaging, voice and video communications offerings well beyond Skype to include Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Wire; the latter having been financed and developed by a team that includes former members of the Skype developer team. Aside from voice and video call quality, encryption, privacy and security are the accompanying issues.
On the BlackBerry front, the “original” BlackBerry has become an enterprise security software publisher while they have licensed out their hardware technology and security software to third parties based in Indonesia, India and China. Tomorrow from TCL in China we will see the launch of their first product, BlackBerry KEYone in North American markets via a new subsidiary called BlackBerry Mobile. More on that tomorrow. Suffice it to say I have had several BB10 devices, such as Z30 and the Passport – which was heavily used for my activities as a Pan Am Games volunteer two years ago. For the past year I have been using BlackBerry PRIV, the final smartphone developed and marketed by the “original” BlackBerry; it certainly gave me an indication of how a secure BlackBerry hardware phone would perform running the Android operating system but its hardware created some user experience issues that KEYone appears to address (and I have seen the device).
In September I will be featured, via a website for Seniors, as the presenter on a video series discussing the use of today’s devices and social networking offerings for Seniors’ activities, such as special interest groups, ongoing family communications and healthcare. Many of my posts will provide some background for this activity.