BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.1.0.560 Beta Released

The developer Beta BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.1.0.560 is now available. You will need to register for the update and you will receive it as normal OTA on your PlayBook. Here’s some of the Change Log:

• Portrait support for Email, Calendar and Contacts
• Full device encryption now supported
• Multi-task with Android apps now, each Android app has it’s own window
• Android apps now have access to the Camera on the PlayBook
• Improved HTML

Here the link if you would like to register for BlackBerry PlayBook OS v2.1.0.560 update:

Register for BlackBerry PlayBook OS v2.1.0.560

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BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.1 Beta Coming This Week

We have been hearing about PlayBook OS 2.1 for a while now and it looks like we will be seeing it very soon in beta version. PlayBook Product Manager, Michael Clewly, tweeted that we can expect to see the 2.1 beta by the end of May. The beta 2.1 will be similar to the beta 2.0 that was made available to consumers before the official release. You will need to register your PlayBook’s PIN and then you will receive the update to your PlayBook.

PlayBook OS 2.1 will have these features included:

• Android Multi-Tasking (this is a feature I am very excited about)
• Bridge texting & wi-fi transport support (also another feature that is a very cool enhancement to BlackBerry Bridge)
• Portrait Email, Contacts & Calendar
• App World carrier shell (as we saw pop up on some PlayBook’s close to OS 2.0, for instance my PlayBook had a Verizon Apps Option)
• Personal Encryption.
• Over-the-air actuvation over Mobile Fusion.

I can’t wait to try out PlayBook OS 2.1 and the browser will hopefully have some of those little improvements we all have been wanting to see, like font changes and being able to edit bookmakers. Regardless, the features that are known to be coming are still some great ones!

Stats on Youth Using Smartphones to Stay Organized

This is pretty interesting, I read this on N4BB this morning that Vision Critical conducted a survey on behalf of RIM on how smartphones helped youth ages from 18-24 to stay organized. 80 percent said that they use their smartphone to keep up with their daily lives and 92 percent said that they will use their smartphone to stay organized in 2012. I know for me I couldn’t live without my BlackBerry day today, it is the number one thing that helps keep me organized and on track. Here are some of the stats from the survey:

•Sixty-seven (67) percent use calendars and. scheduling apps to keep them on deadline,

•62 percent count on GPS tools to help navigate while travelling,

•53 percent rely on social media and instant messaging to connect with friends when arranging get-togethers.

Source: N4BB

Microsoft Launches Social Network So.cl

Microsoft has launched a new social network that is focused on students who wish to network with their peers. According to Microsoft, “So.cl (pronounced ‘social’) combines search and social networking for the purpose of learning and is the latest experiment from FUSE Labs.” One of the features is “video parties” which is like a video playlist that let’s a user compile a list of videos and can then share that with other peers/users. Microsoft is allowing users to use their Facebook account and Windows Live accounts to sign into the website.

Microsoft is currently accepting sign ups, so if you are interested then go to So.cl and check it out!

BlackBerry OS 7 and 7.1 Approved for Use by Australian and New Zealand Governments

RIM has gotten approval for BlackBerry OS 7 and 7.1 to be used in the Australian and New Zealand Governments. Below is the Press Release.

Press Release

Sydney, Australia – In conjunction with the release today of the BlackBerry® 7.1 Operating System in the Australian market, Research In Motion (RIM) announced that BlackBerry® smartphones running the BlackBerry® 7.0 and 7.1 Operating Systems (BlackBerry 7) have been successfully evaluated and approved for Government use by the Defence Signals Directorate (DSD) of the Australian Government. The certification from the DSD affirms that the BlackBerry 7 Operating System meets the Australian and New Zealand Government’s strict security standards for a wide range of the Governments’ information classifications, representing the majority of day-to-day operational communications.

BlackBerry 7.0 and 7.1 Operating Systems, when used in accordance with Government guidance, can be used to secure information with a classification of up to and including PROTECTED for the Australian Government and up to and including RESTRICTED for the New Zealand Government.

“With the DSD approval of BlackBerry 7, Research In Motion continues to lead the industry when it comes to meeting the security certification requirements of governments around the world,” said Scott Deacon, Manager, Security Certifications, Research In Motion.

Tim Dillon, Associate Vice President Asia Pacific End User & Mobility Research, IDC Asia/Pacific, said, “As organisations continue to embrace mobility across all facets of their operations, the security risk escalates considerably. In today’s environment, mobile security is more than just device management. Organisations need an integrated capability that spans device, network, applications and data.”

BlackBerry 7 powers the new generation of BlackBerry smartphones and includes significant performance enhancements as well as many new features and functionality including Liquid Graphics™ technology, fast BlackBerry browsing and NFC technology. BlackBerry 7 continues to set the standard for information protection, with support for ECC (Elliptical Curve Cryptography), AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) and the ability to protect enterprise data transmitted between a BlackBerry smartphone and internal systems.

To find out more about BlackBerry security certifications, please visit
www.blackberry.com/go/security

For more information about the BlackBerry 7 Operating System, please visit
http://au.blackberry.com/services/blackberry7/

Great Website for Flash Games on the PlayBook

I am always looking for great games to play on my BlackBerry PlayBook, and since I first got it I have enjoyed being able to play flash games on different websites. I was looking through games on the Chrome Web store on my laptop and looking at the description I saw there were many flash games in throughout the store. I noticed Web Store Games came up a couple of times so I went to the web site on my PlayBook and it works great. The games are easy to play on the PlayBook and I haven’t seen any that aren’t compatible. Check out the web site and try out some of the free flash games on there.

Update: Unlike what I said above there are some games here that are not compatible with a full touch screen/tablet because of the lack of physical keys that are required in some of the games. But there are still some great ones, I am addicted to ‘Bowmaster’ which is a simple but addictive game so check it out!

Parkmobile Launches NFC-Enabled Mobile Parking Payment System

Parkmobile USA which is a leader in providing integrated end-to-end mobile parking payment solutions. Parkmobile USA was founded in Atlanta, Ga. and their services are used in 250 cities across the US. Below is the Press Release

Press Release

OAKLAND, Calif., May 17, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Parkmobile USA, Inc. announced today that their revolutionary new mobile payment service has been implemented in Oakland, CA. Not only can customers now pay for parking with their cell phone using Parkmobile’s native mobile applications for the iPhone, Android, Windows 7, and Blackberry smartphones anywhere in the city, but they can also choose to pay with NFC-enabled mobile phones by waving or tapping their phone on any of Parkmobile’s NFC-enabled stickers.

To use the new Parkmobile system, customers register for free at http://www.parkmobile.com . Once registered, they can use a mobile app, the internet, QR Code, NFC sticker or call toll free at 1-877-727-5718 to pay for parking. After setting up the account, customers can immediately start using the system with their registered mobile phone. They can also select the option to receive both text message or email alerts and reminders.

“Parkmobile is very excited to launch our mobile payment parking service in Oakland,” said Albert Bogaard, CEO of Parkmobile USA, Inc. “With this technology, customers no longer have to search for change at their destination. With the addition of NFC to our suite of payment options, our mobile payment service continues to be an example of innovative technology that can make our lives easier and more efficient.”

The program is offered citywide at all on-street parking meters in Oakland. Parkmobile’s progressive technologies and services will enhance the experience of motorists. Parkmobile’s mobile payment solution is an ideal parking option, and is simple and convenient.

“The City of Oakland is excited to offer motorists a hassle-free and convenient payment option at parking meters,” said Noel Pinto, Director of Parking Operations with City of Oakland. “Motorist can now pay for parking at a meter by utilizing their cell phone and seamlessly buying time to park at a metered space; no more digging for coins, no more frustrations and no more stress. Parking in Oakland is no longer an adventure but rather as easy as parking at a meter, making a phone call and walking away. The City of Oakland and Parkmobile are working together to make parking in Oakland a convenience and not a challenge.”

Oakland marks the seventh West Coast market following Santa Cruz, Santa Monica, Sausalito, Long Beach, Newport Beach and the University of Southern California, that offers the Parkmobile mobile payment solution.

For additional information and locations, please visit: http://www.parkmobile.com

T-Mobile Announces New No Contract Services Passes

Today T-Mobile announced a new services where customers can pay for passes to use their 4G network with No annual contract required and is expected to start May 20th. Below is the Press Release.

Press Release

New Passes, Available May 20, Offer Flexible, More Affordable Access to High-Speed Internet on the Go on an Advanced Lineup of 4G Tablets, Mobile Hotspots and Laptop Sticks

Bellevue, Wash. — May 17, 2012 — T-Mobile USA, Inc. today announced that its new, flexible and worry-free No Annual Contract mobile broadband service passes will debut May 20, making it easier for customers to enjoy access to high-speed Internet on the go whenever they want. With T-Mobile’s new, more affordable No Annual Contract data passes, customers can experience T-Mobile’s blazing-fast 4G network speeds across a variety of mobile broadband devices including tablets, mobile hotspots and laptop sticks – with no strings attached.

Starting at just $15, T-Mobile’s lineup of No Annual Contract mobile broadband passes delivers a pay-in-advance, overage-free solution that offers an allotment of mobile data, making it possible for customers to choose a pass that best fits their data needs without committing to a two-year contract:

•300MB 1-week pass for $15
•1.5GB 1-month pass for $25
•3.5GB 1-month pass for $35
•5GB 1-month pass for $50

“Although most of our mobile broadband customers choose postpaid rate plans for the best device prices and data rates, we know that many of our customers want the flexibility to be able to experience mobile broadband without committing to an annual contract up front,” said Jeremy Korst, vice president of marketing, T-Mobile USA. “With better pricing and new features like an auto-refill option and a simpler purchase experience, T-Mobile’s No Annual Contract mobile broadband passes make it easier and more affordable than ever to experience high-speed Internet on the go on a range of devices.”

T-Mobile® offers a variety of 4G mobile broadband devices that, when connected to T-Mobile’s high-speed 4G network, offer customers fast access to the Web, e-mail, gaming, movies and more, while on-the-go.

T-Mobile’s lineup of mobile, connected tablets, including the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, the Samsung Galaxy Tab™ 7.0 Plus and the T-Mobile® SpringBoard™ with Google™,  deliver a premium on-the-go entertainment and Web experience, making it possible to stream movies on a road trip or shop online while the kids play at the park.
The T-Mobile® Sonic™ 4G Mobile Hotspot and the T-Mobile 4G Mobile Hotspot are ideal for staying connected on-the-go with colleagues and clients or providing Internet on the go for the family on vacation. Providing simultaneous access to T-Mobile’s 4G network for up to five Wi-Fi-enabled devices, customers can use their mobile hotspots to connect their iPad® devices, laptops, music players, portable gaming devices and e-readers, among other devices, to T-Mobile’s high-speed 4G network.
T-Mobile’s laptop sticks, including the HSPA+ 42-enabled Rocket™ 3.0 USB Laptop Stick, are perfect for customers looking for a blazing-fast mobile Internet connection on their laptop.

What I want most from BlackBerry 10

I have officially decided what I want to see come with BlackBerry 10 more than anything. What I really hope is that when BlackBerry 10 devices are released that they no longer lock up and are unusable for 1 to 2 minutes with the Track Pad (or Hour Glass) on the screen just frozen with nothing you can do but pull the battery or wait for it to unfreeze. This has been such an annoyance to me for as long as I can remember and my Bold 9900 has been getting progressively worse the past couple days leading me to think it is time again for another complete device wipe, which I really wish wasn’t the case.

This is no huge deal and I’m not going to leave BlackBerry because of it or anything, but it would really be wonderful if I was able to get through the entire day using my BlackBerry and completely flowing through all my apps and getting stuff done with none of these annoying hiccups on my device.

Banks and Carriers to Announce New Rules for Using NFC on Smartphones

Sometime this week the Rogers/Bell/TELUS joint venture, along with various financial institutions could announce their plans on bringing the “mobile wallet” to Canadians within 6 months. It was a couple of weeks back when EnStream which is the Rogers, Bell and Telus joint venture, was in final talks with various financial institutes about the new plans and now we are close to an official announcement.

According to MobileSyrup at a Canadian Bankers Association meeting on Friday the big banks – presumably RBC, CIBC, TD Canada Trust, Scotiabank, BMO will be working on embedding credit card and debit card information onto consumer smartphones.

“A flat annual fee to allow a bank to load a consumer’s financial credentials on the SIM card inside a NFC-enabled smartphone.”That’s the word from Reuters on something Rogers, Bell and Telus are interested in on pricing and fees for the consumer or the merchant. Merchants are worried about paying out higher fees and the biggest issue for consumers surrounding mobile banking/mobile payment is security with 64% claiming it as their number one concern, according to a New Study

Source: Mobile Syrup