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BlackBerry's 11th Hour: How It Can SurviveBlackBerry's 11th Hour: How It Can Survive

To pull out of its death spiral BlackBerry needs a financial savior -- plus the willingness to promote the heck out of cool-but-neglected features like the keyboard and multitasking.

Ryan Harris

October 3, 2013

2 Min Read

Multitasking With Active Frames

Apple loves to show off its innovations in cute and colorful commercials. BlackBerry has innovative features that few consumers know about. Active frames, which allow the device to keep as many as eight apps going at once, appear on the home screen. They provide much more information from the app than you'll get from a Windows live tile or Android widget. … But Be Willing To Change Let Your Hair Down A Bit -- But Don't Forget Who You Are BlackBerry began as all-business; iPhone brought the party, but also heightened expense, fragile construction and value to thieves. BlackBerry shouldn't aspire to become the iPhone, but more options for customization and design -- such as a palette of case colors and ability to hide apps on the home screen -- could garner attention in a market influenced by looks, not just function. Get Yourself Out There, BlackBerry What can you do, BlackBerry phone? Apple advertisements are visual and aggressively promote features to appeal to the "got to have it" crowd; it's why folks camp out at the Apple store. Features that native BlackBerry users love, such as BlackBerry's keyboard and the red flashing light that signals a new email or text, need to be emphasized. Trendy advertisements are a start, but getting BlackBerry out there to software developers with a plan and some incentive to work together could be just as important. Android and Apple are succeeding with a suite of applications geared toward productivity, not entertainment. This is BlackBerry's forte. A swift move to target third-party developers to create productivity-focused, up-and-coming apps like DropBox and Evernote would help raise BlackBerry's profile. Let The Music Play The iPhone is the Apple amalgamation of the iPod and mobile phone. Its DNA gives it heft in playing music. Market demographics have shifted, though, and often come with a soundtrack. Users want to listen to music, all the time. They want a music player to be intuitive and seamless, to play in the background as they play and work. The BlackBerry music player is no longer a sore spot in comparison to BlackBerry's competitors. The music selection in the BlackBerry World app store is vast and BlackBerry 10 enhancements to the native music player include intuitive controls for shuffling, repeating, creating playlists on the fly and transferring songs to other devices. BlackBerry Z10 users can use the device's camera while playing music, something new to BlackBerry. The company should accentuate these features in advertising, and in any presentation to potential investors. Side by side, Android, Apple and BlackBerry aren't all that different. But any more inaction will lead to extinction for BlackBerry. It must move quickly when funding is locked down, and take its fight to regain relevance directly to the public.

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