BlackBerry released a suite of Android applications last summer under the Hub+ banner that came pre-installed on the company’s own devices, but could be used on other phones as well. BlackBerry is adding to the platform with a screen capture markup app called Notable, now available for the BlackBerry PRIV, DTEK50, and DTEK60, and coming to other phones running at least Android 6.0 Marshmallow at a later date.
Apps like Notable that allow users to scribble and decorate screenshots — and then share their creations with friends — are common on Android, and usually come pre-installed by manufacturers on new devices. What differentiates Notable somewhat is that it integrates tightly with Hub+ services, and can be launched via a swipe gesture or, on BlackBerry devices, the convenience key. If your team is using Hub+ for all its productivity needs, Notable might be the best visual note-taking app for the task.
If you’re unfamiliar with Hub+, it’s BlackBerry’s collection of business-minded software that features a unified inbox for multiple email, social media ,and instant messaging accounts, along with additional utilities, like the company’s Calendar, Contacts, Password Keeper and Tasks apps, as well as a unique launcher with bespoke widgets. The service runs for a subscription fee of $1 per-month for non-BlackBerry devices, but the first 30 days are free. Users who don’t pay up after the trial period are subject to ads, and lose some functionality.
Having struggled in the business of building their own devices, BlackBerry is counting on services developed by its Mobility Solutions Group to find a way into the Android devices people are already using. It’ll have to fend off the likes of Samsung’s Focus and Microsoft’s Outlook productivity suites to gain a foothold, but the company’s cachet in the professional community might make that an easier task than going to-to-toe with the juggernauts of the mobile hardware industry.