BlackBerry outs BBM Channels, a social platform for brands and celebrities

 BBM Channels

BBM was once the pinnacle of messaging perfection and BlackBerry enjoyed flaunting it in front of the competition, but with the rise of rival chat apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, BlackBerry needs to stay competitive. One of the ways it plans to do that is with BBM Channels, a new social platform aimed squarely at celebrities and brands.

Hot on the heels of the announcement that BBM would eventually be available on iOS and Android, Channels promises to further build on the BlackBerry brand. The first brand to take advantage of the platform is the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team, a pretty niche brand for a product launch but at least it’s not a BlackBerry fan page.

Users will be able to create a channel to gain followers, which can be controlled with a web client or BlackBerry smartphone – though the feature will be extended to iOS and Android pending acceptance into the app stores. Channel discovery will be built-in with a carousel-like UI for cycling through different brands and individuals worth checking out.

As a subscriber, you will be kept in the loop with timely updates on deals, news, events, or whatever the channel owner chooses to share. In that way, it works a bit like Facebook Pages. “Commenting” and “Liking” were also mentioned and channel owners have the option of engaging in one-to-one conversations with followers. Analytics are built-in as well, allowing you to “assess and monitor follower engagement and interaction.”

The quasi-social network approach seems like an odd move for BlackBerry, but it’s still nice to see the company trying something new. It might not overthrow the likes of Facebook and Twitter, but we could see people using it, at least the small number of BB users still out there.

BBM Channels is currently available as a beta for BlackBerry 10 smartphones like the Z10 and Q10, along with BB phones running anything from Blackberry 5 to 7.1. The application can be downloaded for free on the BlackBerry Beta Zone.

Mobile

Nomad's new Kevlar-reinforced cable range is now available for purchase

Nomad has just released an update to its super-tough Kevlar range of cables to include a new USB-C to Lightning cable and a blisteringly fast 100W USB-C cable. They're expensive, but they're the toughest cables you'll find.
Mobile

The 10 best keyboards for the iPhone, from Gboard to Bitmoji

Apple first allowed third-party keyboard integration with iOS 8, and now there are scores of alternative keyboards on the market. Here's a rundown of the best keyboards for the iPhone, from SwiftKey to Fleksy.
Deals

Amazon knocks 29% off the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL phones for Prime Day

Looking to get your hands on a premium Google Pixel phone? Now’s your chance to score amazing deals on Pixel devices. For Prime Day, Amazon is offering the Pixel 3 (128GB) and the Pixel 3 XL (64GB) for just $639 each.
Mobile

Xfinity Mobile customers can now bring their own Android device to the carrier

Xfinity Mobile, a mobile carrier for Xfinity internet customers, is adding the Samsung Galaxy S9, S9 Plus, S8, S8 Plus, Note 9 and Note 8 to its BYOD program. Customers porting a number on a new line are eligible for a $100 Visa card.
Deals

The best Prime Day smartphone deals: Samsung, Motorola, Google, and more

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is here, and there are a ton of great deals on smartphones worth looking into. Whether you're looking for a new iPhone or an Android device, there should be a Prime Day 2019 deal for you.
Deals

Apple Watch Series 4 smartwatch now just $360 in Amazon Prime Day deal

Amazon Prime Day is a fine time to buy a new smartwatch. The Apple Watch Series 4 is the cream of the smartwatch crop, and now in an Amazon Prime Day deal, the 44mm model can be yours for just $354, down from its original $429.
Product Review

Samsung's $99 fitness tracker takes on Fitbit. Can it keep pace?

Samsung’s going toe-to-toe against Fitbit’s Inspire HR with its own $99 fitness tracker -- the Galaxy Fit. It also has a heart rate monitor, can automatically detect six workouts, and has a battery that can last for days.
Deals

The futuristic Samsung Galaxy S10 5G just got a price cut on Best Buy

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is finally here, bringing with it some of the best smartphone deals you're likely to see all year. In particular, there are some amazing deals on Samsung Galaxy phones, including the much-loved Samsung Galaxy S10.
Apple

Missed out on Amazon’s Prime Day Apple Watch deal? Walmart has you covered

Amazon's deal on the Apple Watch was pretty good, but it sold out within the first 24 hours of Prime Day. As an alternative, we'd suggest you shop Walmart, which has the Apple Watch Series 3 available for $80 off its normal price.
Mobile

Having issues with iOS 12? These fixes will help you get back on track

Apple's iOS 12 has a lot going for it, but it's not perfect and several issues have cropped to annoy people. Here are some of the most common iOS 12 problems we've heard about, with some advice on how to fix them or work around them.
Deals

Amazon cuts up to 40% off on Moto G and Z smartphones on Prime Day

Today at Prime Day, Amazon is exclusively offering selected items on the Moto G and Z family at a discounted price of up to 40%. Take this chance and check them out as we’ve gathered them all here.
Deals

There’s still time for Prime Day iPad deals, even without a Prime membership

Prime Day ends soon but there’s still time to score before the clock runs out. Shoppers looking for a new tablet should strike while the iron's still hot, and this might be your last chance before to snag an iPad deals before summer's…
Mobile

HMD’s Nokia 2.2 is now available in the U.S., and it’s slated to get Android Q

HMD Global's Nokia 2.2 is yet another ultra-affordable phone from the company that's making its way to the U.S. The device offers a modern bezel-less design, and HMD Global said it will get Android Q.
Deals

Amazon Prime Day deals continue with big 4K TV and laptop discounts

The best Amazon Prime Day deals have finally arrived. 4K TVs, Nintendo Switch bundles, iPads, and more are all on sale during this 48-hour stretch. Now is the time to find the savings you've been waiting for.