BlackBerry keen to stick with physical keyboard for future phones, new CEO says

BlackBerry Q10 review bottom keyboard

New BlackBerry CEO John Chen has said on several occasions that he intends to take the struggling mobile company back to its roots, focusing less on the consumer market and more on enterprise and security.

According to a recent interview with Bloomberg, he also wants to equip any new devices with its iconic physical keyboard, saying that future phones from the company would “not exclusively but predominantly” feature its button-based keys, adding that, on a personal level, he prefers it to the on-screen offering found with the Z10 and most other competing smartphones.

While such a statement is unlikely to have former BlackBerry device owners tossing their new handset aside anytime soon – the keyboard is, after all, already available with its newer high-end Q10 phone – the statement from Chen underlines his desire to turn back the clock and exploit the parts of the business in which BlackBerry traditionally performed most strongly.

The value the Waterloo, Ontario company places on its famous physical keyboard was highlighted just last week when news broke that it was suing a Ryan Seacrest-funded company for alleged patent infringement with its Typo keyboard case. The iPhone accessory offers users of Apple’s handset a BlackBerry-like keyboard experience, though a recent hands-on DT review revealed that the device is not without its flaws.

BlackBerry’s chief legal officer, Steve Zipperstein, called the Typo keyboard case a “blatant infringement against BlackBerry’s iconic keyboard,” and said his company plans to “vigorously protect” its intellectual property against anyone who wishes to copy its “unique design.”

Zipperstein added that although BlackBerry was “flattered by the desire to graft our keyboard onto other smartphones,” it would “not tolerate such activity without fair compensation for using our intellectual property and our technological innovations.”

In response, Typo said BlackBerry’s claims “lack merit” and said it would “defend the case vigorously.”

[Bloomberg via The Verge]

Emerging Tech

A.I. finds non-infringing ways to copy drugs pharma spends billions developing

Researchers have demonstrated an artificial intelligence which can find new methods for producing existing pharmaceuticals in a way that doesn’t infringe on existing patents. Here's how.

Apple banned from distributing some iPhone models in Germany

Apple is following the FTC's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.

Google is buying mysterious smartwatch tech from The Fossil Group for $40 million

Google is about to step up its smartwatch game. The company has agreed to buy an unnamed smartwatch technology from The Fossil Group for a hefty $40 million. Considering the acquisition, it's clear Google is serious about smartwatches.
Smart Home

Airbnb says sorry to guest for how it dealt with undisclosed security camera

An Airbnb guest recently found a surveillance camera in his rental apartment that hadn't been properly disclosed in the listing. The firm admits its initial response to the guest's complaint was poor, but has since made amends.

The best Apple Watch bands and straps to stylize your timepiece

If you have an Apple Watch, you know how easy it is to take off the strap it came with, so why not buy yourself another one? Here, we've gathered the best Apple Watch bands we've seen so far. There's something for everyone.

How to choose an iPad in 2019: A practical guide to Apple’s tablets

Selecting an iPad from Apple's lineup can be intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. Our comprehensive guide should put the numbers and specs in practical, easy-to-understand terms. Find your ideal iPad with the help of our guide.

The Cat S48c is the phone designed for construction workers (or the clumsy)

The Cat S48c is a rugged smartphone that's available from Sprint. It mixes midrange specs with a huge battery wrapped in an extremely tough and protective body. If you need a phone that can survive the construction site, then this is it.

Apple resurrects the iPhone SE with brand-new units starting at $249

Apple quietly started selling the iPhone SE again, at even lower prices than when it was discontinued four months ago. Brand new units of the 32GB version are on sale for $249, while the 128GB version is going for $299.

Popular Android navigation apps are just Google Maps with ads, researcher says

A malware researcher found that 19 free Android navigation apps on the Google Play Store were nothing more than Google Maps, but with ads. One of the apps asked for a payment to remove the ads, while some of them presented security risks.

Google Maps will now help drivers stay within speed limits, avoid speed traps

Google Maps will now start showing speed limits and speed camera locations, so that drivers will not be flagged for speeding tickets. The new features arrive to the app years after they were introduced in Waze.

Text up a storm with the best messaging apps for iOS and Android

These days, most people tend to favor digital messages over phone calls. We have the best messaging apps that allow you to share photos and documents, send text messages, and more with end-to-end encryption.

If you want Samsung's advanced folding phone, be prepared to pay a lot for it

Samsung has been showcasing bendable display tech for a few years and now a folding smartphone might finally arrive. The Galaxy X, or perhaps the Galaxy Fold, may be the company's first example. Here's everything we know about it.

Do these case images confirm a side-mounted fingerprint scanner on the S10 E?

It won't be long now; With 2019 underway, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is almost here. Before it arrives, here's absolutely everything you need to know about all three of Samsung's next flagships.

T-Mobile 5G rollout: Here is everything you need to know

2019 will be a huge year for T-Mobile. Not only is a merger with Sprint likely, but T-Mobile is also in the midst of building out its next-generation mobile service. Here's everything you need to know about the T-Mobile 5G rollout.