BB's  unique e-mail service sorely missed


    Jun 18, 2013

    BB's unique e-mail service sorely missed

    BlackBerry Q10 smartphone

    THE BlackBerry 10 OS has been out for a couple of months. The first BB10 handset, the Z10, had quite a good start but interest in it has waned somewhat, not least because many die-hard BlackBerry users had been waiting for the next iteration, the Q10, which has a physical Qwerty keypad.

    The Q10 was launched at the end of last month. It looks much like the BlackBerry handsets of old, but with a redesigned keypad and a slightly larger, 3.1-inch screen. A BlackBerry user for over a decade, I tend to compare newer handsets with my older ones.

    Yes, there are improvements in the Q10, notably the keypad, which is larger and has better separation of keys. The device works as well as any other smartphone, with a few nifty features thrown in.

    However, BB10 handsets no longer have BES (BlackBerry Enterprise Server) or BIS (BlackBerry Internet Service), the middleware software operated by BlackBerry which made its push mail so efficient, reliable and secure.

    E-mail on BB10 handsets comes from users' online mail accounts. To its credit, BlackBerry has made the setting up of mail accounts on the Z10 and Q10 a cinch.

    But I do miss my BIS service, which I have retained on my older BlackBerry Bold 9900.

    While BlackBerry may think the smartphone route is the way to go, I feel that BlackBerry's unique selling point is the e-mail service. If I just want a smartphone, there are many to choose from, chock-full of features and with app stores filled to the brim.

    BlackBerry has not shut the door on BIS and BES, and has hinted that they might be available for future BB10 handsets.

    I hope that happens soon, as time is running out for the firm.

    How much: $898