The Typo review

Been using the Typo for a bit now. Here’s my review.

1. Keyboard. It looks like a Blackberry, down to the ridges on the side each letter. It feels like a cheap Chinese copy. For starters, it clicks. Loudly. The keys are stiffer. Like I said this is a cheap Chinese knockoff. It’s really annoying. But it does function and is a huge improvement over the virtual keyboard.

2. Integration with iOS. It isn’t as bad as reviewers say. I miss not being able to ALT-DELETE to delete backwards. That’s probably my biggest miss.

3. Battery life. Pretty solid. I’ve only had it die on me once and I barely charge it. When that happened, I went back to the virtual keyboard and immediately noticed a slowdown in typing.

4. Response from others. My business partner says the device makes me look like a UPS or Fedex man. Everyone I’ve mentioned this to nods their head violently. Ok, so I get it. I look like a dork carrying this. But I get a lot of questions asking me what this is and telling me that they want one for themselves, or their wife, or their sister, etc.

If I was Ryan Seacrest’s product guy, I’d add a battery pack to this and invest in better keys. There is plenty of margin on this thing. I can’t imagine the bill of materials on this thing is more than $3-5.

Now that I have this, I have no reason to use the Q10 anymore. But when I do, the Q10 keyboard is a breath of fresh air. The keys are much nicer. But functionally, these two things are pretty similar.

if I was John Chen, I’d make an official Blackberry Typo for the iPhone. I’d price it at $150. It’s free money. Anyone on iOS is *NEVER* coming back to Blackberry. Might as well sell them a keyboard. It’s free money.


I’ve given up

I’m waiting for Typo


Feedback about my EMM needs

Dear John,

I’d like to offer you a few pieces of advice.

1. Fix the bugs. Please, please, please fix the bugs in your code on Blackberry 10.
By building on top of QNX and re-writing the email stack from scratch, you introduced so many new mission-critical bugs. I keep a blog http://blackberryq10.tumblr.com documenting the frustrations I’ve had and I’ve gone on television (Bloomberg) lamenting the choices you’ve made. 
You don’t understand how frustrating it is to use a Blackberry that fails at the basics. Right now, I have a lively discussion thread going on with Jason at support (help@blackberry.com, INC000026646052) where my Blackberry defaults to a SIM not found after 30-45 mins of use. I get data over wifi, but phones and texts just stop working. This is ridiculous.
I’m increasingly becoming frustrated to the point where I now carry around a Nexus 5 - because it works. I don’t want to switch and I still struggle with the lack of a keyboard, but it’s a working phone unlike yours.
2. Stop competing at things you’re not good at. No one wants a Z10. Competing with iOS is not your market. It’s a red herring. Your market is a group of business people who swear by the keyboard. That should now be obvious in retrospect as you are sitting on tons of Z10 inventory. 
I’m one of the few venture capitalists that is still very much wedded to your platform, simply because Blackberry has a keyboard. Like a lot of other Blackberry users, we are wedded to the device because it is the only way to have a portable office - iOS and Android touch devices simply don’t cut it. It’s astonishing to me that the company believes the Z10 is what people wanted.
3. Get onto Android, sooner than later. I don’t know what made management think they could build an entirely new operating system from scratch. It’s a waste of effort. You can’t fight and win this war. I’m seeing progress now with 10.2.1 where Android apps can run natively, but I’m astonished it took this long to get there.
4. Engage with the early adopters. We care. I’m astonished that you never engage with your customers and know who drives adoption. For all the bugs I’ve pointed out (and I’ve found serious errors in your code), I haven’t so much as received a thank you.
Good luck with the job.

It’s the inattention to detail

Does anyone at Blackberry senior management actually use their products?

Try copying and pasting text. Or better yet try sharing something on Twitter and editing the text. Position the cursor at the start of the sentence.

The Blackberry editing tools are fucking obnoxious. They basically don’t work. Its odd. iOS copy/paste/edit works beautifully. Even Android does it right.

The Blackberry implementation is not just clunky, it’s designed to frustrate users.

I swear they need detention centers for bad coders and testers. Force these idiots to actually use the shit they ship.


Battery life

It’s 10am. I left the house at 830am. My battery is 2/3rds drained. 


What if the Blackberry can’t do email?

How bad is this?

This is the one thing it’s supposed to be good at.




This phone is infuriatingly bad

I am not sure how the released passed QA testing. Talking to a couple of other Blackberry users, it’s clear this thing is a mess. Let me run down a few of the issues. These are category-1 fails IMHO.

1. The phone stack stops working. This means texts don’t come in. Phone calls don’t come in. There is actually no way to know if things are broken until you get angry messages over email from friends and colleagues asking you why you aren’t picking up your phone. What the hell, Blackberry.

2. Network reception just drops. Granted this may be the EE/T-Mobile network in the UK. But I constantly get pop-ups saying missed call when the phone hasn’t rang. What the hell, Blackberry.

3. My calendar jams up. That means when I load it up, I get a spinning wheel. I’ve complained loudly and vocally about this before. Have the monkeys who write code at Blackberry never read up on how to cache? It’s simply unacceptable that the calendar isn’t cached on the device and lasts through boots. You should only need to connect to the network to refresh it. Not to generate it. What the hell, Blackberry.


4. I get random freezes. Click on the browser. Get stuck on this screen. Other apps do this too. What the hell, Blackberry.



5. Sent messages still appear in my inbox, even though the flag to not display them is set. What the hell, Blackberry.

6. My Exchange email just doesn’t work. What the hell, Blackberry.



t am now weaning myself off this phone and onto a Nexus 5. This has been a *terrible* experience, Blackberry. I was one of the few folks in the venture community rooting for you. You have done a miserable job with this phone. Absolutely miserable.



Today my Blackberry decided to wipe out all my emails on my Exchange account. Just like that. No new emails coming in. No more emails on that account.

What a piece of shit phone. How do these monkeys ship software?

The entire software update has broken my phone. 


I want a Blackberry 10 interface on top of Android Kitkat with a Q10 form factor running Nexus 5 hardware.


Nexus 5 and iPhone 5

Got both of these phones since my Blackberry 10 is such a piece of shit.

Can’t type on either. Nexus 5 is blazing fast though. And slick.

One thing I’ve noticed is BB10’s select text mechanism is very poorly coded. I always find it frustrating. It just works on iOS. And it works well on Android. It’s like the Blackberry engineers don’t use/don’t care about their products.

What I want now is a BB10 interface on Kitkat with a Q10 form factor and Nexus 5 hardware.

Why can’t the morons at Blackberry build this?