BlackBerry has come up with another adaptation of its Keyboard app as part of its ongoing beta upgrades through the BlackBerry Beta Zone forPriv owners. New language input support and faster language switching using shortcuts are among the highlights.
Keyboard beta update brings a mix of changes
BlackBerry’s new version of the Keyboard app has a mix of changes, and the most notable is support for Chinese input.
“We have added Pinyin and Cangjie input methods. If you are fluent in Chinese, please download this update and try it out!” the Canadian firm says.
Another new and arguable better feature is faster language switching by using some new shortcuts, like a swipe on the virtual space key, long press on space and pressing Alt+Enter on the physical keyboard to bring up the language picker. These updates are only available through BlackBerry Beta Zone to those who have participated in the Beta release. Others will sadly have to wait for its general release.
BlackBerry aims to be WeChat
As its handset sales are not showing much profit, the Waterloo-based firm is seeking to boost its software and services business. Recently, the company signed a deal with PT Elang Mahkota Teknologi Tbk, one of Indonesia’s top media companies, to bring its video content to BBM and develop new services and applications for the messaging app.
With this, the Canadian firm is following in the footsteps of prevalent Chinese application WeChat in an effort to transform its BBM chat app into a one-stop solution for watching videos, shopping on the web and getting celebrity updates. The BBM Zone is not exclusive to BlackBerry handsets only and can run on Android and iOS as well.
James Mackey, BlackBerry’s head of corporate development, said, “We want to make exactly that [WeChat] type of offering in Indonesia but we also want to make it global.”
According to Mackey, this deal initially focuses on Indonesia but has the potential to be expanded to other countries as well. The Canadian firm will get a fee from the Indonesian company for each user it shows its content to on BBM.
John Chen, BlackBerry’s chief executive officer, is doing everything he can to collect more revenue from the assets he has at his disposal. The company has a strong grip on the Indonesian market where BBM is used as a main form of communication. Indonesia is a stronghold for BlackBerry with 60 million of its roughly 90 million worldwide BBM users living in the archipelago nation.