Forget BlackBerry Square. BlackBerry Blend on spotlight: Features and benefits


The BlackBerry Blend feature, which will be readily available with the launch of the BlackBerry Passport flagship device, is a dashboard that's designed to display personal and work e-mail accounts, calendars, and messages such as text and BBM. All of these can be displayed on PCs, Macs, iPads or Android tablets from a BlackBerry device.

Remote access is also possible as long as the BlackBerry device is connected to either a cellular or Wi-Fi network. BlackBerry Blend also works when the device is wired into a PC using a USB cable. Once the user is connected, he can enter his BlackBerry ID on the PC and on his tablet to start connecting to BlackBerry Blend.

For those who travel frequently by plane, BlackBerry Blend allows one to easily create emails during the flight. Once the BlackBerry device receives a cellular data connection after landing, the created emails will be sent automatically.

Calendar management is also a breeze with the BlackBerry Blend. It can absolutely help one to avoid getting entangled in dealing with a double booking. The feature allows one to merge everything together in just one single calendar. These would include events, personal appointments and work meetings.

BlackBerry Blend is one solid proof that the company has a renewed focus on software, which is one of the main goals of John Chen, BlackBerry CEO. For quite some time now, the company has been touting the benefits of an end-to-end system that involves the smartphone and the back-end secure network. The nice thing about Blend is that it willingly acknowledges that its customers use devices other than their smartphones.

"Blend has the potential to turn into a secure communication gateway to all the devices in users' lives," said Chen in a note. He added that the feature could turn into a revenue stream since BlackBerry would be charging service fees in order to gain access to corporate data.

Other analysts are also impressed with the new feature. Some even believed that BlackBerry Blend has stolen the limelight away from BlackBerry Passport.

"While the new Passport device attracted the most attention, to us the announcement of BlackBerry Blend is more important," said analyst Mark Sue of RBC Capital Markets. "Blend underpins BlackBerry's enterprise strategy."

In order for Blend to work well on other devices, Macs would have to run OS X 10.7 or later. Android tablets should be running on Android 4.4 or later. PCs would need Windows 7 or later. The new feature will only work on tablets and PCs with larger screens. It's also highly unlikely that the feature will be available in other smartphones and in any Microsoft Windows Phone.

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