Periodically I will write open letters to tech companies, usually chastising them for interface, or some form of glitch. Now I write to Blackberry to chastise them for a marketing mistake, which really could be corrected.
Now, here’s my letter:
Rumor has it you’re releasing BBM for iPhone and Android on September 20th. You know what else is being released on September 20th? The iPhone 5S. Let me know if you see the problem yet.
I get the whole “it’s hard to compete in hardware” thing, and that you’re selling assets and becoming a software company in some sense, but that doesn’t mean you have to ruin every decision. The news on the 20th, and the 21st is going to be everything iPhone: iPhones sell out. iPhones miss expectations. Critics, and fanboys alike will be talking iPhone, and BBM will quietly make its entrance, shrinking further into oblivion.
Your goal should be to make your remaining assets as valuable as can be, and you definitely could do that with BBM, but to do that, you need to be the headline, not the footnote.
If you’re from Blackberry (and you may be, because I’m emailing this to your PR team), I urge you to push your announcement back a week, or at least until the following Tuesday. Everybody will just be receiving their newly shipped iPhones, and will adventurously try the new Blackberry app, which they will have heard about, because by this time people will care.
Don’t screw up another decision. Release it late, and enjoy success with your new app.
P.S: I’m still waiting on my demo BB10 device, after emailing you close to 18 months ago. Any time now, I will
The definition of ‘friends’ has morphed in the online era; some say it’s gone from ‘individuals with mutual affection’, to “people I think I saw or met once, somewhere”. Teen developer Ash Bhat’s new game, Quicki, tests your friendship and your memory, by seeing if you can connect names with the faces of your facebook friends.
Basically, after connecting your facebook account to the app, and once you start the game, Quicki prompts you with a full screen photo, and two names. You have around 4 seconds to tap the name that matches the face, and if you fail, you lose. For each correct answer, you’re given two points, or “Quicki”s, and the total is your score.
The real challenge comes with group shots. Sometimes , in group shots, identifying people quickly can be really challenging, and it makes for a good way to kill 10 minutes.
Competing is enjoyable because Quicki pitts you against yourself (trying to beat your own high score), and against others (through game center leaderboards). But there’s something great about Quicki beyond the competition.
The next area of Quicki is incredible, but it’s not for the feint of heart. After playing a few games, head to the home screen, and tap the top icon, and then “missed friends”. Quicki shows you a list of exactly who you missed, and offers a direct link to their profile, so that you can “defriend” them. At heart, Quicki is a tool for cleaning up full friend lists, and managing facebook, rather than just a game. I would never “defriend” someone I know, or a relative, but people do come to my attention on my own list, that seem to be adding no value to my facebook, so into the unfriended masses they go. It’s surprised me how many people I both 1. actually know, and 2. have never met. That’s the amazing thing about having 700 “friends”.
Quicki is very modern and easy to use. The interface is smooth, and minimalist. Photos are crisp, and high resolution, which is important when identifying friends.
There are still some bugs to be worked out though. This game was released a month ago, and when my internet connection isn’t fast enough, I find that the game continues with blank screens instead of photos, and identifying people becomes a guessing game.
Conclusion: It’s Free, so why not?
Quicki is free, and enjoyable despite minor bugs. It’s got an interesting gameplay, and it really does make you stop and consider who you’re ‘friending’. Provocative and free make a very good game.
Think you’re above the trend? You’re probably not, but you should give it a try. Check out Quicki in the iOS app store.
Recently I’ve been on a puzzle game kick. My flight to China required a dozen hours of entertainment, and so I supplemented my usual puzzle games (UnblockMe, Flow) with a recently released iOS game called Color Zen. Here are the details on what it is, and why you should download it.
Color Zen is basically a puzzle game based entirely on color. The end goal is to have the color of the interior of the box match that of the frame. When two objects of the same color collide, or one of a certain color, and one blank, every unoccupied, or previously reacted space is turned that color. The goal is to react every piece, so that the final color is correct, and you have no remaining pieces.
Color Zen is great for car rides, and even better for car rides. It consumes surprisingly little power, while occupying hours of time if necessary. On my iPad mini, I played several hours while listening to music simultaneously, and it consumed well under 10% (screen brightness at 50%). On my iPhone it also performed amicably. The smooth movements and colorful animations are a surprising shift from your average puzzle game. Color Zen is very much a puzzle game with style.
By the way, it’s free
The best news about this game, is that like many of the best puzzle games, it’s free. Hours of entertainment won’t cost you more than the cost of the internet required to download the app (sufficiently small).
I highly recommend picking up color zen here, and checking out our list of some of the best iOS games in existance.