Google Play launches as a rebranded Android Market

The Android Market has today undergone a major rebrand as part of Google’s aim to promote content beyond apps and provide a viable alternative to iTunes. Relaunching as Google Play, the only noticeable difference other than the new logo is the fact that they are celebrating the change with a big sale across the new Play Shop for apps, Play Movies, Play Music (US only) and, wait for it, Play Books. The rebranded store will roll out across devices with Android 2.2 or later within the next few days, and Google’s shift of focus away from the Android branding will undoubtedly be followed by massive promotions to let the world know what Mountain View has to offer.

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Why do teenagers love BlackBerry devices?

Among teenagers, BlackBerry smartphones are all the hype at the moment, but I genuinely can’t help but ask myself why. While most people can see that RIM is on a knife edge and need to make drastic changes to survive, our demographic seems to be addicted to the Canadian QWERTY phones, with their outdated operating systems and poor user experiences. Why is this?

In my opinions BlackBerry phones (and PlayBooks) really aren’t great. People say that the BBM way of communicating is their favourite thing about the phones world, but this service ties you down to communicating with other BB users. Why not just download a cross-platform thing like WhatsApp? Then you will be able to communicate for free with people that have other phones too, such as Androids, iPhones and Windows Phones.

The performance of BlackBerry phones is often absolutely appalling, usually due to the outdated hardware, and my friends that have them are always complaining about how they crash far too regularly to be considered reliable. The camera quality is in a completely different league to other phones, and not in a good way. You cannot compare the quality with that of Nokia, HTC, Samsung and Apple cameras as it is just far too poor. The video quality is equally awful, almost embarrassing to watch once blown up to a decent size. The keys on the phone are small and hard to use at times.

Also (personal rant here) have you ever tried sharing a room with a BlackBerry user? When you’re trying to sleep at night and all you can hear is “click… click… click…” People claim that the keypad on the BlackBerry Bold doesn’t click, which for the record, is a lie. When the room is silent at night you can, and I repeat can, hear it. Now you may be thinking of a counter argument to do with the all-touch Torch and similar models due to the fact that they have software keyboards, however the touch panels are quite frankly of a severely sub-standard quality. In some of the older models the screen clicks as if it’s a button when you touch it. Resistive touch-screens do not deserve a place in this world.

BlackBerry devices are good as business phones due to the security and relative efficiency of the push email services, however as a phone for the youth, they are quite simply abysmal in my opinion. Much better alternatives are available at a wide array of price points, but BB diehards seem oblivious to this fact. I just wish that more people would think the same as me.

RIM’s new CEO is not the right man for the job

Earlier this week, RIM quietly announced that Thorsten Heins, their Chief Operating Officer, would replace Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis as the sole CEO of the troubled company behind the BlackBerry. The Bavarian has been at the company for just 4 years and has still yet to even see the OS of the future that is BBX BB10 in action. He seems rather boring and doesn’t see the need for drastic change in Waterloo. What planet is this guy on? I wish him the best of luck in turning things around, but I’m not too optimistic. Watch his official introduction video below and judge Thorsten for yourself.

The Poll: Will RIM exist in 2013?

Last time, we asked who actually uses Google+. We had a remarkable 50/50 split in the results with all who responded having a knowledge of the service.

Today, spurred on by their Biggest Flop award and our general hatred of them, we ask if Research In Motion, the failing makers of BlackBerry devices, will still exist this time next year.

Why I hate RIM

In the tech world there is a large amount of hate towards Research In Motion, the makers of such pieces of shit such as the BlackBerry PlayBook and the Bold 9900. I hate RIM, as do most of my colleagues, for a number of good reasons. They are the company that everyone loves to hate and they don’t do a lot to help themselves.

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£1 million of BlackBerry PlayBooks stolen, proves somebody wants them

The Verge have reported that a shipment of 22 pallets of RIM’s underwhelming BlackBerry PlayBook has been stolen. The goods, valued at over £1 million, were in a truck that was taken from an Indiana truck stop while the driver took a shower last Thursday. The truck had no tracking equipment and as such the 5000 tablets that were intended for Ontario are currently lost. There is a possibility that the tablets may be hitting the black market in Miami, a hotbed for stolen goods. The FBI are investigating and it is believed that, of an alleged five suspects, police have the fingerprints of one. With RIM being forced into announcing that BlackBerry 10 powered devices will not hit the market until late 2012 and taking a $485 million hit on the tablet venture, things aren’t going too well for Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis. Even after numerous price cuts and multi-buy offers, the BlackBerry PlayBook is still a piece of crap that nobody is buying, but some consolation can be found in that at least 5000 have been taken off RIM’s hands.

Box offer 50GB free to Xperia owners, ensure nobody feels left out (update: LIES!)

A new free storage promotion from Box leaked today, this time for users with Sony Ericsson Xperia phones. If you use the Box app on such a device, they will give you 50GB extra storage for no additional cost. Similar to the still-ongoing ‘Size Matters‘ campaign for iOS users, this 50GB will last for as long as you actually have your Box account, but you are still restricted to 100MB per file and the painful upload process. The lack of a Dropbox-esque desktop client may render it irrelevant for some, however if you have an HP TouchPad, iOS device, Xperia/HTC Sense 3.5 phone or even a BlackBerry PlayBook, head on over to the Box website to grab the relevent app and free storage for life.

Update: Sony and Box have apologised, and this promotion is not active at the time being. LG users however are getting 50GB free so head on over to the Box Android app with your Optimus Pad (!) to claim your free gigabytes.