The experience of writing on the BlackBerry Q10's keypad is really good.

The BlackBerry Q10 is a great phone

The experience of writing on the BlackBerry Q10's keypad is really good.

The experience of writing on the BlackBerry Q10’s keypad is really good. (Photo by Max Limpag)

BlackBerry launched in Cebu yesterday its first BlackBerry 10 device with a physical QWERTY keypad – the BlackBerry Q10.

I was able to play with the device for several minutes during the launch and found it a great phone for those who want a physical keyboard.

Organizers of the event held a game that had attendees answer questions via BlackBerry Messaging (BBM) as a way to try out the Q10 and its physical keyboard.

I was the designated typist of our losing team and found the experience of writing messages on the Q10’s keypad really good. There was an initial adjustment, of course.

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Nobex Podcast and Radio app

Nobex is a great BlackBerry 10 podcast app

Nobex Podcast and Radio app

There aren’t many BlackBerry 10 apps that compare well with those for Android and iOS. While using some BB10 apps, you get a foreboding feeling of something about to crash it tingles. Take the Sports Tracker for BlackBerry, an app that tracks your run or bike ride using GPS. Midway into your run, it hangs and at times closes and you lose your mileage log.

But not the Nobex Radio and Podcast app.

The podcatcher app for the Z10 and Q10 is not only among the best made-for-BlackBerry 10 apps in the BlackBerry World, it is also at par with some of the best apps in other platforms.

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Facebook Messenger on BlackBerry Z10

Google Chrome simplifies sideloading of Android apps to BlackBerry Z10

One of the key features of the new BlackBerry 10 operating system that runs on newer devices like the Playbook, Z10 and Q10 is its ability to run some Android apps that have been converted into .bar files.

To install these apps, you need to “sideload” the files or transfer these to the phone via a laptop or desktop. If you’re on Windows, you can sideload the files using DDPB or VNBB10.

If you’re on a Mac, it used to be a bit more complicated to install Android apps and required that you type commands on the Terminal.

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Smart TextMail and mobile alerts on tasks, website availability

One of my longest mobile experiment drew to a close early this month with my rediscovery of Smart’s TextMail.

For more than a year, I’ve been trying one service after another in an effort to get my e-mails sent as text messages to my mobile phone. The answer, you might say, is simple: buy a Blackberry.

I’m not, however, prepared to spend thousands of pesos for the device and its mobile e-mail solution when I have only very specific alerts in mind: website availability and tasks reminders. For regular e-mails, I am perfectly satisfied with the GMail for mobile Java application.

Scrybe online planner ONLINE PLANNER. My current online planner of choice, Scrybe. The free service allows me to manage my tasks and get alerted of deadlines via SMS messages sent through Smart TextMail. Click on photo to enlarge image.

I run and help oversee several websites and need to know whenever the servers where these are hosted encounter problems so that I can work on fixing it or submitting a support ticket. All the sites I run are monitored by free web server monitoring services that check every few minutes or so whether these are available.

Whenever the monitoring services I use detect any of the my sites to be down, it immediately sends an e-mail to alert me of the problem. I wanted to be able to get that message as an SMS alert. Sure many of these services offer SMS alerts, but for a fee.

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