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The disconnect between children and their technology - teaching kids why code is important

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A common sited problem in teaching kids about technology is the difficulty in helping them make the connection between the tech they use and the code they're learning - something story character Detective Dot might tackle.

In 2014, the government ushered in a change in the curriculum which made it mandatory to teach computing in schools to pupils between the ages of five and 16.

One of the reasons this change was so important was the growing skills gap in the UK IT industry - the number of jobs that need filling is only going up, but the number of people with skills to fill them is not.

Whenever I speak to someone from the education sector about the new curriculum and teaching children to code, there's one question I always ask:

How are you making sure children understand that the concepts you are teaching them are affecting their daily lives and could be a potential future career for them?

It might be just as simple as saying something along the lines of: "If you like video games, you could get a job making them one day - and you'll be using your coding skills."

But Sophie Deen from children's education company Bright Little Labs has taken the concept one step further, creating a detective book series where the main character uses code and technical skills to be the best detective possible. Detective Dot understands the systems around her, is a white-hat hacker, and she uses code to program her drone sidekick to help her investigations.

The series not only tackles the issue of making sure children are aware that code is what drives the digital objects they use every day, but also stars a young female software engineer as the protagonist throughout the stories. 

As previously reported by Computer Weekly, the Detective Dot interactive books will aim to encourage children to take more interest in IT and the world around them. 

Deen has worked with children in the past, both teaching kids to code and as a play therapist, and states that there are not enough positive tech role models in the media for children to aspire to, particularly for young girls from minority backgrounds - an opinion that's industry-wide.

"In kid's cartoons, 0% of princesses are engineers, 2.9% of characters are black, and Batman doesn't recycle," says Deen in her Kickstarter pitch for the book series.

"Children, particularly girls and minorities, need positive role models in engineering, science, technology, arts and maths."

Deen hopes that the development of Detective Dot will help children to begin to understand where the objects and technology they use come from and how coding is used to control them, as well as the importance of computational thinking in day-to-day problem solving.

The digital versions of the books, which are aimed at seven-to-nine-year-olds, also include built in games and personalisation to get children excited about science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (Steam) based subjects.

When the new computing curriculum was introduced, many teachers were concerned about the new subjects they would be asked to teach, and last year one third of schools admitted they had invested nothing in coding training for teachers.

As well as the stories, Bright Little Labs is working on resource materials for teachers to help them use Dot to teach children some of the concepts in the new computing curriculum such as computational thinking and debugging for KS1 and KS2.

The Kickstarter for Detective Dot - Adventure stories for a fairer world closes on January 7 2016. 

iHealth launches healthcare tracker for digitally excluded

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There are healthcare monitors designed to track everything about your body and habits - but what about those who aren't digitally savvy?

Look at all of the health trackers on the market at the moment and they're bound to have one thing in common - you'll need to be able to connect them to your smartphone.

At IFA 2015, iHealth decided it wanted to throw a spanner in the works and created the iHealth Track, a device the firm's CEO Uwe Diegel claims is aimed at those who are not digitally enabled.

"Most people who are buying healthcare products don't need them," Diegel says.

"Little old ladies who want to manage their blood pressure or diabetes aren't using the Apple Store, they'll always go back to the pharmacy."

The monitor has an on-board screen which will display blood pressure information, and if the user does not want to do any more then they don't have to.

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According to Diegel adding connectivity was additional, and if the patient feels able they can sync the information stored on their device with their phone or tablet via the free iHeath MyVitals application so they can share their results with their healthcare professional.

iHeath MyVitals is available on Apple Store and Google Play.

Diegel says he wanted to "make a device for the people who need it most" - who are usually the ones who do not know how to connect it to supplementary digital devices.

The device will be available by the end of 2015, and the current price is estimated at around £29.20.

When I asked whether or not it will be available through NHS prescription, Diegel had an interesting answer for me.

He claimed that reimbursement of products it bad for the technology industry as when devices are available to purchase at a discount price it discourages innovation.

His theory stands that if companies know they will only receive a certain amount for products, they will not innovate to produce devices worth more as the margins made on those products will be smaller.

iHealth also released the iHealth Wave, a waterproof activity tracker designed to monitor performance while swimming.

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It's waterproof to 50m, can detect and analyse different swimming strokes, lengths and burnt calories, as well as track daily activity and sleep.

Also useable with the iHealth MyVitals app, the iHealth Wave will be available by the end of 2015 for a price of approximately £58.40. 

REVIEW: Ironkey Workspace 500 USB device

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This is a guest post by Sean McGrath senior reporter at Microscope

Striking a balance between mobility and security is something of a Holy Grail in the enterprise world. How do you enable employees to work from anywhere, while at the same time, ensuring that your mobile estate remains secure?

Secure mobile storage provider IronKey  was founded with a grant from the Department of Homeland security in 2005. IronKey has always had a straightforward mandate - to create the most secure storage solutions possible.

As part of its mission, it pioneered the first cloud based management platform for USB devices, the first USB drives with remote self-destruct and - the topic of today's review - the first fully secure PC-on-stick.

The purpose of the IronKey Workspace range is simple, unoriginal and not particularly sexy. The idea is that you plug the USB device into any PC, select it from the boot menu, and - there you have it - a persistent and fully functioning Windows 8.1 environment. When you are done with your work, you power down, unplug your USB and move on. It is, quite literally a PC... on a stick.


What sets the Workspace devices apart from the competition is the vendor's unwavering attention to security. IronKey, now under the ownership of Imitation, has spared no expense in creating the most secure PC-on-a-stick devices in existence. Before we move onto a hands on review, let's quickly reflect on just how secure these devices are.

In the UK, the Communications-Electronics Security Group recommends that portable devices used by government agencies comply with the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 Level 2. The same applies for US federal agencies.

The theoretical weakness with many portable drives lies in the location of the cryptographic key. Often, it is stored in the flash memory of the device itself. It's akin to leaving the key to your mansion under a plant pot. The Workspace's key is stored on a separate cryptochip. Only after the user logs in with an authorized password will the drive unlock the workspace, data and applications.

The primary difference between the W500 and the W700 is that the W700 is the first device of its kind to meet FIPS 140-2 Level 3 specifications. Level 3 requires physical security mechanisms that are capable of detecting and responding to attempts to access the cryptographic module. The W700's cryptochip is surrounded by a layer of epoxy and a metal meshing. Try to access the module and the epoxy warps the chip, destroying any chance of ever decrypting the data.

Of course, nothing is completely unhackable; with unlimited resources or some social engineering, the W500/W700 could still fall foul to wrongdoers. But as far as USB devices go, the Workspace range is as secure as they come.

We were given a W500 for testing purposes, but all specifications between the W700 and the W500 are virtually identical.

It's difficult to call a USB stick 'sexy'; but the Workspace is the Audrey Hepburn of portable storage. The brushed aluminium casing and the rubberised lid let you know straight away that this thing was built to last.  The Workspace devices meet the MIL-STD-810 standard, also referred to as 'US Department of Defence Test Method Standard for Environmental Engineering Considerations and Laboratory Tests'.

Basically, this is a long way of saying the IronKey devices are both waterproof and dustproof. While we didn't subject the W500 to a bath, it has been on a motorcycle keychain for the best part of a month and has successfully stood up to the wind and rain. It was even chewed by an enthusiastic puppy for a good few minutes and it still looks like it just came out of the box.


The W500 comes with Windows 8.1 as standard but will work with Windows 10 when it is launched later this month.

We tested the W500 on three different machines: a relatively new custom built workstation (Intel Core i7-4930K, 16GB RAM); a relatively old laptop (Dell Inspiron 11z with Intel Celron 723 and 2GB RAM); and a late 2014 MacBook Air.

The PC was the only machine that could take advantage of the W500's USB 3 speeds, so that seemed like a good place to begin.  We started by plugging the device in while the machine was already booted in Windows 7.

It is worth noting that, while the drive shows up in the host system's environment, only 500mb of it can be utilised; the rest is locked away, as if it didn't exist. Upon selecting the drive you are presented with two utilities - one to make changes to the password and one to automatically reconfigure the BIOS settings to boot from the W500.

It's also worth pointing out at this juncture that if the BIOS is locked behind admin privileges, the machine will not play ball with your shiny new stick.

We restarted the machine and selected the drive from the boot options. The W500 takes a little bit longer to boot than some other devices because it goes through two boot cycles (one to unlock the partition and one to actually boot the OS). After a while, this became a tad annoying, but the minor inconvenience was easily offset by the knowledge that we were booting into a completely secure environment.

Moments later, and we were running Windows 8.1. One might assume that there would be degradation in performance, but the speeds felt almost identical to those of the SSD in the machine. The W500 boasts read/write speeds of 400/316 MB/s on USB 3.0; five times faster than Microsoft's minimum requirements for Windows To Go certification.

Apps launched quickly and both CPU and RAM intensive programmes worked without a hitch. We were running Adobe After Effects and Photoshop side by side and even when writing video files to the drive, it was hard to spot any considerable difference between the W500 and the native drive.

The real surprise came in when we plugged the W500 into the Dell 11z. This little netbook/laptop hybrid has seen better days. Booting Windows 8.1 from its internal HDD It takes roughly four minutes from power on to Ctrl-Alt-Del, and then a further five minutes before the OS becomes fully operational.

The W500 gave this almost useless chunk of plastic an entirely new lease of life. The machine was booted and operational in under a minute and the OS was once again fully responsive and useable. You could, in theory, give every employee a ten year old laptop and a W500 and send them on their way.

On the MacBook Air, the W500 did not fare so well. We made it to preboot, but then kept hitting walls as the OS kicked into life. We're not entirely sure what we did, but after a couple of restarts we were up and running. Modern Macs all run on Intel technology and so there is no logical reason why the IronKey shouldn't work equally well using Apple's hardware, especially if you download and install Apple Boot Camp on the OS.

It is really difficult to fault the IronKey Workspace W500. It's well made, does what it says on the tin and most importantly is as secure as they come. The only slight hiccup occurs when one starts considering tangible use cases for a PC-on-a-stick.

Users still need a host machine, which will likely be at home or in the office; and as cloud technologies bring ubiquitous data synchronisation ever closer, it is difficult visualise exactly why an enterprise would really need a fleet of Windows To Go devices.

Perhaps it could make a nice little sandbox environment; or just a useful backup device for when things go wrong. Day-to-day though, people are still going to use the underlying system as their go to devices.

If you disagree and do see the benefit of arming your users with PCs-on-sticks, you won't go far wrong by choosing IronKey's Workspace devices.


Smart Kapp - An image capture dry-wipe whiteboard

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SMART technologies, the company which brought interactive whiteboards into our classrooms, has developed a new dry-erase whiteboard capable of sending images to your smartphone. 


The digital capture white board is designed to replace the paper flip-chart often seen in meetings and conferences. 


It comes with a dry-erase marker, a board rubber, and a power cable. And that's it. 


The setup was designed to be as simple as hanging a whiteboard in a meeting room. All that's needed to use the mirroring capabilities is for one person in the meeting to have a smartphone running Android or iOS. 


Windows phone is currently out of the loop, but images can be taken from the board via USB as well. Negotiations are currently taking place over the direction of using Windows Phone with the Kapp, so watch this space.



One person takes control of the meeting by scanning the board's QR code through the dedicated app, or tapping the NFC spot. Once activated, anything on the board will appear in the smartphone session. 


Snapshots can be taken of the board at a specific point in time to ensure important information isn't erased, and people can be added to the meeting using links which are trashed after the meeting ends, or emailed images of the board while the meeting is in session.

The board is programmed to recognise the measurements of of a dry-wipe marker and mirrors any indication of pressure on the app. So technically, you could use a stylus with the same diameter as a marker tip to write secret messages on the board that would only register to smartphone participants. 



In particular the company has seen great interest from the hotel industry for use in conference rooms, and hotels would no longer have to worry about providing paper.


But the most interesting thing about the board is the vast number of industries interested in this particular product - something unusual for a business-focused gadget.


"Dry erase boards are ubiquitous, there's no particular industry where you would say 'it's just for these guys and them only'." explains Christine Alford, manager of SMART marketing communications.


This week the company announced a huge 84 inch model of the board, the Kapp 84, which is now available on pre-order, and premium services offering a free upgrade to the smart mobile application to allow up to 250 participants per session.


The smaller version will set you back £599, while the 84 inch board is £849. 

CES 2015: A summary of this year's Consumer Electronics Show

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As a first-time attendee of CES I distinctly remember thinking on my flight over to Vegas: "What have I let myself in for?"

It turns out the answer was a week of no sleep, motivational videos designed to make you cry and more gadgets than I could shake a stick at. It doesn't matter what time it is in Vegas, there's always something going on, and with the show spread over three major areas across the city it's almost impossible to take everything in.


But here are the top trends I noticed during my week in Sin City:

People aren't interested in JUST data collection anymore

One of the biggest themes of the week was the concept that devices that collect data are no longer useful unless they are able to interpret it and make changes for the better.

At the show, Shawn G DuBravac, chief economist and senior director of research at the Consumer Electronics Association, discussed the need for a "feedback loop"  whereby the analog input method for digitisation and curation is then used to influence and change behaviour, feeding back to the original input method.

It was widely agreed across the conference that until this feedback loop occurs, digital and connected technology will not contribute towards a better and more convenient standard of living.

Everyone is focussed on making things "better"

CEA representatives were saying it, Samsung's CEO was saying it, the big boss at Intel was saying it - everyone agreed that the internet of things and other connected technologies could act as a gateway towards a better existence for human beings.

According to Samsung's keynote at the opening of the show, "better" means different things to different people, and the public said the technology of the future should "be faster", "save time" and "track efficiency".

And that's just everyday life - Intel spoke about how its RealSense technology can allow automated drones to more easily navigate on their own, allowing easier drop off of items such as medical supplies.

The firm also shared its plans for a more diverse workforce by launching its own Diversity in Technology initiative, aiming to improve not just technology but the industry itself.

The wearables market is as confused as ever

The last few years at CES has seen wearables move from a possible future concept into a full blown industry segment. The problem is, wearables still don't know what they want to be.

In the CES Marketplaces innovation hall technology booths were split into sections, which included Wearables, Health & Wellness, Fitness & Technology, Smart Watches and Sports Tech, all of which contained, amongst other things, wearables of some kind.

Some of the products could have landed in any of these categories, and the line between several of these segments is very thin.


With fashion designer Lauren Bowker claiming earlier this year that she doesn't like her scientific designs being referred to as wearable tech, it's clearly an industry that, although has many products already embedded into people's lifestyle, doesn't know where it's going.

I think wearables is a technology category becoming a bit too big for its boots, and it needs to decide where its loyalties lie - fitness, wellness or convenience.

3D printing is actually going somewhere

Last year 3D printing seemed like a gimmick that would never take off. Now it's a legitimate industry used for activities such as rapid prototyping, and many products surfaced at CES that could expand the opportunities of the 3D printing market.

Intel's plans to integrate Intel's Core i7 processors within HP's upcoming HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printer is a step towards fast printing for functional items such as chainlinks and other working parts for the engineering industry.

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A 3D printing pen that allows users to draw a functioning 3D object was also on display in the Marketplaces hall, as well as many smaller 3D printers for home use that could solve expensive outsourcing problems for wannabe engineers.

From a concept people scoffed at to a range of technologies with practical uses, the 3D printing industry has come along in leaps and bounds.

The Chinese market is booming

Once technology was only manufactured in China on behalf of other businesses, but now Chinese companies are huge, and producing products for both domestic and international markets.

From smartphones to smarthomes, China definitely had a huge presence at the show this year, and the trend doesn't look to slow down any time soon.


The internet of things and smarthomes are both the fastest growing and least developed segments

Everyone was talking about the current proliferation and development of the internet of things this year, including the smarthome and how connected devices can help to improve people's lives and save people time.

However much like wearables, some of these technologies still don't quite have the edge that's needed to make them as useful as they could be.

We discussed earlier technology must provide information that allows users to manipulate and improve their environment in order to fully prove its usefulness.


What was also highlighted by Samsung's CEO was the need for greater collaboration between different industry segments and regulators to ensure the internet of things is able to properly move forward and work seamlessly.

Looks like we have a lot to keep an eye on over the next year! 

CES 2015: The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 with new AnyPen technology

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Lenovo launched its new affordable smartphone at CES this year, the A6000 smartphone available in the Indian market through exclusive online partner Flipkart.

What I found more interesting was the launch of its new AnyPen technology which, as the name suggests, allows you to use anything you want as a pen for the Yoga tablet 2.


The tablet itself is quite light, and has the Yoga-style battery across the bottom which allows for a nice comfy hand hold for when using vertically, and holds the kickstand for when using horizontally on a flat surface.

The Yoga 2 runs Windows 8.1 and has in Intel Atom Quad-Core processor to ensure speed. Its 8 inch display in in HD and the devices features front and rear cameras.

The AnyPen function proves very good for reaching small fiddley bits of the screen, especially for example when using the desktop function on Windows 8 where the icons can get quite small on the 8inch screen.

I tested the screen out using a fork and a pen-knife, which I was worried about at first until I was informed that the screen is scratch resistant.


There is one catch though, your chosen stylus must be conductive in order to work, so anything metal works a treat.

When using applications such as word can be fun with AnyPen, and your handwriting is converted into text-based words to allow you to review them ahead of inserting them into the document to ensure they are correct.

The tablet is currently available for a price tag of around $279, and stick on an extra $20 to use the AnyPen feature. 

CES 2015: Panasonic challenges GoPro with new wearable camera tech

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Panasonic has a lot going on this year, with a focus on its "green mobility strategy", fridges and washing machines to enhance the kitchen and let's not forget televisions.

But probably the most noteworthy part of Panasonic's presentation at the International CES in Vegas this year was their new range of fitness products, including the A500, a 4K mountable sports camera, part of the the Panasonic Adventure range for outdoor activities.

Julie Bauer, president of Panasonic's consumer electronics company, described its new wearable camera following up with the statement:

"Watch out GoPro."

Although that was the only bold move Panasonic made, they still showcased a number of interesting products and ideas, some already achieved and some they want to release into the wild.


During the show, the wearable was on display, modelled by 'Spartan' athletes who were hell-bent on proving its durability by emerging from a pool of water and climbing a frame whilst wearing the camera mounted on their heads.

On the subject of cameras the firm also announced a set of home security cameras designed to be put around the home and controlled remotely by tablet anywhere around the house.

Those weren't the only cool thing they were exhibiting either; Panasonic demoed the concept of a virtual reality mirror able to project makeup onto to see what works well on your face. I envisage this sort of technology being used in the future to show plastic surgery patients what they might look like after a procedure, or in retail to virtually try on outfits.

Panasonic's CEO and chairman Joe Taylor also announced a partnership with Ford in order to "transform" vehicle communications and in-car entertainment using its Sync 3 technology.

But a big concern for Panasonic, as mentioned earlier, is the environment, and Panasonic has put a lot of time and effort into solutions to power vehicles and cities in more energy efficient ways.

The company spoke of its production of Lithium Ion batteries, a power source for electric Prius vehicles and other automotives, which is the number one use for these batteries globally.

It also spoke of producing scooters, called Gogoro, powered by smart swapping batteries that can be docked in power stations and swapped for a fully charged unit on the spot.

Finally the firm announced its Gigafactory which is currently under construction, designed to produce electric vehicle battery products. Panasonic predicts an annual production for 500,000 tesla cars by 2020 to be powered by renewable energy. The factory will employ 6500 workers and aim to establish more green mobility manufacturers. 

CES Unveiled 2015: What's happening in Vegas?

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In the lead up to this year's Consumer Electronics Show, a number of companies including both startups and established brands exhibited their innovative ideas to press and industry analysts, benchmarking this year's trends.

By far this year's standout trends are automotive connectivity and bigger, better and smarter televisions, as well as an increase in internet of things connected products and ever more useful wearables.


Among some of the familiar brands exhibiting included technology services company Accenture, consumer health technology developer Withings and networking equipment producer D-Link.

Although there were many familiar faces, there were also some new companies such as Slow Control, which were boasting a smart baby bottle, Patchworks Inc and its edge-to-edge smartphone screen protectors and Fitlinxx developing fitness wearables.

There were also a number of innovative new products including a digital pinball machine, a slate that can be used to track and digitise things written on physical paper, and a smart plant pot.


The internet of things and wearable technology are big trends still being developed from last year's CES, but last year we also saw a lot of technology many people probably didn't need.

This year there seems to be a theme of connected technology that actually gives back - creating that ever important feedback loop to justify data collection in the first place.

During Unveiled, I overheard a passer-by claim "Anything that saves you a little bit of hassle is a good thing." and I think this year we'll definitely see more technology designed not just to save people time, but to implement a positive change in the way they behave.

It's clear we can look forward to some exciting things over the next week as the show enters full swing. 

What can be defined as wearable tech?

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We're slowly moving into the wearable generation, and the number of people bringing wearables into the workplace is steadily increasing.

The battle of wearable technology is in full swing, with Microsoft launching its first wearable device just months after Apple announced plans for its Apple Watch. 

When many people think of wearables, fitness trackers and smartwatches are what spring to mind.

But wearable technology can be anything from a health monitor to mobile controlled garments.

Or can it? Designer Lauren Bowker, founder of The Unseen, has roots in Chemistry and has developed a range of clothing that reacts to biological and chemical stimulus as opposed to just electrical.

Her garments, which she recently showcased at the Innovate UK event in London, are "human focussed" and include pieces that change colour depending "environmental fluctuations" or stimulation from the brain.

The first piece is made of leather and changes colour in reaction to the wind and air. Originally Bowker thought this type of technology could be used for F1 in order to assess the aerodynamics of vehicles, but began developing clothes designed to reflect the way wind and air passes over the human body.


Another piece reacts to heat in the brain and therefore changes colour depending on your thoughts. It could be used in healthcare to communicate feelings that are hidden.

She says in the future, she hopes materials will be created for purpose, and there will be no need for disposable fashion, as one garment can be adapted to be suitable for all situations, moods and weather.  


But she doesn't believe this is wearable tech, to her it's just material.

"Everyone is calling The Unseen wearable tech whereas we really don't want to be called wearable tech. There's wearable computing, which I see more as the smartwatches," Bowker says. "That to me is just another gadget."

Bowker points out that other fabrics such as polyester could been deemed wearable tech if the way it is used it taken into consideration, so people should be careful to address specific categories garments fall under.


"Treat this as a design-led project rather than a recent trend." Bowker says.

A recent survey by Beecham Research found technology companies do not have the right approach to wearable technology and devices are not what consumers want to wear.

Not for profit organisation the London College of Fashion's 'Innovation Agency' works with technology companies to make technology driven clothing.

Matthew Drinkwater, head of the agency, describes working with Nokia on a digital skirt made of smartphones, and collaborating with Microsoft to create trousers that charge your phone in your pocket as just some of the projects the agency has worked on.

At Innovate UK Drinkwater showcased the Innovation Agency's Tinkerbell inspired dress, created during a collaboration with Disney using fibre optics and LEDs.


But again, he claims wearables should centre on fashion instead of simply being another branch of technology.

Drinkwater says: "Everything before had been functionality focus and device focus, we just want to try and use tech to make something really beautiful."

Video Review:BlackBerry Passport

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I've spent a few weeks using the BlackBerry Passport, which was launched at the start of October.

BlackBerry positions the Passport as a business device. It is instantly recognisable by its Qwerty keyboard and large 4.5 inch display. It also supports Android and provides direct access to the Amazon Android store.

Speaking of the Amazon store, it is no way near as complete as the Google Play store and I could not even find the Kindle app. That said, I was able to use the Android British Gas Hive and Nike+ apps.

I ended up downloading the APK Installer App from the Amazon App store to get access to Google Play, when I was then able to download the official Amazon Kindle App!

Side-loading still works if you are happy downloading the APK (Android app installer file) file directly. I actually downloaded apps for my Nexus 7, then used a file manager app to copy the APK files onto my NAS drive, which the BlackBerry Passport could access. There are several APK to BAR (BB10 app) converters available online.

As a BlackBerry Q10 user, I find a real keyboard essential for creating content. In fact this blog post was written on the Q10 earlier this morning on my way to work.

The Passport's keyboard is larger, so it should be easier to use. But having tried writing long articles on the Passport, I could not get used to the layout. The most annoying feature was in fact one of the new devices big highlights - a touch-enabled physical keyboard. When you touch the keys the keyboard acts like a touchpad, for moving the cursor. While this sounds fantastic on the spec sheet, in practice, it made working on the keyboard slower, especially if you tend to rely on the delete key to make corrections. I found I was correcting the wrong word more often than not, which slowed done my progress when writing text.

Among the best features of the Passport is the screen. I found reading on the Kindle app a pleasure, thanks to the high res screen on the Passport.

For business users, BlackBerry Blend is definitely a killer app. It is a unified communications and file manger application available on iOS, Windows, and Android - giving you an integrated way to share files, text messages and email across devices.

The BlackBerry Passport has the potential to replace your laptop, tablet and smartphone and I really wanted to like it. But, even though I am old fashioned and still rely on a physical keyboard, I simply could not type fast enough on the PassPort's.

That said, the screen is superb and Blend is excellent. Let's hope BlackBerry rolls out Bland across its smartphone range.


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