Tech News

Read BlackBerry Priv Reviews, Try Cortana for iPhone… [Digest]

Dave Parrack 06-11-2015

See whether the BlackBerry Priv lives up to the hype, Cortana comes to the iPhone, Medium lets writers ignore readers, GOG launches its fall sale, and when Star Wars and Star Trek collide.


BlackBerry Priv Reviews Roundup

The BlackBerry Priv is BlackBerry’s latest attempt to regain traction in the smartphone market. In order to win new and old fans alike, the BlackBerry Priv walks the fine line between appealing to BlackBerry’s core fans Living with a BlackBerry: Lame Duck or Genuine Android Alternative? The new BlackBerry Z10 is certainly impressive – but how does using it compare with using a new Android or Windows Phone handset? I decided to find out. Read More and extending the hand of friendship to those who abandoned it a long time ago How to Switch from BlackBerry to Android Making the switch from BlackBerry to Android? Here's everything you need to know. Read More .

The Priv is essentially an Android handset in BlackBerry clothing. Thus, we have Google’s operating system, a large screen, and an impressive camera being augmented with a slide-out keyboard and a ton of extra security features. The early reviews are in, and we have picked out the highlights for you…

Engadget suggests the Priv is “probably the best-looking BlackBerry device that has ever been made.” As well as looking good, it also does a couple of things really well: “if you can’t stand typing on glass, this is your only option” and “if you’re looking for a secure Android phone, meanwhile, the only other mainstream alternative would be a Samsung Knox device.” So, the BlackBerry Priv is good, if you like that sort of thing, and are willing to pay for it.

CNET suggests, “The Priv is the phone BlackBerry fans have been waiting for.” However, the review concludes with, “Android and an awesome keyboard make the Priv the best BlackBerry in years, but if you’re not a keyboard lover and aren’t much of a security seeker, you’ll find phones that are cheaper, or offer better features than the Priv.” In other words, with the Priv BlackBerry is once again preaching to the converted.

Gizmodo opens by stating the BlackBerry Priv “falls incredibly short.” The reviewer then asks, “Should You Buy It?” To which he responds, “I wouldn’t, for myself, my friends, or even my worst enemy.” Which says it all, really. Except for the closing suggestion to, “Get the Nexus 6P instead.”


Wired opens by suggesting “This phone, the BlackBerry Priv, represents a strategic sea change for the struggling company.” However, it’s all too little, too late, and, “The Priv feels like a first step toward a device that could bridge the work-play gap—a promising first step, but one the company really should have taken years ago.”

In Conclusion: The BlackBerry Priv IS a viable option for those who want Android paired with extra security and a physical keyboard. However, for the rest of us it’s a non-starter, especially at such a high price point. Next!

Cortana for iPhone Enters Beta

Microsoft is bringing Cortana to the iPhone, and it wants you to test the Cortana for iOS beta in order to iron out the bugs. Microsoft has already brought Cortana to Android Cortana Coming to Android & iOS, Facebook Clarifies Community Guidelines [Tech News Digest] Cortana crosses platforms, Facebook's community standards, Yahoo's password pact, 360-degree YouTube videos, Family Feud on Google, and a 1980s montage of Boston Dynamics robots. Read More , and it’s now intent on doing the same for Apple’s closed ecosystem. Whether Apple wants it to or not.

Cortana won’t work as well on iOS devices as it does on Windows devices Cortana Arrives on the Desktop & Here's What She Can Do for You Is Microsoft's intelligent digital assistant as competent on the Windows 10 desktop as she is on Windows Phone? Cortana has a lot of expectation on her shoulders. Let's see how she holds up. Read More by virtue of the level of integration necessary to make it happen. However, if you’re sick of Siri’s dulcet tones and want to get to know Cortana better How Cortana Became The "Other Woman" In My Life She appeared one day and changed my life. She knows exactly what I need and has a wicked sense of humour. It's little wonder that I've fallen for the charms of Cortana. Read More instead, this could be a compelling beta in which to participate.


All you need to do to be in with a shout of taking part in the beta is fill in this short survey. You’ll then have to sit tight waiting for your download link to get sent across in the coming weeks. Unfortunately, it looks as though places are limited, so there are no guarantees.

Medium Hides Nasty Comments

Comments sections on websites have come in for heavy criticism of late, with various websites removing them entirely. The latest to try to insulate writers from the real world is Medium, which has added a “Hide Responses” option to each post published on its platform.

This isn’t as bad as banning comments altogether, as it merely hides the comments from the writer’s view. Rest assured, MakeUseOf isn’t planning to follow suit, and we invite each and every one of you to get involved in the discussions happening under our articles.

Save Money on GOG Games This Fall, otherwise known as Good Old Games, has launched its Big Fall Sale, with a host of savings available on both new and old games. The sale is set to run from now until November 15th, with deals being rotated in and out on a daily basis.



Individual games on sale include The Witcher III: Wild Hunt, Grim Fandango Remastered, and Gone Home. There are also bundles offering even greater savings, including Shooters Supreme (seven shooters such as Doom, Quake III, and Return to Castle Wolfenstein).

Star Wars and Star Trek Come Together

And finally, fans of geeky space dramas are currently being spoiled rotten. There’s a new Star Wars movie being released in just a few weeks’ time, and a brand new series of Star Trek set to premiere in January 2017. The only thing that could possibly top this is the two universes colliding Star Trek vs. Star Wars: Which Is More Technologically Advanced? We pit Star Trek against Star Wars to find out which is more technologically advanced. What do you think? Read More in one glorious cacophony of lasers and lightsabers.

This could actually work, at least if this mashup by Zenlike Productions is anything to go on. The video combines elements from Star Trek Into Darkness and the trailer for The Force Awakens, and the result is epic. And beautiful. And a movie I would pay far too much money to see in a theater. It’s almost like J.J. Abrams planned this all along… [H/T GeekTyrant]


Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Are you interested in buying a BlackBerry Priv? Do you prefer Cortana to Siri? Is Medium right to let you hide the comments? Will you be buying games in the GOG sale? How much would you like to see the Star Wars and Star Trek universes collide on the big screen?

Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.

Related topics: BlackBerry, Microsoft Cortana, Star Trek, Star Wars.

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  1. Anonymous
    November 6, 2015 at 11:23 pm

    I would have bought it if the slider was in landscape mode.