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January 30, 2013

ITEXPO Exclusive: Truphone Talks BlackBerry 10, New Tru App

With ITEXPO currently underway in sunny Miami, plenty of news is emerging, with one of the biggest today being the new BlackBerry 10. BlackBerry's newest operating system is said to put Research In Motion's beleaguered smartphone product on par with the iOS and Android offerings.

Looking to join BlackBerry 10 in its earliest stages is Truphone's VoIP app, Tru.

Truphone's head of labs and mobile apps, Adam Linford, sat down with MobilityTechzone's Rich Tehrani just a short while ago at ITEXPO 2013 to talk about their new version of the Tru app.

Truphone has a substantial history in terms of the real-time communications space; they were the first company to bring VoIP technology to iOS devices, and they were also first with VoIP on what was then called Google Marketplace.

But with their new app for BlackBerry 10, Tru, they're looking to step things up all the more.

Tru, according to Linford's belief, represents the first VoIP app for BlackBerry 10, designed to work with Truphone's earlier release of  a SIM-card system for BlackBerry devices, and thus provides inexpensive – or in some cases free – calling via the Internet with only minimal regard for location, as long as that location has an open Internet connection.

Truphone's Tru app is geared toward doing three things in particular: one, make calling long-distance or internationally - both cheaper and easier; two, make it easier and cheaper for those calling individual users to get a hold of those users; and three, make the smartphone overall a better and easier to use platform.

Thanks to recent changes in BlackBerry 10, developers now have full access to the appropriate APIs and the Wi-Fi stack as well, allowing BlackBerry developers to offer the full range of products they could offer on iOS and Android.

Better still, with the new version of Tru, there's an enhanced user interface that will make it easier overall for users to get access to the variety of capabilities offered through Tru.

This represents just one of a series of major improvements recently unveiled as part of the new BlackBerry 10 operating system, and frankly, should have Apple and Google at least somewhat concerned. In recent years, they've benefited substantially from RIM losing ground with customers. As business users and government agencies – even some individual customers – got a look at what other devices could do, they threw over BlackBerry in droves.

But with BlackBerry 10, and a fresh commitment to a fuller experience – complete with things like music, games and video, not to mention singer Alicia Keys as BlackBerry's new creative director – RIM now has the best chance it's had in a while to better take on the entrenched two of Apple and Google.

With the market rapidly changing, and with HTML5 potentially affecting the entire idea of the native app and the accompanying app store, BlackBerry devices may have just the shot they need to convince those who abandoned the platform to come back. But BlackBerry is going to have to build on these initial successes and make their presence truly felt in order to do that.

The Tru app, meanwhile, should go quite a long way in helping on that point.

Edited by Braden Becker

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