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A Closer Look at BlackBerry 10.3: Introducing BlackBerry Assistant

BlackBerry Passport, BlackBerry Assistant, passport, square blackberry

I’ve been using BlackBerry 10.3 on the BlackBerry Passport for a few weeks now and it’s time I introduce you to BlackBerry Assistant. It’s been said that when your boss hands you your first corporate credit card and your first BlackBerry, your career is on the upswing. If you’re fortunate enough to get a personal assistant, then you’ve really made it! While it might not be able to bring your morning cup o’ Joe, the BlackBerry Assistant will keep you organized, informed and productive.

BlackBerry Assistant

Assistant main use

I don’t have a personal assistant… yet. But, I imagine that I would interact with him or her in a number of different ways: typing, speaking…however I would ask them to help, they would help. BlackBerry Assistant can accommodate me the same way. It is voice activated when I need it to be, and helps manage simple tasks on my device from searching my email and calendar, finding out what’s trending on Twitter, to sending trivia night invitations. The more I use it, the more it learns and adapts to me. The more I speak with it, the more tuned-in to my queries it gets. If you’ve had experience with other smartphone-based personal assistants, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how accurate BlackBerry Assistant is at recognizing your requests.

I spend a lot of time behind the wheel and am often switching between multiple vehicles. Having an app that’s designed to be compatible with any Bluetooth device is key for vehicle safety. Just this week, I used it to remind me about a car appointment, a vet appointment and my anniversary. Then, it helped me send an ever-so-romantic BBM note from the car on my way home (all hands-free, of course). It was also my go-to when I needed to find the lyrics to “Soft Kitty”.

All pretty impressive feats of maintaining productivity… and they were all hands free. It’s when I’ve got keyboard under finger that I find it truly helpful. I just have to type what I’m thinking, whether it’s to tweet “The #BlackBerry #Passport Re-Invents the Mobile Keyboard. Here’s How.,” or check the web to see if there’s gluten in millet (there’s not). From the home screen in BlackBerry 10, I just type what I want to do, and tap the action I want to complete.

Most impressive, for me, is that when I’m interacting with BlackBerry Assistant, it completes most of the actions without leaving the app.

If I’m driving and I ask it to read my latest email message to me, it does so. I can then ask it to “Mark Unread” without having to enter the BlackBerry Hub. If I’m in a meeting and I type “Remind me to follow up with Matt about our whiteboard session,” it builds me a reminder note that I can save without leaving the Assistant.

Assistant two up

This past week, we experienced some severe weather here in Waterloo. We briefly lost power and I needed to find my way around the house in the dark. I asked the BlackBerry Assistant to “Turn on the flashlight”. The flashlight app turned on (as expected) and on the screen, within the app, a switch to turn it off appeared. I opted to go the voice route, though, and when I was done said, “Turn off the flashlight”.

Another quick example goes back to that whiteboard session with Matt. I don’t like to be interrupted during meetings, but was expecting an important phone call. My assistant stepped in to help out. I said “Phone calls only, please” and it changed my notification settings accordingly.

Like a real-life personal assistant, the BlackBerry Assistant is in lockstep with what I need to do on my BlackBerry Passport, without being distracting or costly (resource-wise). I’m told there are a number of fun Easter eggs built-in as well, which I can’t wait to stumble across.


These are just a few ways that I’ve come to use the BlackBerry Assistant in my short time with the device. I know that there are a lot of people out there who are intrigued about the BlackBerry Passport. Combine these new features in BlackBerry 10.3 with the BlackBerry Passport’s gorgeous new 1,440×1,440 touch screen, and awesome and intuitive new touch-enabled keyboard, and your career trajectory should be looking mighty nice, indeed.

Read Other BlackBerry Passport Posts

BlackBerry Passport: Breaking Design Boundaries
Launch Recap: BlackBerry Passport is Your Ticket to New Era in Mobile Productivity (Photos)
The BlackBerry Passport Re-Invents the Mobile Keyboard. Here¹s How.
Previews of BlackBerry Passport Ignite Media and Consumer Interest
A Closer Look at BlackBerry 10.3: Introducing BlackBerry Assistant
Welcome Back! 12 Consumers Explain Why They¹re Switching to BlackBerry Passport
CONFIRMED: This is the BlackBerry Passport in White
Pre-Register Now for the Latest BlackBerry Passport Information
See More of what Matters with the BlackBerry Passport
Check it Out:BlackBerry Passport Rocks Leading Apps Via the Amazon Appstore on BB OS 10.3
Poll Shows, Buyers are Excited about the BlackBerry Passport
BlackBerry Passport: Designed for Serious Mobility
First Look: Meet the All-New BlackBerry Passport
Official BlackBerry Passport Unboxing Video
Hands on with the Innovative Touch-Enabled Keyboard on the BlackBerry Passport
BlackBerry Hub: Even Better Productivity with Instant Actions
Keep Organized and Productive with the BlackBerry Assistant
BlackBerry Passport: Two Incredible App Stores, One Powerful Smartphone
Introducing BlackBerry Blend: Power and Security of BlackBerry on your Computer and Tablet
Pricing and Availability for BlackBerry Passport
Getting Started with BlackBerry Passport
Donny Halliwell

About Donny Halliwell

Donny is a Senior Product Marketing Manager at BlackBerry and Former Editor-in-Chief for the Inside BlackBerry blogs. There's no disputing, #TeamBlackBerry is awesome. I'm pumped to have the opportunity to talk with you and bring you the latest and greatest from Inside BlackBerry every day. In my spare time, I can be found helping entrepreneurs and startup companies grow their business. I spend the rest, obsessing over the auto industry, or enjoying music. Follow me on Twitter or Google+