Documents To Go on BlackBerry 10: Peek, Tweak, and Speak Out (without the IT Mobile File Freak Out)


Documents To Go on BlackBerry 10

The newly designed Documents To Go on BlackBerry 10 builds on over 13 years of optimizing our mobile Office suite, and rather than just porting our existing app and feature set from one platform to the next, our mission was to deeply integrate documents into the underlying DNA of the BlackBerry 10 platform for an end-to-end experience that is far greater, more productive and more secure than can typically be achieved as a stand-alone application.

Documents To Go on BlackBerry 10

Take a Peek

Since email and attachments go together like peanut butter and jelly, it is no surprise that one of our main focuses of this release was flowing seamlessly from the BlackBerry Hub to previewing an attachment – all without the need to launch a separate application.

Our Word, Excel and PowerPoint file previewers gracefully slide over top of an email message with a “content is king” design strategy. This means that all the clutter of distracting toolbars and options fade away, leaving the user to a glorious full screen view of the document. Within the previewers, you can navigate pages, slides, and worksheets, rotate the device, and zoom in and out on content to determine the next appropriate action, which is typically share, edit, or save.

Tapping ‘share’ flows to a screen where you can select from an array of different options such as email, BBM, and cloud accounts among others. Simply tapping two NFC-enabled BlackBerry smartphones together allows you to instantly transfer files right from the document previewer.

It’s worth mentioning that although the document previewers are accessible from the BlackBerry Hub, they can also be leveraged in other applications such as File Manager or 3rd party solutions. At any time you can peek from the document back to any previous activities. Previewers also exist for other popular file types such as pictures, videos, music, and Adobe PDF files.

Documents To Go on BlackBerry 10

Feel Free to Tweak

By no means are we trying to cram all the features and functionality of Microsoft Office on a desktop computer into a mobile form, but instead we are aiming for key scenarios where we can eliminate the need for a laptop or desktop computer.

A great example of this is the reason we are investing so much on our mobile presentation capabilities including rendering the underlying presentation content such as charts, graphics, tables, formatted text and complex slide layouts. If you’re going to invest the time in creating beautiful presentations (and documents and spreadsheets,) we want to ensure that they remain beautiful as they make their way to your BlackBerry 10 smartphone. Once you realize that you can rely on the quality and accuracy of the data being viewed on the device, you’ll then have the confidence to edit and make last minute tweaks on the fly – slowly weaning yourself off of the reliance and delays associated with laptop edits. And when it comes to mobile editing features, we are trying to keep it simple with frequently used actions like adjusting bullets, indentation, spacing, fonts, colors and formatting as well as inserting, copying and pasting text.

Our InTact Technology, which preserves original formatting, goes one step further, and is designed to help ensure that any complex elements that might not make sense on a mobile device (like Macros in Excel) will be maintained when editing and sending updates from your smartphone. Again, you may not edit often, but when you do, we want it to be a tweakin’ awesome experience!

Documents To Go on BlackBerry 10

Stand Out While You Speak

Let’s first break down a typical meeting in which you’re aiming to present to a group. Today, you can create the slides in PowerPoint on a desktop computer, laying out the content so it looks pixel perfect with cool slide transitions and effects. Given the efficiencies in doing this on a bigger screen and reliance on a keyboard and mouse, we don’t see this part of the equation changing anytime soon.

However, the next step requires you to lug around a bulky laptop to present the content. This is where we think a mobile device is suited better to fit this need and lighten the load. To do this requires a combination of the right software, hardware and pricing. As mentioned above, Documents To Go now covers the software side with the peeking, tweaking and even a new “presenter mode” that shows speaker notes, upcoming slides and overall progress, while the audience sees only the content being presented. On the hardware side, BlackBerry 10 smartphones use an industry standard micro-HDMI connection plus enough mobile computing power to drive output to an external display including over 125 stunning PowerPoint slide transitions. Since many TVs and projectors include HDMI inputs, this end-to-end experience is now available to the masses whether at work, home, or school. Not only will presentations look great, the presenter is sure to impress when this is all pulled off from a BlackBerry 10 smartphone.

The second way that BlackBerry customers often “speak out” when collaborating on files is when working on a project with another individual. Whether in the same location looking over each other’s shoulders, emailing drafts and comments back and forth, or using a web conferencing solution, we’ve noticed some common themes around the value of real-time discussion and document editing. Yet again, we thought to ourselves that a BlackBerry 10 smartphone is perfectly suited to simplify this process. This is why we are introducing BBM Video with Screen Share, which connects two collaborators as intuitively as making a phone call and then allows them to both see the same file in real-time and discuss as needed.

Documents To Go on BlackBerry 10

Eliminate the IT Mobile File Freak Out

As mentioned, many individuals have always wanted mobile access to their files, but at the same time, IT continues to struggle with ways to secure corporate documents without being too overbearing. With BlackBerry Balance on BlackBerry 10, we are addressing this issue by storing corporate data in an encrypted Work space. All of this happens automatically behind the scenes, so let’s take a closer look at how this applies when peeking at an attachment, making edits, and then saving or sharing those files.

First off, when an email is pushed to your device, BlackBerry Hub is smart enough to know which account is work and which is personal. If a work email contains an attachment, no problem, just go about your business. You can preview the file and edit to your heart’s content. It’s not until you go to share it or save it that the underlying security features kick to for example, prevent you from accidentally leaking corporate data. Now this doesn’t mean that you’ll be totally restricted. As you can see from the above screens, you’ll be prompted to store corporate attachments in the work space of the device with a little suitcase icon indicating where the file is headed. And although IT admins ultimately have the last say when it comes to corporate files, in many cases they will allow the ability to save content to popular cloud providers and enterprise network drives for the productivity gained when enabling these existing document workflows, so long as they can track and restrict as needed.

As the name suggests, BlackBerry Balance really does “balance” the needs of users and administrators, and when you combine it with Documents To Go, we are achieving a complete end-to-end flow that is unlike any other mobile platform today. In fact, we’re just getting started and we are very excited for many of the additional features to come as we continue to work on the BlackBerry 10 platform and amazing document experiences!

Learn more at

About Ilya Eliashevsky

Ilya Eliashevsky is a Senior Product Manager at BlackBerry focused on productivity software applications including Documents To Go for BlackBerry 10, iOS and Android, including those securely wrapped for deployment in the BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 Secure Work Space. Ilya is a full time employee based in Milford, CT where he is accompanied by the passionate Docs To Go development, testing and project team. He understands how adapting mobile technology with familiar tools and habits can empower teams of all sizes to collaborate successfully, whether face-to-face, virtual, or global. His software industry experience spans over 13 years in mobile applications specializing in Microsoft Office compatibility solutions from the perspective of an independent software vendor, a device manufacturer as well as corporate and personal user. With a degree from the Smeal College of Business at the Pennsylvania State University, Ilya has held various positions in technical Product Management as well as marketing, advertising, web, sales and support.

Join the conversation

Show comments Hide comments
+ -
blog comments powered by Disqus