BlackBerry's dip into the Android world towards the end of last year was an interesting and long overdue development. BlackBerry have for years developed their own operating systems, culminating in BlackBerry 10, which arguably arrived too late to the mobile device world to have so much of an impact. BlackBerry 10 has languished with Windows Phone at the low end of the market share figures, often being incorporated into the "other" category. However, BlackBerry have some excellent ideas when it comes to software such as keeping their (admittedly only) device up to date with Google software patches, the BlackBerry Keyboard, and the BlackBerry Hub. The BlackBerry Hub is how the device can collate many (not quite all) accounts and services into one central point – it's where BlackBerry owners can check their calls, text messages, instant messages, social network fees and of course, email messages. And it's a feature Samsung are believed to be replicating for the next generation Galaxy Note device.
Samsung is calling this feature "Samsung Focus" and it's rumoured to debut with the Galaxy Note 6, due later in the year. The software will integrate a similar number of functions as we see with the BlackBerry Hub including email accounts, calendars, contacts and memos. In some respects, the Samsung Focus may duplicate some of Google's efforts into improving the Gmail application, which may now be used to collate a number of different email accounts. Samsung currently still includes the old Email application in their device software. The Samsung Focus application is reputed to follow Google's Material Design guidelines and include screens showing calendar entries, meeting invites and have the ability to easily create memos to remind users of tasks and similar. There will be a dedicated contacts page that will collate all relevant information from a given individual on the one page, plus the ability to easily change priorities for notifications.
Samsung Focus is an interesting development from the company, which has explained numerous times it is going to sharpen up its software. On the one hand, the Samsung Focus feature could mean the company does away with writing its own calendar and contact managers and instead combines these services into the one application. On the other hand, Samsung may be duplicating some of Google's efforts around some of the other stock applications such as integration with Google Keep and Google Now. It's unclear if Samsung will roll out Samsung Focus to other devices in the Galaxy line up after the next Note phablet is released.