Holy Sh!t I'm finally writing an Editor's Desk post!

FAQ Catch Up with CrackBerry Kevin

By Kevin Michaluk on 21 Oct 2013 01:00 pm EDT

Forgive me CrackBerry Nation, for I have sinned... my last From the Editor's Desk post was September 10th....... which is frak'n CRAZY!

For those who follow me across social channels (Twitter / G+ / Instagram) or in the CrackBerry Forums, you know I've been as busy as ever (maybe more busy?!), which has had me hitting the publish button on far fewer CrackBerry articles than I'd ideally like to. In lieu of my regular editorials we have managed to pick up the pace on our podcasting efforts these past couple of months, so for those of you who enjoy my (self-proclaimed) dulcet tones, you have been able to keep up on my take of what's happening the world of BlackBerry. But for those who prefer writing, my words per month have definitely been on the low side.

I'm still in a bit of storm before the calm phase (you read that right) so it'll be another couple of weeks before my writing picks up again (but it will soon!!), so for this post I'm going to play catch up with the questions you've been asking me FAQ style. Let's get to it!

Questions I've been getting a lot lately...

Q1. Kevin, what have you have been up to lately?

A1. Most of you know I wear many "hats" around here, and in addition to running CrackBerry I'm also the Chief Media Officer of Mobile Nations, a roll which entails wearing many, many, many more hats, including overseeing the day to day of our other communities (Android Central, iMore, WPCentral) and a lot of other behind the scenes activities. With so much of my focus on CrackBerry the first half of 2013, this fall I've had to give a little extra attention to my other duties. I was back to suitcase living for a few weeks recently - in Asia on Mobile Nations business and in Miami to wind down Talk Mobile 2013 and for our annual Mobile Nations EiC Summit.

The first six months of 2013 I pretty much put my life on hold to tackle the BB10 launch. In January we moved "CrackBerry Headquarters" to Toronto for a month to cover the launch and initial Z10 review with gusto. Then it was back home for a few weeks of all-nighters while we launched the new CrackBerry site design. Then it was to NYC for two months to cover the US BB10 launch and get Talk Mobile off the ground. And from there it was right to Orlando where we brought CrackBerry Live to BlackBerry Live. I don't think any other website or community has ever gone as "all in" on a product launch as CrackBerry did around BlackBerry 10. So for those of you giving me a hard time the last few weeks for not writing enough... cut me some slack. Things need to balance out a bit, but overall I'm still way up on CB in 2013. And the good news is that while I've been tied up, I'm still around. Even if not writing I'm in the forums and watching all the news, and giving Adam, Bla1ze, Simon, Umi et al direction on what I want to see up on the site. Plus, the team has been doing this for year - Adam knows how to keep things running smooth even when I have to take my eye off the ball.


Q2. So when will you be getting your content mojo back?

A2. Soon! This week has me taking care of a lot of loose ends on both the work and personal front. We're getting ready for yet another crazy change in life. On October 30th I'm flying to Paris with my fiancée who will be staying there for the year to get her MBA. I'll be in Paris with her for three weeks to help her get settled. With her in class and North America still asleep while I'm up bright and early, I'm looking forward to the quiet time I'll have there which is when I'll get my CrackBerry content mojo firing in full force again. 

And coming home from Paris I'll be flying solo, which pretty much means I'll just be working around the clock (and occasionally working out). So I'll be back here in full force, don't you worry.

But first I need to get through this week, and come Saturday I'll be flying to San Francisco with our Community Manager James Falconer so we can give Android Central's Phil Nickinson and Andrew Martonik a hand next week while they cover the Samsung Developers Conference. They're taking a page out of the CrackBerry book and are bringing Android Central Live to that event. Going live is hard, and we have experience with it, so will be lending a friendly hand. From there I'll be flying straight to Paris. 


Q3. Did you really buy a Gold iPhone 5s on Launch Day?

A3. Uhh... yeah, of course. I happened to be in Miami during the Apple iPhone 5s / 5c launch, so took in the festivities. I wanted to put to test the video crew we were planning to use in Miami for our Talk Mobile wrap up video, so we put them to work to come up with a launch day event video for iMore. We weren't actually sure what sort of video we'd end up with and I didn't give them any direction in advance - they just took the footage from the day and came back with a pretty hilarious video. If you haven't watched it yet, check it out above. Add paying $1500 for a gold iPhone to the list of crazy things I've done over the years. :)


Q4. So what phone are you using these days?

A4. My main SIM card is currently in my BlackBerry Q10, which it has been since early May. Then I typically carry a second phone with me from another platform which I run off WiFi or via WiFi Hotspot from the Q10. I was using the HTC One as a second device for a while, then the Galaxy S4, now the iPhone 5s. Next week in San Fran I'll try and go exclusively S4 for a few days since I'll be repping Android Central while there. Hopefully by the time I leave for Paris I'll have a Z30 and will switch to that exclusively for the next few weeks.


Q5. You don't have a BlackBerry Z30 yet?! 

A5. Nope, and I'm kinda pissed about it. Lol. I was invited to Waterloo to get briefed on the Z30 and pick one up, but that was the week I was in Miami for our EiC Summit so Simon Sage was the lucky one who attended (and got the Z30). 

I spent three hours on Friday driving around Winnipeg trying to buy one, but had no luck. Future Shop and Best Buy were both showing one in inventory, but it turned out to be a mislabeled demo unit (the one that runs the set demo on it for putting out on the shelves). TELUS had a few units, but they refused to sell them to me outright, and I refused to sign up for another contract (already paying for too many lines as it is). 

So I'm Z30-less right now, which is kind of crazy. Since 2006 I've always been the FIRST guy in the world to have the newest BlackBerry, and if not first I was likely second. This time around I'm way behind. What's funny is, I'm sort of ok with it. It's actually a testament to how much I like the Q10 and Z10. Before, every new BB was the answer. The new great phone that would offer an even better experience. With BB10 I've overall been very happy. It works well for me, so other than some missing apps my pain points are not very painful. That said, 10.2 has some great features (as Simon outlined here) and the Z30 is the newest hotness, so I'm excited to get it. Maybe I'll get it painted gold just for fun :)


Q6. Where the F&!$ is BBM for my iPhone / Android phone?!

A6. Today marks exactly one month since the day BBM was originally planned to be available for iOS and Android users. BlackBerry has been pretty quiet on the BBM front these last few weeks, but TODAY IS THE DAY. They JUST announced that they'll begin re-rolling out BBM for Android and iOS users. Click the link below for the latest.

Get BBM for your iPhone or Android phone today!


Q7. What's the status of BlackBerry, the company?

A7. The answer to that question could take 15,000 words and still wouldn't be the full story. So I'll keep this condensed. November 4th is the big date everybody is watching in regards to the Fairfax / take BB private deal closing. We'll see what happens there. In the meantime, it's clear to me that everybody who is still at BlackBerry is FIGHTING hard every day and that all systems are a go. At the same time, there is a TON of change taking place internally. Lots of people / teams are being let go, being rearranged, and / or evolving. I've been giving a lot of interviews to the press lately as it feels like all the big media pubs are doing their what happened to / what's going to happen to BlackBerry stories. My answers have been pretty consistent. Looking forward six months, I'm honestly not to sure what BlackBerry will look like. A lot could happen in that time frame depending how the next few weeks ago. I do think the company will survive. It may be a different looking BlackBerry than we have known these past few years, but ultimately I think they're definitely working to make the changes to the company that are required so that they emerge with a sustainable business. In the meantime, they are still up and running as they noted in their recent open letter to customers. Z30 is here. BBM is rolling out to iOS and Android. 10.2 is getting queued up. New apps are hitting BlackBerry World. There are still plenty of things to keep us BlackBerry fans excited.


Q8. What happens to CrackBerry if things don't go well with BlackBerry?

A8. I always smile a bit when I see this question pop up in the forums (which seems to happen on a weekly basis), as I appreciate the concern from our awesome community for both our site and the people who help run it. Long story short, you have nothing to worry about. CrackBerry will be here for a long time to come. On the editorial side, we're obviously tied to the news and product cycles surrounding BlackBerry. As long as there is news and "customer lifecycle" content to post -- be it new apps, new devices, new OS versions that require help posts, tips and tricks, etc. -- we'll be busy. If there were ever a point where there is simply less to write about, we'll write less. But the site will keep on ticking. And the forum is the forum - as long there are BlackBerry owners out there, I know they will find their way to CrackBerry's forums. 

Think about it this way... even if BlackBerry never sold a phone after today, those phones would still be in the hands of users for the next few years. They'll be needing help, etc and we'll be here to provide it.

Also, remember that CrackBerry is part of our larger Mobile Nations family of sites. We have already seen over the past few years that if BlackBerry owners decide to switch a phone from another platform, that they find their way over to our other sites (also, a lot of people own devices from more than one mobile platform these days). Take a stroll through Android Central, iMore or WPCentral's forums and you'll find a lot of usernames that have been active in CrackBerry in the past (or are currently active on multiple sites). Remember, with our Mobile Nations Passport login, if you're logged into CrackBerry you can visit our other sites and become a member in just a click. And you'll get recognized on your profile with all of your past CrackBerry posts. In reality, there isn't just a "CrackBerry" community. We actually have a giant Mobile Nations community that manifests itself out over multiple sites. And overall, Mobile Nations has never been doing better - with over 25 million visitors and 75 million page views per months and 6 million members, we have the biggest mobile community out there, and you will want to continue to be a part of it. We've done a lot, and have plans to do so much more. So don't fret the future of CrackBerry and its people. We're good!


Q9. Are you really going to write a CrackBerry Book?

A9. After recording the What Happened to BlackBerry Vector Podcast with Rene Ritchie, and also reading that Globe & Mail piece which got a lot of reactions (and was published literally at the same time as I was recording the aforementioned podcast), I definitely think I am going to take the lead on writing the ultimate book about BlackBerry. There are so many untold stories about BlackBerry out there, that it feels like the timing is right to start compiling them together. There are awesome CrackBerry stories that I have never shared before, but I know you'd want to hear. There are so many stories from BlackBerry people I have heard over the years (many of whom are now former BlackBerry people), etc. that I think it would make for an awesome book. 

I don't have a title yet, but for now my project codename is CrackBerry Chronicles: The untold story of BlackBerry. If you have better ideas for titles drop them in the comments. And if you crazy insane and awesome stories to share about the history of BlackBerry, you can reach out to me at crackberrychronicles@mobilenations.com. The Globe writers apparently talked to 20 "BlackBerry Insiders" before writing their article. I plan on talking to a couple hundred.

No date planned for release yet, but I've always wanted to write a book while in Paris. I'm going to be there for a few weeks soon enough, so I think I'll get it started. 


Q10. What's in the Box, Kevin?

A10. Not saying. What was in there was awesome. But it's not in there anymore. #KEVINSSECRETS


If I missed any questions, drop them in the comments and I'll do my best to get them answered!



Reader comments

Holy Sh!t I'm finally writing an Editor's Desk post!


Have you tried ordering online with Telus or reserving through Rogers? I'd have thought you'd be the #1 reservation on their list! :P

I'd have thought they'd send you the very first one off the production line! Incredible that they haven't.

Looking forward to reading your untold story of BlackBerry book.

I think the book should be called the
Rise and Fall of BlackBerry or

How the Pioneer smartphone maker lost the smartphone market to Apple and Google.

I'm literally an hour from Waterloo if you arrange to have 2 there, one for me and one for you I'll go pick them up and overnight you yours. Sound good :)

I picked one up today, kevin. It smokes the Z10. The Z30 will be the best of them all, hands down. Well worth the money.

Finally... Adam is good (and Bla1ze scary),.. but there's nothing like a dose of Kevin... or, at least that's what you gather if you look at all the Kevin-withdrawal outrage forum threads recently.

Posted via CB10

"dose of kevin"... makes me feel like I'm a drug. Wonder if I'm of the over the counter nature, or am I more the illegal kind??

LOL... the ones that are 'legal' and 'good for you' until you can't get them any more and then you start going crazy, harassing pharmacists and doctors, trying to get it.

On another note... Do you still have whatever you originally wrote for A6 ? lol

Adams good, hey the podcasts are awesome. Everybody loves the keyboard still......

Posted via CB10

Kevin. We "completely understand".

You are trying to figure out who the next vendor is for you to cover as BlackBerry becomes a private closed door enigma.

No more "Crackberry Kevin" you are going to be "______ Kevin".

Fill in the blank. You are much like a high priced call girl, at this point, looking for your next John.

We know you were in South Korea trying to become "Samsung Kevin".

Doesn't have quite the same "ring".

You little hussy.

Posted via CB10

Sort of a Slap in the face that you made all effort to get the gold iPhone 5s for $1500 on Launch Day at that and you could have shipped an unlocked Z30 from wherever in the world for much less. You say you don't feel compelled to upgrade to BlackBerry's latest and greatest and the Q10 is fine, yet you felt it necessary to get the iPhone 5 with a finger print scanner and a S printed on it? Priorities Kevin. You no longer deserve the title of BlackBerry's #1 fan. honestly disappointed.

I mean the Z30 is bigger a leap from the Z10 in the same year than the iPhone 5s coming from the 5 of last year.

Posted via CB10

Oooh box!! Have you got any ring???

Ooo rocks!! Although Closed, I feel you bling!!!

_______kevin, what's in it??
If it's crackberries, pass me some cos I'm dying to eat.....

Z10 STL100-1/ "the iPhone-killa"

You running a team/network again?
Hope so. If not throw some Crackberry love this way: mobro.co/thatMikeguy

Posted via CB10

Movember - I don't think I'm going to be doing it this year. We had a chat on it a while back with the team - can't remember what the status was. If somebody is willing to organize it all on our end, I'm up for it happening. Just needs a champion internally.

Just pay $3000 for the Z30. I'm sure someone will hand deliver one to you if you put that out there!

Seriously. Should have been a first production run model. Sent to his doorstep wherever that was on any given day. This is the marketing director's job and a complete failure on the part of BB marketing.

Please - my title guys will get me tickets for anything, any event delivered to my home, my office, my hotel anywhere in the world practically, in 24 hours if I ask. BB has far more capital and global reach and the CB Kevin should not have to ask. A secretary calls and says, Kevin where are you going to be at 8AM tomorrow. And at 8 AM the next day there is a box with his name on it. This is an aside from whatever they send CB.com or Mobile nations.

BlackBerry is a global multi billion dollar company. why should they run behind Kevin? They did invite him and he rejected.

Posted via CB10

That you were unwilling to buy from Telus reaffirms how little you care about BlackBerry. You could cancel the contract for a fee Mobile Nations can easily afford.

I still might do that this week. I didn't have time to go through all the paper work when I was there (had already wasted so much time). If I can't get one in the next couple of days straight out, will buy the Telus one on contract and cancel from there.

Oh so your perfectly alright when the guy who started CrackBerry buys the iPhone on the first day but can't be bothered to buy the flagship BlackBerry weeks after it's available in his home country because it will take some paperwork?

I bought a Droid MAXX on the release day for Z30. It goes quite well with my Z10. PPPHHHHHFFFFFFTTTTTT

Yes, but who are you, though? He's talking about "Crackberry" Kevin here. And he not only stood in line but also paid $1,500 for an IPHONE! BlackBerry put the "berry" in Crackberry (ba wit da ba da bang da bang boogy! LOL), and its also the catalyst for this site's existence. But he didn't want to bother with BlackBerry's new flagship?

Not that I'm giving Kevin a hard time, but I get what jrohland is saying. It looks bad on the "community." I can imagine the iPhone guys pointing and laughing after getting wind of this snub.

You could always buy a Telus one on a 30 day term and cancel after a few weeks giving 30 day notice ;-)

Posted via CB10 on the amazing Q10

I'd call it... "Killing RIM: A History by Crackberry Kevin"

This is how another person titles his books and they sell.


One and Done. RIM, The last Canadian Tech Giants fall.

@Kevin Michaluk
When you will be in French for 3 weeks, Would you be willing to meet the Team Blackberry-FR !?

We will be delighted !!!

what's in the box? What's in the box? WHAT'S in the box? WHAT'S in the BOX? WHAT'S IN THE BOXXXXXXX? (a little Seven action. Sorry- had to)

Kevin, sometime when traveling internationally you should pack every single BlackBerry you've ever owned in your carry-on. If they don't personally search it security is broken, and it would be awesome to hear about later.

I thought it might have been the review Z30 unit, but if you still can't talk about it, means it is an unannounced project. Can you give us a hint as to what it is? Like does it start with a vowel? Does it rhyme with Crablet? How many letters :P Anything will do!!!

Welcome back. I find it funny BBM launches cross platform today as well. Lol at least you were not away.

Posted via CB10


It is the same thing that Vincent Vega and Jules Winnfeild were procuring for Mr. Wallace.

Apologies if the joke already made and I missed it.

Make sure you check out the speak easy Local Edition when you are in SF. Nice ambiance and nice drinks.

Posted via CB10

Sooo..if you can't tell us what was in the box can you at least tell us:
1) Are you reviewing what's in the box?
2) Will we be able to purchase one of whatever was in the box in the near future?

Ha ha with the post title aptly named as promised. Hopefully now people will stop having panic attacks and withdrawal symptoms ;p

Posted via CB10 from my Z10

I'm convinced the box contains either something a little on the herbal therapy side, or the man has himself a tardis key (sorry, someone had to do it.)

Hey, now you guys are in my world with that Tardis talk. Kevin, you're so cool you wouldn't need a key, just a snap of the fingers will do. 10th Doctor for those not in the know.

Or a tardis that takes you to a planet full of herbal stuff...

Hey mobile nations wheres my imore, android central, and windows phone central app??? doimg a podcast together isnt good enough...

And all along I thought Kevin was keeping a low profile like that Thors guy when it was announced on the BB front that in fact the sh*t had hit the fan! One other thing that seriously disappoint me now, is how low a profile the launch of the Z30 is here in Canada . I tried to check this Z30 out in the regular retail stores and nada, no demo units at all WTF. Can't help noticing the lack of advertisemnt for this Z30 in the local media too....wow , really sad is all I can say now..

that #TM13 wrap up looked like a big sausage party! Could have at least hired some good looking women to be in the video if none of the ladies from Mobile Nations could make it :)

Kevin, have you ever tried to get a BlackBerry that was LITERALLY right off the assembly line? Maybe you should visit where they're manufactured and write a story about it. That might make for some interesting reading for BB fans, if it hasn't been done already.

With the news of the BB cloud management service, the news that CIOs still prefer BB to WP by nearly three to 1, and the release of BBM for iOS and Android, I can't help thinking that Kevin has chosen to post at last on the very day that the fortunes of BlackBerry have turned.

I had a feeling you don't really show much faith and or like for bbry these days and that you're not very fond of the z30 so it's good to hear you'll be using one soon. Good to have you point out that you're still using a bb10 phone.

would be nice to have more content from you.no disrepect to Chris or Adam and Co but I thoroughly enjoy reading your shizz. Reason why I kept coming here in the first place.

Thanks Kevin !
Best of luck to your fiancé and have a good trip !

My one Question is sorta of stale one but ...Whats the latest on the Dock are we going to see some 10.2.?.? with support for the dock ?

Thanks Kevin, If you answered this question I missed it, Do you have a preference whether the company goes private or is purchased by any one of the suitors that have been named.

I gotta ask, how are you maintaining personal life with the Mrs and be run off your feet bro? I mean I've spent some years barely home and one day it caught up to me. Kudos man.

Posted via CB10

ASK ANYTHING YOU SAY?! My Blackberry Torch 9800 that is now 3 years 2months old, has hit its last high note. Would you or anyone like to gift me a phone? It would be well appreciated. Thanks.

Kevin i have been using blackberry for years now,blackberry are really powerful devices,and once you get to know blackberry you find out that you can't live without these awesome tools,Kevin can you tell us,what do you really know??? Can you give us some hope??? I don't see myself using a craphone (sorry I meant I -fun lol) please give us some real HOPE ;)

Posted via CB10

Q8. What happens to CrackBerry if things don't go well with BlackBerry?

I can answer this. Just go to:

What will happen is a slow death. They (Mobile Nations) will assure you they'll keep writing articles, and they will. But when the apps stop flowing and the users stop posting on the main page they will come to a sudden halt. Hell, Mobile Nations didn't even finish their final contest giving away Palm/HP handhelds.

Then, they'll stop replying in the forums and it'll slowly become a ghost town as users leave. It will fill up with people asking for help with their broken devices and new users who don't really know what they have, they just needed a cheap phone and Blackberry fit the bill.

When those people stop coming, you'll be down to a few thousand 'core' users on the site but it won't be enough due to a lack of devices, updates, etc.

Kevin, what stands out most from your column is that your fiance is going to Paris, France to get... an art history degree?... a culinary arts degree? No, an MBA degree! What is up with that? There are no business schools in Canada or, ahem, the United States?

Please check out some of the luminaries of the manosphere pronto because this does not sound good. Adjust your game.

Better yet, please write the definitive rBlackberry history and make millions so that your fiance never acts up again.