Articles by Adam Zeis

A closer look at how the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team is powered by BlackBerry

Within the Formula 1 MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team organization, there are BlackBerry devices all over the place. Hundreds of team members use them to communicate on a daily basis, and the 60+ team members that travel the globe during the season really put their devices to the ultimate test. BlackBerry helps to give them a solid ground of communication and security whether at home or on the road, and Matt Harris, who runs IT for the Mercedes MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS team, took some time to shed a bit of insight into how BlackBerry helps keep them moving.


Accessory Roundup - Enter to win a car kit for your BlackBerry!

Planning a summer road trip? We have just the thing for you to take along — a car kit for your BlackBerry! While on the road you can use your phone up front for navigation, or even keep the kids occupied in the back seat. There are plenty of great uses for your BlackBerry in the car, so why not have new car mount to call your own? We have plenty of options available at ShopCrackBerry for all of your devices so you can have the coolest car on the road all year long. Keep reading for your chance to win one!


#MobileFit Month Kickoff Show!

This week the Connectedly show was highjacked in honor of #MobileFit month here at Mobile Nations. We're going healthy for the month of June, and we're getting things started with this kickoff show.

I was joined by Kevin, Phil and Sam for this episode where we talked all about #MobileFit month, Fitbit and some of what you'll be seeing from the Mobile Nations sites in the coming weeks. There are plenty of great things in store including some great contests to keep up your motivation.

So grab a healthy snack, drink some water and lend us your ear as we talk #MobileFit. And don't forget to join our Fitbit group if you haven't already!


BlackBerry Windermere images and specs turn up online

One of the most anticipated (yet still unofficial) devices is the BlackBerry Windermere AKA BlackBerry Q30. We've heard plenty about the rumored device lately, there has still been plenty left to the story. Today some images and specs have turned up online, offering plenty of insight into just what BlackBerry has in store for the Windermere later this year.


Want to learn Cascades? Check out 'Learn BlackBerry 10 App Development'

If you ever wanted to learn Cascades but weren't sure where to start, help is on the way. Hot off the press is a new title from Apress called Learn BlackBerry 10 App Development: A Cascades-Driven Approach. The book is action-packed with everything you need to know about getting started with app development on BlackBerry 10, primarily Cascades. You can learn all about QML and JavaScript, and not prior coding knowledge is necessary. The book is written specifically for developers looking to get started in BlackBerry 10 app development, or those looking to port existing apps from Android or iOS.


CrackBerry Asks: Do you send more voice notes or photos in BBM?

BlackBerry 10 has come a long way since we first got our hands on it. Many of the burning issues and gripes we had at the start have since been fixed, leaving little room to complain. It's only when I start really getting nitpick that I can find things that still irk me within the BlackBerry 10 OS.

Last night I was sending a few photos over BBM and noticed that when hitting the attach icon, BBM defaults to something that I never do — sending voice notes. To get to the camera, Glympse or attach a photo you have to tap another icon. I just find it hard to believe that voice notes is the default option here, as I would think more people attach photos or use the camera. BlackBerry is all about speed, so perhaps a setting for the default option would be best, or maybe just the last used option.


BlackBerry Windermere shows off 8 Active Frames on the homescreen

The biggest device in the rumor mill at this point has to be the BlackBerry Windermere (AKA Q30). It's all but official at this point — having shown up in various places now more than a few times. The Windermere will be sporting a big 4.5" 1440x1440 display, and that means tons of room on the homescreen for not only apps, but also Active Frames.

Windermere with 8 Active Frames

The Windermere will show 8 Active Frames in total on one screen — 4 full-size and 4 half-size. Whether you'll still be able to scroll to a second page, or change the Active Frame settings, we're not quite sure.

Windermere Active Frames

A cleaner look at 3 Active Frames across the Windermere screen. As you can see, the screen is much wider and thus allows for 3 frames across rather than just 2. More Active Frames means better productivity — so bring it on!

Windermere Homescreen Icons

With the 1440x1440 display, the homescreen icons now stretch 5-wide, meaning a total of 20 icons on the homescreen. This matches up with the Z30 (4 icons with 5 rows) so not a drastic change, but still plenty of room for all of your most-used apps.

Windermere Quick Settings

There will be lots of room to navigate on the WIndermere, and here we get a nice look at the quick settings dropdown. A big change from the cramped screen of the Q5 & Q10.

Where current BlackBerry 10 devices allow for 8 Active Frames across two screens (by scrolling down), it appears as if Windermere may actually allow for 8 on one screen. These images were posted to the CrackBerry forums and show how the added screen space makes it easy to pack in some extra frames, and the Windermere does so by having 4 full-size and 4 half-size Active Frames on one page — pretty nifty.

Just one of the many new features we can expect when the long-rumored BlackBerry Windermere arrives (hopefully) later this year.

Are more Active Frames awesome? Or too much? Sound off in the comments!


The latest Sonos app for Android works on BlackBerry 10

The good folks at Sonos have yet to issue an official app for BlackBerry 10, and sadly the Android app throws connection issues as soon as it starts up. Thankfully there are some third-party options, but they still leave out some of the newer features (and cost money). Today I came across this thread in the Connectedly forums however, where one user stated that the latest version of the Android Sonos app was working on the BlackBerry Z30. I haven't had too much luck in the past getting the official Sonos app to work at all across any of my BlackBerry 10 devices, so I didn't have much hope.


BlackBerry OS 10.3 bringing 'home' shortcut to physical keyboard devices

We've already seen an extensive list of some new features coming to BlackBerry OS 10.3, but another cool one that we hadn't seen yet has turned up in the latest 10.3 SDK. It appears that a new keyboard shortcut will be added for physical keyboard devices, allowing you to quickly minimize apps and return to the home screen with just a single key.


The Connectedly Show has arrived - listen here and subscribe!

In case you missed it, we recently launched the latest site in the Mobile Nations family, Connectedly. Today we're kicking off the Connectedly Show with our pilot episode and we'll be back in the coming weeks with many more. We're super excited to get things rolling and we're going with a slightly different format for these shows, so you definitely don't want to miss them.

In this episode you'll get an idea of our collective connected roots, and how we all got started in the tech world. Going forward, we'll be covering all kinds of connected devices — from Sonos to Phillips Hue to Google Glass. Of course there will still be plenty of smartwatch chat, some phone talk and a bit of random banter thrown in for good measure.


Students from B.C. grab top honors for BlackBerry Smartphone App Development Award at Canada-Wide Science Fair

Last month, BlackBerry announced their Mobile App Development Award for this year's Canada-Wide Science Fair. Winners were chosen across the Junior, Intermediate, and Senior categories, all of which were rewarded with cash prizes, BlackBerry smartphones and mentorship with a BlackBerry mobile application developer expert. The apps had to be built using PhoneGap or Appcelerator, as well as meeting the BlackBerry 10 user interface guidelines.


BES12 dashboard and features get shown off on video

BES12 is slated for release later this year, and while we know much of what to expect, we haven't seen a lot of it in the flesh. This week at the BlackBerry Experience Washington, Senior Director, Enterprise Product Management, Jeff Holleran gave a good rundown of some of the features in the upcoming service.

BES12 is a ground-up rewrite as compared to previous BES10 installs. It will manage more than just mobile devices and teams are testing endpoint management. Currently in trial in Canada for healthcare devices, R&D groups are testing it on RaspberryPi and Arduino boards. There will be on-premise solution, in-cloud, and also hybrid cloud and on premise. Able to move users between on-premise and in-cloud seamlessly in the hybrid environment.


Accessory Roundup - Enter to win a holster for your BlackBerry Smartphone!

We're back with more action-packed accessory excitement! This week we're giving you the chance to win a brand new holster for your BlackBerry smartphone. Summer is right around the corner and that means it's time to accessorize with a new home for your little BlackBerry buddy.

We have a variety of BlackBerry holsters available, from the OEM models to some great third-party offerings. And if a straight-up holster isn't your thing, you can always go with a holster/case combo as well.

Take a look at some of the newest and best BlackBerry accessories at ShopCrackBerry, and keep reading for your chance to win!


BlackBerry Z3 flip case shown off on video

The BlackBerry Z3 is the newest addition to the BlackBerry 10 lineup and as such, we've yet to see any BlackBerry Z3 accessories — OEM or otherwise — hit the streets. Surely we'll start to see some very soon, but for now, a curious video has popped up online that shows off what appears to be a branded BlackBerry Z3 flip case.


BBM Protected demo caught on video

BlackBerry announced BBM Protected back in February, and many are anxiously awaiting the release later this summer. We haven't seen much of it in action yet, but some videos have popped up that give us a quick look of what to expect from BBM for Enterprise.

The first iteration of eBBM, which is BBM Protected will be available in June. It is designed to add Suite B (for those that do not know, this is the minimum for classified communications for the US government) compliant encryption on top of the existing BBM "scrambling" encryption key. (3DES Universal Key). It is fully auditable and able to go across organizations as long as the other user has BBM Protected available as well. The first iteration will only work on BBOS devices running BBOS 6+ and Regulated BB10.2+ activations. Regulated+Balance activations and iOS/Android are slated for later this year. EACH message within a BBM Protected conversation is encrypted with a different random key (they did not explain the process other than to just say that), so even IF the NOC was compromised, and even IF one key was compromised, you would still only get that ONE message. They described this as a PGP type public solution, which is why it is able to cross domains.


Using strong passwords and keeping your online self secure

Earlier today, eBay issued a press release letting users know that a cyberattack "compromised a database containing encrypted passwords and other non-financial data." Users will be asked to change their passwords just in case, though they noted that eBay "has seen no indication of increased fraudulent account activity." This is sadly just one of many attacks recently, and something that won't be going away anytime soon, if ever.

Attacks like this are nothing new, over the years plenty of big-name sites have become victim to similar cyberattacks. Retial chain Target has been all over the news lately, and there's also vulnerabilities like the recent Heartbleed Bug that affected Google, Facebook, Yahoo and dozens of other sites.

As we go further and further, putting more and more of our personal information and lives online, it's even more important to keep that data safe. Your personal life (and data) is strewn out across the web in more places than you really know, so keeping what you can private and safe is more important now than ever before. At Mobile Nations we've always been big on security and keeping yourself protected online, but what are you really doing to make that happen?


How to take a screenshot on the BlackBerry Z3

One thing that we are asked time and time again — seemingly with ever new device release — is "how do I take a screenshot?" Well with the new BlackBerry Z3 rolling out, we're here to help. Those of you that are familiar with BB10 may already know what to do to snap a screenshot on your device, but for the new users, here's how to get it done.


PAC-MAN is celebrating his birthday with a sale in BlackBerry World

In honor of his birthday (tomorrow), PAC-MAN is now on sale in BlackBerry World for just $0.99 — down from the standard $3.99. At this price, it's much more palatable to grab the arcade classic for your BlackBerry OS or BB10 device without feeling too guilty about it.

PAC-MAN is still one of my favorite games of all time, as I'm sure it is many others. It's easy to pick up and play when you have a few minutes of downtime, or sit back for a longer session while Inky, Pinky, Blinky and Clyde chase you down. Plus, this one supports Bluetooth controller input for that extra arcade feel.


You can now text to 911 in an emergency

Starting today, you'll be able to send a text message to 911 in an emergency situation. The service will be supported by AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile. Text 911 is only available in a small set of select cities in the US to start, however it will be rolled out everywhere by the end of 2014.


Here are the new features in the works for BlackBerry OS 10.3

Last week Michael Clewley dropped a bunch of upcoming OS 10.3 features into his BBM channel and we rounded them all up here. In case you missed them, or like to wait until things are officially official, Inside BlackBerry has posted up a list of 18 new features that we can expect to see in OS 10.3. The OS itself is still a ways off, but it's always good to have something to look forward to, right?


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