Articles by Crackberry Kevin

From the Editor's Desk: Looking Back While Looking Forward

Technically Bla1ze is still the editor around here, but during our 10 Years of CrackBerry celebration I'm hijacking the column

CBK 2.0

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In case you haven't noticed, I'm having a blast "bringing CBK out of retirement" to celebrate 10 Years of CrackBerry this month. Being a little older and wiser, I think CBK 2.0 may prove to be better at the role than his 1.0 predecessor. We'll have to take a poll at the end of this month and see how I measure up to my old self.

The warm reception to the return of CrackBerry Kevin by sooooo many people has had me feeling gushy all week. I feel blessed and honored to be embraced by such a passionate community. Ten years has done nothing to tame down the CB community. It's as crazy (in a good way) around here as EVER. Everybody visiting CrackBerry does so with passion and strong opinions. We don't always agree on everything of course -- and that's OK -- as long as we respect each other. Passion and Respect are everything.

This week was a slightly chaotic one for me as I was traveling the past ten days and working remotely from hotel rooms. In between meetings and appointments, I spent my free time reading back through old CrackBerry articles, swiping through old photos and watching some vintage CBK videos. There's a lot of nostalgia in it all for me, as I'm sure there is for so many of you who have been around here since our early days.

BlackBerry 4.0

The new excitement around CrackBerry is clearly the upcoming launch of the BlackBerry 'Mercury'. Somehow it seems fitting to spend a lot of time looking back this month at the CrackBerry/BlackBerry days of old while at the same time we start looking forward to the next era of BlackBerry.

I feel like we're entering the fourth era of BlackBerry (I think of the early days of Research in Motion as prototyping/version 0.x). BlackBerry 1.0 was the Mike Lazaridis/Jim Balsillie BlackBerry OS/PlayBook era. BlackBerry 2.0 was the Thorsten Heins launch of BlackBerry 10 era (I loved this era a lot!). BlackBerry 3.0 was the John Chen figuring it out/transition era. And now we are entering BlackBerry 4.0, where BlackBerry is a software company, but we still have an exciting BlackBerry Smartphone hardware future confirmed and ahead of us thanks to BlackBerry Mobile.


Input Wanted: What kind of 10 Years of CrackBerry Tees & Swag would you like to see?!

Put your thinking caps on CrackBerry community... it's time to come up with the next generation of CB gear and BlackBerry tag lines!

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In our earliest years of CrackBerry, I used to get hounded almost daily to sell CrackBerry gear in our ShopCrackBerry store. There's a long, complicated story as to why we never did that (maybe it'll be told before this month is over in our upcoming CrackBerry Confessions series!), but over the years we eventually came up with some fun ideas for t-shirts and swag that we'd either sell or give away.

To mark CrackBerry's 10 Anniversary proper and prep ourselves for the next generation of BlackBerry Smartphones, it's time for all of us to put our thinking caps on to come up with some new slogans and ideas for CB swag. We're making some exclusive tees utilizing the classy logo/badge above that we'll give away this month, but beyond that I'd love to come up with some more ideas.

Below is some inspiration from CrackBerry years gone by to get your creative juices flowing. Some of our slogans like BlackBerry By Choice and RIMPIRE STRIKES BACK we're pretty damn fun. How do we top it?! If you have any thoughts, drop them in the comments below. And if you're by chance a designer and have some inspired ideas, draft them up and email them to me at kevin @ crackberry.com. Maybe we can put them to use!


Join us in Barcelona on February 24th for a CrackBerry Meetup in Honor of our 10th Anniversary [RSVP now!]

Attendees will get to take home sweet CrackBerry swag and VIP tickets to the BlackBerry Mobile launch event on the 25th!

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BlackBerry Mobile will be officially unveiling the BlackBerry 'Mercury' at their press event on Saturday, February 25th in Barcelona. I'm attending. Bla1ze is attending. We decided while we're in Barcelona it only makes sense to have a proper CrackBerry Meetup while we're there. So that's what we're doing!

If you're a BlackBerry Fan and will be in Barcelona on Friday, February 24th, we would love for you to join us for a casual evening of food and fun and BlackBerry talk. Attendees at the CrackBerry Meetup will get to take home some exclusive 10 Years of CrackBerry swag and our friends at BlackBerry Mobile have hooked us up with VIP passes to their launch event that CrackBerry Meetup attendees will receive as well. That means you'll be able to attend in person the BlackBerry Mobile launch event on the evening of the 25th and get to play with the newest BlackBerry first hand. How awesome is that?!


Cleaning up the Confusion: What you need to know about BlackBerry and BlackBerry Mobile

TL;DR: BlackBerry = Old BlackBerry, now a software company; BlackBerry Mobile = New BlackBerry Smartphones, TCL a hardware company

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Coming out of retirement to celebrate 10 Years of CrackBerry, it immediately became apparent that life in BlackBerry land is a little more complicated than it used to be. With this editorial, I plan to set things straight, for my sanity and hopefully for everyone else's too. Think of this article as a Public Service Announcement. It's the kind of message that needs to get passed on and absorbed by other media outlets and tech journalists too, just so the BlackBerry stories stay straight out there, especially as we head into the launch of the BlackBerry 'Mercury'. If you see somebody getting the facts wrong, send them the link to this story!


In honor of CrackBerry's 10th anniversary, we're turning off ads on CrackBerry for members this month!

If you're browsing CrackBerry on the web and you're not already a member, now's the time to join or download our app!

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Personally, I'm a huge fan of advertising. Always have been. TV commercials and magazine ads are what motivated me to want things as a kid growing up and develop an entrepreneurial spirit (if you want things, you need to be able to pay for them!). Now as an online publisher, I have a new respect for advertising. Running ads is a big part of what helps us pay the bills, keep the servers running, and be able to run Mobile Nations as a company and not just be something we do as a hobby.

That said, I get it. All of the scripts that run the ad units can slow down page load times, and the ad units themselves can clutter up what's otherwise a beautiful site. We always try to strike that balance of making cheddar while providing a smooth user experience, but I guess most/all of you would prefer fewer ads to more.


The Good 'Ole Days of CrackBerry Are Coming Back for our 10th Anniversary!

Get ready… CrackBerry Kevin is coming out of retirement to celebrate TEN Years of CrackBerry and the launch of the BlackBerry Mercury!! It's gonna get c-r-a-z-y in here!

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Hello, CrackBerry Faithful!

For those of you who have been paying close attention to CrackBerry in all the various places it exists (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5), this message won't come as a surprise. If you haven't been paying as close of attention -- no worries -- it's time to read up! And trust me, you'll want to. Things are about to get CRAZY FUN around here.


BlackBerry QNX teams up with Obigo to improve the browser experience of your infotainment system

As BlackBerry QNX prepares to head into CES 2017, John Wall, Senior Vice-President and Head of QNX Software Systems, has taken the time to go ahead and announce a new partnership between BlackBerry QNX and Korea-based Obigo to build a better web browser experience in infotainment systems.


Watch the replay of the BlackBerry Secure introduction webcast

Last week, when BlackBerry announced their new comprehensive mobile-security platform for the Enterprise of Things, better known as BlackBerry Secure, they also hosted a webcast which took a deeper dive into the details. If you missed it then, you can now catch the full replay to get yourself caught up.


BlackBerry announces new comprehensive mobile-security platform for the Enterprise of Things

In a new announcement coming from Waterloo, BlackBerry has now unveiled their new comprehensive platform for the Enterprise of Things. Known as BlackBerry Secure, the platform is designed to be 'the foundation that enables the company to move to software' while addressing the entire enterprise from end-point to end-point. Plus, it marks the completion of the integration of BlackBerry's prior acquisitions of Good Technology, WatchDox, AtHoc and Encription.


BlackBerry's DTEK app updated with bug fixes and improvements

Following their larger app rollouts for December, BlackBerry has now also pushed out a new build of their DTEK app for Priv, DTEK50 and DTEK60. The changelog for this release keeps things simple and just notes 'bug fixes and improvements', but some folks have noted it fixes the issue with the app incorrectly stating device status. As it stands, the BlackBerry Knowledge Base hasn't been updated to state it either but in any case, it's still an update to the app, so be sure to get it downloaded if you haven't yet.

Download DTEK from the Google Play Store


Netflix members worldwide can now download TV shows and movies

After a lot of bouncing the idea around, Netflix has now finally announced that they have added the ability to download TV shows and movies to watch offline. For now, the content feels a bit random but it does include Netflix's own shows — including Orange is the New Black, Stranger Things, The Crown, Narcos, and others — as well as select movies and TV shows. Notably, Netflix is not charging extra for the feature, as highlighted in their announcement, it is included in all plans and available for phones and tablets on Android and iOS.


Facebook launches 'Instant Games' allowing you to play classics like Pac-Man inside Messenger

While BlackBerry is rolling out their own games for BBM, Facebook is also getting in on the games action with their own Messenger app. For years now the company has had games but have now taken it to a whole new level by announcing Instant Games.


Exclusive: Video Hands-On with the BlackBerry Passport SILVER Edition!

Drop what you're doing and hit PLAY on the video above! I was fortunate to get my hands on the newly announced BlackBerry Passport SILVER Edition a little early, so took it to the new KM studio to give it a proper debut for CrackBerry Nation (complete with vintage table slap at the end!).

Be sure to watch the video for some deep thoughts, and check out our photo gallery for lots of great photos of the new Silver Edition and you can also see how it compares to the standard issue Passport. As an official launch partner with BlackBerry for the Silver Edition, our CrackBerry Canada store also lined up a heck of a deal - if you order the Silver Edition you will receive $130 in FREE Silver Edition accessories. Considering the Silver Edition is just $50 more than the original Passport, it's a great deal.


Order the new BlackBerry Passport SILVER Edition from CrackBerry Canada and receive $130 in FREE accessories!

The BlackBerry Passport SILVER Edition here and CrackBerry is happy to be one of BlackBerry's official launch partners. In fact, CrackBerry is the only launch partner right now for the Silver Edition outside of ShopBlackBerry's own store for a limited time. Remember, this luxurious Passport won't be hitting any carriers - it's an unlocked phone that you need to buy direct.


Contest Reminder: Last Chance to win a BLUE BlackBerry Classic!

CONTEST WINNER ANNOUNCED! CLICK HERE

S'up CrackBerry Nation? Just chiming in quick with a friendly reminder that time is running out to get in for your chance to win a Beautiful BLUE BlackBerry Classic courtesy of me (try saying that sentence fast three times). I became smitten with this phone the second I laid eyes on it, so decided I'd give one away.

Entering for your chance to win is easy. You need to jump over to the video on youtube and leave a comment to the video there (be sure to subscribe to the channel while you're there so you never a miss a video or contest!). The entry deadline is Midnight Pacific time on July 31st.

We'll announce the winner here on CrackBerry, and on my twitter account and BBM channel.


BLUE BlackBerry Classic Video Unboxing & Giveaway!

CONTEST WINNER ANNOUNCED! CLICK HERE

Over the years I've always had a thing for white BlackBerrys. As much as the traditional black BlackBerry is iconic, professional and classy, white BlackBerrys have always just looked... sexy. Especially in the summer months when the sun is shining and the heat is on, a white BlackBerry just always seems ohhh sooo right.

So when word first surfaced that the BlackBerry Classic would be available in more colors, including white, bronze and blue, history should have dictated I'd be jonesing for a white Classic. Not this time though. It was the BLUE BlackBerry Classic that caught my eye. Blue is my favorite color. It's a color I wear a lot. When it comes to phones though, it has rarely been a color I've been drawn too. It just never is executed in a shade that I think looks good. BlackBerry nailed it with the blue BlackBerry Classic though. As soon as it became available on ShopBlackBerry I ordered it. Pulling it out of the box once it arrived, I was smitten. Specs and features be damned... this is a phone I'm going to rock for one main reason - I just love the way it looks. Be sure to watch the video above to see me unbox this blue beauty.

WIN A BLACKBERRY CLASSIC!

In honor of the launch of the new BLUE BlackBerry Classic and my new youtube channel (I'll hijack Bla1ze's Editor's Desk post this weekend to tell you all about it), I'm giving away a BlackBerry Classic!

How to Enter: Tap over to the youtube video and leave a comment on the youtube video for your chance to win. Give it a thumbs up while you're there and be sure to subscribe so you never miss an upcoming KM video. You have the month of July to enter - I'll be announcing the winner on my twitter account on August 1st (we'll announce it here on CrackBerry too).

I hope you enjoy the unboxing video! Be sure to leave a comment on youtube for your chance to win, and good luck!!


New Site Feature: Follow the CrackBerry content you care about and get notified of it instantly!

We are very excited to introduce Follow - a way to personalize your CrackBerry experience and get notified when new content is added. In addition to CrackBerry, the Follow feature is also available across our family of Mobile Nations properties, including Android Central, iMore, Windows Central and Connectedly.

We have built a system that is easy to use yet offers you maximum flexibility. You will now be able to follow:

  • Topics - Follow companies, devices, or any other topic such as Apple, Asus, Galaxy S6, Verizon, Google I/O
  • Authors - Follow your favorite writer, article, comments and forum posts
  • Members - Follow members to discover when they post new comments and forum posts
  • Article Comments - Follow an article's comment stream
  • Forum Posts - Follow a forum thread's post stream
  • Replies - Follow replies to your comments or forum threads you have participated in.

All of this activity will be displayed in a compact stream in the sidebar that appears when you tap on your user profile image at the top of the site (when logged in). If you follow content from more than one Mobile Nations site, it will aggregate the content from multiple sites into one single stream. We're also testing a "stickied" version of the follow stream as well as a full sized version. You can almost think of the full sized version being a customized homepage or dashboard showing you only the things you care about.

Follow is also the cornerstone of our new, much-requested notification system. For any of your follow activity, you can choose to get alerted using real-time push notifications via the Chrome web browser (both desktop and Android) and OS X Safari browser, or via instant emails. The same notifications will also be sent to upcoming releases of our popular apps for Android, iOS, Windows, and BlackBerry. With the plumbing for the Follow system now in place, we are also going to add new site features that give you further control over how you consume content, including Custom RSS feeds, Wildcard text search, and WebSockets for Follow Stream.

Be sure to watch the video above for a quick look at how it all works and be sure to give it a try. If you have any feedback or run into any issues, please report them on this Mobile Nations forum thread.


T-Mobile Corporate Customer looking for new BlackBerry Q10's? Here's your hook up!

While the spat earlier this year between BlackBerry CEO, John Chen and T-Mobile CEO, John Legere, made for some tabloid-like headlines and deals for consumers on both sides in the short-term, since then it has ultimately left a lot of corporate customers in a lurch. With BlackBerry and T-Mobile US putting an end to their licensing agreement, companies that want to remain on T-Mobile and still use BlackBerry no longer have a direct pipe to new T-Mobile compatible BlackBerry phones.

T-Mobile BlackBerry Q10's for $250USD!

This issue has been brought to my attention more than a few times now since the break-up occurred, and more recently a solution has presented itself for T-Mobile corporate customers, with a BIG VOLUME of T-Mobile compatible BlackBerry Q10's being secured and available for purchase. For $250, unlocked, companies and individuals can pick up T-Mobile BlackBerry Q10's via Cellify. To be clear, these are Q10s with T-Mobile radio bands - just buying unlocked Q10s online does not necessarily mean you're getting the model that works with T-Mobile USA (the SQN-100-5 model). We vetted the deal to make sure everything is on the up and up in terms of how the inventory was obtained, etc. and everything checks out there.

For More Information and to purchase, CLICK HERE.


Win a BlackBerry Passport from Rogers and CrackBerry!

Live in Canada? Want to win a FREE BlackBerry Passport? If so, this is the contest for you! Our friends at Rogers are going to hook up one lucky CrackBerry reader with a complimentary BlackBerry Passport!!!!

Entering for your chance to win is super easy. Simply login to CrackBerry.com, leave a comment to this article, and you are entered. It's as easy as that! Only Canadian residents are eligible for this one of course, so if you're not in Canada please hold off on entering (don't worry - another contest is always just around the corner). The contest will remain open until Sunday, Midnight PST on October 12th, so be sure to spread the word! We'll announce the winner on the 13th.

To learn more about this awesome new phone, be sure to read CrackBerry's Passport Review. We wish you the best of luck in winning it, but if that doesn't happen we encourage you to jump over to Rogers and order one, where it's available for $249.99 on select 2-year plans, or you can buy it for $699.99 outright.


The good 'ol days of being a BlackBerry user... are back!

When you read phone reviews, you don't typically see Fun as a category upon which different devices are rated and compared - it's things like Performance, Design and Battery Life that are the norm. It's too bad really that the fun factor isn't given much consideration. As much as tech products are there to add utility to our everyday lives, given how much we use and rely on tech these days it's a nice bonus if the ownership experience can bring us a little extra joy, too.

Enter the BlackBerry Passport. I have been having an absolute BLAST as a BlackBerry Passport owner these past few weeks. I haven't enjoyed owning a new phone this much since 2005, which is when I got my first BlackBerry (which by the way I felt was BIG and UGLY when I first put my hands on it). And while the Passport is proving to be a solid performing phone once you work through the initial adjustment phase (it takes a few days to get used to the wide body design and three row keyboard), it truly is the fun factor of being a Passport owner that I'm loving the most. Which is kind of ironic really, considering BlackBerry set out to make the Passport the ultimate tool for productivity (and yes, it excels at that too... Instant Actions in the Hub FTW!).


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