Articles by Team Crackberry

BlackBerry Mobile Livestream from Mobile World Congress 2017

Please Note, We'll be updating this page with the live chat before going live. As show time approaches, be sure to refresh your browser to make sure you're on the latest version of the page and watching the proper stream and chat. Thanks!

On February 25th at 7pm CET / 1pm EST, BlackBerry Mobile will unveil their newest BlackBerry Smartphone to the world in Barcelona, Spain at Mobile World Congress. For those not attending the press event you can watch the unveiling right here!

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Exclusive: Pre-release review of the BlackBerry Passport!

There are few things these days (especially smartphones) that have the ability to surprise me. I walked into work yesterday and a friend of mine points at me asking me to come over. He reached into his shirt pocket and pulled out this slate-looking thing and turns it around. It was a BlackBerry Passport. I have not stopped smiling since then.

I'm guessing the excitement is there among BlackBerry users considering I woke up to a fully drained phone this morning from all the twitter chatter and I figured no better place than CrackBerry to share my experiences with it. In this pre-review, I'm not comparing it to any other devices because in all honesty, there is no real comparison to be made. It's in a league of its own.

[Editor's Note: This is a pre release pre-review of the BlackBerry Passport. It was written by @halobandit based on his views of using the device personally. Some of the information in this review is certainly subject to change because again, it's based on a pre release BlackBerry Passport that has been confirmed to NOT be a final hardware revision. Upon official release of the BlackBerry Passport we will have our own CrackBerry review as always when new BlackBerry smartphones hit the market.]

BlackBerry: The Future is Yours

With the recent press release of BES10 being the most cost-effective MMS for Enterprise customers against the competition, BlackBerry has strategically maneuvered their way into a brilliant position for enterprise by offering unmatched security and world-class service at the most affordable rates.

If you pair this amazing advantage with BlackBerry's EZ Pass Program, where IT managers receive free perpetual BES10 Silver licenses for all BlackBerry and other active MDM licenses on a 1 for 1 basis with technical support (until January 31, 2015), it is an offer businesses and companies alike will be hard-pressed to refuse.

The BlackBerry identity

Android users buy specs, iPhone users buy brand, but BlackBerry users buy an experience. I have heard variations of such a statement throughout my time here in CrackBerry and it has me thinking if there is any substantial truth to it. As we consider where BlackBerry sits currently and moving forward, CEO John Chen faces one of the biggest challenges with the company, its perception.

If I could ask any one question to John Chen right now it would be, "What is BlackBerry's current identity in the world and what identity are you trying to create and achieve for it?" After meeting him it is evident that he is a very intelligent and capable man who can turn the company around to profitability, no question. But is this enough? Smarts, charisma and confidence can only get you so far.

A tale of two BlackBerrys

It's 2005 and a young man named Erik Slaven, living in Los Angeles, just purchased his very first smartphone, the BlackBerry 7250. Although he was never a fan of cell phones, the addiction was immediate and Erik suddenly possessed mobility power over those still attached to desktop computers. "It was awesome and empowering to be able to email anyone from anywhere." Erik proclaimed. He believed the BlackBerry device changed everything. "I would sometimes email friends just for the sake of emailing. It was that cool." Erik recalls. Although web browsing on any mobile device at the time was poor and sluggish, Erik realized that the smartphone revolution had begun and Research In Motion was leading the way. "I knew it was only a matter of time until the technology was perfected."

Why tablets are not on BlackBerry's roadmap

This is such a sensitive topic for many PlayBook owners — and rightfully so. As a fellow BlackBerry lover, a respectable level of sympathy should be given to those who have invested in BlackBerry's only tablet. It is truly a remarkable device that had a lot of promise.

However, business will always be business no matter what opinions or emotional attachment we may have for our products. It's the nature of the beast. I'm not going to say it's justified, only that there is qualified legitimacy behind BlackBerry's decision not to develop another tablet.

How BlackBerry got me off of social media

I can't tell you how many times I get a strange or confused look whenever I mention that I'm not on Social Media. Even Kevin admitted his envy when he discovered that I'm not on Instagram, Twitter, foursquare, Facebook or anything else. In fact, he asked me to share my reasons about it on CrackBerry even though it's not news.

I initially shied away from writing such an article but I know the strength of CrackBerry is in its community, and connecting to everyone here should always remain my priority. Before I start, I'd like to also note that BlackBerry's CEO, John Chen, isn't on any social media either — so to my comfort — I'm not alone.

BlackBerry's ace in the hole

BlackBerry quietly and slowly exhales as it sits unnoticeably at a table surrounded by other high profile players sporting taller stacks of chips. Nobody's head is turned at BlackBerry's direction but their eyes are secretly watching. The river has quite possibly changed the outcome for BlackBerry, but what cards the other players hold has yet to be revealed.

The world audience waits in anticipation to see if BlackBerry will fold, lose or go all-in. To the surprise of the other players, BlackBerry chooses to go all-in. The tension in the air is high as everything is at stake for them. The other players can afford to lose chips but BlackBerry cannot — not this time. The question on everyone's mind is if BlackBerry is bluffing, but the veteran player sits confidently with an unflinching expression. What does BlackBerry hold that none of the other players hold?

What if BlackBerry had the best devices and BB10 became the best OS in the world?

During CrackBerry podcast episode 114, Chris Umiastowski brought up the reality that it probably doesn't matter if BlackBerry unquestionably had the best devices and OS in the world, because it still wouldn't help them gain market share. The CrackBerry team engaged in this discussion a little but it deserves more attention and certainly makes for an interesting conversation.

Are BlackBerry devices so good that they're bad?

The quality and durability of BBOS and legacy devices are so legendary that they continue to outsell BlackBerry 10 devices still after a year of BB10's launch and, as announced, will stay in BlackBerry's handset business.

Why is this happening and what does this mean for BlackBerry moving forward? Some explanations are obvious, such as the lack of effective marketing by BlackBerry and support from network carriers for BB10 devices. But there are other not so evident factors that are leaving BlackBerry followers puzzled about the decision to continue BBOS and legacy devices. Let's take a closer look.

Experiencing the BlackBerry Experience: New York

My first assignment for CrackBerry entailed meeting BlackBerry CEO John Chen, President of Global Enterprise Services, John Sims, and the VP of Global Alliances and Ecosystems, Marty Mallick. Suffice it to say I wasn't expecting to meet these gentlemen let alone be speaking with them.

But before I continue, let me start at the beginning.

BlackBerry Experience: New York was held in the beautiful and historic Gotham Hall at the heart of the city. Just walking there from the subway station one can see Madison Square Garden, the Empire State Building, and Herald Square in the midst of the busy streets and bustling businesses.

Open Letter to BlackBerry CEO, John Chen: Software updates control your own destiny

Dear Mr. Chen,

It’s been just about a year since we’ve received our first BlackBerry 10 software update that was made available about one month after the launch of the BlackBerry Z10 (not talking about the US of course).

This morning, as the CrackBerry team woke up we all received links (via email, twitter and BBM) to a Thunderclap post which is the inspiration for this letter. The ask of the Thunderclap was simple, “BlackBerry 10.2.1 for All”.

It really got us reflecting this morning on the past year of BlackBerry 10. Yes, BlackBerry has really evolved BB10 and it has come a long way since we first booted up our Z10 review unit on a cold winter night back at the start of 2013. Our recently-posted retrospective review of 10.2.1 highlights the best of these improvements.

Tallied up, there have been six BlackBerry 10 updates (in various ways) in 12 months. That's a good number, considering that BB10 was both a new OS and one that's built on a solid and mature foundation.

But (what is an open letter without a but) Not everyone actually receives all those updates. Not everyone gets the awesomeness that makes BlackBerry 10 better every day. John, this is where things fall apart. This is where you lose customers and make ones who do stay unhappy.

Keian Blundell

If you're been around CrackBerry for a while you'll know that Ryan Blundell was a big part of the team. For years he carried out duties as our Apps Editor and we would have been lost without him. Sadly though, Ryan was forced to step down from his position at CB when his son Keian became ill.

Our condolences go out today to the Blundell family as Keian passed away last night after a long battle with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Though Keian was only 6 years old, he touched countless people with his courageous battle, his endless bravery, and his strong spirit. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ryan, Chantal, Joren, and the rest of the Blundell family during this difficult time. Keian may be gone, but he will never be forgotten.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from CrackBerry!

We just wanted to take a minute to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. It's been a big year for us here at CrackBerry -- there were plenty of ups and downs but there was no shortage of news, that's for sure. We rode the BlackBerry 10 train from the start of 2013 and haven't looked back since. There's no telling what's to come for 2014 but no matter what happens, rest assured we'll be here through it all. 

Team Keian vs. Leukemia Round 3

A little over a year ago, the CrackBerry family was deeply saddened by the news that Keian, the son of one of our writers, Ryan Blundell, was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer called T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.  Six year old Keian has spent much of the last year in the hospital, receiving chemotherapy and undergoing test after test. Just a few short months ago Keian was able to receive a bone marrow transplant from his baby brother Joren. Just when it looked like Keian had beaten the cancer, the family received the terrible news that not only was the cancer back, it was worse than ever.

Positivity pays off for one lucky CrackBerry reader!

The announcements last week during BlackBerry's Q1 earnings report and the subsequent announcement regarding the BlackBerry PlayBook not getting BlackBerry 10 left much of CrackBerry Nation with spinning heads and a lot of anger and disappointment. This was definitely not the way to head into the weekend (and a long weekend for those in Canada!) so in typical CrackBerry fashion we announced a contest of epic proportions.

RIP BlackBerry PlayBook: 2011 - 2013

Want to cheer up? Click Here!

Looking back at Thorsten Heins' first year as BlackBerry CEO

Today is Thorsten Heins' first anniversary as the CEO of Research In Motion, and it only seems fitting to recap the huge changes that we've seen since he took the job. Long story short - he's made a lot of incredibly important changes inside of the company.

So with it being the middle of January in Toronto, the very epicenter of CrackBerry Nation where the temperature is minus freakin' infinity, grab a warm beverage, sit back, and enjoy our look at the last 365 days of Thorsten's leadership.

Happy Q1 of 2013!!

In lieu of a Happy New Year post we decided to stick to our BlackBerry fanness and go with this instead. It seems like it's been forever since BlackBerry 10 (then BBX) was announced ... and then announced again. We've stayed strong and patient and finally made it however -- Q1 of 2013 is finally here and that means the BlackBerry 10 unveiling is only a few short weeks away. 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from CrackBerry!

If you celebrate Christmas - today is your day! It's a day to relax, hang out with friends and family, eat lots of food and just be thankful for everything you've had this year. It's been a long one for BlackBerry users, but our 2nd Christmas is almost here (just 35 days!). While you most likely won't be getting a shiny new BlackBerry Z10 under the tree this year (if you do, by all means let us know), there really isn't that much longer to go. 

We'd just like to take a minute and wish all of you a very Merry Christmas (and Happy New Year of course). From Kevin, Adam, Bla1ze, Michelle and everyone here at CrackBerry - best wishes and happy holidays!! 

Don't forget to check out our post on how to make the most of your BlackBerry during the holidays for some great tips.