"Loyalty doesn't feed my family, BlackBerry. I need incentives. I need to make more money."


I recently caught up with a friend who is an independent app developer. He's capable of developing for other mobile platforms, but historically he's focused on BlackBerry app development and has been quite prolific at it over the years. There is a good chance you have downloaded one or more of his apps.

It didn't take long for me to ask my friend —who's name I'm going to leave anonymous for this post — how his app sales have been going lately. His reply? "Pretty terrible."

It wasn't a totally surprising thing for me to hear. It's well documented where BlackBerry 10 phone sales are at, and for the most part those buying BlackBerry OS phones these days are less the app buying type (lots of corporate issued BBOS phones happening in those numbers, or it's low cost handsets and the owners are looking for free apps vs. paid ones). In other words, a lot of the app-hungry BB10 phone owners have already bought their apps, and with their appetite mainly satiated with what's available and relatively small numbers of new BB10 owners stepping up to fill their app plate, app sales are flat-lining, and not at a high daily number.

From the Editor's Desk: #MobileFit Month Begins Today!


BBM Channel Chat, Take 2... A little cheating went a long way!


BBM Channels!

Well, it appears sometimes cheaters do prosper. After barely surviving my first BBM Channel Chat on Monday using my BlackBerry Q10 and thumbs, for my second chat I opted to use my BlackBerry Z30.

However... I didn't use just the BlackBerry Z30. Getting clever, I paired up the Z30 to a bluetooth keyboard and mouse, and took advantage of the microHDMI out port to connect to a bigger computer monitor. The experience was HEAVENLY. Don't get me wrong, I'm a fast two thumb typer on a BlackBerry qwerty keyboard - but give me a full computer keyboard and ten fingers to type with and I move into that 120+ words per minute range. And that's exactly what you need when trying to chat with dozens of people all at once.

Looking back at the incredible pace of change at BlackBerry in CEO John Chen's first six months


On November 4th, BlackBerry's board of directors made a shocking announcement. The company was officially ending its strategic review and eliminating the plan to go private. Instead they raised $1 billion in convertible debt, fired Thorsten Heins as CEO and brought in a guy named John Chen who was new to CrackBerry readers, but very experienced at technology turnarounds.

The financing closed on November 13th, which marked the first day on the job for the new BlackBerry boss. It has been just over six months since then. When you look at announcements (press releases) individually, it doesn't seem like much. But when you look at the collection of changes Chen had his hands I think you begin to see just how much work there was to be done.

Here's a list of what stands out the most when I look back.

BlackBerry and Sierra Wireless are a good fit for the Internet of things


Lately I've been feeling like there isn't much exciting going on in the world of BlackBerry. We're basically waiting until November to see if BES traction is as good as the company says it will be, and hoping to see BlackBerry get back to profitability.

That's why last week's announcement of Project Ion was somewhat exciting to me. Don't get me wrong - I think the press release said practically nothing. It's all too common in technology land for fancy press releases to be filled with vague-speak. BlackBerry announced a project, not a product. They are not anywhere close to the same thing.

I have a lot of questions running through my mind. Who's leading the project and what experience does he or she have? How does BlackBerry expect to compete against the other enormous companies that want to win in this space (including Microsoft)?

I survived my first scheduled BBM Channel Chat... Barely!


BBM Channel Chat Survivor!

Hoh. Lee. Shi. Te. I feel like the BBM team should give me a medal or something for surviving my first scheduled BBM Channel Chat. My frick'n thumbs hurt right now.

From the moment my BBM status automatically updated to "Available to Chat" I was typing non-stop as fast as I could trying to reply to everybody who was messaging me. And when the status automatically updated 30 minutes later to end my chat session, I spent the next 30 minutes typing replies to everybody I had yet not responded to. It was simply impossible to keep up with. I didn't count how many people were chatting with me, but it was a lot. When we do it again on Wednesday, I'll try and get somebody here to help me shoot some video of it, so you can get a perspective of what it looks like on my end.

I hope the BlackBerry Classic's trackpad lights up and powers down like it does on the Bold 9900


Lit Up Trackpad

Or more specifically, I hope like the BlackBerry Bold 9900, there is a ring or design element around the BlackBerry Classic's trackpad that lights up for notifications, and is last to turn off when the screen / keyboard backlighting powers down.

I had this realization when I was out for dinner with my cousin Vinny on the weekend. He was on his Bold 9900 all night, and the room was fairly dark, and every time he put the phone back down on the table I couldn't help but notice that awesome power down sequence which has the trackpad turning off last (see instagram video below).

The real reason My Cousin Vinny downgraded from the BlackBerry Z10 to a Bold 9900 and is waiting on the Classic...


"Because I can use it way better while driving"

Ok, Ok. Now before you go ripping Vinny apart in the comments, let me tell the full story here.

My cousin Vinny isn't Joe Pesci. He's actually the guy below.

And Vinny isn't technically my cousin. In reality, he's my fiancée's godmother's sister's daughter's boyfriend (and that's the truth). He's also a hardcore BlackBerry user. Not hardcore in the sense that he lives in CrackBerry's forums and knows everything there is to know about the device. He mainly uses his BlackBerry as a communication tool and he uses it a LOT.