Editorial

The BlackBerry fact check portal is a great idea and here are ways they can make it even better

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On June 26th BlackBerry announced, via a blog post, something they are calling a "fact check portal." Technically it's not a portal but a category under which they can file blog posts. We can call it whatever we like. Portal, category or even a dedicated blog … these are just labels. What matters to me is the content and how well they market it.

Share your favorite summer pics taken on your BlackBerry!

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From the Editor's Desk: The excitement, fun and lack of sleep!

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So I guess this is my first 'official' From the Editor's Desk. Kevin did let me write one before, but that was just for a bit of fun and in hindsight, probably a small bit of training at the time. Looking back on that post, it's a bit funny to me because at the time I mentioned how Kevin was an insanely busy person with calls, tech calls, meetings and everything else that comes along with being Editor in Chief. I also noted he was likely to be slightly crazy and now that I'm a week into the position myself, I understand why. You sort of have to be as Editor in Chief so it's a good thing I'm not exactly 'normal' myself.

Thanks, Vivek!

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Vivek Bhardwaj and Thorsten Heins

Late Sunday night, in response to a question posted in the CrackBerry forums, I publicly broke the news that Vivek Bhardwaj is no longer at BlackBerry.

In reality, this was old news. Vivek has not been with BlackBerry since the middle of May, which is when I first found out and spoke to Vivek directly about his decision to leave. As you can imagine, I was bummed to hear the news. Vivek has been one of CrackBerry Nation's favorite BlackBerry people ever since he made his stage debut at BlackBerry World alongside then CEO, Thorsten Heins, where he gave us our first glimpse of BlackBerry 10. An eloquent speaker, amazing on-stage presenter who delivered flawless demos time after time in front of thousands of people as well an all around awesome guy to hangout with, it's a definite loss for #TEAMBLACKBERRY. Both Vivek and I knew, like me, that BlackBerry fans would be bummed out when word got out about his departure, which is why we didn't rush to make it known. Eventually though, the word would have to get out.

Editor's Desk: There's a new CrackBerry Chief in town... it's time for Bla1ze to light it up!

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There's a new chief in town!

It's been an exciting few days for BlackBerry fans and we're closing off the week with some exciting CrackBerry news of our own. I've been pondering shaking things up here for a while now, and today I'm happy to officially pull the trigger and announce some exciting changes to our editorial team.

I say officially, as behind the scenes we've already been beta testing the revised team structure since I sought out the community's feedback a week ago in the forums (we also talked about it in detail on Thursday's CrackBerry podcast). The changes have been well received and nothing has blown up yet, so we're going to make them stick!

Should BlackBerry and Amazon be working together on more than just apps?

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It's been a big week for BlackBerry, to say the least, and just about all of the news was positive. John Chen is definitely the real deal. Despite the surprise appearance of the new Passport and Classic (they rock!), the biggest news for me was the licensing agreement for the Amazon Appstore. And not for the reasons you think, but let's first look at the immediate benefits.

When the Passport and Classic launch in a few months, BlackBerry will basically triple the amount of official apps it has overnight, including big names like Netflix, Pandora, Spotify and Pinterest. The critics who carp about the "app gap" will be silenced and BlackBerry will have something truly awesome to boast - two robust app stores from two different platforms on one phone. Talk about a smorgasbord. I'm sure many of you already have the Amazon Appstore installed on your BlackBerry, which is as easy to accomplish as it is on any Android device. No special handling required. So why is this news a big deal?

A busy day in the BlackBerry World

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Today was a pretty awesome day for BlackBerry and BlackBerry fans all around. Yesterday BlackBerry announced their partnership deal with Amazon and that was pretty awesome as well, but for some folks it felt like a precursor to some possibly bad news waiting within BlackBerry's earnings report. Get the good news out because there's probably some not so good news coming. However, anyone who did have that on their mind was pretty quickly proven wrong for even thinking that.

Join the discussion in our BlackBerry Passport Forum!

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Grab your Passport!

It's official. The highly anticipated BlackBerry Windermere device will be known as the BlackBerry Passport, according to BlackBerry CEO John Chen. The announcement came during today's Q1 earnings call, and the device is due to be unveiled this September at a launch event in London.

Personally I think the name of the device is spot on. It's about the same size as a Passport (so wide!), and the name should resonate well with business travelers.

Analysis: BlackBerry dramatically improves financial performance in Q1

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John Chen seems to be exactly the dose of medicine that BlackBerry needed to get things moving in the right direction again. He's only been CEO for about 7 months but his mark is everywhere, and I mean that in a good way. If you don't have time to read all the details let me just say this: BlackBerry has gone from being a company that I thought might not have enough cash to stay alive to seeing some light at the end of the tunnel. If enough enterprise customers start to realize that BlackBerry will continue to be around as the trusted leader in enterprise mobility management, then I think the company's future looks a whole lot better.

I think we all have to realize that BlackBerry isn't in the running to compete (on volume) with Apple, Samsung or even (at least for now) Microsoft's hardware numbers. But there are still groups of enterprises that prefer the security and reliability that BlackBerry offers, and the company is expanding with BBM services to reach consumers and enterprise users who aren't using BlackBerry hardware. There is a definite opportunity here even if we must concede global defeat in the device market.

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