Hey CrackBerry Fam,

It's been a minute. I apologize for the lack of communication. Shortly after the CrackBerry 2.0 relaunch announcement went out to the world early this year, the time I had to dedicate to the project all but evaporated. I've been heads down on a new business start-up (still in stealth mode) for the last six months that has been soaking up most of my time and energy. With CrackBerry being my passion project, the CB2 relaunch took a back seat. Which sucks, and I apologize for dropping the ball, especially given we had some momentum building!

Failure to launch is NOT AN OPTION, though, and I promised y'all that a CrackBerry 2.0 would come to the world this year. I recently realized that I couldn't do this alone, so I put out a CALL FOR HELP to the CrackBerry VIP Club for a Co-Captain to help me re-build the CB ship and get it ready to set sail. Much to my amazement, I had a lot of responses, and I found somebody Cracky/Crazy enough to take on the task.

WELCOME MY CO-CAPTAIN NIRAVE GONDHIA TO THE TEAM!

Nirave GondhiaSource: Nirave Gondhia

For those who don't know Nirave, he's been around the tech media publishing space for almost as long as me. Back in 2009, he started UK Mobile Review which he grew to several million readers per month outside a full-time job. From there, he served as the Managing Editor of Android Authority for several years. In 2018 he joined Mobile Nations, where we tackled some projects together, including launching the Future Tech Awards after Mobile Nations was acquired by Future PLC. Nirave left Future in 2020 to lead the charge at Busy Pixel and help revamp sites like XDA and PocketNow. It turns out Busy Pixel got acquired earlier this year, which has made Nirave a free agent again with some spare time on his hands which he's excited to put to use in helping lead the relaunch of CrackBerry.

Nirave is properly crazy and cracky enough for the role and task. Some fun facts:

  • Nirave actually tweeted to me back in 2009 about wanting to come work with the CrackBerry Team. His love for CB goes way back. I didn't reply. :/
  • In 2018, he messaged me, said he was "flying through Winnipeg" and checked in to see if I would be around to meet up for dinner. I was, and we had dinner, and he ended up coming to work at Mobile Nations. The funny thing is, nobody "flies through Winnipeg". Taking that initiative to get a job at the company you want to work for is a crazy awesome move :)
  • He loves Prosecco even more than me.
  • At XDA, he was crazy enough to work with F(x)tec and launch an XDA phone running LineageOS. For all the times people have said I should build a CrackBerry phone and never did it, it was fantastic to see him tackle a project like that!
  • While running UK Mobile Review, he was one of the first O2 Gurus and Vodafone Tech Team members in the UK, where he fixed those pesky BlackBerry Java errors!
  • He pitched himself to various members of the Mobile Nations team for jobs for almost ten years before he finally joined the team in 2018. He's properly relentless.

So with that, be sure to drop a comment welcoming Nirave to CrackBerry. I do think we need to figure out his CrackBerry nickname - if you have some suggestions, put them in the comments too. Something to do with Prosecco, the word Darling or just involving the Brits would be fitting!

And Now… an Update on the Launch Plan!

Since Nirave stepped onto the ship, we've wasted no time laying out a revamped CB2 launch plan. A lot more details to come, but here's what you can expect over the weeks and months ahead:

Soft Launch: October - December

  • New Content: Will start hitting the homepage again. Nirave is going to post a review of a new product we both are loving later today - The Apple Watch Ultra. We're still working on the full editorial plan of what CB2 will cover, but it's getting there. In general, I think we'll either just RAVE about sh!t or RANT about sh!t. Anything in the middle is kinda just too boring to bother reading or watching or listening to. Time is precious - there's no point wasting time talking about products or services or issues we don't get excited about. We'll ramp up slowly and test some topics and ideas here and there, so brace yourself to see some different things.
  • Site CleanUp: As CB was so BlackBerry-focused, we have a lot of cleanup on boring things like article tags and categories as we get ready to go beyond BB. It's not worth the hassle of building a staging site to relaunch, so you'll see things start moving around here and there as we archive and/or update old stuff and consolidate things to make room for the new.
  • Club CrackBerry Forums Launch! We'll leave the legacy BlackBerry forums at forums.crackberry.com intact, but we'll also be launching new forums at club.crackberry.com that we aim to have online for November 1st. We're using Xenforo as the forum platform. If you're an existing CrackBerry Member, we're setting it up so you'll be able to use your existing username in the new forums. Expect to see an AWESOME CONTEST go live with the launch of the forums. We want to see lots of activity in there in the first few months to get it populated with quality content and ready the site for primetime.

January 2023 - CES Official ReLaunch!

The official CB2 relaunch will take place early in the new year, just in time for CES! Expect to see a new logo, new site colors, headings, etc., go live that will bring the new CB2 into clear focus.

Going to Las Vegas in January for CES was an annual tradition for over a decade for me. I miss it. So it's back on the CrackBerry calendar, and we intend to make it our annual get-together early in the year, every year, till the end of time. Hopefully, community members will be able to join, and we can make it a proper CrackBerry Meetup/Party. Stay tuned for the details.

TIME TO START THAT CRACK(BERRY) HABIT AGAIN!

There's work for us to do before CrackBerry becomes your daily website habit again, but we're going to get there. Stay tuned. There's more to come. For real, really, this time! :)

CBK