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

CBK 2.0

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.

There's always been a lot of mixed opinions in the community whenever we go through one of these major transitions. So many people hated the thought of BlackBerry 10 when they were still BlackBerry OS fans. Eventually, the majority of the community got excited for BB10. The next era of BlackBerry Smartphones will be Android powered and mixed in with a lot of members excited for 'Mercury' we see a lot of lingering/defensive love for BlackBerry 10 in the community. It's normal. It's not unexpected. And of course, anybody who prefers what was instead of what's next can always stick to the devices they have now. That said, I'm not one to live in the past. I've always been and always will be the kind of guy who keeps looking forward. So I'm ready for Mercury! More notes on how I'm prepping for it below, along with some other updates.

More Crackiness

  • MOAR CRACKBERRY POWER THIS WEEK: Now that I'm back home we'll start to ramp up the fun this week - expect to see a return of the CrackBerry Podcast and maybe a video or two hit the YouTubez. Be sure to follow me everywhere: Twitter | Instagram | YouTube and on BBM Channels at C00010BC5. I'm going to start posting a lot of looking back BlackBerry and CrackBerry retro photos. Some of it will hit blogs, but not all of it, so you'll want to follow to make sure you don't miss out. I'll do some giveaways too this month that ONLY will happen on social, so you have to follow and pay attention!

  • CrackBerry Reunion Podcast 001 Records this Wednesday: Craig Johnston (the voice), Bla1ze (the brains) and CrackBerry Kevin (the beauty??) will be reunited this week. For our big return, we're also going to have a special guest join us - Steve Cistulli. Steve is the President & GM of TCL Communication (TCT) North America, the company behind both Alcatel and BlackBerry Mobile. Following up on my editorial this week helping people to understand the difference between BlackBerry and BlackBerry Mobile, we'll pepper Steve with questions to further clarify our understanding of what to expect from BlackBerry Smartphones going ahead. Who knows, maybe if we twist his arm hard enough we can get him to drop some more hints on BlackBerry Mercury specs!

  • Barcelona Bound: Bla1ze and I both have our flights booked for Barcelona so we can attend the BlackBerry Mercury press event and take in the spectacle that is Mobile World Congress. I'm super excited for the CrackBerry Meetup going to be held the evening of February 24th in honor of our 10 Year Anniversary. If you can join us in Barcelona, read this post for details and be sure to RSVP. I'd love to do more CB Meetups this year. I know Toronto and New York are both high on the list for CB Meetups, but where would we go next after that? Let me know in the comments!

  • Training for the Mercury: In anticipation for the BlackBerry Mercury, I've been training up. I was using a Google Pixel XL (equipped with Android Nougat) that had the BlackBerry Launcher and BlackBerry Hub Services installed. From that, I've now fully switched over to using both a BlackBerry DTEK 60 and a BlackBerry Classic (SIM cards in both - main line on the DTEK). The Classic is getting my fingers used to pushing buttons again (god how I love buttons!), and the DTEK60 has me getting used to fully integrated AndroidBerryNess. I leave for Barcelona on February 21st. I think by then I'll be more than ready to pick up a Mercury and feel at totally at home with it. Speaking of Mercury… 'Mercury' is just a codename. I'm curious to know how they're officially going to brand it. I TRULY HOPE they move away from this (shitty) DTEK branding and go back to proper names like Bold or Curve. Anything but DTEK (Please BlackBerry-Gods-That-Be do not call it the DTEK70!!).

Alright. That's it for this one. How did I do?

Kevin Out!