News

Emtek announces they will be closing BBM consumer services on May 31

Consumer BBM users encouraged to switch to BBM Enterprise

Back in 2016, BlackBerry announced a new partnership with Indonesia-based Emtek to help expand the consumer BBM business. As part of the partnership, Emtek expanded the capabilities of BBM for consumers with new features and enhancements while BlackBerry maintained control over their BBM Enterprise solution. Now, in a bit of surprising news, Emtek has announced their decision to end service of BBM for consumers on May 31, 2019.

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Rogers and TELUS schedule KEY2 and KEY2 LE updates for April 16

If you're not down with using autoloaders but are still waiting for Rogers and Telus to push out their April security updates for the BlackBerry KEY2 and BlackBerry KEY2 LE, you won't have to wait much longer. Both of the Candian carriers are now showing, through their software update pages, that updates will start rolling out on April 16.

Facebook Messenger dark mode now rolling out globally

If you're still among the many who haven't cut off Facebook and still use Messenger, you might be pleased to know that Facebook has started rolling out its dark mode option to the app globally after making it an Easter egg in the app previously.

After a month-long Easter Egg activation with countless crescent moon emojis, we are excited to announce that everyone around the world will be able to activate dark mode in Messenger with a simple toggle switch from settings. The toggle is rolling out globally today.

In order to activate dark mode in Messenger, all you have to do is tap on your profile picture, access the settings menu and toggle on dark mode from there. Your view will be then changed from super white to super dark. If you use Messenger, let me know what you think in the comments! Personally, I think it's one of the better looking dark mode apps out there.

Download: Messenger (free)

Your Android phone can now be used as a two-step verification key

Available in beta for Google and Google Cloud accounts.

Two-step authentication (also referred to as 2SV or 2FA) is one of the best tools you can use to add an extra layer of protection to your online accounts. Getting 2SV codes via a text message or an authenticator app is great, but if you want to go an extra step further, you can use physical keys in order to access your data.

As of April 10, 2019, you can now use your Android device (running Android 7.0 or later) as a physical 2SV key for your Google and Google Cloud accounts.

Once enabled, you'll get a prompt on your chosen Android device to approve your login any time you try to sign into your Google account. When you see this prompt, you can approve the login by holding the volume down button or tapping "No, it's not me" on your display if it's not you logging into your account.

You'll need Bluetooth turned on on your phone in order for this to work, and just in case something goes wrong, it's also recommended that you have another security key as a backup.

This feature is currently in beta, and in addition to requiring an Android phone, you'll also need a Bluetooth-enabled Chrome OS, macOS X, or Windows 10 machine running Google Chrome.

To use it, all you need to do is enroll your Google account is 2SV, go to the 2SV settings on your computer, click "Add security key", and choose your Android phone from the list of devices.

Two-factor authentication: Everything you need to know

Spotify giving Premium subscribers in Canada a free Google Home Mini

Available for both new and existing subscribers.

Late last year, Spotify announced a new partnership with Google and began handing out free Google Home Mini devices to Premium family plan subscribers in the US, now Spotify has extended a similar to Premium new and existing subscribers in Canada for a limited time.

Turn boring PDFs into digital magazines with Next FlipBook Maker Pro

We all have to read through PDF documents at some point or another, and we all know what a bore they can be. If you're using this format in a way that requires serious reader engagement, like with a sales pitch, you can turn a boring read into something much more exciting.

Turn boring PDFs into digital magazines with this $29 lifetime subscription! Learn more

Next FlipBook Maker Pro is specialized software that lets you transform PDFs and images into Flash or HTML5 flipbooks. It's stocked with customizable templates that make it easier to get the look you want, and it will create something that can be viewed on virtually any PC or mobile device. Instead of paying the usual $299 for a lifetime subscription to this software, iMore Digital Offers has a deal that knocks 90 percent off. That brings the price down to just $29!

Not only can you use PDFs and images, but you can also embed YouTube videos and local media — like videos, music, buttons, charts, and hyperlinks — to truly create an original work. Flipbooks can then be published as a WordPress plugin or Joomla and Drupal module, making the process of getting it out into the world as easy as possible.

Grab a lifetime license to FlipBook Maker Pro and save 90 percent off the regular price! Learn more

This $29 lifetime subscription includes all future minor updates to the software, and it's compatible with Windows versions from XP up to Windows 10. If you're ready to turn boring PDFs into something far more engaging, don't miss this deal!

What's the big deal about BlackBerry Privacy Shade, anyway?

BlackBerry Privacy Shade

Keep your sensitive data hidden with BlackBerry Privacy Shade.

The notion that someone might hack into your personal life simply by glancing at a text message seems pretty absurd, as does the idea that someone might steal corporate secrets upon glimpsing a few lines from a work email. That isn't to say neither of those situations will ever happen, of course. Just that there are more pressing, tangible threats to our privacy and security than a nosy onlooker.

At the same time, even if a screen snooper isn't likely to steal our login information, our smartphones are more closely linked to our private lives than ever. And it doesn't often occur to us that when we use our devices in public, we're potentially sharing what's on our screen - what's going on in our life - with everyone around us. I'd wager chances are pretty high that, excepting a few rare circumstances, there's a lot of stuff on your phone you wouldn't willingly show to a stranger.

Private conversations. Sensitive email threads. Personal photos. Embarrassing Google searches. If you're in public - whether on transit, at a coffee shop or even in the office - these are all fair game. And that's exactly the reason Privacy Shade exists. It's a tool to help you better control what people see, and better manage what you share with those around you.

With either a gesture or a tap of the Convenience Key, you can block off almost the entirety of your screen, leaving only whatever area you're focusing on at the time. It won't stop people from looking over your shoulder, entirely, of course. What it will do is ensure they can only see bits and pieces of what you're doing.

It won't be enough to give them any context or meaning, and it won't take long for all but the most dedicated of screen snoopers to get bored and cast their eyes elsewhere.

Privacy Shade also comes with a cool Redactor feature which, when enabled, allows you to selectively black out images and screenshots before sharing them. It's as simple as opening up the image, activating Redactor Mode, choosing your redaction format, and then swiping across your screen. After that, simply click on "share" to forward your newly-redacted photo - secure in the knowledge that you aren't sending out anything you don't want people to see.

Your data is your own. That's always been a guiding principle behind BlackBerry products, from their first smartphones through to the BlackBerry KEY2 LE. Privacy Shade is just one more demonstration of that commitment - just one more way your BlackBerry device gives you ownership over what you share and how you share it. Because when you use your phone in public, there's no telling who's looking over your shoulder.

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Test your DNA and find a weight loss plan that works for you!

If you've ever tried to lose weight or are currently in the midst of a weight loss journey, you know just how hard it can be to find a diet or workout plan that gives you the results you want. We know that everyone's bodies are different, yet we all have been told that fad diet after fad diet is the ultimate answer to all our weight loss angst. Why not take a smarter approach?

Weight loss is different for anyone and is affected by not only the food you eat and the exercise you fit into your day but also your genetics. Knowing your ancestry can offer you insight into what types of food, workouts, or vitamins can help you maintain a healthy weight, and CrackBerry Digital Offers can help!

Vitagene presents a smarter, more effective way to stay healthy—all while learning about your genetics and ancestry! With a simple cheek swab, Vitagene can provide you with health plans based on your DNA, lifestyle, and goals so you can feel healthier. You can learn how your genetics influence your diet, understand which supplements and workouts are best for you, and discover how your genes inform your global ancestry.

Normally, DNA test kits like can cost a pretty penny, but right now through iMore Digital Offers, you can get Vitagene DNA Ancestry Test Kit & Personalized Health Plan for only $79!

Stop trying every diet you can find and wasting your time and money at the CrossFit gym down the street. Use the knowledge of your genetics to inform what healthy choices look like for you, and let Vitagene help you get the results you want!

See at CrackBerry Digital Offers

Three ways your BlackBerry can help you travel better

Whether for business, pleasure, or a little bit of both, I've always loved traveling. Seeing new cultures, exploring new cities, and visiting new countries is a big passion of mine - even if I don't get to do it as often as I'd like. I even kind of enjoy airports. Please tell me there are at least a few of you in the audience who understand.

BlackBerry Mobile offers a hands-on look at the KEY2 Red Edition!

During Mobile World Congress, BlackBerry Mobile introduced the BlackBerry KEY2 Red Edition and since then the device has gone on sale in Europe and China. We've gone hands-on with the device already, but for those of you wanting another look, BlackBerry Mobile has now posted their own hands-on look at the BlackBerry KEY2 Red Edition. This video combined with folks sharing their unboxings in the forums is making me super jealous mine hasn't arrived yet!

Create polished marketing videos for $29 with Wave.Video

Many successful marketing campaigns use video to get an idea or product across. However, if you’re a new company launching a crowdfunding campaign, you’re likely tied for resources as is, and hiring a videographer or marketing agency to handle video for you can be expensive. Luckily, Wave.Video makes it easy to create polished marketing videos, and you can sign up for as low as $9.

Wave.Video is a streamlined video editing app with tons of free assets, including over 300,000 audio clips and 1.5 million stock videos, images, and sounds. You can combine these assets with your own footage to create minute-long videos, which can be edited text, effects, and transitions to highlight your ideas or products. Finally, Wave.Video can either export videos into 11 different video formats or publish directly to social sites like YouTube and Facebook.

With Wave.Video, anyone can make impressive marketing videos, you can either sign up for 1 year for $9 or buy a lifetime subscription for $29.

  Wave.Video: Lifetime Creator Plan - $29

See Deal

Like this deal? Check out Vault, the best way to secure your online data for just $9.99/mo.

BlackBerry reports Q4 and fiscal year 2019 results

BlackBerry today announced their fiscal year 2019 Q4 results highlighting record Software and Services revenue, while also noting that BlackBerry is now a $1 billion-plus revenue company in security software.

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T-Mobile again offers a free year of MLB.TV

MLB.TV Logo

Baseball streaming giveaway returns as part of T-Mobile Tuesdays promotion.

T-Mobile and Major League Baseball are teaming up again to continue one of their most popular promotions, and it's a great deal for both sports fans and CordCutters. T-Mobile customers can get a free full season of MLB.TV through their T-Mobile app through April 1.

The free MLB.TV subscription from T-Mobile is the All Teams plan, with access to hundreds of out-of-market baseball games. This would cost you $119 if you purchased it on your own, and it is one of the best options of the many ways to watch MLB if you've cut the cord. You can use the free account on up to 10 of your supported streaming devices, including smartphones, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Fire TV, Roku, Samsung smart TVs, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. This giveaway also includes access to MLB At Bat Premium which normally costs $20. At Bat Premium includes mobile access to the MLB.TV content, plus GameCasts, audio broadcast feeds, and support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

MLB and T-Mobile have been long time partners, and are expected to stay BFFs. T-Mobile sponsorship of baseball has been going on for a while, and Business Wire reports that they're extending the deal for four more years. T-Mobile started MLB giveaways for customers back in 2013, with free MLB At Bat Premium access in the mobile app. In 2016, they upgraded the promotion to include free MLB.TV. T-Mobile also serves as the Official Wireless Carrier of MLB, and the title sponsor of the Home Run Derby during All Star Week in July.

If you want to get this deal, you'll need to use the T-Mobile Tuesdays app or website between March 26 and April 1. T-Mobile Tuesdays is how the Un-carrier rewards customers with discounts and freebies every Tuesday. There are a few restrictions for this particular giveaway. You have to be a regular monthly subscriber, so DIGITS, pay per day, pay as you go, data-only and voice-only plans aren't eligible. You can use your MLB.TV on multiple devices, but you can't use this MLB.TV or At Bat Premium access on devices from other wireless carriers. Plus MLB.TV is only for out-of-market games, so you won't be able to root for your home team this way. You can read about the local blackouts, and check if you are in a blackout area on the MLB TV Blackout Help Page

There are more MLB prizes and discounts available now and expected through the season on T-Mobile Tuesdays. This includes an all expenses paid trip to the All Star Game, with a contest running on March 26. They're also expected to offer deals on MLB tickets so keep an eye out for more baseball goodies from now until October.

Check out Free MLB.TV on T-Mobile

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BlackBerry KEY2 Red Edition now available to order in China

After kicking off orders in Europe for the BlackBerry KEY2 Red Edition, BlackBerry Mobile has now opened up orders in China through JD.com, where the device is available in 64GB and 128GB options.

Facebook exposed up to 600 million user passwords to its employees

How does this keep happening?

Per a report from Krebs on Security on March 21, Facebook has — yet again — found a way to mishandle its users' data. This time around, it appears that Facebook incorrectly stored user passwords and made them exposed to thousands of employees.

Facebook is probing a series of security failures in which employees built applications that logged unencrypted password data for Facebook users and stored it in plain text on internal company servers. That's according to a senior Facebook employee who is familiar with the investigation and who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press.

It's estimated that between 200 million and 600 million users had their passwords exposed, dating as far back as to ones created in 2012. During this time, over 20,000 employees at Facebook could search for and find the passwords without a problem.

Facebook says it'll notify users affected by this, but it won't require them to change their password as a result of the findings.

Speaking to Krebs on Security, Facebook Software Engineer, Scott Renfro, said:

We've not found any cases so far in our investigations where someone was looking intentionally for passwords, nor have we found signs of misuse of this data. In this situation what we've found is these passwords were inadvertently logged but that there was no actual risk that's come from this. We want to make sure we're reserving those steps and only force a password change in cases where there's definitely been signs of abuse

Even if none of the passwords were used for malicious purposes, it's incredible that stuff like this keeps happening with Facebook. We've heard the company talk about how it values its users' privacy/security, but when stories like this continue to pop up, those reassurances mean less and less.

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BlackBerry KEY2 update ABR886 now available in North America

KEY2

A fresh update has now started rolling out to BlackBerry KEY2 owners in North America. Labeled as build number ABR886, this release features all the March security updates from Google and comes in weighing nearing 350MB. If you have yet to receive the notification, go ahead and check for updates!

BlackBerry KEY2 and KEY2 LE take home 2019 iF Design Awards

BlackBerry smartphones have always stood out for their design and now two of the latest devices, the BlackBerry KEY2 and BlackBerry KEY2 LE, have been recognized and awarded 2019 iF Design Awards out of 6,375 entries from 52 countries by the 67-member jury.

"We are extremely proud to have our devices designs recognized by such a prestigious organization which highlights just a bit of our product development capabilities within TCL Communication," said Shane Lee, General Manager of Global Product Center at TCL Communication. "Our teams remain committed to offering our customers around the world a genuine BlackBerry smartphone experience that offers an experience quite distinct from the rest of the market today."

Previous BlackBerry smartphones to win the iF Design Award include the BlackBerry Passport, BlackBerry Z10, and the BlackBerry Z3. You can learn more by checking out the KEY2 listing here, and the KEY2 LE listing here. And of course, congrats to TCL on the win!

TCL Communication Wins Two 2019 iF DESIGN AWARDS for the BlackBerry KEY2 and KEY2 LE smartphones

MUNICH – TCL Communication won two iF DESIGN AWARDS for Smartphone Product Design this evening for its BlackBerry KEY2 and BlackBerry KEY2 LE at the iF Design Award Night 2019. The preeminent design prize has been awarded for 66 years by the world's oldest independent design organization, the Hannover-based iF International Forum Design GmbH.

BlackBerry KEY2 and BlackBerry KEY2 LE were among 6,375 entries from 52 countries competing to receive the iF DESIGN AWARD's seal of quality, winning over the 67-member jury of independent experts from around the world for their distinct smartphone design and unique combination of form and functionality. More information about BlackBerry KEY 2 and BlackBerry KEY 2 LE is available on iF WORLD DESIGN GUIDE.

"We are extremely proud to have our devices designs recognized by such a prestigious organization which highlights just a bit of our product development capabilities within TCL Communication," said Shane Lee, General Manager of Global Product Center at TCL Communication. "Our teams remain committed to offering our customers around the world a genuine BlackBerry smartphone experience that offers an experience quite distinct from the rest of the market today."

TCL communication announced a RED Edition to KEY2 last month at Mobile World Congress. Featuring the iconic BlackBerry physical keyboard and loaded with BlackBerry Limited's best security and privacy enhancements, this reimagined BlackBerry smartphone variant builds on BlackBerry KEY2's iconic features with an exciting new design for premium precision and performance. This newest addition to TCL's range of BlackBerry-branded smartphones comes in a deep red Series 7 Aluminum frame accented by black textured backing and keys, for one of the most distinctive smartphone aesthetics available today. BlackBerry KEY2 Red Edition will be available in select markets across North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia starting at £699/$749/€779 and will also include a special-edition set of red BlackBerry-branded earbuds. Starting today, the BlackBerry KEY2 Red Edition is available for pre-order across Europe on the official BlackBerry Mobile online store.

"We listened to and acted on customers' demands for an exclusive device variant with the BlackBerry KEY2 Red Edition, which offers a fresh take on our award-winning BlackBerry KEY2 smartphone," said Peter Lee, General Manager of Global Sales & Marketing Center at TCL Communication. "BlackBerry is about security, long battery life and working productivity, the distinct experience of KEY2 RED Edition will continue putting a premium on reliability, productivity and security."

About the iF DESIGN AWARD

For 66 years, the iF DESIGN AWARD has been recognized as an arbiter of quality for exceptional design. The iF label is renowned worldwide for outstanding design services, and the iF DESIGN AWARD is one of the most important design prizes in the world. Submissions are awarded in the following disciplines: Product, Packaging, Communication and Service Design/UX, Architecture and Interior Architecture as well as Professional Concept.

About TCL Communication

TCL Communication Technology Holdings Limited (TCL Communication) designs, manufactures and markets an expanding portfolio of mobile devices and services worldwide through a comprehensive, multi-brand portfolio that includes TCL, Alcatel and BlackBerry branded products. Additionally, TCL Communication is the brand owner, R&D developer and manufacturing partner of Palm-branded devices. The company's products are sold in more than 160 countries throughout North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. Incorporated in Hong Kong, TCL Communication operates its own manufacturing in China as well as global R&D centers.

Opera Browser for Android now includes built-in VPN

I have not used Opera as my web browser since the early BlackBerry OS days where Opera Mini ruled, but today, they announced some enhancements to their latest Android update that has me taking a look. As part of the version 51 update, Opera has now included a free, no-log, built-in VPN.

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Dropbox now limits free users to just three devices

Welp, that stinks.

Dropbox, one of the most popular cloud storage services around, quietly introduced a new rule for people that use its Basic (aka free) plan — you can't have more than three devices connected to your Dropbox account at a single time.

If you've been using Dropbox for a while and have more than three devices linked with your account on the Basic plan, they'll stay connected so long as they were added before March 2019. If you want to add any additional devices, however, Dropbox won't let you.

While you could spend the time unlinking and re-linking devices to get around the rule, Dropbox obviously hopes you'll just cave in and start paying for one of its paid memberships so you can use more than three devices at once and get the other benefits that come with a Plus ($9.99/month) or Professional ($19.99/month) membership.

If you're a Dropbox user, what's your take on this news? It doesn't really impact me since I'm a Google Drive guy myself, but I'd love to hear your thoughts if you're currently a Dropbox Basic member.

Download: Dropbox (free w/ paid plans)

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BlackBerry to announce Q4 and Fiscal Year 2019 results on March 29, 2019

With their Cylance acquisition complete, BlackBerry Government Solutions now announced and open, and new NATO agreements in place it's time to find out how BlackBerry earnings are looking. BlackBerry has set Friday, March 29, 2019, as the date they'll announce their Q4 and Fiscal Year 2019 results.

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