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Rogers looks all set to release the BlackBerry KEY2 LE on October 5th

While the BlackBerry KEY2 LE has already been officially announced, we're still waiting for availability, but it looks as though at least Rogers is getting things lined up for release. According to a new image, seemingly from Rogers internal systems, the Canadian carrier is expecting to have the device available on October 5th.

BlackBerry Hub beta update adds stability fixes and notification improvements

BlackBerry Hub Updates

A new round of BlackBerry app updates have now hit beta status, and there are plenty of small fixes and stability tweaks included across the board. Hub, Tasks, Contacts, Notes, and Calendar all have changelogs included, so we have the full rundown for each.

BlackBerry Mobile smartphones are here to stay

It really was the only move they had left to make. The time had come for BlackBerry - the Canadian telecommunications and tech company - to shut down their unprofitable in-house phone manufacturing operations and license their name and handset technology to a third party phone manufacturer. It was either that or watch helplessly as their iconic brand disappeared from the smartphone market altogether.

BlackBerry and L-Spark announce new accelerator program for startups

BlackBerry L-Spark

BlackBerry has a long history of working with various organizations to help drive technology advancements. Their latest partnership announced earlier today is with L-Spark and will see BlackBerry help medium-sized technology enterprises grow their businesses using BlackBerry QNX technology.

"Partnering with BlackBerry to accelerate the growth of high-potential Canadian SMEs is the most effective way to grow the next great, global, technology company," said Leo Lax, executive managing director, L-Spark. "But more importantly, it is a great way to elevate the entire Canadian technology community to reach and thrive within the global marketplace."

"BlackBerry is proud to play an integral role in the growth of Canada's innovation economy," said Grant Courville, vice president of QNX engineering, BlackBerry. "The new accelerator program is a great opportunity for us to better interact and collaborate with Canadian software companies and help bring to market innovative products that will shape the way we'll live, work and play in the future."

According to L-Spark, six companies will be chosen for the accelerator program and BlackBerry QNX will provide them with free licenses and training to use BlackBerry QNX operating systems. There are a number of specialized industries that are being considered such as Robotics and Autonomous vehicle Software and Engineering Services as well as Safety Software Products and Related Engineering Services. You can check out the full list and details right here.

BlackBerry and L-SPARK Launch New Accelerator Program to Fuel Canadian Technology Innovation

OTTAWA, ONTARIO – September 20, 2018 – BlackBerry Limited (NYSE: BB; TSX: BB) and L-SPARK, Canada's largest software-as-a-service accelerator, today announced they have partnered to help small and medium-sized technology enterprises (SMEs) grow their businesses and bring new products to market using BlackBerry QNX technology.

As part of the program, BlackBerry will help participating companies research and develop product prototypes in areas such as robotics, device security, sensor fusion (e.g. lidar, radar, cameras and GPS), functional safety, analytics, medical devices and autonomous vehicles.

"Partnering with BlackBerry to accelerate the growth of high-potential Canadian SMEs is the most effective way to grow the next great, global, technology company," said Leo Lax, executive managing director, L-Spark. "But more importantly, it is a great way to elevate the entire Canadian technology community to reach and thrive within the global marketplace."

"BlackBerry is proud to play an integral role in the growth of Canada's innovation economy," said Grant Courville, vice president of QNX engineering, BlackBerry. "The new accelerator program is a great opportunity for us to better interact and collaborate with Canadian software companies and help bring to market innovative products that will shape the way we'll live, work and play in the future."

L-SPARK will turn to the expertise of the National Research Council-Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP), and its network of Industrial Technology Advisors, to reach out to companies with business models and technologies that could benefit from working with the BlackBerry QNX product group. Ultimately, six companies will be selected to join the accelerator program for six months of intensive, one-on-one, training aimed to grow and scale each company and bring new products to market.

From nuclear power plants, surgical robots, and life-critical medical devices to connected and autonomous vehicles, trains, and traffic lights – BlackBerry's QNX technology powers safe, reliable and secure systems for global companies like Audi, Cisco, Fiat-Chrysler, Ford, General Electric, Intuitive Surgical, Lockheed Martin, and Siemens. For more information, or to apply to the accelerator program, please visit https://www.l-spark.com/accelerator/blackberry.

Trade in your old BlackBerry for... meat?!

Remember around the time the DTEK60 was coming out and someone wanted to tade their car for one? At the time, I thought nothing would ever top that but it seems I was wrong. The Fore Quarter Butcher Shop is having their Grand Opening in Kitchener on September 22 and one of the owners, Colby Lemoine, has a unique offer for folks. Trade an old BlackBerry for some meat.

The BlackBerry KEY2 is now available for $200 off at Rogers, Bell, and TELUS!

BlackBerry KEY2

We're still in that back to school time of year, and because of that, Rogers, Bell, and TELUS all have deals happening. If you're looking to pick up a brand new BlackBerry KEY2, now is a great time to do so as pricing has been reduced by $200 across the board.

Punkt introduces their MP02 4G mobile phone, pre-orders now available!

Punkt let everyone know ahead of time they would be officially unveiling and announcing their MP02 4G mobile phone on September 17 and now that that day is here, they've revealed the full specs, features and opened up pre-orders.

Saluting one of the greatest BlackBerry fans ever - Mark Davidson!

A few weeks ago the CrackBerry community received the sudden and tragic news that our friend and longtime community member Mark Davidson had passed away suddenly. Mark, better known here as Carjackd, was a beloved member of the CrackBerry community for many years and one of the greatest BlackBerry fans ever. In his passing, Mark leaves behind two young sons and his wife Leigh Anne.

Always full of laughs and love, Mark was a dedicated father, family man, and friend to many. He worked as a realtor and always went the extra mile for his clients. In his downtime, Mark enjoyed technology and social media and could often be found in the CrackBerry forums, on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter sharing his love for it all, especially BlackBerry, as he maintained a massive BlackBerry collection.

To say Mark loved all his BlackBerry/CrackBerry family would be an understatement and he was so proud of all the friendships he made throughout the years. - Leigh Anne

As one comment on his passing noted and is a sentiment shared by all who knew him - 'You can judge a man by what others think of him, and I can most certainly say that Mark has left a deep impression on many, many people. He truly is a remarkable guy who has left us much too soon. I am so incredibly shocked and saddened. May he rest in peace and his memory be eternal.'

On behalf of CrackBerry and Mobile Nations, I'd like to extend our deepest condolences to Mark's wife and boys, extended family, and friends.

Should you wish to make a donation in Mark's honor, a GoFundMe has been set up with all proceeds going towards the family's day-to-day expenses, as well as towards the boys' futures. You can donate here.

BlackBerry to announce Fiscal Year 2019 Q2 results on September 28

It's about that time again, where BlackBerry lets us and investors know what's going on financially with the company and for their Fiscal Year 2019 Q2 results announcement, BlackBerry has set the date of September 28 at 8AM ET.

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BlackBerry Hub beta update brings fixes for dark theme, unread counts and more!

The latest BlackBerry Hub Suite betas have started filtering out to those signed up for beta releases and while Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, Notes and all got the standard 'bug fixes', the BlackBerry Hub app itself got lots of love in this release with plenty of bugs squashed.

Android Oreo update now rolling out in India and Indonesia for KEYone!

Adding to the list of BlackBerry KEYone variants already receiving the Android Oreo update, folks who bought the BlackBerry KEYone Limited Edition Black sold through Optiemus can now check for updates and find Android Oreo 8.1 waiting for them along with the latest security patch.

Why the BlackBerry KEY2 LE has won me over

For the first time in years, I'm intending to buy a BlackBerry phone brand-new.

It's not the BlackBerry KEY2 that has finally caught my eye, although it's absolutely worth a serious look for those interested in a higher-end device. No, it's the newly-announced, budget-friendly KEY2 LE that pushes the right buttons for me (no pun intended).

The price is right

At $449 for the 64GB version, it comes in at $200 less than the KEY2. As someone who maintains a personal budget and tries to stay within that budget as much as possible, that $200 difference is a huge one for me. If I can get most or all of the features I'm looking for at $200 less than the KEY2, that's a couple of Benjamins I can put towards other priorities.

Where to buy the BlackBerry KEY2

It's the lightest post-BB10 BlackBerry yet

Some may balk at the fact that the KEY2 LE is an all-plastic (polycarbonate) device. But, while metal may look great, it also adds a lot of weight. One of the drawbacks for me about the KEYone, weighing in at 6.35 oz (180 g), was that my hands would get fatigued after typing on it for a while. The KEY2 is an improvement in this area, weighing 5.93 oz (168 g). But the KEY2 LE is even lighter at 5.5 oz (156 g). With BB10 QWERTY devices, I always preferred the Q10 (4.9 oz / 139 g) typing experience over the Classic (6.24 oz / 177 g) and Passport (6.91 oz / 196 g) mostly because I found the weight of the Classic and Passport to discourage prolonged, comfortable typing sessions.

This phone stands out in a crowd

I don't like to use cases on my phones. I think they get in the way of the look and feel of the device as it was originally intended. I do think the KEY2 is a great improvement over the KEYone as far as looks. But the Atomic version of the KEY2 LE - especially with those red keyboard frets - really sets itself apart, here. I have to give props to the decision-makers at BlackBerry Mobile for having the guts to bring some style and variety to their device lineup. As soon as I saw the Atomic, I knew I had to have one.

A welcome curve in the current BlackBerry lineup

As one who has been reluctant to let go of my aging, but trusty BlackBerry Q10, I feel like the KEY2 LE offers a great, cost-effective upgrade path. It fills a void that the old Curve series filled in the days of the high-end Bold lineup. It radiates iconic BlackBerry style and, of the three phones with physical keyboards currently offered by BlackBerry Mobile; it offers the greatest number of features I'm looking for at a price I can handle.

Kudos to TCL and the BlackBerry Mobile team for listening to the fans and for having the initiative and willingness to challenge the smartphone status quo, move the needle a bit more, and appeal to longtime BlackBerry fans like me. I can't wait to pre-order my KEY2 LE!

Discuss more in the CrackBerry BlackBerry KEY2 LE Forums

BlackBerry KEY2 now available in South Africa from Vodacom

BlackBerry fans in South Africa can now get their hands on the all-new BlackBerry KEY2. Starting today, Vodacom will have the BlackBerry KEY2 available online and in Vodacom retail stores. Available in black, pricing for the KEY2 through Vodacom has been set at R599pm x 24 months on a Smart XS+ plan. Not sure if the KEY2 is for you? Take a look at our full review right here to help you decide.

YouTube finally brings their dark theme to Android

YouTube Dark

Although it was initially announced back in March as coming to Android and iOS, Google took their sweet time rolling it out to Android. But it's now finally here, and you can enjoy the dark theme on YouTube for Android in the latest release. Here's how you can enable it!

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Facebook files patent infringement lawsuit against BlackBerry

Facebook

The legal battle that started back in March between BlackBerry and Facebook has now escalated to Facebook returning legal fire in claims that BlackBerry infringed several Facebook patents covering voice messaging, GPS data and more. The complaint, filed on Tuesday, highlights six patents.

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BlackBerry KEYone Oreo beta updated to ABG328

Although Oreo has been rolled out officially to most BlackBerry KEYone owners, BlackBerry has continued their Oreo beta program and have now released the latest update. This release addresses issues with Bluetooth and Android Auto.

The new build is 8.1.0.ABG328. It contains many fixes and behind the scenes changes to move the codeline forward. Folks who were experiencing issues with Bluetooth or Android Auto should test again (though the issues may not be completely fixed, the results may change with this update).

If you're already on Oreo, this update is noted to be a medium-sized one and should come in at 500MB or less. If you're part of the beta program, go ahead and check for updates as it should now be waiting for you.

CrackBerry Poll: Which BlackBerry KEY2 LE color is your favorite?

With the announcement of the BlackBerry KEY2 LE, BlackBerry Mobile has made choosing a color a bit more difficult. The simple black and silver options have been replaced with atomic, champagne, and slate color options. Now that you've had some to take it all in, thanks to all the hands-on videos and images that are out there, we got to ask!

BlackBerry KEY2 LE hands-on video roundup!

Now that the BlackBerry KEY2 LE is official, there are plenty of hands-on videos to be found on YouTube of folks offering a closer look at the latest addition to the KEY series and their initial thoughts and opinions on the device. We've gathered up what's available now, and no doubt there will be more on the way.

We'll update the list as more videos arrive but of course, feel free to drop any links to videos you may have come across in the comments. Remember, the BlackBerry KEY2 LE goes on sale beginning next month, so that's when we'll start seeing unboxings and full-on reviews!

BlackBerry KEY2 LE first look hands-on!

The BlackBerry KEY2 LE is here! Freshly announced at IFA 2018 in Berlin, the BlackBerry KEY2 LE is coming in three vibrant colors - Slate, Champagne, and Atomic - and you know I had to go hands-on with them to check them out and bring you all my quick take and share what's new!

BlackBerry KEY2 LE specs and features

KEY2 LE Slate

Here's a look at the hardware that's powering the BlackBerry KEY2 LE

The newest addition to the KEY lineup is here by way of the BlackBerry KEY2 LE, and it continues down BlackBerry Mobile's path of offering a modern smartphone coupled with the iconic BlackBerry keyboard, all-day battery life and enhanced security and privacy features.

Here's the complete spec sheet for the BlackBerry KEY2 LE:

Category KEY2 LE Operating System Android 8.1 Oreo Display 4.5-inch, 1620x1080
IPS LCD
434ppi
3:2 aspect ratio Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 636
Octa-Core 4 x 1.8GHz + 4 x 1.6GHz
Adreno 509 GPU RAM 4GB Storage 32GB
64GB Expandable microSD up to 256GB Rear Camera Dual Camera 13M (1.12um, F2.2) + 5M (1.12um, F2.4) with Dual Tone LED Flash
HDR, 4K video recording at 30 fps
Scan, Private Capture Front Camera 8MP Fixed Focus
Selfie flash
1080p/30 video Battery 3000mAh battery (22.5 hours) Charging USB-C
Compatible with USB Power Delivery 2.0 v1.2 & 9V2A 18W Quick Charge 3.0 Chargers Water resistance No Headphone jack Yes Security DTEK security suite
BlackBerry Privacy Shade
BlackBerry Secure Android
Android For Work, Google Play for Work
Fingerprint sensor in space bar
Monthly Android security updates Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11ac, 5GHz, Bluetooth 5.0 LE, NFC
GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo, OTDOA
FM Radio, 4G Mobile Hotspot, Wi-Fi Direct, USB OTG BBE100-1 – EMEA & APAC - Single SIM LTE Band 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/17/19/20/26/28/32
TD-LTE Band 38/40/41 BBE100-2 – NA & LATAM - Single SIM LTE Band 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/13/17/20/28/29/66
TD-LTE Band 38/39/40/41 BBE100-4 – EMEA & APAC - Dual SIM LTE Band 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/17/19/20/26/28/32
TD-LTE Band 38/40/41 BBE100-5 – NA Open Market - Dual SIM LTE Band 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/13/17/20/28/29/66
TD-LTE Band 38/39/40/41 Dimensions 150.25mm x 71.8mm x 8.35mm Weight 156gm

Discuss more in the CrackBerry BlackBerry KEY2 LE Forums

See more at BlackBerry Mobile

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