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CountDown

A countdown application on my BlackBerry isn't one I have thought about using - until today. I spotted CountDown, which is Built for BlackBerry in BlackBerry World, downloaded it and after giving it a go I decided this could be the end of an age old problem I suffer from - forgetting birthdays!

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Just as we've seen with previous device releases, BlackBerry has now started sending out emails to developers to let them know if they have a BlackBerry Q10 app in BlackBerry World, that app will automatically be listed as compatible for the upcoming BlackBerry Passport.

Developers have the option of just allowing it to go through or if they feel as though testing on the app should be done before it gets marked as 'Passport ready' they can opt out of the automated process and test their apps to ensure compatibility.

The BlackBerry® Passport will soon join the smartphone product line as one of BlackBerry's most recent innovations. The unique square design features a 1440 x 1440 screen resolution, 1:1 aspect ratio and will support BlackBerry 10 OS version 10.3.

As the release of the BlackBerry Passport approaches, we want to ensure that your apps will be part of the new product launch. To test your existing apps for BlackBerry Passport support, download the gold release of the BlackBerry 10.3 Developer Preview OS. Simulators, SDKs and information to get you started can also be found at this link. The great news for you is that most apps that offer support for BlackBerry Q10 will also function seamlessly on the new smartphone.

For your convenience, we will be automatically expanding your device support to include the BlackBerry Passport for your apps that currently support the BlackBerry Q10.

In the unlikely event that you do not want to support the BlackBerry Passport, you can easily opt-out of this offer by clicking the link below and following the onscreen instructions.

If you're a developer and missed the email, the deadline for opting out is Friday August 8, 2014 at 5:00 PM Eastern. You can head on over to the BlackBerry Developer website to opt out if you wish. For everyone else, this brings us all one step closer to BlackBerry Passport availability. Huzzah!

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Sprint expands 4G LTE network to 17 more markets

Sprint is making an aggressive roll out behind its 4G LTE network, bringing its high speed mobile broadband access to n additional 17 more markets. The addition of these markets span across the United States.

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It has been a while since we discussed multiFEED, a fast and easy to use RSS and Atom reader that offered decent functionality depending on which level you chose to purchase. The application may have been simple but being able to read the news on the go and customize the appearance made them easy to read.

Since my original review, the application continued to grow and incorporate new features and capabilities. One of the issues I found with the application was that it lacked a true reader mode and only displayed the embedded article. The developer has now incorporated a feature similar to that of the BlackBerry 10 browser into the application in the latest version, which now stands at v2.4.0.2.

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New BlackBerry Passport video shows off touch sensitive keyboard and new style Active Frames

Looks like the folks over at Phone Arena scored a little bit of hands-on with the BlackBerry Passport, though it seems as maybe they weren't supposed to as of yet. The article they had up that went along with the video has since been removed but the video remains posted to their YouTube channel for everyone to see.

In the video, we get a closer look at the Passport's touch sensitive keyboard as well as the new active frames on the device, which thus far have only been seen in images but never running on a real device. Have a look, maybe with the volume off because whoever did the overview well, didn't do such a great job of explaining it all. He was likely caught off guard and pressed for info, but he has a BlackBerry Passport and most of us don't, so he still wins.

Discuss more in the CrackBerry Forums

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Get Guardians of the Galaxy: the Universal Weapon on your BlackBerry 10 smartphone

Marvel Studio's Guardians of the Galaxy film opens in theatres on August 1st, but you can use your BlackBerry 10 smartphone to get into the interstellar action with Guardians of the Galaxy: The Universal Weapon game. If you're up to having a hand in saving the universe, pick this one up from the Amazon AppStore. I was browsing through Marvel's site, looking for information on the upcoming movie, when I stumbled upon the details of this game. So being a fan of anything superhero related, I installed this game faster than you can say "I am Groot".

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Sprint

Sprint today released its earnings report for the first fiscal quarter of 2014, detailing a net income of $23 million, the best result in over seven years. The US mobile operator also confirmed that 3G network maintenance was largely complete, while LTE coverage expands to cover approximately 254 million people. Sprint had previously been struggling with new affordable plans to attract custom and forking out for upgrading 4G infrastructure.

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Update - an extra 500 copies have just been added in addition to the original 50

Now don't get me wrong; I love the native BlackBerry 10 browser, but I wanted to give you a heads up on a nice alternative if you fancy a change. Velocity Browser with Ad Blocker is actually an Android port but it works beautifully and it's fast. I've been testing it out on my Q10 and I've been quite surprised at what a nice experience it is.

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BBM Protected walkthrough and hands-on with Jeff Gadway

As part of the BlackBerry Security Summit held in NYC, we got to catch up with Jeff Gadway from the BBM Product Marketing team to learn more about BBM Protected, how it works and what to expect in the future updates for the secure enterprise messaging service. If you're not familiar with BBM Protected, it provides an enhanced security model for BBM messages sent between BlackBerry smartphones and is the only secure mobile instant messaging app that uses a FIPS 140-2 validated cryptographic library.

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Hands-on with Secusmart voice encryption on BlackBerry 10

Earlier today, BlackBerry announced the acquisition of Secusmart — a company that provides high-security voice and data encryption and anti-eavesdropping solutions for organizations and enterprises. The addition of Secusmart will bring this encryption to BlackBerry devices, allowing users to make totally encrypted voice calls from their mobile devices.

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Catch Lollapalooza live with Red Bull TV

Catch Lollapalooza live with Red Bull TV

The Lollapalooza music festival kicks off in Chicago in a few days, but for those that can't make it, Red Bull has you covered. As part of a partnership, Red Bull will be live streaming the festival to a number of devices this weekend.

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It is no secret that since its original inception on the BlackBerry PlayBook I made use of PillPad to keep track of my Mother's different medications for her various health issues. PillPad is an important tool for juggling, managing, and scheduling refills for your prescriptions. The changes in this latest revision are minor improvements to performance and a new password protection option.

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BlackBerry Guardian adds another layer of protection to Android apps on BlackBerry

Back in February, BlackBerry announced they had teamed up with Trend Micro to roll out their own internal, proprietary app analysis program to help vet apps going into BlackBerry World called BlackBerry Guardian. Today, in NYC at the BlackBerry Security Summit, BlackBerry has announced that program will now extended to Android apps available from the Amazon Appstore and other sources when it arrives with BlackBerry OS 10.3 officially.

BlackBerry Guardian is just one part of our multi-layered security strategy. BlackBerry 10 was designed for security from the ground up. Resilient enough to power nuclear power plants and designed to fail safe, the QNX microkernel core that powers the BlackBerry 10 OS offers exceptional security strengths. Its unique sandboxing capabilities are designed to contain and separate each application and its data from other applications and core system functionality.

If a suspicious app is detected, the user will have the choice to proceed or cancel the installation. This on-device service will be available for free to users of the BlackBerry Passport, BlackBerry Classic and future BlackBerry 10 devices. Existing BlackBerry 10 customers can expect to see BlackBerry Guardian in an upcoming BlackBerry 10 software update.

If you already own a BlackBerry 10 device, this service is active for BlackBerry app installations, but starting with the BlackBerry Passport, BlackBerry Guardian will automatically check all Android apps that you install on your BlackBerry smartphone.

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Deal of the Day: 58% off BlackBerry Leather Pocket Pouch for Z30

This professional BlackBerry Z30 case is made of hand crafted, genuine leather and features a soft inner lining that keeps your device safe from scratches. Designed to recognize your settings and preferences, the power saving technology that's built-in conserves your Z30's battery life while protecting it at the same time! Grab yours in black or white today and save 58% off the list price!

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Secusmart CEO Hans-Cristoph Quelle

Today at the BlackBerry Security Summit in New York, BlackBerry announced the acquisition of a security company based in Germany called Secusmart. Above we can see Secusmart CEO Hans-Cristoph Quelle talking about the deal. Secusmart works on mobility security solutions for governments, wireless providers, and enterprise, which is right up BlackBerry's wheel house. Secusmart's solution is good enough for German Chancellor Angela Merkel to encrypt her device against the NSA apparently, so it seems like a great purchase for BlackBerry.

What do you guys think? Is now a smart time for BlackBerry to investing in new talent?

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If you have picked up a BlackBerry Z3 in one of the countries the low cost device is now available I suspect you'll be using some social applications for sure. The obvious ones like Facebook and Twitter would have come pre-loaded on your Z3 but there are a bunch of others that I'd suggest you check out.

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Germany wants more of its officials using encrypted BlackBerry 10 smartphones

After the news broke that the U.S. National Security Agency was tracking the mobile communications of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Germany's Federal Ministry of the Interior took action and began using BlackBerry 10 smartphones coupled with German firm Secusmart's anti-eavesdropping technology. Since then, the German Government has deployed approximately 3,000 encrypted BlackBerry devices with Secusmart technology and a new report suggests they could be looking to add up to 20,000 more.

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The TV Show 11: Doctor Sorry. So sorry...

The TV Show is like app or game reviews for television episodes. Whether you're watching on the console in your living room or streaming to your BlackBerry or tablet, follow along for the week of TV that was. On this episode Dave and Rene talk Doctor Who season 4, marrying the Doctor's daughter, thinking through your anti-life plans, the end of the beginning of River Song, bionic companions, Time Lord bonds, and non-ginger regenerations.

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Contest winners: an Edifier Bluetooth Clock and a battery or external charger

The results are in! We have the winners from our last round of contests. This time we have an external charger or spare battery for BlackBerry as well as an Edifier Tick Tock Bluetooth alarm clock. We love to give stuff away, so be on the lookout for our next contest! We're going to have some fun ones coming up really soon. Also, be sure to follow the CrackBerry BBM Channel (C00012B19), because we run some exclusive contests there from time-to-time as well. Now, let's see whose names were pulled this week!

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