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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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Deal of the Day: BlackBerry Leather Holster for Z10

This BlackBerry Holster is hand-crafted in genuine leather and has a soft inner lining for added protection. It also integrates power saving technology to help extend battery life. A durable 360 degree rotating belt clip and secure magnetic flap closure allows you wear this case any way you like. Grab yours today for 58% off the list price!

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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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BlackBerry Beta Zone rolling out new program for 'pre-release BlackBerry products'

If you've signed up for the BlackBerry Beta Zone, you might want to check and make sure you're not missing any emails. Members have been receiving emails letting them know about a new, exciting program for pre-release BlackBerry products is coming soon and folks are being asked to reply to a survey to show their interest.

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Snap2Chat updated with plenty of bug fixes

If you have Snap2Chat you may have already seen a prompt to update the app to the latest update. Nemory Studios is hard at work bringing about another third party app to BlackBerry 10 but he hasn't abandoned Snap2Chat. In fact, it had seen a few updates in BlackBerry Beta Zone and now an official update has made it's way to BlackBerry World. This update is more of a bug fix update but those are always welcome to improve user experience. There are some tweaks to the UI too but really nothing else new.

Snap2Chat v2.3.0 changelog

  • Fixed and New Profile Design
  • Fixed and New Viewing Best Friends Dialog
  • File Size Limit Checking only for attached Files
  • Video Recorded Timer Syncing
  • Shows Deleted and Blocked Friends by Default
  • Fixed Send to All Recipients

If you haven't yet updated to Snap2Chat v2.3 use the BlackBerry World link below. Not that the update is for the paid version only. There is a lite version available to download if you want to give it a try. The full paid version costs $1.99 and is available for all BlackBerry 10 smartphones. If you have already purchased the full version, the update is free.

Learn more / Download Snap2Chat from BlackBerry World
Learn more / Download Snap2Chat Lite

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No offers to buy BlackBerry, says CEO John Chen

John Chen

BlackBerry CEO John Chen is chatting with the media again, this time with Bloomberg, where he states that the company currently has no offers to buy out the company.

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battery

A new research paper details the efforts of a team at Stanford University who are looking to create a lithium battery that, if successful, could lead to much longer battery life for smartphones and tablets, but it could take several years for that research to yield practical products.

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SIM

Just the other day we asked the CrackBerry nation if they thought that the forthcoming BlackBerry Passport and Classic should offer a dual sim option. The results were pretty straightforward - with just short of 83% of voters saying they would be in favour of the idea.

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From the Editor's Desk: The next few months of BlackBerry

In my last From the Editor's Desk, we took a look at the past month of BlackBerry. This week, we're going to take a look at the next few months of BlackBerry and what people should expect and be on the look out for, because there's going to be a lot happening. Not only for BlackBerry but also us here at CrackBerry. There's actually quite a bit to address when you really think about it, so let's get to it.

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BlackBerry Passport: How does it size up against other devices?

Ever since BlackBerry CEO John Chen unveiled the BlackBerry Passport, there has been a lot of noise made surrounding its size, shape and design. None of that has really fazed BlackBerry and they've been going through the process of explaining why they designed it the way they did for anyone who wants to know more and is excited for the Passport arrival.

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From the developer that brought us third party clients Snap2Chat and Facebook Messenger, Nemory Studios is working on a third party native Spotify app. I've been wanting a developer to bring us a Spotify app for a while now and if you have been waiting for one too, rest assured one is in the works. I'm glad to see Nemory Studios dive in to bring us Spo2fy. It's in the very early development stages right now but you can check out the screenshots so far over in the CrackBerry Forums. While you're there you might want to try out the app in beta.

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Taking a closer look at Hike messenger on BlackBerry 10

While we are all in agreement that BlackBerry Messenger is our preferred, if not THE, messaging application, there are those who may still utilize other applications for communicating with friends and family on other platforms. Hike Messenger has been available on legacy devices but only a short time ago released a version for BlackBerry 10 handsets, albeit an Android port.

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Deal of the Day: Incipio Feather Hard Case for BlackBerry Q10

Measuring less than 1mm thin, Incipio's Feather Case is ideal for the BlackBerry Q10 user seeking inconspicuous, first-class protection. The case easily snaps around the back and sides of your device and leaves access to the ports and buttons. We're letting these go for 40% off the list price today only, so don't miss the savings! Colors include black, pink and gray.

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Password options for your new BlackBerry Z3

Password

Being BlackBerry 10 users; chances are we are all a little security conscious, particularly if you use your device for business. God forbid you lose your trusty BlackBerry Z3, but if you do you'll want to ensure you have a password set up on it so whoever finds it, or steals, won't have access to your personal information.

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BlackBerry and MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS - Still going strong

The MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team are still making the most of their BlackBerry 10 devices as seen in the above video. BlackBerry sure chose the right team to sponsor as this season they seem to be walking all over their rivals.

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Review 17: Godzilla, Pacific Rim, and Kaiju!

Review is like app or game coverage but for movie series, television shows, comic books, and other geeky entertainment. It's great stuff you can watch and enjoy on your BlackBerry, tablet, or connected TV! On this week's episode Dave, Georgia, and Rene are joined by Peter Cohen and Anthony Casella to talk Kaiju — giant Japanese monster movies! From Godzilla to Jurassic Park to Godzilla Cloverfield to Pacific Rim to… Godzilla!

Support Review: Go to squarespace.com and use offer code REVIEW to save 10% off your first order.

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U.S. House clears legislation to make unlocking cellphones legal

Although most people generally don't think of it when they go to unlock their cellphone for another carrier, the process of doing so in the U.S. has been a topic of much debate involving consumers, the House of Representatives, and even the President of the United States.

For those unfamiliar, service providers like AT&T and Verizon typically lock their devices so they can only be used with their service. If unlocked, phones can be taken over to other carriers. This is hugely important for promoting healthy competition and empowering consumer choice, not to mention being very useful for travel.

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BBM for Windows Phone beta saw 10,000 signups within 24 hours

Over at the Inside BlackBerry Blog today, Matthew Talbot Senior Vice President, Emerging Solutions at BlackBerry has detailed some information about where BlackBerry is hoping to take BBM in the long term and the overall cross-platform strategy of the app. The post highlights a lot of interesting stuff such as his recent trip to Jakarta and seeing billboards advertising devices as coming with BBM.

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Verizon to put some limits on unlimited data

Verizon to crack down on heaviest users of unlimited data

If you've managed to stay on an unlimited data plan on Verizon, you might soon notice that your speeds beginning to slow down if you're using a lot of data. A limited set of customers will fall under the umbrella of Verizon's so-called "Network Optimization" policy, which Verizon says is not throttling. The shift impacts customers in a very specific set of circumstances, according to Verizon:

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