John Chen discusses selfies, Kim Kardashian and Apple Pay

BlackBerry CEO, John Chen, sat down with BNN recently to discuss an assortment of topics. Among them was targets for BlackBerry, monetization and security of BBM, how BlackBerry's Enstream deal differs from the mobile payment offering of Apple Pay, selfies and even Kim Kardashian's comments surrounding her BlackBerry and iPhone usage.

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Need a new BlackBerry? Save up to 55% on unlocked devices from ShopBlackBerry

Whether you're looking for a new BlackBerry or just looking to add to your already existing collection, you'll want to check out ShopBlackBerry. Freshly announced on the Inside BlackBerry blogs, starting tomorrow and running through the month of November you can save up to 55% on unlocked, select device purchases.

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Verizon responds to AT&T by offering more data on $80 & $100 plans, $150 port-in credit

Craving more data for your money? Verizon has just announced that it is upping data allotment on its midrange More Everything plans for a limited time. $80 will now score you 10GB of data per month, while $100 will net you 15GB. Perhaps even better, the deal isn't limited to new customers; existing More Everything customers can get in on the action too.

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AT&T upping data available on $40 and $70 plans

AT&T upping data available on $40 and $70 plans

AT&T is bumping up data allotments on their $40 and $70 plans from 2 GB to 3 GB and 4 GB to 6 GB, respectively. The change kicks in November 2 and applies to Mobile Share Value plans.

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#ScaryBerry!

CrackBerry's No Tricks, Just Treats Halloween Photo Contest!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!! We have had a fantastic time with our Halloween Contest the last several years, and we can't wait to see how you guys top it this year! While you're out getting spooky, be sure to snap a photo with your BlackBerry (you can include other mobile gadgets too, but you know... we love BlackBerry best). Then Instagram it using hashtag #ScaryBerry. We'll put together all the photos received into a sweet video for the blogs. And beyond that, you can win some awesome prizes for taking part. Full details below!

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We've already seen one halloween themed BBM sticker pack and today, just in time for celebrations, Disney has released a Mickey's Halloween sticker pack so you can trick or treat with Mickey and Friends. Send a greeting, Mickey pumpkin, party invite and more with his sticker pack. Just like all other Disney BBM Sticker packs, this one costs $1.99. Head on over to the BBM Shop if this pack tickles your fancy.

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BBM update will bring Message Retraction, Timed Messages and more

BlackBerry's instant messaging service BBM will be seeing an update across all OS platforms in the next few days. It has been available through BlackBerry Beta Zone for some users from a few weeks now and it now ready for everyone. The most notable new feature is Timed Messages which allows users to send a 'secret' message to a contact for a pre-set duration of time. You will also be able to retract any accidentally sent messages. We've all been there, so that may be a handy addition.

New BBM features include:

  • Timed Messages: Set how long contacts have access to messages and pictures shared in a chat
  • Message Retraction: 'Retract' a message to remove it from your BBM chat
  • A quicker sticker picker: Adding stickers to your BBM chats is now even quicker with a new picker
  • HD Picture Transfer: It's easier than ever to get a high quality version of the pictures you receive in BBM
  • Discover Music: See what music your contacts are listening to in BBM Feeds.

It may take up to 24 hours to propagate through the servers, depending on your region.

One note to take from the Press Release is that it states the Timed Messages and Message Retraction features will be a premium paid feature in the future. It will be free for everyone over the next three months, after which "unrestricted access to these features will become part of a broader bundle of features that will be offered as part of a BBM subscription".

The update isn't quite showing for me yet but do keep checking over the next 24 hours.

Press Release

BBM Introduces New Privacy and Control Features Offering Creative Ways to Chat and Share

WATERLOO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Oct. 31, 2014) - BlackBerry Limited (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSX:BB), a global leader in mobile communications, today announced that it has released several new features for BBM™, offering users new ways to chat and share with more privacy and control over their communications.

At the core of the BBM experience is privacy and control. These two notions are more important today than ever before as people are looking for simple ways to help guard against their messages getting into the wrong hands or being seen by anyone other than the intended recipient. New features for BBM introduced today enable users to communicate with more discretion and freedom. Features introduced today include:

  • Timed Messages(i): By setting a timer you can control how long messages and pictures you share with contacts can be viewed within BBM. The message is hidden until the recipient touches and holds on the chat. Then, once the timer has expired (or if the recipient takes their finger off the screen), the message is no longer visible. The user also receives a notification if BBM detects that the recipient has taken a screenshot of the image or message.
  • Message Retraction(ii): Users can now retract their message to remove it from their BBM chat before it has been read by the recipient or after it has been read so that it is no longer visible within the BBM chat.
  • High Quality Image Transfer: When a user receives a picture in BBM, they can quickly request an HD version to enjoy the image in full detail.
  • Faster Sticker Selection: It is now easier for users to browse BBM Stickers and quickly add them to their chats.
  • Discover New Music: See what music BBM contacts are listening to and show others what songs you're playing. iPhone users can tap the song and be taken to iTunes for a quick and seamless purchase.

"These new enhancements to BBM were highly requested so we're excited to be delivering them to users today," said John Sims, President Global Enterprise Services at BlackBerry. "These capabilities will allow our users to be more creative in how they deliver their messages while also being confident that their content is kept private and seen only by its intended recipient."

Timed Messages and Message Retraction are premium features that will be available free and without restriction to BBM users over the next three months. After this time, unrestricted access to these features will become part of a broader bundle of features that will be offered as part of a BBM subscription.

Today's announcement underscores the commitment to making BBM a world class privacy-focused instant messaging application. New features are available for download over the next couple of days for BlackBerry 10 smartphones, iPhones and Android smartphones by installing the latest BBM update in BlackBerry World, Apple App Store and Google Play. For more information, visit the Inside BlackBerry Blog and check out new BBM videos on the BlackBerry Youtube Channel.

About BBM

Introduced in 2005, BBM set the standard for mobile messaging and continues to drive innovation in messaging and private social networking. Today, BBM is one of the largest private social mobile networks, driving real, active conversations. Customers love BBM for its privacy, controls and immediacy with Delivered and Read statuses and message-in-progress notices.

About BlackBerry

A global leader in mobile communications, BlackBerry® revolutionized the mobile industry when it was introduced in 1999. Today, BlackBerry aims to inspire the success of our millions of customers around the world by continuously pushing the boundaries of mobile experiences. Founded in 1984 and based in Waterloo, Ontario, BlackBerry operates offices in North America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America. The Company trades under the ticker symbols "BB" on the Toronto Stock Exchange and "BBRY" on the NASDAQ. For more information, visit www.BlackBerry.com.

(i) While the timed message feature is designed to remove the message or picture from the recipient's BBM chat view, it does not prevent recipients from capturing an image of the content by taking a screenshot or using an image capture device. (ii) Retracting a message after it has been read by the recipient will remove the message from the BBM chat view, but will not affect copies of the message that the recipient may have made prior to the message being retracted.

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Hello again readers! Dear Berry is here once again with a mailbag full of BlackBerry questions and woes. Today's question comes from a reader who asks?

Will mobile 1 market work on the new BlackBerry passport? I tried it earlier and it was weird. With my Q10 I was able to just click install. With the passport it wants me to zip, unzip etc. Not sure what to do.

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BlackBerry OS 10.3.1.1016 autoloaders now available for all BlackBerry 10 devices

Although the original release of OS 10.3.1.1016 has disappeared, the fact it even made its way out to begin with means it was caught by many folks and as such, autoloaders for it have been created for every BlackBerry 10 device available and are now available for download in the CrackBerry Forums.

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AT&T rolling out OS 10.3.1.1016 for the BlackBerry Passport

UPDATE: And just like that, the OS appears to have disappeared from being available on devices. However, the internet has the files now and they can all still be downloaded in the forums. Plus, you can check out the findings and fixes thread if you want to know what's new in the OS.

Although AT&T has yet to even make the device available for purchase, it would seem as though they're gearing up to do so. Many BlackBerry Passport owners running the device on AT&T (including myself) are reporting BlackBerry 10.3.1.1016 (software version 10.3.1.652) is appearing as an available OS update. The update itself comes in at around 1.5GB, so you're going to want to be attached to Wi-Fi when downloading it.

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Smart Watch Companion adds Passport support and a Halloween themed watchface

As a Pebble owner and BlackBerry 10 user, the choices have been limited thus far when it comes to compatible applications. However, one of the applications available that we've discussed before is Smart Watch Companion. This all-in-one utility application brings various features to not only your device but possesses the ability to send these notifications to your Pebble as well.

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verizon store

Verizon Wireless has quietly agreed to a settlement of a class action lawsuit that claimed the company was overcharging its Family SharePlan customers. Verizon will pay a total of $64.2 million to its customers and to cover legal fees.

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Call us crazy, but we're dropping the price of these BlackBerry Z10 batteries today to just $12.95!

You can't always recharge your BlackBerry Z10 when you'd like to, but with an extra OEM BlackBerry 1800mAh L-S1 battery on hand you can always talk, type and work as long as you need to. Keep it in your briefcase, pocket or purse and stay powered up and ready to get the job done!

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Amazon App Store

The Amazon App Store has yet another deal under way before the new month kicks in. For the next day or so, you're able to download around 40 apps and games (depending on your location). Total savings are over $140, making it well worth checking out if you own supported hardware.

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Fruit Ninja

I can't say I've ever played Fruit Ninja up until today. Sure, I've had my fair share of Android devices but somehow I must have missed out on this one, although I certainly know the name and how popular it's been.

If you're rocking a BlackBerry 10 device you can pick up Fruit Ninja for free today as it's Amazons featured freebie and yes, we love them for that. I tested the game out on my Passport and all was good. It will of course run fine on the Z10, Z3 & Z30 but if you have a Q series device and load this one up please let us know if it works okay? As I'm sure you are aware, some Android games just don't work properly on the Q10 or Q5 due to the screen dimensions.

If you've not heard of Fruit Ninja before it's a simple, yet addictive concept where you use gestures to slice the fruit that flies onto the screen, but you need to ensure you don't slice the many bombs that will also appear. The game play is great, it's wonderfully colorful and you can't beat free of course.

If you are lucky enough to own a Passport or P'9983 then you'll already have the Amazon Appstore pre-installed. If you're not on BlackBerry 10.3 and you've not used the store before to download Android apps you'll find full instructions in the following link:

Download Fruit Ninja using the Amazon Appstore

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EE

EE customers in London will be able to enjoy blazing fast speeds on their smartphones and tablets as the carrier announced the completion of its 4G+ (LTE-A) network in the city. Live at 150 sites across London, EE's LTE-A network allows you to download at 150 Mbps on a compatible device.

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BlackBerry Passport pre-orders now live in Indonesia

BlackBerry Passport pre-orders now live in Indonesia

If you live in Indonesia and have been waiting for the BlackBerry Passport to arrive, we have some good news for you. Both, Indosat and XL have now started taking pre-orders for the device with special offers included. Indosat is willing to give the device away with along with a Luminox Watch should you opt to go for one of their Matrix Super Plans while XL, through SmartBuy, Elevenia and JerukNipis are offering cash back up to Rp 2.500.000 off the Rp 9.599.000 price. Pre-orders are running until November 10th, while device pick up is noted to be set for November 12th. Get your orders in!

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New BBM update for Windows Phone adds improvements in notifications and more

BlackBerry has updated the Windows Phone version of its BBM messenger app, adding improvements to its notifications. a new invite screen and more additions and changes.

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Axiom puts the BlackBerry Passport through some extreme drop testing

While Axiom was busy kicking off sales of the BlackBerry Passport in Saudi Arabia, their UAE YouTube channel decided to do some testing with the device. In what will most certainly be a painful video for those waiting for their BlackBerry Passport to arrive, we get a close look at an 'extreme drop test' done on the latest BlackBerry smartphone, which ends rather well all things considered.

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