Articles by Crackberry Kevin

BlackBerry AGM!

It's time for my annual pilgrimage to Waterloo, Canada, the birthplace and hometown of BlackBerry, to attend the company's Annual General Meeting of Shareholders.

This will be my fourth year attending the AGM and John Chen will be the fourth CEO to take the stage in as many years. We were there for the end of the Mike Lazaridis / Jim Balsillie co-CEO reign and we were there for the Thorsten Heins era has he worked to bring BlackBerry 10 to market. This year we'll hear from John Chen, now just over six months on the job, as he works to rebuild value for shareholders.

A wonderful weekend of CrackBerry fun at the Canadian Grand Prix!

What an AWESOME weekend!! The 2014 Canadian Grand Prix is now racing history, and what a race it was. I can't help but think maybe the CrackBerry team's presence brought a bit of bad luck, as for the first time this year the Mercedes F1 Team — who is sponsored by BlackBerry — was not at the top of the podium on Sunday afternoon. That said, it was easily the most exciting race of the season and we had a blast all weekend long spreading the CrackBerry and BlackBerry love through the streets of Montreal. Be sure to watch the Story Maker video above for a recap of the weekend, and keep reading for more of the details, including the contest winner for a CrackBerry Racing Polo shirt!

BBM Channel Chat vs. Twitter

BBM Channel Chat

I'm starting to become a pro at BBM Channel Chats! I have now completed four regularly-scheduled BBM Channel Chats. My Channel Chat is set to turn on automatically every Monday and Wednesday at 1:30pm ET / 6:30pm GMT for thirty minutes. Last week I reminded people that the chats were going to take place, which made for a BIG turnout each session and made things CRAZY for me to manage (read my reactions to Chat session #1 and #2).

This week I didn't remind people that the BBM Channel chat was going to take place. I wanted to see how the turnout would differ. As I expected, it was much quieter — around 20 participants on Monday and ten today — which made it much more manageable from my end. I could actually chat with people vs. just say hello and goodbye as I bounced around conversations. Last week I had way more people participating, which pretty much made it into a BBM Stress Test. It was basically impossible to keep up while jumping back and forth between so many individual chats.

I love Story Maker on BlackBerry 10! Have you put it to use yet?

I'll be on honest. Before June 1st, I had never really used the Story Maker app on BlackBerry 10. That's not to say I had never opened the app before. I absolutely became familiar with Story Maker when BB10 launched. I made a few quick throw away videos from clips and photos on my phone, just so I knew how it all worked, and I've spent some time in the app since monkeying around with it so if and when I'd need to use it, I'd know what to do. I knew it was a good app, but I didn't realize just how good it was until now.

BlackBerry World

My recent editorial on BlackBerry app developer revenue being down has sparked a lot of great discussion among developers in the community.

Among the suggested solutions we outlined of things BlackBerry could do for BlackBerry app developers to make more money, there is unanimous agreement that BlackBerry selling more phones would help the most. Expanding on this point, I received an email this morning from a major BlackBerry app developer with an idea on how this could be done:

WhatsApp CEO mocks Apple for copying WhatsApp features in iOS 8; clearly forgets he systematically ripped off BBM feature by feature

Having followed the mobile game for a longgggg time now, it's very clear that everybody copies everybody. Yes, some borrow more than others. And some do it quietly, while others get on stage and take credit for inventing features that have been around elsewhere for years.

Yesterday at Apple's WWDC conference, Tim Cook and his team got on stage and announced a bunch of new features in iOS 8. Some were innovative, while others clearly were "stolen". You can read our article here which sums up the new features in iOS 8 and highlights the ones that look BlackBerry 10 like.

Also joining in the fun of pointing out what Apple borrowed for iOS 8 was the recently-turned gabillionarie CEO of WhatsApp, Jan Koum. Following the event, Jan tweeted out on his personal account very flattering to see Apple "borrow" numerous WhatsApp features into iMessage in iOS 8 #innovation

"Loyalty doesn't feed my family, BlackBerry. I need incentives. I need to make more money."

I recently caught up with a friend who is an independent app developer. He's capable of developing for other mobile platforms, but historically he's focused on BlackBerry app development and has been quite prolific at it over the years. There is a good chance you have downloaded one or more of his apps.

It didn't take long for me to ask my friend —who's name I'm going to leave anonymous for this post — how his app sales have been going lately. His reply? "Pretty terrible."

It wasn't a totally surprising thing for me to hear. It's well documented where BlackBerry 10 phone sales are at, and for the most part those buying BlackBerry OS phones these days are less the app buying type (lots of corporate issued BBOS phones happening in those numbers, or it's low cost handsets and the owners are looking for free apps vs. paid ones). In other words, a lot of the app-hungry BB10 phone owners have already bought their apps, and with their appetite mainly satiated with what's available and relatively small numbers of new BB10 owners stepping up to fill their app plate, app sales are flat-lining, and not at a high daily number.

Win a BlackBerry Classic or Passport!!!

Win a BlackBerry Classic or Passport!!!

Login to CrackBerry.com and leave a comment to this article for your chance to win an IOU for a BlackBerry Classic or BlackBerry Passport (windermere) when it becomes available!!

UPDATE: The BlackBerry Windermere is officially the Passport — the BlackBerry Classic will be launching in November!

June is here and I wanted to start the month with an awesome CrackBerry contest. I was thinking about giving away an in-market phone like the BlackBerry Z30 or Q10, but I know so many of you in our CrackBerry audience are already looking forward to two new flagship BlackBerry 10 devices that will be coming to market in the months ahead: the BlackBerry Classic or BlackBerry Passport.

The BlackBerry Classic has already been officially announced by BlackBerry, and brings the traditional BlackBerry trackpad and menu and back buttons to the BlackBerry 10 experience. The "Windermere" is still rumored, but is looking to be pretty 'effen cool, with some crazy specs that include a BIG display and a capacitive touch keyboard. If you win this contest, you'll get an IOU for whichever device you choose, as soon as the phones become available. For more info on these phones, visit our BlackBerry Classic or BlackBerry "Windermere" topic pages.

How To Enter:

Simply login to CrackBerry.com and leave a comment to this article letting us know which of the two phones you'd want to win, and why. Contest is open worldwide. Contest ends midnight PST on June 30th.

That's it for this one. Enter. Enter now. And good luck!!

#MobileFit

June 1st is here, which means #MobileFit Month has begun across all of our Mobile Nations sites, including Android Central, CrackBerry, iMore, WPCentral and Connectedly!

To kick off #MobileFit month right, I woke up early and went for a Sunday morning run. If you're looking for a little motivation to get active today, be sure to hit play on the video above. ;)

The training montage video was recorded my BlackBerry Z30 and edited with BlackBerry 10's native Story Maker app. I have to say, Story Maker is AWESOME. It's so easy to use and produces such an awesome product.

[ Read CrackBerry's Tutorial on Using Story Maker on the Z30 ]

If you have a Fitbit be sure to join our #MobileFit Fitbit Group. We already have over SIX HUNDRED members in the group! Because events like this always have some hardcore people who go to the extreme, we're giving away prizes not just to those who top the leaderboard, but also at random to other participants. So don't be worried about winning... It's really about setting your own goal for the month and making it happen. I'm aiming to beat 15,000 steps a day in June. And yes, while there's no app yet for BB10 (or Windows Phone for that matter), you can use fitbit with your desktop.

We have a lot of great mobile health and fitness related content coming at you the entire month of June. BlackBerry-related content will of course show up here on CrackBerry, and if you want to see EVERYTHING we produce across all mobile platforms and devices, be sure to hit up the #MobileFit event page at connectedly.com/mobilefit.

Ok, that's it for this article. It's a beautiful day outside so I'm going to get back out there and rack up some more steps. After all, getting healthy and being active is what #MobileFit month is all about!

Win a Team CrackBerry Racing Polo!

CrackBerry Racing Polo!

Leave a comment to this article for your chance to win a size XL Limited Edition Team CrackBerry Racing Polo!

The Canadian Grand Prix is fast approaching, and Team CrackBerry is getting revvvved up for it. I'll be in Montreal for the event, as will CrackBerry's Adam Zeis and James Falconer, and we aim to have a ton of fun all weekend as we take in the Formula 1 action and meet-up with as many CrackBerry fans as possible (for meet-up details, see this article).

As you likely are aware if you're reading this, last year BlackBerry entered into a three year sponsorship deal with the Mercedes AMG F1 team. 2014 is shaping up to be a DREAM season for Mercedes, with drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg sweeping pole position and winning every one of the first six races so far this year. It's been awesome to see the BlackBerry logo at the top of the podium race after race.

Off the podium, we're going to help spread the BlackBerry love through the streets of Montreal all weekend dressed up in our limited edition Team CrackBerry Racing polo shirts. We took inspiration for them from the official Mercedes 2014 Team Polo, and we CrackBerry'd it up to a whole new level. Gotta love the BlackBerry 10 on the back!!

Only a few of these custom tees exist, and they'll never be for sale, but we're going to give one lucky CrackBerry reader a chance to win one. This is a rare CrackBerry collectable! To enter, just login to CrackBerry and leave a comment to this post. The contest will end Sunday midnight PST on June 8th, which hopefully will also be the day that Mercedes and BlackBerry are at the top of the podium in Montreal.

Good luck! And if you're in Montreal on Grand Prix weekend, be sure to look out for us in our Team CrackBerry Polo tees, and if you see us, say Hi! Don't be shy!!

The Tardis Team

If you have a BlackBerry 10 phone and love Doctor Who, you'll want to fire up BlackBerry World and download The TARDIS Team app. It's the official app of theTARDISteam.com, the greatest website on the internet dedicated to THE DOCTOR and his companions. The app delivers all of The TARDIS Team's excellent content to the palm of your hand in silky smooth native BB10 app form.

Even if you have never watched a single episode of Doctor Who before, honestly, you'll still want to download the app because The TARDIS Team is the hobby project of CrackBerry's one and only Bla1ze, who has to be one of the biggest Doctor Who fans on the planet earth (the guy has a TARDIS in his living room!). And really, who doesn't want more Bla1ze?? Bla1ze sends his thanks to Jeremy Duke (@BerryInformed) who put together the app for him.

I'm even a Whovian these days. Bla1ze introduced me to Doctor Who last year when we moved our CrackBerry headquarters to Toronto for a month - he got me hooked and it's what I've been watching recently when I'm flying. For the record, my favorite Doctor (actor) and companion to date is David Tennant and Martha Jones. While you're waiting a few seconds for the app download, let me know your favorites in the comments!

More information/Download The Tardis Team app

Discuss The TARDIS Team app in the CrackBerry Forums

Visit The TARDIS Team website

BBM Channels!

Well, it appears sometimes cheaters do prosper. After barely surviving my first BBM Channel Chat on Monday using my BlackBerry Q10 and thumbs, for my second chat I opted to use my BlackBerry Z30.

However... I didn't use just the BlackBerry Z30. Getting clever, I paired up the Z30 to a bluetooth keyboard and mouse, and took advantage of the microHDMI out port to connect to a bigger computer monitor. The experience was HEAVENLY. Don't get me wrong, I'm a fast two thumb typer on a BlackBerry qwerty keyboard - but give me a full computer keyboard and ten fingers to type with and I move into that 120+ words per minute range. And that's exactly what you need when trying to chat with dozens of people all at once.

Not Proudly Canadian

Earlier this month, Canada-based airline WestJet rolled out their app for iPhone, following up on their Android app which was released late in 2013. When WestJet announced their Android app, they were socially savvy about it, going so far as to embed the tweets of people complaining about their historic lack of apps into the app announcement post on their WestJet blog.

Since twitter complaints seemed to work for Android and iOS users, I'll follow the same logic by bringing some attention to @ammccloys' twitter conversation with @westjet this week regarding WestJet's development —or rather lack thereof —of an app for BlackBerry.

Canadian Grand Prix CrackBerry Meetup Update!

We're just over a week away from the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal, and our plans to have some CrackBerry fun and spread the BlackBerry love all weekend in Montreal are coming together nicely.

If you love CrackBerry, love Formula 1 and are going to be in Montreal the weekend of June 6th, 7th and 8th, you'll definitely want to read this post. And if you by chance missed our earlier post outlining our Canadian Grand Prix ambitions, be sure to read that too so you're fully up to speed.

Ok, time for the game plan. Here's where things are at as of right now!

Reminder: Last Chance to win Sonos Speakers, Hue Lights and more in our Connectedly site launch contest!

May is quickly coming to an end, which means it's your last chance to enter to win some awesome prizes in Connectedly's site launch contest! In case you missed it, Connectedly is the newest site in the Mobile Nations family, which focuses on the world of wearables, smart devices and the Internet of Things.

Entering is Easy

Simply jump over to the contest post on Connectedly at the clink below and leave a comment. If you're already a member of any our Mobile Nations sites including Android Central, CrackBerry, iMore and WPCentral, you can simply login with the same account info. If you're not a member, you can register here - it only takes a few seconds.

Click Here to go to Connectedly and Enter to Win! >>

Double Typing Issue BlackBerry Q10

If you jump into CrackBerry's BlackBerry Q10 Forum and sort the topic threads by popularity, the second most-viewed topic is about the BlackBerry Q10 'double typing issue'.

For those who have experienced it, you know the 'issue' I'm referring to. Sometimes when you're typing and you press a letter on the keyboard once, instead of one letter showing up on the screen you get two. When it happens, it's frustrating as all heck. What's also frustrating is that when it begins happening frequently, there doesn't appear to be a quick fix for it. Updating or reloading the OS doesn't seem to help, which points to it being a hardware malfunction of some type. Swapping the phone for a new one appears to fix it - though, for some owners on CrackBerry who have done just that, eventually the problem has ultimately reappeared.

What's DIFFICULT for me to say though is what percentage and just how many Q10 owners out there have actually experienced this issue. Based on the 66k views on the forum thread and 1200+ replies, it seems like a big number, but also maybe a small one in the grand scheme of things. If a really high percentage of owners were experiencing the issue, I'd expect to have heard even more on it. Personally, I have owned and used four different Q10 models now and have yet to personally experience the double typing issue. I should also say this isn't a brand new Q10-only phenomena. Over the years we have seen this issue get reported from time to time on other full keyboard device models, including the 9900.

That all said, I've received some tweets and emails and noticed some comments on recent articles here asking us to bring some more attention to the issue, in the hopes that it will get addressed or acknowledged one way or another. So that's what this post is about. If you're a Q10 owner, be sure to vote on the poll below. And if you're a Q10 owner who has experienced the double typing issue, be sure to take this opportunity to really describe what you've been experiencing. Maybe we can make some magic happen.

Do you regularly suffer the "double typing issue" on your Q10?
BBM Channel Chat Survivor!

Hoh. Lee. Shi. Te. I feel like the BBM team should give me a medal or something for surviving my first scheduled BBM Channel Chat. My frick'n thumbs hurt right now.

From the moment my BBM status automatically updated to "Available to Chat" I was typing non-stop as fast as I could trying to reply to everybody who was messaging me. And when the status automatically updated 30 minutes later to end my chat session, I spent the next 30 minutes typing replies to everybody I had yet not responded to. It was simply impossible to keep up with. I didn't count how many people were chatting with me, but it was a lot. When we do it again on Wednesday, I'll try and get somebody here to help me shoot some video of it, so you can get a perspective of what it looks like on my end.

Lit Up 9900 Trackpad

Or more specifically, I hope like the BlackBerry Bold 9900, there is a ring or design element around the BlackBerry Classic's trackpad that lights up for notifications, and is last to turn off when the screen / keyboard backlighting powers down.

I had this realization when I was out for dinner with my cousin Vinny on the weekend. He was on his Bold 9900 all night, and the room was fairly dark, and every time he put the phone back down on the table I couldn't help but notice that awesome power down sequence which has the trackpad turning off last (see instagram video below).

Memorial Day Weekend sale

In honor of the Memorial Day weekend we have loads of the latest goodies in stock at ShopCrackBerry for all of your devices including the BlackBerry Z30, BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10. Everything is 20% off during our Memorial Day Sale (now through May 28) and that means you can save big on cases, batteries, headsets and more.

'Murica!

America!

To all my friends in America — especially those currently serving in the country's armed forces — have a quality Memorial Day. Put down your phones and spend time with your family and friends. Remember all those who have served and died while protecting your rights and freedoms.

As a Canadian, I have a lot of respect for my neighbouring country and the role it has served in the world. And don't worry - I'll be still be working away today, so you'll all have plenty of reading to catch up on tomorrow.

Have a great Memorial day!

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