Articles by Crackberry Kevin

Metal Shavings Leave Behind a Pile of Dead Z10 Earpiece Speakers

I have now nicknamed my older brother Mark the 'phone wrecker'. He dropped by my place earlier in the week to give me a hand installing a TRX mounting bracket on the ceiling in my condo (in true younger brother fashion, I watched while he did all the work), and along with his tools he brought with him the three broken BlackBerry Z10s pictured above.

Each of his Z10s suffered the same fate — a busted earpiece speaker. In other words, if you're on a phone call and put the Z10 to your ear, all that comes out for sound is some hissing static noise or nothing.

ShopCrackBerry Sale: Save Some Green for St. Patrick's Day!

St. Patricks Day is only a few days off and you'll probably be taking the weekend to celebrate. Before you do, be sure to swing by ShopCrackBerry where you can save some green — 20% to be exact — on all BlackBerry accessories, today through Wednesday.

All you need to do is head to ShopCrackBerry, find some awesome accessories and then enter the code green14 at checkout. Our magical leprechauns will take care of the rest! Don't forget — FREE shipping is available on all orders over $50 (domestic US / Canada), and you have lots of payment methods beyond standard credit card, including Amazon payments, Paypal and Bitcoin!

There are tons of accessories in stock for the BlackBerry Z30, BlackBerry Z10, BlackBerry Q10 and other devices — inlcuding cases, car kits, charging cables and memory cards.

If you're using more than one device, the sale is on at Shop Android, iMore store and Windows Phone Central Store as well.

Take me to ShopCrackBerry to save some green!

What are your top FIVE things you'd like to see improved on BlackBerry 10?

With new CEO John Chen at the helm of BlackBerry, it's clear that the company is closely paying attention to the feedback of their customer base. Beyond the leadership team stating this is as a fact, the announcement of the trackpad-wielding BlackBerry Q20 is clear evidence that the company is willing to make changes based on customer feedback.

Following Mobile World Congress late last month, where we had the chance to sit down and talk to a number of BlackBerry executives (see interview #1, #2 & #3), we've been following up here on CrackBerry with a little constructive feedback of our own. On our most-recent podcast, we spoke about a couple of "little" things I'd like to see improved in BB10, like the ability to bottom align application shortcuts in folders and the option to archive an email by swiping to the left on it in the Hub. And yesterday we focused on a MAJOR thing we think BlackBerry needs to make happen, which is cutting carriers out of the software update equation so they can push out global updates to all customers at once.

App Icons!

Productivity and efficiency. These two words have always been synonymous with the BlackBerry experience, and the ability to get things done FAST was the primary reason I became a BlackBerry fan so many years ago. Thinking back to the my first BlackBerry, the 7290, I remember being so impressed at how efficiently I could navigate my way through the operating system. BlackBerry had mapped everything out and figured out the path to getting things done in the least number of clicks possible, and when it came to suggesting things like menu options, it always read my mind and knew what I wanted to do be pre-selecting the option. 

With BlackBerry 10 being an all-new operating system, BlackBerry started from scratch and has been steadily improving the user experience, adding back in more efficiency and productivity in areas where it was lacking from the initial launch. We highlighted much of that in our 2014 BlackBerry 10 Review

Are you watching from a secure line?

In this podcast our old pal Craig Johnston makes his triumphant return to the show, where I'm also joined by Adam, Bla1ze and Simon Sage. We're all business this time around — talking BlackBerry OS 10.2.1, MWC, the BlackBerry Z3, BlackBerry Q20, enterprise, the NSA and my gallivanting in Barcelona. There's plenty of good stuff here you won't want to miss.

This podcast will self destruct in 5 ... 4 ... 3 ... 

CrackBerry's 7th Birthday Contest!

It's our 7th birthday and we're celebrating in grand fashion. In years past we've gone pretty crazy giving away the goods in birthday contests, and this year is no exception. This time though, we're changing things up a bit. Instead of offering up cool BlackBerry prizes (since you're all rocking new BlackBerry 10 phones already), we're giving away some awesome stuff you can use with your BlackBerry. 

Happy 7th Birthday CrackBerry Nation!!!!!!!

Happy 7th Birthday CrackBerry Nation!!!!!!!

It's amazing how time flies when you're having fun! It was SEVEN YEARS AGO TODAY that we fired off our Hello World press release and officially opened up for business.

What a wild ride it's been. Looking back, we've been there through BlackBerry's best of times, worst of times and everything in between. And with a new CEO at the helm of the company and a refined vision for BlackBerry's future, it feels once again like we're at the start of an exciting new journey. 

There will be many BlackBerry "Classic" models like the Q20

Following BlackBerry's Mobile World Congress Press Conference, I had the chance to sit down with the company's VP of Global Product Management, Francois Mahieu. Francois has a broad range of responsibilities at BlackBerry related to bringing new devices to market and we had a delightful conversation of which I'll be following up with more details. While I work on that longer interview piece, I first wanted to follow up with more information on the BlackBerry Q20 that was announced.

The key Q20 clarification that Francois iterated to me during our conversation is that the Q20 is not a one off, but that "Classic" can be considered as a category of devices within BlackBerry's hardware portfolio. Over the years BlackBerry has had different ways of looking at their product families, and the current philosophy according to Francois now splits BlackBerry phones into one of four main categories:

BlackBerry Press Conference Live Blog! #MWC14

BlackBerry Press Conference Live Blog! #MWC14

It's time CrackBerry Nation. We're on location in Barcelona for Mobile World Congress 2014 and are front and center for BlackBerry's Tuesday Morning Press Conference. 

BlackBerry CEO John Chen is on stage for this one. Tune into the live blog below for announcements as they happen, commentary, community discussion and more!

BlackBerry MWC Keynote

Outside of today's BBM coming to Windows Phone announcement, it's been a quiet Mobile World Congress so far for BlackBerry. We're expecting that to change Tuesday morning at 8am local Barcelona time, when BlackBerry CEO John Chen will take to stage to address a select group of media in attendance.

We'll be there bright and early to make sure we have a great spot to to bring you back all of news as it happens. For those of you in North America, you'll want to plan on staying up LATE. Just hit up the homepage and we'll have a story posted for the live blog as the event start time approaches. In the meantime, you can check out the countdown clock below for your local start time, and set a reminder in your calendar. See you soon!

Nokia confirms BBM is coming to Lumia devices

On stage at Nokia's press event at Mobile World Congress, Stephen Elop confirmed that BBM will be coming to Lumia devices.

He didn't go into detail with a release date or if this means it will come to all Windows Phone devices (which, I'd assume it will), but at least this is finally confirmation that BBM4ALL really is on its way to becoming BBM4ALL. We'll follow up with more details as we have them.

From the Editor's Desk: Welcome to #MWC14 and Hello from Barcelona!

It's been FOUR years since I've personally attended Mobile World Congress, but I made the voyage this year and am now writing to you from Barcelona, Spain. I'm not alone for the trip. Also joining me from the Mobile Nations team are Daniel Rubino, Phil Nickinson, Alex Dobie, Richard Devine and Andrew Martonik (for info on where to follow us, INCLUDING BBM CHANNELS, click here). And be sure to watch the video above for my official hello and welcome!

Bye Bye BlackBerry Z10!

Bye Bye BlackBerry Z10!

Our friend J_Caloy is back with another video. This one is a little bit sad though... After Hating on the Z10 and Hating on it even more, JC has now said BYE BYE to his BlackBerry Z10

What did he replace it with? Well, you'll just have to watch the video and find out. Be sure to share the video! :)

CrackBerry 112: Z3, 10.2.1, BBM... and Kevin and his toys

It's been a while since we've thrown down a CrackBerry podcast, but we're back in full force! Adam and Bla1ze join me on this one and we talk OS 10.2.1, the rumored BlackBerry Z3, BBM Channels and much more (including all the toys I've picked up over the last few months). I'll be heading off to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in just a few days and we should hear more on the Z3 very soon.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy this one! And apologies on us taking so long to record another podcast after CES. Coming home from Vegas (even while in Vegas) I lost my voice... this is seriously the first day where I can (mainly) speak again normally. So we put it to good podcast use!

John Legere

Well, at least we got his attention. Following our post on CrackBerry yesterday about T-Mobile's recently-sent mailer encouraging BlackBerry users to "upgrade" to the iPhone 5s, it seems company CEO John Legere has been getting a tweetful on twitter from BlackBerry users.

Just a little while ago he acknowledged his BlackBerry customer base with the following tweet:

BlackBerry users, I'm hearing you loud and clear. Let me work with the team and get back to you.

Knowing is half the battle, so it's great to hear our message got through. CEOs may sit at the top, but they don't always know everything that's happening within their organization. Odds are Legere had no idea that particular mailer was going out. And even if he did know and approved of the message (he is tweeting from an iPhone after all), at least now we know they'll be taking their BlackBerry user base a little more seriously than it appears they have been recently.

Here's to hoping all of the T-Mobile USA + BlackBerry users out there get a little love in the near future. 

BlackBerry CEO John Chen spoke during the company's last conference call about the low cost, built by Foxconn for emerging markets device, dubbed Jakarta.

Today, N4BB posted some alleged renders of the Jakarta, which they say could hit the market has the BlackBerry Z3. Following that, BBin posted some rumored specs for the device, as follows:

A longtime CrackBerry reader forwarded me the mailer he just received from T-Mobile, trying to persuade him to upgrade to the iPhone 5s. T-Mobile positions the upgrade for BlackBerry users by saying "Switch to iPhone 5s and get powerful communications and productivity apps — with the ease of use that Apple is known for." Of course, powerful communications and productivity are words synonymous to BlackBerry, but that doesn't prevent T-Mo from making its pitch. :/

Christopher, the T-Mobile customer who forwarded me the email, "felt this was a real kick in the pants to BlackBerry users." It definitely illustrates the challenge BlackBerry currently faces in the USA with carrier support. T-Mobile already phased out carrying BlackBerry phones in-store (you can still buy them and receive via mail), so it's not a total surprise that they'd look to upgrade existing T-Mobile customers to another device they are more actively supporting.

The good news is, just because you receive an email from your carrier doesn't mean you need to do what it says! BlackBerry supporters like Christopher will simply hit delete and head on over to twitter to let T-Mobile CEO @johnlegere know they still #CHOOSEBLACKBERRY10.

And the winner of the 'Guess my Picture Password and win contest' is ...

It was one of the quickest contests we've ever run, but I think it was a fun one too. I'm a big believer in Picture Password on my BlackBerry. So much so that I flat-out showed my password on video for the world to see. Over a thousand of you took a stab at my password and maybe surprisingly, quite a few of you got it dead on. I promised the first person to get it right would be the winner, and so with that in mind the winner of our Guess my Picture Password contest is ...