Articles by Simon Sage

Even the police feel over-charged by Rogers

BlackBerry security settings

If you think you're dishing out too much to service provider Rogers, you'd be in the same boat as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Newly discovered documents have revealed that as of August 1, Rogers had imposed a new set of fees on police divisions seeking data about their service subscribers. Though many of these requests were processed for free according to Rogers, some required a "minimal" charge to produce affidavits in court and track location when provided a warrant. The fees for affidavits have since been dropped, but location tracking charges remain.

BlackBerry Classic

Starting today, Brits can pick up the BlackBerry Classic from Carphone warehouse for £26.50 a month and £329.99 SIM free. Vodafone Business, O2, and Clove are also expected to be carrying the Classic soon. The Classic has already gone on sale across the world in Canada, Singapore, UAE, and soon in the U.S. on AT&T and India.

BlackBerry Passport for AT&T

Today at CES AT&T confirmed they'd be carrying the BlackBerry Passport and the BlackBerry Classic for $649.99 and $419.99 off-contract, respectively. You'll be able to snag the Passport for $199.99 and Classic for $49.99 with a two-year commitment, or $0 if you go with installments on Next.

AT&T is getting an exclusive design on the Passport with rounded corners. Why the change? BlackBerry CEO John Chen explained during the CES press conference that "AT&T wanted rounded corners. Some of us are more square. No other reason than that."

AT&T sign

Recent anecdotal evidence of throttling AT&T data speeds on unlimited LTE plans have been confirmed by spokespeople, despite regulatory pressure to eliminate the practice. AT&T users with those subscriptions are still being automatically throttled after they hit 5 GB of usage. This change can be as dramatic as a dip from 23 Mbps to 0.1 Mbps until the end of the billing cycle.

$130-worth of Amazon apps now available for free

Amazon Appstore sale

Leading up to Black Friday shenanigans, Amazon has kicked off a great promotion on their Appstore, featuring $130-worth of apps for free. Some of the highlights of the collection includes Angry Birds Seasons, Perfectly Clear, Quell Memento, Edge Extended, and Docs to Go Premium.

BlackBerry Classic now available for pre-order

BlackBerry Classic now available for pre-order

The BlackBerry Classic, complete with the familiar button belt and trackpad, is available right now for pre-order from ShopBlackBerry for $449. It's worth noting that you won't be able to use this one on Sprint, Verizon, or U.S. Cellular. The launch event proper is December 17, so that should give you an idea of a shipping timeframe.

BlackBerry partners with Salesforce for secure customer data management

BlackBerry has teamed up with Salesforce so joint customers can securely access customer data seamlessly through BES12. This is yet another solid announcement out of the BlackBerry Enterprise Summit, and should help them push into the public sector more aggressively.

BlackBerry Enterprise Server 12 now available

BlackBerry Enterprise Server 12 now available

Another gem out of the BlackBerry Enterprise Summit today is the global release of BES12. A long line of partners have already shown support for the well-known device management platform are already vouching for it, including Bombardier, American Crane, Home Hardware and Rocco Forte. Carriers worldwide are signing on to sell BES12, including Ingram Micro, Orange France SA, Verizon Wireless, Vodafone, DMI and others.

To push the importance of security in enterprise, BlackBerry went on to release survey data that shows only 35% of respondents are confident that their data is protected from a mobile threat. It's also worth noting that BlackBerry has partnered up with Samsung to deliver BES12 security to the Android side of things. Hit up BlackBerry's BES12 site for more info.

BlackBerry kicks off identity and access solutions for enterprise

Today at the BlackBerry Enterprise Summit, two new enterprise solutions geared towards identity and access. This is excellent stuff for those getting in on the recently-released BES12. These should allow businesses to embrace the cloud with more confidence.

Missing U - lament for a shortcut key

U on the BlackBerry Passport

I've been using the BlackBerry Passport since launch, and it's been really great to be back on familiar turf. The Samsung Galaxy S5 I've been using for the last six months or so feels cheap and plasticky by comparison. Unorthodox as the Passport may be, it's great to have a physical keyboard under my thumbs again. OS 10.3 is a refreshing visual overhaul and there are a handful of functional updates.

One of the most visible changes are the new triage icons available in the Hub, which allows for easy folder filing and deletion of messages. Being able to do this right after reading a message or plowing through the entire list are both nice options to have, but there's still a fundamental bit missing from my usual e-mail workflow. Anybody who used BlackBerry prior to OS 10 will be familiar with how the U key functioned as a shortcut, and might be missing it just as much as I am.

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.

BlackBerry Passport

Anyone hunting for somewhere to pick up a BlackBerry Passport should check out Expansys, as their U.S. arm has just announced availability. Considering ShopBlackBerry is out of stock, you may want to snag one before they run out.

Alec Saunders

BlackBerry's Alec Saunders has announced his departure from the company sometime between now and November 3. We don't normally harp on outgoing BlackBerry staff, but Alec Saunders was a high profile guy who figured largely in many important launches. Prior to taking on the role of VP of Cloud Businesses and heading up Project Ion, BlackBerry's play into the Internet of Things space, Saunders was VP of Developer Relations, where he worked like crazy to win over app creators to BlackBerry 10 before it launched.

The BlackBerry Passport unboxed

The BlackBerry Passport unboxed

You've probably already read our BlackBerry Passport review, which covers all the major bases of the device, and what it's capable of. Kevin and Bla1ze have had a few weeks head start on the device, but maybe a few first impressions are in order following our unboxing of the demo devices handed out at the Toronto launch event.

Digging into the BlackBerry Passport's design

Digging into the BlackBerry Passport's design

We were really eager to talk with BlackBerry's design folks at the Toronto Passport launch event to get some details on the device's distinct form factor. Alison Phillips, BlackBerry's Managing Director at Industrial Design, gave us the run-down.

Typo for iPhone

The Bluetooth-enabled keyboard case for iPhone back by Ryan Seacrest, Typo, continues to earn the legal ire of BlackBerry as they're still on sale. Apparently 11,000 Typos have been sold at $100 a pop, causing BlackBerry to issue another request for a sales injunction from California federal judge William Orrick. The sale of Typo keyboards violates an earlier court order barring their distribution. The letter to the judge apparently calls the move "brazen and blatant."

7digital

After announcing earlier this summer that their music store tucked into BlackBerry World was shutting down, 7digital and BlackBerry will be working together again to sell music to BlackBerry users. 7digital will be taking all the profits from music sales this go-around, as opposed to the revenue share they had with BlackBerry previously. On top of that, BlackBerry will be paying 7digital monthly fees for the service. This new deal will offer music for purchase through BlackBerry devices up until August 2015.

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?

RBC Express Mobile

The Royal Bank of Canada released a new dedicated app for business customers today. RBC Express Mobile has all of the bells and whistles of RBC's Express Online website, which includes industry-standard encryption and optional two-factor authentication for added security. Beyond that, it's clearly enjoyed a fresh, polished user interface.

BlackBerry Assistant

BlackBerry tooks the wraps off BlackBerry Assistant today, which aims to provide voice actions for just about everything you could want to do with your phone. We've caught glimpses of Assistant through leaked BlackBerry 10.3 builds, and we suspect the whole affair is powered by Waterloo local Maluuba.

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