MTN, Vodacom and Cell C now offering the Priv in South Africa

Although it was previously announced that MTN, Vodacom and Cell C would be offering the BlackBerry Priv in South Africa, at the time of the announcement there was no real date set for release, but as it turns out, potential Priv owners didn't have to wait all that long. Right now, the first Android-powered smartphone from BlackBerry is available from all three providers in South Africa at varying prices set, though a quick look shows MTN is offering special pricing of R519.00 with a two-year plan.

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1Password for Android gets Material Design overhaul and more

Popular password manager 1Password has received a big update for Android, bringing along a redesigned interface and much more.

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Rogers, Bell and TELUS rolling out February Priv security update

In keeping in line with the updates already sent out to ShopBlackBerry, AT&T and T-Mobile Priv's, Canadian carriers Rogers, Bell, SaskTel and TELUS have now started sending out the February update to Priv owners. Build AAD444 as it is otherwise known comes in at 17MB, and if you haven't got the notification to update yet, you can head to Settings, About phone and checking for it there. Looking for the notes on what security has been improved? BlackBerry has outlined the full details through their Knowledge Base, which you can check out right here.

Discuss more in the CrackBerry Forums

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Following recent reports that it was testing the feature, Instagram has officially announced that it is rolling out full support for multiple accounts. Starting this week, users will be able to log into multiple accounts at once, and easily switch between them within the Instagram app for Android and iPhone.

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Check out Hub10 in Beta Zone for a dark themed Hub

Check out Hub10 in Beta Zone for a dark themed Hub

Have you been longing for a dark theme for the Hub on BlackBerry 10? You're not alone. A developer has been working on an app that gives us a dark themed Hub. The app works exactly like the Hub, in the way it looks and even has the triage options that came about in OS 10.3. It still in the early days of development right now but you can check it out through BlackBerry Beta Zone.

Since the app is in beta, a lot of the functionality isn't quite working yet. Most of it is just in preview mode to get a feel for what the app will look like. The main Hub view is just a preview, so you can tap into the messages, however if you filter into an account, you can tap the message to open it. You can't reply to messages but you can compose new ones. Here's a list of Hub10 features right now.

  • Preview themes (Settings -> Display and Actions -> Theme)
  • Priority Hub
  • Email tabs (Social tabs will come in later)
  • Pinch filters
  • Cascaded search filters
  • Compose (Rich/Plain text)
  • Calendar Events
  • View and search emails
  • Add to contacts from email recipient lists

The developer is open to feedback and suggestions, so if you do download it you should definitely give your feedback, either through Beta Zone or the CrackBerry Forums, where the developer has been actively responding to questions and feedback. You will need a Beta Zone account and the Beta Zone app to download the app. If you haven't got an Beta Zone account, you can sign up for one for free. Note that Beta Zone availability is limited to certain regions.

Learn more / Download Beta Zone from BlackBerry World

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Hands-on with Face10, a replacement Facebook app that's actually useful

If you're a Facebook user, you'll know that using the Facebook app for BlackBerry 10 hasn't been a pleasant experience lately, with many resorting to using Facebook through the browser. Now though, we have a third-party option, which dropped into BlackBerry World recently in the form of Face10, after going through a short stint in Beta Zone. In CrackBerry fashion, we're going to take a closer look at the app. If you haven't downloaded yet or if you're on the fence about downloading it, maybe this can help you decide.

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Kmashi's 11200mAh power bank is on sale at Amazon

Kmashi's 11200mAh power bank is on sale at Amazon for just $8 with coupon code FVSA9NY2, a savings of 50 percent from its regular price. This battery pack is small and portable, but packs a large capacity inside to keep you charged on the go. While many other power banks have more than one USB output, Kmashi has opted to go with just one this time around, so you'll only be able to charge one smartphone, tablet or other electronic at a time.

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BerryFlow Upstream Podcast - Root

BerryFlow Upstream Podcast - Root

Despite the big game being on, we still managed to get together for BerryFlow. This week, we discuss the Priv's latest security update, bid a fond farewell to BlackBerry champion Gary Klassen, inventor of BBM amidst a new round of layoffs hitting Waterloo and Florida and discuss BlackBerry's AtHoc opening up a secure Canadian Data Center.

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Everything is crazy.

For being in the weird pre-MWC quiet time, it was a busy week. The biggest news was a surprise acquisition: Microsoft snapped up keyboard app company SwiftKey for $250 million. The slow burn leading up to MWC got a little bit hotter with Sunday, February 21, being the official day for Samsung's next big event — *cough*Galaxy S7*cough*. Speaking of the GS7, it's backside got leaked, we asked what you want in the GS7 and you told us a lot, including waterproofing. Oh, and yeah, it's not an official phone or anything yet — but we're giving away a Galaxy S7 at Android Central!

When it comes to Apple, though, it was an interesting week. iPhone owners that had their phones fixed by unauthorized repair companies were suddenly locked out of their phones thanks to a generic error that turned out to be related to very legitimate securty integrity concerns and Apple found the quality of its own apps under assault — a fair argument, but one lacking in nuance or depth. Thankfully, there are plenty of fantastic third-party apps, like great drawing apps for the iPad Pro and excellent iPhone mail apps. Oh, and Apple's own Music Memos is really pretty great, while we're on the subject.

On the Windows front, it was update city. Windows 10 Insiders saw build 14257 , Windows 10 Mobile insiders got build 10586.71, and everybody is expected to get Windows 10build 10586.105 next week. Japanese manufacturer VAIO also made small waves with the introduction of their first Windows 10 Mobile handset, the "Phone Biz", which tells you exactly who they think that phone's meant for.

All of this and more, in this week on Mobile Nations!

CrackBerry — Ups and downs

The past week started off with a bang as BlackBerry released their latest security update followed by announcing the Priv in Australia but by the end of the week, there was a little bit of rough news as well as layoffs and departures within BlackBerry have appeared once again.

Android Central — Billions

It was a busy week filled with news from a ton of sources, with a little something for everyone.

Speaking of everyone, Gmail now has 1 billion monthly active users, as does WhatsApp, and Lollipop is still king in terms of market share among Android phones. In a bit of a shocker, Microsoft purchased SwiftKey for a reported $250 million.

Motorola, Google and Verizon all have some sort of Valentine's Day promos to save you some money.

It was another week of Galaxy S7 information, speculation and analysis, which makes sense as we get even closer to MWC at the end of the month. After Samsung finally unveiled the date of its launch event to be Feb. 21, we got a new leaked render showing off the backs of the phones. We also explored the idea of waterproofing coming back to the Galaxy S7 after being removed in the GS6.

Love Android? Then you'll love our new shirts!

iMore — Best things ever

It's sounding like Apple's March 15 event is a go, but there's many a week still between now and new, so we've been rounding up the best drawing apps for iPad Pro, best mail apps for iPhone, and kicking off our all-new intructional series with how to make your own website when you don't know how to code.

Meanwhile, in our Experts column, Dave Wisksus of Airplane Mode explains why Music Memos is a songwriter's best friend and in community column, The Network, Myke Hurley of tell us why happiness is a podcasting family. Oh, and then there's this:

Windows Central — Updates for updates

Microsoft was busy again this week. Windows 10 build 14257 for Fast Ring Insiders was released for those on the PC. The update did fix a lot of bugs as Microsoft continues to optimize OneCore in preparation for new Redstone features. Likewise, Windows 10 Mobile build 10586.71 was released for all Insiders with new OS optimizations and fixes.

Next week, we're expecting build 10586.105 for PC as a cumulative update for non-Insiders and maybe mobile as well. And VAIO announced their first Windows 10 Mobile handset in Japan, dubbed the Phone Biz.

The Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL started to receive yet-another firmware update. The update should go wider in the coming weeks to other regions. Speaking of the Lumia 950 XL we're giving one away in a new contest.

We unboxed and gave a brief tour of the new 7mm thin Coship Moly X1 Windows 10 Mobile phone. Microsoft asked what HoloLens could do for the NFL with a new concept video. Finally, in a surprise move, Microsoft announced they are buying SwiftKey to integrate into their Word Flow keyboard.

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BlackBerry said to be cutting 35% of Waterloo workforce

Update - Rather than letting folks wonder about the number of employees laid off, BlackBerry has now stated "approximately 200 employees have been impacted in Canada and Florida."

BlackBerry has now confirmed a new round of layoffs has impacted a small number of employees in Waterloo and Sunrise, Florida. In a statement issued by BlackBerry, the exact number of employees impacted by the layoffs was not given but notes this is the continuation of the company turnaround plan.

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Gary Klassen, Inventor of BBM has left BlackBerry

Gary Klassen, Inventor of BBM has left BlackBerry

Update - BlackBerry has now confirmed the new round of layoffs in Waterloo and Sunrise.

While there are some unconfirmed reports of another round of layoffs hitting BlackBerry in Waterloo and Florida, there's one exit that can be confirmed. Gary Klassen, inventor of BBM has now exited BlackBerry after nearly 16 years with the company. Gary Klassen, who joined BlackBerry in 2000 as part of the BlackBerry 950 Software Development team, literally wrote the code for version 1.0 of BlackBerry Messenger, which at the time was known simply as QuickMessenger.

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BlackBerry App Roundup 2/5/16

Howdy CrackBerry nation! Another week has passed so you know what that means? Not only is it time to share with you another batch of applications for your BlackBerry 10 or Priv smartphone, but it's also time to catch up on all the news that transpired since we last met.

Kicking things off this week was a brand new episode of the BerryFlow Podcast, discussing the Priv on T-Mobile and the integration of WatchDox and Good with BES12. Also, we saw the release of the February Security Patch for the BlackBerry Priv as well as the AT&T update. Finally, last week marked the three-year anniversary of the release of BlackBerry 10 and our EiC Bla1ze takes a quick look back at that time.

Super Bowl Sunday is only a couple days away and what better way to celebrate than by picking up a few BlackBerry accessories and saving a few bucks in the process? From now until midnight on February 8th on ShopCrackBerry, simply enter in code BG16 at checkout to receive 20% off your entire order.

Now it's time to bring you this week's picks for all you passionate BlackBerry addicts out there. You can find each app and game I've rustled up for you by clicking through the gallery below. If your favorite didn't make the cut this week, remember you can help by offering your suggestions at the end.

Auto BCC for Emails by Runisoft

Whether for business or personal reasons, there are times where you will need to copy an individual on every email or would like the option to send a copy to yourself for archiving or backup purposes. BlackBerry 10 has the option to add a BCC field on your emails, but it's simply not automatic. Auto BCC for Emails fills this void.

Auto BCC is a headless application that can send emails, and attachments automatically to your chosen email addresses, with no limit on the number of recipients you can add to the list. Once you've finished configuring the app, it will automatically send a copy of all emails sent from the Hub to your designated addresses.

Additional features include keeping a backup of all emails, support for creation of multiple email rules, separate BCC email list for each sender's address, and safeguarding emails from accidental deletion. Auto BCC is an easy-to-use utility app so you do not have to sit there and manually enter in the BCC information for each and every email you send.

Auto BCC is compatible with all BlackBerry 10 devices and is $1.99 in BlackBerry World.

Learn more / Purchase Auto BCC from BlackBerry World

Charger Alert by Rad Systems

If there are times you would like to be notified when an external power source is unplugged from your device, Charger Alert is there to warn you. This native application will alert you when the battery is full, low or hot and when you're phone's been unplugged from the charger.

Charger Alert also provides important battery information such as condition, temperature, time to full, and an Active Frame which shows all this and battery percentage. Since our original review, the developer has = improved the user-interface and layout, as well as added several fixes and optimizations for better efficiency and accuracy.

You can download Charger Alert for free in BlackBerry World. There is an in-app purchase to unlock all the features available in the Pro version. However, a free trial is available.

Learn more / Download Charger Alert from BlackBerry World

JustWatch by JustWatch GmbH

JustWatch is a search engine to help you find and discover movies and television shows from streaming sources. These include Netflix, Amazon, HBO Now, Hulu, Crackle, iTunes, Showtime, and more.

When launched, JustWatch presents you with a few different ways to search for content. You can browse through the content that is new or popular,filter by streaming service, search for a particular title, find the best deals by service provider with the price drop tab, or use the watchlist to view all movies and TV shows bookmarked from prior searches. You can also view a selection's release year, rating, price, genre and quality (HD or SD). There is also a section for reading their synopsis or viewing their trailer.

In addition to all that, JustWatch also provides information pertaining to where individual seasons can be viewed (in case they are split between several providers), pricing for each selected streaming service as well as rates for renting or buying.

As of now, JustWatch is available in the U.S., Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, and Germany. It is free to download in Google Play.

Learn more / Download JustWatch from Google Play

BuzzOff by Toysoft Development

Are you a Priv owner searching for a versatile application for filtering and blocking calls? BlackBerry 10 developer Toysoft Development has been hard at work making their popular apps available in the Google Play Store. Buzz Off is the latest one to be ported and is chock-full of features for accepting or rejecting calls.

It offers an array of filtering and blocking features. This includes the ability to add callers to a blacklist or whitelist, reject callers not in your address book such as private numbers, access to the North American Do Not Call Database, options to backup and restore your list to the SD card, and a handy pickup and and hangup option. For the hangup feature, you can set the delay for how long the call is active before it disconnects.

From time to time we all receive spam, telemarketing, or unwanted calls. Buzz Off allows you to exert more control over them.

Buzz Off is free to download from Google Play. An in-app purchase of $0.99 is required to unlock all capabilities and features.

Learn more / Download BuzzOff from Google Play

Bubble Witch 2 Saga by King

I spend most of my commute to work on public transportation, so I am always trying to find decent games to keep me occupied. Bubble Witch 2 is a bubble-popping adventure from the developer behind Candy Crush and Alpha Betty.

In this version, the developer has put their own unique spin on the classic bubble shooter genre: the witches need your help to fend off evil spirits plaguing the realm. This dilemma can only be resolved by bursting as many bubbles as you can to complete challenges, solve puzzles, and even free animals and ghosts.

As with King's other offerings, Bubble Witch 2 offers smooth gameplay and appealing graphics. It comes with over 60 levels (with more added every two weeks), the option to sync the game between devices, leaderboards, special boosters and bubbles to help with difficult levels, and in-app purchases.

If you are looking for a fun time-waster geared for the whole family, you can download Bubble Witch 2 for free in the Amazon Appstore.

Learn how to install Bubble Witch 2 Saga from the Amazon Appstore

What You Might Have Missed

Face10 for Facebook by Nemory Studios

BlackBerry 10 developer Nemory Studios has been working hard the past few months on an alternative Facebook app called Face10. Now that beta testing is complete, the app is now available to download in BlackBerry World. It offers an array of features, many of which are not currently found in the languishing native BlackBerry 10 Facebook app. These include sending stickers and viewing and replying to comments. Additional features include customized color schemes, app security lock password, multiple accounts support, hub integration and notifications, and the ability to create home screen shortcuts for fast access.

Face10 is free to download in BlackBerry World. When you first install the app it comes with a free 2-day trial with all features enabled. Once the trial expires, it reverts to offering the standard features. For an in-app purchase of $2.99, you can upgrade to the pro version. It supports all BlackBerry devices running OS 10.3 and higher.

Learn more / Download Face10 in BlackBerry World

Until next week...

That's it for this week folks. For more apps and games, be sure to head on over to the CrackBerry Forums where you will find even more hidden gems to choose from whether it be for BlackBerry 10, BBOS, the BlackBerry PlayBook, or even Android Apps in the Google Play store for the BlackBerry Priv. Of course, you can always find the latest and greatest top editor's picks in the CrackBerry App Gallery. Are there any apps or games you would like to see? Feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments.

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Watch the Good Dynamics App SDK webcast replay

Watch the Good Dynamics App SDK webcast replay

If you missed out on the Good Dynamics App SDK webcast that took place on February 2nd, no matter. You can load up the replay and get caught up on what you missed. In addition to the Good Dynamics App SDK, which enables developers to create enterprise apps employing the features of the Good Dynamics Secure Mobility Platform discussion, Ed Bourne, Senior Enterprise Solutions Manager and Richard Schaefer, Senior Enterprise Solutions Manager also discussed the BlackBerry and Good product integration roadmap.

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Score big game savings on all accessories at ShopCrackBerry through February 8!

It's time to kick off our Big Game Sale where you can save 20% on all BlackBerry accessories!

Ramp up the defense with a protective case, stay active with the charger of your choice, or call the shots completely hands-free with a new Bluetooth — it's all up for grabs right now at ShopCrackBerry. There are plenty of products to choose from for popular devices including the BlackBerry Classic, Silver Edition Passport, BlackBerry Priv, BlackBerry Z10, and many more.

Use coupon code BG16 upon checkout to instantly save 20% on your entire cart, and don't forget about FREE shipping on all orders over $50 within the continental US. Expedited and international options are also available for a little extra. You're going to want to tackle these savings while you can, because this sale expires midnight, February 8!

Hit up ShopCrackBerry

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T-Mobile's first Super Bowl ad features Drake in a box

T-Mobile has decided to release the first of two planned Super Bowl 50 ads early, featuring rap music star Drake in a parody of his own Hotline Bling music video.

The ad shows Drake doing his signature Hotline Bling "dance in a box" and singing the chorus line, "You used to call me on my cellphone". The director then calls "Cut" as some folks in suits come up to the shooting stage. They remind Drake he should insert some more lyrics in the song, like downloading music could affect their data plan. Oddly enough, Drake seems to be very receptive to their suggestions.

T-Mobile isn't planning to show its other Super Bowl 50 ad until the big game itself, set for Sunday night.

Source: T-Mobile (YouTube)

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AT&T rolls out their latest software update for the BlackBerry Priv

For those of you on AT&T with a Priv waiting for the January update, you can stop waiting. AT&T has now released software version AAD447, which contains both the January update and February update in one batch. All you have to to do is go into your settings, about phone, check for software updates and it should be there waiting for you.

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BlackBerry Priv now available in Australia

If you happen to reside in Australia and are interested in the BlackBerry Priv, you'll be excited to find out that it is now available through Optus. In January, BlackBerry released the Priv in Italy, Spain, France and other locations, and now Australia is the latest to join the fun.

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BlackBerry Priv

BlackBerry's managing director in India, Narendra Nayak has gone on record to state the company has no plans for Windows Phone. It was asked if BlackBerry was going to take its multi-platform strategy to the next level, taking on yet another OS to further branch out and appeal to more consumers. Rather unsurprisingly, BlackBerry does not plan to support Microsoft's Windows 10 Mobile any time soon.

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Fitbit's Alta is the company's sleekest fitness tracker yet

Fitbit has announced its latest fitness tracker, the Alta, which is one of the nicest-looking offerings from the company. Pre-orders are now open for the tracker, with shipments beginning in March 2016. Realizing that people don't always want their fitness tracker to look like one, Fitbit is offering a number of band options for the Alta, like a metal bracelet, leather band and a classic band.

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T-Mobile is offering fourth line free again

T-Mobile has brought back its popular "fourth line free promotion" with Family Match, and this time around the carrier is offering customers the choice between 10GB per line or unlimited data. Previously, the carrier ran a limited-time promotion that scored you four lines with 10GB each for $120, and more recently had only been offering family plans with 6GB of data each. Now, the carrier has brought back the 10GB option, as well as introduced a new unlimited offering for the promotion.

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