John Chen: We have two new phones coming out between now and the end of the year

Ahead of appearing at Milken Institute Global Conference, BlackBerry CEO John Chen sat down with CNBC's Brian Sullivan to discuss all things BlackBerry. While the interview didn't dig deep into new information but instead focused on a lot of what was covered in BlackBerry's earnings call, there was one item on agenda that is of concern to many and that's BlackBerry hardware.

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Watch John Chen's panel from the Milken Institute Global Conference 2016

The Milken Institute Global Conference is well under way in Los Angeles and over 700 speakers are scheduled to appear. This year, BlackBerry CEO John Chen is discussing Digital Darwinism: How Companies Can Survive and Thrive in the Digital Age, and you can watch live.

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Keep your BlackBerry Classic screen safe for just $8.95 today!

Don't let the touchscreen of your BlackBerry Classic get all scratched up from daily use. Tru Protection's anti-glare screen protectors offer protection for your display, as well as reducing the glare on the phone's display. Today, you can pick up a two-pack for just $8.95.

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WhatsApp hit with 72-hour ban in Brazil

WhatsApp hit with 72-hour ban in Brazil

Brazil has once again opted to temporarily block the popular messaging service WhatsApp in the country.

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BerryFlow Upstream Podcast - Rome

BerryFlow Upstream Podcast - Rome

If you missed BerryFlow Upstream live last night, no worries. You can kick your week off right by checking out the video or audio replay right now. This week, there was plenty to talk about with Marshmallow being launched, BBM rolling out video chat for Android and iOS plus, BlackBerry hiring a new Senior Vice President of Global Device Sales. If that's not enough, we dig into those Rome and Hamburg renders as well.

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BlackBerry Priv

If you have been waiting for the price to drop below $400 to pick up a BlackBerry Priv, your time has come. Right now, you can pick one up at eBay for just $380, which is the lowest we have seen it yet. Recently Newegg offered the phone for $400, and before that it was available for $450.

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Don't miss your favorite TV show with the help of Kalendar

If you still like to watch TV shows as and when they are aired, then this is an app you'll probably want to check out. Kalendar makes it easier for you to track your favorite TV shows, upcoming movies, even major tournaments, and events. You even have the ability to sync the information with your calendar to make sure you don't miss a thing.

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John Chen wants to give you a BlackBerry!

John Chen wants to give you a BlackBerry

No, seriously. He does. As announced on his Twitter account, BlackBerry CEO John Chen will be picking a 'BlackBerry Fan of the Month' on the 1st of every month, and the only thing you need to do to win is tweet him with how BlackBerry helps you every day. In fact, he's already awarded the winner for this month with a brand new BlackBerry Passport.

That's a pretty cool initiative from John Chen and BlackBerry. The BlackBerry Fan of the Month was a thing previously, so it's nice to see it being revived by the company in such an awesome way. In any case, be sure to follow @JohnChen on Twitter and let him know how BlackBerry helps you.

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This thin BlackBerry Classic case is 60% off today!

The BlackBerry Classic is nearly the perfect size for most, and odds are that you don't want to have to add much to bulk it up. Amzer's Pudding TPU case is nice and thin so it keeps the form factor small, but it keeps it protected at the same time. You can save 60% on the case right now, making it just $3.95.

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BlackBerry Priv

The Canadian carrier TELUS has announced that it will begin rolling out the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow update for the BlackBerry Priv on May 3.

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The tech gods giveth and the tech gods taketh.

The news this week around Apple revolved around money. Apple reported their quarterly earnings, and while they were right in track with what Apple had predicted, it was the first time that Apple saw a year-over-year drop thanks to a slip in iPhone sales. And Wall Street lost its collective mind despite Apple's forecasting of a great-but-not-spectacular quarter three months prior.

Oh, happy day — Facebook and Facebook Messenger arrived for Windows 10! And Instagram is officially on windows 10 Mobile — and it matches the Instagram for iPhone app feature-for-feature! But wait, Windows Phone is dead, right? Far from it, says Windows chief Terry Myerson.

Comings and goings were the story on the Android front. Gmail picked up Exchange support, Marshmallow came to the BlackBerry Priv, and rumor has it the Google Play Store might be coming to Chrome OS. Meanwhile, the classic Nexus 9 tablet left the Google Store and a popular Twitter app left… and then came back.

We're still about 18 months out from the launch of the Tesla Model 3, but that doesn't mean excitement can't build until then — especially when there's a Ludicrous Mode upgrade waiting in the wings. And, just for giggles, how's the Model 3 compare to the Nissan Leaf? (hint, it doesn't fair well for Nissan — or Vice President Biden). And if the $35,000 starting price for the Model 3 is too rich for your blood, and we totally understand if it is, don't worry — there's a smaller and more affordable Tesla coming after it.

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About those Rome and Hamburg 'leaked' renders

About those Rome and Hamburg 'leaked' renders

Chances are by now you've all read the headlines about the 'leaked' renders of BlackBerry's next Android devices. There were a ton of sites that ran them without a second thought and, well, that has caused a lot of confusion among those who care about BlackBerry and were already familiar with the images. The problem? They're not 'leaked' renders of the next BlackBerry devices, as in renders created by BlackBerry that have somehow managed to escape Waterloo.

No, they are in fact the creation of Dylan Habkirk, and they had been floating around Dylan's BBM Channel and the CrackBerry Forums for days before someone decided to download them, watermark them with their logo, and misrepresent what they actually were. A problem Dylan spoke about in his latest post clarifying what the renders are and why they exist while offering some details on the Rome and Hamburg devices.

Hamburg

Today, I want to talk about the Hamburg and Rome posts you've likely read all over the internet about leaked renders, and I also want to show you some closer details about these devices with some new renders for you. If you're a hardcore BlackBerry fan, you've likely visited my BBM Channel and peeked at the renders shared there of the two Android devices - or perhaps you've attempted a swing at one of my tough puzzles.

A concern of mine was when these renders and bits of information was taken by a site (who I don't care to reference) and watermarked as their own - which left in the wrong direction, misleading larger tech sites into publishing as leaked renderings. To make things clear, these renderings are not leaked by any means. They are replications of device plans and / or prototype units that I have seen in person. Not to be mistaken for a truly leaked image, like when we shared the first image of the BlackBerry Passport Silver Edition, originally leaked as "Oslo".

To start with the Hamburg, I've never actually seen this device in person. In fact, I can't find a source to substantiate any specifications for this device (which I originally was told would make it out before the Rome). I did however come across internal device sketches for the handset - which largely copies the Z30 form factor. These internal images are in which I based the renders for the Hamburg. Clarifying more over, the codename Hamburg may not be as accurate as the Rome's in terms of existence.

Rome

As for the Rome, it's a device I've actually had the pleasure of seeing in person on a few occasions here in Waterloo. Again, a device we saw first leaked by CrackBerry months ago, known then as the BlackBerry Vienna.

Since then, the device has undergone some major refinements. One of the units I was shown, had some biometrics under the hood. If you played one of the puzzles on my channel - you likely saw the Rome with a fingerprint scanner integrated into the space key. Apparently, this was the most logical spot to place the sensor without having to add a distracting sensor elsewhere on the device. With Android M and N, BlackBerry is finally able to integrate the feature into software - despite showing no enthusiasm towards the tech when it came to BlackBerry 10 handsets. Whether or not it sees production units is still unknown, but September is a while away.

Apparently, the Rome has internal specs that are like that of the Priv or otherwise the same. The screen may feature a dual curved edge as well, which left some questioning how the keyboard will shape. Think of how the Priv's keyboard has a slight contour at the edges where the slide comes into contact. The screen is crisp, though I wasn't told resolution. One thing that was pressed into me was that since complaints of front facing cameras with the Priv (due to size limitations), the Rome kicks this up by adding up to an 8MP front facing camera. For Rome, we hear it could be priced as high as $500 USD or $629 CAD. All of the Rome units I saw had a special hardware button (not found on any other phone that I know of) which will have major uses for both governments and consumers - but I don't want to mention it further than that.

Now, I do not want to copy the rest of Dylan's comments here, because that wouldn't really be right. Hell, he's already had his images jacked without credit. So I suggest if you're looking to read the rest of the details then read the full post including the part about the new logo typeface on the renders which there's no indication BlackBerry will use, despite many freaking out over its looks. For the record, that image was jacked as well and filtered to hell to hide the fact it was a Photoshop, so if you see it proclaimed as real, it's not. As is rightfully noted in the post, things are always subject to change, and we've seen many devices get canned even after getting leaked, so don't get too hyped on these just yet.

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Mobile Nations Community Update, April 2016

Mobile Nations Community Update, April 2016

Time again for the Mobile Nations Community Update! That's right, it's time to roundup some of the best stuff happening around Android Central, Connectedly, CrackBerry, iMore, and Windows Central.

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Keep your BlackBerry Passport SE looking great for just $2.95 today

If the BlackBerry Passport is already pushing the limits of comfort because of its size, odds are that you don't want to make it bigger to keep it protected. Don't let your Silver Edition Passport get messed up from scratches and dents, and instead, keep it safe in Amzer's Pudding TPU case, which is super thin. You can snag one for just $2.95 right now.

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BlackBerry CEO John Chen to present at the Milken Institute Global Conference

The Milken Institute Global Conference kicks off in Los Angeles on May 1-4, and over 700 speakers are scheduled to appear. Among them this year, just like last year, will be BlackBerry CEO John Chen, who will be discussing Digital Darwinism: How Companies Can Survive and Thrive in the Digital Age

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Stop unwanted calls with an updated Call Blockr

Stop those unwanted calls with Call Blockr

Nuisance calls can get very annoying, especially late at night. To prevent those unwanted calls you need an app like Call Blockr. With it you can set your phone to only receive calls from your contacts, make a blacklist of numbers to block or only allow whitelisted listed numbers to call you. There is even the ability to schedule when you want to block calls.

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BBM for Android updated to include BBM Video in beta

While BlackBerry 10 customers have had the ability to BBM video chat between each other since the launch of BlackBerry 10, Android and iOS users have been left out of the loop, until now. A new version of BBM for Android has now been released through Google Play, which brings BBM video chat between Android and iOS devices in the US and Canada with a full rollout coming soon, according to BlackBerry.

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AT&T

AT&T has announced that it will decommission its 2G EDGE network by the end of 2016. CFO John Stevens told Wireless Week that the carrier has moved over 6 million subscribers off the legacy network over the last 12 months, with the remaining 2G userbase largely consisting of connected devices.

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BlackBerry Priv Android 6.0.1 AAE570 system release notes

For as good as BlackBerry has been about offering up release notes for their monthly security updates, when it comes to issuing release notes for any one specific OS update, they have been slightly less reliable. The last batch of release notes was made available on December 7, 2015, for OS AAD027 and AAD028. But now that Android 6.0.1 has arrived, BlackBerry has made available the release notes for OS AAE570.

Truthfully, the release notes are not really all that interesting but if you want to get a really deeper look at what was 'fixed' in Android 5.1.1 through Android 6.0.1, this is the list you'll want to review.

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Wind Mobile beefs up network coverage in Calgary area

If you're a Wind Mobile customer in the Calgary, Alberta area, you should begin seeing better cellular coverage and faster LTE speeds across the board.

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