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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This slim skin case for BlackBerry Z30 is $4.95 today only!

Add low-profile protection to your BlackBerry Z30 that also enhances grip with Amzer's skin case. The back features a smooth matte finish and is surrounded by a glossy bumper. Grab one today and save 50% off the regular price!

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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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BlackBerry announces AtHoc data center in Canada

BlackBerry has announced a new secure data center in Canada that will allow support for global customers who want to take advantage of its AtHoc services. With the new cloud offerings, BlackBerry will be able to address data residency requirements for global customers who want to use its services for networked crisis communications.

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Optus will offer the BlackBerry Priv in Australia starting February 4

For a while now it has been known that Optus would be releasing the BlackBerry Priv in Australia but there was no set timeframe attached to the launch. That has now changed, and those who live in Australia looking to get their hands on BlackBerry's first-Android powered smartphone will be able to place their orders through Optus. From Thursday, February 4th, the Priv will be available to Optus business customers and online to consumer customers on a range of post-paid plans, though, pricing details have yet to be announced.

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Face10 for BlackBerry 10

Since December 2015, Nemory Studios has been working hard on a new app called Face10 with the goal of the app being to replace the native BlackBerry 10 Facebook app, which let's be honest, has seen better days as it hasn't been updated since June 2015. Now, after a few months in the BlackBerry Beta Zone being tested, Face10 has arrived in BlackBerry World.

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Contacts Share updated with new adaptive theme, additional languages, and vCard files

Gone are the days of writing down numbers on slips of paper to share contact information. With our BlackBerry devices we can send our number and email address with just a few taps. We have already discussed Contacts Share, a native BlackBerry 10 application which allows you to quickly send contact information without attaching a file. An update is now available which incorporates several new features including an adaptive theme, the option to send .vCards, and additional language support.

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How to find, lock or erase your BlackBerry Priv from Android Device Manager

Losing your phone is not really a situation you want to be in but it is something that can happen. If you do find yourself in such a situation you can use Android Device Manager to remotely locate, secure or erase your BlackBerry Priv. The last thing you want is for your data to be accessible. Let's help you make sure your phone is set up for any eventuality.

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BlackBerry highlights how and why the Priv protects against rooting

Ahead of the BlackBerry Priv launch, there was one question that popped up a lot in the CrackBerry Forums, and that was, how would BlackBerry handle the ability to root Android on the Priv? After all, BlackBerry is a company that has a history and reputation of building secure devices; surely they wouldn't just let their device be rooted easily, but how would they prevent it given its prevalence in the Android world and why would they even want to?

Turns out, BlackBerry spent a lot of time thinking about this, as they should have and they've now posted up a new blog post highlighting how and why the Priv protects against rooting. The article itself takes the time to explain rooting, some of the benefits as well as the disadvantages of it but also offers a look at how BlackBerry Integrity Detection works to prevent rooting of the Priv. If some of this sounds familiar, it's because BlackBerry touched on it through several articles ahead of and after the Priv launch, the recent article just goes into greater detail.

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BlackBerry Priv

It's hard to believe that we're already a month into 2016, but sure enough here we are in February! We hope you're all having a fantastic year so far, but we thought maybe we could make it a little better for one of you. So, we're giving away another BlackBerry Priv to a lucky CrackBerry reader! There are several ways for you to enter to win this phone, so keep reading for all the details.


The winner will receive a brand new BlackBerry Priv, which does not include service.


Normal contest rules apply here. One entry per method per person. This one's open to all folks everywhere such contests are legal, but we can't guarantee the phone will work on your network. (You know how these things go.) The contest ends on February 29th. We'll announce the winner here on CrackBerry shortly after the closing date.

That's it! Good luck, everyone!

Win a BlackBerry Priv from CrackBerry!

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QNX wins Tech CARS award

BlackBerry subsidiary QNX are no strangers to winning industry awards and now that we're well into 2016 already, they've got a new year to collect some more. First up, Auto Connected Car News has calculated the votes for their Tech CARS Awards and in the category of Best Backhaul Software or Development Platform for Automakers, QNX has been named the winner by capturing the vast majority of the votes.

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