BlackBerry Leap Review!

Although it feels like only last week I was writing a post announcing the device, in reality it wasn't. It was well over a month ago now at Mobile World Congress but, thanks to a quick turnaround time from announcement to delivery, here we are taking a look at the latest all-touch BlackBerry 10 smartphone introduced to the world as the BlackBerry Leap, which starts rolling out globally today.

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BlackBerry App Roundup for April 17, 2015

Howdy CrackBerry nation! Hope you all are ready for the weekend. This week has just flown by and I just do not know where to begin. First and foremost, there is the thorough and comprehensive review of the BlackBerry Leap by none other than our EiC himself, Bla1ze. I highly recommend you take a moment to read through the entire piece. Also this week we saw an update to BBM beta which finally gave users the ability to hide sticker packs (though not delete them) and a brand new Twitter for BlackBerry 10 update. All in all a very good week if I say so myself.

Now it's time to bring you this week's picks for all your 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 did not make the cut this week, remember you can help by offering your suggestions at the end.

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Save 40% today on our best BlackBerry Passport holster!

This spring clip holster keeps your device clipped in tight, no matter the hustle and bustle. Just snap it to your belt, pants or bag and pop in your device. The top clip is extremely tough and provides quick-release access when you need to answer a call, text or email. Available today for only $17.95

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NatWest-App-Hero

We've already seen a bunch of great apps updated this week and here's another for UK customers of NatWest. The banking app has been updated to version 4.0.0.15 and with it comes a sweet selection of new features and improvements.

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BlackBerry Computer Data Sync app enters the Beta Zone

BlackBerry Computer Data Sync app enters the Beta Zone

Although it appears to be rather limited at the moment, a new BlackBerry 10 app is appearing in the BlackBerry Beta Zone for a small number of BlackBerry 10 device owners. The app is simply named 'Computer Data Sync for BlackBerry' and it helps you to add your organizer data from Microsoft Outlook on your BlackBerry 10 device in the following ways:

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First image of the BlackBerry 'Oslo' appears

First image of the BlackBerry 'Oslo' appears

By now, everyone knows the story of the rounded off BlackBerry Passport for AT&T but there have been plenty of rumblings about another rounded off Passport as well and that device has been referred to as the BlackBerry Oslo, essentially an AT&T BlackBerry Passport that has been rumored for launch in China and a small number of various other regions. A new image and claims of it being the Oslo have now appeared over at BlackBerry Central.

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BlackBerry Advertising Service to shut down on June 16

The BlackBerry Advertising Service, which offered developers a way to integrate ads in BlackBerry 10 applications, will be shutting down on June 16, or two months from today. The company launched the service in September 2010.

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iGrann Pro updated with support for multiple accounts, direct messaging and more!

Although BlackBerry 10 users have several ways to access Instagram now, one app that remains a favorite is iGrann and the latest update to the Pro version helps ensure it will remain a favorite. Appearing as v2.8.8.1352, this release adds support for multiple accounts, direct messaging and more. If you've not already updated, we've got the full changelog for you to check out.

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BlackBerry-Leap-App-Screen

Now that BlackBerry has officially announced the global rollout of the BlackBerry Leap I thought it was worth trying to find out how many CrackBerry readers intent to place an order for it. I realize that many of us will only be interested in higher specced devices, but BlackBerry (and myself) believe there is still a place in the market for the affordable BlackBerry Leap.

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SaveTheInternet

Indian travel portal Cleartrip and media conglomerates NDTV and Times Group have withdrawn support for Facebook's Internet.org program, citing net neutrality concerns.

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Amazon Appstore

The latest Amazon Appstore giveaway includes popular utilities such as WolframAlpha, Runtastic PRO and games like Unmechanical and Osmos HD.

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Emberify-App-Sale-Hero

If you've previously liked the look of the the offerings from BlackBerry 10 developer Emberify, but were put off by the price, now could be the perfect time to snag a bargain. Starting today and for just one week, Emberify's apps are reduced in price by 50% - nice.

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BBM beta update brings the ability to hide sticker packs, bug fixes

The BBM beta for BlackBerry 10 has been updated today, and while it isn't a huge update, it does bring along the ability to hide sticker packs, which, as BlackBerry notes, could come in handy for packing away those seasonal packs.

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BlackBerry Leap now available from Vodafone UK

BlackBerry Leap now available from Vodafone UK

The global rollout of the BlackBerry Leap has begun starting with the UK and one of the first carriers on board is Vodafone UK. Right now, the BlackBerry Leap is being offered on their website for free when you go with one of their Pay Monthly plans which start at £22. The Leap is only being offered in shadow grey for now but when you place your order, you should have it within 2-4 days with free shipping of course.

Looking for more info about the Leap? Hit up our review for all the details or head on over to the Vodafone UK site to place your order. Interesting to note, despite previous reports of the Leap only being available for business users on Vodafone, that's not the case at all.

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Important BlackBerry Protect update for BlackBerry 10.3.2 users

Here's a little bit of an FYI for anyone out there who might be running the BlackBerry 10.3.2 beta but are not actually part of the beta program. BlackBerry has just sent out an email highlighting an important update happening with BlackBerry Protect that will affect ALL BlackBerry 10.3.2 users whether you're in the beta officially or you used the leaked files to get it installed. If you used the leaked files, then chances are you never got the email so here's what you need to be aware of.

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BlackBerry announces global rollout of the BlackBerry Leap

And just like that, BlackBerry is ready to roll out the BlackBerry Leap globally starting with the U.K. Aimed at young power professionals who want to get things done and companies looking for enterprise fleet renewals, the BlackBerry Leap can now be purchased on ShopBlackBerry.com and through select carriers and BlackBerry partners and will continue to rollout over the next few weeks across countries including Germany, France, United States, Canada, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and India.

Ron Louks, President, Devices and Emerging Solutions at BlackBerry, said: "With an all-touch screen, the BlackBerry Leap rounds out our portfolio of BlackBerry 10 devices, offering an affordable choice to mobile professionals who require a smartphone that safeguards sensitive communications and keeps them productive."

We've already got our hands on the BlackBerry Leap and have given it a pretty lengthy review, so go ahead and have a look for yourself and see if the BlackBerry Leap is for you. You can also take a look at the full press release from BlackBerry. As a reminder, the BlackBerry Leap is priced at $275 USD but that will vary slightly from region to region.

Press Release

BlackBerry Announces Global Rollout of BlackBerry Leap

New five-inch all-touch smartphone supports consumers and enterprise users who value security and privacy while pushing their productivity to the next level

Waterloo, ON – BlackBerry Limited (NASDAQ: BBRY; TSX: BB), a global leader in mobile communications, today announced the availability of BlackBerry® Leap in the United Kingdom and rollout in major markets. Beginning today in the U.K., young power professionals who want to get things done and companies looking for enterprise fleet renewals can now purchase BlackBerry Leap on ShopBlackBerry.com and through select carriers and partners. BlackBerry Leap will continue to rollout over the next few weeks across countries including Germany, France, United States, Canada, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and India.

Ron Louks, President, Devices and Emerging Solutions at BlackBerry, said: "With an all-touch screen, the BlackBerry Leap rounds out our portfolio of BlackBerry 10 devices, offering an affordable choice to mobile professionals who require a smartphone that safeguards sensitive communications and keeps them productive."

BlackBerry Leap features the latest BlackBerry® 10.3.1 operating system, a brilliant edge-to-edge five-inch HD display and more than a full day's battery power. Top features of the BlackBerry Leap include:

  • Security to Maintain Privacy – You can feel safe in the knowledge that BlackBerry Leap was designed with the highest standards of security in mind to protect your privacy. It is equipped with support for encryption, plus built-in malware protection and back-up, wipe and restore. All to give you control and help secure your data against the next embarrassing and potentially costly cyberattack.
  • Battery That Powers Through a Full Day – With up to 25 hours of heavy use,* the BlackBerry Leap will power through even your most demanding day. The impressive 2800 mAh battery and optimization of power consumption in BlackBerry 10 gives users more than a full day of productive usage.
  • Best-in-Class BlackBerry Keyboard – Type faster and more accurately on a touchscreen keyboard that learns how you write. With superior error correction, multi-language support, customized adaption and flow, BlackBerry's touchscreen keyboard helps to reduce the mistakes and missteps that can hold you back.
  • BlackBerry® 10 OS 10.3.1 –BlackBerry Leap comes preloaded with the new BlackBerry 10.3.1 operating system, offering a fresh look that incorporates updated icons and an instant action bar so that users' most commonly accessed functions are in the center of their screen.

Additional features include:

  • BlackBerry® Blend – BlackBerry Blend brings messaging and content that is on your BlackBerry smartphone to your computer and tablet. Get instant message notifications, read and respond to your work and personal email, BBM™ or text messages, and access your documents, calendar, contacts and media in real time on whatever device you are on, powered by your BlackBerry. BlackBerry Blend works across desktop operating systems, including Mac OS X 10.7 +, Windows® 7+ and Android™ tablets running Android 4.4+ via cellular, USB or Wi-Fi connections.
  • BlackBerry® Assistant – The BlackBerry Assistant is BlackBerry's first digital assistant and can be used with voice and text commands to help users manage work and personal email, contacts, calendar and other native BlackBerry 10 applications. It's the only smartphone assistant on the market today that can access both personal and work content in your work perimeter. BlackBerry Assistant intelligently determines how to respond to you based on how you interact with it – if you type, it responds silently, if you speak, it speaks back and if you activate over Bluetooth, it speaks back with additional context because it assumes you might not have access to the screen.

Dual app storefronts preloaded for access to a huge selection of apps for work and play:

  • BlackBerry World – BlackBerry World offers essential business and productivity apps for professionals looking to drive efficient communications and collaboration including Box, Evernote, Cisco WebEx Meetings and Documents to Go.
  • Amazon Appstore – Discover and download popular Android apps and games through the Amazon Appstore including Candy Crush Saga, Pinterest, SoundCloud, Kindle and Amazon Shopping.

For more information on the BlackBerry Leap, please visit BlackBerry.com/Leap

Availability

In addition to the United Kingdom as of today, BlackBerry Leap will continue to rollout over the next few weeks across countries including Germany, France, United States, Canada, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and India. Availability in other markets will be announced locally at a later date.

  • Based on GSMA PRD TW.09 Battery Life Measurement Technique and a mixed usage scenario. Many factors affect battery life, including network connectivity, application usage, feature configuration and battery age. Actual results may vary.

About BlackBerry

A global leader in mobile communications, BlackBerry® revolutionized the mobile industry when it was introduced in 1999. Today, BlackBerry aims to inspire the success of our millions of customers around the world by continuously pushing the boundaries of mobile experiences. Founded in 1984 and based in Waterloo, Ontario, BlackBerry operates offices in North America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America. The Company trades under the ticker symbols "BB" on the Toronto Stock Exchange and "BBRY" on the NASDAQ. For more information, visit www.BlackBerry.com.

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WhatsApp offering a new beta release in the BlackBerry Beta Zone

The releases for WhatsApp keep coming. Following up on a rather massive update just a few days ago, another new version has now arrived in the BlackBerry Beta Zone and is readily available for download. This release managed to keep things small and isn't nearly as huge as the last update, but it includes some nice changes.

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CarePartners

BlackBerry has now announced that, CarePartners, a home care nursing agency that provides personal support services, rehabilitation services, and nursing care to over 70,000 patients each year has chosen to CellTrak's VisitManager solution, running on BlackBerry 10 smartphones and managed by BES12 to mobilize their home care providers.

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