BlackBerry OS 10.3.1 rollout has officially begun

BlackBerry OS 10.3.1 rollout has officially begun

It has begun. Yes, after many rumors, speculation and confirmation at the BlackBerry Classic event of a February launch, the rollout of BlackBerry OS 10.3.1 is now official according to BlackBerry and will be available to customers around the world starting today in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia Pacific for the entire line of smartphones running BlackBerry 10. This announcement is mostly significant for older BlackBerry 10 smartphones as this is the first major update since OS 10.2.1 last year.

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QuickPost has 1000 free copies available to download

If you have been wanting to check out QuickPost, perhaps now is the time to jump on it. The developer is looking to give away 1000 free copies. To give as many people a chance to get a copy, availability will be staggered over the next few hours. 1000 free copies will be given away but the developer will start off with 250 copies. In the next couple of hours, another 250 copies will be added each hour. If you don't get one during the first batch, keep checking back.

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Save 55% today on this 2-pack of screen protectors for BlackBerry Q10

Truprotection has utilized the highest grade materials and cutting-edge technologies to create a screen film worthy of protecting your BlackBerry Q10. Equipped with a high-gloss crystal finish and specially formulated for the display, installation is simple with an innovative static cling adhesive and a precise die-cut fit. Yours today for only $8.95

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How to add more notification Profiles to Quick Settings in BlackBerry 10.3.1

In previous BlackBerry 10 OS builds, before OS 10.3.1, tapping on the Notification icon in Quick Settings would toggle between Normal and the last used notification Profile. In OS 10.3.1 it just toggles between Normal and Silent. However, you now have the option to add more Profiles to the Quick Settings menu and each time you tap on the Notification icon it will scroll through those Profiles. This is a nice little addition as I sometimes like to use Silent or Vibrate depending on where I am.

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Take to-do lists to another level with SmartList10 for BlackBerry 10

There are many list-taking apps to be found in BlackBerry World, most offer very similar features and in the end whichever app you choose is down to your preference. One developer wanted to create a list-taking app and in order to stand out he decided to add a few unique features not found elsewhere.

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BlackBerry App Roundup for February 28, 2015

BlackBerry App Roundup for February 28, 2015

Howdy CrackBerry nation! Another week has come to a close and that can only mean one thing. However, before we get on with that let us just reflect a moment on all that has happened with BlackBerry since our last time. First, and most important, is that Verizon Wireless began their online sales of the BlackBerry Classic, though retails stores won't be carrying it until March 5th. From what I see on their website it is available in two variants: one with a camera and one without. Next we saw a new version of BBM beta roll out with the option to create a custom PIN, remove ads and have a special badge on their profile picture in BBM. Finally, we have a fun little contest going on whereby you can get your hands on some cool BlackBerry goodies. I don't know about you but free stuff is always a good thing especially with a nice BlackBerry logo on it. Be sure to head on over to the page, read the instructions carefully, and leave your comment to enter.

Now on to the more important topic of the day. It is 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.

24me: To-Do, Task List & Notes by 24me

I am always searching for a way to organize my tasks and have probably tried just about everything. Enter 24me. This application is more than just a calendar, but a personal assistant. It offers various tools to sync financial accounts, bills, and social networks in one place. As a result, 24me is an intuitive application that integrates all of this data including dues dates for bills, birthdays, tasks, to-dos, and events to give you a complete picture of everything that happens on any given day. Upon launch, 24me will instruct you on how to create an account with which to add your personal accounts such as bank accounts, credit cards, and social networks including TaskRabbit. You can download it for free in the Amazon Appstore.

How to install 24me from the Amazon Appstore

Perfectly Clear by Athentech Imaging Inc.

As someone who has just about filled her SD card with photos, it is no surprise this auto enhancing application caught my eye. This is no ordinary photo editing application but one that offers brilliant image correction thanks to its Beautify feature. There are 18 automatic corrections at your disposal including Face Slimming, Blemish Removal, Eye Enlarge, Sharpen, and Teeth Whitening. The interface is easy to use and the difference in your images is quite noticeable. What I like about this application is how it shows you a split screen with a slider bar to see the before and after. Perfectly Clear is $2.99 from the Amazon Appstore.

How to install Perfectly Clear from the Amazon Appstore

Car Manager by Saper-ek

Over the years, I have amassed an entire filing cabinet drawer dedicated to my car expenses. Whether it involves the repair history, insurance policies and costs, or even the registration and inspections it can be quite daunting to keep track of it all. This application monitors and tracks all of your car related expenses. Users can track their fuel expenses and consumption, view history or analyze statistics and charts, track their odometer readings and tire changes, remind you of oil changes and inspections and even store data on fines, insurance, and other related data. It offers full backup/restore and a clean interface. All of your car's data is easily accessible at your fingertips for only $1.99.

More information/Purchase Car Manager

Light Chamber by Marco Gallo

Nothing beats an experimental game to put your mind to the test. The object of the game is to navigate the black marble from the starting point to the green box. You accomplish this by changing the colors on the grid to red, green, or white. The spheres can only travel a path of the same color. Players simply tap on a box to change the color to guide the marble to its destination. Keep in mind that you cannot have two spheres connect (i.e. Two adjacent boxes of the same color each containing a black sphere). Tricky yet addictive there are so many possible combinations and 60 increasingly difficult levels. Think you have what it takes to complete each one? Light Chamber is $1.99 for BlackBerry 10.

More information/Purchase Light Chamber

Gesture Paint Pro by Nicola Corti

Unleash your inner artist with this simple drawing tool. With the entire display as your canvas, create your own imaginative designs freehand with just a swipe across the display. There are various features to help you including different pen colors, pinch and zoom, undo and redo to rollback your moves, brush dynamics to change the size and effects of your brush, gesture mode for executing fast commands, fuzzy mode, and multi touch for drawing with more finger. Once finished, you can save or share to your social networks. Gesture Paint is available in an ad free premium version for $0.99 or a light version with ads that limits multi touch mode.

How to install Gesture Paint from the Amazon Appstore

What You Might Have Missed

Quick Launch - Application Launcher by Toysoft Development

While our BlackBerry devices are perfect for multitasking there are often times you may not want to swipe out of one application to open another. That is where Quick Launch comes into play. While not the same application created for legacy devices, it offers similar functionality. Instead of a convenience key, users tap and hold on one of the volume keys to bring up the Quick Launch menu. From there they can launch another application, open a file, dial a number, or launch a website. Barring the slight learning curve on how to setup the shortcuts, it is a capable program. The downsides are that third-party app compatibility is limited and keypad devices on OS 10.3.1 already utilize shortcuts and speed dials by using an assigned key. However, all touch devices will benefit. Quick Launch is $1.99 to download.

Learn more / Purchase Quick Launch from 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 or the BlackBerry PlayBook. 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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BBM

To go along with the BBM for iOS update, the BBM team has also rolled out a new update for the BlackBerry 10 as well. This release focuses on key issue that was affecting users and that's notifications not displaying for picture messages in group chats. A small but welcomed updated. It's live right now in the BlackBerry Beta Zone so if you're one of those on the limited beta, go ahead and get your fix. Version will vary depending on OS and device and take note, current chats will be lost by installing this version of BBM.

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BBM for iOS beta updated to v2.7.0.67

BBM for iOS beta updated to v2.7.0.67

UPDATED - Ahh, there was a full change log. The update just wasn't showing it. I have now included it below.

If you're a beta tester for BBM on iOS, you now have a new update available for you through TestFlight. While the change log for this one appears rather long, a lot of it's just the same as previous versions so it seems there's no huge changes in this release despite the larger version number. One item that appears new though is there has been some adjustments made to the 'connecting' messages that get displayed when network coverage and WiFi is low. Still an update is an update. Go get it!

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Mobile Nations Community Update, February 2015

Mobile Nations Community Update, February 2015

It's that time again. Time to bring you up-to-date with the latest happenings around Android Central, Connectedly, CrackBerry, iMore, and Windows Central in our Community Update.

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Dukto is an easy to use LAN file transfer tool

There are various applications at your disposal with which to transfer your files via WiFi. Using the Dukto open source code, one talented developer worked hard to create a seamless and beautiful native experience to BlackBerry 10. If you are not familiar with Dukto, it is a multi-platform LAN file transfer utility that supports sending text, files, or folders from one device to another and vice versa. It does so with users not having to worry about configuration, permissions, operating system, protocols, and servers.

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Parrott-Voice-Recorder-Hero

We first took a look at Parrot - Voice Recorder, on video, back in April 2013 and it got the thumbs up from me. The fantastic native BlackBerry 10 app has been updated several times since those early days, however today sees a massive new release, now that OS 10.3.1 is out.

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Detwiler Fenton reportedly facing criminal case over BlackBerry sales information

Back in April of 2013, research firm Detwiler Fenton claimed that Z10 devices were being returned in unusually high numbers, which caused BlackBerry stock to drop nearly 8%. At the time, the claim sounded rather crazy because it essentially made it look as though returns were exceeding sales.

BlackBerry understandably took issue with the claims and stated they were absolutely false and sought a US and Canadian review of the claims through Securities and Exchange Commission and Ontario Securities Commission and now it appears as though they might be seeing some justice on the matter according to a new report from the Boston Business Journal.

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TELUS BlackBerry Z30 owners can now update to OS 10.3.1

Much like Rogers, the initial push of BlackBerry OS 10.3.1 on TELUS was limited to the BlackBerry Z10, Q10 and Q5, leaving BlackBerry Z30 owners waiting a bit longer. Now though, the update has started rolling out and Z30 owners have the OS update available to them according to several folks in the CrackBerry Forums as well as TELUS' own Twitter support channels. If your device isn't set to automatically download updates, you can now go to Settings>Software Updates and see if it's available for you. Looking for what's new? We got you covered! Passport owner? Well, you're still waiting for now.

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FCC votes 3-2 to reclassify broadband as a utility, sets new net neutrality rules

The Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 today to regulate broadband providers like telephone and cable utilities under Title II of the Telecommunications Act. The FCC will also enforce a set of net neutrality rules for those companies. The changes were first proposed earlier this month.

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The Guild features BlackBerry Industrial Designer Joseph Hofer

BlackBerry has a long standing history of winning design awards for their BlackBerry smartphones and recently, film producer and music composer Ryan Freeman of Freeman House Productions, based in Toronto, Canada, contacted BlackBerry with a request to feature Joseph Hofer, Senior Industrial Designer at BlackBerry, in what was then an upcoming short film series called The Guild Series.

The Guild Series aims to offer an inside look at the creative process through a number of categories including a Music Producer, City Planner, Photographer, Graphic Designer, Fashion Designer and in this case, an Industrial Designer whose recent work includes the Q10 and Z10, as well the BlackBerry Passport.

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BlackBerry Leap 'Rio' gets caught in new photos

BlackBerry Leap 'Rio' gets caught in new photos

It seems the BlackBerry Rio, which might go to market as the BlackBerry Leap, can't stay under wraps any longer. The mid-range or low-end depending on your tastes, all-touch device which has been appearing in various ways since late last year has now been caught in some new photos. As we noted before, the design is familiar to that of the Z3 but inside the specs are slightly different.

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Home-Scree-Plus-Hero

If your the type of person that likes to keep an eye on stocks while you're on the move, then the latest update to Home Screen Plus may well be of interest. It's only been a month since the last update, which introduced resizable widgets, but the developer, ShaoSoft, has been hard at work to bring a new unique experience to the already popular BlackBerry 10 app.

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BlackBerry Classic now available online from Verizon Wireless

We knew it was coming but now it's really here. Yes, the BlackBerry Classic is now available for purchase online from Verizon Wireless while retail outlets will have the devices starting on March 5th. Verizon has priced the Classic at $99.99 with new two-year activation after $50 mail-in rebate debit card (takes up to six weeks and expires in 12 months) plus, it's also available for eligible Verizon Edge customers or you can buy it outright for $399.99. If you're looking to learn more about the Classic, check out our full review otherwise, head on over the Verizon site to place your order where's it's available in camera and non-camera versions.

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Want to win some BlackBerry goodies? Enter now to win some hats, mugs and more!

We were due for a contest so, I decided to have a little bit of fun. As some folks might have seen on the CrackBerry BBM Channel (C00012B19), I've been hanging on to some BlackBerry goodies. Some hats, pens, stickers, spark logos, mugs, carabiners and a few other things. Obviously, I can't wear 10 of all the same hats and there's only so many key chains one can have a use for and since people haven't stopped emailing me about the stuff since I posted it, I figured now was a good time to go ahead and give some of it away so the emails will hopefully stop and well, because I like you all.

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Having 'Blue LED' errors on your BlackBerry 10 device? Here's how to fix it!

Since November, there has been a rather random issue happening to a limited number of BlackBerry smartphones that when the device was manually restarted, all data is removed and it a blue LED is displayed during startup. At the time it started occurring, it was happening on developer builds or otherwise leaked builds of 10.3.1 but there was no resolution for it that worked for everyone.

With 10.3.1 now officially released, BlackBerry has updated their knowledge base to fully address the problem and issue a fix for those who might be experiencing it, which seems to be mostly Z10 and Q10 owners but is available to everyone as it does a hardware check to determine if it's needed for your device.

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