I am sure we are all guilty at one time or another of being on our devices while walking. In these instances we are usually not paying attention to our surroundings but engrossed in whatever conversation or task we are working on. Every now and then I am probably guilty of being so preoccupied that I do not look up from the display even when I am out and about.

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BlackBerry 'Rio' appears in leaked device renders

BlackBerry 'Rio' appears in leaked device renders

With the specs of the BlackBerry Rio already available, it was only a matter of time before the images of the device appeared to go along with them and luckily for those interested in the device, it didn't take long at all. The folks over at N4BB have dropped the device renders of the proposed sub $300 mid-range smartphone and for anyone who was wondering where the references to the Z3 came in, well the images should clear that up nicely. Aside from some changes around the back side and button placement, it's a spitting image of the Z3, not unlike the 'Manitoba' before it.

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TELUS could be among the first carriers to roll out BlackBerry 10.3.1

As we already learned during the BlackBerry Classic Q&A panel at the launch event, BlackBerry plans to start rolling out BlackBerry OS 10.3.1 to all in-market devices come February but where the roll out will begin and end still remains a mystery. A new internal document reportedly from TELUS does give us some hints though as it suggests the Canadian carrier will be among the first to have it available.

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The developers behind SnowLogic are at it again bringing us another entertaining game geared for players of all ages called GetOuT!Eddy. Now that the holidays are here and we all have some extra time on our hands nothing wrong with curling up with a simply physics game for a quick escape. The object of the game is for you to navigate the stuffed Teddy Bear, called Eddy, out of the house, as he is trapped there while his Family is on vacation.

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A few weeks ago we received the tragic news that one of our longtime members and forum moderators, Josh Chambers, had passed away. Josh was known as OldSkoolVWLover around Mobile Nations and was a beloved member of our volunteer team at CrackBerry and PreCentral/webOS Nation for many years.

Always willing to lend a hand (and joke around), Josh will be greatly missed by members and colleagues here at Mobile Nations, all of which were proud to call him a good friend. With a desire to pay tribute, many of our volunteers stepped up to write a few words about Josh. I'd like to share them with you now.

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2014 Holiday Gift Guide

2014 Holiday Gift Guide

Holiday shopping can be tough, we know. Finding the best gift for your loved ones can be a pain, but we're here to help. This is the Mobile Nations 2014 Holiday Gift Guide so we can help you find the perfect gift for every name on your list. And this doesn't have to be for just that special someone — it's perfectly okay to get a little something special for yourself too. You've earned it.

So as we roll into the biggest and craziest shopping and gift-giving season of the year, it's time to find out what should be on your wish list — and what's on everybody else's lists. So let's dive right in to the Mobile Nations 2014 Holiday Gift Guide for the very best gifts for everybody from the writer and the student to the home automator and the businessman.

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Happy Holidays BBM sticker pack now available for free!

Happy Holidays sticker pack now available for free!

UPDATE - What the heck? They were free but now they changed to $1.99. Sorry about that folks, not sure what happened there. Seems like the Grinch creeped in and changed the price!

If you're looking to add a little holiday cheer to your BBM, there's a new Happy Holidays BBM sticker pack available for download in the BBM Shop. Best of all, you won't have to pay for this one as it comes to you free as a gift from the folks at Swyft Media. You can jump below to get a closer look at the pack or just hit this link to be taken right to it. Keep in mind, link needs to be opened in your browser.

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Amazon announces festive holiday discounts on a variety of apps and media

Amazon has announced a number of holiday discounts on apps, music, movies, and more. Many of the sales run through the end of December, with some content available at steep discounts.

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New BlackBerry 'Rio' specs show it as an evolved Z3

BlackBerry 'Rio' specs show it as an evolved Z3

If you've been holding out hopes for the BlackBerry 'Rio' to be a high-end all-touch device, you'll have to hold out a bit longer, as it now appears as though that device will fall into the mid-range category according to N4BB. I'm sure many of you will remember the BlackBerry 'Manitoba' which ultimately ended up being the Z3 LTE with a few minor changes and how it never ended up being released. Well, the 'Rio' project is now suggested to be a build off of that with some slightly upgraded specs. A cross between Z3 and Z30.

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The all-in-one utility application for Pebble and BlackBerry 10 owners decided to offer up a little holiday cheer for its users. The latest version includes a few bug fixes and enhancements but more importantly a cute little Christmas tree to grace your Pebble's display.

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From the Editor's Desk: Classic, 10.3.1, CES, MWC and more!

Between the launch of the BlackBerry Classic and BlackBerry's Q3 Fiscal 2015 earnings report, it has been a busy past few days all around. This week, I'd just like to take a quick look back at some of the stuff that was covered, which ultimately highlights a few of the things we have to look forward to as well as some things folks may have missed in the flurry of news that came out.

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I am a physical keyboard device user, first and foremost, though I did enjoy using the BlackBerry Z30 for a while, until going back to the BlackBerry Q10 and now the BlackBerry Passport. The only problem with a physical keyboard is the noise it makes. I like the noise, don't get my wrong. That clicky sound and tactile feedback is why I love it but there are just some situations where that clicky sound isn't appropriate. Like when you're in a very quiet class and you want to send a BBM or Tweet, it can be quite distracting. That's when Silent Keys comes in handy.

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It wasn't too long ago that we saw an update to this app but ReadItNow! has had another updated pushed through to BlackBerry World. This latest update brings us to v6.9.5 and adds a few new features as well as your regular improvements and fixes. This app is one of my top 5 apps and if you don't know what it does, it's a third party Pocket app. Pocket is a read it later service where you can save articles for later reading or even offline reading and it is free to sign up for an account.

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Gameloft brings Spider-Man Unlimited to BlackBerry 10

Truth be told, it has been a while since Gameloft has brought any of their bigger titles into BlackBerry World but the time has come to change that and well, they went with a good one. Your favorite web-slinging Spider-Man is back and this time it's via the free to download Spider-Man Unlimited.

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So now that the awesome BlackBerry Classic has officially launched and hitting retailers around the world over the next few weeks it may leave some folk in a bit of a predicament. For those of you that are due to upgrade your smartphone it's possible that you're now left with the decision to make of whether to get the BlackBerry Passport or Classic.

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John Chen increases his BlackBerry turnaround odds to 99 percent

After BlackBerry's Q3 fiscal 2015 earnings call, BlackBerry CEO John Chen sat down with Bloomberg's Emily Chang to discuss the report, business strategy and profit outlook for the company. As has become a common question for Chen, he was asked how he felt about his chances of fully turning BlackBerry around. Rather than running with 50-50 or 80 percent this time, the CEO was confident enough to lay down a 99 percent. You can check out the full interview below or head on over to the Bloomberg videos site to watch it.

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During BlackBerry's Q3 fiscal 2015 earnings call, BlackBerry CEO John Chen highlighted the fact his company was now 'collaborating with Boeing to provide a secure mobile solution for Android devices utilizing our BES12 platform' but noted 'That by the way is all they allow me to say.'

A new report from Bloomberg though further confirms the collaboration with Andy Lee, a Boeing spokesman stating the organisations are 'pursuing a number of opportunities' that would pair the Boeing device with BlackBerry's BES server.

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Exterminate bugs in this fun game PESTS - 500 free copies up for grabs

Looking for a fun game to play over the weekend? How about a game called PESTS. In the game you have to exterminate flies using peas, bug zappers, fireballs, even lawnmowers. The more bugs you kill the higher your score, simple as. You do have tasks to complete too, just to make the game a bit more interesting. During game play, there are power ups to collect. There are different coloured power ups that drop down which represent the different ammunition you can collect. Just don't try to collect the black small one, that's one you must avoid.

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BlackBerry App Roundup for December 19, 2014

Howdy CrackBerry nation! It is the end of an important week here, and that can only mean one thing, the BlackBerry Classic is finally here! I know you are all excited and awaiting your shipping confirmation but first things first. The only thing you should be doing before holding that device in your hands is reading through Bla1ze's comprehensive review. This week also saw BlackBerry Blend updated to a brand new version across the board with enhancements and fixes.

Now 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.

QuickReply by manysmallapps.com

From time to time, there are going to be moments where you need to save time and effort by replying quickly to a variety of emails that involve similar questions and requests. During those times, it is often necessary to use pre-filled responses and templates. QuickReply is a way for BlackBerry users to create and compose templates right from the BlackBerry Hub. Not only does it allow for text responses but you may add one or more files to include as attachments. Once a template is selected you have two options to compose your message. The first method is to tap and hold on a template and select the compose option from the menu. This will bring up a new BlackBerry compose email screen. The second option is to go into the hub and share the original message to QuickReply and tap on a specific template. The compose email screen appears as a reply to the original message where you can make further edits prior to clicking send. Fast and easy it is a handy application for consumers and business users alike. QuickReply is $0.99 for BlackBerry 10.

More information/Purchase QuickReply

Notes on Pictures by LaurentCie

Awhile back I took a look at Notes on Pictures for legacy devices. It was a fun application to insert witty and noteworthy captions to your personal pictures before sharing them on your social networks. The developer recently announced its availability on BlackBerry 10 with a slick, new, easy to use interface. Being able to add a caption to your pictures, whether it be creative observations, funny remarks or memes, or just put the image into context, the application lets you add text with easy. All you have to do is select an image or take a shot with the camera, add the text and save, and the rest is up to you. Current users can download this version for free, otherwise it is $0.99.

More information/Purchase Notes on Pictures

Wall by Beekoi

For those of you with Tumblr accounts, a third party client popped up in the storefront this week simply called Wall. This application, by using it's easy to read dashboard-like view, allows users to receive notifications, search tags, filter by post, upload multiple images, and choose which blog to publish to. In addition, it lets you choose a publishing option (Post Now, Save as Draft, Add to Queue, Post Privately) and to select between a bright and dark theme. The interface is easy to use and the animations to select what type blog post to create give users the ability to quickly get their thoughts published. You can find it $1.99 for BlackBerry 10.

More information/Purchase Wall

Zengrams by Gameblyr, LLC

This week I found this unique puzzle game in the Amazon Appstore. I have to say it is quite challenging. The object of the game is to fill in the box(es) with the pieces given in a limited number of moves. At the bottom of the screen you will see three diamond shapes. These are used to track how many moves remaining to maneuver the pieces on the board. If you tap one of these diamonds you can undo your last move without restarting the level. Basically what you are doing is moving the pieces to fill in a set shape on the board. What is also interesting is that the pieces may come in different colors and sometimes the puzzle involves them overlapping (to form another color) or combining to form one piece that has to be moved as well. There are 70 puzzles included in this game and it involves a bit of thought to solve the various logic puzzles presented. Normally priced at $2.99, Zengrams is on sale for the holidays for $0.99.

How to install Android apps from the Amazon Appstore

Wallpaper++ by Mamdouh Studios

If there one thing I can say, it is that I never get tired of swapping wallpapers on my device. No matter what the occasion there is nothing like livening up the screen by rotating amongst my favorite images. Wallpaper++ comes with over 1,000 images in ten different categories for you to choose from. What sets this apart from similar applications is that they are sized correctly for all BlackBerry 10 devices. All of the images are high quality and it's as easy as tapping on your selection to set the image as your background. This application is $2.99 to purchase for BlackBerry 10.

More information/Purchase Wallpaper++

What You Might Have Missed

Swirl by Dirk Songuer

Earlier this year, Foursquare spun off it's application into two parts, Foursquare and Swarm, with the latter taking over the role for all your check-ins. Versions popped up on the iOS, Android, and Windows Phone platforms but not on BlackBerry as we still had the original application to use. One talented developer decided took up the mantle and created his own third party client called Swirl. It allows you to check into venues around you, see where your friends are and their recent check-ins, view user and venue profiles, and contact your friends via all the registered channels. For a limited time you can find it for BlackBerry 10 for only $0.99.

More information/Purchase Swirl

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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BlackBerry Q3 results show progress towards sustainable profitability

Earlier this morning BlackBerry posted its results for Q3 of fiscal 2015. Every quarter it seems people think this is a typo, so as a gentle reminder I'll point out that the company has a February fiscal year end.

To jump right to the short term situation, the market is not particularly keen on the numbers. The stock is down about 6% as I type these words. I suspect the big reason for this is the reported revenue line. BlackBerry reported $793 million for the quarter compared to analyst expectations of $931. That's pretty huge miss of 15%, and because I don't have my hands on a bunch of analyst models, I don't know where the miss came from right now. My guess is the analyst community was expecting better hardware sales, whereas BlackBerry only recognized revenue on 2 million devices.

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