BBM for BlackBerry 10

With the Android build already rolled out, BlackBerry has also updated BBM for BlackBerry 10 users. Essentially, it's the same version as it brings the exact same improvements to BlackBerry 10 devices such as the ability to search your BBM chats, contacts, groups and channels, like posts in your feed, request a contact's location with enhancements to Glympse and more.

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BlackBerry adds Walmart to the list of retailers selling Priv

Aside from rolling the Priv out to Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore, BlackBerry has also been working expanding retailer availability in the U.S. and Canada adding the likes of Best Buy, Staples and even our own ShopCrackBerry Canada to the mix. Now, they've added the world's largest retailer as well, Walmart.

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BBM for Android update brings new features, bug fixes and performance improvements

After having spent a bit of time in the BlackBerry Beta Zone, the latest build of BBM for Android has now arrived in the Google Play Store for all. Keeping in line with the BlackBerry 10 and iOS versions, this build adds multiple improvements to BBM such as the ability to search your BBM chats, contacts, groups and channels, like posts in your feed, request a contact's location with enhancements to Glympse and more. We've gathered up the full change log for you to dig through.

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BlackBerry Priv officially launched in Malaysia with a retail price of RM3,559

Adding another region to the growing list of areas which Priv is available, BlackBerry has now officially launched the device in Malaysia. Customers looking to pick up a Priv can now preorder the device through 11street with special offers in place if you're quick. The first 60 customers who preorder through 11street will be able to purchase Priv at a discounted price of MYR 3,388.

If you're not among the first 60 to preorder from 11street, you'll have another shot at getting Priv at a discount when it goes up for preorder at selected Blue Cube Outlets starting December 10, 2015, at the same price of MYR 3,388. If you miss out on those discounts, Priv will be available through 11street, Celcom, Maxis Enterprise, Tune Talk and other BlackBerry authorized partners, starting December 15, 2015 at an RRP of MYR 3,559. Shipping date through 11street is slated for December 17, 2015.

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These are the BlackBerry Priv and CrackBerry mystery box winners!

We rounded out the end of November with a couple of giveaways here at CrackBerry. We gave you all a second chance at winning a brand new BlackBerry Priv, and we also wanted to share more CrackBerry goodies with you all so we ran a contest for 5 boxes of swag. The month is over and it's time to announce who the winners of those giveaways are!

Let's get to it!

The winner of our second BlackBerry Priv contest is rocker_man1! Congratulations!

I would be thankful for a priv device for two different distinct reasons. First off I loved my BlackBerry Torch and would love to relive the slider keyboard device. More importantly though with every passing day google play services are being added to apps that have no reason for them. It is becoming a huge issue for me running my blog from my BlackBerry Passport. If I could keep much of what makes the Passport great while having every needed app at my fingertips I could be far more productive! I would also love Crackberry even more for it lol.

And the five winners of CrackBerry mystery swag are:

  • Matty
  • msedaros
  • NewtonEinstein
  • Omahahaha
  • Panomano

Congratulations to all the winners! I'll be reaching out soon via email to get your shipping info. Everyone else, you might want to keep an eye on the blogs for our next contest. It's the holiday season, and we're in a giving mood.

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Accomplishing tasks and reaching one's goals are important in both our business and personal life. When things become hectic and there isn't enough time, sometimes we need a little nudge. This is where LaunchMe comes into play. This headless application is a simple yet effective way of launching applications when you need them.

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Priv's first software update now available for Bell, Rogers and TELUS customers

Have a Priv on either Bell, Rogers or TELUS? You'll want to go ahead and check for software updates on your device if you haven't already. All three carriers have now started their push of the Priv's first software update otherwise known as build AAD027. As a reminder, we've outlined the changes in this release below.

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Forrester Research names BlackBerry a leader in Enterprise Mobile Management

Each year, Forrester Research, Inc. evaluates the most significant mobile device management vendors and this year, as they have in previous years as well, have named BlackBerry a leader in Enterprise Mobile Management. The BlackBerry solution portfolio of BES12 and Good Powered by BlackBerry scored among the highest in 14 of the 25 criteria measured by Forrester. As noted Forrester Research, "BlackBerry's strong network and data security paired with recently acquired Good Technology's containerization for new devices and application services will enhance its offering further and cement its leadership position."

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The best music gifts to amp up the holiday season

Need help finding gifts that provide amazing audio? Check out what's hot this holiday season and surprise the music guru in your life.

With so much music available right at our fingertips there's never been a better time to listen to our favorite artists and songs from any smartphone, tablet, or computer. Amazing quality audio isn't as easy to come by, however, especially when you're trying to sift through thousands of portable speakers and headphones to find what sounds best and fits comfortably. We've highlighted a handful of products that are definitely worth considering as a gift for yourself or even your fellow audiophile. And, if your search expands beyond the realm of audio, check out our extensive 2015 Holiday Gift Guide for plenty more exciting gifts for the holiday season.

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens officially opens on December 18, 2015 and it seems as though the marketing department at Disney has gone absolutely nuts with their promotion of the movie. Not wanting to miss out on the marketing blitz, Canadian carrier Bell has released a new 'Epic' TV commercial to promote the movie and of course, lineup of phones which includes the epic all-new Android-powered BlackBerry Priv.

Granted, the Priv appearance here is brief and I'm sure we'd all like to see a dedicated commercial for the device, but that doesn't make it any less awesome. Go ahead, hit play and check it out. Also, you can skip the whole BlackBerry has gone to the dark side joke, I beat you to it.

Thanks, Robtanz!

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We've updated the CB10 app for BlackBerry 10 to fix some bugs

I know. I know. It's been a while since we last updated the CB10 app for BlackBerry 10 but as I'm sure some folks have already realized, a new update has now arrived in BlackBerry World. This release is pretty much just a maintenance release to address a few bugs that were in the app as well as improve upon some of the performance issues folks were seeing. We've included a change log for the update on BlackBerry World but in case you missed that, have a look.

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Priv security update patches sixteen holes for safety's sake

Last week, BlackBerry began pushing their first formal update to BlackBerry Priv owners with improvements the camera, device performance, stability and of course, security. The security improvements portion of the update were not outlined at the time but now that Google has gone live with their December 2015 Security Bulletin, BlackBerry has laid out the specifics that apply to Priv.

In total, sixteen Common Vulnerability and Exposures ID have been patched and according to Google there are no active reports of any active exploits through these vulnerabilities. As we learned early on from BlackBerry, they've committed to keeping up with the Android monthly security updates, so this kind of detail is something we can expect to see every month from BlackBerry going forward. Have a look through what all was patched.

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Grab the Minions Emoji BBM sticker pack for free!

Grab the Minions Emoji BBM sticker pack for free!

Stuart, Kevin and Bob have invaded BBM by way of the BBM Sticker Shop. Right now, you can head on into the shop and grab the free Minions Emoji BBM sticker pack. All in all, the pack includes 20 different stickers to use featuring the lovable Minions. To be perfectly honest, it's probably one of the most versatile and largest sticker packs offered for free thus far through the BBM Shop, so go ahead and grab it for your collection while you can. Keep in mind, it might be a regional pack. We have no way of knowing and you must open the link in your browser, not through any apps or web views.

Download the Minions Emoji BBM Sticker pack for free!

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The best gifts for kids this holiday season

The best gifts for kids this holiday season

Sometimes Santa needs a little help picking out the best gifts for those on his nice list. Don't fret — we've got you covered.

No one's more excited about the holidays than our kids, and with all the amazing toys to choose from the selection can become overwhelming. We've narrowed down some cool gifts to consider this year that will be a hit with any kid for the holidays. And, if you need help shopping for other friends and family members feel free to check out our extensive 2015 Holiday Gift Guide that covers our absolute favorite gadgets.

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Sprint now rolling out OS to BlackBerry Q10 owners

Are you still using a BlackBerry Q10 on Sprint and haven't updated to 10.3.2 manually out of frustration yet? If so, we have some good news for you. The carrier last week approved a new 10.3.2 build noting that it would be rolled out gradually but for whatever reason, that build seemed to have got pulled rather quickly.

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BerryFlow Upstream Podcast - Buffalo


This week Upstream is taking a bit of a break from its traditional live format but don't fear, it's still just as awesome. I know because while I was unable to take part this week due to some scheduling changes, I did get to watch it before posting it up. This week, James and Alex sit down with special guest, Jon Rettinger to discuss all things BlackBerry and of course, the latest BlackBerry device still making headlines weeks after release - the Priv. I really regret missing out on this one because the conversation was fantastic. You can check out the video and audio below.

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Mobile Nations Weekly: A Virtual Winter

Drawing lines, virtual jacks, and fall updates.

Virtual reality is still in its early stages and we're still trying out all facets of it — which means we were excited to get some extended face time (literally) with the all-new Samsung Gear VR. The BlackBerry Priv received its first update, promising improved camera performance and more for the Android handset.

Apple surprised the development community by taking their newest programming language, Swift, and turning it to open source — while simultaneously swimming in a sea of rumors about possibly dropping the classic 3.5mm headphone jack on the next iPhone.

But the big news of the week came from the land of Windows: the much-wanted Surface Phone is actually happening, and it's coming soon! Well, by fall 2016. So Windows Mobile fans will still have a bit of a wait for their dream phone. In the meantime, they can check out Windows 10 Mobile on the Xiaomi Mi 4, which just so happens to be an Android phone.

There's all that and more in this week in tech, so let's get into it!

Looking for the perfect tech gift? Check out our 2015 holiday gift guide!

CrackBerry — The first update always tastes so sweet

It was a reasonably busy week for BlackBerry news. This week, BlackBerry announced even more regions for the BlackBerry Priv. Plus the device got its first major software update, which started with unlocked versions and will continue to roll out to carrier released versions through December. Not all was rosy news though, BlackBerry also announced they'll be shutting down BBM Meetings. To be fair, BBM Meetings was nothing but a re-branded offering powered by Zoom but the news still came out of nowhere, so ended up being a bit surprising.

Android Central — Virtual reality, virtual lines in sand

The big product launch in the last week was the all-new Samsung Gear VR, which is finally getting in people's hands. A step down the ladder, Motorola is finally launching the Moto 360 Sport — look for it in January. And oh yeah, OnePlus makes an iPhone 6s case now.

Carriers continue to mix up their plans, with Verizon making the smart move of offering 2GB of monthly data for life when [you sign up for a larger plan]. In slightly less good ideas, AT&T is bumping up the price of its unlimited data offering.

It's time for us to put our collective feet down on phones launching with Lollipop — starting in 2016, we're not going to look favorably upon phones launching without Marshmallow on board. It may turn into an interesting discussion, but we stand with it.

And it's that time of year where Google's Santa Tracker gets back up and running again — it's worth a look for the children in your life.

Read the latest entry in our epic 8-part Android History series

iMore — Opening up

Just when we thought Apple had stopped for the holidays, the company went and open sourced their new programming language, Swift. And they did it beyond anyone's expectations. There was also some stress over the Mac App Store and rumors about the end of the 3.5mm headphone jack. And December has just started!

Windows Central — Surface Phone is happening… eventually

This week Windows Central revealed that a 'Surface Phone' is now officially in the works and slated for a fall release. Exactly what the phone will be like is currently not known, but we're sure to hear more in 2016.

Microsoft released the Windows 10 Mobile update for the Android-based Xiaomi Mi 4, which is a very interesting experiment. We also took a trip down memory lane to highlight some of the best features of Windows Phone 8 that have faded away in 10.

Finally, Microsoft held a fan event for the launch of their new Lumias in NYC and we were there.

Kicked — Paper drones

This week on Kicked Weekly we show you the best new single serve coffee brewer, a device to control your DSLR through your smartphone, a mug to keep your coffee hotter that also warms up your morning donut, and a live streaming paper airplane drone! Patrick also stops by with his coffee mug invention which leads to some donut-throwing antics in the studio.

For the coolest crowd funding projects you need to know about (along with a few weekly antics) be sure to subscribe to the Kicked TV YouTube Channel and follow us on social media. We're active on Twitter, Facebook and of course Instagram.

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iGrann update brings the return of direct messages and support for new Instagram image sizes

If you're using iGrann as your Instagram app on BlackBerry 10, then you'll be pleased to know a new update for the app has now arrived in BlackBerry World. The latest release sees the return of direct messages enabled, pro only for now according to BlackBerry World. Plus, it also adds support for viewing of new Instagram sizes to the feed view as well as the download feature.

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BlackBerry to announce Q3 Fiscal 2016 results on December 18

Save the date for December 18, as that's when BlackBerry will be announcing its third quarter fiscal 2016 results.

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BlackBerry App Roundup for December 4, 2015

Howdy CrackBerry nation! I hope everyone has recovered from not only Thanksgiving, but Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and all those crazy and wonderful tech deals. Since last we met, quite a bit of news has hit the front page, so I will do my best to recap. First up for Priv owners is how BlackBerry pushed out the first update for their Android device which includes several improvements and enhancements. We also saw how BBM Meetings will be shut down in early 2016, the design influences behind the Priv, and OS now available to download. As I said, a busy week.

As a reminder, do not forget to enter our open contests which includes one year free storage from MediaFire and the Mobile Nations 2015 Holiday Gadgets Survey for your change to win $600.

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 did not make the cut this week, remember you can help by offering your suggestions at the end.

Purple Monster by FileArchiveHaven

Day in and day out, I spend a few hours commuting by train and subway for work. As such, I'm always armed with a game or two to make this long trip bearable. Purple Monster is an endless running game whereby you navigate the colorful creature through the maze of tunnels and fatal pits. While you are avoiding the obstacles and falling to your death you must also satisfy the monster's obsession with collecting coins and gems. All you have to do is tap, or press the space bar on QWERTY devices, to jump and you are on your way.

This cute and challenging game fulfills its task of keeping me occupied and oblivious to my surroundings while traveling to and from work. Purple Monster is compatible with all BlackBerry 10 handsets and is $0.99 to download in BlackBerry World.

Learn more / Purchase Purple Monster from BlackBerry World

Video Melody for Vid.Me by anpho

If you are searching for a browser to view the various videos streams, this application will get you started. You can view featured, hot, and trending video streams and search for videos and users. The application comes with an experimental basic content filter, day and night theme, and application lock. Video Melody supports BlackBerry 10 devices running OS 10.3.1 and higher. You can download this native application for free in BlackBerry World.

Learn more / Download Video Melody for Vid.Me from BlackBerry World

Pocket Casts by Shifty Jelly

As a BlackBerry Priv owner, I scoured Google Play to try and find a decent podcast application. Needless to say there are no shortage of Android podcast apps available. Pocket Casts boasts an array of features to help you find, subscribe, and listen to your favorite content in a snap. This multi-platform player includes Chromecast support, filters for episodes not played or downloaded, storage options, controls via widgets, Android Wear and Pebble, and the notification center, cloud sync, variable speed playback, and various settings to tailor to your preferences. What stands out for me is how the interface is designed. It's quick, smooth, and stylish, especially when discovering new podcasts.

You can purchase this full feature podcast player for $3.99 in Google Play. As it is multi-platform, you can sync between all of your devices.

Learn more / Purchase Pocket Casts from Google Play

Fenix for Twitter by mvilla

Since I am not usually one to stick with the native Twitter app, it was time to hit Google Play to find one for the Priv. Fenix for Twitter offers a wide array of great features to give you a customized Twitter experience. Speaking of customization, it allows users to switch between a light, dark, or true black theme as well as the option to personalize the navigation by hiding unwanted sections.

What initially caught my eye is the visually appealing interface and the beautiful layout. It also supports image and video previews directly from the timeline. Last, but certainly not least, Fenix will appeal to BlackBerry 10 users because of its swipe capabilities. You can swipe through all the app sections, swipe to close a tweet, or even swipe to compose a new tweet. Fenix is a full-featured Twitter client available in Google Play $5.49. One important thing I must add is users will need to go into settings to set the notifications as they are not turned on by default.

Learn more / Purchase Fenix from Google Play

Square.Hop.SPIKE!!! by Jason Holland

From the developer that brought you Pests comes this interesting and fun little game. The premise is quite simple. As the tiny square moves across the playing field, users must tap to have it jump over obstacles and collect the rings. There are 65 levels in the premium version and 20 in the free version. Each one ends when your square hits the spike. While the first few levels/stages are easy to conquer, the ones that follow are challenging. You can download the free version upgrade to the full one for $0.99. Please note Square.Hop.SPIKE!!! is only compatible with full touchscreen BlackBerry 10 devices (Leap, Z10, Z3, and Z30).

Learn more / Purchase Square.Hop.SPIKE!!! from BlackBerry World

What You Might Have Missed

Bridge by CellNinja

For those of you who recently picked up the Pebble Time, Pebble Time Steel, or Pebble Time Round, this application is for you. Bridge is a companion application to the Pebble Time Android App. As the name implies, it acts as a bridge between the official Android app and the Pebble smartwatch so you can receive your notifications (i.e. Emails, SMS, calendar events, etc.) and utilize voice commands for launching the music player, replying to emails, and taking notes.

The application comes with a watchapp in order to connect the Pebble Time to your device. Please note you must have three applications installed in order for Bridge to function properly. First isTalk2Watch Pro, though the headless functionality must be turned off, next is the Pebble Time Android App, which can be downloaded from Snap, and then the Bridge App, that will prompt you to download the Bridge Watch App. Bridge is compatible with all BlackBerry 10 handsets and is free to download from BlackBerry World.

Learn more / Download Bridge 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, 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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