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MockIt! makes its way to BlackBerry World

Back in December 2013 we saw the first non-BlackBerry developed app become available in BlackBerry Beta Zone -- MockIt!. It has been available to download for anyone with a Beta Zone account. If you haven't tried it or checked it out yet, MockIt! is an app that allows you to create memes, device mocks for presentation and also photo collages. 

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Typo keyboard

BlackBerry is pushing to immediately halt sales of the Typo keyboard case for iPhone. While Typo insists that they are a small company that lacks the capability to produce a large quantity of keyboards, BlackBerry alleges that Typo has contradicted these statements, flooding the market with keyboards before an injunction could be imposed.

Typo previously stated that it had written and verbal orders from resellers. Because these orders could not have been negotiated after the preliminary injunction that BlackBerry recently won, BlackBerry says that Typo must have been making deals with wholesalers all along, going against their previous claim. The preliminary injunction against Typo came last month. Sales of the keyboard will be put on hold while the trial proceeds after BlackBerry posts its bond with the court.

For more on the Typo keyboard, be sure to check out CrackBerry Kevin's hands on, as well as his account of how he wore the keyboard out in three days.

Source: PCWorld

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What if BlackBerry had the best devices and BB10 became the best OS in the world?

During CrackBerry podcast episode 114, Chris Umiastowski brought up the reality that it probably doesn’t matter if BlackBerry unquestionably had the best devices and OS in the world, because it still wouldn’t help them gain market share. The CrackBerry team engaged in this discussion a little but it deserves more attention and certainly makes for an interesting conversation.

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When it comes to utility applications on my BlackBerry I tend to be critical and picky. However, there are times where something unique comes along where I just have to take a look. In this case the ‘Built for BlackBerry’ application in question is Golden Retriever for BlackBerry 10. What makes this stand out amongst the crowd is that it truly does offer capabilities rare to the platform. This headless application allows you to remotely control your BlackBerry device using commands sent via email.

Now as the developer explains this comes in handy if you loan your handheld to a friend or family member or if you lose or misplace it. In these instances, you can still fetch the information you seek from your BlackBerry without having it nearby.

Using the application is quite easy. Once installed you simply setup a password for the application and select the email account you wish to monitor. To access the list of commands simply swipe down from the top and tap on help. After this is complete you can log into one of your email accounts from your laptop and all you have to do is send yourself an email with “Golden” (without quotes) in the Subject and your command in the body of the message. Golden Retriever monitors your selected inbox for the commands and after it is received will email you back a response with the desired information.

For example, if you would like to know the battery status on your device, you would send an email with Battery in the message body. A response will come back with the battery level and temperature. Other items you can fetch via email is a query for calendar events that match a particular keyword (items are returned as downloadable text files), contact details from the address book, turn on the flash for a specified time, convey the current location of the device, view all unread SMS messages, and even retrieve one or more files from the device’s file system or media card.

One final interesting, yet spooky, command is that you can remotely turn on the microphone, record audio for a user defined duration, and have it sent back to you. For a full list of commands a message sent with “Help” in the body will return a list of all available command with examples.

In terms of security, the developer outlines all app permissions and an explanation for each one can be found as part of the description in BlackBerry World. For anyone who is concerned you can head on over and have a look.

Not only is the interface is easy to navigate but the application and commands are not that difficult to use or remember. As an added security measure, there is a whitelist tab to restrict which email addresses the application will accept commands from. All you have to do is add a contact and only commands sent by that address are accepted. The only issue I discovered is that you should try to avoid sending commands from the same email as the one you are monitoring. This may cause an issue where commands are not received or deleted properly and duplicate email requests.

The Good
  • Easy to use UI
  • Remotely control your BlackBerry anywhere via email commands
  • Security measures to prevent unknown persons from retrieving your data
  • Built-in bug reporting features - Developer is responsive to issues and new feature requests
  • Grab important files, contact details, and calendar entries no matter where you are
The Bad
  • Known bug on 10.2.1 where received commands are not deleted properly
  • Issue when sending commands from the same account
The Bottom Line

For me this would come in handy if I inadvertently left my BlackBerry at home or somewhere else and needed to access certain files or information throughout the day or find where it was. This is a useful application in those circumstances or in any event where you do not always have access to your device. Golden Retriever supports all BlackBerry 10 handhelds and is $3.99 to purchase.

More information/Purchase Golden Retriever

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Verizon to give discounts to customers with off-contract phones

Verizon is finally going to give you a discount for off-contract phones. Starting April 17th, customers of Big Red are going to be able to bring their own off-contract devices onto shared MORE Everything plans at a discount. No longer will they have to pay a subsidy fee for a subsidy they're not using. Plans at or under 8GB will see a smartphone add-on reduction of $10 (bringing the fee to $30/month), while those with data allotments of 10GB or higher will see their fee sliced from $40 down to $25 per smartphone.

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T-Mobile

After introducing a $40 base plan and then doing away with extra charges for cellular tablets and giving them a free gigabyte of data, T-Mobile is at it again by doing with overage fees. The elimination of domestic overage fees hits all T-Mobile plans. T-Mobile CEO John Legere called out his competition, pointing out that overage fees amount to $1 billion in extra payments from consumers every year.

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Dear Berry: How do I scroll through my photos on BlackBerry 10?

Hello again readers! Dear Berry is here once again with a mailbag full of BlackBerry questions and woes. Today's question comes from Steve who asks:

Is there any way to swipe through files in File manager rather then having to look at one file/photo then going back and clicking another? Very annoying especially with having a large amount of files (in this case pictures) stored on phone and media card. Thanks, Steve

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Deal of the Day: BlackBerry Flip Shell Case for Z30

For today only, purchase the BlackBerry Flip Shell Case for Z30 and save 45% off the list price!

Made from hand crafted, genuine leather the BlackBerry Z30 Flip Shell is designed to keep your display safe from scratches while providing complete access to all functions of your device. The case has an attractive texture all around and features the BlackBerry logo embedded on the front and embossed on the back.

List Price: $44.99   Today Only: $24.95

Learn More and Buy Now

Find other great deals on BlackBerry Z30 accessories at ShopCrackBerry.com!

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BlackBerry patching Heartbleed vulnerability for Secure Work Space, BBM

BlackBerry is working on patching Heartbleed, the recently discovered OpenSSL vulnerability that could potentially allow a malicious attacker to gain information off a server, including private keys and passwords. Primarily they're focusing on Secure Work Space and BBM. BlackBerry SVP, Scott Totzke, commented on the realities of the threat and the chances of the vulnerability being exploited.

"The level of risk here is extremely small," because BlackBerry's security technology would make it difficult for a hacker to succeed in gaining data through an attack.

"It's a very complex attack that has to be timed in a very small window," he said, adding that it was safe to continue using those apps before an update is issued.

Still, better safe than sorry. And it's reassuring to know BlackBerry not only has great security built-in, but that they're actively working to fix anything that does get caught.

How are you dealing with Heartbleed?

Source: Reuters

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Case manufacturers already preparing for the Q30 / Windermere

Although it remains to be seen what, if anything, will become of the alleged BlackBerry Q30 / Windermere, case manufacturers are already getting started on making cases for the device it seems. It's a pretty common practice in the case world, you somehow end up getting the dimensions of a device before official release and you build a ton of cases for it making you the first to market with your offerings.

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New sticker pack for BBM: Lil' Shellton by Eric Uchalik

If you're looking for some new stickers to try out in BBM, a new pack has now been added. The Lil' Shelton pack was created by Eric Uchalik and is available for only $1.99. In total, the Lil' Shelton pack offers 20 new stickers that can be used within BBM, you can check them out below. Additionally, you'll also find Eric on BBM Channels where he has a channel set up as superfungo. You can join the channel by either searching for superfungo or adding PIN C003D1090.

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BES 5.0 SP4 MR7 now available for download

BES 5.0 SP4 MR7 now available for download

If you're a BES admin and have been waiting for the BES 5.0 SP4 MR7 release we let you all know BlackBerry was preparing for, now is the time to go ahead and grab the download. The update went live as of yesterday and is available via the BlackBerry BES portal downloads section. The update focuses on two changes within the service but addresses a few others along the way.

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As you know BlackBerry is no longer holding their annual BlackBerry Live event or BlackBerry Jam events for developers. Though when they made that announcement last December they did say that they would smaller targeted events around the globe. In the past week these events kicked off in Paris, France. Then on April 10th, 2014 it headed to NYC where our newest CrackBerry team member, Jubei, was in attendance. If you missed it you can read his write up of the day.

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CrackBerry Vodcast!

A year ago right now I was in New York City, covering the launch of BlackBerry 10 in big city style (be sure to hit play for the replay of our awesome CrackBerry NYC Meetup!).

Between those fond memories, yesterday's BlackBerry Experience: New York and the welcoming of NYC-based Jubei Raziel to the CrackBerry team, I couldn't take the not being in NYC anymore. I just booked my flight and Sunday I'm flying to the Big Apple for the week.

Jubei promised you a CrackBerry Podcast talking about all that was learned and heard during his BlackBerry Experience, so we're going to record it up in person next week, good 'ol CrackBerry Vodcast style and from NYC. Stay tuned for it!

In the meantime, be sure to watch the TRAILER below!

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Are BlackBerry devices so good that they're bad?

The quality and durability of BBOS and legacy devices are so legendary that they continue to outsell BlackBerry 10 devices still after a year of BB10's launch and, as announced, will stay in BlackBerry's handset business.

Why is this happening and what does this mean for BlackBerry moving forward? Some explanations are obvious, such as the lack of effective marketing by BlackBerry and support from network carriers for BB10 devices. But there are other not so evident factors that are leaving BlackBerry followers puzzled about the decision to continue BBOS and legacy devices. Let's take a closer look.

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Logo Sneak Peak!

When we Welcomed Smartwatch Fans to the Mobile Nations family on January 1st of this year, we told the story of how the site came to be. In reality, we actually started 2013 with the goal of building a community and resource with a broader focus, covering not only smartwatches, but also other wearables and the broader world of connected devices often referred to as the internet of things.

The problem was, we couldn't find a domain name and brand that we loved. With the months rushing by and 2013 coming to a close and the urge to get a new community launched just as strong, we decided to not delay and get things rocking with the more niche-focused Smartwatch Fans. It's been a busy four months on Smartwatch Fans, and things are about to get a whole lot busier and way more fun.

We FINALLY have a name and brand we love for the destination we've been wanting to build, and later this month we'll pull the trigger on the change. We're going to keep the name a secret for now, but above you can gander at the awesome logo for the rebrand. Starting immediately, we'll begin ramping up the coverage on Smartwatch Fans to include more topics like connected fitness, connected home, connected automotive, connected toys and more. In fact, we've already expanded the discussion and help forums to cover this new range of topics, so the community participation can begin immediately.

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Mobile Hotspot

Having the ability to instantly turn your BlackBerry device into a mobile hotspot can certainly come in handy. For most folk that utilize this function I would imagine it's to access the web on either a laptop or tablet - unless of course you are using a PlayBook and can just use BlackBerry Bridge.

There may occasionally be the scenario where you are out with a bunch of friends and for whatever reason they can't get a signal on their smartphone but you can. Just switch on your mobile hotspot and your buddies can connect to your BlackBerry and use its data.

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Deal of the Day: BlackBerry Soft Shell for Bold 9930/9900

For today only, purchase the BlackBerry Soft Shell for Bold 9930/9900 and save 70% off the list price!

Made from high-performance, flexible, plastic-like material, the BlackBerry Soft Shell gives the back and sides of your Bold a protective barrier against accidental bumps and scratches. Take your pick of black, translucent, brown or indigo!

List Price: $19.99   Today Only: $5.95

Learn More and Buy Now

Check out other great deals on BlackBerry accessories at ShopCrackBerry.com

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Download these Formula 1 Mercedes AMG Petronas wallpapers for your desktop or mobile device

If you're getting hot and heavy with the 2014 Formula 1 season, you can now show your support with some awesome wallpapers. The official Mercedes AMG Petronas pages has posted up some great shots of the BlackBerry-sponsored cars as well as drivers Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton. If you're at all a fan of the team (as you should be!) then these can help show off your F1 spirit.

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