U.S. carrier Verizon released the network's financial report for Q4, showing some solid performance and higher-than-expected earnings. The company brought in $34.25 billion in revenue, which is slightly higher than the previous quarter of $33.2 billion, and a further 1.5 million new postpaid customers were signed up.

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BlackBerry Priv now available from Saudi Telecom Company

As BlackBerry noted back in December, the Priv is now seeing a broader release in the Middle East. Saudi Telecom Company (STC) is now offering the first-ever BlackBerry smartphone powered by Android to their customers through their website and retail outlets. As expected, pricing for the Priv has been set at SAR 2899 ($772 USD) but is available with lower pricing through postpaid bundles.

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The Built for BlackBerry program for app developers has ended

Back during BlackBerry 10 Jam in 2012, BlackBerry introduced the Built for BlackBerry program to further promote great native BlackBerry apps. As part of the certification, developers got permission to use the designation in association with their app marketing and the Built for BlackBerry logo badge and icon, appeared next to apps in BlackBerry World, letting folks know that the app was of quality. In an email sent out to developers, BlackBerry has now ended that program effective as of January 19, 2016, and no new Built for BlackBerry submissions will be accepted.

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BlackBerry Priv now available in the Netherlands from KPN

Adding to the already existing availability of Priv through ShopBlackBerry in the Netherlands, BlackBerry has announced their first Android-powered smartphone is now also available through the various KPN channels including KPN retail stores, KPN XL stores, KPN B2B channels and online through

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ToySoft has brought their popular BlackBerry 10 app Power Tools to the Priv

Although we haven't heard from many BlackBerry 10 developers looking to move their apps to Android, the folks at ToySoft have slowly been releasing a few of their popular BlackBerry 10 apps onto the Google Play Store as well as creating new apps for the platform. The latest Android app for them is the well known BlackBerry 10 app, Power Tools, and it's jammed packed with features, options and settings that aim to improve your overall smartphone experience.

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If you regularly work with text files, you may have already come across Editor, an app we have written about before. Editor allows you to create and edit plain text files, and it supports a long list of file types, including CVS, XML, CPP, DOC, TXT, HPP, SQL. It has just received an update that includes some new options, interface tweaks and some bug fixes.

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BlackBerry Priv will cost $720 up front at T-Mobile for its Jan. 26 launch

T-Mobile previously announced that it would begin selling the BlackBerry Priv on January 26. Now the carrier has reveal its pricing for the Android smartphone, both in its up front cost and via T-Mobile's two leasing programs.

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Verizon now beta testing its FreeBee sponsored data service

Verizon has announced that it is now ready to begin beta testing its sponsored data service, called FreeBee Data. With this service, Verizon and partners hope to drive engagement with mobile content on its network by allowing customers to access various content without it impacting their data allotment for the month.

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O2 has launched a new service called Travel Alerts, which will allow the mobile operator to alert your credit card issuer or bank if your smartphone is currently roaming abroad. This will then allow you to use your cards while away without fear of having them decline because your provider believes it to be a fraudulent transaction. Initially, O2 will be partnering with UK credit card issuer MBNA.

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BlackBerry Priv now available in the UK from EE

BlackBerry Priv now available in the UK from EE

If you live in the UK, you now have another outlet to pick up a BlackBerry Priv from. EE has now made the BlackBerry Priv available to customers through their website for consumer and business accounts.

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The BlackBerry Priv will soon make its debut in yet another major market. A new report says that press invites have been sent to attend the launch of the Android-based smartphone in India on January 28.

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Dept of Vet Affairs is using BlackBerry's Athoc

BlackBerry's AtHoc division has scored yet another big contract, this time with the Department of Veterans Affairs to power its crisis communications. The deal, which is valued at $20 million, will have AtHoc assist the organization for multiple-year delivery of its emergency communications through pager, phone, fax and more.

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WhatsApp has announced that it will axe its $1 annual subscription fee starting today. The Facebook-owned messaging service is nearing a billion users, and will start exploring alternate business models.

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BerryFlow Upstream Podcast - NOC


If you missed BerryFlow live this week, you'll want to make sure you catch the audio or video replay. This week, we dig into some of the recent Good Technology announcements, discuss the latest BlackBerry 10.3.2 release and take a look at BlackBerry's announcement of DTSec and more.

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After a week of recovering from the madness of CES, it's time to get back into the swing of things, and the tech industry's wasting no time. Google has set their dates for I/O 2016, bringing the annual Google confab back to their Mountain View, California, headquarters. Speaking of annual confabs, the always-insane Mobile World Congress is coming up next month, and at the very least we're expecting the new Samsung Galaxy S7 and the LG G5 among everything else coming to Barcelona.

And while BlackBerry might have something up their sleeve for MWC (last year they launched the Leap and gave us our first very brief look at what would become the BlackBerry Priv, they've yet to tip their hand. In the meantime, the Priv in Canada is receiving its monthly security update and BlackBerry 10 isn't being left out in the winter cold, having received an update on OS 10.3.2.

Apple is on the updates train, pushing out developer previews for practically every device in their line-up. But the most impressive is for iOS 9.3, which is bringing long-awaited education-centric features to the iPad.

On the Windows front, after a strong showing from their partners at CES, Microsoft isn't slowing down. They too had plenty of preview build updates, but the big news came in the form of a future update: ARM64 support is coming to Windows 10. But before that happens, we take an in-depth look at the excellent Lenovo Yoga 900 convertible ultrabook and the Microsoft Lumia 550 with Windows 10 Mobile.

That's just the quick hits — let's see what else is in store in this edition of Mobile Nations Weekly!

CrackBerry — Regularly scheduled programming

With CES 2016 wrapped up, it's back to your regular scheduled program until Mobile World Congress rolls around. This week, we saw multiple Canadian carriers roll out the January update for the Priv, the latest BlackBerry 10 OS update got a broader release and BlackBerry stepped to the plate to defend itself against claims that a Dutch forensics unit has found a way to decrypt messages from specially customized PGP enabled BlackBerry smartphones.

Android Central — Back to business

We're all getting back up to speed in the week following CES, and that means more topical news and things that are happening right now. This week AT&T brought back unlimited data plans (sort of), Google announced dates for its I/O conference and the Nexus 5X got a (seemingly permanent) $30 price cut.

As we start to get closer to MWC — which is in Barcelona at the end of February — we're also hearing rumblings about the big announcements. Samsung is expected to show off its Galaxy S7, and we want to know what you're looking for in the latest flagship. We also expect to see LG take the wraps off of something exciting, among plenty of other manufacturers.

iMore — All the betas!

This week Apple pushed out previews for iOS 9.3, watchOS 2.2, tvOS 9.2, and OS X 10.12.3. There's a lot of great new features in the new betas, especially for iPad in education. Apple's also dismantling iAD and taking the fight for strong encryption to the U.S. government.

Yeah, break time's over.

Windows Central — Groundwork

We may be in the doldrums of January and post-CES recovery but plenty of movement is still happening with Microsoft.

Late Friday evening we learned that the Microsoft is working on bringing their prized Word Flow keyboard from Windows Phone to iOS (and eventually Android). Microsoft also released build 11090 of Windows 10 to Insiders in the Fast Ring. Once again, no new features were introduced, and we explained some of the prepping they are doing for 'Redstone wave' in 2016. There is also a high chance we'll see Windows 10 for ARM64 this year too. Finally, Redmond is making progress in their iOS to Windows 10 software bridge as they are creating a new automation tool for developers.

Regarding reviews, we took a look at the Lenovo Yoga 900 Ultrabook — one of the best two-in-ones you can get. We also shared our thoughts on the budget friendly Lumia 550 with Windows 10 Mobile.

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If you are looking for an ad blocker to use on your BlackBerry 10 smartphone and don't want to resort to using a third-party browser, Ad Blocker for Default Browser is the app you're looking for. While the developer does have a third-party browser that has an ad-blocking feature, he knows that some people prefer using the native browser and so he is catering to them with this app.

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Howdy CrackBerry nation! Another week has passed so you know what that means? Not only is it time to share with you another batch of applications for your BlackBerry 10 or Priv device but also a way to catch up on all the news that transpired since we last met. We began the week with a look inside the QNX Toyota Highlander and followed up with the CES 2016 edition of the BerryFlow podcast. Next was the announcement that several Good Technology apps received the highest levels of certification. Finally, BlackBerry started its global rollout of

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 didn't make the cut this week, remember you can help by offering your suggestions at the end.

CCTV observation camera by QtHelex

For those who want to keep tabs on what goes on at home when they are not, there is this application. CCTV Observation Camera repurposes one phone as a closed circuit camera and sends a fresh image every few seconds to your Pushbullet account. This means users can view images from their apartment, backyard, or wherever they point their BlackBerry at from just about anywhere as long as they are logged into the Pushbullet service.

As of now this application is listed as being experimental on the description, but it is actually quite useful. Suppose you want to see what your pet is up to while you are away. Simply setup your BlackBerry (especially useful if you've got a spare sitting around), put it on a tripod or stand it up somewhere and it'll start taking photos every few seconds. All you have to do is wait for the images to be transmitted via Pushbullet. If you are using a backup device as the camera, you can receive the images via BlackBullet on your daily driver BlackBerry.

You can find this native application in BlackBerry World for $1.99.

Learn more / Purchase CCTV observation camera from BlackBerry World

Buzz by Stapel Labs

There's just something enthralling about soaking yourself in the social media posts happening in your specific area, and that's exactly what Buzz lets you do. This app hooks into your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts and lets you filter social media postings within a radius around your location. For instance, when I am at work, I see posts relating to Manhattan, New York City and Midtown. When I am at home, posts in Long Island are displayed.

Being a native BlackBerry 10 application, it is easy to use and offers a minimalistic interface. An important note, you do not have to activate all three social media accounts. If you go into settings, you have the option of turning Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook on and off.

You can purchase this in BlackBerry World for $0.99.

Learn more / Purchase Buzz from BlackBerry World

Alphabear by Spry Fox LLC

If you're looking for a fun, playful, and friendly word game, look no further than Alphabear. The object of this game is to create words by selecting the lettered tiles on the board. As you form words, the tiles are cleared and reveal bears that grow as you clear more tiles. The longer the word, the bigger the bears become and the higher your score. Of course, the game ends when no moves remain.

There are some tricks and obstacles to be aware of in Alphabear. The tiles are color-coded based on how many turns you have left before they turn to stone. This is also shown by looking at the number on the tile, which counts down after each word you spell and submit.

The game itself is cute and offers decent graphics and gameplay. While there are in-app purchases designed to boost your score, the game functions well as free-to-play.

You can download Alphabear for free in Google Play.

Learn more / Download Alphabear from Google Play

Threes! by Sirvo llc

While this game is not exactly "new" to Google Play, it is for those of us that switched to Android with the BlackBerry Priv owners. Not one to shy to shy away from puzzle games, I quickly downloaded the free version. I found myself drawn to its simplicity and how it consumed all my free time. In other words, I'm hooked and have said sayonara to productivity.

The goal is relatively simple, and yet extremely challenging. Users must slide numbered tiles on a grid and combine them in multiples of three to obtain the highest possible number and score. Ones and twos merge to create a 3, two of those make a 6, combined make a 12, and so on. Tiles can be swiped up, down, left, or right to complete the various combinations. And with each swipe you drag in a new tile from the opposite direction. Each of the larger combinations (i.e. 48, 96, 192), are given their own distinct personalities and introduced as these milestones are reached. The game ends where there are no more moves to make.

There are two version of the game available in Google Play. The first is the paid version for $2.99. The other is a free version which is exactly the same as the premium only users will need to view adds to earn additional plays. In case you are looking for some tips and tricks, be sure to check out this comprehensive guide.

You can download Threes! For free in Google Play.

Learn more / Download Threes! from Google Play

car2go by moovel GmbH

There are other alternatives to Uber than Lyft or hailing a taxi — alternatives like car2Go. This carsharing service provides one-way point-to-point rentals for travelers across the globe. For example, members can pick up a vehicle at one location and drop it off at their destination, all without the hassle of rental offices. Cars are accessed wherever they are parked as shown in the application. Users can view all vehicles available in your city, important vehicle information (including approximate street address), and their own rental history with the cost of each trip.

This application is free to download in BlackBerry World. car2go isn't available in all countries and cities, so check the app description to see if it's supported where you live.

Learn more / Download car2go from BlackBerry World

What You Might Have Missed

ReCall by Bellotti Alessandro

Have you ever been in a meeting and missed an important call? Maybe you didn't hear your phone ring or feel it vibrate? For those who understand the frustration of not answering the call in time there is ReCall. It gives users the ability to create reminders in their calendar for missed, incoming, and outgoing calls so they never forget to call back. ReCall is free to download from Blackberry World, offering the option to set a one-hour reminder delay, switch themes, and view detailed statistics. With a $0.99 in-app purchase, the full version unlocks the ability to set automatic creation of reminders, expands delay times, adds support for BBM calls, telephone calls, and outgoing calls, and includes notifications.

You can find this native BlackBerry 10 application in BlackBerry World.

Learn more / Download ReCall 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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Competition and Markets Authority in the UK clears the BT and EE merger

BT is set to merge with EE, and the company has just received the green light from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in the UK. This body has approved the merger, which clears BT's £12.5 billion acquisition of EE to become the UK's largest mobile telecoms company. The CMA found that the merger of the two companies would not result in substantial lessening of competition in the UK.

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In the UK, Carphone Warehouse had exclusivity in stocking the BlackBerry Priv since its launch in November 2015, outside of Shop BlackBerry. That exclusivity looks has now come to an end and the Priv is now available from online retailers Mobile Phones Direct and Unlocked Mobiles, as well as U.K. carrier, Vodafone.

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