Articles by Crackberry Kevin | CrackBerry.com

Articles by Crackberry Kevin

CrackBerry Podcast - Regroup

CrackBerry Podcast - Regroup

Bla1ze is back from vacation, CBK is (mainly) back to health, and Adam Zeis is out of CrackBerry retirement! The trio regroups on this episode to talk BlackBerry UK Launch, North American availability and more!

We fired up the CrackBerry Podcast machine Sunday evening to catch up on the BlackBerry news of the week, which was dominated by the BlackBerry KEYone which began it's global rollout, becoming available for purchase in the UK.

Continuing the 10 Years of CrackBerry fun, finally joining Bla1ze and CrackBerry Kevin on this episode was Adam Zeis, long-time CrackBerry Editor. With Bla1ze just back from vacation, Kevin still recovering from a cold and Adam a little bit out of the BlackBerry loop still, it was a bit of a messy show but fun all the same. We hope you enjoy it!

BlackBerry KEYone Unboxing Video Roundup

The BlackBerry KEYone was officially launched in the UK yesterday at Selfridges. The cozy rooftop venue was the perfect place to celebrate bringing the KEYone to the region. I wanted to be there in person and was booked to do so, but had to cancel my flight last minute (getting sick is the worst!).

That said, I still managed to get a CBK-certified KEYone unboxing up for your viewing pleasure. And I wasn't alone hitting the YouTube with KEYone unboxing goodness, check out these other unboxings to calm your KEYone nerve while you hold over for the device to go on sale in North America starting May 31st.

CrackBerry's BlackBerry KEYone Unboxing

CrackBerry's BlackBerry KEYone Unboxing

It's time... to unbox... the BlackBerry KEYone!

April 27th marks a big day in BlackBerry KEYone history with the device officially going on sale in the UK. It also marks a day when you'll start to see more BlackBerry KEYone content popping up online and on social channels as UK customers buy the device and the tech review process begins.

Yes, the KEYone has now made its way into the hands of many tech reviewers around the globe and while the reviews will be coming soon, today I can share with you my unboxing. Hit play on the video above to watch! Keep in mind, this was a review unit and not a retail store unit, so I'd expect to see some differences in packaging when you're able to pick up a KEYone for yourself. Our friends at AndroidCentral made it to the Selfridges event in London, so they should be following up soon with a proper look at retail packaging.

As for my full KEYone review thoughts, you'll have to wait on those, but I think the photo below sums it up nicely :)

BlackBerry KEYone will go on-sale in the U.S. starting on May 31

BlackBerry Mobile's press announcements today centered around UK and Canada launches of the BlackBerry KEYone but BlackBerry Mobile has also clarified on-sale availability for BlackBerry KEYone in the United States. The added information explains that additional carriers will be on board to support the BlackBerry KEYone including Sprint in the U.S. later this summer. Some key details include that there will be both GSM and CDMA unlocked variants available for purchase starting on May 31st for around $549.

In addition to the news related to our BlackBerry KEYone launch in Canada, we can confirm that the BlackBerry KEYone will go on-sale in the U.S. starting on May 31. This will include both GSM and CDMA unlocked variants, with the BlackBerry KEYone also coming to additional carriers – including Sprint – later this summer. We'll have further details to share as we get closer to the end of May.

While we don't have official details as to the exact pricing or where users can buy unlocked we expect as the date approaches those final details will be ironed out so users know exactly where to go once the KEYone hits open market availability.

In the past, Sprint was notably absent from support of BlackBerry devices. The last BlackBerry device Sprint carried was the BlackBerry Q10 back in 2013. Hopefully we'll see more US carriers announce their support soon.

Be sure you're registered for updates on BlackBerryMobile.com so you'll be the first to know when more details become publicly available closer to the end of May.

BlackBerry KEYone Canadian carrier partners and availability announced

Pre-Orders begin May 18; on-sale availability begins May 31st; and you'll be able to buy the KEYone for $199 on a 2-year term from Bell, Bell MTS, Rogers, SaskTel and Telus

Less than six months after TCL Communications signed a global smartphone licensing partnership with BlackBerry Limited we now have availability details announced for North America. By the end of May users in the region will finally be able to purchase their very own BlackBerry KEYone smartphone running Android Nougat 7.1.1.

TCL Communications has announced that the BlackBerry KEYone will be available for pre-order on May 18th, 2017 through select partners in Canada. On-sale availability for the U.S and Canada will begin on May 31st, 2017. The device will go on sale next month at Bell, Bell MTS, Rogers, SaskTel and TELUS Business starting at $199 CAD on a two-year term. With BlackBerry's Canadian heritage in mind, it's great to see all the support for this new era of BlackBerry smartphones on the homefront.

AWARD-WINNING BLACKBERRY® KEYONE OFFICIAL ON-SALE DETAILS ANNOUNCED FOR CANADA

IRVINE, Calif. and TORONTO – April 27, 2017 – As one of the highlights of this year's Mobile World Congress, the BlackBerry KEYone captured global attention and acclaim, ushering in a new era of BlackBerry smartphones. Today, TCL Communication, a leading global smartphone manufacturer and global smartphone licensing partner of BlackBerry Limited, is announcing that the BlackBerry KEYone will officially be on-sale in Canada next month at Bell, Bell MTS, Rogers, SaskTel and TELUS Business starting at $199 CAD on a two year term.

Ahead of next month's official on-sale date, the BlackBerry KEYone will be available for pre-order starting May 18 from select partners.

"After all the anticipation and positive response received from the BlackBerry community on the BlackBerry KEYone, it's an honor to offer this all-new Android-powered BlackBerry smartphone to customers across Canada," said Steve Cistulli, President and General Manager for TCL Communication (TCT), North America. "The BlackBerry story has such a rich history here in Canada, and we're proud to be part of the new evolution of BlackBerry smartphones that reimagine how we communicate and stay connected with a device that is so distinctly different."

"BlackBerry fans in Canada will be extremely excited to have the BlackBerry KEYone available in their market," said Alex Thurber, Sr. Vice President and General Manager of the Mobility Solutions at BlackBerry. "Anyone who is an Android loyalist and values the mobile security and productivity that BlackBerry software brings will love this smartphone."

BUILT TO LAST

An iconic BlackBerry smartphone made for the modern user, the BlackBerry KEYone combines a sleek aluminum frame and soft grip textured back built to offer the best in durability. It also has a 4.5-inch touch display that features Corning® Gorilla® Glass 4, offering greater impact and scratch resistance.

KEYBOARD REIMAGINED

The BlackBerry® KEYone reimagines how we communicate with a Smart Keyboard that goes beyond typing. Up to 52 customizable shortcuts transform each letter key for quick access to your favorite apps and most important contacts. Touch navigation responds to touch gestures like a trackpad, to quickly scroll through webpages or emails. Flick typing offers predictive text, made even faster with the ability to flick words onto your screen as you type. The device includes the world's first keyboard-embedded fingerprint sensor conveniently located in the spacebar and provides added device security.

POWERED BY ANDROID

Enjoy the familiarity and functionality of Android™ 7.1 Nougat giving users access to the entire Google Play™ store and over one million apps. This includes BlackBerry® Hub which brings all your messages into one consolidated place. This includes emails, texts and messages from any social media account.

OUTSTANDING BATTERY LIFE

Featuring the largest battery ever found in a BlackBerry smartphone, the BlackBerry KEYone offers all-day use and then some, with up to 26+ hours of mixed use, thanks to the 3505mAh battery. Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 3.0 technology enables up to 50 percent charge in roughly 36 minutes. In times when you only have a few moments to charge up, BlackBerry® Boost is optimized to get you the most charge with the limited time you have.

WORLD'S MOST SECURE ANDROID SMARTPHONE

What really sets a BlackBerry smartphone apart from any other Android device, are the enhanced security features built into every device, right from the start. From a hardened operating system to BlackBerry Limited's proprietary technique for establishing a hardware root of trust adding security keys to the processor, the BlackBerry KEYone is designed to offer the most secure Android smartphone experience possible. This device comes pre-loaded with DTEK™ by BlackBerry, offering constant security monitoring and protection of your operating system and apps by letting you know when your privacy could be at risk and how you can take action to improve it. A quick glimpse lets you see the overall security rating for your device and provides simple access allowing you to easily improve your security status. This BlackBerry security application monitors your other apps, alerting you if one is accessing your camera to take a picture or video, turning your microphone on, sending a text message, accessing your contacts or location.

IMPRESSIVE PHOTO QUALITY

The BlackBerry KEYone includes a 12MP rear camera with an industry leading camera sensor (Sony IMX378) that captures sharp, crisp photos in any light. The wide aperture lens with large 1.55μm pixels and dual-tone flash ensures your photos will have superior color and clarity. For times when you have to take a video conference on the go, the device includes an 8MP front camera with fixed focus, LCD Flash, and 84-degree wide angle lens.

QUALCOMM® SNAPDRAGON™ POWER

At the core of this new BlackBerry smartphone is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 mobile platform with the Qualcomm® Adreno™ 506 GPU. This means BlackBerry KEYone users will enjoy a powerful combination of optimized battery efficiency and usage and fast LTE speeds for super-fast file sharing.

The BlackBerry KEYone will be on-sale in Canada and the U.S. starting on May 31, 2017. For more information about the BlackBerry KEYone and to register for pre-order updates, please visit www.BlackBerryMobile.com.

About TCL Communication

TCL Communication Technology Holdings Limited (TCL Communication) designs, manufactures and markets an expanding portfolio of mobile and internet products and services worldwide under three key brands – TCL, Alcatel and BlackBerry. The company's portfolio of products are currently sold in over 160 countries throughout North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific, TCL Communication ranked as a top-10 global smartphone manufacturer by IDC. Headquartered in Hong Kong, TCL Communication operates nine R&D centers worldwide, employing more than 13,500 people across the globe. For more information, please visit www.tclcom.com.

TCL is a registered trademark of TCL Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Alcatel is a trademark of Alcatel-Lucent used under license by TCL Communication.

Trademarks, including but not limited to BLACKBERRY and EMBLEM Design are the trademarks or registered trademarks of BlackBerry Limited, used under license, and the exclusive rights to such trademarks are expressly reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. BlackBerry is not responsible for any third-party products or services.

Qualcomm, Snapdragon and Adreno are trademarks of Qualcomm Incorporated, registered in the United States and other countries. Quick Charge is a trademark of Qualcomm Incorporated. Qualcomm Snapdragon, Qualcomm Adreno and Qualcomm Quick Charge are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

BlackBerry KEYone now available in the UK in retail first at Selfridges

Today, TCL Communication, a leading global smartphone manufacturer and global smartphone licensing partner of BlackBerry Limited, celebrates the UK launch of its new BlackBerry smartphone – BlackBerry KEYone, at Selfridges, Oxford Street, London.

After the official BlackBerry KEYone unveiling during MWC 2017 in Barcelona, TCL Communications is now celebrating the UK launch of its new Android powered BlackBerry smartphone at Selfridges, Oxford Street store in London. BlackBerry KEYone will be available in limited quantities for £499 GBP at Selfridges and will be available to purchase from Carephone Warehouse stores nationwide starting May 5th.

In addition, the BlackBerry KEYone is also listed on the staging page at Vodafone UK. KEYone offers the best of the BlackBerry-Android software experience with the premium build quality and features you'd expect from a modern smartphone.

BLACKBERRY KEYone NOW AVAILABLE IN THE UK IN RETAIL FIRST AT SELFRIDGES

London – 27th April 2017 – Today, TCL Communication, a leading global smartphone manufacturer and global smartphone licensing partner of BlackBerry Limited, celebrates the UK launch of its new BlackBerry smartphone – BlackBerry KEYone, at Selfridges, Oxford Street, London. It is the first of our retail launches globally of the BlackBerry KEYone, released from TCL Communication under a new brand licensing agreement signed in December 2016 with BlackBerry Limited. Following the Selfridges launch, the BlackBerry KEYone will be available to purchase from Carphone Warehouse stores nationwide from May the 5th.

Speaking at the BlackBerry KEYone launch event at Selfridges, Johnathan Young, UK Country Manager for BlackBerry Mobile said "We are delighted to launch the BlackBerry KEYone first in the UK with Selfridges. Selfridges, voted world's best department store three times consecutively have been a longtime supporter of BlackBerry. Our retail strategy is to be where our customers are and, as a multichannel retailer dealing in the premium end of the market, Selfridges reflects BlackBerry KEYone's identity in the smartphone market."

"We want to congratulate BlackBerry Mobile on the UK launch of the BlackBerry KEYone." said Bosse Myhr, Selfridges Director of Technology, Home and Menswear "We are thrilled to be the first UK retailer to offer customers the BlackBerry KEYone at our flagship Oxford Street store and provide them with a premium smartphone that aligns with their unique and discerning style."

DISTINCTLY DIFFERENT, DISTINCTLY BLACKBERRY

BlackBerry KEYone pairs the best of BlackBerry's software and security with TCL Communication's commitment to delivering high-quality, reliable smartphones to customers around the world.

Beyond the iconic BlackBerry design that's been curated for the modern user, the BlackBerry KEYone comes with a number of additional features that truly reinvents communications for the professional consumer.

  • Built to last – An iconic BlackBerry smartphone made reliable for the demanding user, the BlackBerry KEYone combines a sleek aluminum frame and soft grip textured back built to offer the best in durability.

  • Runs Android™ 7.1 Nougat – giving users access to the entire Google Play store and apps - and will receive Google™ security patch updates.

  • The keyboard reimagined – Forget what you knew about keyboards, the BlackBerry Smart Keyboard goes beyond typing. It can be easily programmed to launch up to 52 customizable shortcuts, providing even greater ease of use. …And use it to scroll through web pages, the picture gallery or to take a picture.

  • Loaded with BlackBerry® Hub® – Bringing all your messages into one consolidated place; including emails, texts and messages from any social media account.

  • Unrivalled security features – The BlackBerry KEYone is designed to offer the most secure Android smartphone experience possible.

  • Long battery life – Featuring the largest battery ever found in a BlackBerry smartphone, the BlackBerry KEYone offers roughly 26 hours of mixed use, thanks to its 3505mAh battery.

  • Impressive photo quality – The BlackBerry KEYone includes a 12MP rear camera with an industry leading camera sensor that captures sharp, crisp photos in any light. And for when you have to take a video conference on the go, it includes an 8MP front camera with fixed focus and 84-degree wide angle lens.

The BlackBerry KEYone is available exclusively at the Home and Tech department at Selfridges, Oxford Street, London for a limited period, at the price of £499 GBP.

For more information about the BlackBerry KEYone please visit www.BlackBerryMobile.com.

About TCL Communication TCL Communication Technology Holdings Limited (TCL Communication) designs, manufactures and markets an expanding portfolio of mobile and internet products and services worldwide under three key brands – TCL, Alcatel and BlackBerry. The company's portfolio of products are currently sold in over 160 countries throughout North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific, TCL Communication ranked as a top-10 global smartphone manufacturer by IDC. Headquartered in Hong Kong, TCL Communication operates nine R&D centers worldwide, employing more than 13,500 people across the globe. For more information, please visit www.tclcom.com.

TCL is a registered trademark of TCL Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Alcatel is a trademark of Alcatel-Lucent used under license by TCL Communication.

Trademarks, including but not limited to BLACKBERRY and EMBLEM Design are the trademarks or registered trademarks of BlackBerry Limited, used under license, and the exclusive rights to such trademarks are expressly reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. BlackBerry is not responsible for any third-party products or services.

BlackBerry KEYone coming soon to Vodafone UK

BlackBerry KEYone coming soon to Vodafone UK

The BlackBerry KEYone has just popped up on the 'Coming Soon' area of the Vodafone UK website. While there aren't any specifics on a release date or pricing it's great to see confirmation that the much anticipated BlackBerry KEYone will be available soon from Vodafone UK. Normally devices will sit in this staging area before availability options are made available.

Just last week Steve Cistulli President & GM of TCL Communication (TCT) North America tweeted out to expect KEY news coming this week asking fans to stay tuned.

He also posted a picture along with the announcement showing what we can only assume to be the retail packaging. As we cross the midpoint of this week we're eager to see what news may come about. Vodafone showing support for the KEYone bodes well for buyers in the UK who already have the option of placing a pre-order through Carphone Warehouse.

BlackBerry KEYone Coming Soon to Vodafone UK

It's time to next level the CrackBerry Meetup fun. We've just added 45+ more cities to our CrackBerry Meetup Groups list. If you live in one of these cities and would attend a meetup with other BlackBerry fans, SIGN UP NOW!

As part of our 10 years of CrackBerry celebration fun, I'm trying to bring as many BlackBerry fans together as I can. So far we've hit up Barcelona, Toronto, Winnipeg, Miami and NYC and we've had a blast in every city, giving attendees the opportunity to get an early hands-on look at the BlackBerry KEYone. I'll soon be announcing four more cities I'll be bringing the CrackBerry Meetup tour to in May - you'll want to sign up for the city you live in on our CrackBerry Meetup Groups page so you don't miss out when a meetup gets scheduled.

Making CrackBerry Meetups Happen in More Cities!

I've realized two things from our meetups this year:

  1. It's about bringing BlackBerry fans together. As cool as it was for everyone to get to see the KEYone early, the best part is having a bunch of hardcore BlackBerry fans together in one room who can meet in real life and talk BlackBerry for a night.
  2. CrackBerry Kevin doesn't scale that well. Even living out of a suitcase for a couple of months, there are only so many places I can hit up.

Reflecting on those points, a light bulb went off. We could also have CrackBerry Meetups take place in cities where CrackBerry Kevin can't get to. We can find a volunteer or two in each city be our designated "CrackBerry Meetup Coordinator" and with the support of CrackBerry and our amazing community events/contests coordinator, Michelle Haag, we could bring meetups to life even if I can't be there in person (we'll send out a CB-Meetup-in-a-Box kit to our meetup coordinator, have an awesome prize to be given away at each meetup, etc.).

To that end, we've setup a new CrackBerry Meetup Group page that has FIFTY CITIES on it from around the world. We can add more locations too - so if your city isn't listed you can leave a comment letting us know and we can look at getting it added if enough people mention. I think it would be awesome if we could get 50+ members signed up in each city listed.

So that's it. Hit the link below to jump over to our meetup group listings and SIGN UP for your city. This will also help me to prioritize the cities I'll line up to visit, so if you participate in local BBM Groups, etc., be sure to rally your local BlackBerry-using friends and colleagues to sign up. Spread the word!!

Visit the Crackberry Meetup Groups page to find your city and SIGN UP!

The BlackBerry KEYone is available for pre-order at Carphone Warehouse SIM-free for £499 starting today.

And so it begins! We've been waiting to see some official news in regards to when consumers will be able to start buying the BlackBerry KEYone. The first country out of the gate is the UK with a pre-order announcement from the always-popular Carphone Warehouse.

Beginning today, UK residents can pre-order the BlackBerry KEYone SIM free for £499. The phone comes with the smartest keyboard ever put on a smartphone, a whopping HUGE 3,505mAh battery, and an awesome 12 megapixel camera (check out @blackberrymobile on Instagram for some amazing examples).

Full details in the press release and you can hit the Pre-Order link below to jump over to Carphone Warehouse's website to learn more and place you're order. If you're outside of the UK, be sure to visit www.blackberrymobile.com and sign up for updates.

Pre-Order the BlackBerry KEYone from Carphone Warehouse

Unlock your potential with the new BlackBerry KEYone. Now Available for pre-order at Carphone Warehouse

  • New BlackBerry® device featuring an innovative keyboard, powerful battery, industry leading camera sensor and top level security
  • The BlackBerry KEYone is available to pre-order SIM free for £499 from 20th April

London, 20th April, 2017 – The BlackBerry® KEYone is now available for pre-order online exclusively at Carphone Warehouse.

This new BlackBerry® device from TCL Communication features an innovative keyboard with improved shortcut capabilities and a hidden fingerprint scanner inside the space bar creates an entirely unique and tactile user experience. The unique physical keyboard can be adapted to provide bespoke shortcuts meaning each app is only one touch away.

The BlackBerry® KEYone provides plenty of power with a huge 3,505mAh battery, which is the largest battery ever in a BlackBerry® smartphone with up to 26 hours of mixed use.

The device also boasts a striking build with 4.5-inch, Full HD display screen which showcases the advanced visual quality, and a powerful 12MP camera, with large pixels to capture bright photos, a front facing lens and the capacity to shoot videos at 4K resolution.

BlackBerry's® updated advanced security software also means that the new KEYone is one of the most secure Android smartphones on the market.

For more information or to pre-order the BlackBerry® KEYone please visit:http://www.carphonewarehouse.com/blackberry/keyone.html

About Dixons Carphone

Dixons Carphone plc is Europe's leading specialist electrical and telecommunications retailer and services company, employing over 42,000 people in eleven countries.

Focused on helping customers navigate the connected world, Dixons Carphone offers a comprehensive range of electrical and mobile products, connectivity and expert after-sales services from the Geek Squad and Knowhow.

Dixons Carphone's primary brands include Carphone Warehouse, CurrysPCWorld and Simplifydigital in the UK & Ireland, Elkjøp, Elkjøp Phonehouse, Elgiganten, Elgiganten Phonehouse, Gigantti and Lefdal in the Nordic countries, Kotsovolos in Greece, Dixons Travel in a number of UK & Ireland airports and Phone House in Spain. Our key service brands include Knowhow in the UK, Ireland and the Nordics, and Geek Squad in the UK, Ireland and Spain.

Business-to-business (B2B) services are provided through Connected World Services (including honeyBee software products), PC World Business and Carphone Warehouse Business. Connected World Services aims to leverage the Group's existing expertise, operating processes and technology to provide a range of services to businesses.

Dixons Carphone was voted 'Retailer of the Year' at the Retail Week Awards 2016.

BlackBerry Mobile's new Instagram feed is glorious

While on my morning social catch up I had several post notifications for BlackBerry Mobile on Instagram. Their page has now gone live, and WOW it's glorious! It really tells a story about BlackBerry KEYone in a thoughtful way. I haven't seen many brand accounts taking such a considerate approach to their Instagram page.

Hello CrackBerry Nation!

When I initially brought CrackBerry Kevin out of retirement for the month of February to celebrate 10 Years of CrackBerry, I wasn't expecting to have nearly as much fun as I've been having. I also had no expectations that the festivities would continue beyond February and the end of Mobile World Congress.

Following my hosting duties at the BlackBerry KEYone launch event, the fine folks at BlackBerry Mobile let me leave Barcelona with a couple of KEYone engineering samples so I could show them off to other BlackBerry fans itching to get a first look at the KEYone. I did just that in March by hosting a handful of awesome CrackBerry meetups in cities like Toronto, Winnipeg, Miami and New York.

Now here we are, it's April and as we get closer to the rollout of the KEYone I'm happy to say the fun isn't stopping anytime soon.

Listen up for a few announcements that I hope you will all appreciate:

1. BlackBerry Mobile is sponsoring the CrackBerry website for 2017!

BlackBerry Mobile made the unveiling of the KEYone truly memorable by financially supporting us to bring 10 CrackBerry members to Barcelona to attend the event in person.

I'm happy to say that we've now entered into an advertising partnership with BlackBerry Mobile that will be kicking off soon. This means you can expect to see tasteful, fast-loading ads for the KEYone running on the CrackBerry website. It also means we'll continue to keep turned off all the slow-loading, junky units that I know so many of you dislike but have helped pay the bills to keep this site going.

The BIG benefit of this advertising relationship FOR YOU is that it's going to allow me to take the CrackBerry experience to the next level. I'm loving the KEYone and am all-in on doing what I personally can to get BlackBerry Smartphones back on the map again, so you can expect the proceeds to get invested into making CrackBerry extra awesome. More giveaways, more content and even a revamped site design and app are in the works. It also means I can dedicate more of my time to activities like hosting CrackBerry meetups!

If you're wondering whether anything will change content-wise around here because of CrackBerry receiving advertising dollars, the answer is, not really. You can expect the same CrackBerry Kevin as always, along with the same 'ole Bla1ze. More on us remaining objective below. I'm also looking to grow the editorial team and add some new personalities into the CrackBerry mix. One name you won't see though on CrackBerry anymore is James Nieves, because…

2. James Nieves is leaving CrackBerry and will be supporting BlackBerry Mobile!

James only recently started contributing to CrackBerry, but many of you in the BlackBerry community know him from his years running BerryFlow. James has always been an extremely passionate BlackBerry fan and supporter and is now going to level up by supporting BlackBerry Mobile behind the scenes on their social game.

It's a little bittersweet as James was a fantastic addition to CrackBerry, but overall I think this is just a simply fantastic move for both James and BlackBerry Mobile that will ultimately help benefit all of us BlackBerry users. For James it's his dream gig, for BlackBerry Mobile it's pure win as they gain an individual truly passionate for the brand who understands the needs of their long-term users, and for all of us I think we can agree it's just awesome to see. All the best to James and I know he'll do great things and make us proud.

3. Dark Theme and More Coming to CrackBerry!

The last major update we made to the CrackBerry website was rolled out when BlackBerry 10 was getting ready to launch. The KEYone marks a new era for BlackBerry so we're going to mark the occasion with a BIG update to CrackBerry to match. And yes, CrackBerry is finally getting a dark theme. Having seen all of the designs, all I can say is IT LOOKS SOOOO NICE. We also have a big update to our CrackBerry Android app in the works.

Screw The Good 'Ole Days; Let's Make the New Days Even Better!

I hope you read the words above and felt the same level of excitement as I have right now. When I came out of retirement in February it was with the aim of bringing back the "good 'ole days of BlackBerry" on CrackBerry. Reflecting on the past two months and thinking ahead on what we have planned, I had the realization it's time to quit trying to re-live the past and instead focus on creating a new era of BlackBerry awesome. Per the announcements above, I truly believe we can rebuild this community and make it better than ever.

On Disclaimers and Remaining Objective - Over our 10 Years of CrackBerry we have had many advertising sponsorships, including occasional campaigns with BlackBerry. Per disclosure rules, any content that is specifically sponsored always gets labeled as such. Since this new BlackBerry Mobile sponsorship is a broad advertising sponsorship, we'll be baking in a note at the at the top of the site (i.e. 10 Years of CrackBerry brought to you by BlackBerry Mobile) and we've updated our site footer as well with the following verbiage:

You could call us biased, and you wouldn't be wrong, because at CrackBerry we love BlackBerry and think you should own a BlackBerry Smartphone! We also work as a community support and marketing partner with BlackBerry and BlackBerry Mobile. Our immense passion and knowledge of BlackBerry by our editors and community members make this the best resource for BlackBerry you'll find anywhere!

As part of this disclosure, for personalities like CrackBerry Kevin and Bla1ze on Twitter or Instagram, you may occasionally see us add additional disclosures like #sponsored or #ad on posts related to BlackBerry Mobile product sales. Our social content is always our own, but we just want to be frank and make it obvious with our readers that we're effectively paid supporters of BlackBerry Mobile due to their advertising on CrackBerry.

As for our ability to remain objective during periods of sponsorship, I'll copy and paste in part of a reply I left in the CrackBerry forums the other week on this topic:

When I launched CrackBerry, it was biased by definition and by design. I mean, the site is dedicated to BlackBerry. We're a pro-BlackBerry type of site, even when we haven't always been happy or agreed with everything the company has done over the years (I like to think of us as the coach on the sidelines cheering on their team to win even when yelling at the players). CrackBerry definitely is not and has never claimed to be a journalist-run organization. This is a community by BlackBerry users and fans, for BlackBerry users and fans, that aims to set out to help all BlackBerry users... and we've always felt the world would be a better place if everybody used a BlackBerry so we always put a lot of effort and have a lot of fun covering the newest devices. I think we're always pretty damn objective though as we're more passionate and knowledgeable about this stuff than anybody else out there writing or talking about it.

CrackBerry runs independent of BlackBerry, but over the years there have been times when we work more closely together, whether on marketing initiatives or advertising campaigns or support initiatives. If a content piece or initiative is specifically sponsored, we disclose that. Back in 2013 for example we ran the big BlackBerry-sponsored Talk Mobile campaigns, and at times you'll see advertising running on the site for BlackBerry. We've always had a good working relationship over the years.

If you have any questions based on all that, I'll linger around the comments for a bit so I can answer them.

It's been an exciting start to 2017 and the best is yet to come. I hope you join us for the ride and spread the word that it's time to buy BlackBerry Smartphone again!

The smartest smartphone KEYboard

The smartest smartphone KEYboard

I was tight on studio time this week but found a few minutes to fire things up for another CBK video. You don't call a phone KEYone without a big part of the story being about the KEYboard, so in this video I dive into what makes it so damn smart.

A few weeks ago on Valentine's Day I posted a gush fest video about why physical keyboards still rock and will have a place in the smartphone world for years to come despite the majority of devices these days being touchscreen slabs. If you missed that video, you can watch it here.

In this video I followed up with another video about the BlackBerry KEYone's KEYboard and what makes it so fantastically smart. Of course, if you're reading this on CrackBerry you're likely already up to speed with the KEYboard's awesomeness. Like many keyboard smartphones before it, you can program shortcuts which make the phone more immediately useful every time you pick it up (short press & long press options make these shortcuts even smarter). And like some newer BlackBerry keyboard models, you can also swipe on the keyboard like a trackpad. The KEYone goes a step further adding a fingerprint sensor to the spacebar, which still boggles my mind every time I use it (basically magic!).

I hope you enjoy the video! It's meant to be fun and entertaining and a little informative - we'll definitely do deeper dives into the KEYone's keyboard in the weeks ahead! If you do enjoy the video, I really do appreciate any Shares and Thumbs Ups you can give to the video on YouTube (that'll help re-kickstart our channel a bit), and if you're not subscribed then PLEASE SUBSCRIBE! The more people who watch them the more we'll make! Be sure to turn on notifications so you don't miss any!

To be honest, CrackBerrians are like... umm.. the COOLEST Complainers [Podcast]

Following BlackBerry's Q4 2017 Earnings Report and Conference Call, we fired up the CrackBerry Podcast machine to discuss all of the BlackBerry news that was, including the KEYone elephant in the room.

Buckle up, it's time for another CrackBerry Podcast! Going into this show (recorded live Sunday night) I wasn't expecting it to be a super fun one, but fun we had!! Continuing our series of CrackBerry 10th Anniversary Podcasts, our special guest on this episode was the incredibly talented and TALL Simon Sage. Simon's blogging in BlackBerry goes back almost ten years where he first got his start on a site called BlackBerryCool. At the end of show we reminisce about some of those early days.

We kicked things off though focusing on all the BlackBerry news of the week, including the company's Q4 2017 Earnings Report. From there we of course addressed the KEYone elephant in room regarding the timing of the KEYone's rollout. We also spent some time debating the best way to continue rolling out CrackBerry Meetups around the globe - I think we came up with a clever idea for that and I'd love to hear your feedback on it. And we covered a WHOLE bunch more than that, so you'll have to listen in.

As for the title of this episode? Well, if you listen to the entire show you're going to agree it's a fitting title. :)

I hope you enjoy the show!!

PS. We're on a pretty steady cadence now of recording the podcast on Sunday evenings. The exact time will vary but if you follow @crackberry on Twitter we'll always announce it there and you can tune in live via YouTube and participate in the Q&A. We'll then post the video replay here to CrackBerry once we have the audio cleaned up and the podcast feeds updated.

Giveaway: Win CrackBerry Kevin's Favorite Phone Accessory! [Winners announced!]

Our CrackBerry-branded Spigen Style Ring winners are posted at the bottome!

Step Right Up Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls for the Most Fantastic Phone Accessory the World Has Ever Seen.....

Not Since the BlackBerry Holster has there been such an oddly practical accessory for smartphones that will literally transform the way you use your phone day in and day out.

When I first saw the Spigen Style Ring aka "phone ring" I thought it was a freaking joke. I laughed at it. I made fun of it. And then I used one on my phone for a weekend and now it's been on all my smartphones ever since. It makes every smartphone better - BlackBerry, iPhone, Galaxy, touchscreen phones, keyboard phones, you name it. Why? Watch the video and you'll find out. I've made Style Ring believers out of literally hundreds of people the last six months without even trying. They just see me use my phone like a Ninja and realize its amazing power to transform the way you use your smartphone.

Watch the video. You'll see the logic behind it. If you have the guts to buy one, I can almost guarantee you that if you just commit to using it for 48 hours you'll be hooked after that.

If you don't have the guts to buy one, don't worry, because you can win one!!

WIN A CRACKBERRY-BRANDED SPIGEN STYLE RING

I posted this video to my CrackBerry Kevin YouTube channel a week ago. I didn't even blog it up here on the site because I didn't want you all making fun of me and this odd looking gadget. But the video blew up on the YouTubez and is sitting at 245,000 views as I post this. That's pretty HUGE. So let's celebrate with a giveaway.

TO ENTER: Simply login to CrackBerry.com and leave a comment on this post letting me know your favorite usability aspect of the Style Ring based on watching the video

That's it. Contest is open worldwide. We have TWENTY Style Rings to give away. We'll make the deadline Sunday, April 2nd, at Midnight PST. Good luck!

Here are the winners!

  • 93Aero
  • BionicKris
  • Bryan Pitt
  • Delano Mizrahi
  • diggs007
  • diploria
  • ImOfficial007
  • jakie55
  • jamescarruthers
  • Omahahaha
  • OTCHRussell
  • Ragbert
  • redchilli88
  • Sarek1701
  • smnc
  • soapydarren
  • syclone1978
  • TheBirdDog
  • theCHIVERChance
  • tinochiko

Learn More / Buy the Spigen Style Ring

PSA: Official @BlackBerry Support Forums now closed and directing users to @CrackBerry

As BlackBerry completes its transition from smartphone manufacturer to software company, the company has officially shut down their official support forums and are now directing users to CrackBerry for BlackBerry Smartphone support.

Earlier this week I gave a heads up in the CrackBerry Forums that BlackBerry's Official Support Community forums would soon be shutting down and instead direct users to CrackBerry for support. As of today, that change has become official. All forums and threads on the support site have now been locked and each page features the message below, directing users to our CrackBerry forums.

For those of you reading this and thinking it may be crazy for a company like BlackBerry to shut down their community support forums, I'll just remind everyone that for many years -- the years when BlackBerry was the #1 Smartphone manufacturer on the planet -- they didn't have these support forums at all. I actually remember when they first launched thinking it was a bit crazy that they were even bothering since CrackBerry was already the go-to destination for everything BlackBerry support related at that time. I guess it made sense for them though, and in the end many passionate BlackBerry users did help many BlackBerry owners with their questions or issues through those forums over the years.

For all of the active members of the BlackBerry Support Community now calling CrackBerry home, let's give them a BIG welcome. And to all those BlackBerry owners out there who will find their way to CrackBerry, let's continue to give them a helping hand as we always have over the years. As much as the CrackBerry community is a place for passionate discussion and debate around BlackBerry, first and foremost our mission has always been to help BlackBerry users.

Visit CrackBerry's Forums

We're giving away 10 BBM Enterprise licenses, with a lifetime subscription!

BlackBerry is now a software company, so we're trying something a little different and awesome on the giveaway front. From the Office of the CEO of BlackBerry, we have TEN BBM Enterprise Licenses up for grabs, Free For Life!

As we continue our 10 Years of CrackBerry celebrations, the fine folks at BlackBerry have cooked up a special giveaway for CrackBerry Nation. With BlackBerry's focus now firmly on software, the prize for this giveaway is a suitable one... up for grabs are 10 BBM Enterprise licenses, with a FREE subscription for LIFE.

Here's the official word, by Neelam Sandhu from the Office of the CEO of BlackBerry:

In celebration of 10 years of CrackBerry, we are giving away 10 BBM Enterprise licenses, with a lifetime subscription.

BBM Enterprise introduces a new layer of encryption to the existing BBM security model, giving you enterprise grade encryption for BBM communications. What's more, it is cross platform so, it works on BlackBerry, Android, and iOS.

The CrackBerry community is incredibly important to BlackBerry, and we want you to be a part of our journey as we define, connect and secure the Enterprise of Things (EoT) market, with our BlackBerry Secure software.

For a chance to win, tell us what excites you most about BlackBerry's leadership of and innovations in the EoT category, in the comments section below. Take a look at John's letter to CrackBerry last month for inspiration.

The winners will be announced, by John, on Monday 10th April, right here on CrackBerry. Good luck!

Neelam Sandhu

Senior Director of Business Operations, Office of the CEO, BlackBerry

A super cool contest from BlackBerry for CrackBerry and you have to love that John Chen will make the winner's announcement post here on CrackBerry himself.

Enter to Win

As Neelam mentioned, just leave a comment to this article on what excites you most about BlackBerry's leadership of and innovations in EoT. Contest ends April 7th at Midnight Pacific, and you can look for John's announcement post on Monday, April 10th.

Good luck!

NYC KEYone Meetup Video: The New BlackBerry Hits The Big Apple!

On the evening of Wednesday, March 22nd, BlackBerry fans in the greater NYC area braved the cold wind and converged at the Up & Down club to get an early look at the BlackBerry KEYone.

We had the venue to ourselves and the turnout was fantastic, with over 200 CrackBerry fans showing up to take a few engineering samples of the KEYone for a test drive. The reactions to the KEYone continue to be fantastic. Hit play on the video above for the 90 second highlight reel.

These CrackBerry meetups are such a blast, bringing out the hardcore BlackBerry fans who are just SOOO FREAK'N PASSIONATE. It was five hours of non-stop BlackBerry talk, mixed in with some tasty food and beverages, good music and a lot of fun taking photos in front of our CrackBerry/KEYone step and repeat.

I hope to be announcing more cities soon to take our CrackBerry meetups too. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, THANK YOU NYC!!

Sign Up For KEYone Updates - We'll Tell You If A Meetup Is Coming To Your City!

BlackBerry KEYone gets SIZED up [Video]

BlackBerry KEYone gets SIZED up [Video]

CrackBerry Kevin finally had a chance to take his pre-production KEYone into the studio and this first video addresses the most frequently requested topic of wanting to see how the KEYone sizes up compared to other BlackBerry phones.

In the lead up to the official unveiling of the BlackBerry KEYone, one of the hottest topics in relation to the then-codenamed "Mercury" was the actual size of the device. We even had one awesome CrackBerry member creating mockups to help us better understand how the phone would stack up next BlackBerry phones like the Priv or Classic or Passport.

With actual BlackBerry KEYone in hand, we no longer have to rely on mockups. In this video I do a quick comparison of the KEYone to other BlackBerry smartphones (and even a couple of iPhones for good measure) so you can see how the size compares. It's really interesting. When you see the KEYone in photos with nothing to relate it to, the phone looks a little tall and skinny. But as you'll see in this video, overall it's a very well-proportioned phone that feels GREAT in your hand.

Join the KEYone discussion in our CrackBerry Forums

REMINDER: CrackBerry KEYone Meetups Are Coming to Miami & NYC!

Following the success of our Barcelona and Toronto CrackBerry Meetups, we're keeping the CBK BlackBerry KEYone World Tour momentum going. We're started with CrackBerry's hometown of Winnipeg, then we're off to Miami, New York City, and more soon-to-be-announced destinations! RSVP NOW!

We're making it happen!! As we continue to celebrate 10 Years of CrackBerry and the upcoming release of the BlackBerry KEYone, we're pulling out all the stops to give as many CrackBerry fans as possible an exclusive early look at this awesome Android-powered BlackBerry before it hits stores.

We kicked off the meetup fun in Barcelona on the eve of the BlackBerry KEYone's official launch event. Then on my way home from Mobile World Congress, we pulled together an impromptu meetup in Toronto that had a FANTASTIC turnout. Following that, we had an awesome meetup in CrackBerry Kevin's hometown of Winnipeg.

Next up are MIAMI and NYC!

MIAMI

The CrackBerry Miami Meetup was a HUGE SUCCESS! Thanks to everyone who attended!

This event is being held the evening of Friday, March 17th at The Anderson Miami. Hit the link below for full details and to RSVP. This will be our HOTTEST meetup yet!

MIAMI MEETUP DETAILS & RSVP: Friday, March 17th

NEW YORK CITY

This event is being held the evening of Wednesday, March 22nd at Up & Down NYC located at 244 West 14th Street. We have a big turnout for this event so we had to scramble for a venue, but this location should do nicely. We'll have the venue to ourselves so it'll be a truly CRACKTASTIC event. Full details and RSVP at the link below:

NYC MEETUP DETAILS & RSVP: NEW YORK CITY - Wednesday, March 22nd

Sign Up For KEYone Updates and we'll let you know if a CrackBerry KEYone Meetup is coming to your city!

I'm planning out more destinations to visit and will have updates on that soon. In the meantime, if you haven't yet be sure to sign up for our BlackBerry KEYone mailing list and fill out the fields for your LOCATION. As we take CrackBerry Meetups to more locations, we'll send out a note to each city with full details. I'd had for you to miss out on the fun and your chance to go hands-on with the KEYone.

SIGN UP FOR UPDATES - Get Notified if a Meetup is visiting your city!

CrackBerry 10th Anniversary Podcast 03 - Under Promise, Over Deliver

For our third 10th Anniversary Super Special, we cover all of the topics BlackBerry fans have been pondering since the KEYone was unveiled at Mobile World Congress!

On this episode we welcome James Nieves to the CrackBerry Podcast! James is joining the CrackBerry team full time and is going to crack the whip to make sure you're never more than a week away from your latest CrackBerry podcast.

It's been a few weeks since our last show, so on this episode we play catch up and cover everything that's been happening in the world of BlackBerry, going back to the BlackBerry KEYone's official unveiling at Mobile World Congress. We talk about the press event, our crazy and amazing CrackBerry meetups (that we hope to do more of), and CBK covers some of his impressions on the KEYone now that he's been using it for a couple of weeks. We also spend some time talking about the BlackBerry Aurora. There's a LOT more than that covered in between the big topics, so if you're a BlackBerry fan you won't want to miss a second.

We hope you enjoy the show!

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