Articles by Crackberry Kevin

BlackBerry MWC Keynote

Outside of today's BBM coming to Windows Phone announcement, it's been a quiet Mobile World Congress so far for BlackBerry. We're expecting that to change Tuesday morning at 8am local Barcelona time, when BlackBerry CEO John Chen will take to stage to address a select group of media in attendance.

We'll be there bright and early to make sure we have a great spot to to bring you back all of news as it happens. For those of you in North America, you'll want to plan on staying up LATE. Just hit up the homepage and we'll have a story posted for the live blog as the event start time approaches. In the meantime, you can check out the countdown clock below for your local start time, and set a reminder in your calendar. See you soon!

Nokia confirms BBM is coming to Lumia devices

On stage at Nokia's press event at Mobile World Congress, Stephen Elop confirmed that BBM will be coming to Lumia devices.

He didn't go into detail with a release date or if this means it will come to all Windows Phone devices (which, I'd assume it will), but at least this is finally confirmation that BBM4ALL really is on its way to becoming BBM4ALL. We'll follow up with more details as we have them.

From the Editor's Desk: Welcome to #MWC14 and Hello from Barcelona!

It's been FOUR years since I've personally attended Mobile World Congress, but I made the voyage this year and am now writing to you from Barcelona, Spain. I'm not alone for the trip. Also joining me from the Mobile Nations team are Daniel Rubino, Phil Nickinson, Alex Dobie, Richard Devine and Andrew Martonik (for info on where to follow us, INCLUDING BBM CHANNELS, click here). And be sure to watch the video above for my official hello and welcome!

Bye Bye BlackBerry Z10!

Bye Bye BlackBerry Z10!

Our friend J_Caloy is back with another video. This one is a little bit sad though... After Hating on the Z10 and Hating on it even more, JC has now said BYE BYE to his BlackBerry Z10

What did he replace it with? Well, you'll just have to watch the video and find out. Be sure to share the video! :)

CrackBerry 112: Z3, 10.2.1, BBM... and Kevin and his toys

It's been a while since we've thrown down a CrackBerry podcast, but we're back in full force! Adam and Bla1ze join me on this one and we talk OS 10.2.1, the rumored BlackBerry Z3, BBM Channels and much more (including all the toys I've picked up over the last few months). I'll be heading off to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in just a few days and we should hear more on the Z3 very soon.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy this one! And apologies on us taking so long to record another podcast after CES. Coming home from Vegas (even while in Vegas) I lost my voice... this is seriously the first day where I can (mainly) speak again normally. So we put it to good podcast use!

John Legere

Well, at least we got his attention. Following our post on CrackBerry yesterday about T-Mobile's recently-sent mailer encouraging BlackBerry users to "upgrade" to the iPhone 5s, it seems company CEO John Legere has been getting a tweetful on twitter from BlackBerry users.

Just a little while ago he acknowledged his BlackBerry customer base with the following tweet:

BlackBerry users, I'm hearing you loud and clear. Let me work with the team and get back to you.

Knowing is half the battle, so it's great to hear our message got through. CEOs may sit at the top, but they don't always know everything that's happening within their organization. Odds are Legere had no idea that particular mailer was going out. And even if he did know and approved of the message (he is tweeting from an iPhone after all), at least now we know they'll be taking their BlackBerry user base a little more seriously than it appears they have been recently.

Here's to hoping all of the T-Mobile USA + BlackBerry users out there get a little love in the near future. 

BlackBerry CEO John Chen spoke during the company's last conference call about the low cost, built by Foxconn for emerging markets device, dubbed Jakarta.

Today, N4BB posted some alleged renders of the Jakarta, which they say could hit the market has the BlackBerry Z3. Following that, BBin posted some rumored specs for the device, as follows:

A longtime CrackBerry reader forwarded me the mailer he just received from T-Mobile, trying to persuade him to upgrade to the iPhone 5s. T-Mobile positions the upgrade for BlackBerry users by saying "Switch to iPhone 5s and get powerful communications and productivity apps — with the ease of use that Apple is known for." Of course, powerful communications and productivity are words synonymous to BlackBerry, but that doesn't prevent T-Mo from making its pitch. :/

Christopher, the T-Mobile customer who forwarded me the email, "felt this was a real kick in the pants to BlackBerry users." It definitely illustrates the challenge BlackBerry currently faces in the USA with carrier support. T-Mobile already phased out carrying BlackBerry phones in-store (you can still buy them and receive via mail), so it's not a total surprise that they'd look to upgrade existing T-Mobile customers to another device they are more actively supporting.

The good news is, just because you receive an email from your carrier doesn't mean you need to do what it says! BlackBerry supporters like Christopher will simply hit delete and head on over to twitter to let T-Mobile CEO @johnlegere know they still #CHOOSEBLACKBERRY10.

And the winner of the 'Guess my Picture Password and win contest' is ...

It was one of the quickest contests we've ever run, but I think it was a fun one too. I'm a big believer in Picture Password on my BlackBerry. So much so that I flat-out showed my password on video for the world to see. Over a thousand of you took a stab at my password and maybe surprisingly, quite a few of you got it dead on. I promised the first person to get it right would be the winner, and so with that in mind the winner of our Guess my Picture Password contest is ... 

Guess my Picture Password and win contest!

BlackBerry 10 Picture Lock

Okay, so it's been a while since we've done an awesome contest here on CrackBerry, so to get back in the swing of things I'm actually taking a suggestion from the forums for our next one. In honor of the release of BlackBerry OS 10.2.1, we're doing up a sweet quick contest that will show just how amazing this new OS is. I call this one the "Guess my Picture Password and win!" contest.

Former BlackBerry CIO coming out of retirement to be Chief Innovation Technology Officer at Samsung USA

Take this one with a grain of salt as it hasn't been officially announced, but I received word via a reliable source today that BlackBerry's former CIO, Robin Bienfait, will be coming out of retirement soon and moving over to the competition. Specifically, she'll be taking up the roll of Chief Technology Innovations Officer at Samsung Telecommunications America.

Robin was BlackBerry's CIO from 2007 until December 2012, when her retirement was announced rather abruptly during RIM's Fiscal Q3 2013 earnings report. Her LinkedIn profile currently states that she's "In Transition".

Andrew Bocking, Executive Vice President of BBM, leaves BlackBerry (of his own volition)

Executive Vice President of BBM, Andrew Bocking, has left BlackBerry. Bocking had most recently been the head of the BBM team after moving from his position as Executive VP, Software Product Management and Ecosystem at BlackBerry where he played a huge role in bringing BB10 phones to market. It hasn't been confirmed if he was fired or chose to depart on his own, but BlackBerry has confirmed that he is no longer with the company.

Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and while you're probably thinking flowers and chocolates for the significant other in your life, you don't want to forget to take care of the other sweety in your life. You know the one we're talking about. The one that's in your hand all day long. Your phone!

In honor of Heart day, you can show your BlackBerry a little love and save 20% on ALL BlackBerry cases and accessories at in our Valentine's Day Sale. To take advantage of the savings, all you need to do is enter in coupon code sweet20 during the checkout process. FREE shipping is available on all orders over $50 (domestic US / Canada), and you have lots of payment methods beyond standard credit card including Amazon payments, Paypal and Bitcoin!

We have tons of accessories in stock for the BlackBerry Z30Z10, Q10, Bold 9900 and more! Be sure to take advantage of the savings while they last. 

And for those of you have multiple-mobile loves in your life, don't forget the sweet20 coupon also works at, the iMore Store and Windows Phone Store. Your shopping cart will follow you through all four stores, so you can buy from all four stores and checkout once. You gotta love that!

Take me to and let the love fest begin!

Craig Johnston

Long time readers of CrackBerry will know the name and voice of Craig Johnston. Going back six years to February 2008, it was Craig Johnston who co-hosted CrackBerry Podcast Episode 001 with me. Craig was active on our podcasts for several years and occasionally would drop a post here on the blogs, imparting his immense knowledge of BlackBerry's history to our CrackBerry audience. Remember, Craig has been in the enterprise mobile space since 1999 and was a user of the original pre-BlackBerry device, the RIM 850.

Over his years working in enterprise mobile, Craig has managed BIG mobile device installations —we're talking over 40,000 users — and today is working as Enterprise Mobile Strategist for NTT Data. When he's not doing that, he's likely working on writing mobile device-related books, of which he's written 13 to date, or playing with wearable tech, his new addiction (he's also a Google Glass Explorer).

"BlackBerry is going think of ways to capitalize on the current climate, with public concern over hacking and the NSA"

This past Friday, FastCompany published an editorial titled Is BlackBerry Actually Going To Turn It Around? Featuring several interview quotes from BlackBerry CEO, John Chen, and supporting quotes by me (I spent an hour on the phone with the story's author earlier in the week), it's a positive piece that seeks to examine why we are seeing a turn around in the company's share price since John Chen came onboard. Looking at percentage gains, BBRY is one of the hottest stocks of the year.

It's a solid read, so I encourage all of you to jump over and read it in its entirety. 

Read the Full Story at Fast Co.

How do you describe BBM Channels to others?

BBM Channels

My financée is currently living in Paris, getting her MBA. At the moment, she's deep in thought trying to figure out her thesis topic. It's a critical thing for her to get right for a couple reasons: one, because it's 40% of her final grade; and two, because she's going to spend a ton of time working on it over the next nine months so she better choose the subject carefully and make sure it's one that she likes.

One of the tips her professor gave her was to make sure her thesis topic is refined enough that it passes the "elevator pitch" test. In other words, while riding up an elevator from the main floor to fourth floor with another person, she should be able to concisely relay the thesis idea before the elevator stops. 45 seconds, there or about. It's a necessity to thesis planning. It helps keep all the research and work to be done focused, and when it comes time to present and be graded it on it, there's a clear expectation set.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because it got me thinking about BBM Channels, and specifically my concern that it doesn't yet pass the "elevator pitch" test. As I wrote recently, I'm getting really excited for BBM Channels, and I **want** to tell people about it. Yet, I'm having this issue that when I try and tell others about the awesomeness that is BBM Channels, I can never cleanly and concisely tell them what is in 45 seconds or less. It's a confusing thing to talk about.

Kevin Bench

If I had my way, we'd have a quality page up on the internet about every single topic and question you can imagine that's related to BlackBerry. So when you come to the site or hit up Google (even Bing!) and search for something BlackBerry related, the odds are high that you'll land on that quality page produced by the #1 destination for everything BlackBerry,

That's always been our goal since DAY #1, and it still is to this day. From our February 27th, 2007 press release:

T-Mobile BlackBerry Z30

I'm a big fan of T-Mobile's CEO, John Legere. He does the kind of shit that I would likely do if I were the CEO of a big company that's in a similar position. I mean, I don't see him doing really ballsy things like eating raw onions, punching muggers in the face or baring it all on youtube, but he knows how to attract attention to himself.

Recently he got the attention of the CrackBerry community by deciding that T-Mobile USA would no longer carry BlackBerry phones in retail stores, instead making the decision to fill the demand via direct shipping. Sad news, but at least BlackBerry 10 phones were still available to T-Mobile customers. Except of course, for the BlackBerry Z30.

BlackBerry Q10 Flashlight Tip

One of the handy dandy new features in BlackBerry OS 10.2.1 is the ability to turn on the Flashlight in a uhh.. flash from the Quick Settings drop down menu. 

On taller phones like the BlackBerry Z10, Z30 and P'9982, after you upgrade to 10.2.1 the Flashlight app is automatically added to the Quick Settings drop down (this is the menu you see when you're on the homescreen and swipe down from the top of the phone).

However, after updating to OS 10.2.1 on the Q10 and Q5, it appears BlackBerry stuck to just three rows (six shortcuts) showing by default vs. the five rows (eight shortcuts) that show up on the taller phones. And on the Q10, the Flashlight app didn't make the cut to the 10.2.1 defaults.