From the Editor's Desk: KEYone Keynote

From the Editor's Desk: KEYone Keynote

HELLO from Barcelona!

If you're reading this and have been following along all month as we celebrate 10 Years of CrackBerry, you understand that it's been a crazy couple of days.

A lot has happened in the past 48 hours. The BlackBerry "Mercury" was officially unveiled as the BlackBerry KEYone, at an event I had the honor of participating in. And we celebrated our 10th anniversary in style with an awesome meetup, with 10 CrackBerry Members we surprised and flew in from around the world joining in on the festivities. I could write thousands upon thousands of words about both of these events, but instead I'm saving that for our next CrackBerry Podcast.

To keep things semi-efficient, I'll do a quick-ish brain dump of thoughts going through my head at the moment. It's after 3am here in Barcelona, and I need to get caught up on some sleep :)

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And the winner of an IOU for a BlackBerry KEYone from CrackBerry Kevin is...

The time has come to announce the winner in our Win an IOU for a BlackBerry Mercury from CrackBerry Kevin giveaway

In total, we had over 12,000 BlackBerry fans enter the Win an IOU for a BlackBerry "Mercury" From CrackBerry Kevin giveaway.

Today, after recovering from a post-BlackBerry Mercury/KEYone launch party hangover, we put that list of entries into our contest winner picking machine to decide who would be the lucky recipient of the newly-christened BlackBerry KEYone.

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The Best BlackBerry KEYone Video You Need to Watch

Want to get up close and personal with the BlackBerry KEYone? There is no better video on the YouTubez to watch right now than MrMobile's BlackBerry KEYone Hands On

The BlackBerry KEYone has officially been announced, which means the internet is beginning to fill up with tons of videos and first impressions of the newest BlackBerry. I suggest checking them all out and filling up CrackBerry's BlackBerry KEYone forum with your reactions.

That said, if you want to achieve BlackBerry-like efficiency of your precious review viewing minutes, the 4 minutes and 46 seconds you'll spend watching MrMobile's Hands-On of the KEYone will be time well spent. It's clearly the best hands-on video of the KEYone out there right now. Be sure to watch it!

As for CBK's video impressions, I'm not going to rush getting them up. I'll be heading home from Barcelona with a KEYone in hand so will be cranking out multiple videos between now and the time you'll be able to head out and buy one for yourself (we'll be sure to have a lot of fun killing that time together so the wait doesn't feel too long).

Enjoy the video. And if you're not yet following MrMobile, hit the links below and get on it!

Stay Social with MrMobile

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Watch the video replay of the BlackBerry KEYone launch event!

Did you miss out on taking in the BlackBerry KEYone announcement live? If so, you can go ahead and get yourself caught up by watching the full video replay. The event was hosted by our very own CrackBerry Kevin, and of course, features folks such as Nicolas Zibell, CEO at TCL Communication, as well as Logan Bell, Product Manager at BlackBerry Mobile.

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TCL Communication launches the all-new BlackBerry KEYone at Mobile World Congress!

The BlackBerry KEYone is the Mercury's official name and you'll be able to get your hands on it and its QWERTY keyboard beginning in April.

After many months of anticipation, and a teasing at CES 2017, TCL Communication has now officially given the device formerly known as 'Mercury' a name, pricing, and a release time timeframe. As unveiled today at Mobile World Congress, the BlackBerry KEYone will be available globally beginning in April and will be priced at or under €599 EUR/£499 GBP/$549 USD.

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BlackBerry KEYone Specs and Features

Official BlackBerry KEYone Specs and Features

The pieces that make the BlackBerry KEYone tick!

Now that the BlackBerry KEYone is official, that means the full run down of specs are available now as well. For the KEYone, every component of the device, including the Snapdragon 625 was specifically chosen with the goal of lengthening the battery life in mind. Mind you, the battery itself is the largest ever put in a BlackBerry, (3505 mAh) so we're already off to a great start. Read on to see what else makes up the BlackBerry KEYone.

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BlackBerry Mobile Livestream from Mobile World Congress 2017

Please Note, We'll be updating this page with the live chat before going live. As show time approaches, be sure to refresh your browser to make sure you're on the latest version of the page and watching the proper stream and chat. Thanks!

On February 25th at 7pm CET / 1pm EST, BlackBerry Mobile will unveil their newest BlackBerry Smartphone to the world in Barcelona, Spain at Mobile World Congress. For those not attending the press event you can watch the unveiling right here!

Sign up For BlackBerry Mobile Updates

To ensure you don't miss any of our coverage, fill out the form below to subscribe!

Important: We're asking for a little more info than normal for a great reason. We want to be able to get to know and communicate with you better. Example: We'd love to know what city you're in, so if we hold a CrackBerry Meet-up in your area we can email you about it! (Don't worry, the data will not be shared, and only your name and email address is mandatory!)

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CrackBerry Username

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Our new forums are here!

We've redesigned our Forums to make them more accessible to more users — all while maintaining what made them great for our seasoned community members to start!

We want more people reading and engaging with the great content that is being produced in our Forums. Here is an overview of some of the biggest changes - a big thank you to Gio Martinez in particular for absolutely crushing it in coding these new designs, and to our community for helping us with feedback throughout - more on that later.

Speed

In our tests we see a 35% boost in how fast the pages load with the new templates. This was one of the most important aspects of the redesign and something we will continue to improve on. Sometimes we still see badly behaving ad units that slow things down and while we try to tackle this they appear — it's often like a game of whack-a-mole, but we're doing everything we can on our end to make our codebase as quick as possible.

Clarity

More than 80% of our Forum traffic comes from Google, and to be frank, a user coming into the forums blindly for search wouldn't have a good experience. We saw issues with how far you had to scroll to see the content you came for and a lack of visual queues telling you this was a conversation.

Hierarchy

In the old forums everything had the same 'weight' and demanded the same amount of attention. In our new design we have a clear idea about what we want to stand out and what can be in the background. This means that some actions that were previously exposed and very clear to the experienced VB user are now slightly more hidden.

Our priority — what we want a visitor to immediately grasp — is that they are in the right place (Forum Thread Title) and that this is a conversation (Avatar + Post that looks like a message). Everything else can take a back seat.

Recognition

Our forums are built off of VBulletin, a long-standing software that underpins many other large and popular communities. The problem is that the base styling, which we also had based our old interface on, was also old and long-standing. The old-school style of forums is no longer the only way that people engage in serious conversations online. The kind of discussions we see in our Forums also happen in Facebook comment threads, Quora, Twitter replies, and a host of other group messaging apps. It made sense for us to at least visually move towards the look and feel of these hugely popular platforms — they're not just modern, they're simplified from the masses of forum controls in a very smart way.

By the Community

This has been the most extensive user testing we've ever done and we believe it's paid off. Since late November 2016 a group of select Forum users have been giving us nonstop feedback through slack — a BIG thank you to all of you! In late December we also opened up access to volunteers who have been helping us out with additional feedback in this forum thread.

I seriously cannot stress enough how important this feedback process has been — it's the best decision we've ever made.

Dark Theme

Sorry it took us so long! Enough said :)

You can find the Dark Theme inside Your Menu at the very bottom right - hidden away behind a moon icon like a little Easter egg.

Mobile with all the Trimmings

We wanted you to have all the same tools you enjoy on the desktop while using a mobile phone. This also means our Moderators and Ambassadors have the ability to do their work more easily on the go than before.

Small tweaks and Fixes everywhere

In addition to the huge overall changes we've made a bunch of smaller changes throughout the forums. You might not notice them for a while, and many are back-end tools that will make life easier for our volunteer Moderators. It's been a big project for us and we are really happy with the attention to detail it forced upon us. We are suitably humbled by the complexity of doing any changes to a tool many of you spend hours in every day.

Lastly, we fully expect there to be more issues and for our members to have better ideas than we have on how to improve the Forums. Please engage in the conversation over here in this forum thread — we really want your feedback, good and bad, so that we can continue to improve these forums for you.

Thank you!

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You'll never guess who's hosting the BlackBerry Mercury Launch Event at #MWC17

CrackBerry Kevin to be the show host as BlackBerry Mobile officially unveils the "Mercury" to the world!

I'm incredibly excited to be able to share with everyone some fun news leading into Saturday's BlackBerry Mercury Launch Event in Barcelona at Mobile World Congress.

In honor of CrackBerry turning 10 Years Old at midnight on Saturday, the team at BlackBerry Mobile thought it would be fitting for the occasion that CrackBerry Kevin take to the big stage and be the Master of Ceremonies as the "Mercury" gets officially unveiled to the world.

It's truly an honor and I'm thankful for the opportunity. I've sat in the audience at numerous BlackBerry events over the past ten years. Never once did I imagine myself being on stage to help unveil the next BlackBerry to the world.

If you're in the audience in Barcelona, I look forward to seeing you there. And to BlackBerry Fans around the globe, I hope you tune into our CrackBerry-powered livestream of the launch event as we make BlackBerry history! I would love to have your support, even from a far. You can find the link to the livestream below and we'll be firing up a live blog and chat before the event. The livestream and chat will go live shortly before 7pm CET / 1pm EST on Saturday.

Let's do this!!

Watch the BlackBerry Mobile Launch Event

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Win an IOU for a BlackBerry Mercury from CrackBerry Kevin!

This is your last chance to enter our IOU for a BlackBerry Mercury giveaway. We'll be announcing the winner on Sunday, February 26th. If you haven't entered yet, do it now!

Fill out the form below for your first chance to win a BlackBerry Mercury

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It's February 2017, which means CrackBerry turns TEN YEARS OLD this month. This wouldn't be CrackBerry and I wouldn't be CrackBerry Kevin if we didn't celebrate by giving away a chance to win the latest and greatest upcoming BlackBerry Smartphone.

That is of the course is the Android-powered BlackBerry 'Mercury' that BlackBerry Mobile will unveil later this month at Mobile World Congress.

To enter, all you need to do is fill out the form below (open worldwide). Come February 26th, the exact day of CrackBerry's 10 Anniversary, I'll announce the winner that will be selected at random from all the entries. As soon as there is availability, I'll buy one personally and ship it to you!

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Save $90 on these FRESHeBUDS Pro Magnetic Bluetooth Earbuds

Using Bluetooth earbuds while exercising or enjoying outdoor activities makes life oh so sweet. Unfortunately, the market is saturated with headphones, with most options ending up low quality and disappointing. What you need is a high-quality set of earbuds that you can use in any scenario, and you need earbuds that are built to last.

Save $90 on these headphones! Learn More

The original FRESHeBUDS earbuds were an enormous hit, and now they're back and better than ever in this new Pro model. The sound quality has improved to the point where you'll think you're using full-sized headphones, and the battery lasts up to 10 hours of playtime.

CrackBerry Digital Offers has knocked $90 off the regular price of these earbuds — right now, you'll pay only $30. Not only are these earbuds water and sweat resistant, they also have an amazing fit that won't fall out, even when you're in the middle of an intense workout.

The magnets in the earbuds keep them secured around your neck when not in use, and as soon as you pull them apart, they automatically connect to any of your Bluetooth devices. When together, they turn off to conserve battery, but a full charge takes only about 90 minutes.

Save $90 on these headphones! Learn More

If you've been on the fence about Bluetooth earbuds that work in any scenario, this is the time to buy. Don't wait too long — this deal won't last long.

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Keep your hands free with Samsung's Bluetooth headset for $27.87 today

If you use your BlackBerry for a lot of calls, you should have a Bluetooth headset like Samsung's Forte to keep your phone out of your hands. This allows you to keep doing things with both hands easily, and right now you can pick one up for just $27.87.

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We just surprised 10 CrackBerry members with a trip to Barcelona!

In honor of CrackBerry's 10th Anniversary and BlackBerry Mobile's "Mercury" Launch Event in Barcelona Spain at Mobile World Congress, we surprised 10 CrackBerry members with free trips to attend in person!!

If you're a regular reader of CrackBerry you know we've been bringing back the good 'ole days this month as we celebrate 10 Years of CrackBerry. Nothing screams the good 'ole days more than a new BlackBerry launch and the timing couldn't be more perfect with BlackBerry Mobile set to unveil their new Android-powered, QWERTY rocking BlackBerry "Mercury" this Saturday in Barcelona, Spain at Mobile World Congress. That same night at midnight, CrackBerry turns 10. Crazy, right?!

Our new friends at BlackBerry Mobile wanted to make sure the CrackBerry milestone would be one to remember, so they've financially supported us in pulling an Oprah Winfrey move to bring TEN hardcore CrackBerry folk to Barcelona so they could attend our CrackBerry Anniversary Meetup and be in the audience as the BlackBerry Mercury gets unveiled.

Here are the lucky members going from CrackBerry who I think were truly surprised and delighted to be contacted out of the blue: slagman5, Quizm, mainely_linux, pkcable, superfly_fr, FF22, BigBadWulf, Denise in Los Angeles, Elite1, and Shao128. We took a mix of regular members and our volunteer ambassadors and moderators.

Pretty awesome, right?! I can't wait to see everybody in person. Huge thanks go to BlackBerry Mobile for making this a reality for us. And to everybody who isn't there in person, we will be thinking about you and be celebrating in your honor. Lots of photos and videos to come! :)

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BlackBerry brings back the 48-hour flash sale on the BlackBerry Passport!

The last time BlackBerry hosted a 48-hour flash sale on the BlackBerry Passport, folks cleared ShopBlackBerry of all the BackBerry Passport Silver Editions. Seriously, there's none left. But if you're still looking to get an original BlackBerry Passport, BlackBerry has fired up another 48-hour flash sale and you can snag one for a great price!

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Amazon is offering $8.63 off nearly any purchase of $50 or more today only!

Amazon has topped the charts on the annual Harris Poll for corporate reputation, and to celebrate you'll be able to save $8.63 on any purchase of $50 or more. Using the coupon code BIGTHANKS you can save yourself on that purchase you've been holding out on. Whether you are in the market for a new case to protect your phone, a battery pack to keep it charged, or even a better way to get Wi-Fi through your whole house, you'll want to make sure you get $50 in your cart to save with this promo.

Some great ways to use your discount include:

Remember, this discount is only good for today, and there are a few exceptions to it. You won't be able to use the coupon on orders placed through Alexa or Prime Now, and it doesn't apply to video games, digital content or Amazon Gift Cards. Be sure to check out all the details at Amazon and then load up your cart with the stuff you want so you can save today!

See at Amazon

For more great deals on tech, gadgets, home goods and more, be sure to check out our friends at Thrifter now!

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Download this free BlackBerry Secure wallpaper!

Download this free BlackBerry Secure wallpaper!

It's become increasingly diverse the ways with which we can show our support for BlackBerry. Be it in smartphones, or enterprise software, collaboration tools or communication platforms there's a core tenant that BlackBerry upholds - security. Share that message loud and proud on your home screen with this BlackBerry Secure wallpaper designed by @Pootermobile - go download his app for BB10 smartphones while you're at it.

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T-Mobile

A complete breakdown of T-Mobile's ONE plan and everything else you can get when you sign up for service from Big Magenta.

In the United States, there are a lot of companies that can get you and your phone online, but most people use one of the four biggest: AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon. Choosing between them can be difficult. Your first priority should be what service works best in the places you spend your time. It's not worth saving $10 a month if the service is bad. Once you have that sorted, you can look at what each company has to offer and the prices they charge for it.

More: Which unlimited plan should you buy?

Let's take a look at T-Mobile to see what they can give you and what it will cost.

Note: The details of this plan are current as of February 20, 2017.

T-Mobile ONE plan details

  • Unlimited talk, text, and data with 200MB of roaming data
  • Unlimited talk, text, and data in Canada and Mexico
  • One hour of free Gogo in-flight Wi-Fi and unlimited texting on enabled flights
  • Unlimited data and texting in over 140 locations at 2x speed (264kbps) (limited time offer)
  • Unlimited music and HD video streaming (limited time offer, applies only in the U.S.)
  • 10GB high-speed mobile hotspot use (limited time offer)

T-Mobile's definition of Unlimited Data means that after you use 28 GB in a single month, your service can be slowed down if you're in a congested area. You'll hear the word throttled used here but you need to know that it's only a temporary deprioritization of your data connection when you're in a busy area. It may not happen at all depending on how many other customers are using the same towers.

You can use any phone that's compatible with T-Mobile's network. If you bring your own phone you'll pay a $20 one-time fee for a SIM starter kit. You can also finance a phone through T-Mobile and the monthly cost will vary depending on which phone you choose. T-Mobile ONE plans also include tax and all the other assorted fees in the price. Your monthly bill will be exactly what the plan costs.

Additional lines can be added to a T-Mobile ONE plan. Every line has the same benefits outlined above and the $20 SIM starter kit fee applies to each, though they go on sale regularly and it's not unheard of to get the starter kit fees waived if you talk to a representative. Here is a pricing breakdown.

  • One line of service on a T-Mobile ONE plan is $70
  • Two lines of service for $100
  • Three lines of service for $140
  • Four lines is $160 and each additional line adds $20 to the total

T-Mobile ONE Plan add-ons

You can add a tablet to your T-Mobile ONE plan for the standard $20 monthly fee. You can add a wearable to your T-Mobile ONE plan for $5 a month. Wearable devices are limited to 512kbps data speeds.

T-Mobile also offers two Plus add-ons for people who want a few extras:

The $5 monthly T-Mobile ONE Plus add-on includes everything from the standard ONE plan plus the following:

  • Unlimited in-flight data on all Gogo-enabled flights
  • T-Mobile Visual Voicemail
  • T-Mobile Name ID

The $25 T-Mobile ONE Plus International add-on includes everything from the ONE Plus plan and adds the following:

  • Unlimited international calling to landlines in over 70 countries and mobile numbers in more than 30 countries
  • Unlimited high-speed mobile hotspot

You do not have to pay for the $5 Plus add-on if you're buying the $25 Plus add-on. These prices are per line.

Secondary perks

T-Mobile also offers other special promotions on top of what you're paying for. These vary from free applications that support their services to free devices (through bill credits) after a certain amount of monthly payments. Some of these perks can change regularly, but as of February 2017, here is what T-Mobile is offering.

  • $150 prepaid Visa card (per line) when you switch to a T-Mobile ONE plan from another carrier
  • 11.2% cash back via Prepaid MasterCard on any phone you buy from T-Mobile after 6-8 weeks
  • Get an LG G Pad X 8.0 or Samsung Galaxy Tab E for free (via 24 monthly bill credits)
  • Get an ALCATEL LinkZone wireless hotspot for free (via 24 monthly bill credits)
  • "Smartpicks" are full-featured smartphones you can finance for $5 per month (24 months at 0% interest)

T-Mobile also has long-standing extras, including apps for Visual Voicemail, T-Mobile content transfer, T-Mobile's DIGITS, and an excellent account management application. You can find all of T-Mobile's apps on Google Play.

Last but not least is T-Mobile Tuesdays. Each week you can get things like food or movie tickets for free and have a chance to win "top-shelf prizes and epic experiences from the coolest brands around" without buying anything. T-Mobile Tuesdays is a very popular promotion and it is available for any T-Mobile customer.

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Become an ethical hacker for less than $25

Become an ethical hacker for less than $25

As the cyber world grows, so does the requirement for security personnel. One of the best ways to test security is to breach it — it's often hard to find a hole until something passes through it. The people who do this type of work are known as ethical hackers, and they are in high demand. Companies would rather have someone on their side breaching their security, rather than someone unknown or hostile. Maybe you've always fancied yourself a tech guru, or maybe you're just starting out. Either way, you're probably wondering how to get started down the path of cyber security.

Save big on this new skill Learn More

Right now, CrackBerry Offers has a fantastic deal on lifetime access to nearly 90 courses and 16 hours of information to get you ready. This package ultimately delivers training you'll need to fast track your career. The best part? It's going to set you back only $24.50 rather than the regular $700. No, that's not a typo; that's a huge discount. You'll need to use the coupon code LEARN50 to get the price down to just $24.50, so be sure to use that at checkout.

Being at the cutting edge of progress is never a bad idea, especially when it comes to your career. As job availability decreases and automation ramps up, individuals with specialized careers will be patting themselves on the back. One thing that doesn't seem to be going away anytime soon is the need for tech security, so why not get started on this course today? Some of the highlights include:

  • Access 89 lectures & 16 hours of content 24/7
  • Understand how to bypass different security layers after getting proper approval
  • Learn how to compromise computers, crack passwords, crash systems & compromise applications
  • Run a buffer overflow from scratch
  • Stride towards a career in this fast-growing IT profession

Become an ethical hacker now! Learn More

Sick of your dead-end job? Want to make a ton of money and help a lot of people stay safe? Get in at the ground level and make the tech industry work for you, not against you. This is a lot of education for a very low price — check it out today before the offer ends. Remember to use the code LEARN50 at checkout for the added discounts!

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Where to watch the BlackBerry Mobile MWC 2017 Press Event Livestream

This Saturday, February 25th at 1pm EST / 7pm CET, BlackBerry Mobile will unveil the newest BlackBerry Smartphone to the world. For those not attending the press event in person, you'll be able to watch the livestream right here on CrackBerry!

As we celebrate 10 Years of CrackBerry this month, we're going all out as we cover the launch of the BlackBerry "Mercury", which will be officially unveiled by BlackBerry Mobile at their Barcelona Press Event this Saturday. From what we gather, it's shaping up to be the biggest and most exciting BlackBerry event we have seen in years.

Wanting to make sure as many BlackBerry fans from around the world will be able to witness this historical moment, CrackBerry is the official community partner for the event and we will have a crew on hand to power the livestream action. In addition to watching the livestream, we'll also have a live blog and chat setup so you can participate in the fun. You'll be able to watch all the action at crackberry.com/bbmobilemwc2017.

Spread the word, and we'll talk to you on Saturday on the livestream!

BlackBerry Mobile MWC2017 Livestream

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First BB Merah Putih built BlackBerry-branded device gets certified in Indonesia

The first PT BB Merah Putih built BlackBerry-branded device has slowly been making its way through the certification process for Indonesia and has now finally reached the final step, meaning its eventual arrival might not be that far off. At this point, there's plenty of rumored specs floating about, but no images have appeared for the device simply known as BBC100-1. As for those rumored specs, well, they've come from @rquandt previously, and @krispitech.

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