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The developer of iGrann, Adrian Sacchi, has submitted his iGrann app to the beta zone, but it looks like he is asking for Passport owners to chime in. Adrian just wants to know how it looks on the 1400×1400 screen of the beautiful Passport.

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If you have a Passport and want to give your feedback to the developer then head on over to your beta zone app and give it a download.

Drool level, 1000

Many of you have entered our Passport competition and one of the reasons is that the Passport is just so damn hard to get a hold of.

Especially in the US. Thanks AT&T!

I was, like I suppose all of us, completely taken by surprise by the initial wave of demand and missed out when the first batch of stock sold out so quickly. Undeterred I placed an order with Carphone Warehouse on 30th September and then sat and waited for some more stock to arrive.

And waited…

And waited…

Until FINALLY I went to pick it up at the local store last Monday.

This was good, as when I walked in this was one of those stores that has NO BlackBerry’s on sale, whatsoever. No stands, no mentions – NOTHING. Just iPhone, HTC, Samsung and Nokia. Even the ‘Best of the Rest’ stand has gone. So I was definitely going to get a reaction from the staff.

So, march up to the counter and ask for my order. A bit of shuffling around in the back (and I’m sure a derogatory comment but I couldn’t quite hear) and out it came in it’s courier bag so, just for fun I thought I’d unbox it there and then. No derogatory comments now…

Turns out this is the first one the staff have seen in the flesh and they wanted to have a look. Of the 3, 2 were VERY impressed, the other asked me to hold it to my ear (whilst barely concealing a smirk) which was wiped off by the other guys with words such as ‘THAT is cool!’ and ‘Wow! Look at that! Can I hold it? Niiicce!’ So, job done although I think I’ll pop back at some time now it’s all loaded up.

Nipped next door to EE for a Nano SIM (plonked the box on the counter and loudly exclaimed to the rep there to tell his bosses I’d have bought it from them had they bothered to stock it) and then it was off home as quick as possible as, to be fair, the EE service worked extremely quickly and by the time I had left the shop my Micro SIM in my Z30 was dead and I had no service.

After gazing at it it the box it was time to fire it up and perform a Device Switch via BlackBerry Link. My Z30 was packed so this wasn’t a short process but there has obviously been some major improvements since I swapped from Z10 to Z30 as all my Android apps copied across fine AND the saved data too. Very sweet. That might sound silly but as I had to go back to the beginning on Candy Crush (yes, yes, I know but the Mrs wanted it so I had to test it) that had put Mrs Biggly off upgrading as she is on level 400 and something. Now that path is clear so that one simple thing just got BlackBerry an extra sale too!

So, we’re all fired up, email accounts added, signed back in to my apps (guys, make sure you keep your passwords in Password Keeper is all I have to say) and we are good to go.

First up, the size. When you first hold a Passport in comparison to a rectangular phone it feels and looks HUGE. But that passes very quickly. Actually, it’s shorter and wider than the Z30 so I was pleased to note that it fitted comfortably in my front jeans pocket along with my wallet. In fact, it is pretty much the same size as my wallet. Can I hold it with one hand? Yes I can and it balances nicely, in fact I would say the squarer shape makes it more difficult to drop. You can reach the top of the screen and the fact that it is slightly shorter in length means that you are less likely to accidentally reboot it when bending over or sitting down (as happened sometimes with my Z30 as the top of the phone was pressed against my body). In fact I’ve had no incidences of that at all.

The screen is great. Sharp and clear and the extra space for apps (along with the ability in 10.3 tp make multi-page folders) just makes SENSE. Scrolling up and down is beautiful and smooth and web pages are a pleasure. BlackBerry Maps and Be Weather by the way look amazing! Documents just work better and they weren’t lying about the ability to work with spreadsheets.

Photographs on the Passport are superb. The detail you get is incredible and the addition in 10.3 that allows auto switching to the correct mode for the conditions revolutionises phone photography for amateurs such as me. I’ve taken low light and high background light shots with the Passport that I’d given up trying on with the Z30 – only because it turns out I didn’t know which mode to use. Now it’s a breeze. And that 13 MP camera isn’t too shabby either. Very clean and crisp.

Phone calls are clear and crisp, the microphone is better if, like me, you spend a lot of time with the phone pressed between cheek and shoulder then there’s no problem there, sometimes with the Z30 people would say I was muffled. No longer. And signal ability is as you would expect, superb and on a par with the Z30 I would say.

Battery life is also as you would expect… LOOOONNNGGGG….

Now, onto the meat – that keyboard.

I’ll be honest with you, I wasn’t sure about going back to a physical keyboard. My last BBOS device was a Torch and I swore by it then, even refusing to touch the onscreen keys. I could blaze away all day and night. I was VERY nervous about going all touch but all that changed with my Z10. Suddenly I had all that and more with the ability to flick in the suggested words and let the space bar auto correct me. By the time I had a Z30 I was merrily writing articles here without a thought. So to go back to keys?

Well, for the first day or so it was difficult. I kept tapping the keys rather than pressing on them as that’s what I was used to. I kept hitting Z for Shift and M for comma. But after 2 or 3 days you get used to where things are and it all falls into place – even better than before! That fourth top row is a work of art changing to exactly what you need when you need it and the ability to still flick the suggested words up on the keyboard gives you the best of both worlds. PLUS swiping once from right to left to delete a word was a feature I used extensively on my Z series phones and was a major factor as to why I couldn’t get on with the Q10 when I tried that, I kept doing it across the keys and it drove me mad.

By today (day 10) I’m typing almost without looking at the keys. Something I never did with my Z phones (not that I wasn’t fast on them) but I’d forgotten that THAT’S WHAT I DID BEFORE. there’s something about a physical keyboard that allows you the accuracy but the Passport also gives you the speed that the flicking and swiping does on the Z phones.

To sum up, the wider aspect is great, you see so much more. The phone, antenna, screen and camera are fantastic and the capacitive keyboard gives ex physical or virtual keyboard users the best of both world, speed and accuracy, without having to compromise either. It fits neatly in the pocket and, my God does it turn heads! If you are going to own a Passport be prepared to be an object of interest!

So, that’s me after 10 days – I could go on about Blend and other 10.3 features which are just jaw dropping in places but if you haven’t got a Passport you’ll see those soon enough anyway. In the meantime, if you’ve got a Passport and want to let us know your ecxperiences feel free, or if you are looking to get one and have any questions please ask!

fireside_wine_1

Hello ladies and germs! BlackJack here with a fun new column called Fireside Chats. Have a seat on the hearth while I tell you a Halloween story about a mean scary carrier of old once known as Cingular, who now goes around hiding behind a mask ignoring it’s customers of many years.

I went to begrudgingly pay my AT&T bill today when I noticed a little link that told me I was eligible for a device upgrade. Well great. I just bought my own Verizon Z30 because they don’t sell them, and they are apparently not aware that they have been blessed with exclusive carrier status in the United States on the BlackBerry Passport. So ok, let’s see what they suggest that I upgrade to, since they don’t offer anything I want.

So I did, and as I did I saw a button offering to chat with a customer service rep. Oh how nice! They want to chat!

So I put a log on the fire, poured myself a glass of brandy, grabbed my Z30 and settled down in my favorite chair for a nice cozy Autumn chat with the wonderful people who carry my messages around the world from the comfort of my easy chair.

I logged in and was greeted by a nice lady named “Apolonia” to share my Brandy with. Yes really. Subliminal? I quietly hoped this didn’t mean she was going to try to sell me an Apol phone.

This is how it went. And if anyone else wishes to keep after them, don’t forget to use the hashtag
#WeWantThePassport

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Don’t forget the hashtag
#WeWantThePassport

Sale-sign

We all know that the Passport is amazing and that the Classic will be.

But you probably also know that there’s nothing wrong with the gorgeous Q10, the little gem that is the Q5, the super handy Z10 or the beast that is the Z30. And all are about to get 10.3, which will make them even lovelier.

Which makes it all the better that Shop BlackBerry have a sale on RIGHT NOW where, if you are from the US, Canada or the UK you can grab yourself some amazing bargains – take a look at these:

Up to $200/£200 OFF an unlocked Z30

Up to $200/£280 OFF an unlocked Q10

Up to $200/£200 OFF an unlocked Z10

Up to $200/£100 OFF an unlocked Q5

Seriously, a device such as a Q10 at less than $200/£200 or a Z30 at less than $300/£280 – WOW!

So, grab one for yourself or send the link to a wavering iPhonian or Androidian friend (or even get them one as a lovely pressie!)

Go quick!

USA: Buy From Shop BlackBerry Here

Can: Buy From Shop BlackBerry Here

UK: Buy From Shop BlackBerry Here

bbm logo

The new BBM update currently being rolled out includes 2 great new features – Message Retraction and Timed Chats (sort of like BBM SnapChat!) and, would you believe, BlackBerry have come up with a great new ad to highlight them.

Fantastic stuff!

Those terrible Superbowl ads seem a long way away now…

Feel free to share with your iPhonian and Androidian friends – often they really just don’t get how powerful BBM is…

Well done BlackBerry!

Today was a big day for the BlackBerry Passport. AT&T actually pushed out an update OTA!
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Exciting, right? Absolutely! We know they are far behind the curve when it comes to releasing OS updates, so when the above appeared in my Notifications, my world came to a grinding halt! Continue Reading

Trick or Treat...

Trick or Treat…

Trick or Treat?

Halloween comes to life on BBM with this spookily themed sticker pack by Meemo. Meemo is a studio that specializes in the creative design of stickers, emoticons, and Emoji to enhance the way you message. This pack will run you 99 cents.

...smell my feet.

…smell my feet.

It’s time to trick and treat with Mickey and the gang. You can now add Mickey, Donald, and the rest of your Disney favorites to your spooktacular BBM conversations. Mickey’s Halloween will run you $1.99.

It looks like its all treats for us BBM users!

Enjoy and happy Halloween!

Great Feedly client!

Great Feedly client!

When it comes to finding apps that I use on my Android tablet and finding them in BlackBerry World, can be kinda tricky. That’s why I was excited when I found gNewsReader for BlackBerry 10!

gNewsReader, by Yogeshwar, is a native Feedly/NewsBlur client for BlackBerry.

I subscribe to all my favorite news feeds, and share them to my Facebook, twitter and BBM groups. I can even save articles from gNewsReader so I can read later.

The update brings the app version from 2.9.1.2 to 2.9.5.3 and with it brings:

Passport support, small bug fixes, and a new setting for list image size (big/small).

If you want to give this 4 1/2 star (and .99) app a try, just click on the link to the BlackBerry World.

Protect your investments

Protect your investments

Hot off the heels of the last update, Stocks, by Alex Garipian, gets another small one today.

Going from 1.5.1.1 to 1.5.2.1, Stocks for BlackBerry 10 gets some bug fixes… always welcomed.

Enjoy!

crashed learner driver

On Monday this week the (American media) world was astounded (and a little put out) to discover that Kim Kardashian West LOVES BlackBerry.

Yes, Kim appeared at Recode and put the cat amongst the pigeons by refusing to bow down to the iPhonian Gods – she avowed her loyalty to the one platform that can’t splatter her private photographs across the internet. Of course, this is NOT to be tolerated.

In reporting this the New York Post predictably used the word ‘beleagured’…

The reality-TV star and wife of rapper Kanye West said she’s so addicted to her old-school Blackberry’s keyboard that she owns three versions of the classic phone in case they break down.

“It’s my heart and soul, I love it and I’ll never get rid of it,” Kardashian said at a tech conference on Monday night.

Kardashian — who even joked about buying the beleaguered Toronto-based smartphone maker — said she trolls eBay looking for used ones to buy.
“They don’t have them in stores anymore,” she told Re/code founder Kara Swisher. “I buy them on eBay.”

And then came Page Six. Who were so outraged that Kim could be avoiding letting them easily access every part of her life that they insisted on making total iTools of themselves:

Kim Kardashian’s love for Blackberry might be fake

Kim Kardashian made headlines Monday after an appearance at the Code/Mobile tech conference, where she told Re/code’s Kara Swisher that she loves her Blackberry so much that she owns three models in case one breaks down.

But an analysis of the reality TV star’s recent tweets shows that even though the social media darling may be careful to be seen carrying her Blackberry around, she never uses it for tweeting.

Of her latest 200 tweets, which stretch back to March of this year, none were sent using a Blackberry.

The majority of Kardashian’s tweets during this time – 136 of them – came from Instagram, which is not available on Blackberry. She told Swisher on Monday that she uses her iPhone mostly for taking pictures.

The rest were tweeted from the Web (28 times), using Twitter for iPhone (nine times), using Tweetdeck (10 times) or using an application called Echofon (17 times). There’s no Echofon app for Blackberry devices.

When Kardashian, 34, was asked if she’d ever talked to Blackberry about becoming the company’s spokeswoman, she said: “I feel like I should. I’m going to make a call after this.”

Is Kim playing coy? It seems like somebody already made that call – and didn’t do it from a Blackberry.

Of course not! How silly of us all! Kim has never owned a BlackBerry, never used a BlackBerry, she’s made the whole thing up.

ANYWAY – how could she?

How DARE she even WANT a BlackBerry?

It’s a disgrace, I tell you.

No, what’s more of a disgrace is that uninformed reporting like this has meant that poor old Kim Kardashian can’t find a BlackBerry 10 device in store.

If she could, and could find a sales rep who didn’t believe the sort of drivel spouted here by Page Six, then she would be freely enjoying Instagram (whether the original or iGrann, which many find better), Echofan (which I tested earlier) or pretty much any other app these people care to name.

Never mind the fact that she, of course, would be zipping away on THE most advanced OS on the planet. With no bending and no need to rush for a plug socket more times than the bathroom.

After 10 pints of water.

Yes, this news must be dismissed and buried as quickly as possible. Kim must NEVER be allowed a BlackBerry 10 phone and none of you must ever be tempted by one either.

And you know why?

Because if she got one there’d be no need for the iPhone anymore.

And then we really would see the likes of Page Six heading in the opposite direction.

Get a Passport Kim…

They’re all the rage right now!