BBM

BBM for iOS Updated

Fresh off the release of iOS8, BBM For iOS has been updated to Version 2.4.1.35.
The change log is as follows:
  • Updates to support iOS 8
  • Resolves some issues experienced in right to left language support

If your BBM friends on iOS haven’t opted for automatic updates, spread the word that there is an update waiting for them.

You can download BBM for iOS here.

P'9983 Europe Exclusive at Harrods

P’9983 Europe Exclusive at Harrods

Harrods today launched the new Porsche Design P’9983 smartphone from BlackBerry.   The iconic device will be available exclusively at the Porsche Design shop-in-shop at the world famous Harrods department store in London from September 25th to October 2nd 2014.

If you’re in London and are looking to add this to your BlackBerry collection, the price is £1,400 including VAT (approximately $2,300 US).  The full press release is enclosed below:

Beyond Luxury: The P’9983 Smartphone

Europe Exclusive at Porsche Design Shop-in-Shop at Harrods

Sep 23, 2014

London/Stuttgart. Harrods today launched the new Porsche Design P’9983 smartphone from BlackBerry. The luxury P’9983 smartphone combines the unique stylish design of the iconic and timeless Porsche Design brand with the fluid and effortless productivity experience of BlackBerry® 10 technology. From September 25th to October 2nd 2014, the P’9983 will be available exclusively at the Porsche Design shop-in-shop at the world famous Harrods department store in London, for £1,400 including VAT.

Marking the third smartphone collaboration between BlackBerry and Porsche Design, the device integrates premium quality materials such as sapphire glass for the camera lens, forged stainless steel for the Porsche Design floating logo and chassis, and a special glass-weave technology for the back door. Furthermore, Porsche Design has collaborated with BlackBerry for the first QWERTY version with BlackBerry 10 with specially crafted glass-like keys with the durability of rigid synthetic material, and a special 3D effect with silver font characters.

“The Porsche Design P’9983 smartphone from BlackBerry makes a statement about its owner’s impeccable taste and drive for achievement and success, as well as discernment in making the right choices with products that help them stay on top,” says Juergen Gessler, CEO of Porsche Design Group. “Yet again, the collaboration with BlackBerry has led to a product that blends style and functionality to provide a true luxury experience.”

Stewart Mancey, Head of Technology at Harrods said: “Harrods is delighted to be working with Porsche Design and BlackBerry to exclusively launch the P’9983 in Europe. The Harrods Technology department seeks to deliver innovation and the highest quality technology to our customers and the new Porsche Design P’9983 smartphone from BlackBerry delivers this in abundance.”

The P’9983 smartphone also offers exclusive aftermarket accessories including handcrafted leather backdoors made from fine Italian leather that are available in the colours: Yellow, Blue Green, Dark Brown, Pomegranate, Paloma Grey, Salsa, Blue and Orange so you can choose a look to express your individuality.

For more information about the new Porsche Design P’9983 smartphone from BlackBerry please visit www.blackberry.com/p9983.

About Porsche Design

Porsche Design is a luxury brand and was founded in 1972 by Professor Ferdinand Alexander Porsche. The products represent functional, timeless and purist design, and boast an impressive innovative standard. All of the brand’s products are designed by the Porsche Design Studio and are sold around the world in more than 150 retail stores, high-end department stores, exclusive specialist stores and the official online shop (www.porsche-design.com).

 

Source: BlackBerry

Earlier today Endgadget posted a friendly little article about the price of the BlackBerry Passport. Nothing bad about that. With a $599 US pricepoint, there’s really nothing to complain about there. And of course not surprising that it made news. We were one of many that posted the news earlier today ourselves. Nothing trollish there right? You’re thinking no need for Brad to be writing about it right?

And you’d be right.

Until someone at Engadget had the bright idea to throw an unnecessary tweet out in to the twitterverse.

engadget

See the problem here? Non-contract price for Blackberry Passport vs. contract price on the iPhone. I suppose it’s obvious what they were after. They’re quite obviously trying to dissuade people from purchasing the Passport.

Luckily the #ProBlackBerry crowd ran to correct them.

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Some talked of the actual prices

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Some brought up the truth aspect, or lack thereof.

IMG_20140922_221844_edit_editedHey! I know that guy!

IMG_20140922_221844_edit1_editedNot nearly enough exclamation marks there!!!

IMG_20140922_221908_edit_editedThese two defend BlackBerry all over Twitter! Keep going!!

IMG_20140922_221921_edit_editedThis poor guy thinks he’s getting help shopping!

IMG_20140922_221954_edit_editedOh fun! New hashtags!!

Once again, Engadget decides to troll BlackBerry, and once again, the #ProBlackBerry family is out there to defend. Someday Engadget and it’s ilk will learn, until then, this BlackBerry community will be there to push those trolls back Under The Bridge!

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***update*** Thanks to Jasper for pointing it out, after #TeamBlackBerry had their say, Engadget returned to correct their tweet. Good job guys and gals!

 

IMG_20140922_233759_edit

For all you radio and podcast fans, the venerable Nobex Radio app has been updated.

Nobex_Feature

At this time I’m having a tough time tracking down a change log, perhaps it is modified for Passport use now?

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Upon running the update, permissions are asked for again, along with a request for registration. The registration email gives you a glimpse of what the app is all about…

Hi there, Thank you for installing Nobex Radio! Nobex Radio lets you: Listen to over 16000 radio stations around the world and see the playlist of over 2700 radio stations. Get Songs with a single click, right from your mobile device. Or, receive an email with links to buy the song on your PC, so you can always keep your music collection fresh! Run Nobex Radio on sleep timer – choose anywhere between 15 minutes to 2 hours. Post your favorite song or station directly to your Facebook wall or twitter account with a click of a button.

So come on you Q5, Q10, Z10, Z3, Z30, and P9982 users… Get on it!

IMG_20140922_140303

I love my Z10. I have since day one. I also love to tinker. And, I get bored occasionally. When that happens, I scour the web for wallpapers and ringtones. I’ve also made a few of my own, but that’s for another time! That said, when I was presented the opportunity to use and review a new ringtone app, I jumped at the chance. So let’s get on with it:

You might be familiar with the developer known as rakTheme in App World. He currently has around 67 or so apps both free and paid. Today, I’m covering “Ringtones”. There are both free and paid versions of this app. The paid version is only $0.99 and includes Information and Help files, both of which are fairly detailed and are a compliment to what is posted in App World. The free version does not include the Information and Help files but does contain a large number of tones available for download. One of the best parts is that this app contains NO ADS that I saw. How awesome is that?

There are four categories of ringtones-Default (which contains music-type tones), Reminders, SMS/E Mail, and Phone ringer tones. I counted 150 total tones, which is quite a bit for such a small cost! They run the gamut from melodic, musical rings, to funny voice rings, to animal sounds, and even a few automotive sounds, although a friend did point out that there are no Star Trek, Batman, or James Bond tones, much to his disappointment! Going through each of them, it was hard to pick one to use as they each had something special to offer. Sadly, though, I started to run into problems once I began trying to use them. I followed all of the instructions, and gave it the appropriate permissions (which by the way is only one—to access the music content stored on your device) but it didn’t quite function as it claimed. Yes, I was able to play a tone and yes, I could assign it as my phone ringer, but I couldn’t assign tones to any of the other categories (SMS/E-Mail, Reminders, BBM, etc.) as claimed. Nor could I find the ones I did assign (I eventually found them in my Android Music folder on my device!). Eventually, I was able to make it work, but not up to par with what it can and should do.

The final verdict: this is a great app for just $0.99. It is native, built using Cascades and is ad free. There are a great number of tones to choose and they really are very nice. Even though mine is a bit crippled, I encourage you to at least consider using it and support the developer! Link:

Ringtones by rakTheme

**Updates: After working with the developer, we have determined my issues are due to the fact that I’m running 10.3 on my device and the app has not yet been updated to support that OS. However, he did (and very graciously, I might add) offer another app of his that is compatible with 10.3 to me as an apology. Very nice. Additionally, UTB has been granted permission by the developer to share the promo codes for free download. How can you beat that?? The code is RT49205S. I believe there are 300 available, but he has also shared it on his channel.

If you get a chance, take a look at his apps here.

BlackBerry?  I thought they were dead.

You better think again.

Two days to go before we all get to “See The Bigger Picture”. An apt slogan for BlackBerry’s global launch event on both a literal, and figurative level. Literal in that the large square BlackBerry Passport will be officially launched (apparently immediately in some areas and at a great price); figuratively in that John Chen will be able to provide a broader perspective on where the company is headed.

Here’s what we already know: the layoffs are over; shipments are up; new partnerships formed (Foxconn, NantHealth, Amazon, Monitise); acquisitions made (Movirtu, Secusmart); percentages revised (50/50 to 80/20 to 100/0); three new devices in the pipeline ready to launch (Passport, Classic, Z20); a new division created (BlackBerry Technology Solutions); a new direction (Open, Cross Platform, Software Services and The Internet of Things) and new software (BlackBerry Blend and BlackBerry 10.3).

And make no mistake, more is yet to come. There may even be a few surprises despite the leaks.

Come Wednesday, John Chen will finally take to the stage in his first REAL BlackBerry launch event, showcasing not just new devices but new initiatives and giving an update on the State of the BlackBerry Nation. With all respect to the good people of Indonesia and the plucky BlackBerry Z3 – the May launch event was a subdued, low key affair and happened at a time when dark clouds still hung over the company (at least in the media’s eyes). The event on Wednesday? It’s 100% John Chen’s show – he’s finished pushing through the legacy baggage of his predecessors and ready to show the world what he’s managed to do in ten months.

Ten months!

Looking over the list of changes to the company it’s hard to believe how much has been accomplished in such a short period of time. Considering the legacy of ‘BlackBerry of Olde’, it’s remarkable. Gone are the missed deadlines, production delays, bad pricing strategies, inability to listen to customers, et al. This is a leaner, nimbler, more responsive BlackBerry. One that – by Chen’s own words – works simultaneously at three levels: short, medium and long term strategies – sometimes overlapping and constantly evolving, constantly rethinking.

Given the excitement leading up to the event over the BlackBerry Passport all eyes will be on center stage as Chen shows off his accomplishments. This launch will likely be seen in retrospect as the real ‘turning point’ for BlackBerry – the new BlackBerry – going forward.

Much in the way Steve Jobs returned to Apple and righted that listing ship, Chen is the man BlackBerry needed, and deserved and just in the nick of time. For my money, given what I’ve seen of Chen in live interviews, it’s also likely to be a fun spirited and humourous affair all around.

Can’t wait. You?

Passport UTB

Just 2 days to go…

Ready?

Ok…

In today’s Wall Street Journal there’s an interview with the man himself. Here you go…

BlackBerry Chief Executive John Chen said in an interview Monday that its Passport smartphone, which will go on sale starting Wednesday, will cost $599 in the U.S. without subsidies. The phone will be priced differently in some other countries based on taxes and tariffs, he noted.

Mr. Chen said that compared with similar smartphones produced by competitors, the Passport should cost in the $700 range. “But I figure that to try to get the market interested, we’re going to start a little lower than that.”

Apple Inc.’s new iPhone 6 starts at $649 without contract, while the iPhone 6 Plus costs $749 without a contract. Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S5 smartphone went on sale in the U.S. earlier this year for about $650 depending on the carrier.

The release of the handset, which has a 4.5-inch square screen and BlackBerry’s signature physical keyboard, will be the first global launch of a device since the company’s BlackBerry 10 phones flopped in 2013. While the company has begun to focus more on its core enterprise business, it must also use innovative new consumer products to lure enterprise users, Mr. Chen said.

The Waterloo, Ontario, firm hasn’t talked about the device’s features ahead of its launch. But Mr. Chen, who was visiting Singapore Monday, said the phone’s larger screen would appeal to users who need to be productive on their phones, such as those working in the medical field. The Passport’s screen size and high resolution allows users to view 60 characters on each line, which is substantially more than typical, rectangular smartphones such as iPhones.

“You really are seeing a more entire picture than seeing a sliver” of a screen, he said.

Mr. Chen said that the battery will last 36 hours and a large antenna will benefit reception, while the keyboard can also be used for scrolling through content displayed on the screen.

BlackBerry will launch the phone simultaneously Wednesday in Toronto, London and Dubai. The Passport will also be available “immediately” in some stores, and in one to two weeks “a lot of places will have it,” including markets in Asia, Mr. Chen said.

BlackBerry in November will also launch the latest version of its device-management software, and will likely release in December its Classic smartphone, Mr. Chen said, which is designed to appeal to fans of its keyboard and email services.

Mr. Chen, who took over at the once-dominant smartphone maker less than a year ago amid mounting losses and declining sales, has engineered a high-stakes makeover, with BlackBerry focusing on providing secure smartphone technology for the enterprise market.

“The reason why our focus is so enterprise is because what we know how to do is security and productivity” he said. “Security, cybersecurity, personal identity protection. This is going to be a big deal.”

There was then the usual waffle from an ‘expert’ who said it would flop. Of course there was, it wouldn’t be BlackBerry if there wasn’t!

Anyway, screw what he thinks, what about you?

Is $599/£449 about right?

Enough to entice you?

We hear it’s a good enough price to interest a good solid number of carriers where staff who have been exposed to the phone are very excited indeed…

And it should be enough to brig a fair few people #BackToBlack, especially with the #Fappening still happening.

A small price to pay if you’re a celebrity I shouldn’t wonder…

Roll on Wednesday!

IMG_20140922_102237

ReadItNow! is a native Pocket client for BlackBerry 10 and today it got a pretty big update!

ReadItNow! Went from 6.9.0.0 to 6.9.2.0 and with it:

* Added support for the BlackBerry Passport.
* Download text and images on WiFi only (optional).
* Show excerpt in article list (optional).
* Article list now uses full available space in landscape mode.
* Re-worked the add article page.
* Less internal database updates.
* Share to Springpad.
* Fixed marking articles as read/unread in offline mode.
* Old app cover after reading an article.
* Fixed minor bug fixes.

This, in my opinion, is a great list of improvements, additions and fixes to an already stellar app.

ReadItNow! Is also on sale for .99 cents!

If you want to give ReadItNow! A try, check it out in the BlackBerry World, by clicking on the link.

Enjoy!

iOS8 Upgrade Fail

Remember all the hoo-haa when the Apple/IBM partnership was launched?

How it was going to knock BlackBerry out of the park?

How iPhonians chuckled and wondered why BlackBerry even bothered?

Here’s why.

In the last year there have been roughly 5 updates to BlackBerry 10. Each one has come with new enhancements and features. Each one has moved the OS on in leaps and bounds. And each one has worked with ALL BlackBerry 10 devices on the market from the Z10 onwards. In other words, they’ve all been backwards compatible and tested.

And, crucially, the phone has carried on working.

Compare that then to these words from an IT Dept, a copy of which was sent to us earlier today from a company chock full of iPhone 5’s:

Hi,

We suggest that you don’t do the update to iOS8.0
Doing so may result in your email on your phone not working anymore.

If you have already done the update don’t worry.
Contact us and we’ll fix it this you.

What a damning indictment indeed.

Why should companies be wasting time and money chasing after slovenly company’s who, at best, can’t be bothered to test their own product and, at worst, want it to break so you have to buy another? Why should they lose the money earned by Employees who now can’t email until their phone is fixed? Who the hell decided an iPhone was a good idea in a business environment anyway?

It’s not.

You get the upgrade, it breaks your phone. It’s not the first time and it won’t be the last.

So, IBM, how you gonna fix that one?

Maybe before you start working with Apple you should get your staff a BlackBerry each?

They’ll be needing something reliable to work with.

IMG_20140922_102246

FastTube, my favorite YouTube app, got a small update, 1.9.9.60 to 1.9.11.62, that fixed minor bug issues.

You can find FastTube in the BlackBerry World by clicking on the link.

Enjoy!