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BlackBerry VP of Developer Relations Alec Saunders Now VP of QNX Cloud

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Alec Saunders

Alec Saunders, the incredibly outspoken VP of Developer Relations, is now the VP of QNX Cloud. This is interesting for a few reasons:

1) The new CEO John Chen is shifting the company’s efforts over to the enterprise, and perhaps Developer Relations isn’t as important now.

2) QNX has been making the most news these days, especially at CES, and is arguably the strongest company in the “BlackBerry Portfolio”.

3) Recently, BlackBerry released OS 10.2.1, which gives users the ability to install Android .apk files directly onto a BlackBerry 10 phone. Perhaps this means Android is the consumer app play moving forward.

There’s definitely a culture shift happening at BlackBerry and it’s happening fast. BlackBerry as a “portfolio of companies” is going to become increasingly evident as employees move between BES, BBM, and QNX.

Read Alec’s blog on the specific reasons as to why he is now with QNX Cloud.

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Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blackberrycool/mYUU/~3/NZtn6JdjfK4/


Closing the App Gap

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App Gap

 

For some time now one of the main arguments against BlackBerry 10 was its lack of available apps in BlackBerry World. The BlackBerry Developer Relations Team, before the initial release of BlackBerry 10, made great strides in their attempts to get developers on board with the new BB10 Operating System.

Just over two years ago BlackBerry launched what was called ” BlackBerry Jam Conference ” , which was a series of conferences held worldwide in various cities specifically catered to mobile app developers and those interested in learning about and developing for the new BlackBerry 10 OS. 

Although these conferences were very successful in the developer’s community, there were still issues with big time companies whose apps were available for Android and IOS but still yet not available for BlackBerry 10.

As time went on and BlackBerry 10 was officially released, starting with the all touch BlackBerry Z10 and later the QWERTY Keyboard Q10. Now the sales of these devices were not as promising as BlackBerry had hoped and this would eventually lead to some major changes in the company starting with the removal of then CEO Thorsten Heinz, who I give credit for at least bringing BlackBerry 10 to market.

Although sales were down, BlackBerry still had a promising well-built OS in BlackBerry 10. There were several new features and gestures that made this OS very different and some say even superior to the Android and IOS Operating Systems. This was a big plus for BlackBerry as the Z10 got some pretty nice reviews as an operating system overall but got butchered due to the lack of available big time apps such as Instagram, Netflix and various banking institution apps.

As time went on more and more of those dedicated BlackBerry users began to jump ship to other platforms with a large part due to not having those big named apps available to them. This so called “Lack of Apps ” movement really began to hurt BlackBerry 10 as some BlackBerry users that were still on those legacy phones, all but passed up on the new BlackBerry 10 devices, choosing  rather to go with  IOS , Android and even Windows Phone.

I have always felt that this lack of apps issue was totally over blown. For me and some other people I know, it was all about getting things done and making sure I had a device that did that what I needed it to do, which BlackBerry 10 did with limited faults and complaints. Now for the average consumer this would not be enough satisfy their craving and need to have those apps that were not available on BlackBerry 10.

Now if you have been paying attention to BlackBerry 10 and even going back to the Playbook OS, someone smart at BlackBerry knew that it would be very difficult to get some developers on board with BB10. With this is mind, they also knew that in order to remain relevant something had to be done to fix this lack of apps issue. The foundation was clearly laid with the Playbook OS allowing for some Android apps to run on the device by way of the Android Runtime implementation. A lot of diehard BlackBerry fans viewed this as a negative (I was one at first) but others had already seen the overall big picture of what was needed to bridge this app gap.

Fast forward to today and with the recent release of OS 10.2.1, BlackBerry 10 has now closed this application gap by at least 75%. OS 10.2.1 allows for users to directly install and run Android .APK files to your current BlackBerry 10 device. I have been on the leaked version of 10.2.1 for a couple of months now and I have been very impressed with what BlackBerry has done with this latest release.

Based on your carrier, 10.2.1 is now available for you to install. Before you install any updates or make any changes to your BlackBerry 10 device, please make sure you have BlackBerry Link installed on your PC or Mac and do a complete back up.

Now a lot of people are wondering how to install these Android Applications and were to get the .APK files.  Below I have added some links from various sources that will help you with that process. At this point there should be really no reason not to get that love back for BlackBerry as the “App Gap ” is slowly coming to a close.

Come on back home, back to the Black…BlackBerry!

 

Get your .APK fix at links below, you will need to be on the official OS 10.2.1 or a leaked version of 10.2.1 in order to install and run .APK files directly.

Aptoide via BerryReview

N4BB’s APK Download Center via N4BB

Amazon App Store  via Amazon.com

 

 

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Rimarkable/~3/0rKlJeEVmso/


Introducing BlackBerry Virtual Expert for BlackBerry 10 OS 10.2.1

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BBVE-01BBVE-01    BBVE-02BBVE-02

Does your BlackBerry need a health assessment? Are you considering a repair?

If so, check out the BlackBerry Virtual Expert, a simple, self-guided diagnostic app for BlackBerry devices including both BlackBerry OS and BlackBerry 10. Depending on what type of BlackBerry device you are using, you’ll be able to run tests that can help identify if an issue is occurring and get recommendations on how to solve the problem.

Tip: For an interactive overview of the BlackBerry Virtual Expert check out the web based tutorial!

To help you get started, here’s a quick overview of how to do use this app and what to do if a test fails.

How do I access the BlackBerry Virtual Expert?

For those using BlackBerry OS 10.2.1, BlackBerry Virtual Expert is built in and can be opened by opening the Help application followed by tapping Testing along the bottom toolbar.

BBVE-03BBVE-03 BBVE-04BBVE-04

For those using BlackBerry OS 10.2 or lower, in order to use BlackBerry Virtual Expert, you’ll need to install it first. To do this, open BlackBerry World on your device and search for ‘Virtual Expert‘, or use the following steps to scan a barcode. After installation is complete, look for the BBVE icon that appears on your home screen.

  1. Open BlackBerry World
  2. Swipe down from the top of screen and tap Scan Barcode
  3. Scan the following barcode and tap Download

BBH-BBVE-BarcodeBBH-BBVE-Barcode

After opening the BlackBerry Virtual Expert, you’ll be shown the Health tab by default which allows you identify basic details about your device as well quickly access specific settings. For example, tapping Bluetooth will open the Bluetooth settings screen allowing you turn on, or off Bluetooth.

If you select Tests along the bottom toolbar, you’ll be able to run all of the available tests at once, or test a specific feature. To test everything at once, tap All Tests or select a specific feature or function you’d like to test. If you had concerns about your headphone jack for example, select Audio Test to run a variety of audio related tests, or optionally select Choose A Test followed by tapping on the specific test you’d to run.

BBVE-06BBVE-06   BBVE-07BBVE-07

Tip: Tap and hold a toolbar icon for a description of the icons purpose.

When you start testing a feature, follow the instructions displayed on your device and complete the require actions followed by recording a result Pass 00-pass00-pass, Skip  00-skip00-skip or Fail  00-fail00-fail. When all of the selected tests have been completed you’ll be shown your results at indicating what passed, what tests were skipped and of course, any tests that may have failed.

One of my tests failed, what do I do now?

Should a test fail while using the BlackBerry Virtual Expert, after reviewing the suggestions on the Results tab provided by BlackBerry Virtual Expert, here are a few things you can do to help get an issue resolved efficiently.

  • Summarize the issue and troubleshooting steps you’ve attempted as well as identifying your BlackBerry 10 device OS version PIN. To identify your OS version, tap Settings followed by About and change the Category bar to OS. To identify your PIN, tap Settings followed by About and change the Category bar to Hardware
  • Download and install BlackBerry Link for PC, or Mac, which will allow you to back up your BlackBerry 10 device. When contacting support for a potential repair issue, they will guide you through this process so doing this before contacting support can help speed things along. For help backing up your device as well as restoring your device, please review the BlackBerry Link User Guide for PC, or Mac depending on what type of computer you’re using.
  • Join the BlackBerry Support Community Forums and create a new post about your issue. Be sure to provide a summary of the issue and troubleshooting steps you’ve already attempted. Doing so will allow others to suggest alternative steps that may help resolve the issue you are encountering currently.
  • Contact your wireless provider or local repair center for additional assistance. As mentioned earlier, having your device details and a summary of troubleshooting performed will help out whoever is assisting you with the issue at hand.

Why does BlackBerry Virtual Expert need permission X, Y Z?

In order for BlackBerry Virtual Expert to perform specific tests, select permissions must be enabled the first time you open the BlackBerry Virtual Expert. You can optionally disable some or all permissions but keep in mind any tests requiring these permissions will not work. If you run a test that requires a specific permission such as the ability to use the camera, you will receive a notification and the ability to update your permission settings if needed.

To review and optionally customize these permissions, on your device go to Settings followed by Security and Privacy. Within this menu, select Application Permissions followed by BBVE to review permissions applicable to the BlackBerry Virtual Expert.

Got a question about the BlackBerry Virtual Expert? Leave a comment and let me know!



Article source: http://helpblog.blackberry.com/2014/01/introducing-blackberry-virtual-expert-for-blackberry-10-os-10-2-1/


BlackBerry 10 OS 10.2.1…It’s Released!

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bb10-2-11

 

This morning BlackBerry officially released the BlackBerry 10 OS 10.2.1 update. This latest update brings a lot of cool new features to the BlackBerry 10 Operating System.

One of the major factors in this release is the ability to directly download and install Android .APK files to your BlackBerry 10 device.

The latest release of 10.2.1 is available for download but subject to carrier approval. Hopefully your carrier will have this update rolled out soon as it will be available on all major carriers by the end of February.

Below I have provided some detailed information from the official press release on some of the cool new features that will be in this latest release.

Enjoy and Happy Upgrading!

 Press Release

New BlackBerry OS 10.2.1 Lets You Do More, More Easily

Update includes hundreds of new enhancements and refinements and is rolling out to customers through carriers around the world beginning today

Waterloo, Ontario – BlackBerry Limited (NASDAQ: BBRY; TSX: BB), a global leader in mobile communications, today announced BlackBerry® 10 OS version 10.2.1, a new software update for BlackBerry 10 smartphones that lets you do more, more easily, and helps you be more productive and stay better connected.

BlackBerry OS 10.2.1 includes hundreds of new enhancements and refinements that will make the things you do every day faster and easier:

  • ·         Customize Pinch Gesture to Filter BlackBerry® Hub - BlackBerry Hub lets you access all your messages and notifications in one place. A new feature lets you instantly filter the message list in the Hub. You can customize the Hub to show only Unread Messages, Flagged Messages, Draft Messages, Meeting Invites, Sent Messages or Level 1 Alerts. Once the filter criterion is set, you can simply activate it with a pinch gesture on the Hub’s message list.

 

  • ·         Simplified Phone Experience - The phone includes a new incoming call screen that lets you swipe to the left to answer or swipe right to ignore a call. New intuitive icons allow you to instantly silence the call, or send a Reply Now response through BBM™, SMS or email that you can’t answer the phone right away. You can choose from a list of standard automated responses or respond with a personalized note.

 

  • ·         SMS and Email Groups - You can now create SMS and email groups for more efficient broadcast communications.

 

  • ·         Actionable Lock Screen Notifications - You can now “Tap to open” a message that appears on the lock screen, letting you respond to an important message much quicker or to check messages more discreetly.

 

  • ·         Picture Password for Quick Unlocking - You can quickly unlock your phone using a combination of a picture and a number (0-9) of your choice, which you place at a particular point on the image. When you try to unlock the phone, the picture will appear along with a grid of random numbers. To unlock, simply drag the grid so the number you selected overlays the particular point on the image.

 

  • ·         Customizable Quick Settings Menu - You can now customize what appears on the Settings menu, which includes features such as being able to quickly change the Brightness of the smartphone’s display, toggle various network connections, and access the built-in flashlight. The Settings menu also includes a toggle that lets you instantly switch between your Personal and Work perimeter.

 

  • ·         Offline Browser Reading Mode - You can now save the current web page you’re on for later viewing, even if you are offline or without an Internet connection.

 

  • ·         Preferred Contact Sync - You can now choose the sync source for your Contacts ensuring you always have the most up-to-date contact details. When adding a new contact you can designate which sources you want the contact info to sync with, such as the corporate address book, Gmail, Hotmail, etc.

 

  • ·         Device and Battery Monitor - A new and improved device monitor provides you with essential details on battery usage, the impact of installed apps on battery life and memory usage and storage, as well as CPU stats.

 

  • ·         Automatic Software Updates - OS updates can be set to happen automatically over a Wi-Fi® connection to help ensure you’re always benefiting from the latest and best possible customer experience.

 

  • ·         Enterprise Features - When combined with BES10 version 10.2, enterprise customers will gain additional security features and IT policies for when more granular controls are required, such as for regulated industries and for organizations that work with sensitive data. For more information about BES10, please visitwww.bes10.com.

 

  • ·         FM Radio - If you have a BlackBerry® Z30, BlackBerry® Q10 or BlackBerry® Q5 smartphone, the new software update unlocks the built-in FM radio in those handsets. You can listen to local FM stations, which does not require any network connection.

 

Subject to carrier approvals, BlackBerry 10 OS version 10.2.1 will be available to customers around the world, rolling out starting today in the U.S., Europe, Canada, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America, and will be available for the entire line of smartphones running BlackBerry 10 (including the Porsche Design P’9982).

 

BB10.2.1

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Rimarkable/~3/y7bA2TbGRU0/


Hold Up…No New Order from the Pentagon?

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Stop sign

Just as BlackBerry’s stock hit above $10 a share this week, shares dropped right back below $10 with the news that in fact the Pentagon did not order 80,000 new BlackBerry 10 devices. The word from multiple media sources stated that the Pentagon had ordered 80,000 new BlackBerry 10 devices but that report was not entirely true.

According to a Press Release from the Department of Defense, it clearly stated that, “The program also supports 80,000 BlackBerry phones “, which is a far from what was said that on various blogs and sites that the DOD ordered 80,000 new BlackBerry 10 devices.

I also wrote a post about this as well thinking that was the case. Now to be kind, BlackBerry never did make an official statement about a new deal with the Department of Defense claiming to have sold 80,000 new BB10 devices. Whatever the mix up and miss-communicated info, BlackBerry still ended Friday at 9.89 a share which is still a big improvement from where they were trading at over the past 2-3 months.

Well, like I stated before, I will continue to watch how this plays out for BlackBerry and hopefully newly appointed CEO, John Chen can get this ship out the dock and back to sea.

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Rimarkable/~3/-_Cj8ETwTIU/


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