Passport keyboard brings productivity to a new level

Posted on June 24, 2014. Filed under: BlackBerry 10 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

NOTE: post below was copied from Inside BlackBerry. The content is not mine nor has it been altered in any way from the original.


Great keyboards have always been a part of the BlackBerry heritage. With our coming Passport device that has generated a ton of interest, we set out to create a smartphone that would break through and deliver a step change in productivity. Passport will show there is a better way to accomplish more.

Besides the massive square touchscreen, we’ve added a new innovative, touch-enabled keyboard to the Passport. It integrates the excellent tactile feel and performance you’ve come to know and love from our keyboards, along with the same capacitive touch technology found on modern phone and tablet touchscreens.

(If you’re a developer, head over to the Developer blog to learn how you can take advantage of the new Passport keyboard in your apps.)

Ever been annoyed by your fingers obscuring, or worse, smudging, your touchscreen? Or had difficulty getting the cursor to just the right spot? Passport’s efficient design makes those problems things of the past. You’ll be able to navigate web pages, apps and e-mails by lightly brushing your fingers over the keys. It’s a minimalist design that eliminates dedicated arrow keys while maximizing the already-awesome amount of screen real estate. You’ll also enjoy Passport’s other custom commands that take advantage of the touch-enabled keyboard to boost your productivity. Here are some of the ways:

  • Scrolling: As noted above, you can use the keyboard to swipe up and down to scroll on long lists or in the browser. Keeping your fingers off the screen and focused on what’s happening.
  • Cursor Control and Text Selection: This is a classic BlackBerry productivity enhancement reinvented for the Passport. Double-tap the keyboard, then drag your finger across the keyboard to drop the cursor at precisely the right point. Or select the text just as you would on an older BlackBerry: hold the SHIFT key while dragging your finger across the keyboard to extend a selection.
  • Contextual virtual keys: In addition to the Passport’s very clean physical QWERTY keyboard, we have added a dynamic virtual row on-screen that smartly shifts depending on context. So if you’re typing a password on-screen, numbers and symbols commonly used in passwords will automatically pop up. Or if you’re typing an e-mail address, the ‘@’ symbol will be displayed. Or if you’re surfing the Web, the colon and backslash characters needed to type in a URL will be displayed. And if you need access to any special symbol or character, just swipe down on the keyboard to see all of them at once. Like I said, smart!
  • Flick: Stuck on a word? BlackBerry 10’s Next Word Suggestion feature learns from you to give you smart, personalized choice of words you’re likely to type. You then just flick up to complete the word. No more Darn Auto-Corrects, as you type faster and more accurately over all.
  • Delete: Made a mistake? No problem, just swipe back (left) to Delete the last word, just like on our virtual keyboard!
  • Entering an accented character? Hold the letter key down, and then lightly tap on the key to add the appropriate accent!

As you can see, we’ve taken something great – the BlackBerry 10 keyboard – and innovated with the bold Passport form factor, while staying focused on one thing: YOUR productivity. Stay tuned as we look forward to bringing you more details in the near future!

Michael C. | 06.24.14 at 4:01 pm | Tags: BlackBerry passport, capacitive touch, keyboard, productivity, smartphone, touchscreen | Categories: Devices, News, Productivity | URL:

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BlackBerry Experience Toronto – May 8, 2014

Posted on May 9, 2014. Filed under: BlackBerry 10 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


BlackBerry Experience is a series of Enterprise-focused events intended to bring details of the BlackBerry Solution to Enterprise customers or potential customers.  There have been several US events (the last one being in New York City) and Canadian ones.  After this Toronto event, BlackBerry personnel return to the US for more Experience events.  Breakfast and coffee were available for early risers, which was greatly appreciated.  Most attendees could be seen using BlackBerry 10 devices – many of these were Q10’s, followed by Z30’s.  There were several displays at the back of the room with BlackBerry representatives available to answer questions about BES 10, BES 12, devices and Enterprise apps.

There were several BlackBerry executives speaking to a large crowd attending the event today.  Each spoke about a different way that BlackBerry can help businesses manage their present and future Mobile Device Management needs.

James MacKay

James MacKay, Executive Vice President for Corporate Development and Strategic Planning, spoke first.  He spoke about the high level of trust and security that BlackBerry can provide to its customers and users – including devices, Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM), communications of all kinds and embedded software.  An example is Nanthealth – the healthcare company that BlackBerry recently invested in.  Companies will use the BlackBerry Solution to communicate with doctors – it is a holistic solution which will preserve patient data and confidentiality while allowing those practitioners who need and are allowed access to quickly check, update and act on a patient’s condition.  Only the professionals with an appropriate access level will be able to see this data.  Medical professionals will be able to make quick decisions based on real-time data – they will be more productive and this will benefit patients, possibly save lives.

Many BlackBerry users did not want to switch to BB10 devices because they felt more productive with the BBOS device.  Amongst other features, in response to users’ feedback, BlackBerry is bringing back the physical ‘belt’ from BBOS devices.  On their side, IT administrators didn’t want a radical change in the way they configured and managed corporate devices from BES 5 to BES 10.  Furthermore, since BES 10 did not manage BBOS devices, many IT and administrative professionals simply stayed with their BES 5 server and BBOS devices.  BlackBerry recognised IT professionals’ desire for a simplified, user-friendly and familiar UI and ability to manage BBOS.  As of the fall, BES 12 will be introduced, bringing with it an enhanced way to manage ALL devices – BBOS, BB10, iOS, Android and Windows Phone.  The UI of BES 12 will not, however, be radically different from BES 5 but it will be easy to load and activate devices and applications.

BES can be utilised to exchange date, messages and video to the workforce.  Mobile apps are being developed especially for Enterprise.  They provide a challenge that is not present in the consumer space as companies have their own needs for both mobility management and the apps different groups of workers use.  Some should have access to enterprise data (and at varying levels) and others do not need this level of access or any at all.

BlackBerry is working in the Machine to Machine (M2M) space with smart machines.


Video: In the Palm of Your Hand

JohnSims_thumb.jpg.pagespeed.ic.Dby02sdMcLJohn Sims

 John Sims, president of BlackBerry’s global enterprise services division, spoke about BlackBerry’s Enterprise strategy, stating firmly that BlackBerry’s centre of gravity is the Enterprise.  The future of mobility is growing and BlackBerry intends to serve its Enterprise customers by protecting them and arming them as more and more data goes mobile.  The scale of growth is so large that data use is measured in the zetabytes – that’s 10 to the power of 21 bytes!  With 1,000 times the data, that gives 10,000 times the opportunities – for both empowering employees and for raising risk of a breach.  BlackBerry gives the ability to access that data and manage it securely, monitoring the interaction between BES (behind the firewall) and outside.  In 2012 the average cost per data breach for US firms was $5.4M – some much higher. Adding in the cost of the reputation breach and you can see why data management, especially on mobiles, is so important.  There are a predicted 753M smartphones and 83.9M corporate liable devices to be shipped in 2016 and 60% EMM adoption.  That makes for a more fully-engaged, collaborative and productive workforce with the corresponding risk to corporate sensitive data.  Other vendor’s products just don’t support the range that BlackBerry does.   With the BES 12 launch, BBOS devices will be supported as well as BB10, iOS and Android ones from BES 10.  BES 12 gives application management, secure connect, secure workspace, basic MDM EMM, professional services, offering a stack, mobile application enablement, ecosystem enablement and applications.  Enterprise is not like the consumer space where applications are concerned – while consumers want hundreds of thousands of apps, Enterprise typically downloads between 10 and 40 apps.  Customers can use the BlackBerry servers for file sharing and collaboration.  To top it all off, BlackBerry has been a trusted mobility provider for many years and still has the lowest Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of all vendors over 5 years.

Maribel Lopez

Maribel Lopez of Lopez Research spoke comparing the mobile marketplace to Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities – “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times”.  In other words, paralleling this cautionary tale, the mobile market holds so much promise but so much complexity at the same time.  Top IT concerns were managing big data and analytics, mobilising the business and managing those devices, security, cloud computing deployment/strategy, risk/governance, application development.  The top Enterprise applications were email, calendar/contacts, CRM/SFA.  Organisations are thinking about mobile in a strategic way – in other words giving access to the right data on the right device at the right time.  C-level executives need access to data that factory floor employees do not, for example.  MDM needs to take these varying needs within the organisation and be able to manage them seamlessly.  BES 10 and BES 12 will do that without IT and end-user headaches.

The mobile evolution is extending and enhancing existing business processes – for example, adding location, time stamping etc to deliveries or personnel; in healthcare, e-scribing (prescribing digitally), equipment monitoring, video conferencing/collaborating from an ambulance, remote diagnosis via tablet, , automated drug tracking – how drugs are stored/treated/kept (eg. temperature).  Logistics are covered by applications such as signature capture to monitor cargo.  From devices to apps to people and content, the content within the app must be secured.  So an individual user’s apps are synced and monitored across devices for unusual patterns or deviations which may indicate a breach possibility.

jeff_holleran_blackberry-smallJeff Holleran

Jeff Holleran, Enterprise Product Strategy, compared the cost of the BlackBerry Solution favourably vs competing vendors.  Since BES 10 can secure iOS and Android in the Secure Work Space, it gives iOS and Android devices the same filing and sharing abilities as BB10 devices.  The browser uses the same connectivity as BlackBerrys and gets full Docs To Go.  The latest Android and iOS OS’s get support with push email just like a BB10 device would.  BlackBerry also assured businesses that BBOS devices will continue to be supported “until the last BBOS device is off”!  BlackBerry will keep BES 5 up-to-date as people who use it like it as it is since they know and trust it as a stable solution.  To make it seamless and cost-free for organisations to switch to BES 10, BlackBerry is offering EZ Pass – this programme allows holders of either BES or competitors’ MDM licenses to exchange them one for one for BES 10 licenses with Silver tier support.  Also, when BES 12 is launched in the fall, organisations will get a free upgrade to it.  BYOD is the loosest level of corporate control, followed by COPE (company-owned, personally enabled), then COBO (corporate-owned, business orientated – totally controlled, user fully compliant with corporate strategy and rules).  BES 10 will support all levels of control.  The phone application remains one app and if administration allows, can access the work space.  Each device (if allowed) can search its appropriate Application storefront for the apps needed and download.  Alternatively, apps can be pushed to devices by IT.

The server software is free and it takes one hour max to install.  Network World said that BES is the easiest to activate compared to other vendors – average 20 minutes shorter per device.  Adding up thousands of devices, that saves organisations a lot of time and money.  There is a BB helpdesk to configure what is necessary but much of the setup is user-friendly and familiar.  BES 10 also automates certain set-up tasks, eg matching active directory groups to BES groups.  When a new member is added, it propagates to the server right away.  Since 50% of calls to the helpdesk were for password resets, IT professionals get the choice to assign a different policy at the user level.  As end users are typically not IT professionals, end-user enrollment is a challenge.  To meet this challenge, BlackBerry built help into the enrollment by a screen-by-screen step-by-step process to activate the device in the Secure Work Space.

Approximately 800,000 licenses have been traded up through the EZ Pass programme so far.  BES 10 users get 24 x 7 x 365 support worldwide with telephone access to the BlackBerry expert support centre.  The BES 12 pre-release will be out this summer to users who signed up for it with general release in the fall.

BB10 is an OS built for business, enabling IT to prioritise and respond on your terms.  BB10 devices (eg Q10, Z30) give battery life that keeps up with employees and new devices are coming, such as the Classic in the fall, aimed at those who value productivity.

John Tinoio, telecommunications at Toronto District School Board, told how the TDSB uses BES 10 to give end users the apps they need (for example QR readers), maintain confidential student records, and manage employees use of resources or expenses eg gas/travel.

Jeff Gadway

Jeff Gadway, Head of Product Marketing, BBM, spoke on Enterprise-grade BBM, called eBBM.  BBM has been a consumer-level success with a current level of about 85M average monthly users, 65% of whom use BBM daily.  BBM created value in terms of speed (the majority of BBMs are read within seconds), reliability and privacy (no telephone numbers to give out – BBM works on PIN only).  BBM for business means greater productivity – real-time collaboration means increased efficiency – shown by the statistic that 85% of BES 10 users use BBM.  An anonymous government customer reported 90% of users on BBM with 75% of the chats to internal users.  A healthcare customer reported different data – with 2300 users on BBM, 70% of users were chatting outside of the organisation.  This shows the difficulty in management.  BlackBerry introduced the eBBM suite – not a single product but a line of products and services. BBM can be used not only for messaging co-workers and staff but voice and video calls, both of whom manage cost and enhance productivity.  BBM groups for 50 or fewer employees in a team and Private Channels for greater than 50 allow real-time collaboration between employees within and between teams.

Gold tier services include logging and auditing of BBM chats.  BBM Protected provides secure transit for data whether at rest or in transit.  There are three layers of security – TLS encryption eg online banking protects BBMs from eavesdropping; BlackBerry secure 3DES BBM key is already in BBM; third level is public/private NIST suite B encryption which is FIPS approved.  The BBM is never decrypted until it is on the receiver’s device and each message is individually secured.  BBM Protected is activated through BES and pushed to devices when BBM 6 or BBM 10.2 and higher are activated.  This enhances for Enterprise but doesn’t change the UI.  This last is very important to both end users and the corporate clients who manage their devices.    Users have a very similar UI when BBMing Personal or Work contacts – the Work (protected) chat is subtly labelled in the chat window with the familiar lock symbol and the chat is blue, rather than black.  BBM Protected will be rolling out in June.

Martyn Mallick

Martyn Mallick, Vice President of Global Alliances and Ecosystems, spoke about business applications.  Since BYOD has infiltrated Enterprise, the tactical focus was on MDM while business transformation was put on hold.  However, managing devices is only the start.  Enterprise-grade apps are more challenging since new technologies are emerging which cause market confusion.  For example, typical apps were built for desktop with data sitting behind a firewall.  However, as business goes mobile, apps that run the business need to go mobile as well.  The challenges are that as BYOD began, more devices proliferated with more apps and more integrations.  A complete ecosystem contains a secure app platform – the gold standard for secure, regulated end-to-end mobility.  Cross-platform meant app management and distribution headaches, apps for work and play – secure vs recreation.  Corporate in-house apps are also needed to serve organisations unique needs.BES solves the mobile VPN issue with secure containers for iOS and Android so tha tthese OS’s can leverage the same secure VPN as BlackBerrys – they don’t need a separate VPN.  The apps come through the firewall and BlackBerry infrastructure as approved by admin.

App management is done through the enterprise app store according to IT criteria.  Some apps are determined as ‘necessary’ so are pushed through BES.  Users get near rel-time notifications with guaranteed delivery and acknowledgement and offline capabilities.    BlackBerry works with organisations on custom apps, ecosystem support and developer relations with developer experts supporting app development across a broad section of commercial apps.

Take home: BES 10 and BES 12 solve mobile VPN, cross-platform apps, mobilise business users and apps, recognising that users need more than email – that freedom of choice is important.  Organisations must future-proof their investments and simplify to enable them.

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BlackBerry Z3 (Jakarta) available for pre-order from April 28 to May 12

Posted on April 26, 2014. Filed under: BlackBerry 10 | Tags: , , , , , , , , |


The new Z3 can be pre-ordered from an Indonesian online store or (link below) for a special promo price of Rp 1.650.000 or about $142 USD (regular price Rp 2.200.00 or $190 USD).  Delivery date will be May 15.  This compares well to other devices in the Rp 1,300.000 to 1,800.00 range such as the BlackBerry Curve 9220 at Rp 1,477.300, Motorola Razr XT 910 at Rp 1,799.000, Lumia 520 at Rp 1,299.000, Nokia X at 1,439.100.  The Samsung I8262 Galaxy sells for Rp 2,498.500 and Q5 at Rp 2,519.100.  To compare higher-end, the iPhone 5c is Rp 9,880.000 and Z30 is Rp 7,999.000.  The Z10 is listed as out of stock on the website.  There are, however, devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Star selling for Rp 824.000 and Samsung Galaxy Y S6310 for Rp 1,149.500.  It looks like the Jakarta/Z3 is hitting the right price point at less than Rp 2,000.00.  Given its competition, I’d like to see the selling price to stay under Rp 2,000.000.

The Z3 will roll out to other countries in Asia in the months after its Indonesian release in May.  An LTE version is also planned for the global market.

The expected specs of the Z3 are:

  • Display – 5″ display, 540 x 960 pixels, 24-bit color LCD display
  • Memory – 8 GB application storage and 1.5 GB RAM
  • Processor – 1.2 GHz dual-core processor
  • Battery – 2650 mAh non-removable battery
  • Rear-facing camera: 5 MP Autofocus and flash, 5x digital zoom
  • Front-facing camera: 1.1 MP Fixed-focus, 3x digital zoom

Just for fun, I clicked on the Buy Now button and got “This latest gadget BlackBerry assault begins Monday, April 28. Supplies are limited!”  No peeking I guess! 😀

Terms and conditions of the pre-order are as follows:

  1. Promo period pre-order dated 28 April 2014 – May 12 2014, while supplies are still available.
  2. Purchase only applies to Elvenia (the online website) members.
  3. Purchases must be paid no later than 23:59 pm on the same day or the seller reserves the right to cancel your transaction.
  4. Methods of payment accepted are ATM | Instant | XL Cash | Credit Card
  5. 0% installment available for a period of 3, 6, and 12 months for credit card users of BCA, Bank Danamon, Bank CIMB Niaga, Bank Mega and Standard Chartered Bank with Visa and Mastercard, with the following conditions: For credit card users of BCA and Bank Danamon, Bank can directly use the option period of 3, 6, and 12 months.  For credit card users of Bank CIMB Niaga, Bank Mega and Standard Chartered Bank: Select the payment option and 0%. Other banks after the payment process is complete and successful then you are required to fill out an installment form.  Charging installment form must be filed no later than 24 hours after the transaction is paid.  Submission of 0% installment will be processed within 7 working days.  Mortgage application approval is entirely the right of the bank.
  6. 5% discount for Visa credit card users only applies to the full purchase, not valid for the purchase of the mortgage.
  7. Elevenia reserves the right to cancel the transaction if discredited or validity.
  8. Everything pertaining to the product itself is the responsibility of the vendor/product providers.
  9. Products purchased will be delivered from May 15, 2014.
  10. Additional products in the form of prepaid starter pack XL handset shipments will be delivered simultaneously.
  11. By reading these terms & conditions then the customer is deemed to understand and agree to all rules and regulations.

(Above taken directly from the Elevenia website via Google Translate 😀 )

A Rp 200 cash back is offered to customers who use the Cicilan Bank or Bank CIMB Niaga.

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BlackBerry CEO Chen aims for verticals, machine to machine and profitability

Posted on April 10, 2014. Filed under: BlackBerry 10 | Tags: , , , , , , |

Reuters interview with John Chen re BlackBerry roadmap

Summary of above interview:

In a recent interview with Reuters’ Rhonda Schaffler, Chen answered many questions regarding BlackBerry’s roadmap for the next few years. While he gave no dates except a mention of a November timeframe for new devices, Chen was confident and upbeat while remaining businesslike and realistic about BlackBerry’s plans and future.  First of all, he said it’s not a ‘handset-only’ turnaround, and that being an end-to-end solution is more than a handset.  Over and over again Chen stressed the integrated nature of the BlackBerry system.  He emphasised that is is important to engage his Fortune 500 customer base, find out what their needs are and show how BlackBerry can continue to meet them, stating that  BlackBerry is focused on applications and end-to-end mobile solutions, all geared to the needs of Enterprise.  As Chen has met with customers around the world, he has gotten quite a bit of interest from them on BlackBerry’s roadmap.  He was clear that some products ‘are a little way out’ – and he indicated the November timeframe.  Chen reminded Schaffler that BlackBerry’s focus is on regulated industry (government, financial, healthcare, legal sectors) – those that are very security-minded – and targeted the CIO and boards concerned with risk management saying that data security and identity security are of very high concern.

Schaffler asked what the benchmark for handset sales is for this year and whether BlackBerry will hit that benchmark.  Chen laughed and said that his benchmark isn’t volume of sales – that he told investors that “we need to make money in the handset business”.  He reiterated that between now and 2016 BlackBerry looks to make money in the handset business.  She then asked what would happen if BlackBerry couldn’t make money in handsets.  Chen replied that they may have someone else make more and more of the handsets saying,  “There has got to be a way to make handsets because our operating system and our software technology is so strong, if I just license software technology I would do well.  We will be in the handset business – it depends on what level of integration.”  He quoted current sales at 3.4M/quarter as a good level to stick with and looks to make money at that volume.  When Schaffler asked Chen what could set back BlackBerry’s plans to make money in fy2016, Chen stated that it would be things like global market setbacks, currency market, etc.

The bottom line and take-away is that BlackBerry is working on a whole system – handset and server and BBM and QNX, end-to-end solutions, vertical solutions, and more.  Chen emphasised that he wants to see the company become strong in the machine-to-machine world and notes that ‘everyone’ wants to get into that market.  He said that BlackBerry is quite undervalued and acknowledged ‘issues’ over the past 2-3 years but pointed out that customers will like the more end-to-end, deeper stack than other ‘point to point’ solutions have.  When asked about acquisitions, Chen answered that they’re looking at small (less than $100M) aquisitions in security, productivity, communication areas.  He’s hoping to “fill the stack” with purpose rather than just buy attractive companies for revenue.

Asked about cost-cutting, Chen said that he was finishing off what had been already planned but was in the process of hiring sales, engineering and ‘customer engagement’/customer care people.  While BlackBerry is diversifying in terms of locations for business, Waterloo is still headquarters.  Regarding the T-Mobile partnership breaking up, Chen said that it was a business decision, not an emotional one, and that it would be ‘music to my ears’if we could work it out, but given T-Mobile’s consumer focus and BB’s enterprise focus and their clear decision not to sell BlackBerrys, BlackBerry will not be working with them in the near future.

Chen was open and realistic when he said that the toughest part of the turnaround is execution and convincing the market that BlackBerry has a very good plan and can execute it.  “Getting to the customer on time is actually very very tough” but he said that once the customers hear BlackBerry’s plan, he said, they like it.

Several articles have recently appeared stating that Chen is talking about leaving the handset business “in a short time frame”. Nothing like this was said during the interview. It was interesting in its openness and we can see the confidence meshed with realism of the 164-day-old CEO.  It will be interesting to follow Chen and BlackBerry as the year progresses.

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Share your BBM PIN in a fun and personalised way!

Posted on April 6, 2014. Filed under: BlackBerry 10 | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Now that BBM has been jazzed up with the addition of stickers, people are looking for more fun things to do with it.  Until recently, introducing yourself and adding others has been a humdrum affair – just sending the PIN.  Now you can spice it up with your favourite emoticon, a photo of yourself or something you like, or a flag.

Go to to set it up as in the example below.  You can share to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and by email right on that site.  To share via Instagram or other means, just save the pic to your device or computer.


personalised pic for sharing your PIN

personalised pic for sharing your PIN


See my BBM Channel C0001BBB7 for more BlackBerry news and tips.  🙂

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BlackBerry Live 2013 in Orlando

Posted on May 1, 2013. Filed under: BlackBerry 10 | Tags: , , , , , , , |

BlackBerry Live 2013 in Orlando

May 14-16 | Orlando World Center Marriott, Florida

I’m attending BlackBerry Jam Americas at BlackBerry Live – May 14-16, 2013, Orlando, Florida
BlackBerry® Jam Americas at BlackBerry Live™ is where you can get the most in depth content on developing outstanding mobile applications for the BlackBerry platform

I’ll be attending! Join me so you can also hear all about the exciting new BlackBerry® 10 platform and valuable insight into platform features, tooling, fast track development tips and pathways to profitability.

Find out more about the conference at

Updates will be posted as BB Live goes on so stay tuned!

Schedule set, flight and hotel booked!  This will be so exciting!  The first BB Live event will be the Welcome Reception on Monday evening, then the Keynote address with Thorsten Heins (CEO), Frank Boulben (CMO), Kristian Tear (COO) and Vivek Bhardwaj (Head of Software Portfolio) speaking on the success and future of the BlackBerry 10 platform Tuesday morning.


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Your iTunes will sync to your BlackBerry!

Posted on April 22, 2013. Filed under: BlackBerry 10, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

iTunes sync to BlackBerry

There are many people, both iOS users and not, who do not know that their iTunes library will sync with their BlackBerry.  If you are purchasing any BlackBerry smartphone, whether it is the latest Z10 or Q10 device or you prefer an OS 6 or 7 device such as the Bold 9900, Curve 9360 etc, iTunes will sync with it.  This is a relief to iPhone or iPod users who are looking at buying a BlackBerry but are afraid of losing their iTunes music library.

First of all, to install and then sync to your new BlackBerry OS 7 and below you will need BlackBerry Desktop Manager.  This should automatically be triggered to download when you first hook up your new BlackBerry to your PC or Mac.  If you prefer to download and explore beforehand, you can download it from for either PC or Mac.  Also see .  (It notes in the fine print that “BlackBerry Media Sync is compatible with 32-bit editions of Windows® XP Service Pack 2 AND 64 and 32-bit e editions of Windows Vista™ which requires iTunes version 7.7.1 or higher. Not compatible Windows 2000. Mac OS 10.4 and 10.5 require iTunes version 7.7.1 or higher. All applicable charges will still apply for the purchase of music from iTunes.”)

Sync to your BlackBerry from a Mac

iTunes sync works for all BlackBerry devices, including the PlayBook

If you have an OS 10 device (Z10 or Q10 at this point), you will need BlackBerry Link instead at and these are the instructions on transferring your files from an iPhone to a BlackBerry 10 device:  When setting up, you will get a choice to either sync with iTunes or Windows Media Player.  Choose iTunes, assuming that is your preference.

Choose iTunes to sync your iTunes media to your BlackBerry 10 device

After initial setup, (Windows)  iTunes can be synced by just right clicking on the Music icon when the My Computer tab is checked.  Then choose ‘sync’ to transfer files to the Z10.   There also were some songs I was not interested in having on my playlist any more so I was glad to be able to get rid of them.  🙂

There are many helpful sites, including BlackBerry Help sites for general or specific information eg and  and on YouTube, as well as many blog sites and @BlackBerryHelp on Twitter which have many resources to help.

Enjoy your new BlackBerry!  🙂

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Instagram is working on my BlackBerry Z10

Posted on April 6, 2013. Filed under: BlackBerry 10 | Tags: , , , , , , |

Great tip from Andrew! If your Instagram has stopped working and you didn’t link it to Facebook in the first place, try this to get it back.


The way I did it was I logged into Instagram from an ipad or iphone or any Android device. Then, I linked the account to my Facebook account. The way I did that is click the icon on the right lower corner of the iOS/Android device then click the gear to go into Settings. Next click Share Settings and then choose Facebook. You may see a pop up asking you for Allow Access.
*** Just make sure that the device was already logged in to the Facebook account.

After that I did the reset process with face book  and it let me reset it.

Now here is the article from CrackBerry Click Here with steps of to get Instagram on the BB10. Now if it doesn’t work do what I did (read the beginning) .


View original post

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Z10 keyboard–amazingly accurate!

Posted on March 11, 2013. Filed under: BlackBerry 10 | Tags: , , , , , , |

The largest part of my reluctance to use a touchscreen was a previous bad experience with one (iPhone 4) and a great experience with my BB Bold 9900.  Several people assured me that I’d love the Z10 keyboard. These people (who had a Dev Alpha prototypes) ranged from experienced touchscreen users to those who strongly preferred the physical QWERTY keyboard.  They told me that the predictive text was the saving grace of the Z10.


(Image courtesy of

After about a week of use, I found the Z10 keyboard familiar, like an old friend.    Below you can see what happens when you type so fast you forget the spaces.  The Z10 simply suggests the correct spacing.  It does not do it for you–you are in control at all times.  I like that!


(Image courtesy of

Please follow the link below for the complete article written by myself for

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Sideloading–a first attempt.

Posted on March 9, 2013. Filed under: BlackBerry 10 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

I have always resisted sideloading for three reasons: 1) I like to support developers who make native apps for BB10; 2) I also like to support those who port over their current Android or other OS apps; and 3) it looked like a daunting exercise and I didn’t want to brick my brand new BlackBerry Z10. However, when I read that both Instagram and Dropbox were available to sideload, I decided to take the plunge. A note, however–I actually don’t use Instagram but do use Dropbox. I decided to sideload Instagram as an exercise since 1) it is a “desirable” app that many people use, and 2) to show doubters that it was possible, easy to get and it worked.
So – – how to start? I followed links to two websites with directions on how to sideload. You may find one easier to follow than the other but for me, the one on CrackBerry was the clearest (the above link is for PC, the link for Mac is
Ok, so the directions were easy but…where do I get the apps? I tried Google Play but as I had no Android device that was not an option.
Plus, unaltered Android apps will not work – they do have to be made into .Bar files to work on either BB10 devices or the PlayBook. As I am not a programmer, this was not an option for me. Fortunately, I was pointed to the site whose writers/programmers have done the hard work for me. Thanks, people!  They have two sections: one for new PlayBook and BB10 apps and an older one.  I found the .Bar file for Instagram on the new apps page .  I found the .Bar file for Dropbox in the older section .   It took a while to search through all the apps to find some I really wanted to sideload.  I found several, but decided to only try the two in case something went wrong.  (Bricking my Z10 is not my idea of a good time!)
Now to get to work.  I first installed Java Runtime Environment and the DDPB (Dauden PlayBook) installer (Make sure you have the latest version–at this time it is 1.0.9.  The earlier one doesn’t work.  You can get the current one directly from if you prefer.)  Then went to the GoodeReader site for the apps.  Once they were all downloaded to my computer, I ran DDPB and installed the two apps. When it indicated 100%,  I was very happy.  🙂
Dropbox loaded correctly and I was easily able to access my Dropbox account and files.  However, there was an issue with Instagram.  As posted in forums, there is actually no way to register for Instagram unless you actually have an iOS or Android device of some kind.  Now that was a problem as I wanted to complete everything using only my computer and my Z10 (and did not want to give up and resurrect my old iPhone 4 just for this).  (If you already have an Instagram account, obviously this step is unncessary.)  Luckily, I searched ‘how to sign up for Instagram using a PC’ and got a solution–someone had actually thought of this and posted a link and instructions on how to get your computer to think it was an Android.  😀  I have not posted the link directly as I do not know the site I used so cannot recommend its safety.  You will see lots of options.  This portion is not for the technically challenged as the ability to troubleshoot may be necessary.
I downloaded a launcher (Blue Stacks in this case) which seemed to convert my computer into an Android, went to Google Play, signed in with my Google e-mail username and password, then opened the Instagram app from within Google Play.  It opened–sideways and huge on my 28″ TV (which doubles as my monitor screen).  That was very bizarre! Some of the registration screen was off the monitor but I managed to register for an Instagram account.  Trying to close it was a nightmare without the proper controls!  I finally had to restart my computer lol!
Now on my Z10, however, was a working Instagram.  I took a picture from within Instagram, applied some filters and posted it on Instagram’s website.  I then took a screen shot of my app grid with the Instagram and Dropbox apps on it as proof for the skeptics.
The only odd thing about the sideloaded apps is their response to swiping down from the top of the screen.  Normally, in a BB10 app, when you swipe down you get a small selection of choices depending on the app.  In the two sideloaded ones, swiping down from the top made the selection of choices appear at the bottom of the screen.  The good news is that apart from that, the apps behave like I expected them to on my Z10 such as minimizing just like BB10 or ported apps so they will run in Active Frames (whether they are truly active, it is difficult to tell without leaving them running for a while).
I was able to engage Dropbox to upload and save my pictures from my Z10, open them and send one to a friend in a text message (obviously no tie to BBM).  The same with Instagram.  I was able to take both pictures above with my Z10, process them and upload them both to Instagram and to a friend via text.
In conclusion, it was fun (and at times frustrating) but I’ll get rid of the sideloaded apps as soon as real BB10 ones come out.  Thanks to everyone who helpied with hints and directions, especially Ash.
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