The BlackBerry Thread

Evel

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Does anyone know a way to "clean" behind the keyboard properly and effectively? My spacebar and back buttons refuse to respond intermittently, which is my fault (using the phone while brewing beer/having beer-wort-soaked hands).

I really don't want to get a BB10 phone, not because I don't think BB10 is great because I do, but just because I love the Bold 9930 so much.

To my knowledge, there isn't really much way to clean up back there besides a can of compressed air, though by the sounds of things that won't help you much. I believe you can get a replacement keyboard however. Before you try that though, you might want to ask around the CrackBerry Forums. Someone there is bound to have been in a similar situation.
 

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To my knowledge, there isn't really much way to clean up back there besides a can of compressed air, though by the sounds of things that won't help you much. I believe you can get a replacement keyboard however. Before you try that though, you might want to ask around the CrackBerry Forums. Someone there is bound to have been in a similar situation.

Since I asked the question its actually freed itself up a good bit. Its just about as good as it has been. I am still going to try the compressed air route though.

As far as CrackBerry goes, I try to avoid their forums. It seems very douchey, and whenever someone has a legitimate question its just a collection of smart-ass answers and no actual help.
 

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Well, its official. Spotify will not be making an app for BB10. That may be the final nail in the coffin. Once my Bold 9930 craps out on me I may have to look elsewhere. :cry:
 

Evel

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You sure you wouldn't be willing to consider an alternative streaming service? There's a whole bunch of them available on BlackBerry World. And I know you were resistant to this concept in the past, but the Spotify website works very well in the browser by all accounts. Just seems like a shame for one app to be a dealbreaker. Having said that, with the kind of momentum BlackBerry 10 has had so far, we could well see Spotify change their mind before your 9930 kicks the bucket. It's also possible that the updated Android Player in OS 10.2 will be able to run a sideloaded version of the Spotify app from Android, though that's not an ideal solution.
 

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All good points.

The only thing keeping me from changing streaming services is the fact that I have so much invested in Spotify already, with all my saved playlists and albums. Plus, something like Pandora never worked for me because I listen to full albums, not just songs. I also honestly don't know if there's another service out there that will allow me to listen to full albums, and especially if any can compare to the size of Spotify's album catalog.

I will have to look into Spotify's web player more. If it proves to be reliable then that would sway me almost completely to stay with BB. And you're right with OS 10.2 there may be even more possibilities.


Regardless, my 9930 has been performing well still, its just that my keyboard issue seems to have subsided (slightly) only to spread to my trackpad and answer/menu/back/end keys. I tried blowing it out with a can of compressed air, and used a small amount of rubbing alcohol on a Q-tip. Neither seems to have done anything.

I'm going to try to deal with it until the the end of the year. By then the BlackBerry A10 will be released, BB10 will have more time to get sorted, and I hate to say it but the next iPhone should be released by then for me to compare to.
 

Evel

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So, perhaps rather ironically, a new method of sideloading was discovered a couple days ago that allows native Android apps to run in the Android Player (though the Android 2.3.3 restriction is still there until 10.2). And guess what app is reported to work very well? Yep, Spotify.

Having said that, the new method is initially a fair bit more complicated than regular sideloading - you need to obtain signing keys from BlackBerry, although anyone can do this for free and they're usually sent within 2 hours of request. Then you make a debug token using those signing keys, sideload it to your device, and then use the debug token to sign any .apk files that you want to convert to .bar for BlackBerry 10. Once you have your signing keys and debug token sorted though, the process is fairly easy from there - just drap and drop .apk files to the converter, then sideload the resulting .bar as usual. You will need to renew the debug token every 30 days however, but that's pretty simple as well - just a matter of running the same .bat file you ran to create your first token, then sideload the renewed token.
 

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I saw that too! Very promising. It'll be interesting as well to see how much easier 10.2 will make things.

I think its funny that regular people are willing to take the hour or two to make Spotify work on BB10, yet Spotify themselves can't be bothered. I'm really starting to think they have an "agreement" with either Apple or Google to not release the app for BB10. I said "release" and not "make" because Spotify was initially announced as an app that would be ready at launch of BB10 and because of the multiple reports of people having actually used the pre-release app.

The idea for an app for BB10 on Spotify's community page has 363 kudos right now. Spotify doesn't want to collect that $3,630 per month?

/conspiracy
 
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Phila

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The BlackBerry A10, which should be available by the end of the year (running 10.2):

blackberry-a10-aristo-2.jpg


Photos

Hands-On Video


This isn't the final hardware for the A10, but its looking great already. Perhaps I'm sticking with BlackBerry after all...
 

Evel

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Loving the look of the A10 myself. 10.2 is looking fantastic too - in the latest leaks, the Android Player will run any Android 4.2.2 apps, even native, without the need for the debug token workaround that's currently being used (though you'll still need to convert them to .bar files, but that's a very simple process). Lots of other features coming too, like toast notifications (which you can respond to from anywhere in the OS, no need to go to the app), headless apps, parallax, WiFi Direct, Miracast, and a heck of a lot more. Gotta hand it to BlackBerry, they've done a brilliant job responding to consumer feedback with OS updates - 10.2 is a very big step in the right direction for BB10. The app gap and marketing are going to be their biggest issues now I feel.
 

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Can I ask where you've seen/read about the latest leaks of 10.2?

I really, really want this to be a good phone. The battery life is the only thing that worries me a little. I know its bigger than the Z10's battery but the A10's screen is much bigger. Speaking of the screen, I'm really tired of the tiny screen on my Bold 9930. Lately I've become a "research stuff on-the-go" person and the 5" screen on the A10 sounds incredible.

The other thing is, the phone needs to be right around $200(US). It needs to cut right into the iPhone and Android market. Price it any higher and the same thing will happen that happened with the Z10, people will question why they should leave iOS or Android for something else at the same price.
 

Evel

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Can I ask where you've seen/read about the latest leaks of 10.2?

I really, really want this to be a good phone. The battery life is the only thing that worries me a little. I know its bigger than the Z10's battery but the A10's screen is much bigger. Speaking of the screen, I'm really tired of the tiny screen on my Bold 9930. Lately I've become a "research stuff on-the-go" person and the 5" screen on the A10 sounds incredible.

The other thing is, the phone needs to be right around $200(US). It needs to cut right into the iPhone and Android market. Price it any higher and the same thing will happen that happened with the Z10, people will question why they should leave iOS or Android for something else at the same price.

The CrackBerry Forums - the latest 10.2 leak is 10.2.0.810 for the Z10, but there have been two or three other leaks if I remember correctly, and 10.2.0.9xx is circulating on BlackBerry's beta servers. The amount of tangible changes they've crammed in is amazing, and it's not even a finalized OS yet. I haven't dabbled with the 10.2 leaks myself, as they superimpose a PIN onto the screen and are still pretty early in development so I wouldn't want to run them on a phone I rely on everyday. I have, however, been running leaks of the 10.1 Maintenance Release for a few weeks now (the OS went official earlier today), and that too is a pretty great update, though nowhere near as vast as 10.2.

I think the battery life ought to be fine on the A10 - the screen will be bigger than the Z10, but it'll be Super AMOLED to help keep power usage down, and the battery is massive - 2800mAh. In comparison, the Galaxy S4 with the same screen size and tech (but higher resolution) has to make do with a 2600mAh battery, while the 4.2" Z10 packs just 1800mAh. I guess we'll have to wait to find out for sure, but on paper it sounds like battery life shouldn't be a problem. As for pricing, I am a little worried they'll price it too high after the Z10 and Q10. But again, we just don't know for sure yet.
 

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Nice. Now I'm even more sold on the A10.

Back to running Android apps though, how do you go about finding them and eventually putting them on to your phone? At least how would it be done on 10.2? How do I know its not a 4.3 app? Can you do it straight on the phone? Does it need to be done through Desktop Manager or whatever its called now? I'm a super noob with this stuff. Super noob.
 
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Evel

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Nice. Now I'm even more sold on the A10.

Back to running Android apps though, how do you go about finding them and eventually putting them on to your phone? At least how would it be done on 10.2? How do I know its not a 4.3 app? Can you do it straight on the phone? Does it need to be done through Desktop Manager or whatever its called now? I'm a super noob with this stuff. Super noob.

I'm going to try and make this as idiot-proof as possible, so I apologize in advance for the wall of text.

There are several ways of "finding" the apps. The best way in my opinion, but one that isn't possible for everyone, is pulling them straight from Google Play using a utility such as APK Downloader. This requires that you have an Android Device ID however, so unless you have an Android device of your own lying around, I don't believe you'll be able to do this. You might be able to borrow a friend's Device ID, but I don't know if that'll work with regards to the same ID being used by two different Google accounts. You can also source the apps from one of several third-party app repositories for Android, but you'll need to make sure they're a reputable site to avoid malicious apps.

If you get it through either of these methods, you'll end up with an .APK file that needs to be converted to a .BAR to run on BlackBerry 10. This can be done on apk2bar.org (hugely popular online converter), or you can do it locally on your computer if you download the Android SDK and an "android-pack" created by xsacha on the CB Forums - this package was created for the purpose of the debug token workaround, and contains a simple .bat file to convert .APK files to .BAR files (which requires the Android SDK to be present). With 10.2, you won't need all of the debug token stuff judging by the leaks, but the converter part of the package will still be useful.

As for Android 4.3, I don't believe there are any apps that will be "4.3 and over" only, as the jump from 4.2.2 to 4.3 was pretty minor (though it did introduce some useful APIs for developers, so it would be nice to see on BB10 in the future). Having said that, you can look the apps up on Google Play to check the Android version they require, but chances are the 4.2.2 runtime will be able to run almost everything. Some 4.3-only features might be disabled (Netflix can only stream 1080p on 4.3, for instance), but most things should work. There might be some compatibility issues with certain apps, but that's par for the course when the app was never really designed to run on the device.

You may not have to fuss about any of this however, as there are a number of sites (or forums of course) with links to .BAR files that have been already converted from .APK for you, where people may have even posted feedback about how the app works. Again, you'll need to find a site you can trust ideally, but this does definitely save you time if you're looking for a popular app that's already been converted numerous times by others.

Sideloading itself is generally done through one of two utilities - DDPB, the USB cable method, or the BB10/PlayBook App Manager extension for Google Chrome, which allows you to do it wirelessly so long as the device is connected to the same WiFi network as the computer. For this, the device will need to be put into Development Mode. Then, you'll need to input the IP into the sideloading application (Development IP Address for DDPB, WiFi IP for the Chrome extension) as well as the device password - BB10 requires you to set a password with Dev Mode is enabled. After that, it's pretty straight forward - the application will connect to the device, then it's a case of drag-and-drop (or browsing for the .BAR file) and it'll begin the sideloading process.

As for doing everything straight on the phone, very recently a new service called BarInstall appeared that should be able to do it from the browser. There are several catches however:

-You need to pay $2.99 a month for their "premium" service if you want to actually sideload over the air, otherwise you only get the ability to convert .APK files to .BAR from there. You'll also be limited to 256MB of cloud storage for the app files until you go premium, which has up to 8GB of storage.
-It's currently in Beta.
-In order to get the .APK files, it still requires a Google account with an Android Device ID. However, it does allow you to upload your own .APK or .BAR files from other sources.
-Currently, it doesn't work on the 10.1 Maintenance Release or on the 10.2 leaks.

The BlackBerry 10 desktop utility, BlackBerry Link, isn't involved in any of this. Frankly, that's for the better - the new desktop utility is quite bad if I'm brutally honest (sluggish, awkward interface), but I rarely use it. I've got most of my important data in the cloud now, so I don't usually conduct local backups.
 

rickhamilton620

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The BlackBerry 10 desktop utility, BlackBerry Link, isn't involved in any of this. Frankly, that's for the better - the new desktop utility is quite bad if I'm brutally honest (sluggish, awkward interface), but I rarely use it. I've got most of my important data in the cloud now, so I don't usually conduct local backups.

:lol: I remember it was either you or Phila who lamented the move to everything cloud and wanted a mobile OS that natively synced everything locally with Outlook. Oh what a difference a year or so makes. :p
 

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Not sure who the hell said that. I said I didn't want to use a Spotify web app in place of a real app but that was about it. Plus, I use a Mac bro.


Anyway, thanks for the helpful explanation, Evel. It really cleared a lot of things up for me. I'm actually pretty excited about the A10 or whatever it will be called at launch. Its been a long time since I've been excited for a phone. Have you heard any more about a release date? Last I read was "towards the end of the year." Its going to be rough to wait that long, especially since Bold 9930s are still selling for decent prices on eBay.
 

Evel

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:lol: I remember it was either you or Phila who lamented the move to everything cloud and wanted a mobile OS that natively synced everything locally with Outlook. Oh what a difference a year or so makes. :p

Hm, I don't even remember such a thing being mentioned in this thread at all. Pretty certain it wasn't me in any case - I've always been quite open to cloud services, but I didn't take the time to move my stuff over until I moved to BlackBerry 10. Having said that, a number of people in the BlackBerry community were pretty pissed off that Link didn't launch with the ability to sync locally with Outlook, but the ability has been added to Link ever since - it's an ability that legacy BlackBerry's have had for a while, so whoever "wanted" this mobile OS was looking in all the wrong places. :p

Not sure who the hell said that. I said I didn't want to use a Spotify web app in place of a real app but that was about it. Plus, I use a Mac bro.


Anyway, thanks for the helpful explanation, Evel. It really cleared a lot of things up for me. I'm actually pretty excited about the A10 or whatever it will be called at launch. Its been a long time since I've been excited for a phone. Have you heard any more about a release date? Last I read was "towards the end of the year." Its going to be rough to wait that long, especially since Bold 9930s are still selling for decent prices on eBay.

Well, sources have suggested that Sprint will be getting the A10 around November (Sprint has made a big fuss about it because they passed on the Z10), so I'd expect similar timing for the rest of the US carriers, give or take a few weeks.

By the way, didn't realize you're using a Mac, so I should point out that you'll have to use the apk2bar.org service to convert .APK files, and the Google Chrome extension to sideload .BAR files, as the other utilities I mentioned are PC-only if I remember correctly. Though I suppose you could probably run Windows in Boot Camp or a virtual machine if you really insist on using the other methods, but I don't think it'd be worth the effort.
 
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Phila

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I agree thats not worth the effort. I don't care if I have to use the Chrome extension and apk2bar.org service. As long as I can do it reasonably easily and it works on the phone, then I don't care what I have to use.

November seems like forever to wait. I'm usually not the "gotta have it now" type of person but working on such a small screen with my 9930 is getting more and more tiresome.


On another note: I can't really see bringing BBM to iOS and Android doing much for BlackBerry. Out of everyone I know, some are "professionals" and others just normal people working normal jobs, not one of them use any kind of instant messaging app or service. Everyone texts or uses Facebook or Twitter to communicate. I just don't see BBM being the thing that makes people want to go back to BlackBerry. People will never go back if BlackBerry continues to not have the popular apps. And if you tell the average user they need to put an Android app on their phone themselves, forget about it.

BBM just isn't going to have the brand image they're hoping it cultivates. They need apps. Apps and nonsense specs like the most super ultra HD screen ever on a phone even though your eye can't detect the difference and the fastest processor available even though some operating systems run better than others. That's what people care about. Things that don't matter. But ask them about call quality or ease of use and they're baffled.
 
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rickhamilton620

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Not sure who the hell said that. I said I didn't want to use a Spotify web app in place of a real app but that was about it. Plus, I use a Mac bro.

Hm, I don't even remember such a thing being mentioned in this thread at all. Pretty certain it wasn't me in any case - I've always been quite open to cloud services, but I didn't take the time to move my stuff over until I moved to BlackBerry 10. Having said that, a number of people in the BlackBerry community were pretty pissed off that Link didn't launch with the ability to sync locally with Outlook, but the ability has been added to Link ever since - it's an ability that legacy BlackBerry's have had for a while, so whoever "wanted" this mobile OS was looking in all the wrong places. :p

Damnit, now I want to look for that post. :lol:

On another note: I can't really see bringing BBM to iOS and Android doing much for BlackBerry. Out of everyone I know, some are "professionals" and others just normal people working normal jobs, not one of them use any kind of instant messaging app or service. Everyone texts or uses Facebook or Twitter to communicate. I just don't see BBM being the thing that makes people want to go back to BlackBerry. People will never go back if BlackBerry continues to not have the popular apps. And if you tell the average user they need to put an Android app on their phone themselves, forget about it.

BBM just isn't going to have the brand image they're hoping it cultivates. They need apps. Apps and nonsense specs like the most super ultra HD screen ever on a phone even though your eye can't detect the difference and the fastest processor available even though some operating systems run better than others. That's what people care about. Things that don't matter. But ask them about call quality or ease of use and they're baffled.

If this was 2006 or 07...then I'd totally see BBM being a huge deal. These days though, I agree completely...KIK and What's App have taken over the cross platform messaging space and have it on lock.

I do like BB 10 though, it's very smooth and fluid.
 

Evel

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On another note: I can't really see bringing BBM to iOS and Android doing much for BlackBerry. Out of everyone I know, some are "professionals" and others just normal people working normal jobs, not one of them use any kind of instant messaging app or service. Everyone texts or uses Facebook or Twitter to communicate. I just don't see BBM being the thing that makes people want to go back to BlackBerry. People will never go back if BlackBerry continues to not have the popular apps. And if you tell the average user they need to put an Android app on their phone themselves, forget about it.

BBM just isn't going to have the brand image they're hoping it cultivates. They need apps. Apps and nonsense specs like the most super ultra HD screen ever on a phone even though your eye can't detect the difference and the fastest processor available even though some operating systems run better than others. That's what people care about. Things that don't matter. But ask them about call quality or ease of use and they're baffled.

Cross-platform BBM is about more than just brand recognition I feel - it's about diversifying the company. BBM Channels seems to be hinting quite strongly that they plan to monetize BBM in the near future. I don't know exactly how, but they're certainly building a social network into the app for a reason. If it can do something for brand image while that happens, great. But I don't think that was their primary goal with it.

I have to mostly agree with everything else. Instant messaging services aren't very popular in North America, because everyone and their mother has unlimited SMS/MMS here - it's a cross-platform messenger that almost literally every single phone has. But there's a possibility it might catch on in markets such as certain European countries, where SMS/MMS messages are still restricted by carriers, or Indonesia and South Africa, where BBM is still popular enough for a cross-platform variant to be considered by the public.

BBM will not be key to restoring the brand image regardless, not a chance. The app gap is definitely among their greatest issues right now. Specifications? Possibly an issue too, but sufficient marketing could overcome it at least partially. Trouble is, I don't feel the marketing is aggressive enough at the moment - it's there, but it's a bit subdued. They really need to kick it up a notch.
 
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Phila

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Trouble is, I don't feel the marketing is aggressive enough at the moment - it's there, but it's a bit subdued. They really need to kick it up a notch.

I would say their marketing is almost nonexistent. I see the occasional commercial on tv, but thats it. I know BlackBerry is sponsoring an F1 team now, but thats not doing anything to help sales in the US.

I don't want BlackBerry to try to be Apple, not at all, but they need to find the best marketing people or agency they can and dump as much money as possible into an effective ad campaign. They need to show people why they need a BlackBerry.

Maybe BlackBerry needs to show an ad where the "popular" apps are running on BB10. Show someone on their Z10 using Spotify, playing Candy Crush, using Instagram. The narrator of the commercial could slip in a quick "run all your favorite apps with Google Play sideloading" and be done with it.
 
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