Category Archives: BlackBerry

Buffalo Metro Rail app updated

iphoneThe Buffalo Metro Rail app has been updated to version 1.3. This update makes use of the new data format that is being used by the NFTA, and also adds support for iphones and iPads.

About the Buffalo Metro Rail app

This app shows the departure times for trains along Buffalo’s Metro route. The app automatically selects the proper schedule for the day, allows for sorting options, and also shows a map of the full light rail line. Additionally the app only needs to be synced once a month, and can otherwise be used without an active internet connection.

Links & Information


Division of BlackBerry 10 OS versions unchanged

September has once again seen almost no change in the distribution of BlackBerry 10 OS versions. Roughly 90% of all BlackBerry 10 users are running a variation of OS 10.3 on their phones.



This data was collected by BlackBerry World for downloads of the free strategy game Pixelated and the free checklist app Stuff I Need. Data shown on the chart is from the beginning of September 2015 through the end of September 2016.

Update for the Hockey Scores app

Z10The Hockey Scores app has been updated to version 4.1 for the upcoming NHL season. This update also adjusts the start times for games by always showing them in the local time zone.

About Hockey Scores

This application provides the day’s hockey scores is an intuitive and easy to use format. It also includes additional game statistics such as start times, goal scorers, shots on net, hits, faceoff percentage, and a list of the goal scorers. The application supports all phones running BlackBerry OS6, BlackBerry OS7, and BlackBerry 10.

Links & Information


Update for Weather Beautiful app

Z10cropThe Weather Beautiful app has been updated for Android and BlackBerry phones. Now at version 2.3, the Weather Beautiful is more efficient, and also includes a two percent reduction to the file size of the app.

About Weather Beautiful

This is a simple weather app that displays stunning photography of your surrounding area. In addition to the current temperature and weather conditions, the app also allows you to scroll for a full weekly forecast.

Links & Information


Update for 10,000 Farkle game

Z1010,000 Farkle has been updated to version 2.6 in BlackBerry AppWorld. This update smooths out some of the animations and improves the responsiveness of the game. Additionally the app now uses a custom accent color throughout all of the menus.

How to Play Farkle

Farkle gives you six dice to roll and awards points for a straight, three pairs or three or more of the same number. Fewer points ares also awarded for each individual 1 and 5. Any dice that do not score can be re-rolled for additional points. If all 6 dice can be scored, then all of the dice can be re-rolled on the same turn.

The skill in this game comes from knowing how far to push your luck, and which scoring combinations to take, and when to re-roll.

The default game mode gives you 10 turns to score as many points as you can. The 10,000 point mode gives you unlimited turns to reach 10,000 points. The two competitive game modes both use the traditional format of racing to 10,000 points.

Links & Information


BlackBerry 10 distribution still flat

As has been the case for the past few months, the distribution of BlackBerry 10 devices has remained unchanged with the percentage of users on OS 10.3.X in the low 90’s.

One thing that was different, is that for the first time we have seen a few phones running OS 10.3.3 which is the long promised final update to BlackBerry 10, that includes zero new third party APIs.2016Jun-Pixelated-BB10OSVersions

This data was collected by BlackBerry World for downloads of the free strategy game Pixelated and the free checklist app Stuff I Need. Data shown on the chart is from the beginning of June 2015 through the end of June 2016.

BlackBerry 10 distribution has been unchanged since the start of 2016

For the fifth straight month, the distribution of the BlackBerry 10 operating system has been essentially unchanged. The use of OS 10.3.2 has seemed to have maxed out in the low 80 percent of users.



This data was collected by BlackBerry World for downloads of the free strategy game Pixelated and the free checklist app Stuff I Need. Data shown on the chart is from the beginning of May 2015 through the end of May 2016.

Head Words game updated

ShapeItAppThe BlackBerry 10 game Head Words has been updated to version 1.3 in BlackBerry App World. This update includes the new Comic Books category, and also includes some supplemental items to the existing categories.

About Head Words

Head Words is a native multi-player guessing game similar to Celebrity, Hedbanz, and Heads Up. After selecting a category, one player places the phone on their forehead while the other players give clues. With one minute to guess as many words as possible, the player can tilt the phone down for each correct answer, or tilt the phone up to pass. At the end of round a word list will show what was guessed right and wrong. The swipe down menu provides an option to turn the sound on or off.

The game includes five categories for free, and the option to purchase access to ten additional categories for a dollar each.

Links & Information


Smartphones have gotten boring

Last week Google hosted their I/O conference for developers. For those of us who develop Android apps for phones and tablets there was very little announced. Android was mentioned often, but more for use in watches and virtual reality than for phones. And when phones were mentioned it was as a platform for Google’s own messaging apps. The biggest new item for developers is the Vulkan API, which as a low level graphics processor is not something most developers are going to use directly anyhow.

It is not just Android, but rather that the smartphone market has matured. It has become boring. Despite being an enthusiast, there is a reason that I am ok with using a two and a half year old phone running a dead operating system. Things are not changing as quick as they once were.

Furthermore new platforms such as wearables, virtual reality, and the internet of things lack the standardized platforms (and stores) that once made phones so exciting.

BB10 distribution still flat

Use of BlackBerry 10.3.X and 10.3.2 remain the same as they have for the last few months. Despite OS 10.3 being out for a long while now, there are still a decent number of users still running OS 10.2.1 on their devices.



This data was collected by BlackBerry World for downloads of the free strategy game Pixelated and the free checklist app Stuff I Need. Data shown on the chart is from the beginning of April 2015 through the end of April 2016.

Inexplicably BlackBerry’s advertising has gotten worse

BlackBerry is a company that has never understood advertising. This was a company that though support for Adobe Flash was a feature worth advertising despite most consumers not understanding, and experts not caring. A company whose sole Super Bowl ad went out of its way to explicitly show zero of the phones features, and who once paid for an eleven minute ad about two girls in an ice cream truck fighting monsters.

It would be easy to think that the floor could not get any lower. Yet it has. The content coming out of the BlackBerry blog these days is pure nonsense.

In reaction to the Panama Papers scandal BlackBerry had some recommendations on how to prevent finding yourself in a similar situation. However, while most people would take an opportunity to advice against hiding your money in an offshore account, BlackBerry had a different reaction and instead decided that the real problem was Mossack Fonseca’s lack of internal security.

Their recent blog titled “How to Ease Employees’ ‘Big Brother’ Fears About Location Tracking” is not so much advising that you protect the privacy of your employees, but rather how to convince them to not worry about the invasion of their privacy.

However the worst bit is BlackBerry’s recent obsession on preparing for a work place shooting. Stories about workplace violence have been posted three times in the past three months, painting ridiculously unlikely scenarios. Somehow BlackBerry expects that this fear mongering is going to help them sell enterprise software.

Every line in the articles jumps between “active shooter incidents are now, unfortunately, a stark reality that must be given serious consideration” and “the likelihood of being involved in a workplace shooting is infinitesimally small“, but with the need to justify themselves they end up recommending “multiple training sessions and no-notice exercises“. And have also included such bizarrely unuseful information such as “Police officers responding to an active shooter situation are trained to proceed immediately to the area where shots were last heard. Their purpose is to stop the shooting as quickly as possible. The first responding officers will normally be in pairs. They may be dressed in regular patrol uniforms, or they may be wearing bulletproof vests, Kevlar helmets and other tactical gear. The officers may be armed with handguns, rifles or shotguns to address the situation.” The fact that during a shooting, police officers would arrive dressed as police officers should have been able to go without saying.

Worse though is the most recent post points out that the real danger of workplace shootings is that it leaves companies open to liability and OSHA compliance issues. I get that BlackBerry has now become a boring enterprise company, but that doesn’t mean that they need to be manipulative as well.

Percentage of BlackBerry 10 users running OS 10.3 levels off in the low nineties

Use of BlackBerry 10.3 remains level at 91% of Pixelated users, and 93% for Stuff I Need users. These numbers have been level for a while with most users running the newest variant of OS 10.3.2.
This data was collected by BlackBerry World for downloads of the free strategy game Pixelated and the free checklist app Stuff I Need. Data shown on the chart is from the beginning of March 2015 through the end of March 2016.