Category Archives: BlackBerry

Z10 still the most used BlackBerry 10 phone

Two and a half years ago when BlackBerry 10 was first released the Z10 and the Q10 were the first two phones released. Today they are still the two most used BlackBerry 10 phones, combining for 56.5% of users.
Just under half (47.6%) of BlackBerry 10 users have a physical keyboard on their phones.

All of these statistics are based off of the data collected by BlackBerry World in the month of February for downloads of the free check-list app Stuff I Need (which is also available for Windows Phone and Android users).

Hockey Scores app updated for a new season

Z10The Hockey Scores BlackBerry app has been updated for the upcoming hockey season for users of both BlackBerry 10 and the traditional BBOS (version 5.0 and higher). In addition to getting scores for the current season, this update also includes some changes to improve the performance of the app on the BlackBerry Passport phone.

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, team Corsi numbers, and lists out the goal scorers.

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More Levels for Xploding Boxes

ShapeItAppXploding Boxes has been updated to version 5.3 in BlackBerry World, Google Play, the Amazon app store, the Nook app store, the Windows 8 app store, and the Windows Phone app store. This update adds 10 new levels to the game, giving Xploding Boxes 510 levels overall.

About Xploding Boxes

Xploding Boxes is a strategy game where the goal is to start a chain reaction that will explode all of the boxes on the screen. Each level presents a different look and number of touches, requiring a different strategy to solve.

The game itself, and the first 25 levels are available for free, while a one time in-app purchase can be used to access the rest of the levels for just $2.99 while still maintaining your progress from the free levels.

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The Sound of the Fat Lady Singing

This morning’s news has been expected for some time now, but does officially mark the end. I know that John Chen has stated that BlackBerry 10 users “can continue to depend on us”, but they have said that many times before and it has never been true.

BlackBerry 10 is an operating system that has not received a major upgrade in over a year, with no future improvements expected. With no new hardware expected for the platform either, it is safe to say that platform is officially dead.

The decision to announce this change on the day that Apple launched a new phone of their own was probably an attempt to bury this news. In practice it reminds current BlackBerry users of the obvious way forwards.

Monkeys and Whales added to Animal Sounds App

ShapeItAppThe Animal Sounds app has been updated to version 2.0 adding support for two new animals, and now supports users of both BlackBerry 10 and Android.

This is a simple app that plays back the sound made by various animals. From horses to dogs to cows, this app includes a variety of animals that will make a sound when you tap on their picture. Version 2.0 of the app adds both a monkey and a whale to the list of recordings that the app can play back.

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Why BlackBerry users hold onto their phones longer

This is a response to an article on the official BlackBerry blog titled “So Happy Together: Users Hold Onto BlackBerry Devices Longer Than Every Other Brand”.

Yesterday BlackBerry congratulated itself for having the users that held onto their phones for the longest, with BlackBerry users averaging 32 months (2 years and 8 months). This was against an industry average of only 22 months.

I happen to be this “average” user given that my BlackBerry Z10 is a phone that was released in January of 2013, exactly 2 years and 8 months ago. Yet BlackBerry really seems to be missing the mark on why I haven’t upgraded my phone.

It is not that I enjoy carrying around a phone with specs that are almost three years out of date. It is that the specs have not improved on any of the newer BlackBerry phones (except for the one with a giant square for a screen).

Since the release of the Z10 the normal shaped BlackBerry phones have not had anything to offer. First the Z30 (itself now 24 months old) offered a larger battery and a slightly quicker processor in exchange for an identical camera, and a slightly lower resolution screen. The Z3 is noticeably worse than every other BlackBerry 10 phone sold by every specification. Finally the BlackBerry Leap has the Z30’s lower screen resolution, but without an improved processor.

Likewise the keyboard based phones running BlackBerry 10 have also done little to improve. The Q5 was a step backwards, the Classic had the same internals with a few extra hardware buttons, leaving the the Passport to be the only BlackBerry 10 phone to improve upon the launch devices. Even that phone is now a year old with no newer version in sight (and no, having three different ways to round off the corners on the case do not count).

So instead I sit here with my ageing phone with no path forwards. Any iOS user with a year old phone can upgrade their device tomorrow. Samsung releases 200 new phones a year. Even struggling HTC manages to upgrade their flagship on a yearly schedule. Yet for BlackBerry users, the only way to get new hardware is to become a non-BlackBerry user.

BlackBerry 10 OS statistics

August saw the use of OS 10.3.x (specifically 10.3.2) continue to increase. There was actually a bit of a split in the data for this month as users of Pixelated were much quicker to upgrade than users of Stuff I Need. For Pixelated 91% of users were running OS 10.3 while the number was only 84.6% for Stuff I Need 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 August 2014 through the end of August 2015.

Niagara Border Crossing app released

IMG_20150814_160322The Niagara Border Crossing app has been released for BlackBerry 10. This app shows wait times for border crossings over the Niagara River between the United States and Canada.

Wait times are shown for all four of the bridges between Western New York and Southern Ontario. These include the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge, the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge, the Rainbow Bridge, and the Peace Bridge. Separate times are shown for cars, trucks, and also for those using the Nexus lanes.

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Pixelated updated for BlackBerry 10

z10Pixelated and Pixelated Plus have been updated to version 3.6.5 for BlackBerry 10 users. This update speeds up the application’s launch speed, and also fixes a font related bug.

About Pixelated

Pixelated is an addictive puzzle based strategy game that requires a mixture of skill and luck in order to accomplish. The object of the game is to change the colour of the squares until the entire screen is a single solid colour. Starting with the square in the upper left corner you can change the colour of the blocks in order to match that of the surrounding squares. This is done repeatedly until the entire screen is a single colour. The object of the game is to clear the screen in as few moves as possible. Under the default settings you must do so in under 22 moves in order to win. The game is controlled by the large colored blocks at the bottom of the screen.

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Slow start for 10.3.2 rollout

The month of July saw the use of BlackBerry 10.3 continue to slowly climb. Verizon and a few other wireless carrier who had been dragging their heels finally released an OS update, but one out of five users are still on older operating systems. 10.3.2 is not really any different from 10.3.1 and has only been officially released by a few carriers and as a result appears to be getting very little interest from users so far.

Overall 78.5% of Pixelated users and 80.9% of Stuff I Need users were running some variant of OS 10.3 in July.



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 July 2014 through the end of July 2015.

How to disable hub notifications from BlackBerry Blend

IMG_20150710_143534Starting with the release of version 1.2 of BlackBerry Blend it is now possible to disable the frequent connection notices that would previously appear in the Hub.

To do this you need to update Blend on both your phone and on your desktop, than on the phone you need to unselect the “Connection Notification” option.

This simple change removes the main annoyance that had previously plagued Blend.

Use of 10.3 continues to increase

June saw the use of 10.3.x continue to increase. 75.1% of Pixelated users, and 78.1% of Stuff I Need users were running OS 10.3.0 or higher.

There continues to be a very small number of users on 10.3.0 with most users on 10.3.1 and a few users on 10.3.2 instead.



With Verizon finally rolling out a version of 10.3 to their users in early June, these numbers should be up significantly next month. 10.3.2 currently has very few users and with very few new features it is unclear how many carriers will be pushing out this update to their 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 June 2014 through the end of June 2015.

Update to Weather Beautiful app

Z10cropThe Weather Beautiful app has been updated to version 2.1 for both Android and BlackBerry users.

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 down for a full weekly forecast.

New in version 2.1 is the ability to swipe right in order to advance to the next background image, or to swipe left return to previous background image. Also the overall file size of the app has been greatly reduced, with the BlackBerry version 70% smaller and the Android version 61% smaller. Additionally on BlackBerry 10 the app now shows a custom splash screen while loading.

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Twinkle update adds support for Android

AndroidTwinkle has been updated to version 6.0, adding new features, new colors, and Android support.

About Twinkle

This app allows you to set and keep track of upcoming and past events. Twinkle will tell you how far away an event is, and share it with a friends through social networks. The app includes an number of options for sorting or filtering your views in order to allow you to easily be able to manage and share a large number of different events.

New in version 6.0

The biggest new feature is the added support for Android phones. Designed to conform with Google’s material design guidelines, the fully native android app has been completely rethought for the platform.

BlackBerry 10 users will get two new background colors (Brown and Teal), in addition to fixing a bug that previously prevented changes to the filters to last between app restarts. Also, the details line is now hidden when the event doesn’t have any details.

Users of traditional BBOS phones have not been left out either, as that version of Twinkle has been updated to version 4.3 to give access to the two new colors.

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BlackBerry 10 users leaning more international

A look at BlackBerry 10 users in 2015, is far more international than in years past. Canada is still has the largest user base, but India and Nigeria have also now moved themselves into the top five.


In January 2014 this breakdown looked far different. At that time Canada, the United States, and the UK had combined for 53.8% of the market, but in early 2015 they only consist of 27.4% of the market. Most of the difference comes from a larger share of the market going to countries in Asia and Africa.

India has grown from 2.8% to 11.5%, Nigeria has gone from 1.1% to 5.2%, Russia has gone from 1.0% to 2.0%, and China has increased from 1.6% to 2.8%. Meanwhile Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany have seen their marketshare drop. The numbers in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia have stayed rather consistent. The end result of this, is that the BlackBerry 10 user base is more geographically diverse than ever.

These numbers are generated from downloads of the Stuff I Need checklist app from January 1st to June 9th of 2015. The data was collected by BlackBerry World when the app is downloaded.