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Increase your productivity with Work Wide for the BlackBerry Passport


If you own a BlackBerry Passport, you know the awesomeness of its screen. To get even more out of that beautiful screen and be even more productive, you have to check out the Work Wide app. We’ve already written about it but now we’re bringing you a review to show you just how much of a useful app it is. The BlackBerry Passport is wide enough to have two apps displayed side-by-side on the screen. Two developers decided to make this happen – Brian Scheirer and Olaf Hanson.

Opening the app, you have the browser on the left by default and then the composer on the right. You can change the displayed apps by tapping the menu icon, which is the centre icon along the bottom. When you’re done, just hit Done to return. From there, start being productive.

The different apps that you can display split-screen are:

  • Browser: Full HTML5 web browsing experience, with reader mode (press “R”).
  • Composer: Send, Save, Share messages and notes. Opening saved messages will open its accompanying “app” (browser, picture, etc.) exactly where you left off.
  • Calculator: Similar to the native calculator, complete with calculation history. Ability to run two calculators at once.
  • Picture Viewer: View pictures stored on your device, media card, or connected cloud storage.
  • Txt Viewer: View .txt files directly in the split screen. Doc, Xls, ppt, and pdf available but will open full screen. However, Work Wide allows you to quickly reopen those files for easy access.

You can hit Save to save your composed message. When you need to return to continue typing out your message, you can open it up and it will even bring up the app displayed on the other side. If you were composing a message and you’re ready to send it just hit the Send icon (envelope icon) on the bottom right of the composer window and it will bring up the native BlackBerry 10 compose screen so you can add in the email address of the recipient. If you need to attach a link or even a file to that email, that can be done directly from the Work Wide app. In the compose window you’ll find a paperclip icon with a tick box next to it. Just tick that box and the webpage displayed or picture displayed will be automatically be included when you go to send it. Attaching a file will only work with emails though. It won’t share to BBM or anything else. Links will share everywhere.

Anything you type in the composer window can be copied to the clipboard or even shared. Maybe you wanted to push out the message to someone on BBM, just tap Share and it will use the native BlackBerry 10 Share function. I use this a lot to update my BBM Channel. I share a lot of BlackBerry related news from stories I come across on the web, so being able to have the post I want to share displayed so I can reference it is very handy. I can then just Share to BBM Channels and even include the link.

You can also adjust the size of the each app, as well as switch the sides of the app as you see fit. Just tap the menu icon, the same icon you tap to choose your apps. You’ll see a slider to adjust the app screen size and another icon on top of that for switching the screens around. Once you’ve adjust everything, just hit Done.

Work Wide really takes things to another level when it comes to being productive on your BlackBerry Passport. I find myself using it more and more. Generally for note taking, when I want to reference things from a website. I can then copy what I have typed out and paste it into Evernote (my preferred notebook app) and I can access it later through my account. I have even found being able to display two calculators very handy for my Business Accounting class. The only app I don’t use much is the Txt Viewer. But it is equally as useful as everything else.

The only problem with the Txt Viewer is that .doc, .xls, .ppt and .pdf files open full screen. Though Work Wide does an excellent job of being able to reopen the files really quickly so if you do need to go back and refer to it just hit Return to Doc. To go back and continue typing just swipe the document to the right to bring up the composer window.

The Good
  • Split screen with two apps side-by-side
  • Adjust app window size
The Bad
  • Can only share files and photos to email messages
The bottomline

You really can’t go wrong with Work Wide. If you’re a BlackBerry Passport owner, I recommend this app. You may think that you won’t need it but once you start using it, you’ll see how much use it has for you. I’m using it more and more for the times I need to share things with people or to social media. I can get things done faster than I did before. And as a BlackBerry 10 user, or even a Passport user for that matter, you know that the flow of BlackBerry 10 is already pretty slick. Work Wide pushes things that bit further and really is a must-have app for Passport owners.

Work Wide is only available for the BlackBerry Passport, to make use of that beautiful screen. It will cost you $2.99. It is well worth every penny. Check out the video above to see it action, if you need even more convincing.

Learn more / Purchase Work Wide from BlackBerry World

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Get one of these sweet leather holsters for your BlackBerry Q10 today for only $12.95!


Deal of the Day Sat 22nd Nov 2014 Only while stocks last!

The stylish CrackBerry branded Leather Holster is made of a fine, durable leather that features a fixed belt clip on the back to secure to your waist, pocket or purse.

This leather case gives you and your BlackBerry device a sleek, professional look while keeping it safe from drops and scratches at the same time. The front of the case features a secure magnetic closure and the back sports the “CB” logo at the bottom.

There’s a soft felt lining on the interior of the case and the headphone jack is accessible from the top. If you’re looking for a quality leather case to carry your device and show off your addiction to the CrackBerry nation, look no further than the CrackBerry Leather Holster!


  • Genuine leather case
  • Fixed belt clip
  • Secure magnetic closure
  • CrackBerry logo on back
  • Soft felt interior

Please Note: Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.

Promotional Pricing: Coupons are not eligible for this product today.

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Evernote Updates Its Penultimate App Following Criticism, Showing Tech Firms Do Listen


Here’s a positive story about tech companies and their awareness of the outside world, just in case this week had you disillusionedEvernote today issued a fix for its Penultimate digital handwriting app for the iPad that it hopes will end more than a week of frustration for its users.

Evernote bought the service, which lets you create notes and designs as if you are using paper, more than two years ago, but a major upgrade issued just over a week ago caused a series of issues for users. Changes to Penultimate 6.0′s feature set — including a new zoom mode, the merging of all notebooks, navigation difficulties and more — drew a large number of complaints.

That anger was reflected by a flurry of one star ratings for the app, while Evernote’s forums were abuzz with negative feedback, and many of those affected were vocal on Twitter.

“We’re sorry. We screwed up. We’ve heard your feedback, and are going to make things better,” Evernote wrote in response six days after update 6.0 landed. The company admitted that it released the new version too soon.

It promised a swift update two days ago, and that landed today. Evernote said the new version of the app adds “the top features and enhancements that have been requested over the past week.”

There still appear to be some problems — some people who registered before the acquisition seem to have lost their notes; Evernote is investigating — and it’s too early to say what users think, but Evernote has responded in the right way.

The company got a lot of criticism following the initial 6.0 update, but it seems that many customers appreciate how it responded. It’s not all love — and no doubt some users have been lost from the saga — but when mistakes happen honesty is the best policy. (Of course, Evernote does have past experience here.)

In the wake of a hugely challenging week for Uber — which has been called for a lack of morals following two high profile and unsavory incidents – this tale, while not earth-shatteringly significant, is a reminder that some members of the Silicon Valley tech set can be human after all.

Featured Image: WhatleyDude/Flickr UNDER A CC BY 2.0 LICENSE

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Last call: 18 hours left to get the lowest prices anywhere on Apple’s MacBooks with coupons


Exclusive Friday, November 21, 2014, 09:52 pm PT (12:52 am ET)

Exclusive 3% discount coupons from MacMall that offer AppleInsider readers additional discounts — and the lowest prices anywhere — on Apple’s MacBook Air and MacBook Pros will expire for the year in less than 18 hours.

To take advantage of the offer, AppleInsider readers can click through the MacMall links in this article (see insert below) or our Mac Price Guides and then enter Promo / Coupon Code APPLEINSIDER01 on MacMall’s product page for that model to save an additional 3% off the retailer’s already discounted prices. This promo, which expires at midnight Pacific time on November 22, 2014, ahead of Black Friday, produces $40-80 savings on MacBook Airs, $75-$140 savings on 13-inch MacBook Pros and $65-$204 savings on 15-inch MacBook Pros, before any tax-benefits are factored in. For most models, these prices are the lowest prices available anywhere (but readers should always double check with our Price Guides). MacMall also won’t collect sales tax on orders if you live outside CA, CO, GA, IL, MN, NC, NY, TN, and WI. This typically will save readers an additional $80-250 depending on the price of the Mac they choose.

While Black Friday has traditionally seen steep discounts on a handful of Mac configurations from Apple and various resellers, many readers looking for configurations other than Apple’s few retail configurations have benefited in recent years from capitalizing on AppleInsider’s coupon promotion before it expires, as the annual shopping holiday often sees prices rise on some of these configurations to offset those that are market down. It also affords readers the added benefit of securing their Mac of choice and avoiding stock outs during the Black Friday shopping frenzy. Among the models currently in stock and available for the promotion are:

MacBook Pros

13″ MacBook Pro w/ Disc Drive
2.5GHz 13″ (4GB/500GB HDD) for $1,013.64* [$99.01 Savings]

13″ MacBook Pros
2.6GHz 13″ (8GB, 128GB) for $1,163.99* [$135.01 Savings]
2.6GHz 13″ (8GB, 256GB) for $1,377.39* [$121.70 Savings]
2.6GHz 13″ (16GB, 128GB) for $1,425.89* [$73.11 Savings]
2.6GHz 13″ (16GB, 256GB) for $1,600.49* [$98.51 Savings]
2.8GHz 13″ (8GB, 128GB) for $1,285.24* [$113.76 Savings]
2.8GHz 13″ (8GB, 512GB) for $1,658.69* [$140.31 Savings]
2.8GHz 13″ (8GB, 1TB) for $2,182.49* [$116.51 Savings]
2.8GHz 13″ (16GB, 512GB) for $1,891.49* [$107.51 Savings]
3.0GHz 13″ (8GB, 512GB) for $1,934.18* [$64.82 Savings]
3.0GHz 13″ (16GB, 256GB) for $1,891.49* [$107.51 Savings]
3.0GHz 13″ (16GB, 512GB) for $2,085.49* [$113.51 Savings]
3.0GHz 13″ (16GB, 1TB) for $2,570.49* [$128.51 Savings]

* Price after clicking the links above and then applying coupon / promo code APPLEINSIDER01

15″ MacBook Pros
2.2GHz 15″ (16GB, 256GB) for $1,794.49* [$204.51 Savings]
2.2GHz 15″ (16GB, 512GB) for $2,163.09* [$135.91 Savings]
2.2GHz 15″ (16GB, 1TB) for $2,648.09* [$150.91 Savings]
2.5GHz 15″ (16GB, 256GB) for $1,969.09* [$129.91 Savings]
2.5GHz 15″ (16GB, 512GB) for $2,309.99* [$89.01 Savings]
2.5GHz 15″ (16GB, 1TB) for $2,745.09* [$153.91 Savings]
2.5GHz 15″ (16GB, 512GB, 750M) for $2,303.74* [$195.26 Savings]
2.5GHz 15″ (16GB, 1TB, 750M) for $2,842.09* [$156.91 Savings]
2.8GHz 15″ (16GB, 256GB) for $2,182.49* [$116.51 Savings]
2.8GHz 15″ (16GB, 512GB) for $2,454.09* [$144.91 Savings]
2.8GHz 15″ (16GB, 512GB, 750M) for $2,521.03* [$177.97 Savings]
2.8GHz 15″ (16GB, 1TB) for $2,939.09* [$159.91 Savings]
2.8GHz 15″ (16GB, 1TB, 750M) for $3,006.99* [$192.01 Savings]

* Price after clicking the links above and then applying coupon / promo code APPLEINSIDER01

MacBook Pro Closeouts Blowouts

Additionally, MacBook Pro shoppers looking for exceptional value can check out a handful of remaining closeouts (limited to existing supply) from both MacMall (*) and BH (+), which are largely identical to current models with the exception of CPU speed bumps:

2.4GHz 13″ (4GB,128GB) for $1,037.89* [$261.11 Savings]
2.4GHz 13″ (8GB, 256GB) for $1,149.00+ [$350.00 Savings]
2.6GHz 13″ (8GB, 512GB) for $1,448.00+ [$350.00 Savings]

2.0GHz 15″ (8GB, 256GB) for $1,499.00+ [$500.00 Savings]
2.3GHz 15″ (16GB, 512GB, 750M) for $1,999.00+ [$600.00 Savings]
2.6GHz 15″ (8GB, 512GB) for $2,199.00+ [$400.00 Savings]
2.6GHz 15″ (16GB, 1TB, 750M) for $2,799.00+ [$500.00 Savings]
* Price after clicking the links above and then applying coupon / promo code APPLEINSIDER01
+ Instant discounts and no sales tax collected on orders shipped to every state by NY.

MacBook Airs

11-inch MacBook Airs
11″ Air (1.40GHz/4GB/128GB) for $814.79* [$84.21 Savings]
11″ Air (1.40GHz/8GB/128GB) for $950.59* [$48.41 Savings]
11″ Air (1.40GHz/4GB/256GB) for $1,008.79* [$99.01 Savings]
11″ Air (1.40GHz/8GB/256GB) for $1,144.59* [$54.41 Savings]
11″ Air (1.70GHz/8GB/512GB) for $1,581.09* [$67.91 Savings]

* Price after clicking the links above and then applying coupon / promo code APPLEINSIDER01

13-inch MacBook Airs
13″ Air (1.40GHz/4GB/128GB) for $921.49* [$77.51 Savings]
13″ Air (1.40GHz/8GB/128GB) for $1,042.74* [$56.26 Savings]
13″ Air (1.40GHz/4GB/256GB) for $1,105.79* [$93.21 Savings]
13″ Air (1.40GHz/8GB/512GB) for $1,546.18* [$52.82 Savings]
13″ Air (1.70GHz/8GB/128GB) for $1,183.39* [$65.61 Savings]
13″ Air (1.70GHz/8GB/256GB) for $1,377.39* [$71.61 Savings]
13″ Air (1.70GHz/8GB/512GB) for $1,668.39* [$80.61 Savings]

* Price after clicking the links above and then applying coupon / promo code APPLEINSIDER01

Free AppleCare with each iMac with Retina 5K Mac Pro!

Meanwhile, readers looking for killer deals on Apple’s new iMac 5K and Mac Pro ($50-$100 instant discounts plus 3 Years of AppleCare Free) can check out this exclusive, limited time promotion.

Of course, our Price Guides ( and Deal Tracker ( will be continuously updated throughout the holiday shopping season.

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Review: BrydgeAir keyboard makes your iPad Air feel like a ‘MacBook mini’


Review Saturday, November 22, 2014, 02:51 am PT (05:51 am ET)

iPad Air 1 2 owners looking for a quick and easy way to turn their tablet into a MacBook-style, lap-friendly portable computer need look no further than the new backlit BrydgeAir keyboard — a well-built, well-designed productivity accessory.

The Brydge for iPad has been around for a few years, but the aluminum unibody Bluetooth accessory has just been given a thinner and lighter redesign intended to complement Apple’s iPad Air and new iPad Air 2. The newly launched BrydgeAir comes with the keyboard itself in the box, along with a flat micro USB cable for recharging and simple setup instructions.

Retailing for $169, the BrydgeAir includes a full array of keys, including numbers, arrows, and a row of iPad-specific functions including brightness, search, home button, media controls, volume and more. It’s also backlit.

In addition to including physical keyboard controls, the BrydgeAir also includes a separate Bluetooth radio for enhanced audio. Much like Apple’s MacBook Pro, the keyboard’s speakers are hidden behind the unit, and project off of the bottom of the iPad when docked.

Left: An iPad Air with the BydgeAir. Right: A 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display.

A sample BrydgeAir intended to match Apple’s white and aluminum iPad Air 1 and 2 was provided to AppleInsider for review. Another version made for Apple’s space gray iPad Air models is also available for $169, while a gold version carries a $20 premium.

And yes, we typed this entire review on the BrydgeAir with an iPad Air and Apple’s Pages word processing application.

Design and setup

The design of the BrydgeAir mirrors the iPad Air, in an effort to make the two devices seem as complementary of one another as possible. This is especially evident when the iPad is “docked” in the keyboard and closed, clamshell style.

Looking at it from the side, the volume buttons and lock switch on the iPad Air rest opposite identical-looking buttons on the keyboard, albeit with very different functions. On the BrydgeAir, the switch controls the power, while two pill-shaped buttons next to it handle Bluetooth pairing of the keyboard and audio components.

Top: iPad Air volume buttons and rotation lock. Bottom: BrydgeAir. Bluetooth sync buttons and power switch.

And opposite the lock button atop the iPad Air (or on the left side, when docked), the BrydgeAir mirrors this with a similar-sized space for a micro USB port. This attention to detail is a nice touch.

The design itself is solid. While the keyboard is somewhat heavy at 1.15 pounds — more than doubling the weight of a 1-pound iPad Air on its own — this weight does play a key role in the so-called “lap-ability” of the BrydgeAir, which we’ll discuss in the usage portion of this review.

Another feature we really enjoy are the hinges on the BrydgeAir.

We’ve never taken to folio-style keyboard accessories, which require the iPad to be housed in a cumbersome protective case in order to offer a laptop-style experience. And some other options on the market connect to the side of the iPad magnetically, like a Smart Cover, but these don’t allow the screen to be opened and set at any angle.

Here, the BrydgeAir excels, allowing users to adjust the iPad to any angle they choose and steadily holding it in place. Again, this feature gives the iPad Air a true notebook-style experience.

And because the BrydgeAir doesn’t require a special case to hold the iPad, we were table to keep our tablet as Apple intended, light and portable and easily removed from the keyboard in a pinch.

The BrydgeAir hinges allow an iPad Air to be displayed securely at a range of 180 degrees.

The one issue we did have with the design of the BrydgeAir hinges are the protective rubber stoppers, which appear to be held on by a light adhesive. The first time we attempted to place our iPad in the hinges, we noticed the rubber pushing to the side, exposing the glass of the iPad Air to the aluminum of the hinge and potentially scratching it.

We found that inserting our iPad Air at a slight angle, and with a little bit of care, resolved this, and have since grown accustomed to quickly placing and removing the iPad from the BrydgeAir hinges.

The BrydgeAir does automatically lock and activate the iPad’s screen when the clamshell is closed or open. We did find that without a recessed “lip” on the keyboard itself, separating the two magnetically-connected devices is not as easy as it is on an actual MacBook. Instead we learned to wiggle our fingertips into the small space in between the keyboard and iPad in order to separate them.

Connecting the BrydgeAir to our iPad Air was simple. After turning it on, we simply held down the dedicated keyboard Bluetooth button to enable pairing mode, which made the device show up as a Bluetooth accessory in the iOS Settings application.

Pairing the speakers is a similar process, holding the button located to the right of the keyboard’s. Enabling the speakers also plays an audible sound, and giving the speakers their own dedicated button makes it easy for users to turn off the external speakers and conserve battery life.

Pairing alerts and other information, like battery life, are cleverly hidden on the right side of the keyboard, underneath the backslash button. When sitting in front of the BrydgeAir, these alerts can be viewed as needed.

In all, the design of the BrydgeAir makes it easy to recommend. And in daily usage, our experiences were similarly positive.


The highest compliment that we can pay the BrydgeAir is every time we used it, we would instinctively put our thumb below the spacebar in search of a TrackPad. The look and feel replicate that of a MacBook-style notebook so well that when typing for extended periods of time, we would forget we were on an iPad.

For us, the key to the success of the BrydgeAir design is the aforementioned “lap-ability” of it. That is to say, we could use it on our lap, at any angle, without any concern or frustration.

For example, when we tested out Microsoft’s Surface 2 last year, the ultra-light flat keyboard that connects to the tablet worked fine on a desk, but attempting to use it on our lap was unmanageable.

Thankfully, the BrydgeAir has none of those issues. The base is heavy enough to hold up an iPad Air while resting on your lap, offering a true notebook-style experience that users expect. And because the iPad docks without a case, it can be easily removed and maintain its portability.

The keys themselves are smaller than on a full-size MacBook, for obvious reason: They must be squeezed into the same size surface area as the iPad Air. While small, we found the keys to be responsive, and typing on the BrydgeAir did not feel overly cramped.

The row of iOS-specific commands at the top of the keyboard are also an excellent inclusion. In particular, dedicated buttons for home, brightness, Spotlight search, and volume controls greatly enhanced productivity. And there’s also a dedicated Siri button in the bottom left corner of the keyboard.

And as anyone who has used a physical keyb

oard with an iPad knows, arrow buttons make word processing a much more pleasant experience.

The BrydgeAir also has a dedicated button for the keyboard’s backlight function. The white backlight can be set to off or three varying degrees of brightness.

The one downside we did find in using the BrydgeAir was its built-in speakers. While pairing of these was easy and convenient, and they did in fact boost volume levels, to our ears the keyboard’s internal speakers were too “tinny” for our tastes. We found that the stereo speakers on the iPad Air actually sounded richer.

The rear speakers project off the bottom of the iPad Air’s bezel.

But poor built-in speakers on a portable device are the norm, and anyone looking for improved audio quality should simply use headphones. Just don’t buy a BrydgeAir expecting great sound.

The BrydgeAir is advertised to offer up to 3 months of usage on a single charge, depending on speakers and backlit keys usage.


The huge lineup of keyboard accessories designed for Apple’s iPad serves to show how many people are looking for greater productivity on their tablet. But many of the best options out there require an iPad to be stuffed inside a cumbersome case that makes the whole design bulky and heavy.

iPad owners who use a protective case on their tablet, or who want the thinnest, lightest or most portable option possible, regardless of lap usage, should look elsewhere.

But or those who may want to occasionally use a keyboard with their iPad on the go, laptop-style, but who also plan to frequently use the iPad “naked” in a tablet-only mode, the BrydgeAir is hard to beat. The appealing design and strong construction of the BrydgeAir make it an easy recommendation for any iPad Air or iPad Air 2 owner.

Score: 4.5 out of 5


  • Sturdy construction and clever design really do make your iPad Air feel like a mini MacBook
  • The keys are responsive and backlit, and dedicated iOS-specific buttons and arrows greatly improve productivity
  • Strong hinges hold your iPad in place at any angle desired without the need for a case
  • Quickly insert or remove your iPad as needed to maintain portability


  • External speakers are subpar, and rubber protection on hinges could be improved
  • Price tag of $170 makes it clear this a premium-level keyboard

Where to buy

The BrydgeAir is available in silver and space gray for $169, while a special gold version runs $189. It’s compatible with the new iPad Air 2 and the first iPad Air, and new orders are advertised to arrive before Christmas.

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Canadians can now pre-order the white BlackBerry Passport


37.676.651 Readers per month

CrackBerry is in no way Affiliated with BlackBerry. We take pride in our unbiased content, however do occasionally receive free products from vendors that we review or discuss. For more info click here.

Advertising Partner

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Here’s another look at the red BlackBerry Passport


37.676.651 Readers per month

CrackBerry is in no way Affiliated with BlackBerry. We take pride in our unbiased content, however do occasionally receive free products from vendors that we review or discuss. For more info click here.

Advertising Partner

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