It's getting to be that time of year again. In the US, many of us are planning entire weeks around Thanksgiving Day. Thanksgiving is a day of family, football (the American kind, I should add), and stuffing as much turkey and gravy into our faces as possible.
Thanksgiving marks the start of our holiday shopping season, where we try ever so hard to find the Perfect Gift for our loved ones and friends. I love Christmas shopping. It's a chance to find and give that perfect something that you'll know they love. The look of surprise and delight upon their faces is well worth the hassle of finding a Perfect Gift.
But you know, it really doesn't have to be a hassle to find great gifts. Me, I'm a gadget lover. I like bells and whistles and instruction manuals 300 pages long written in Cantonese (the English version is on the back). Double-awesome bonus points if you get me something that perfectly integrates with my BlackBerry Smartphone.
Do you have a gadget-lover on your Holiday shopping list? Here's this gadget-lover's wish list; I'm sure you'll find at least one thing here that'll be Perfect. And perhaps you'll find a little something for yourself as well.
Identify that BlackBerry
Before choosing any gift for a BlackBerry user, you need to find out which one it is. To the inexperienced eye, BlackBerry Smartphones can look very similar. Beware. Not all accessories and apps work with every BlackBerry. ShopCrackBerry.com has a device selector to help you find what you need for the right BlackBerry, but first you have to figure out what that Smartphone is.
Just casually ask your gadget lover, “Is that a BlackBerry Bold 9900?” They’re almost guaranteed to respond, “No, this is a …” Or (and especially if you’re Kevin Michaluk), they’ll respond, “Why yes it is!” Either way, you have your answer.
The ultimate accessory to any BlackBerry Smartphone is Research In Motion's first tablet, the BlackBerry PlayBook. Featuring a 1 GHz dual-core processor, vivid 1024x600 touchscreen, and a user experience like you've never seen on a tablet, this BlackBerry tablet can do most anything. Experience the web with full flash capabilities - you can even watch TV on the internet - and connect effortlessly to any HDMI television or projector. Using BlackBerry Bridge, the tablet wirelessly connects via secure Bluetooth to your gadget-lover's BlackBerry, allowing seemless and secure access to emails, BBM, and even corporate intranets. Coming in February, the BlackBerry PlayBook will be even awesomer.The BlackBerry PlayBook is available in 16, 32, and 64 Gigabyte varities.
Even Better: The PlayBook is on sale in many parts of the world right now; you can pick one up for a very, very nice price.
Bluetooth headsets are everywhere. With so many choices out there, it's hard to find just the right one. In the past, I've reviewed several Bluetooth headsets and headphones, but there's only one that I use nearly everyday. The Motorola Oasis is that nice combination of comfort and battery life that makes it a perfect addition to any BlackBerry Smartphone. The Oasis also plays nice with the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360. In fact, when I'm playing Modern Warfare 3 (Hi Silver and Mr. Orezy), it's the only headset I use.
Motorola MOTOROKR T505
Bluetooth isn't just for making calls - although that's a perfectly good use of it - you can also stream music from the BlackBerry. The Motorola MOTOROKR T505 does just that (and calls, too). Steam Slacker Radio, Pandora, your own music files, and more to the nearest FM Radio. Designed to clip to your car's sun visor, the T505 makes an easy-to-use bridge between your BlackBerry and your car's audio system - no wires required.
Cases, Holsters, & Charging
Seidio Case & Holster Combination
It's no secret that most of the items in this guide are ones that I've owned and/or reviewed for CrackBerry. My all time favorite has been the Seidio Innocase Active case and holster combination. It gives me the convenience of a side holster coupled with the protection of hard shell case. The case is molded to perfectly fit, protect, and cushion your Smartphone while the holster holds your BlackBerry secure at your side while it's still in the case. The two parts are sold separately and the holster won't work without its matching case. My BlackBerry Torch 9800 has taken quite a few falls with nary a scratch while being protected by these two.
Bonus: The sleeper magnet contained within puts your BlackBerry to sleep while in the holster. Instead of loud ringtones, you'll get a quiet vibration whenever new messages or phone calls arrive at your Smartphone.
SPE Pocket Holsters
Not everyone likes the side holster look. For them, I'd recommend a pocket case, specifically the ones from Smartphone Experts. Why? Like all good BlackBerry cases, these have the sleeper magnet that put your Smartphone to sleep when placed inside. They are a low-cost, simple form of protection for just about any BlackBerry. Put your 'Berry inside and slip the case in your pocket. Pretty much a perfect stocking stuffer in my book.
BlackBerry Charging Pods
Quick! What's the best, most elegant, cool way to charge a BlackBerry? If you said a BlackBerry Charging Pod, you win this cookie! While we ponder how to send confections through the internet tubes, take a look at this charging pod for the BlackBerry Bold 9900. Simply rest the phone in the pod, and the charging ports on the bottom of the Smartphone take care of the rest. Meanwhile, the BlackBerry goes into bedside mode, turning into a dim bedside clock, and quieting the LED and alert sounds.
Not all charging pods are created equally. Pods for the Torches 9800, 9810, 9850, and 9860 also serve as a sync cradle. Connect a USB cable between these pods and a computer, and you've got instant access to the data on that Torch.
Don't text and drive. Seriously, people, don't do it. Driving takes a lot of concentration and focus. Constantly switching your brain's attention from the road to the Smartphone means there's a lot less time to focus on the really important things going on. That's why I like programs like Drive Safe.ly. The app reads aloud your incoming email and SMS Text message and can even respond via an automatic message or you can compose a text message just by speaking aloud. Available for use in a wide variety of languages, Drive Safe.ly is currently available complements of BlackBerry through December 31, 2011.
Musical Clock with Weather
For the gadget lover who is hard to wake (raises hand), Musical Clock and Weather should work quite nicely. We've covered this app before on CrackBerry, when it was called Musical Clock - Multiple Alarms. Like the name says, you can add many different alarms with different sounds (including from your SD card, Pandora, and Slacker Radio) to ring throughout the day. Now with the addition of weather, you'll get a five day forecast along with your morning wakeup.
Growing up, SimCity was one of my favorite computer games. Playing Mayor on a grand scale, I loved to watch my city grow and prosper. We've come a long way since those days, and this pocket-sized version of the game is much more complex than the game I once played from 5.25" disks. Controlling water and power, zoning and roads, and even preparing for the next disaster are all part of this mobile game for the BlackBerry Smartphone. SimCity Deluxe is available complements of BlackBerry through December 31, 2011.
CRACKBERRY: True Tales of BlackBerry Use and Abuse
"This unique book covers the phenomenon of "BlackBerry Addiction" offering true life accounts of BlackBerry mishaps and unbelievable stories. The book also offers a comprehensive 12 Step Plan for "Recovery" for BlackBerry Users and Abusers." Plus, our fearless leader, Kevin Michaluk shares an author credit on the book, so you know it's true.
BlackBerry: The Inside Story of Research In Motion
Want to know who Mike Lazardis and Jim Balsillie are? How did Research In Motion start as a company. Want to know the story of how they were almost bought out by a manufacturing company? All of that and more are in this great book by Rod McQueen.
As the days grow colder and the nights become longer, we gather together amongst our friends and loved ones. It is a time of great happiness. A time when we celebrate the love and companionship we've received over the year, and a time to reflect upon the good times yet to come. It is the time of the year when we exchange gifts; a way for us to express gratitude towards one another for the simple pleasure of being a part of our lives. Though our gifts may be large or small, expensive or a bargain, they are but a token. A token of the joys of years past, a token of adventures to come. No matter the gift, I am certain it will be enjoyed. For it is but a symbol of the love, appreciation, and kindness we feel toward each other. And no gift, no matter how grandiose, can hope to equal even a small fraction of that.
Here's wishing you and yours a safe and happy Holiday Season, from all of us at CrackBerry.com