Lots of BlackBerry-related headlines made their way around the web this week. The biggest new for those in North America was the launch of the T-Mobile Curve (the next biggest news being the issues many are experiencing with their new 8320s). Belgium also launched new BlackBerrys this week, and Uganda is now on the BES and offering 8800s to service corporate customers. Air Canada ok'd BlackBerry boarding passes, and AT&T experienced difficulty with their EDGE network. Confirmation came that Slingbox is coming to the BlackBerry, an ESPN BlackBerry desktop shortcut was discovered, and RIM's stock broke the $100 mark (wooHOO if you own some shares). FULL HEADLINES after the jump...
1. Air Canada Introduces Electronic Boarding Passes - Available to BlackBerrys and other Smartphones and mobile devices capable of displaying a 2D barcode, you can do away with a paper boarding pass and now check in with an agent at the gate using your phone.
"Introduction of the mobile boarding pass is a key element in Air Canada's initiatives to use the most recent and secure mobile and 2-D barcode technologies to simplify our customers' travel experience," said Lise Fournel, Senior Vice President E-Commerce and CIO. "In addition to the simplification of travel and business processes made possible by the replacement of paper with electronic documents, we're particularly excited about the expanded application of 2-D barcode technology that gives our employees better tools to serve our customers more efficiently."
How it works: Using a mobile device, the customer logs on to http://mobile.aircanada.com and enters the required information: last name, first name, departure city and one of the following: Aeroplan number, credit card number or booking reference. If the device supports 2-D barcode technology and the travel itinerary qualifies for an electronic boarding pass, the customer will be prompted to enter his mobile number to receive the boarding pass. While 2-D barcode technology works on a majority of mobile devices, some older phones or PDAs may not be compatible. If this is the case, it is still possible to use Air Canada's mobile check-in and print a boarding pass at a self-service kiosk or with an agent.
2. T-Mobile Launches BlackBerry Curve 8320 - It actually became available for sale over the past weekend in some retail outlets and existing T-Mobile users could see the phone as an available upgrade in their T-Mobile accounts. Come Monday afternoon, the phone was available at T-Mobile.com, and finally on Tuesday RIM & T-Mobile 'officially' announced the device. CrackBerry.com was quick to get up an indepth review, and during the week many new owners have discovered they are having WiFi/UMA difficulties with the new device.
3. RIM Awarded Common Criteria Evaulation Assurance Level 2 augmented (EAL 2+) validations - The award was announced in ROME this week at the 8th International Common Criteria Conference and was given in recognition of the robust security features in RIM's BlackBerry Enterprise Server and BlackBerry device software. It's all Greek to me, but the takeaway here is that RIM is SAFE. Click on the headline title to read the full release and learn more.
5. AT&T Difficulties - AT&T experienced difficulties Tuesday morning with their EDGE network. Many users across the United States were affected. CrackBerry.com covered the story as it happened, but it quite short lived. Crazy times though... 3 publicized outages in less than a year for RIM. I'm not sure if it's growing pains or just slip-ups, but this can't become a regular occurrence!
6. RIM's stock Breaks $100! - Good news if you own RIM stock this week... it's still moving up. Remember, this is $100 after the 3 way split a few weeks back. So we're talking over $300 per share pre-split. Some people are saying it's a good time to take profits (if you've owned it for a while), yet others are saying it's still an ok time to buy if you don't have your hands on a piece of RIM yet.
"We are working with BlackBerry to develop a software application at the moment", Stuart Collingwood, VP of Europe for Sling Media told us.
The news means that BlackBerry users across the world will soon be able to stream their television from home to a BlackBerry device anywhere in the world as long as they have an internet connection.
The news comes on the back of the announcement that Sling Media will be supporting six Symbian OS handsets including the N95.
Sling Media, who are quick to recommend people sign up for a flat rate data package or use the on board Wi-Fi where possible say that people who've seen the application working are "blown away by the performance".
9. ESPN Launches a BlackBerry Shortcut - You can download a ESPN shortcut for your BlackBerry desktop, that when clicked takes you to ESPN's berry-optimized site. Head to http://espn.mobi/bblauncher on your BlackBerry to snatch. We have the same thing for CrackBerry.com - head to http://wap.crackberry.com or and you can download and install the CrackBerry.com desktop shortcut which brings the CrackBerry Blogs, Forums, Wicked Ling Directory and Software store to your fingertips. It's a great way to kill time at the airport (once you have checked in with your BlackBerry instead of a paper ticket!).
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