BlackBerry News and Reviews

BlackBerry Pearl 8110 Smartphone Making its Appearance - Spain, Italy, Canada?!

The BlackBerry Pearl 8110 is officially here. RIM today has announced the coming of the BlackBerry Pearl 8110 to Vodafone in Spain. Furthermore, our friend Stefano over at BB World sent word he received the an official invite to RIM/Vodafone's Milan launch party for the 8110 coming on January 30th.

And just today, I received word from one of my trusted Rogers guys that corporate store reps are going to be receiving their 8110 Pearl demos this week. Not hard to believe considering we have already had BlackBerry Pearl 8110 in the wild sightings. It looks like Canadians will have to continue to wait to see a WiFi enabled BlackBerry hit Canada - it seems Rogers will introduce an 8110 before an 8120 or 8320. It raises a good question...if you have to choose between having GPS and WiFi on a device (all other things equal), which would you go for?

Not Pearl 8110 related, but potentially of even greater importance, BlackBerrySync is stating that a CDMA version of the Curve, the 8330, is on its way (apparently fact, not just hope) and that we may even see it before WES in May! 

Read the BlackBerry Pearl 8110 Vodafone Spain Press Release >>

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Review: Seidio 1600mAh OEM Sized Extended Battery for BlackBerry 8800 Series

Extra Juice, No Extra Size Required 

Having noticed a steady decline in the performance of my BlackBerry 8800 battery, I decided to give one of the Seidio Extended batteries a try. I had heard good things about them, so I thought it would be worth a shot. I especially liked the fact that Seidio's 1600mAh battery would extend the battery life of my 8800 but not its phyiscal size as it fits under the standard battery cover. In the end, I haven't been disappointed! Read on for my findings!

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BlackBerry 101: How to Use Forums

Hey Class! CrackBerry Kevin here, and welcome Back to BlackBerry 101. You might say we did the Law School thing and took a full month off between semesters, but here we are again, ready to tackle another four months worth of lectures before summer break.

To kick off the first lecture of the new year we thought it would be wise to spend a week teaching users how to actually use's site features, especially our BlackBerry Help and Discussion Forums. Our member community has been growing by leaps and bounds, and many of our potential and new members are not familiar with using an online forum to get and give help. BlackBerry 101 lectures are great - but sometimes you need to find an answer to your problem NOW and it might not be covered in one of our weekly lectures. By learning to use the site to its full potential, you can tap into our database of already-answered questions and knowledgable community of BlackBerry Addicts!

I'm sure you have heard that famous line, "Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime". That's what we're doing this week, but in CrackBerry style.

Our moderator Trevor has put together a week's worth of lessons on How to Use the CrackBerry Forums, starting with the basics of registering with the site and he will add a new lecture each day this week (How To Search the Forums, Reply to Posts and Create new Threads, etc.) so be sure to visit daily. The post will remain sticked in our Tips, How-To and FAQ forum so it will be easy for new members to find at all times. Big Thanks to Trevor for putting this together - it's going to come in VERY Handy!

As for BlackBerry 101, let me know if you have any requests for lecture topics you'd like to see covered here over the weeks and months ahead. We have quite a few ideas planned, but want to make sure we're tackling the subjects you want covered! Comment on this post with your ideas!

Take me to the CrackBerry Forums How-To Lecture >>

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Task Management App 'StudentBerry' Released to the Public

Are you a student with 100 assignments, exams and projects on the go at the same time? Enter StudentBerry...

StudentBerry is an application designed to help students manage their ever growing list of tasks and to-do's.

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RIM Showcases BlackBerry Platform Enhancements at Lotusphere 2008

Lots of news and coming from RIM today at Lotusphere 2008 for enterprise users on the BES. Some of the big news: the ability to Download and Edit Documents (thanks to DataViz); the ability to remotely search and retrieve email messages from server (even if they are no longer on the phone); free/busy calendar look-up (check availability before sending out a meeting request); and HTML and rich text email rendering (wooHOO!). A number of management, security and development improvements have also been made to the BlackBerry Platform... read the full press release (below) for all the details!

Keep in mind these are BES improvements. Hopefully some of these will soon make their way to BIS customers in the near future as well. Not sure what the difference between BES and BIS are? Click Here to read our BlackBerry 101 article on it! 

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Accessory Review: Blueant Z9 Bluetooth Headset

The Z9: To use it is to love it

The BlueAnt Z9 Bluetooth headset blends innovation and serious good looks to create the device to beat in the competitive headset market. This Australian company’s design has garnered raves and awards and marks a new standard in headsets. Over-the-top raving? Maybe, but this unit is worth the plaudits it has received. Stylish design, innovative noise reduction, echo cancellation technology and dual microphones mark this as the gold standard of headset design.

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Alltel Offers CRM App SalesNow for BlackBerry

Alltel began offering the SalesNow customer-relationship management app to BlackBerry users. SalesNow, which was developed by Interchange Solutions, is designed to help mobile workers track and manage their contacts, deals, activities, and e-mails. The type of information users can share includes weekly reports, team forecasts, and details of business deals.

SalesNow works with BlackBerry e-mail and automatically synchs up with a hosted SalesNow Web site, so any changes made on BlackBerrys are reflected in the app when users return to the office.

Alltel is offering the software for $25 a month for individual users and $40 a month for business users with qualifying data plans on BlackBerrys sold by the carrier. Go here for more information about SalesNow from Alltel.

## This Article Was Originally Published on

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BlackBerry 9000 Talk - more details, more potential confusion

Another week, another BlackBerry 9000 rumor post. This time it's Jibi over at BGR with some more details and further clarifications (some might say confusions) on the BlackBerry 8xxx/9000.

More Details:

  • 9000 will include UMTS and HSDPA Support (said to be official info from RIM)
  • a new era of OS is being worked on at RIM... v5. (no details yet, though it's probably safe to assume most companies are working on new versions of their OS at any given time)
  • 9000 will launch with OS v.4.3.2 but will be updated to 5.0 by end of the year

More Clarification/Confusion:

  • From what I read, it seems the images of the new device we have been seeing as a BlackBerry 8xxx are no longer valid (remember the Vodafone slides that called the new device a 8xxx).
  • Apparently this new device is in fact the BlackBerry 9000, and it will be set to launch at the Wireless Enterprise Symposium (RIM's big annual show) in May. So it's likely not the BlackBerry 8920 which is what the most recent rumors were indiciating (leading us to believe there was another 9000 device in the works that has yet to be seen).

I have to admit even I am getting confused by what I read when it comes to these new device rumors. Apologies if I have any details confused here (feel free to clarify/add to them in the comments). I marked up the Vodafone leaked slide with some of the latest details of where things are at now. RIM should just make an announcement already and set the record straight!!

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Rogers Comes out with REASONABLE Data Plans!

Get excited, but not TOO excited. Endgadget Mobile dropped word yesterday that Rogers is introducing a new Flex Rate Data Plan for PC Cards which ups Rogers' ante in the data game. At Tier 4 we're talking $100/mo. for 5GB of data (and only $0.03 per additional MB). The best part is you can start with Tier 1 (1GB for $65) and if you accidentally go over the limit you automatically get bumped to Tier 2!

I said don't get TOO excited - keep in mind this news is for PC Cards, not BlackBerrys, but hopefully is a sign of good things to come for BlackBerry Users. It kind of makes me really mad - obviously Rogers can still make money with data use at these new rates - but they're still taking us berry users for $60/mo. for 25 megs or $100/mo. for 200 megs (and it's currently not tiered so going over is COSTLY at a ridiculous rate right now - like $7/meg. Accidentally use 40 megs when you're on the 25 meg plan and you'll pay another $100+ bucks in overcharges!).

By REASONABLE I mean reasonable for Canadians. Keep in mind you can find $30 unlimited data BlackBerry plans in the United States. I guess Canadian GSM monopolies can get away with pretty much whatever they want.

[ Source

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Nothing Says "I Love You" Like a Red Curve 8310

Hold off on the dinner reservations and don't worry about calling the florist.  AT&T is running a special on their "red" devices from now until February 14th - the LG Shine, the BlackJack 2 and the Curve 8310 - all at a promotional $99.99 price point.  For that someone special that is still hanging on to their buggy Windows Mobile or Palm device, now is the time to show them how you really feel.  Give the ultimate gift of a new Red Curve at a great price.  

"Chocolates and flowers are standby gifts for Valentine's Day, but this year we're spicing things up by offering terrific deals for those who want to go with something different,"
said Andy Wilson, vice president of National Marketing for AT&T's wireless unit. "These eye-catching red devices are available at a great promotional price, and with unlimited Mobile to Mobile calling and unlimited text messaging plans, it's easy and affordable for consumers to stay connected with loved ones."

Information on the promotion and included calling and data plans at AT&T.



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Ricoh Introduces BlackBerry Compatible Hotspot Printers

Ricoh introduced the first in their new line of Hotspot printers this week.  The SP C410DN-KP color printer and SP 4100N-KP monochrome model provide printing from laptops, PDAs or supported cell phones (Blackberry) without the need for additional software on the device.  

Printing with the HotSpot Printers can be done two different ways.  Each printer has its own unique Web page by which mobile users can simply upload a file or Web page URL to be printed.  In addition, emails can be forwarded from laptops or PDAs to the printer's own email address.  Using either method, the system automatically sends a reply message to the user with a secure release code that can be entered on the printer's keypad upon printing the documents. Additional security features include data encryption during file processing and transmission, as well as password protection, to ensure that sensitive documents can only be printed by the appropriate users.

"These new printers fill an essential need for all types of organizations who seamlessly want to integrate this technology into their existing network infrastructure," Ann Moser, senior vice president, printing solutions division at Ricoh Americas, said in a statement.


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Accessory Review: Motorola H9 Bluetooth Headset

The "Must Have" Bluetooth Headset

You know when you see a piece of gadgetry that just makes you say ”I have to get me one of them” – Well that’s what happened when I saw the Motorola H9 MiniBlue. After receiving the H9 in its big packaging, I have been in awe of the size of this Bluetooth Headset. 

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FlipSide Update - Auto-Scrobbling Support Added

I just received an update on my favorite 3rd party BlackBerry Music Player called FlipSide...

BlackBerry users can now get auto-scrobbling support with FlipSide, which means that when a tune is listened to, the name of the song is sent to and added to the listener's profile. FlipSide users may enable scrobbling of the music they play to get better recommendations and share recently played music with friends via blogs, MySpace or as forum signatures.

If you're not familiar with the term "scrobble" (I wasn't at first) you can check it out at Urban Dictionary - it seems invented the term for their purposes... though there apparently are other uses of the word too - Definition #4 is a little bit umm... well... yeah, I'll let you visit the link and read for yourself.

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Staying True to Old Blue: Jessica Simpson and the 8700

We haven't done a CrackBerry Sighting post yet in 2008, so I figured it was about time to do one (good content for a Friday!), and that said, it would only make sense to kick off the new year with my CrackBerry Sighting Favorite, Jessica Simpson.

You gotta respect Jessica when it comes to her choice of BlackBerry - though she can probably get her hands on any new smartphone device of her choice free of charge, she is STILL opting to stick with her trusty 'ole BlackBerry 8700. This photo was taken earlier this week in Los Angeles.

In 2007 I called the BlackBerry 7290 Old Blue. I think in 2008 I'm going to pass that title on to the 8700 - it's time to upgrade. Though to be fair, even though the 8700 feels like a tank compared to my Curve, thinking back to the pre-Curve days I really, really loved my 8700 - it was my do everything savior. I can't really fault Jessica for taking her time upgrade (though I'm not sure I could get by without a Media Card anymore).

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Coming Soon: Transfer Funds From Your BlackBerry With Obopay

Have you ever wanted transfer funds with your BlackBerry? In the coming weeks you will be able to thanks to Obopay.

Obopay is a service that lets you purchase, pay and transfer money through any mobile device. They have recently announced that a custom application for the BlackBerry will be available on their site ( for U.S. users later this month.

Getting started on Obopay looks fairly straightforward. Simply add money to your account, and then use the service to transfer the money where you need it to go. There is a small $0.10 per transaction fee. New accounts are also given $10 (following your first transaction).

We'll keep an eye on this one and let you know when the new app is available.

[ Source ]

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Driving While Texting a BAD Idea - Especially in Boston

The Joint Committee on Transportation in Boston has approved a bill that bans the use of using a handheld device while driving. The Massachusetts House of Representatives will vote on the bill soon.

Good for them I say. Driving while texting is one dangerous move. As good and adept as I know we all think we are... Fact remains it is a hazard and distracts us from what is most important: Maintaining awareness and control of our vehicles!

Drivers will be fined $100 if they are caught using a device while driving. Fines go up each time they are caught. $250 for the second offence, and $500 for the third!

This trend on banning the use of handheld devices while driving is not going to stop. Look for a ban in your area in the near future :)

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SlingPlayer Coming to BlackBerry

SlingMedia announced a few days ago at CES 2008 (that’s the Consumer Electronics Show), that SlingPlayer Mobile is coming soon to the BlackBerry. And now it looks like they are gearing up for a beta program for the BlackBerry.

SlingMedia has a whole line of products now, but basically, they give you the ability to watch and control your home TV from an Internet computer or mobile device. So far, BlackBerry has been left out of that lineup, but that’s about to change in 2008.

To sign up for the beta program, visit here. Or to find out more about SlingMedia, visit their homepage and watch some of the movies. They’re very entertaining!

## This Article Was Originally Published on

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CrackBerry Tip: Use Your BlackBerry as a Flashlight!

This might not be an "advanced" BlackBerry tip, but it is a way of life for those of us with an "advanced" case of CrackBerry Addiction...

When I wake up in the middle of the night to go to the fridge, bathroom or computer I no longer am turning on the lights and going blind or leaving them off and walking into walls and furniture thanks to my BlackBerry - it makes a Great Flashlight!

While I sleep my BlackBerry is never more than an arm's length away. When I wake up and get out of bed, I instinctually reach for it, hit the keyboad to fire up the display, and hold it away from my body bright side out as I get out of bed and take care of business. The BlackBerry display and keyboard throw more than enough light to allow one to find their way in a dark room, but not so much as to cause the eyes to go into that painful lights-on pupil shrinking mode. It's brilliant!

While this isn't a highly published BlackBerry tip, I don't think I'm alone here! According to a recent poll, 43% of respondents use their BlackBerry everyday in the bedroom, with another 20% using it in the bedroom often. I'm sure most of these users have discovered the joys of the BlackBerry Flashlight. It also works great for finding the key hole when you come home late at night and your house lights are off! Give the BlackBerry Flashlight a won't be disappointed!

Looking for some more tips today? Why not check out this Handy BlackBerry Keyboard Shortcut cheat sheet that was posted in the Tips, How-To & FAQ forum!

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RIM To Arrive in China Before End of Q1 2008

As I reported the other day, rumor had it that RIM was going to hit mainland China somewhat soon. A report today from the Shanghai Daily seems to confirm this.

I'm not going to mince words here, this is what the paper had to say:

"BlackBerry phones will be available on the Chinese mainland for the first time by the end of first quarter, said the country's major distributor China Mobile yesterday, which halted talks with Apple to introduce iPhone into China.
The first model offered to Chinese customers will be BlackBerry 8700 and it will be available for business use, but not to personal users, according to an official at China Mobile's Shanghai branch data service division."

Shanghai Mobile is reportedly going to charge 598 yuan/mth ($54 USD) for BlackBerry services, which would include e-mail, internet and phone.

[ Source ]

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Hands Up! Now Give Me Your BlackBerry!

Joseph Mallia of newsday reported yesterday that 3 men are facing criminal charges after they used a 12-gauge shotgun to rob a man of his BlackBerry!..... and his wallet. (Ok, Ok, it wasn't all about the BlackBerry!)

Apparently the 3 men approached the victim late monday night, held him up with a shotgun, and then stole the Berry and his wallet. They quickly sped off in a silver BMW.

This raises the question: What would you be more upset about... Having your wallet stolen or your BlackBerry stolen? :)

Note to self, watch out for silver BMW's.

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