BlackBerry News and Reviews

BlackBerry Pearl 8110 Makes its way to the UK on Vodafone

Spain has it, Canada will have it in a few days, Italy will have it soon... And now it's coming to the UK. Looks like the US may very well be the last to get their hands on the 8110!

Vodafone is offering the 8110 from Free to £102.13. Plans are starting at £27, and you get 12 months of Vodafone Sat Nav service included.

Key Features of Vodafone Sat Nav:

  • Real-time GPS satellite navigation
  • Mapping and routing with voice and visual prompts
  • Location search – postcodes, streets, towns
  • Smart search – hotels, restaurants, cash points etc
  • Light and portable – use it on foot or in the car

Of course you get all the usual key features of the 8110 here as well. Buil-in GPS, 2MP camera with digital zoom and flash, multimedia player, email, internet... You get the picture.

[ Source ]

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Review: Replacement Battery Cover for BlackBerry Curve

When Your BlackBerry Takes a Beating, Think Replacement Parts!

Whether you baby your BlackBerry or abuse it there will likely come a time in your BlackBerry-ownership life where you will be in need of a replacement battery cover. Maybe you'll drop your BlackBerry on the ground and the battery cover will fly off and get stepped on, or you'll accidentally key it carrying it in your purse, or even if you have your device skinned and well-protected, your three year old son will pry your BlackBerry out of its protection and give it a good chew (this also happens with pets).

Or if you're like me, you'll just wear the darn battery cover out by using it too much. I've tried a lot of cases and holsters and skins with my Curve, but my favorite is still the Seidio Rubberized Holster for an Unskinned Curve [ store link | review link ]. It offers that "Quick Draw McGraw" type of access (and sleep mode functionality) that frequent berry users demand. But from all that pulling my Curve in and out of its holster and holding the device tight while I play Brick Breaker, my berry started to look beat. And while a beat-up looking BlackBerry means often means its time for an upgrade, in this case I wasn't quite ready - time for a Replacement Battery Cover !

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Fill Out a Survey, Get 50% Off Your Next Bplay Purchase

I received an email from Bplay yesterday letting me know they needed my help!
Here's what it said:

Dear Magmic Games/Bplay Customer:

We need your help! In an effort to deliver our customers better mobile entertainment products, we are interested in learning more about you and your preferences with respect to entertainment products for use on a BlackBerry or smartphone device. To do this, we have created a brief survey that will take about 10 minutes for you to complete.

As an expression of our thanks, anyone that completes this survey will receive a coupon code good for a 50% discount off your next purchase (any products) at Bplay.com. For obvious reasons, only one survey per person is permitted, and the coupon code must be used within seven (7) days of completing the survey. The coupon code will be presented to you upon completion of the survey. To participate in the survey and have your opinions heard, click on the link below:

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Rogers Rumors Coming True - BlackBerry Pearl 8110 and RED BlackBerry Curve 8310

It looks like two of our three recent Rogers Rumors are coming true. Rogers distributors, dealers and reps will be getting their hands on the new Rogers BlackBerry Pearl 8110 and RED Rogers BlackBerry Curve 8310 demos any day now if they haven't already.

Now we just have to wait for Rogers to release a WiFi-enabled BlackBerry. It just doesn't seem to be a priority for them! As for these beauties hitting the shelves, the 8110 could be out later this week/next and the red Curve a week later. Don't hold it against me if it's later! :-) Red Rogers 8310 image after the jump. 

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Mobile Firefox Coming in 2008

Mozilla has been working on a mobile version of their Firefox browser. And now they have released initial designs of Mobile Firefox’s user interface. The design considers two classes of devices: touch screen enabled devices and devices where screen navigation is performed with a keyboard or similar.

Looking at the non-touchscreen devices, there are some interesting notes about how the UI will work..

Because non-touch screen mobile devices do not have a pointer device, navigating web applications can be troublesome. To correct this, we use a virtual cursor, controlled by the directional pad.

On long presses of the directional pad, the browser should begin smooth scrolling. After a set amount of time, the page should gradually zoom out to give the user a view of the entire layout and facilitate faster scrolling. This also in effect will gradually accelerate the scrolling. When the long press ends, the browser should begin gradually zooming back in on the element that the cursor is positioned over.

Mozilla is aiming to reproduce the look and feel and functionality consistency with Firefox 3.

You can find out more about the design at this link. No word yet on whether we’ll get it on the BlackBerry, but if you want your voice heard, this might be a good place to start.

## This Article Was Originally Published on AllBlackBerry.com

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And CrackBerry.com's Most Downloaded Wallpaper is...

CrackBerry.com's free BlackBerry Wallpaper Maker Tool and User-Contributed BlackBerry Wallpaper Gallery have been big successes, with hundreds of wallpapers being generated each day and shared with our member community.  The Wallpaper gallery now has thousands of wallpapers in it with many more on the way (it's become a full-time job just to moderate and publish contributed wallpapers - the queue is huge!).

With all that selection available, I just couldn't help but laugh when I noticed what the Most Downloaded BlackBerry Wallpaper in the 320x240 (fits Curves and 8800s) category was... Plain Black! I guess sometimes the most simple things are best - a plain black background used with the standard BB Dimension Theme really does look quite nice!

Surf around the gallery though... you may find something else that catches your eye (the Babes, Sports, Scenery, Technology and Travel Destination categories definitely get a lot of action!).

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Stakes Raised in the Mobile Browser Game - Enter SkyFire

A couple weeks back I went off on a RANT about the web browser that ships standard on BlackBerrys, basically saying that it's nothing to brag about and that while there is a place for optimized web browsing (necessary for those who have limited data/speed) what the world now wants is full-web browsing on a smartphone. In that article I named the iPhone's Safari browser the best of class standard, with Opera Mini (which is available for use on the BlackBerry) as the next best thing.

Well, it looks like there may be a new KING in the mobile browser world - enter SkyFire. SkyFire is currently being developed for Windows Mobile and Symbian phones but *not* BlackBerrys, and will basically bring full Firefox web browsing to the palm of your hand... to quote the SkyFire team, "Our goal is that if Firefox can render it, then your Windows Mobile phone will render it the exact same way."

How will SkyFire accomplish this? By doing it all Server Side. Everything gets rendered on SkyFire's servers and pushed out to the phone. This takes care of the processor/speed limitations currently inherent to the smartphone category and provides support for higher end programming and plugins - Javascript, AJAX, FLASH, Quicktime, Windows Media... we're talking REAL web browsing here. Remember, even though the iPhone browser is the "new standard", it still has limitations like No Flash support. With SkyFire, there's no need to have a YouTube app - you'll be able to go to the real YouTube.com and use the site just as you would when visiting from a desktop computer (video demo after the jump). 

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BBGeeks BlackBerry Geek Contest

Our friends at BBGeeks have been pretty good to ole CrackBerry.com since they launched a few months back - letting their readers know whats going on at CrackBerry with our promotions and free galleries and forums and such. It's only fair that we return the favor and announce the promo they're running in which you can win yourself a New BlackBerry, a year of hosted email, and a free license for JiveTalk.

Getting in on your chance to win will take some effort, but could be a lot of fun too. They're looking for video entries (or text if you're too shy to be on camera... but that's boring, so do video) letting the world know why you're the biggest BlackBerry Geek. For all the details, click the image in this post.

I'm thinking I have a good shot of winning if I enter - leaving a solid career path in finance/biz dev/management to run a website dedicated to my BlackBerry Addiction must qualify me as a geek... or maybe an idiot (I'm pretty sure my girlfriend thinks I am both!). :-)

BBGeeks weren't planning on doing this as a Valentine's Day promotion, but since the season was here they've tied it in nicely. At CrackBerry.com we've been planning our Valentine's Giveaway for a while now, which we'll be announcing later this week. Like all our CrackBerry.com giveaways, it'll be wickedly w00t, guess my girlfriend is right, so get ready to Share Some CrackBerry.com Love this Valentine's Day!

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Zardari Still Carries the BlackBerry of Slain Benazir Bhutto

In an odd bit of news, we have learned that Asif Ali Zardari, husband of the late former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has retained her BlackBerry and keeps it with him. Zardiri is currently using the device to send messages to party leaders.

"I learnt that you were one of those fortunate persons with whom she often communicated through this instrument for furthering the cause for which she so valiantly stood, fought for and ultimately laid down her life,” Zardari recalls as saying in his first message to the party top brass immediately after Bhutto's assassination.

Bhutto, who was twice the prime minister of Pakistan, was also the first woman elected to office in a muslim state. She had her BlackBerry in her possession at the terrible time of her assassination.

[ Source

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EU Looking For More Ways to Cut Wireless Bills

If you live in the European Union, chances are you've already heard of the recent win the EU had against the International Roaming Department. The deal has called for outgoing rates to be capped at €0.49 about 66 cents, while incoming calls top out at €0.24 about 33 cents. That's awesome... But there's more. The EU is still looking for more ways to reduce its citizens wireless bills. (Good news if you're hooked on your Berry!)

It's commonplace for carriers around the glove to round up when billing calls. The EU says this could be costing us an average of 20% more per month. What a cash grab! The EU is planning to eliminate this practice. While they haven't taken any action yet, they are watching carriers closely and will decide what to do by the end of the year.

[ Source ]

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First Ten Things You Should Do With Your New BlackBerry

Earlier this week, new CrackBerry.com member and first time BlackBerry owner Posum posted in the forums the thread First Ten things I should do to my new BB.  Posum's question:

This is my first Blackberry, it is the Pearl from Verizon. I was wondering what are the first things I should do to it settings wise to make it run it's best.

The thread has received some good responses from CrackBerry members - addressing the first things you should do to your new BlackBerry settings wise and also the first things you should with your new BlackBerry in general (applications to install, accessories to buy, etc.). Some of the settings suggestions made in forums responses I have covered in-depth in two earlier-published BlackBerry 101 articles: The Basics of Setting Up Your BlackBerry and Basic BlackBerry Controls. Both are worth a quick read if you're a new BlackBerry owner. Below are some of the suggestions from the forum thread (my favorite is the first one!):

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It's All Going on at Bell: Four Free 8700e Models, and a New Red BlackBerry Pearl

Seems as though the folks over at Bell have been busy recently.

Bell is getting rid of their old 8703e stock by giving them away (sort of). For every BlackBerry 8130 or 8830 they sell, they are giving away four 8703e's. Not bad for the business that wants to keep in touch or equip a small sales force in a hurry.

Thankfully Bell is also offering help on the data plan side of things. We all know how expensive plans can be up here in Canada! Users that sign up under the promotion can get 1GB for $100, 30MB for $60, 8MB for $40, or 4MB for $25. It will also be another $20 for each additional user (I'm assuming over and above the new berry and the 4 others given to you... So over and above 5.)

Bell is also busy releasing a Red BlackBerry Pearl. Is this in reponse to Verizon's new pink Berry? I seriously doubt it... The red Pearl is now part of a lineup from Bell that includes navy blue and black.

[ Business on the go & MobileinCanada

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Adorn Your BlackBerry Pearl in Rich Red Porsche Leather

I reported the other day on ColorWare, a cool service that lets you send in your Berry for cool color customizations. I've got another goodie for you today. If you thought that was cool, this one takes it to the next level.

How about decking your Pearl out in rich Porsche red leather? Well, thanks to Goldstriker you can do just that. As you can see from the picture, almost the entire back is covered in the beautiful red leather, and just a bit of red leather accents are added to the front. To add some extra 'bling', accents in platinum are added to the Pearl as well.

I'm sure there's no coincidence that this one surfaces with Valentine's Day just around the corner. :)

If you want to pick one up for your sweetie this V-tines day... It will set you back a cool $1,600 USD.

[ Crave via BBGeeks

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Pink BlackBerry Pearl Coming To Verizon Wireless

Update: The Pink BlackBerry Pearl 8130 is now on Verizon's Website

As I had reported previously, a Pink BlackBerry Pearl was rumored to be making a debut in the near future. Rumor no more, the Pink 8130 will be hitting Verizon stores starting tomorrow. The proof is in this press release from RIM.

As the press release puts it:

"Perfect for the fashion-forward professional on-the-go, the BlackBerry Pearl 8130 in pink makes it easy to perform essential tasks away from the office, such as managing e-mail, and connecting instantly to the Internet, and it also lets customers take pictures, listen to music, watch videos, and much more."

All you fashion-forward Berry addicts better pick one up soon :) 

The Pink Pearl will be available for $199.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate (with a 2-year contract). A $100 credit towards the purchase of the device is available for customers who sign up for qualifying voice and data plans at time of purchase.

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GoogHelper and Tipper Now Available for BlackBerry!

Long time software developer iambic has finally entered the BlackBerry game with the release of GoogHelper and Tipper for BlackBerry. Iambic has been developing for pretty much every other smartphone platform to date, so its nice to see them finally giving us BlackBerry users some love.

GoogHelper is a snappy utility that helps quickly launch various Internet searches using mobile friendly sites such as Google, Yahoo!Finance, Amazon, Wikipedia and many more. It has an intuitive, space efficient and elegantly designed interface, packed with enough power to search 12 different categories.

Tipper is a split tip calculator which comes extremely handy when dining out by saving time and effort by calculating the total and displaying the actual tip amount. Until today available for Palm OS and Windows Mobile, and now also for BlackBerry.

Both apps ring in at $4.95, and are available for download (free trial available) at our ShopCrackBerry.com Software Store. I've downloaded GoogHelper and have been loving it - definite value proposition in terms of being a time saver. With GoogHelper, you simply open the app, type in your query, then click which source to select (Google, Wikipedia, Image search, etc.) and the results get displayed. It's FAST. You can accomplish the same thing using a web browser, but it takes so much longer in practice - open browser, go to google, wait for google to load, type in query, click search, wait for results to load. If your search isn't on your homepage and you want to search a specific part of a site (or even if it's bookmarked) you still have way more clicks and a lot more time wasted loading compared to GoogHelper. Give it a try - it's simple, but effective.

Look more iambic titles in our software store in the near future... next on the agenda is EzQuote, which is a simple and fast portfolio tracking application for your BlackBerry. Welcome to the Wonderful World of BlackBerry iambic!

GoogHelper - More Information & Download Trial/Buy >>
Tipper - More Information  & Download Trial/Buy >>

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Are you a Gadgict or Gadgetolic?

New York Times blogger John Tierny posted a Gadget Addiction story yesterday based on the Five Signs of Gadget Addiction, as developed by John O’Neill, director of addictions services for the Menninger Clinic.

According to O'Neill, the five signs are:

  1. You’d rather text than talk face-to-face.
  2. You can’t leave home without it. You can’t relax without constantly checking for email or messages; a cell phone ear piece becomes a permanent part of your wardrobe.
  3. Your family or friends ask you to stop, but you can’t. The Internet becomes a more powerful draw than spending time with family or friends or other favorite activities.
  4. You miss important life moments.
  5. You can’t stop even after it gets you in trouble, like being in a car accident while talking on the cell phone.

As Tierny, who often prefers texting over conversation and can't leave home without his Treo (booo!) says, does that make one an addict, gadgict or gadgetolic?

I think O'Neill's five signs are pretty solid but he's missing out on the key point - people who are truly addicted to their gadgets never ever think they have an actual problem (I always think the people who don't have a BlackBerry glued to their body have the problem - don't they know what they're missing!?!).

Another point O'Neill is missing is that gadget addictions don't just affect our waking hours these days... I just read a post over at PhoneDifferent.com yesterday about a study in Sweden and the United States that found using a cell phone just before bedtime interferes with sleep patterns - apparently the radiation from cell phone radios gets into your head and prevents you from getting into a deep sleep pattern.

I really liked Tierny's use of the words gadgict and gadgetolic in the NYT blogs - not as cool as CrackBerry but pretty good. I think I'm going to start using those terms on a regular basis (check out gadgict.com and gadgetolic.com ...haha!).

So what's the verdict? Are you a Gadgict? A Gadgetolic? A CrackBerry? Or one of those lucky unlucky enough to not have the addiction?! Keep in mind, if you seriously need to address your BlackBerry Addiction problem, check out CrackBerry.com's 13 Step Program (12 just isn't enough!).

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Hang On To Those Stocks!

RIM takes a beating in stock market turmoil

We all love our BlackBerrys for sure, but the maker of the little device needs a little more love after the company took a beating on stock markets amid some major turmoil on world markets.

Research in Motion trades on the Toronto Stock Market (TSX) and on Tuesday and Wednesday that market took everyone on a wild ride . RIM, by virtue of its dominance in the smartphone market, has become a bellwether stock and on Tuesday its shares dropped 11 percent on fears of a US recession. With other key tech stocks like Apple and Motorola taking a dive there are fears a global recession will slow up the tech, computer and smartphone market. Of course, there is no evidence for that but who needs empirical evidence to get in the way of speculation when it comes to market journalists.

The good news is that RIM remains a well-run and strong company. Despite the big push from Apple and its iPhone, RIM has maintained a strong market share and commands 39 percent of the world smartphone market. Fears are being voiced that an economic downturn will impact the consumer market for electronic devices although, again, that is speculation.

The reality is that RIM’s ups and downs are more a reflection of a general jitteriness in the markets as a whole. It will be interesting to see how the company positions itself if indeed the economy does go into recession. The company is aggressive and is diving into Asian markets – areas that may not suffer as much as the US.

It’s worth noting that RIM’s stock was trading at just over $50 a year ago, was up to $126 in October and closed at $88 on Wednesday. So a rough ride and it isn’t over yet. 

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Documents to Go for BlackBerry Screenshots!

DataViz posted this on their official blog today...

"For those of you who are patiently waiting for Documents To Go to be available for your BlackBerry, we thought we'd take a moment to give you a taste of what its going to look like."
I'm waiting, but not very patiently. See more screenshots. Thanks Josep for sending this in!

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New Features Coming to BlackBerry in 2008

RIM announced a series of updates for the BlackBerry platform that include enhanced messaging, new admin tools, and enhanced security.

Some of the more interesting improvements include:

Document Downloading and Editing - “Documents To Go” by DataViz will be integrated into the BlackBerry platform, enabling users to edit Microsoft Office Word, PowerPoint, and Excel files directly on the BlackBerry.

Remote Search for Messages - Users will be able to search for and retrieve email messages from their email server even if the message is no longer stored on their BlackBerry.

Free-Busy Calendar Lookup - Users on the go will be able to check the availability of colleagues before sending a meeting request.

HTML and Rich Text Email Rendering - Users will be able to view HTML and rich text email messages with original formatting preserved including font colors and styles, embedded images, hyperlinks, tables, bullets and other formatting.

These new BlackBerry platform enhancements are scheduled to be phased in to new software releases during the first half of 2008 and will be showcased at Lotusphere this week. You can see the original press release with the full set of features here. And for more information visit www.blackberry.com/go/serverupdate.

## This Article Was Originally Published on AllBlackBerry.com

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T-Mobile UK Launches GPS Navigation With TeleNav

T-Mobile announced today that it is the first operator in the UK to launch TeleNav GPS Navigator. TeleNav GPS Navigator is an award winning GPS satnav system for mobile phones. The service will be immediately available on a variety of BlackBerry smartphones on T-Mobile and includes GPS-enabled, turn-by-turn voice and on-screen driving directions, addresses and directions to business and community locations, as well as full-colour, 3D moving maps. Woohoo!

Key Features of TeleNav GPS Navigator: 

  • Unlimited access to full-colour 3D moving maps; voice and on-screen turn-by-turn driving directions throughout Europe.
  • Millions of business listings to quickly look up local businesses and services in easy to navigate categories.
  • Easy address entry through key pad, or preplanning on website.
  • Pedestrian mode for walking through city centre streets.
  • Available for download on the BlackBerry Curve, 8800, 8700, Pearl 8100 and 7130 smartphones.

You can pick up a copy for £49.99/year.

Telenav is also offering a free 30-day trial for all of you in the UK. For more visit the TeleNav site, or read the official press release.

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