BlackBerry News and Reviews

Everything But The Missing Sync

Hey all you Mac CrackBerry addicts out there!  Now you too have everything and the Missing Sync !  Released today from MarkSpace, the Missing Sync gives you the supported ability to synchronize your CrackBerry with your Mac OS X computer.

The Missing Sync software effectively synchronizes your Mac Address Book, calendar entries in iCal, and if you are a Pearl user, you also have the ability to sync photos and music from iTunes...

If you have are a Mac user and a CrackBerry addict, then you should try it.  Price is 39.95 US for download.  The desktop software runs on G4 or G5 PowerPC and also has support for Intel Macs running Mac OS X 10.4.8 (Tiger) or higher.  It supports most BlackBerry devices as well.

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Thanks Steve! Apple's iPhone to boost BlackBerry sales

Look what just came in on the CrackBerry.com Bloomberg terminal...

"Hats off to Steve'' Jobs, Apple's leader, Research In Motion co-Chief Executive Officer Michael Lazaridis said in an interview yesterday at the CTIA Wireless conference in Orlando, Florida. "He made smartphones cool again. Now everyone wants one. He helped the entire industry."

"We complement each other really well," Lazaridis said. "We both focus on two entirely different markets. One is pure consumer and pure consumable. One is pure function and pure productivity.

Natalie Kerris, a spokeswoman for Apple, declined to comment.

My initial feeling when the iPhone was announced was that it might just turn out to be good news for RIM in the long run. I guess only time will tell... your thoughts?

Read the full story here.  

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Optimizing Battery Power on Your BlackBerry

There are a number of tricks to save battery life and adjustments you can make to your BlackBerry that will increase performance and put less stress on your battery.

Here are some easy tips: 

• The Auto On/Off feature is designed to program the device to automatically power off and power on. On the Home screen, click the Options application. Select Auto On/Off to select the time the device will turn off and on.

• When wireless coverage is not needed, “Turn Wireless Off” to avoid unnecessary attempts by the radio to find coverage.

• For Bluetooth enabled BlackBerry devices, “Turn Bluetooth Off”, if it is not in use.

• BlackBerry devices should be kept in their holsters when not in use because this will turn off the LCD screen.

•  Don't use the backlight. This isn’t always an option, but if you have a version of the device that allows you to avoid using the backlight, then avoid it when you can. Your backlight eats up a huge amount of battery life.

•  Recharge often. Unlike some mobile batteries you don’t need to fully discharge the battery packs frequently. Several partial discharges with frequent recharges are better for lithium-ion batteries than one total discharge.

• Use BlackBerry shortcuts to access common system features quickly.

There are some other things you can do to optimize battery power. For example, if you are using BlackBerry Desktop Software, disable the forwarding option of messages to the BlackBerry when it is cradled. This will avoid duplication of e-mails to both the desktop computer as well as the device, while you are working on the desktop computer. To do this go to your ‘Desktop Manager,’ click ‘Redirector Settings.’ Then select the ‘Disable e-mail redirection’ while your handheld is connected. Checkbox and click ‘OK.’ 

• Set the 'Wireless Email Reconciliation' option to 'Prompt' for deletions. This option allows you to delete e-mails locally to save space on the device without necessarily deleting the emails from the original mailbox. In the 'Messages' application, click the trackwheel and select 'Options' from the menu. In the 'Messages Options' screen, select 'Email Reconciliation' and change the 'Delete On' setting to 'Prompt.' Click 'Save.'

• For large messages, the 'More' and 'More All' features are available for up to 32KB of a message; however, these features should only be used when necessary. Disable the 'Auto More' function. In the 'Messages' application, click the trackwheel and select 'Options' from the menu. In the 'Messages Options' screen, click 'General Options' and change the 'Auto More' setting to 'No.'

• For BlackBerry devices running version 3.8 or 4.0 handheld software, disabling Content Protection and/or Content Compression will allow for improved system performance. However, using this option will eliminate additional security for stored data and will decrease file system space. From the handheld 'Home' screen,  click 'Options' and click 'Security' from the 'Options' screen. In the 'Security' screen, change the 'Content Protection' and the 'Content Compression' options to 'Disabled.'

 

 

 

 

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Pinger Expands Voice Messaging Service to Blackberry Users

San Jose-based Pinger, Inc. announced today that it is expanding its messaging service to millions of Blackberry users. Pinger, which provides text messaging for your voice, today released a mobile application to optimize the Pinger experience for Blackberry users. Pinger is also expanding general support for mobile phones on nearly every US mobile carrier. Pinger claims they can cover over 95 percent of US mobile subscribers.

According to Pinger, the application is an easy and fast way to message groups or individuals.

"With the Blackberry application, we've finally made it easy for Blackberry customers to message with their lungs when they can't use their thumbs," said Greg Woock, CEO of Pinger.

Pinger, which was started in 2005 by two former Palm executives, has grown rapidly since its beta launch in September 2006, increasing its user base by an average of 20 percent per week

"With this upgrade, getting your first Pinger voice message is as easy as receiving a text message," Woock said. "Pinger already is changing the way people communicate by bringing back the personality of voice to today's mobile messaging mix." People can receive their first Pinger message without having to sign up for the service.

After importing and adding contacts, Pinger members can send a message by simply saying the name of the person or group they want to message. Pinger members also can access, manage and even send and receive voice messages through a web interface.

Pinger's heaviest users according to the company are mobile professionals who rely on Pinger voice messaging to stay in touch while in the car, walking between meetings or otherwise on the go. The Pinger Blackberry application gives users one-click access to their last 10 Pinger messages and streamlines the notification and retrieval process. Blackberry customers will automatically get the Pinger Blackberry application when they sign up to Pinger at http://www.pinger.com/.

Pinger no longer requires new users to sign up for the Pinger service to begin receiving voice messages on their mobile phones. Instead, Pinger members can send Pinger voice messages to new users, directly to their mobile phone, even if the intended recipient is not a Pinger member. Recipients receive a text message prompting them to click and call a local phone number to instantly hear the Pinger voice message with no annoying prompts or lengthy greetings.

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Review: Ascendo Photos

Ascendo Photos is a nifty little application that lets you load photos from your PC to your BlackBerry using the same data cable that you probably already use for synchronization. The software has two parts: the photo viewer on the BlackBerry, and the Photos Desktop, which loads the pictures onto the device.

I downloaded the trial version, unzipped it, and installed it in a snap using the BlackBerry Desktop Manager. Then I launched the Ascendo Photos Desktop on my PC, browsed over to MyPictures, and uploaded some pictures to my BlackBerry. Very easy, very quick. And now pictures of my family were staring at me from my 7100. Very cool.

The Ascendo Photos Desktop was a breeze to use. It has some intuitive controls to pan and zoom your picture, allowing you to frame it just right for display on the device. It automatically detects the device type and uses an appropriate emulator for your screen size, so you can see what the picture will look like after you transfer it. This level of control is really usefull for getting the most from your BlackBerry screen size.

After you have uploaded your pictures, you use the Ascendo Photos on the BlackBerry to create galleries and or

ganize your photos. You can run through a slideshow of your images, selecting different types of transition effects and time intervals between pictures. The photo viewer also functions as a screen saver, automatically displaying a rotating display of photos after a specified time.

I was very pleased with this application. It was easy to install and intuitive to use. There is a User’s Manual that downloaded with the application, but I never needed to use it. The desktop portion of the application that lets me preview how the image will look on my device before loading is tremendously useful. I also like the fact that I can load the image directly over my sync cable. One minor nit is that the minimum time between slides in a slideshow is 4 seconds. I’d prefer an even shorter interval. Don’t really like to dawdle when I show off pictures.

I particularly like this application for when I travel. I alway take a few family pictures along with me when I’m away on business, but because most of my pictures are digital, I’m stuck with the few prints I had made for Christmas cards last year. Now I can just upload the most recent photos to a gallery and they are at my fingertips whenever I want to bore my seatmate on the airplane with pictures of my kids.

Ascendo Photos is a well put-together application that is an essential addition to any BlackBerry. It retails for $29.95 here.

## This Article Was Originally Published by AllBlackBerry.com  

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Complete Instant Messaging Solution for BlackBerry

When we are in front of a computer and quickly want to exchange a couple of messages with a friend, we all use instant messaging services such as ICQ, AOL, YAHOO!, MSN, etc.., but when we are away with our BlackBerry, we usually rely on email or text messaging. Well, why should we? What we all need is an Instant Messenger software for our BlackBerry devices. And wouldn’t it be nice if using the same IM software, we could get an Instant Messaging solution that connects to all services? We found it! IM+ Mobile Instant Messenger developed by Shape Services is a complete messaging solution that allows you to exchange instant messages within the most popular IM systems such as MSN, Yahoo!, AOL, ICQ, Google Talk and Jabber. And best of all, it works between mobile devices and PCs in real-time.

Installing the software is easy; WAP and BES versions are available. The first time you launch the software, it will run some tests with the server to properly setup the type of connection. About a minute after installation, we were able to exchange our first instant messages.

A single contact screen brings up all of your contacts from MSN, YAHOO!, ICQ, AOL and Gmail. These can be sorted by contact or grouped by service depending on your preferences. Offline contacts can also be viewed or hidden; you are in full control. A configuration option to automatically start IM+ is also available, insuring that you are always connected. You can pretty much do all the things you are already doing with your IM solutions on your PC. I particularly like the option to run IM+ in the background at all times: you are connected, you can use your BlackBerry with other applications and when an instant message comes in, it pops up on your screen!

In summary, IM+ has many options to choose from and a large set of functionalities, yet it remains very intuitive. All the features you need are right where you expect them to be.

IM+ sells for $49.95, one time fee, no ongoing subscription.

## This Article Was Originally Published by AllBlackBerry.com

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Conference Calling on Your BlackBerry

Geek Sugar brought this up and there is something about this site we just love. Is it all that girly pink or is it that wicked graphic we like so much? Whatever, it seems the girls at Geek Sugar know a bit about their BlackBerries.

Today, they described their joy at finding out you can do threeway conference calling with a BlackBerry. It is quite simple, although not quite as simple as they describe it.

To make a three way or conference call, click on the Phone icon.

  • Click the trackwheel and select ‘New Call.’
  • Highlight the desired contact, click the trackwheel, and select ‘Call.’
  • While the first contact is highlighted, click the trackwheel and select ‘Hold.’
  • Click the trackwheel and select New Call.
  • Select a second contact, click the trackwheel, and select ‘Call’ again.
  • After you are connected to the second call, click the trackwheel and select ‘Join.’ The screen should now show that you are on a conference call with the two recipients.

You can even add additional recipients to the conference by repeating the last three steps.

And while you on a call you can click the space bar which will bring up your recently called numbers and you can either click between the two calls or get them to join. Paris can now yak to Lindsay and Nikki at the same time and say absolutely nothing of consequence to both of them.

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BlackBerry 8800 Now Available at Rogers

For those Canucks out there (myself included) that were patiently waiting for the 8800 to be released in Canada... The wait is over. 

The 8800 is now available at Rogers. To check out the terms and pricing, click this link:
BlackBerry 8800 from Rogers Communications

Pricing Details:

$599.00 with a 2-year term
$649.99 with a 1-year term
$499.99 with 3-year term after rebates on
select Voice & Email packages.

Should I upgrade? Running the 8700 over here and that 8800 sure looks sweet! 

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FREE BlackBerry WallPaper Maker

CrackBerry.com is happy to announce version 1.0 (still in beta) of it's free BlackBerry Wallpaper Maker! It's easy to use - simply upload any .jpg or .png image off your harddrive (keep it to a megabyte or less), choose the berry you have, choose the file type you want the output image to be (I personally like the .png - you don't lose any image clarity), and then enter the email address of your BlackBerry! Once the image arrives in your BlackBerry email box, simply save it to your pictures folder and "Set as Homescreen Image". You can thank Tom, our resident genius, for setting this one up. We're working on some version 1.01 already that will make this even slicker (color palette picker, and we're thinking of adding of adding a public wallpaper gallery - when you create your wallpaper you will have the option to add your creation to the public folder to be shared with other CrackBerry.com visitors!). But you know us - we can never wait to get things launched. It'll only get better! Give it a Go! Let us know how you like it! You can find the WallPaper Generator under Tools in the main menu, or by clicking here. For now, only registered users have access to the wallpaper generator. Not a registered member yet? Click here to join the community!

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BlackBerry Job Board on the way!

CrackBerry.com & Jobcoin.com will soon be launching a job board for Blackberry professionals.  If your company is looking to hire Blackberry admins, developers, support staff, or sales/marketing staff in the BlackBerry space – we think the CrackBerry audience is an ideal place to search.  If you have immediate positions to fill, contact phartge@jobcoin.com about posting a job right away so you it can be listed for the launch of the new job board! We're aiming to go live for this Friday, so hurry!

In addition to everyone who visits this site, your job will also syndicate to other partner sites who are participating in the job board. Your job will be presented to 700,000 targeted visitors over the next 30 days (3 million pageviews!). 

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RIM and Gameloft Team Up With Game Offerings


Europe’s largest game provider for mobile phones announced today that it is getting in on the CrackBerry revolution.

Gameloft has announced that the first of a number of games for BlackBerry will be released. Asphalt Urban GT2, Lost, New York Nights, Midnight Pool, Block Breaker Deluxe and The Prince of Persia:The Two Thrones will be the first six games on offer with the promise of more to follow.

Games have been available on the BlackBerry for some time, with companies like Electronic Arts taking a lead in supplying gaming to RIM devices. Today, the market for games on mobiles is estimated to be more than $750 million annually.

The games will be priced from $5.99 to $7.99.

Developments in the operating platforms of RIM’s devices, especially the Pearl and the 8800, have made them much more versatile and compatible with a whole range of gaming platforms. The fact that BlackBerry usage has reached 8 million subscribers worldwide meant that Gameloft could no longer ignore the potential market.

According to Jeff McDowell, Vice President, Global Alliances, at RIM "Our robust, standards-based development platform has paved the way for leading developers such as Gameloft to provide complementary applications. We are extremely pleased that Gameloft is expanding their portfolio of mobile games to support the BlackBerry platform."

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Integrating Yahoo Mail with your BlackBerry

Yahoo! Mail is one of the most popular solutions for web based email. It’s easy to see why, it’s got a decent spam filter, lots of storage space, and it’s been around forever. But to get access to POP and forwarding, you need to upgrade to Yahoo Plus, currently about $20 a year.

Fortunately, there’s a way to get your Yahoo email on your BlackBerry without upgrading to Yahoo Plus. And if you’ve upgraded to BlackBerry Internet Service 2.0, it’s extremely easy to set up. Now you can get your Yahoo Mail sent directly to your BlackBerry from your free account.

Once you have upgraded to BIS 2.0, you can link to your free Yahoo Mail account either by using the BlackBerry device or by using the web page for your BIS. You can find a list of websites here for configuring your account directly from your PC.

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Idokorro's new Citrix Presentation Client is a Hit!


I just touched base with the marketing director over at Idokorro to see how the release of their highly anticipated Citrix Presenation Server Client is going. The early results are in and it looks like Idokorro is going to score another slam dunk! The product launched this morning and the application has already received a lot of downloads and a lot of purchases (the numbers impressed me - and I'm not easy to impress!). This is no surprise considering every application produced by the company turns out to be the category killer for that segment.

If you haven't seen the release yet, you can read it in full after the jump: 

Idokorro Launches the Citrix Presentation Server Client for BlackBerry

Ottawa, ON, March 26, 2007 - Idokorro Mobile Inc., the leading innovator in mobile access solutions and provider of award-winning applications for wireless handhelds, is pleased to announce today's launch of their Citrix Presentation Server™ Client for BlackBerry®. Idokorro's solution gives BlackBerry users the ability to access and use any Windows application that is deployed on the Citrix Presentation platform.

Citrix Presentation Server™ Client for BlackBerry is a hotly anticipated solution for BlackBerry and Citrix users, giving them the ability to run Citrix-published applications like the Microsoft Office Suite, SAP, PeopleSoft, Crystal Reports, Cognos management tools and their Desktop-even view the graphical windows and control the mouse and keyboard-directly from a BlackBerry smartphone. By delivering a secure and reliable way for mobile employees to access important corporate resources, Citrix Presentation Server™ Client for BlackBerry significantly extends the value of both the Citrix Presentation Server platform and the BlackBerry wireless solution by increasing employee efficiency and productivity.

"As a global company, providing services around-the-clock is imperative. One way to accomplish this is to provide our employees with access to a wide range of applications from BlackBerry smartphones. By delivering these capabilities in a secure, intuitive, and easy-to-deploy solution, Idokorro's new mobile Citrix client will quite simply change the landscape of productivity," says Bill Townsend, System Analyst from CH2M HILL a global leader in full-service engineering, consulting, construction and operations.

"The world's largest and leading businesses rely on BlackBerry and Citrix Server implementations to help maximize their resources. It was a logical step to marry these two powerful technologies by developing a robust and intuitive Citrix client for BlackBerry smartphones. Our research also strongly indicates that demand for this kind of solution is very high," says Rob Woodbridge, President and CEO of Idokorro Mobile, Inc.

"Idokorro's Citrix Presentation Server™ Client for BlackBerry represents a significant step forward for mobilizing Citrix customers. By combining the pervasive BlackBerry smartphone with Citrix Presentation Server for application delivery, Idokorro's solution provides Citrix users new freedom to access their mission critical applications beyond email," says Chris Fleck, Citrix Vice President of Strategic Alliances.

"Idokorro continues to expand the horizon for mobile productivity by enabling BlackBerry users to now access the wealth of enterprise applications available through Citrix Presentation Servers," said Jeff McDowell, Vice President, Global Alliances, Research In Motion.

Citrix Presentation Server™ Client for BlackBerry is part of the Idokorro suite of applications for wireless handhelds that give users secure access to networks, servers, desktops and other devices, allowing most computing tasks to be performed from almost anywhere. The Idokorro suite currently consists of Mobile Admin, Mobile SSH, Mobile Desktop and Mobile File Manager. Mobile Admin allows IT administrators to use their wireless handheld to manage network servers including Microsoft Windows, Active Directory, Exchange, SQL; Lotus Domino; Oracle; Citrix Presentation Server; BlackBerry Enterprise Servers and much more. Mobile SSH supports full VT100, 5250 and 3270 terminal emulation so users can access and manage a wide range of network devices including Unix, Linux, Novell Netware, AS/400 servers, IBM mainframes, routers and switches. Mobile Desktop is a Remote Desktop and VNC client that lets users access computers from their wireless handheld, even view the desktop and control the mouse and keyboard. Mobile File Manager, designed for BlackBerry smartphones, is a professional file manager for remote and local files and supports Windows File Sharing, WebDAV, FTP and SFTP connections.
Citrix Presentation Server™ Client for BlackBerry and all other Idokorro products are available for 30-day fully functional free trials from the Idokorro website: www.idokorro.com .

About Idokorro Mobile, Inc.
Idokorro was founded in 2001 and is now the leader in providing mobile access solutions. Idokorro's products allow users to monitor, maintain, and manage their networks, computers, and other network devices from practically anywhere - streamlining operations, decreasing costly network down-time, and accelerating service responses. The company is self-financed and serves a global customer base of over 2000 corporations. For more information, please visit www.idokorro.com , or call 1.613.789.1818.

The BlackBerry and RIM families of related marks, images and symbols are the exclusive properties and trademarks of Research In Motion Limited. RIM assumes no liability and makes no representation, warranty or guarantee in relation to third party products or services. Citrix® and Citrix Presentation Server™ are trademarks of Citrix Systems, Inc. and/or one or more of its subsidiaries, and may be registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and in other countries. All other trademarks and registered trademarks are property of their respective owners. 

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Texas Hold 'Em Kings 2 Multiplayer Tournament

Attention all crackberry gaming addicts. There is a new Texas Hold 'Em Kings 2 Multiplayer Tournament available for download. This claims to be the largest ever Blackberry Tournament.

There are some great prizes being offered including two trips to Orlando, Florida with a seat in bplay's LIVE tourny at WES2007.

Go to mobile.blackberry.com from your device to download the game.

Let the fun begin!

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Encrypting Files on the MicroSD Card

From some of the comments I’ve seen, there’s some confusion about encrypting files on the MicroSD Card of your Pearl or 8800. We discussed that it’s possible to encrypt the files on your MicroSD card so that if it should fall into enemy hands, all those late night pictures you took of your pals after a few too many Mai Tais will be protected.

The confusion seems to arise when it’s time to get the files off of the device. To transfer files from your MicroSD card to your computer, you will need to use the Media Manager in the RIM Desktop Manager.
Launching the Media Manager from the Desktop Manager

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How to Change Default Email Address when Composing a Message

I’ve got several email accounts all coming to my BlackBerry, for both personal and business accounts. I love being able to get all my emails in one place. It’s a great way to stay on top of the flow of incoming email.

The only problem I sometimes have is keeping straight which email account I want to use when sending out a message. Replying to a message you have already received is easy, since it automatically uses the correct account for a reply. But when you compose a new message, you have to pick the account from which you want to send. The BlackBerry uses one by default, usually the first account you set up on the device, or you can select a different one on the fly.

I had a hard time figuring out how to change the default email account. I started by looking in the menu options for the messages application. It seemed like a reasonable place to look. But no, it wasn’t there.

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Tips for Reducing Thumb Strain on your BlackBerry

There’s an article over at IndyStar.com that talks about 4 ways to reduce hand strain when typing on your BlackBerry. According to the article, as the number of BlackBerry users is rising, some are experiencing “BlackBerry thumb”…basically carpal tunnel and tendonitis.

To reduce discomfort and potential long-term damage, the article offers some advice:

  • Take frequent breaks (that means putting your BlackBerry down, not playing a game on it ;)
  • Write fewer and shorter messages - (I’ve found the AutoText feature of the BlackBerry very useful for this.)
  • Adopt a neutral grip: Use a grip that allows your wrists to remain upright and straight and refrain from slouching while using a BlackBerry. Place the BlackBerry on a briefcase or use a support in your lap to reduce strain. (Yes mom, no slouching)
  • Avoid thumb-typing: When possible, alternate typing between fingers. If your thumbs or hands hurt, pay attention and cut back the typing. If the pain worsens, especially if it’s hard to do other things with your hands or if you have numbness or tingling, see an orthopedic specialist. (Me: It hurts when I do this doctor; Doctor: stop doing that)

Check out the full article here.

## This Article Was Originally Published by AllBlackBerry.com  

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Trade In

So you’re holding your old 7100, looking with envy at that guy in the airport lounge chair next to you thumbing away at his 8700. You’ve got device envy. If only you could trade. Well, he’s probably not gonna trade, but you can get a trade-in at the BlackBerry Trade Up program.

So here’s how it works. You go to the website and specify what kind of BlackBerry you have, and what you want to buy. They give you an instant quote on how much of a trade-in you could expect, and they’ll even email you a shipping label. Then go buy your new Berry, fax in the proof of purchase, mail in your old device, and wait for a check.

I haven’t used it myself, but it seems like a decent idea. And it looks like they’ve made it as painless as possible. You might be able to do better on Ebay, but with a trade in you save yourself the trouble of setting up an auction.

## This Article Was Originally Published by AllBlackBerry.com  

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DynoPlex eSpell Device Based Spellchecker for BlackBerry

After studying a few BlackBerry typing tips, I’m getting better at thumb typing, but I sometimes sacrifice accuracy for speed, a fact revealed whenever I send an email from my BlackBerry. But now I’ve found eSpell, a spell checker from DynoPlex. eSpell is part of the eOffice suite of productivity apps for BlackBerry, but it can be purchased separately if you just want to use it stand-alone. eSpell integrates with the BlackBerry email composer, allowing you to spell-check an email simply by selecting “Check Spelling” from the menu.

I installed eSpell very easily by downloading and running an executable file. It installed some desktop components to my PC before launching the RIM Desktop Manager to install the BlackBerry components.

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Could CrackBerry Addiction Actually Cost You Money?

If you are in the UK and you use a BlackBerry come tax time you might be in for a surprise. And not a good one according to some tax accountants. And if it works in the UK, the IRS and Revenue Canada will be looking closely at Britian’s new tax measures with anticipation.

BlackBerries allow you to be available 24/7 and make it easy for you to interact with your office from wherever and whenever. But for a lot of people that handiness has turned into an addiction and a lot of time spent on the BlackBerry is not necessarily work related.

And therein lies the rub.

The British Treasury Department (their version of the IRS) has said that employees using their BlackBerries for “significant private use” could face a significant tax bill.

The British Chancellor, Gordon Brown, stuck a little provision in his last Budget, and most Blackberry users are unaware they will be charged 20% of the Blackberry's original price, if they are found to be using their device for significant personal activity.

Of course, the tax people are vague about what constitutes “significant” personal use and even the most ardent CrackBerry addict is not likely to be spending eight hours playing BrickBat.

The rule originally applied to PCs and laptops, but as of April of last year Blackberrys were considered a computer rather than a cell phone. Personal use of a cell phone provided by your employer is still tax free.

In the UK, businesses could give their staff up to £2,500 worth of equipment as a “benefit” without any tax consequences for private use. But now anyone who is suspected of using that “benefit” for personal use could face a £500 tax bill.

Companies are now being encouraged to state in writing that company-supplied BlackBerries should be used solely for business use and employees should keep a log of their usage.

North America obviously has different tax regimes than the UK, but as a lot of people here do write off their BlackBerries as business expenses, we shouldn’t be surprised if the IRS or Revenue Canada start asking for some usage documentation in the future.

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