BlackBerry News and Reviews

From the Forums: SpeedNotes open beta, site for streaming video on PlayBook, where's 4G?

Some lucky Canadians were able to pick up a brand spanking new BlackBerry Bold 9900 today from Rogers. Official release date for that device is actually tomorrow, with the Torch 9810 following closely behind on Friday. Super exciting, and you know the blogs will be full of new device goodness over the next few days. While you wait, you can check out the latest news and rumors about these devices in the blogs, and then head on over to the CrackBerry forums and see what's up with your fellow CrackBerry addicts. Below is a sample of some interesting threads you won't want to miss.

Found an interesting article you want to share with CrackBerry Nation? Have a burning question about that feature you just can't figure out? There is ALWAYS more happening just a click away in the forums. You can always head over and join in the conversation, search for answers, or lend your expertise to other members of our community. If you aren't already, take a moment to get registered in the CrackBerry forums today!

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BlackBerry Bold 9900 Unboxing Video!

First Unboxing Video of a Commercially-Purchased BlackBerry Bold 9900!

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

W00t!!!! Here it is CrackBerry Nation, the first unboxing of a commercially-purchased BlackBerry Bold 9900. While it's looking like tomorrow is the official Rogers launch of the new touchscreen Bold, some stores already have been selling their stock and I managed to pick up four units from a local store in Winnipeg. When we caught wind that Bolds were to be had early, we started calling every store we could. Most were either not selling yet or had already sold out (and some stores had waiting lists - go RIMPIRE!), so when I found a store with inventory I went into a CrackBerry craze. There was some dangerous driving involved to get to the store, but I made it I got the Bolds, and I rushed home to record up this frantic unboxing.

This is one cut, no excuses as I dive into the box for the first time and fire up the Bold (which it seems of the four units I bought, this one was the one they played with in the store as device had already been turned on at least once from what I can tell - Setup Wizard didn't appear immediately). Watch the video above as I dig through the accessories that come in the box, fire it up, and even compare it quickly to some other phones including the Bold 9780, original Bold 9000 and Apple iPhone 4. I gotta go spend some time now playing with my new Bold, but you're going to want to keep it locked to CrackBerry. The crazyiness on CrackBerry is only going to ramp up from here. Enjoy the show!!

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Official BlackBerry Bold 9900 and Torch 9810 release dates confirmed at Rogers

While some people have been able to pick up a BlackBerry Bold 9900 from Rogers today, others have been told that while the devices are in stock, they are not available to sell yet. Rogers has just confirmed via Twitter that the official date is August 10th for the Bold 9900 and August 12 for the Torch 9810. That's right, you can get your shiny new Bold tomorrow on Rogers! So, who's getting one?!

Source: Twitter

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Rogers BlackBerry Bold 9900 already on sale at some locations

* Update from Kevin: I'm IN LOVE WITH THIS PHONE!!!!!!!! THANKS ROGERS!!!! *

Well it looks like the chaos has officially begun. Some forums members are reporting that they have tracked down the BlackBerry Bold 9900 at various Rogers locations. Not all stores have the device available, as the ones we contacted ranged from "We have them but can't sell until Thursday" to "Sorry but we don't have them in stock yet". It seems the wires may be a bit crossed as to just when the device is supposed to go on sale. Kevin actually tracked down a store with some stock and subsequently bought out all of the remaining devices.

So what's your story? Have you been able to locate a Bold 9900 to call your own? Drop a comment letting us know if you tried your luck, then hit the forums for more.

Discuss more in the forums

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New pictures of the BlackBerry Curve 9360 appear in the forums, confirm NFC

Forums member danny28 has gotten his hands on an unreleased BlackBerry Curve 9360 and posted up a bunch of pictures in the forums. We're happy to see that the new Curve is equipped with NFC which we've only seen on the Bold 9900 so far. Check out the rest of the pics after the break for some comparison shots with a Bold 9700, and let us know in the comments or the forums if you plan on picking up this device once it's announced and available.

Discuss in the forums

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Review: BatteryPlus for BlackBerry smartphones - promotional pricing available!


Battery life; it’s the power users kryptonite. The sense of panic grows as you see the battery meter slowly drain before your very eyes. It can’t always be helped, as many factors come into play. Blame it on a faulty app, leaked OS or too many youtube videos accessed. You can also point your finger (the index, not the middle) at an application not properly closed or too many charges from a rapid charger. As Joseph mentioned a few months earlier, you have plenty of charging options to choose from. There are times when you find yourself far away from any type of charger (or outlet) and without a spare battery to swap with. You don’t necessarily want to turn off the radio to optimize power, as you need to get a few things done asap.

Having a battery monitoring app like BatteryPlus may be just what the battery doctor ordered. The application consistently monitors your battery level, provides estimated battery life and collects a log of your battery level over a period of time. It even starts to shut down processes based on battery level, low signal or even when your BlackBerry is idle. Let’s see how BatteryPlus handles a battery of tests.

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Clingo universal car phone mount for BlackBerry Everything, works with your phone - Leave a comment to win one!

One lucky reader will win this Clingo universal mount! Read on for details. 

[ youtube link for mobile viewing ]

The Clingo universal car phone mount is one of those products that does what it says "on the tin." I admit, when I saw the Clingo products in the CrackBerry Store, I was skeptical. My personal Torch 9800 is a fairly heavy device. There was no way that sticky green goop was going to hold my phone. Oh, how wrong I was.

In some ways, this Clingo mount is like many others. The suction cup strongly, and I mean strongly, holds the mount to a windshield. Included is a puck that can be mounted to the dash if you prefer that mounting option. There is an arm that can be maneuvered and locked into several positions. It is there that the similarities end.

Attached at the end of the arm is what I call the "sticky pad." Once your smartphone is attached to this pad, it's not going anywhere. The stickiness was even strong enough to hold my BlackBerry PlayBook, considerably heavier than any smartphone. The car phone mount is not intended for that amount of weight, so I don't recommend you try it. The pad attaches to the arm via a ball joint, giving the mount a huge degree of freedom when positioning your phone "just right."

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Updated: Win a BlackBerry 7 Smartphone and more in the first ever CrackBerry GooseChase! It's a BlackBerry Photo Adventure!!

* August 15th Update: OK folks, our first CrackBery GooseChase is done and what an event it was. Stay tuned to CrackBerry as we post the winners and best photos! *

* August 9th Update: OK GooseChasers, Day 1 is off to a pretty awesome start and we have a lot of users competing fairly for their chance to win in the CrackBerry GooseChase.  We've got a couple updates here from the GooseChase team, so just wanted to get theme out for everybody to read:

  •  For anybody who was experiencing an uncaught exception has been fixed and all users should download the latest build at
  • A reminder that all scores on the leaderboard are subject to review. People who cheat will NOT win this event, regardless of how it looks on the leaderboard at any given time.
  • Taking pictures of a computer screen is NOT allowed unless the mission explicitly calls for it (e.g. take a photo of their YouTube video, Poem Comment, etc.). Anyone found submitting an invalid photo (e.g. a picture of Jim Balsillie from the internet for J Baller!) will have their entire account deleted along with all of their photos. And we will actually do it.
  • Note that all photos must be taken from within the GooseChase app on your BlackBerry Smartphone. For photos that require you to take a photo of your BlackBerry then, you can either: get creative with a mirror, put a friend's BlackBerry into the photo (PlayBooks count as BBs), or in an absolute worst-case scenario you could make up a cardboard representation of your BB (make it pretty!) that we'll allow to pass for your BlackBerry.

See original contest post and details below.  Good luck!!

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Give your mind a workout with Pyramix for the BlackBerry PlayBook


I'm a big fan of word games and while I may struggle at times (read: want to rip my hair out) I'm always on the lookout for something challenging. Pyramix by HD Interactive is just the thing to stop my brain from turning into mush from all the hours spent in front of the TV. Similar to Boggle and Cryptoquote, it's a very entertaining word game that poses the question: can you crack the code and solve the Pyramix?

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Contest winners: MOTOROKR T505, stereo headphones, Preset Timer, themes, and unlock codes!

Here are the winners from last week's round of contests. If you won you will be receiving an email either directly from us or the retailer/developer directly in the next few days. If for some reason you don't receive an email within 7-14 days (be sure to check your spam/junk folder just in case, and verify your registered address associated with your CrackBerry account) you can email us at sitesupport(at) and we'll be sure to get you taken care of. Please be patient as some emails may take longer than others to arrive. Congrats to all the winners!

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Official BlackBerry Blog hacked - Group responds to official RIM statement on London riots

Earlier this morning the group TeaMp0isoN hacked their way into the official BlackBerry Blog. Just yesterday, authorities in London had asked RIM for help given the role BBM has played in the riots taking place. RIM put out an official statement in regard to BBM and the riots, to which the hackers had this to say:

Dear Rim;

You Will _NOT_ assist the UK Police because if u do innocent members of the public who were at the wrong place at the wrong time and owned a blackberry will get charged for no reason at all, the Police are looking to arrest as many people as possible to save themselves from embarrassment.... if you do assist the police by giving them chat logs, gps locations, customer information & access to peoples BlackBerryMessengers you will regret it, we have access to your database which includes your employees information; e.g - Addresses, Names, Phone Numbers etc. - now if u assist the police, we _WILL_ make this information public and pass it onto rioters.... do you really want a bunch of angry youths on your employees doorsteps? Think about it.... and don't think that the police will protect your employees, the police can't protect themselves let alone protect others..... if you make the wrong choice your database will be made public, save yourself the embarrassment and make the right choice. don't be a puppet..

p.s - we do not condone in innocent people being attacked in these riots nor do we condone in small businesses being looted, but we are all for the rioters that are engaging in attacks on the police and government.... and before anyone says "the blackberry employees are innocent" no they are not! They are the ones that would be assisting the police

The BlackBerry Blog looked to be back to normal for a few minutes, but now returns a 503 Service Temporarily Unavailable message, so we'll keep you posted as this goes on. One more image after the break. What do you think about the blog being hacked? Sound off in the comments!

Discuss more in the forums

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Sweet Floral Girly by BB-Freaks - Check it out and enter to win a free copy!

BB-Freaks has been on a bit of a vacation, but they are back and cranking out new themes for your BlackBerry! Today they wanted to share Sweet Floral Girly with you guys, and let me tell you it's everything the name promises. This isn't just your standard pink frilly theme, instead BB-Freaks has incorporated bright colors and funky floral wallpapers in this eye-catching creation. Purple highlights throughout as well as swirly purple fonts tie it all together and make it flow nicely. Your home screen features 8-9 customizable icons and tons of floral accents to make you smile.

You can get Sweet Floral Girly on sale right now for $3.99 (reg. $5.99) for your BlackBerry 85xx, 8900, 9000, 91xx, 93xx, 95xx, 96xx, and 9800. If you'd rather take a shot at winning a free copy, leave a comment below! BB-Freaks has given us 50 copies of Sweet Floral Girly for you guys so be sure to get entered. Contest ends Sunday at midnight. One entry per person please.

For more information/screenshots and to purchase

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Quick Tip: Find contacts even faster in your address book

We all know that we can start typing a person's name in our BlackBerry address book to locate a contact. What about when you have several people with the same first name, or at the very least the same first letter? You could type in their first name and then scroll to the correct contact. While that doesn't usually take too much time, there is an even quicker way. Simply type in the contacts initals separated by a space. Now you have an even smaller list to select from or perhaps the exact contact you're looking for (very few people I know have the initials AZ). That's it!

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Clarifying 4G vs FauxG

On the off chance you were on a lunar mission last week and missed the news, RIM announced some new BlackBerry smartphones and it would appear they have jumped into the pool with everyone else and have labeled them as "4G".  We've received some emails requesting CrackBerry to jump into this particular swimming pool and act as a lifeguard of common sense ... and I couldn't answer the call any faster. Keep reading and we'll find out what's really 4G and whats just FauxG when it comes to smartphones.

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BlackBerry vs iPhone vs Android – it’s Klout Klobberin’ time!

Klout is the standard of influence, as it itself suggests. If you don’t know about Klout, then Klout doesn’t know you.In a nutshell is a well-known one stop shop for measuring your online social influence. It “uses over 35 variables on Facebook and Twitter to measure True Reach, Amplification Probability and Network Score”.

Klout recently pitted iPhone and Android against each other in a no holds barred Klout showdown. They compared the average Klout scores of both iPhone and Android influencers. After the smoke cleared, iPhone came out on top with a 42.0 to 40.6 win. So where does BlackBerry come into play? Klout was later asked to throw BlackBerry into the mix. From the onslaught rose a new champion…BlackBerry (in typical RIMPIRE Strikes Back fashion) emerged with a Klout score of 43.6!! I guess the real movers and shakers are BlackBerry users- don’t doubt the Klout.

I guess you can thank influencers like Kevin with his Klout score of 64; the Force is strong with this one. Mine is only 34.5, hmm I guess I have some work to do…

Source: The Official Klout blog

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Virgin Mobile Canada pricing for the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and Torch 9810 emerges

Looking to score a better deal on the BlackBerry Bold 9900 or BlackBerry Torch 9810 by opting to buy one from Virgin Mobile? You may be in luck when it comes to the pricing over, that is -- when compared to Rogers. The verdict is still out on Virgins parent company, Bell. Here is what you'll be looking at if you opt to purchase from Virgin Mobile:

BlackBerry Bold 9900:

  • No-contract price: $599.99
  • 3-year contract/SuperTab: $169.99

BlackBerry Torch 9810:

  • No-contract price: $599.99
  • 3-year contract/SuperTab: $149.99 

More expensive for the no-contract terms but if you're going to be rolling a new 3-year contract, you'll get off $50 cheaper when grabbing the Torch 9810 and $70 cheaper if the Bold 9900 is more your bag. Oh right, Virgin Mobile also has their dummy units ready as well.

Source: Mobile Syrup via: CrackBerry Forums

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RIM has no plans at this time to bring Microsoft Silverlight support to the BlackBerry Platform. Should they?!

The current problem with no Microsoft Silverlight support on the BlackBerry PlayBook / QNX BB Platform...

And RIM's current plan to address that issue as relayed by the @blackberrydev twitter account today...

Some of you may be reading this post and scratching your head... What's Microsoft Silverlight? To use the official verbage from Microsoft, Microsoft Silverlight is a free web-browser plug-in that enables interactive media experiences, rich business applications and immersive mobile apps. While most computer web browsers/OS's support Silverlight, not a lot of mobile devices do (as you might guess, Windows Phone does).

This doesn't necessarily cause huge problems in the mobile world as companies that use Silverlight on the desktop find other ways to deliver their content be it through Flash or even HTML 5 but there are still some sites out there that are not targeting mobile devices. One in particular has become problematic for myself, Rai.TV - an Italian video site is one of my girlfriend's parents favorite sites and due to the lack of Silverlight on the BlackBerry PlayBook they're currently unable to view videos using it, rendering the device useless in their opinion (seriously, I even bought them a microHDMI cable so they could hook up the PlayBook to the tv to watch Rai big screen, only to experience the #silverlight #fail).

While this may be somewhat of a personal gripe for myself, I'm wondering how many other people have ran into this issue on their PlayBooks. As it stands right now, RIM advertises the PlayBook as supporting the FULL Internet, but as my real world story illustrates, without Silverlight support that's sort of not the case. With RIM openly shooting down the idea, but at the same time willing to accept feedback on the matter I'm lead to believe they could create a plugin if demand for it was high enough. So that said; have you run into any sites using Silverlight you wished worked on the PlayBook? Are there enough sites out there using it that it's a hindrance? Could RIM benefit from having it built into QNX, considering Windows Phone owns the market for it now and that QNX will be powering our future BlackBerry SuperPhones? Sound off in the comments!

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Riots in London fueled partly by messages sent via BlackBerry Messenger

A few short years ago, if a riot broke out somewhere in the world, you found out about it the next morning when your newspaper was delivered, or on the 6 o'clock news. Nowadays, news spreads at the click of a button, with millions of smartphones connected to Twitter and Facebook. Riots in Vancouver less than two months ago were seen almost instantly through pictures and videos as people used smartphones to record what they saw and upload to social networking. As a result, police were able to apprehend many people who were involved in the looting and destruction.

This weekend rioting again broke out, this time in London. Stemming from a peaceful protest over the shooting of a man named Mark Duggan, things quickly escalated and the gathering erupted into violence. As seen in Vancouver, the destruction and looting was spread across social media and in moments the whole world knew what was happening, including pictures of the people responsible.

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VEVO for the BlackBerry PlayBook now available!

We've been waiting for it since it was announced at BlackBerry World and now it has finally arrived. VEVO for the BlackBerry PlayBook is now filtering through BlackBerry App World. Some highlights of the app:

  • Free access to VEVO’s library of over 30,000 music videos
  • Watch exclusive interviews and performances only available on VEVO
  • 720p HD streaming, the highest quality picture of any tablet
  • TV-out feature
  • Multitask on the PlayBook™ while streaming videos from the VEVO app
  • Manage your VEVO playlists with PlayBook’s innovative swipe-down menu

Go ahead and search in through App World and be sure to drop some comments on how the app is working for you.

Download VEVO for the BlackBerry PlayBook

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A Quick look at 3D Rollercoaster Rush Jurassic 2 running on a BlackBerry Bold 9900

During Kevin's once over of the BlackBerry Torch 9860 at BB7 Fan Night last week, we caught a quick glimpse of a sweet game called 3D Rollercoaster Rush Jurassic 2. The game looked awesome and we can wait to check it out for ourselves. A tipster was kind enough to send in a quick video of the game running on the BlackBerry Bold 9900 so we could get another look and drool a bit more. There's not much too it, but if you're looking for a tease and yet another reason to pick up a new BlackBerry when they become available, this just might do the trick!

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