BlackBerry News and Reviews

CrackBerry Reminder: What you may have missed this week


BlackBerry App Roundup for July 30, 2011

Welcome to this week's BlackBerry App Roundup! We have searched high and low and found some neat apps to share with you this week, so head on past the break to check them out! If you have an app you want to see featured in the roundup be sure to check the end of the post for information on submitting it to us.

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From the Forums: BlackBerry PlayBook used to record Soundgarden concert

[ youtube link for mobile viewing ]

Here is another awesome example of the BlackBerry PlayBook's video recording capabilities. CrackBerry member guyhockey took his PlayBook with him to a recent Soundgarden concert, and used it to record the first two songs of the concert! Not only does the video look great even under challenging lighting conditions, but the audio is pretty awesome as well. Don't be afraid to watch this one in 1080p and fullscreen, it looks terrific. Guyhockey previously posted a video taken with his PlayBook on a rollercoaster, which is also pretty cool. 

Discuss the Soundgarden video in the forums

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ShootnShare BlackBerry theme series brings quality themes along with a fun mini-app inside

Over the years we have seen tons and tons of BlackBerry themes come and go, many of them offering unique features like sliding docks, animations, and much more, and the folks at ShootnShare didn't want to feel left out of the fun. They have created a mini application, ShootnShare, which has been built into a number of themes in a series, and it is pretty neat.

The idea behind ShootnShare is to take a shot of what is on your screen, make some minor edits to the image, and share it directly to your Twitter or Facebook account. No more taking a screen shot, opening up your social application, navigating to the image, and uploading, instead it is all done in one quick and easy process. Some themes that include the application are Holiday PostcardStickers (this one has a custom CrackBerry template you can download too!) and many more which can all be found at their website

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BlackBerry Bold 9900 launching in India on August 8th?

All of us here at CrackBerry are anxiously awaiting a release date for the BlackBerry Bold 9900 in North America, but so far we're not hearing anything concrete. We've heard rumor that August 22nd will be the launch date in the UK, and now new word has it that India will be releasing it the second week of August, on the 8th. This will of course be the standard black version of the device, though the same source is reporting that a white version will follow in October.

With all the delays this BlackBerry has seen, it's nice to finally be seeing it get some release dates. My fingers are crossed now for some news for Canada and the US, as well as for those other as of yet unnanounced devices!

Source: iGyaan

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Virgin Mobile Canada offering the BlackBerry Pearl 9100 for $99 off contract

Virgin Mobile Canada is offering up a smokin' deal on the BlackBerry Pearl 3G 9100 right now. You can pick one up for just $99 off contract, which is awesome if you're in need of a new device, or maybe looking for an inexpensive yet feature packed back-to-school present. And since Virgin Mobile offers some great pre-paid options that include BlackBerry data, you don't have to worry about expensive data overages -- or jut unlock it and use it on any other GSM compatible carrier. You can check out the full details on the Virgin Mobile website.

Source: Mobilesyrup

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AT&T customers in the top 5% of data usage to face throttled speeds

If you're on an unlimited data plan on AT&T, and consider yourself a heavy data user, you may want to pay attention. Like other carriers, AT&T is going to begin throttling speeds once a certain threshold is reached. However, unlike other carriers, AT&T has decided instead of setting a fixed number as the limit, they will simply reduce speeds for customers falling into the top 5% of the heaviest data users. Users will still have unlimited data, and speeds will be restored at the start of the next billing cycle.

The amount of data usage of our top 5 percent of heaviest users varies from month to month, based on the usage of others and the ever-increasing demand for mobile broadband services.  To rank among the top 5 percent, you have to use an extraordinary amount of data in a single billing period.

There will be no changes for the vast majority of customers.  It's not how much time you spend using your device, it's what you do with it.  You can send or receive thousands of emails, surf thousands of Web pages and watch hours of streaming video every month and not be in the top 5 percent of data users.

Chances are, this change won't affect you, unless you use an extraordinary amount of data through streaming tons of video/music daily, streaming remote web camera apps, sending large data files, online gaming, or tethering. If you utilize wifi for these things, you aren't using your data plan, so therefore you won't be affected. The changes go into effect October 1, 2011. You can find full details at the source link below.


Source: AT&T via: TiPb

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BlackBerry theme roundup - Win a free copy of SFX by Global Torch Themes and BlackBerry Theme Park

Win one of 50 free copies of SFX by Global Torch Themes and BlackBerry Theme Park! Details below!

Hey everyone, welcome back to the BlackBerry Theme Roundup! If you have developed a theme you want to share or be featured in the contest, or if you just see a really good one out there somewhere, let us know so we can post it. Send an email to themeroundup[at]crackberry.com with screenshots, links, and whatever information you feel is important for consideration. And don't forget to keep your eye on the CrackBerry theme forums for all kinds of free and premium themes.

This week's contest is courtesy of Global Torch Themes and BlackBerry Theme Park, who have given us 50 copies of their new theme SFX to pass on to you guys! Keep reading for details.

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Weekly Accessory Roundup - Win a BlackBerry PlayBook accessory!

Contest: Win a BlackBerry PlayBook accessory of your choice! Keep reading for details.

Your BlackBerry PlayBook much like your phone should not be without some great accessories. Not to worry because we have you covered. We have some great BlackBerry PlayBook accessories available including cases, chargers, screen protectors and much more. Check out the best-selling BlackBerry Convertible Case or maybe the BlackBerry PlayBook Rapid Charger.

So what do you want? Maybe just a simple skin case or super-charged OtterBox? Or maybe a BlackBerry Rapid Charging Stand or just a spare travel charger? Check out our full line of goods and keep reading for your chance to win a BlackBerry PlayBook accessory of your choice!

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Russia looking into implementing the BlackBerry PlayBook and banning the iPad for government use

Last week RIM announced that the BlackBerry PlayBook was granted FIPS 140-2 certification. This makes the PlayBook the first tablet to be approved for use by US federal government employees, which is a pretty big thing. It seems this is opening up doors in other places as well, as Russia is now looking into banning Apple's iPad for government use, and looking into the PlayBook as a more secure alternative.

The reports suggest the government is still deciding whether it will use devices from RIM, tablets running Google Inc.’s Android software or a new device created by a Russian agency using “a variety of security systems.” The implementation of a more secure system will help “speed up workflow among agencies” according to the report.

If true, the backing of the Russian government could prove to be another victory for RIM as it seeks to use its reputation of prioritizing security technology to position the BlackBerry PlayBook as the tablet of choice for businesses and governments, the way it originally marketed its BlackBerry smartphones.

Indeed, it was RIM’s security technology which helped the company’s BlackBerry devices to become the gold standard of mobile devices for government agencies around the world, including the Canadian government and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation.

If this goes through, it could go a long way towards regaining some of that market share that Research in Motion has lost in recent months, as Russia would possibly be the first of many governments to adopt the tablet for use. BlackBerry has long been known for putting security at the top of the priority list, and the PlayBook has been no exception to this standard which may prove to be a big advantage.

Discuss more in the forums

Source: RBK Daily via Financial Post

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SmrtGuard Updated to Version 5.25 - Brings new features and bug fixes

It's been a while since we've seen a major update to the popular mobile security application. The folks over at SmrtGuard recently rolled out version 5.25 of their free and pro version for BlackBerry users. This new version comes with GUI enhancements, bug fixes, and some new features as well. If you're still deciding between SmrtGuard and BlackBerry Protect as a mobile backup and security solution then check out this post on the differences between the two.

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The New York Times tackles BlackBerry versus iPhone

Oh my stars, folks; someone got it right! The debate over which smartphone is better, BlackBerry or iPhone, has raged since the dawn of...well, the iPhone. In this video from The New York Times, assistant technology editor Sam Grobart, and Dealbreak editor Andrew Ross Sorkin finally have it out. Mano a mano, suits versus khakis, iPhone vs. BlackBerry.

The two swap smartphones (and their clothes transform, apparently to great surprise), and hilarity ensues. Well, no but the pair do come to a bit of a realization. The phones both have nice features and are great pieces of technology, but the borrowed devices just "weren't right for" them.

At CrackBerry.com, we're firm believers that there is no one smartphone perfect for each and every person. Kevin's Hierarchy of Smartphone Needs explains this in much greater detail (it's classic Kevin, but it's a good read).  The video up there gives a great demonstration of the hierarchy in action. The best smartphone is the one that best delivers what the user wants to do. Communication and security are the BlackBerry's forté, media and entertainment are the iPhone's.

In the end, the question isn't "What's the best smartphone?"  It's "What's the best smartphone for me?"

Thanks to Jake-44 

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Slice and dice your way to victory with Ninja Fruit Bash for BlackBerry

Want the perfect way to relieve stress on your BlackBerry (short of throwing it against the wall)? Check out Ninja Fruit Bash for BlackBerry. Yes, it looks just like that other fruit slicing game, and it plays pretty much the same way. Loads of fruit is tossed in your direction and you'll need to slice it up - that's it. The gameplay is simple and pretty smooth, however on a trackpad device it's not the easiest thing to do as you have to move the crosshairs around then click to slice. The play on the Torch is obviously much better and way easier, but it's still fun on all devices regardless. Slice the fruit, avoid the bombs, score points ... done and done. Check out more in the CrackBerry App Store.

More information/download of Ninja Fruit Bash

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Front Runner for the BlackBerry PlayBook

[ youtube link for mobile viewing ]

Front Runner! That bastion of good and righteousness in the galaxy! With guns blazing, this indefatigable hero blasts into the galaxy striving to put right what once went wrong, and hoping each time that his next leap, will be the leap home. Okay, no. Front Runner is simply a dude in a spaceship. One day, Red Ivan - that scourge of the galaxy - shows up, and our hero decides that enough is enough.

There are many enemies to defeat in Front Runner, and they come at you in waves. Some shoot missiles, some shoot energy rings, other crawl along the walls of the screen AND shoot energy rings. In first few missions, this really isn't a big problem. Later missions and the game's endless mode will certainly challenge even the most dexterous of players. As you play through the game's bosses - Red Ivan, the Electric Twins, and Dizzy and Daisy - you'll get their weapons. By the time you reach endless mode, you'll have a main gun that fires in 4 directions, missiles that home in on enemies, an electric blast for those that get too close, and the ferocious loyalty of Daisy.

All these weapons are put to the test in Endless Mode. There, you play until you die. And you will die many, many times. Each time I play though, I make it a little further. Of course, the game makes it a little harder too. The last time I died, I think I had three Red Ivans and two Electric Twins on the screen, I had just defeated a Dizzy, and there was all manner of insanity on my screen.

If you're in the mood for a fun shoot-em-up game set in space, I heartily recommend Front Runner. More screenshots after the break.

Front Runner for the BlackBerry PlayBook at BlackBerry App World 

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From the Forums: Ketchup incident, CrunchSMS updated, and Ice Cream Sandwich theories

BBM users were happy to get the official update to v6.0, which brought with it a slew of apps and games that are integrated tightly with the popular messaging application. Does that mean release dates for new devices will be the next thing announced? I hope so. Until then, 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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Bed-Buzz: The talking alarm clock for your BlackBerry PlayBook

Nothing is more annoying when you first wake up than the "beeping" of your alarm going off. A lot of us use our BlackBerry devices as an alarm clock and have had the luxury of different apps to choose from. Now it seems more and more people are starting to use their BlackBerry PlayBook for that same use. If you're one of them, you may want to check out the application called Bed-Buzz by Comantis LLC. The calm soothing music and melodic voice saying "Good Morning" and your name is a much nicer way of waking up. With the Bed-Buzz application, your personal greeting is followed by the time and current weather conditions and then the day's weather forecast. Keep reading for both the free and paid versions features.

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BlackBerry Torch 9850 & 9860 show the FCC their internals

As we inch closer to release of some new BlackBerry smartphones, the FCC is laying their hands all over them as always to be sure they meet approval. This time around the BlackBerry Torch 9850 / 9860 are under the microscope and while no secrets are held within the documents, they do lend some confirmation to which carriers will be picking the device up. As it stands right now -- the different models listed at the FCC have the frquencies onboard for CDMA (Sprint, Verizon) as well as GSM (AT&T, Rogers) and GSM AWS (WIND, T-Mobile) so as expected, all major carriers are covered. Now, if we could just get them on store shelves the BlackBerry World would be a happier place.

Source: FCC; via: Engadget

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Smartphone Experts Pocket Pouch for the BlackBerry Torch 9800

[ youtube link for mobile viewing ]

I have not been exactly kind to my BlackBerry holsters. Over the short few years I've owned a BlackBerry, I've owned many; I even reviewed an excellent case and holster combo here on CrackBerry. And yet through one way or another, I've destroyed them all. "Normal Wear and Tear" has never met the likes of me. I've slammed holsters in car doors, rammed them into counter tops, dropped them from great height, and in general, abused the heck out of them. All of them protected my phone quite well, but no holster can withstand forever the barrage of abuse I can throw at it.

Not wanting to buy yet another holster, I began looking for other options. Then I found the Smartphone Experts Pocket Pouch for BlackBerry Torch 9800. It's a hard leather case designed to protect your ‘Berry from the dangers of life in a pocket or purse. Carrying my smartphone in my pocket means I'm not going to slam it into door or get my phone caught uncomfortably in a car's seat belt. Protected inside its case, I don't have to worry about keys, change, and whatever else is in my pockets destroying my Torch's screen.

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Get your social on with these BBM 6 enabled apps and games

So you installed BlackBerry Messenger 6 but are wondering what all the fuss is about? Well BBM 6 brings loads of social goodness to the great messenger that you already know and love. There are plenty of apps on the way that will take full advantage of the BBM Social Platform, and there are already some that are ready to roll. So if you're looking to get more social from your social, keep reading to see what apps you can use to get the most out of BBM.

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Facebook for BlackBerry PlayBook updated to v2.0.0.986

Just two days ago Facebook got a big update for both phones and the BlackBerry PlayBook. Today there is another small update for the PlayBook app to v2.0.0.986. No word of what's changed or is new in this version, but it's safe to assume that it's just small tweaks and bug fixes. You should be prompted to install the update (if you haven't already) through BlackBerry App World. You can check out more on the release of Facebook 2.0 in our original post.

More information/download of Facebook for BlackBerry PlayBook

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