BlackBerry News and Reviews

Tweet To Win: A new BlackBerry 7 device and a trip to Toronto for you and two friends!

RIM has now kicked off their #BB7FanNight contest on Twitter and up for grabs is a brand new BlackBerry 7 device plus, a trip to Toronto for you and two friends to hang out with plenty of other BlackBerry fans (if you're not in the TO area, you'll have to get there on your own). If you look around Twitter, plenty of folks have already entered but your chances are just as good as theirs so  -- get tweeting. If you're looking for the full contest details, they can be found via the source link below.

Full contest details

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Check out Insight by AG Designs & Graphics and enter to win - 40 copies up for grabs!

Insight is the latest theme from AG Designs & Graphics, and it's amazing! Clean and clear, Insight is super wallpaper friendly with a very functional home screen.

The hidden vertical dock on the left of your screen is brilliantly done with text instead of icons. Also included is revolutionary Icon Hinting, picture pop-ups descriptive of each application which appear next to highlighted text in both the App List and the Smart Banner. A simple press of the Back Button allows the user to hide the App List from the Home Screen and/or disable Icon Hinting (by deselecting the check box). As with all themes by AG Designs, applications in the Smart Banner  (Clock, Manage Connections, Messages and Calendar) are selectable. With beautiful OS7 icons and refreshing background images, Insight is as graphically rich as it is user-friendly.

Insight is on sale right now for $2.99 (reg. $4.99) and compatible with BlackBerry 8330/50i, 85xx, 89xx, 93xx, 95xx, 9630/50, 97xx, and 9800. AG Designs & Graphics sent us 40 copies of this brilliant new theme to pass on to you guys, so leave a comment below if you want to enter to win one! Regular contest rules apply.

For more details/screenshots and to purchase Insight

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Control your iTunes library from your BlackBerry with Tiggit Controller for iTunes

Back in April, Adam showed us Tiggit Controller for your Sonos music system which allowed you to control your Sonos music system from your BlackBerry device. Now the team at Tiggit Software has brought us another controller but this time it's all about controlling your iTunes library. Use your BlackBerry to play/pause, skip forward & back, toggle shuffle, repeat, adjust volume and mute your iTunes libraries. Tiggit Controller for iTunes even shows you the album artwork (if available) and allows you to select radio stations & podcasts. The application utilizes your BlackBerry's volume & mute buttons and can even pause the music when your phone rings. This app was developed for OS 7 but is compatible with both OS 5 & 6. Setup only took a minute or two and the app worked flawlessly over my WiFi connection. Press the BlackBerry menu key for your different options and if you have an Apple TV or Airtunes, you can select either for your speaker output. When you press the menu key, you'll notice that there is a mute option that is not available on iTunes. Tiggit Controller for iTunes is being offered at a special introductory price of $2.99 so if interested, now is the time to buy this app!

More information download of Tiggit Controller for iTunes

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Sprint EOL list leaves a lot of room for new BlackBerry smartphones

If there was any doubt about Sprint getting some new BlackBerry smartphones this should be enough confirmation for anyone out there. Pretty much all of their current BlackBerry offerings have now hit their EOL (End Of Life) llist. The BlackBerry Style 9670, Bold 9650 and Curve 3G are all on their way out, only to be replaced with the BlackBerry Bold 9930, Torch 9850 and the Curve 9350 in the next little while. We're still hearing constant rumors of August for all these devices and thus far -- nothing has come along that conflicts with that information. Poor BlackBerry Style -- we hardly knew ya buddy!

Source: SprintFeed

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CrackBerry Kevin Goes to Communitech (and gets interviewed!!)

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

One of the highlights of my recent trip to Waterloo, the hometown of BlackBerry, was the afternoon I spent at the Communitech Hub (which technically is next door to Waterloo, in Kitchener). The Communitech Hub is in the beautifully restored Tannery building, a massive complex which in addition to housing Communitech startups, is also home to many other companies, including Google's local offices.

Between Communitech and the Accelerator Center, two organizations which work together addressing the same mission, they really are doing great things to to foster innovation, encourage colloboration and get new tech ideas commercialized in the region. Walking through the hub we saw tons of startups hard at work on their tech projects, and we even stumbled into some app developers who we are now working with to put together an AWESOME CrackBerry contest based on their app, GooseCha.se. Yep, we'll announce the details soon, but let's just say next week is CrackBerry GooseChase week. It's going to be awesome! 

A little unexpected but fun, Communitech's PR man turned the blogging tables on me and wired me up for an interview, asking me some pretty direct questions on my thoughts about RIM and some of the challenges they're facing today (part 1 above is mainly about CrackBerry - the bigger questions get addressed in parts 2, 3 and 4 below). Be sure to check them out!

Huge thanks go to the Iain, Anthony and the crew from Communitech (and Andrew from the Accelerator Centre) for showing me around. My words won't do their endeavors justice, so be sure to check out their sites for more info at the iinks below.

Learn More about Communitech
Learn More about the Accelerator Centre

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WeatherPro now available for BlackBerry

Regardless if you check the weather for travel plans, work or your daily excersise routine, a good weather app is a must-have on our BlackBerry device for a lot of us. WeatherPro by MeteoGroup, has been a top selling Android, Windows & iOS application for a while and now they have decided to show us BlackBerry users some of that love too. WeatherPro for BlackBerry 1.0 provides a 7 day forecast for more than 2 million locations. With updates every three hours you will always have access to the very latest weather, no matter where you are in the world.

With WeatherPro you can get animated worldwide satellite images and radar for much of Europe and the United States. WeatherPro for BlackBerry 1.0 supports radar for Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Denmark, the Baltic States, Sweden, Norway, Finland and the United States. WeatherPro is $4.99 and currently available for the following BlackBerry devices: 89xx, 9000, 93xx, 95xx, 96xx, 97xx & 9800.

For more information / download WeatherPro for BlackBerry 1.0

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Open letter to CrackBerry from two thankful BlackBerry developers

[This letter was sent into us courtesy of BlackBerry PlayBook developers Brian and Mark. Together they have teamed up to form MZC Enterprises and wrote in to share their experience developing for BlackBerry. Just an all around good read on the ease and benefits of developing for the BlackBerry platform.]


Dear CrackBerry,

We wanted to write you this letter to show our appreciation for all your help and inspiration in starting our own company, MZC Enterprises LLC. Your website has helped us out since the beginning and throughout the entire process. Your articles have inspired us and turned us into die hard BlackBerry fans. This letter was written, first to thank you for everything your website has done, but also to encourage other people to become entrepreneurs like ourselves. We want to show other people how easy it is to become a BlackBerry developer with just a little programming background. Let us begin by telling you our story.

It all started back in October 2010 like any other day, reading articles on CrackBerry, when I came across a very interesting article. The article was titled "Free BlackBerry PlayBook for developers who have their app accepted on AppWorld" written by Bla1ze. Once I read the article and researched more about the offer RIM was running to get people to write apps, I was sold. I sent my buddy a BBM with the link to the article, which of course he had already read, and said we have to do this. I had already planned on getting a PlayBook the day it was released from reading all the articles on your website, but a free one, how can you go wrong? So we looked into it more using the link Bla1ze provided in the article. This brought us right to RIM's website about getting started, and they provided everything we needed to begin developing for BlackBerry.

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Foursquare for BlackBerry updated with BBM integration

In a bit of a messy alpha/beta game a few days back, foursquare released an alpha version of their app that included BBM integration. Soon after an official update was released that didn't have BBM integration. Well now the app has been updated again and does have BBM integration. So if you weren't one of the lucky ones to get the alpha up and running, you can now grab version 3.1 from BlackBerry app world and get in on the BBM fun. We're not sure if anything else has changed in this update, so if you spot anything be sure to let us know.

More information/download of foursquare for BlackBerry

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Contest winners: Charging cradle, PlayBook travel charger, Slacker, Iconify, and more!

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)crackberry.com 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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BlackBerry website shows BlackBerry Torch 9810 and Torch 9850/60 branding

We know RIM has something cooking for later today in the way of device announcements but what devices, exactly still remains somewhat a mystery. The possible slip up you see above could really serve two purposes here.

One being that it confirms that the device which was once known as the BlackBerry Monaco / Monza / Storm 3 will indeed be branded as a Torch when announced, as expected. The second, being that these are the devices that will get announced tomorrow when RIM makes it known what they are up to. Either way, things are starting to heat up now and if all goes as we're thinking it will -- August is going to be a great month for those who have been holding out for some new BlackBerry Smartphones. Thanks, billjansen!

Discuss in the CrackBerry Forums

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[Video] BlackBerry Bold 9930 appears on Verizon website!


Youtube video link for mobile viewing

Been looking for more confirmation of the BlackBerry Bold 9930 coming to Verizon? No problem -- Verizon has gone ahead and accidentally loaded up a device walkthrough on their very own website for you all to enjoy. Just head on over to the Verizon site, click on shop -- then go to the BlackBerry Bold 9650 and view the video demo. You'll find that the video is not at all of a BlackBerry Bold 9650 but rather the BlackBerry Bold 9930. Thanks, ChrisS9938!

Discuss in the CrackBerry Forums
View on the Verizon website

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BlackBird for BlackBerry PlayBook updated to v1.2

One of only a few Twitter clients for the BlackBerry PlayBook, BlackBird received a big update today, bringing it to v1.2. There were several important additions that make the app much more usable including picture and video upload. Other new features include:

  • Add URL inside tweets
  • Preview of pictures inside tweets
  • Easy pinless authentication
  • Full user profile view
  • some GUI improvements

You can check out full details on BlackBird and pick it up for $1.99 for your BlackBerry PlayBook at the link below. Let us know in the comments how you like the improvements if you try it out!

For more information/screenshots and to purchase BlackBird

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RIM announcing new BlackBerry 7 devices tomorrow?

Looks like RIM is gearing up to announce some new BlackBerry 7 devices tomorrow. They've been having some fun on the BlackBerry Twitter account getting users excited for the forthcoming news. What devices they'll announce we're not sure but we know they have plenty they could announce.

Needless to say, we're hoping some release dates come with those announcements rather then just announcing them as "coming soon" -- that would just be mean and the new devices haven't exactly been the best kept secrets. What do you think they'll announce?

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Facebook 2.0 coming to BlackBerry App World tomorrow

Facebook 2.0 has been floating along in the BlackBerry Beta Zone for quite a while now, but it looks like it's just about ready for prime time. As seen in this teaser status posted on Facebook, RIM will be releasing the latest version to the public in BlackBerry App World tomorrow. Major updates of the new version include:

  • Enhanced Notifications - Get Notified of ‘Likes' We've made several improvements to notifications; the first is that you'll be now be notified of polled items (that is, notifications that aren't delivered through BlackBerry® push technology), such as ‘Likes' and Event Wall posts. The notification will even tell you who and what was ‘Liked', so you'll never miss a beat in your social life. By default, polled notifications will be set to a one-hour frequency but you can check as often as you like by selecting Refresh from the Menu.
  • Cross-Channel Messaging - Share Facebook Content across BlackBerry Messaging Applications
  • Enhanced Integration with BlackBerry Native Apps - Building on enhanced integration with native BlackBerry smartphone apps, which was introduced with the Facebook for BlackBerry smartphones v2.0 beta refresh, Facebook v2.0 now includes additional messaging options from the ‘More' button within a Profile and from the Friends list.
  • In-App Error Reporting - If you haven't already downloaded the BlackBerry Feedback Tool from BlackBerry App World, you can install it through the Menu in the Facebook for BlackBerry smartphones app. The BlackBerry Feedback Tool can be used to send feedback on BlackBerry smartphone features, functions and applications at any time and is currently available in English only.
  • Touch Toolbar - BlackBerry smartphone users with a touch screen device will now have Compose, Reply and Delete icons located along the bottom of the device screen in the Facebook Inbox for quick and easy access to these popular features.

This release brings some welcome changes and those of you that haven't had a chance to check out version 2.0 yet should be very happy with the updates. Check back tomorrow for more on the official release!

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Superfunctional Podcast 003: Dealing with the CrackBerry Claw

You've probably noticed by now that we're starting to build out quite the podcasting empire within our network of mobile dedicated sites. In addition to our new cross-platform Mobile Nations podcast, Rene Ritchie (he LOVES podcasting) has taken the charge on three new podcasts for the network: Iterate (which focuses on app design/development), ZenandTech (which focuses on coping with technology in our lives) and the newest is a lifestyle podcast, called Super Functional, which deals with getting the most of our human bodies.

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AT&T partners with universities, brings campus applications to mobile devices

AT&T has announced that they will be partnering with 2,000 campuses across the country to bring mobile applications to the attendees instead of handing out campus maps and other paperwork. The applications are designed to enhance the experience of the people attending, giving them easy access to campus maps, phone directory, courses, and campus events. AT&T is working with DubMeNow to provide this service to the students, and users can even customize the application to reflect their school colors, change the banners, and much more. Not only will your BlackBerry be the key to your communication throughout college, but also your one stop shop for what is going on at campus.

Source: AT&T

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Leaked OS 7.0.0.258 for the BlackBerry Bold 9790

In another leak for a soon to be released device, we have OS 7.0.0.258 for the BlackBerry Bold 9790. We saw a bit from this device (dubbed "Bellagio") with a few tutorial videos that had been leaked. I'm sure not many of you have one to play around with, but if you do you can fire up this leaked OS and see how it goes. Feel free to post some comments (or even pictures) should you be one of the lucky ones ;-)

*OS Disclaimer - Please Read: Keep in mind this is NOT an official release and as such is not supported by RIM or your Carrier. If you choose to install, do so at your own risk and only if you're comfortable in the process of upgrading and downgrading your device software. It is quite normal during operating system development for certain features to be crippled or disabled while others are tested, and these beta builds often reflect that. They are not always better. Depending on your BlackBerry comfort level, it may be best for you to wait for community feedback on a build before deciding to download and install for yourself or simply wait for the next official release. If you require support, you will find it in our CrackBerry forums via our extremely knowledgeable community base - do not contact your carrier or RIM for Beta OS technical support (their first course of action will be to advise you to downgrade to a supported OS). *

Download OS 7.0.0.258 for the Bold 9790

Source: BBH-Plus

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Smart Shopping List: A cross platform management tool that keeps track of lists & expenses

I have a list for everything: groceries, gifts, school supplies, CrackBerry expenses, Budget...the list goes on and on (haha couldn't resist). I was previously using the native Task app on my BlackBerry to keep track of things but have now found a better option. Smart Shopping List by LogicNEXT Software is an all-in-one application that is a must have for those who need to keep multiple lists or track their expenses. With it's simple UI (it is a bit girly on the start-up screen but you can customize it to make it your own) it's easy to navigate through the menus quickly and effeciently. This is NOT just your basic Shopping list app. The features of this app go above and beyond just list management so keep reading after the break for the list of everything included in all 3 versions of this app. There's a choice for every price range.

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Caught Black Handed! Google Chairman Eric Schmidt photographed while taking a photo with his BlackBerry (again!)

While Google's mobile operating system may have consumer market momentum with Android handset activations hitting 500,000 per day, one person who appears to not be in a rush to abandon his BlackBerry habit is Google Chairman Eric Schmidt. Schmidt was in Indonesia last week for an entrepreneurship summit, and one of our CrackBerry spies on the ground in Bali managed to catch Schmidt black-handed snapping a photo on his BlackBerry Bold 9780.

What's really funny about this photo is that it isn't the first time Schmidt has been photographed while taking a photo on his BlackBerry. Back in July 2009 he got caught using his Curve 8900 (see photo below). Past precedent is always the best indicator of future performance, so I'm placing my bet we'll see Schmidt upgrading to the BlackBerry Bold 9900 next month. I'm not sure what this says about Android, but it definitely says a lot of good for BlackBerry. Maybe it's the keyboard, maybe it's the world class security, the BBM, the battery life or impossible to ignore blinking red light... or maybe it's all that and more.

There's nothing really "new" in that Bold that can be justified as testing out the competition, so at the end of the day I'm thinking that Eric Schmidt just loves his BlackBerry. Smart man. Kind of makes you wonder if he also has a BlackBerry PlayBook running Android apps?

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RIM cuts around 2,000 jobs; Shuffles management

RIM announced today that in addition to some management changes, they are cutting about 2,000 employees from their workforce. We knew that some slimming down was on the way for RIM, but weren't sure of the exact number of employees that would be lost. More on the cuts and other "expense reductions" will be known after the RIM's next earnings call in mid-September.

"The workforce reduction is believed to be a prudent and necessary step for the long term success of the company and it follows an extended period of rapid growth within the company whereby the workforce had nearly quadrupled in the last five years alone."

Both Jim Balsille and Mike Lazaridis will retain their co-CEO positions for now however. Along with the cuts comes some movement among management positions at RIM as well. Just a few days ago RIM lost Ryan Bidan to Samsung, and RIM today has announced the retirement of their Chief Operating Officer Don Morrison as well. Keep reading for the full press release.

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