BlackBerry News and Reviews

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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Mobile Nations: Monday Brief for July 25, 2011


New suggested release dates for the BlackBerry Bold 9930, Torch 9850 and Curve 9350 on Sprint

It's no secret that Sprint has been gearing up for release of the BlackBerry Bold 9930, Torch 9850 and Curve 9350. In fact, some of the first release date confirmations came from Sprint documentation in the past. Granted, in the time since they were first posted the release dates have changed but the newest purported documentation updated on July 22 shows once again some release dates for upcoming BlackBerry devices. As you can see from the image both the Bold 9930 and Torch 9850 are suggested to be arriving on August 21 with the Curve 9350 arriving on Sept 9. Hopefully, these dates will stick this time around -- until then, grain of salt folks.

Source: BriefMobile

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Fightin' Words for BlackBerry on sale - updated to v1.22

We told you about Fightin' Words awhile back, but if you don't remember it's a 2 player word game, pitting you head to head against an opponent. You can search for your friends that are also Fightin' Words players, or choose to be randomly matched with an opponent. Gameplay is easy to learn and quite intuitive! The game has been updated to include some new features and bug fixes.

New Features:

  • Invite friends to play from your BlackBerry contact list!
  • Found a quality opponent?  You now have the ability to add them as a friend to play more games.
  • Notification of invalid words.
Updates:
  • Start a word anywhere as long as one tile touches the center square.
  • Significant improvements on word detection to ensure valid words play.
  • Improvements made to push notifications can be turned on in "My Profile."
You can pick up Fightin' Words for $.99 on sale (reg. $2.99) in BlackBerry App World or the CrackBerry store for most BlackBerry smartphones.

For more information/screenshots and to purchase Fightin' Words from the CB store
For more information/screenshots and to purchase Fightin' Words from App World


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Official OS v5.0.0.1062 for BlackBerry Tour 9630 released by China Mobile

China Mobile released official OS v5.0.0.1062 this weekend for you lucky BlackBerry Tour owners so fire up Desktop Manager and get to upgrading. Even though this is an official OS, be sure to use caution and do a back-up before installing. And if you're not on China Mobile, make sure you delete that vendor.xml file. Thanks to everyone that sent this in!

Download OS v5.0.0.1062 for the BlackBerry Tour 9630
Discuss more in the forums

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CrackBerry Reminder: What you may have missed this week


BlackBerry Bold 9900 dummy units begin to arrive at Vodafone UK locations

 

Earlier this month we saw that Vodafone listed the Bold 9900 as "coming soon" and it appears as though the dummy units have begun appearing in stores. As the past has proven, once dummy units begin to arrive at stores, usually the device is not far off, so could we possibly see the Bold 9900 land in stores in August? Vodafone customers, can you feel the excitement? Be sure to hop in the forums and let us know if you will be snagging one of these upon release, or waiting to see some reviews first. Thanks, Dave!

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Punch In Punch Out for BlackBerry PlayBook - Free this week only!

Punch In Punch Out by MELLISdesigns is a time tracking system for your projects and clients. Manage your client roster, project files and job lists using this app, and effortlessly keep track of the time spent doing so. With a retro look and an extremely user-friendly interface it's a virtual file cabinet of your documents. 
  • Input your client details on the digital business cards
  • file your projects in folders and
  • prepare sticky notes of the little jobs you have to do to complete the project
  • digitally clock in when you start work and clock out when you're done
  • see how long each task took to accomplish
  • automatically compute your billable hours so you won't have to take time out to do it yourself
  • review the log of dates and times you've worked on a particular job
Punch In Punch Out is really easy to use, and to help you get started a really detailed How To is included. The app has been out for a couple of days, and to get the ball rolling, the developers have made it free for the first week! Head on over to App World and download this app on your PlayBook and take it for a spin!

More information/download Punch In Punch Out
Discuss and leave feedback for PIPO in the forums

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Verizon updates VZ Navigator - Try it out free for 30 days!

It's been awhile since Verizon rolled out their VZ Navigator application. It's just recieved a nice update and along with the new name of Verizon Navigator VX, it comes a free 30 day trial for new users, and a bunch of new features.
  • Smart Routes with Real-Time Traffic – Updated every 60 seconds, telling you when traffic is ahead and mapping out detours to get you around it
  • Voice Turn-by-Turn Directions – Even with other apps open, you will continue hearing where to turn to keep you on track
  • “Real” signs and road views – Accurate highway signs guide you into the correct lanes and prevent last minute lane changes
  • Location Sharing – Use Place Messaging or Facebook to share your real-time location or the place of an upcoming meeting
  • Virtual city driving with 3D buildings and graphics
  • Satellite view that moves with your location
  • Local search with Bing
  • Real-time weather, gas prices, movie times and other local information
  • Ability to add addresses to "favorites" for easy bookmarks of the places you frequent
The 30 day free trial is open for new VZ Navigator subscribers only, and available on the BlackBerry Storm2 9550, Bold 9650, Curve 3G 9330, and Curve 8530.  To check it out go to http://nav.vzw.com/vznav on your device, choose the 30 day trial option, and you're good to go. Let us know what you think of it in the comments!

Source: Verizon via Android Central

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BBM cupcakes and a BlackBerry PlayBook cake look sweet!

You know we're suckers for BlackBerry themed cakes at CrackBerry, and we've posted several before. Usually we see birthday cakes in the form of the user's favorite or current device, but today we have cupcakes! And not just any cupcakes, but BBM themed cupcakes! They look incredible with emoticon faces recreated on each one perfectly.

Hit the break for another shot, as well as a yummy looking BlackBerry PlayBook cake, and check out the Flickr gallery at the link below for a few more cakes. Thanks for posting this in the forums FMB8900!

More BlackBerry themed cakes at Flickr

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BlackBerry App Roundup for July 23, 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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Bell Mobility releases official OS 6.0.0.615 for BlackBerry Bold 9700

Today from Bell Mobility we have OS 6.0.0.615 available for download for the BlackBerry Bold 9700. What's new in this OS? After you install drop a comment or hit the forums with your findings, since no change log was included. Even though this is an official OS, be sure to use caution and do a back-up before installing. And if you're not on Bell Mobility, make sure you delete that vendor.xml file. Thanks to everyone that sent this in!

Download OS 6.0.0.615 for the BlackBerry Bold 9700
Discuss more in the forums

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Mobile Nations Podcast 3: Full House!

Phil, Derek, Dan, Rene and myself talk Netflix on Android, media on Mobile, the RIM-pire striking back, news execs at webOS, Nokia Windows Phones, 20 million iPhones, and hitting the budget buyer sweet spot. Bringing together the heads of state of Android, BlackBerry, iOS, webOS, and Windows Mobile for full on round-table action. This is Mobile Nations! Oh, and if you missed our CrackBerry Podcast earlier this week, be sure to check that out. I talk about my time in Waterloo visiting RIM HQ!

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BlackBerry theme roundup - Win a free theme from drkapprenticeDESIGNS

Win one of 50 free themes from drkapprenticeDESIGNS! 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 drkapprenticeDESIGNS, who has given us 50 free themes to pass on to you guys! Keep reading for details.

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New photos of the BlackBerry Torch 9850 & 9860 emerge with Verizon branding

We've seen evidence of the BlackBerry monaco coming to Sprint, and rumor of it hitting Verizon as well, and today we got further confirmation via pictures posted on BerryCN. They have posted up a ton of pictures of the BlackBerry Torch 9850 (CDMA) and 9860 (GSM), highlighting the major difference: the buttons! According to these images, the 9850 is going to have the physical buttons we've seen in other photos, and the 9860 will have the capacitive buttons a la the Storm 2. More pictures and video can be seen after the break, with the full gallery at the link below. Thanks for the tip dsquared2

See the full gallery of photos
Discuss it further in the forums

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Quick Tip: An Alt-ternative way to use menus

[ youtube link for mobile viewing ]

Using the Alt key to open and select items from a drop-down menu isn't an exciting and glamorous new feature. It is, however, yet another example of what I call BlackBerry Choice. For many of the things you do on your smartphone, there is more than one way to accomplish it. You can start the clock on your BlackBerry using three different methods. There are at least ten ways you can make a phone call on your ‘Berry. And there are two ways to select items from drop down menus.

You see drop down menus frequently on your BlackBerry. They're at the top of the emails you send, letting you select which account will send the missive. They're scattered about the Sound Profiles, letting you customize your sounds just the way you like. Normally, you'd click on one of these menus, highlight the item you want and click the item to confirm your selection. And that works quite nicely; there is another way, though.

Highlight the menu as normal. Instead of clicking, press and hold the ALT key on your BlackBerry's keyboard. Still pressing the ALT key, scroll to highlight the option you want. Release the ALT key. You just quickly changed that option without clicking the trackpad/trackball once.

Though it may seem rather insignificant, this is a way to speed things up when you have to make a great deal of changes to these drop-down menu options. An example that springs to mind is customizing a sound profile. In that profile, there are quite a few drop-down menus used to personalize your notification sounds. Moving between them with one thumb on the ALT key and the other on the trackpad/trackball makes quick work of all those changes.

Thanks to belfastdispatcher 

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Weekly Accessory Roundup - Win a Mobi Products Charging Cradle for your device!

Contest: Win a Mobi Products Cradle w/ Spare Battery Charger for your device! Keep reading for details.

A dead battery when you're on the go isn't a good thing. Charge when you can, but having another option is a always a bonus. The worst thing that can happen is having your battery go out when you need it most. To help solve the issue, many carry a spare battery for emergencies. But that leaves the question - how do you charge it? With the Mobi Products Cradle with Spare Battery Slot you no longer have to worry. Charge your device and that extra battery at night or in your downtime and you'll be good to go when you need it. No more separate charging pod and battery charger -- here you have an all-in-one. Need a spare battery to fit that slot as well? Not to worry! We have you covered on that one too -- check out our full selection. The cradle is available for most devices from ShopCrackBerry.com for just $24.95 or less, but if you leave a comment on this post you could win one of your very own! Keep reading for details!

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Workaround for WiFi file sharing on the BlackBerry PlayBook

 

The latest update for the BlackBerry PlayBook brought us performance updates and fun new features, like pinch-to-zoom video. The update has also caused a small problem: WiFi file sharing is not working. After enabling the WiFi file sharing feature on the PlayBook, a person would normally find the name of the PlayBook in a list of networked devices. Indeed even now, that name should be in the list. However connecting to that named device is causing problems.

Never fear; There's a quick and easy workaround to this problem. Oddly enough, this is the preferred method of connecting, described in this BlackBerry Knowledge Base article. First, you'll need the IP address of your PlayBook. Open the PlayBook's settings by tapping the Gear icon in the upper right of the Status Ribbon. Select the About tab, and then select Network from the drop-down menu. You want the IPv4 address, which will probably be something like 192.168.x.x 

  • Windows XP. Use the Windows Key-R combination to open the run menu. Type \\192.xxx.x.x That's backslash-backslash your-playbooks-ip For example, I would type \\192.168.1.2
  • Windows Vista, Windows 7: Same thing, but you can also type that in the bar at the bottom of the Start menu
  • Mac: "[S]elect Go -> Connect to Server... and type smb://127.1.1.1 (where 127.1.1.1 should be replaced with the actual IP address of the BlackBerry PlayBook)" 

Chances are, this bug will be fixed quite shortly, rendering this article moot. In the meantime, it's quite easy to get back up and running with the PlayBook's WiFi File sharing. Thanks to tofo17 and BuzzStarField for making excellent contributions to our forums.

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Got App World questions? Visit the App World Support Q&A next week and get them answered

Are you a BlackBerry newbie, still learning the ins and outs of your new smartphone? A great place to find information about your new BlackBerry is right here on CrackBerry, no doubt about that, but occasionally RIM hosts some neat webcasts and other events to give you a real in-depth look into certain topics. The next event is the Community Insider Event: App World Support Q&A which will be held July 27th and 28th, where RIM's Senior Product Manager and App World Pro, Alex Kinsella, will be available to answer questions from 9am-9pm EST.
You can ask Alex any of your BlackBerry App World questions, including topics such as:

  • Logging into App World
  • Downloading Apps
  • App World payment options
  • Upgrading to a new version of App World
  • Upgrading specific Apps
  • Locating app icons on the home screen
  • Deleting apps
  • App World on the BlackBerry PlayBook

Alex is a Product Manager for BlackBerry App World, and has been with RIM since 2008. If you want more information on the Community Insider Event, head on over to the Community Corner at the link below.

More information on the upcoming App World Support Q&A

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