BlackBerry News and Reviews

Get your family organized with Cozi for BlackBerry

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

If you're one of those families that just can't seem to keep your stuff straight, Cozi may be your solution. Cozi is a free family organizer that is available across the web and mobile platforms and has just released an app for BlackBerry. All you need to do is sign up for a free account, add your family members and you're good to go. Cozi provides you with a to do list, shopping list and calendar that automatically syncs across all platforms. Your family members are assigned a color so you know who is who, and each can add to the calendar or a list as needed. Cozi is perfect for keeping tabs on all of your family events and works great as a shopping list (lets my wife and I split up in the store so we can divide and conquer). I'm already a huge Cozi fan after using it for only a few short days, but hopefully the app can get a few updates to improve it a bit. As it stands now it's a bit too much of a web inteface and I'd like it to me more of an easy to navigate app. You can check out more in the video above, then head to Cozi.com to get started.

More information/download of Cozi for BlackBerry
Sign up for Cozi Family Organizer

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CrackBerry @ BlackBerry: Inside the 2011 Dodge Police Interceptor Car w/ PlayBook Integration

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

If you watched the video last week of me stealing a BlackBerry Bold 9900 from RIM's headquarters in Waterloo, you also saw me get caught and tossed into a cop car. Keen CrackBerry eyes may have noticed that wasn't just any 'ole police car, but rather Mobile Innovation's 2011 Dodge Police Interceptor concept car. Created by Mobile Innovations and featuring a ton of gear from D&R Electronics, the highlight of car is that it features BlackBerry PlayBook Integration. Be sure to check out our preview post on this, and then watch the video above for my real-life tour.

As you'll see in the video, the BlackBerry PlayBook integration here is really solid, with the PlayBook pretty much running all of the car's cop-tastic features, including all the lights and sounds. You can of course use it too for running checks on people. BlackBerry PlayBook owners jonesing for a bluetooth keyboard will want pay close attention to the video... especially at the 3m35s mark. Pretty cool, hey? 

I know nobody wants to end up in the back of a police car, but at least if it were ever to happen to me (again), I'd definitely want it to be a cop car rocking a PlayBook! 

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PaperPlane for BlackBerry PlayBook passes half a million throws - Get it for free this week only!

Dave let us know that the popular BlackBerry PlayBook game PaperPlane has passed a half million throws, and in celebration the game is free to download this week only. PaperPlane is an fun game for your PlayBook that challenges you to throw the paper plane as far as you can across various levels. It's super easy to play and will definitely have you addicted right from your first throw. Ever since the original release the competition has been fierce, and if you haven't had a chance to get in on the fun now you can. PaperPlane is free to download from BlackBerry App World all week long (until this Sunday) so head to the link below and get it now!

More information/download of PaperPlane

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Calling All BlackBerry Developers: CrackBerry is going to send one of you to the BBM Hackathon Event in NYC. APPLY TODAY!

Win a 3 Day trip to NYC, a BlackBerry Bold 9900 and $500 in spending cash!

OK BlackBerry Developers! If you've been reading the blogs, you're probably aware of the BBM Apps Hackathon event that RIM announced last week. If not, be sure to check out our original post, follow-up post (which lists webinar dates to get you prepped) and the official website at BBMNYC.com for full details. In summary, RIM is hosting a BBM Apps Hackathon Event August 11-12 in NYC, an exclusive event that gives developers the opportunity to participate in an apps-building marathon using the BBM Social Platform. RIM experts will guide participants through different development approaches and techniques that leverage the viral/social functionality of BBM Social Platform and best integrate with applications.

In addition to there being 10 spots up for grabs via the contest on the official website, RIM has partnered with CrackBerry to let us run our own contest and pick a worthy BlackBerry developer to attend the event on behalf of CrackBerry Nation. That's right BB devs... we're picking one of you to attend the event in NYC. And in addition to the airfare and hotel being covered, we're also going to give you a BlackBerry Bold 9900 and $500 in spending cash! The full details for eligibility and how to apply are below, but the long story short is that if you want to go, you're going to have to email me directly ASAP... we're picking the winner this Friday, July 22nd.  Keep reading for the full details!

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Foursquare for BlackBerry 3.0 now available sans BBM integration

A few days ago we saw the latest foursquare alpha hit some devices and it included the much anticipated BBM integration. While some were lucky enough to grab it early and run the app without a hitch, other users reported problems and couldn't get things working. Today foursquare for BlackBerry 3.0 is officially avaiable, however it lacks the BBM integration we were hoping for. Features of version 3.0 include:

  • An overhauled UI, from the check-in screen down to your friends list.
  • Explore! Get personalized recommendations on places to go, from your past check-ins, your friends', and the whole foursquare community. Search for what you want (like a lobster roll) or just tap an activity (like ‘drinks' or ‘food'). And, for those of you who like deals, tap the ‘Specials' button to find Specials nearby that are perfect for you.
  • Speaking of Specials, this update allows you to grab daily deals around you from our five partners - LivingSocial, Gilt City, BuyWithMe, YP.com, and zozi. Seamless savings without leaving foursquare.
  • The full leaderboard. See how you're doing compared to your friends.

The foursquare team notes that BBM integration is high on the list and should be available soon however. You can grab foursquare 3.0 free OTA from the link below.

More information/download of foursquare for BlackBerry

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CrackBerry Podcast 072: CrackBerry goes to BlackBerry HQ!

What a crazy week! After my trip to Waterloo, Ontario, the hometown of BlackBerry, I had to fly out to San Francisco for a few days... I'm now finally back in the CrackBerry offices playing catch up, but to kick things off and fill everybody in on my time spent at BlackBerry HQ we grabbed the team and recorded a CrackBerry Podcast.  We actually recorded this one yesterday afternoon (ran into some delays that kept me from posting sooner), so take note that when we predict a PlayBook OS update is coming soon that it's already now here.

If you're a BlackBerry fan you'll want to listen to this one. I go through my trip to Waterloo in detail, covering everything from my time seeing Bold 9900s get born on the manufacturing line to my time at the Perimeter Institute, the RIM Annual General Meeting of Shareholders, and more! Take a listen. Enjoy the show.  Still lots of blog posts to come relating to the trip!

Download Podcast .MP3 Directly Podcast Feed
Download CB Podcasts BlackBerry App | Subscribe in iTunes

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Contest winners: BlackBerry case, Absolute, Kwais, BreakingNews, Bubble Birds 2!

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 PlayBook OS Update v.1.0.7.2650 now available! Brings Bridge, Multimedia and Language updates...

Here it is BlackBerry PlayBook owners... your next OS update! This isn't the BIG update that'll bring things like native email and the Android app player, but in what has been a steady cadence of releases version 1.07 brings with it the following updates:

Improved connectivity & productivity with the BlackBerry Bridge application

  • Enhanced Support for Saving Attachments - The BlackBerry Bridge app offers you more flexibility around where and how you save attachments for viewing and editing. You can now save an attachment to a removable SD card, or to your BlackBerry smartphone's internal flash memory.
  • ZIP Attachment Support - The BlackBerry Bridge app now gives you access to ZIP files received as an email attachment. While bridged, you can now download a zip file from an email to your smartphone SD card and then extract compressed contents for viewing or editing on your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.

Additional Multimedia Features

  • Portrait Support in Pictures App - With BlackBerry Tablet OS v1.0.7, pictures that you've taken with your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet or transferred from your PC can now be viewed in either portrait or landscape formats for the layout that best fits your needs.
  • Pinch to Zoom in Video App - Use the pinch gesture to zoom in on the finer details of your favorite video content, just like you would with a website or picture today - all while the video continues to play.

Additional Language Support

With BlackBerry Tablet OS v1.0.7, RIM added additional support for the following 15 languages: Basque, Catalan, Czech, Danish, Galician, Hungarian, Bahasa Indonesia, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese Brazilian, Portuguese European, Swedish, Turkish, Romanian and Russian.

Download Now

To download, just fire up your PlayBook and Check for Updates from settings (damn I love how easy it is to do over the air updates on the PlayBook).  Don't forget to update BlackBerry Bridge on your BlackBerry Smartphone to the latest version too.

Discuss this PlayBook OS update in the CrackBerry forums

*UPDATE* Due to reported issues with BlackBerry Bridge on the new OS, RIM relayed the following via their Twitter:

Some users were experiencing issues with Bridge & 1.0.7. We expect to release an update with a fix later this week

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BlackBerry Bridge 1.0.4.9 now available for download

While we all wait for RIM to roll out the the latest BlackBerry PlayBook update that seemingly was delayed, you can now go ahead and download the latest BlackBerry Bridge update. v1.0.4.9 is making its way to users through the BlackBerry App World client or -- you can login to the BlackBerry App World webstore online to expedite the process. Changes? Discuss them in the CrackBerry forums.

Download BlackBerry Bridge 1.0.4.9 From BlackBerry App World

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RIM presents 3 new webcasts to prepare developers for the BBM Apps Hackathon Event

We let you know last week about RIM's upcoming BBM Apps Hackathon in New York City. To complement the two-day event, RIM has developed a series of three webcasts to help you design and build an application utilizing the new BBM social platform. You can hit up the BBM Apps Hackathon website for the full details on the event and a chance to win a free trip. Participants can also include their apps into this years BlackBerry Developer Challenge.

The webcast schedule is:

Integrating with the BBM Social Platform, One Step at a Time.
Step 1: Viral Distribution and the BBM Contact List
Date:
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Time: 2:00 PM EST / 11:00 AM PST
Register now!

Integrating with the BBM Social Platform, One Step at a Time.
Step 2: User Profile and Custom Profile Box
Date:
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Time: 2:00 PM EST / 11:00 AM PST
Register now!

Integrating with the BBM Social Platform, One Step at a Time.
Step 3: BBM Chat and Embedding Chat within your App
Date:
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Time: 2:00 PM EST / 11:00 AM PST
Register now!

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A status update from SHAPE services regarding IM+ for the BlackBerry PlayBook

The other day when we wrote about IM+ Plus for PlayBook having issues getting approved into BlackBerry App World we did so in an effort to help improve the overall situation for not only SHAPE services but also for BlackBerry developers out there who may be facing similar challenges. As expected, we didn't recieve any updates from RIM but SHAPE services did. As they wrote on their blog:

Shape's Development Head Alex and myself just had a talk with Tyler Lessard, RIM's VP, Global Alliances and Developer Relations.

Tyler was really friendly and helpful and we have now a hope that IM+ for Playbook will be approved within two weeks or so. We understand that to approve such an complex app can take the same time or more as the development of IM+ for Playbook itself. Just as remember, the app is now for two months in the testing queue.

And the best of the talk: after years of our requests to RIM we got from Tyler a promise to consider BlackBerry Push usage for IM+. It would make user experience on the BlackBerry platform the same kind of beautiful like on iOS.

Please continue to follow-up the story, it will really help to make things done. And to celebrate the moment we will offer to our friends from CrackBerry.com 25 free licenses of IM+ Pro for BlackBerry right now and 25 free licenses of IM+ for Playbook after release. 

Needless to say, we're glad to hear things are now on the right track for IM+ for the BlackBerry PlayBook and considering SHAPE services has given us 25 copies of IM+ Pro for BlackBerry to give away -- we'll do just that. Drop a comment on this post and we'll pick 25 of you all out there to win one free copy each courtesy of SHAPE services.

Please note: Contest is for the BlackBerry version, PlayBook version contest will be held later

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Dibbles for the BlackBerry PlayBook - Save the king!

I used to love playing Lemmings when I was a kid, so I was excited to find Dibbles by thePodge for my BlackBerry PlayBook. It's the same classic concept, save your king by passing over treacherous paths and sacrificing your people as needed for the greater good. You are given a limited number of different command stones to place before obstacles; the first Dibble to reach the stone carries out the command, ranging from making a bridge of themselves to popping off their head to become a bouncer for the following Dibbles.

The animation and graphics are great, gameplay is smooth and easy to pick up. For $.99 you get 33 levels to play through. Hopefully more will be added in the future. Dibbles was developed by thePodge, who brought us other fun PlayBook games like A Zombie Stole My Toaster and Cannibal Casserole. You'll definitely want to check them all out.

For more information and to purchase Dibbles

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Ticketmaster for BlackBerry v2.0 Beta now available in the BlackBerry Beta Zone!

If you're a big Ticketmaster user, you'll be happy to learn that RIM has released an updated version of their app to BlackBerry Beta Zone members today! This new version comes with a much needed facelift as well as a bunch of new features and integration with your calendar among other things!

Updates include:

  • See a list of featured events
  • Search for specific artists or festivals and get details on upcoming concert/event dates
  • Browse a list of local events based on their selected location
  • Browse list of most popular events from all locations (see what other people are buying)
  • Add artists, venues and teams to their list of favorite artists and be notified when new events are added
  • Manage your user profile used to access both the mobile application and the Ticketmaster.com website
  • View details of events and purchase tickets right from your BlackBerry
  • View your order history

Ticketmaster for BlackBerry is available on BlackBerry smartphones running OS 4.5 and above in North America only. Download it today from BlackBerry Beta Zone and let us know what you think! And if you aren't already a member, what are you waiting for? Get signed up today.

For more information and to download Ticketmaster from BlackBerry Beta Zone

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CrackBerry guide to weather apps revisited

No one enjoys being caught off guard by a sudden downpour, or step outside without a coat into the freezing weather, do they? We know that life gets busy, and it is not always convenient to stop and watch the news to see what the weather is, but there are many simple solutions to keep you informed while on the go, right from your favorite BlackBerry device. For me I always left it to chance, hoping that I would get lucky and have cooperative weather, but one to many sudden downpours and getting caught in a few too many snow storms, I figured it was time to keep myself informed, and when I began my hunt I realized there was quite a number of options for me to use. Last year we took a look at some of our favorite weather applications available then, so let's take another look at what is available for everyone this year.

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Classic card game MAD GAB comes to BlackBerry

One of my all-time favorite card games has made it to BlackBerry. If you haven't heard of MAD GAB before now you should definitely check it out. You are presented with a card that contains a phrase of jumbled words. Read it out loud and see if you can't figure out just what it is REALLY saying.

Just read a group of words aloud, like "Yore Luke Ink Hood." Did you "hear" the answer? Try saying them again. Sound familiar? Quick, the timer's ticking! Did you hear yourself say "You're Looking Good"? 

Once you think you know the answer, just type it in and see if you're right! You can play alone or with friends. ITSY ZEE!
 

MAD GAB really is a fun game for the whole family. Everyone can get into it and you're sure to have a few laughs along the way. The BlackBerry version features timed and free play and comes with over 300 phrases. Grab it for just $0.99 in BlackBerry App World.

More information/download of MAD GAB for BlackBerry

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Contest: Cheshire by Global Torch Themes and BlackBerry ThemePark - Adapt to any Situation!

It's always a treat when talented developers get together to collaborate on a theme to bring us something special. This time around it's BlackBerry ThemePark and Global Torch Themes, bringing you Cheshire. Let me start out by saying, this theme is amazing. You can truly have your home screen your way with Cheshire, and I doubt you will find a wallpaper that won't work perfectly. This is all due to the clever control panel integrated into the theme.

Within the control panel you will find toggles for hiding the dock and OCD slot, changing the dock text to black or white, and turning wifi on/off. But it doesn't end there! You can also change the color, pattern, and opacity of the banners, mixing and matching them for over 100 possibilities! Cheshire has built in hot keys for your favorite apps and utilities, and also for hiding and revealing Battery/Signal meters (Alt+# and Alt+*) and for hiding and revealing OCD slot text (Alt+? and Alt+!). There is a lot packed into this theme and even more to come. Currently Cheshire is available for BlackBerry Storm and Torch, with more devices being added in the near future. You can grab it while it's on sale for $3.99 (regularly $5.99). Be sure you check out the forums thread at the link below for some spectacular examples of just what this theme can do, and a few more screenshots after the break!

For more information/screenshots and to purchase Cheshire
To discuss Cheshire in the forums

Contest: Jake and Akash are super excited about Cheshire, and they want everyone to try it out. To get you all started, they are giving away 50 free copies! To enter, leave a comment below. Just one per person please, and the contest ends Sunday at midnight!

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Mobile Nations Monday Brief - July 18, 2011


BlackBerry 7 bringing an updated virtual keyboard to the BlackBerry Torch

Image by UrbanGlowCam

As Joseph pointed out not long ago, the virtual keyboard on the BlackBerry PlayBook is a little harder for some people to get accustomed to using, in part due to a different layout than that of the BlackBerry Torch/Storm virtual keyboard. As seen in a picture posted in the forums, the virtual keyboard of the Torch 2 9810 (and presumably the Torch 9850/60) will be getting an update with BB7, and will now look a lot more like that of the PlayBook.

What's your opinion on the change? If you're a current user of the on-screen keyboard, will this totally throw off your typing, or is it a welcome adjustment? If you don't currently use it, will the change encourage you to give it another try? Let us know in the comments.

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BlackBerry smartphones now being made in Malaysia

For anyone looking to pick up a new BlackBerry in the near future, take a look under the battery; you just may see a new location listed there. RIM has recently announced that “several smartphones from the BlackBerry portfolio” will be manufactured in Malaysia; Penang to be more precise. While it’s said that these smartphones will be available globally, it’s safe to assume that this is to help work the Asian market as well.

The plant was opened on July 1st, so start checking where your BlackBerry was made! You may already be a proud owner of a Malaysian BlackBerry. Ah, gotta love that new BlackBerry smell! Press release and a sneak peek inside the manufacturing plant after the jump.

Source: Orenity

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CrackBerry Reminder: What you may have missed this week


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