BlackBerry News and Reviews

Contest: Win a copy of Absolute by BlitzStudio! We have 25 to give away!

BlitzStudio has just released an impressive new theme called Absolute that is loaded with cool stuff! The first thing you probably noticed is the giant clock on the home screen, which is super easy to read at a glance. Below this is a five icon dock of black and white icons - Home, Favorites, Social, Media and Utilities. Each of these icons opens it's own dock of 4 icons. I like how these hidden docks look, as BlitzStudio has incorporated BB7 icons with large underlays. It really brings a unique look to your home screen, while remaining completely functional. You can also choose to completely hide the dock by clicking the BlackBerry symbol on the left side of the dock.

Currently the theme works best with the 24hr clock format, but will be updated soon to support the 12hr format as well. Future additions also include a weather slot. Absolute is currently on sale for $2.99 (regularly $4.99) and is available for BlackBerry Bold 9650 & 97xx, Curve 89xx, and Tour 9630.

For more information/screenshots and to purchase Absolute (OS5)
For more information/screenshots and to purchase Absolute (BB6)

Contest: BlitzStudio gave us 25 copies of Absolute to give away this weekend! To enter, leave a comment below. Contest ends tonight at midnight PST, so don't delay, get your comments in! One entry per person please, good luck!

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CrackBerry member builds custom vehicle mount for his PlayBook

CrackBerry member Dylan sent in some pictures of a project he just completed. He designed himself a custom PlayBook vehicle mount! Combining the snap-on shield from his PlayBook OtterBox and a car heater mount with a ball joint, he had a good starting point. A quick trip to the hardware store found him some L-shaped brackets to use as the mount. Says Dylan: "The rest was easy, just drill the holes and bolt them in. After it was mounted I hooked up my aux cable and had myself a custom screen in my truck."

It looks great, and goes to show what you can do with a little creativity and some spare parts. If do-it-yourself isn't your style, head on over to ShopCrackBerry and check out the car kits there. You can have a look at more pictures of Dylan's custom vehicle mount after the break, and if you've created something awesome you want to share with the CrackBerry community, don't hesitate to send it in!

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BlackBerry App Roundup - 50 copies of Bubble Birds 2 by XIMAD up for grabs!

We have 50 copies of Bubble Birds 2 to pass on to you this week! Keep reading for details!

Welcome to this week's BlackBerry App Roundup! This week we have 50 copies of Bubble Birds 2 by XIMAD to give away! 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 and enter the contest! 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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Transform your BlackBerry device into a Windows Phone 7 wannabe with Mo7 from drkapprenticeDESIGNS

It should come as no shock to any of us OS replica themes have been around for a long time, and for some reason we love them so much, giving us a feel of another platform with the greatness of the BlackBerry behind it. The folks at drkapprenticeDESIGNS appear to have spent quite a large amount of time and effort and are happy to bring us Mo7, a Windows Phone 7 replica that carries quite a few options along with it. With 3 homescreens, 7 color choices, 4 opacity options and 23 icons at your fingertips, to say it is customizable would be an understatment. In addition to all of this there are a few hot keys set in the theme, as well as a fold away dock, which is quite neat to watch in action. Check out the video above of the theme in action, and be sure to pick up your own copy today while it is on sale for only $1.99!

More information / purchase of Mo7 

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Vitaminwater advertising campaign includes free juice for your devices

How many times throughout your day have you found yourself with a dead battery in your BlackBerry? A cool new campaign from Vitaminwater is underway in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Boston that aims to help out with this problem. Bus shelters in those cities have the interactive displays installed, complete with 5-volt battery powered USB ports that will allow commuters to plug in and charge up mobile phones, MP3 players, and gaming devices. If you live in one of these four cities, have you spotted one of these bus stops?

Source: Creativity-Online

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BlackBerry theme roundup - Win 1 of 30 copies of Kwais by Dohzen!

Win one of 30 free copies of Kwais by Dohzen! 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 Dohzen, who has given us 25 copies of Kwais to pass on to you guys! Keep reading for details.

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IM+ for the BlackBerry PlayBook now held in BlackBerry App World limbo

If you frequent the CrackBerry BlackBerry PlayBook forums you've note doubt noticed a thread discussing the release of IM+ for the BlackBerry PlayBook rather, the lack of release. SHAPE services, the company behind many popular BlackBerry Apps and a BlackBerry Alliance member has taken up issue with RIM and their App World approval practices. And they have some pretty valid reasons for doing so. We've received the following email from SHAPE services explaining the issue:

On May 19th the first submission of IM+ for Playbook was sent to RIM. We've got auto response from RIM  acknowledging the submission of a new release.

Since we haven't heard from RIM back and the developer was working on improving the app, on June 2nd we have submitted an update and got second auto response from RIM. We have never heard from RIM about the status of IM+ for Playbook.

As our Alliance Manager Maria mentioned in her Google+ post there were numerous attempts from our team to reach people from App World.  After there has been some discussion on CrackBerry forums and other BlackBerry related websites, some of guys have managed to get through to RIM and received a response from BlackBerry representative denying the submission.

Now it's obvious for us that RIM doesn't want IM+ for Playbook to exist. May be they see it as a threat to their BBM. This would be very anti-competitive behavior. Or is it just a chaos in RIM house? Anyway at the moment our development for Playbook is on hold and IM+ for PlayBook developer is temporary switched to IM+ for Android

Needless to say, that's not the information you want to be hearing from any BlackBerry developers especially when they are working on apps for the BlackBerry PlayBook -- a platform that needs new quality apps and needs them as soon as possible. Many folks in the forums have asked why we waited so long to post this, it's clearly an app that everyone is waiting for and if for some reason it is being held back on purpose then it should be known. Fact is, we were hoping we wouldn't have to considering the vocal stance SHAPE services took on the matter, RIM should have addressed the issue before it ever made it to our inboxes and on our forums but they haven't.

As it stands right now, we've requested an update from RIM regarding the situation and what plans they have to address it but no info as of yet has been relayed. Hopefully, we'll hear from SHAPE services noting the availability of IM+ for the PlayBook before we hear from RIM.

Discuss more in the CrackBerry Forums

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Nigerians victim of tsunami warning hoax broadcast via BBM

Nigeria is getting a bad name when it comes to email, and now that reputation is spreading to BlackBerry Messenger as well, in the form of broadcast messages. Earlier this year, a broadcast BBM message was sent out informing BlackBerry users that Nelson Mandela had died. This turned out to be a hoax. Yesterday a more serious and frightening message was broadcast.

Just got this now, 16:40 today 14/07/11 on Al-Jazeera network.....Lord help us! NASA reports tsunami alert on the west African coast (gulf of guinea) following a quake offshore Malabo (equatorial guinea). 20 meter high tides reported heading towards the coast of Lagos, Lome and Accra.

Needless to say, sending out false reports such as this is not funny, and in fact caused a lot of panic for people. Expert meteorologists determined that there is no tsunami or earthquake, and that the message is a hoax.

I don't know a single person that actually likes getting a broadcast BBM, and to get ones that are clearly spam, hoaxes, or plain false information is even worse. Every couple of weeks new threads pop up in the forums from people who have received fake broadcast BBMs supposedly from RIM saying their BBM is about to be deactivated. These messages are simply not true, and pointless. Make sure before you spread a BBM to all your friends, you check the validity of it, and if you're tempted to send a broadcast BBM to all of your contacts, you may want to consider any implications arising if they forward it to their contacts, and they forward to theirs, and so on.  

To discuss the recent Nigerian hoax message in the forums

Source: IQ4News

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BlackBerry PlayBook Tablet OS v1.0.7 coming today?!

Well, Kevin did mention that a BlackBerry PlayBook update was soon to be released, although -- he said nothing of when or what it would include. Thanks to one of our tipsters though we do have a good idea of what, exactly it may contain. Plus, if all goes according to plan it should hit at some point today or tomorrow. Thanks, @angrysmartphone!

PS: The June 6th update, is info about the last update that was releeased. No new info. Thanks, Chris!

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Basecamp and BlackBerry - let's summit up

37signals launched a web-based project management tool, which was dubbed Basecamp. By using this online tool, users could create, manage and share documents or other files, time trackers, tasks and more. It also creates a centralized, participatory method of communication between teams and/or clients through the use of message boards and comments – much like we see in the CrackBerry forums. Tasks or projects can be assigned due dates and to a specific team member to complete. Through the time tracker the team can report how long they worked on each task, either in the Time tracking section or the To-Do section. It really is an amazing way to see what needs to be done, who is working on it, how long they’ve taken and what everyone has to say. It’s arguably a lot more productive (and exciting) than a simple email or calendar entry.

Now you could always access it from your laptop when you’re on the go, but sometimes all you need and all you have access to, is your BlackBerry. Is there a problem with that? Of course not, it’s a BlackBerry! If you are a current, or potential, Basecamp customer, here are some options you can look at to access what you need right from your BlackBerry.

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BlackBerry Torch 2 hits the FCC

With the BlackBerry Bold 9900 having already passed through the hands of the FCC, we now are seeing the BlackBerry Torch 2 9810 get put through its paces. No suprises within its filing though, unless of course you were looking for T-Mobile 3G which -- it doesn't have. The Torch 2 will support GSM 850 and 1900 bands, as well as WCDMA bands II and V making it ready for release on AT&T as expected.

Have we mentioned lately that this device hasn't even been officially announced by RIM? Because, it hasn't yet but we've probably seen as much of this device as we have the officially announced BlackBerry Bold 9900.

Source: FCC; via: Wireless Goodness

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Attention Sprint Customers: Sprint Promo BeBuzz available in BlackBerry App World for FREE!

You have heard us here at CrackBerry talk about the popular app, BeBuzz, before. It's a fantastic application that lets you set color LED notifiers for different apps and contacts. Yesterday while in BlackBerry App World, I noticed there were 3 different downloads of BeBuzz. In addition to the paid ($5.99 - version 4.0.79), free with the 5 contacts only (version - 4.0.77) there was a Sprint Promo (free - version 4.0.81). I downloaded the Sprint promo on my daughter's 8330 (she's the only one who didn't have the app already) and from what I can tell, it's exactly like the paid download with unlimited contacts. If you're a Sprint customer head on over to App World and get your copy today! You never know how long a deal like this will last.

More information / download of BeBuzz 

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BlackBerry Safety Tip: Use a password to protect your device


"All right, that's bad, okay. Important safety tip. Thanks, Egon."

When it comes to your precious BlackBerry you certainly have loads of personal information you don't want to lose track of. From emails to contacts to personal notes, lots of users have very sensitive information on their device that needs to stay locked down. The best and easiest way to make sure things stay safe is to use a password. I know what you're thinking. "Adam, this is a no brainer, why bother with this post?". While plenty of you use a password without even thinking, there are even more that don't - but everyone should. Setting up a password is simple and can be the line between keeping your personal data safe and losing it. Keep reading and I'll show you how easy it is to protect your device with a simple password so you won't have to worry about any prying eyes from getting to your goods.

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Put down the Solo cups and check out Pong Shot Reloaded for BlackBerry

Pong Shot Reloaded for BlackBerry is probably the best pong game to hit the platform yet. Unlike other pong games, Pong Shot Reloaded has well done graphics, great animations and first person gameplay. The object is simple - sink your ball into your opponent's cups before they knock off all of yours. As you progress the game gets more difficult, so you'll have to practice to be able to keep up. Pong Shot Reloaded is by far my new favorite addiction and a way better time killer than Brickbreaker. Grab it for just $0.99 from BlackBerry App World.

More information/download of Pong Shot Reloaded

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Making the best use of that second hand BlackBerry

As we all know, keeping up with devices can be a difficult task. Carriers requiring us to lock into two or three year contracts to get affordable pricing, then dropping a new device the next year, and many of us take to the second hand market to keep our device addiction more affordable. Have you ever bought a used device and had trouble activating the BIS service because the PIN was still tied to the previous owners account? Or ever had tons of requests from the previous owners BBM friends? Well, there are a few simple steps you can take once you purchase that second hand BlackBerry that will enhance your experience and take away from some of the confusion that you may experience.

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Foursquare for BlackBerry v3.0 Alpha releases with BBM integration

Heads up foursquare for BlackBerry users, there is a new version out for you to take for a spin! Released today was v3.0 Alpha, which brings not only bug fixes but some very interesting new features as well, namely integration with BlackBerry Messenger thanks to the new BBM Social Platform we've been hearing more and more about! Some other features have been given an update, such as the Explore feature, and the UI seems to have gotten a bit of a facelift throughout the app. If you choose to install this version (since it's Alpha, it's at your own risk) let us know what other cool stuff you find! You can check out some additional screenshots here, courtesy of rroyy. :)

Download foursquare v3.0 Alpha
Discuss in the forums

Source: N4BB

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From the Forums: A vision of OS8, Alternative Markets for RIM, Win 100,000 Texas Hold'em chips

Already checked out the latest news and rumors in the blogs, and wondering what to do now? Have you checked out the CrackBerry forums yet today? If not, now's as good a time as any, so get to it! Below is a sample of some hot 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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RIM working on a BlackBerry Media Box similar in concept to Apple TV

A few weeks ago the folks at N4BB reported that RIM has been working on a BlackBerry Media Box, which was going to be similar to Apple TV in concept, and rumors about the device have begun surfacing again. The folks at Nerdberry have apparently been given some inside information about the device, and from their understanding the device has received the codename of the BlackBerry Cyclone, and it is apparently due out this fall.

The BlackBerry Cyclone is said to be Netflix ready, WiFi enabled, have HDMI out, and even potentially run a QNX based operating system. While the rumors have been circling for a while, there is still no concrete evidence of the device, but previous questionairres RIM sent out do certainly guide us to believe this could be true. This would be a whole new branch in the RIM ecosystem, something we have yet to see from them before, and would be a great addition to the family.

Source: N4BB

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RIM developing BBM Music - Share music and playlists with your friends via BBM

The rumors are flying these days about upcoming RIM releases, be it devices, OS', or applications. The latest word going around is that RIM is working on a social music platform, possibly to be called BBM Music. Utilizing the new BBM Social Platform, BlackBerry users would be able to share music and playlists with other BBM users. Shared music could then be downloaded directly to the BlackBerry via the stand-alone app.

This makes sense, since there is already some integration with music and BBM with the "now playing" option in BlackBerry Messenger - why not take it a step further, integrate it completely and allow for sharing too. Sounds like a great application! Details are slim as of now, but hopefully we'll hear more soon.

Source: BlackBerrySync

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TeleNav showcases off-board navigation on QNX CAR platform

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

While not directly related to BlackBerry -- as we know from Kevins recent trip to Waterloo, we know RIM and QNX have plenty of things in store when it comes to the automotive sector. QNX has the QNX Car Platform that they've demonstarted on many occasions and it's only a matter of time before we see further developments of BlackBerry integration in automotive from QNX. Two weeks ago, at Telematics Detroit, TeleNav demonstrated their services using the QNX Car Platform -- while they didn't use a BlackBerry PlayBook for it, it does offer a glimpse of things to come.

Source: On Q

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