BlackBerry News and Reviews

Official OS released by Sprint for the BlackBerry Bold 9650

And seemingly out of the blue comes an OS update for Sprint for the BlackBerry Bold 9650. Considering the last official OS released by Sprint for the Bold 9650 was that of OS you'll no doubt wanna fire up BlackBerry desktop manager and get OS loaded up. As always, drop some comments once you get it up and running and let us know how it's working out for ya. Thanks, @BlkScorp33

Download the official OS for the BlackBerry Bold 9650
Discuss in the CrackBerry Forums

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BlackBerry App World webstore now fully supports Mac

Along for the ride with the latest update to the BlackBerry App World webstore was full support for Mac users. No longer will you see the dreaded "Unsupported OS" page plus, you can now also install apps directly to your BlackBerry just like Windows users have been enjoying for a while. Give it a shot, and let us know in the comments how it's working for you.

Check out the new BlackBerry App World webstore

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Filter your photos with FilterLab for BlackBerry

Everyone seems to love applying fun effects to their photos and BlackBerry users are no exception. We've been somewhat lacking in the app department however with very few making the cut or getting the job done well. One of the best we've seen thus far is InstaPhoto which sadly is still only available on the BlackBerry PlayBook. FilterLab is a new player to the photo fun game and is shaping up to be a pretty good solution. FilterLab lets you take photos (or choose an existing photo) and apply one of twelve fun effects to the image. Choose from 35mm, vintage, Discotek and more. Drop on a filter, let er rip and share with your friends. You can save the images to your SD card or send them to Facebook or Twitter right away. FilterLab is a pretty sweet app overall but it does lag quite a bit between processes. If you're looking to add a bit of spark to your photos however then it's not a bad choice at all. Check out more at the link below.

More information/download of FilterLab for BlackBerry

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Three UK launching the BlackBerry Bold 9900 in black on September 15th - White version to follow

An unofficial Three UK blog has rumored that the BlackBerry Bold 9900 will be available for purchase on September 15th. This is the first solid date we've seen for the device thus far, though keep in mind it was posted on a Three UK rumor blog and not via an official press release or site. Noted is that the device will be available in black at launch with an all white version to follow a month down the road. We've seen the device listed on the Three UK coming soon page more than once now, so it's good to finally have a date to put in the books. Hopefully other carriers will kick into gear now and drop some release dates of their own. Bring on the Bold 9900!!

Read more at Three UK blog

Via: N4BB

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BlackBerry App World webstore gets a UI overhaul

We knew this was coming thanks to some tipsters who let us know about the BlackBerry App World 3.0 update yesterday. It looks like now the new App World webstore is up and running for the most part. The webstore is sporting a totally new UI that looks a bit better than the clutter we were growing used to. The main page as well as individual app pages are all shiny and new and much easier to get around. A bit of clicking around still gets you a site maintenance message at the moment but hopefully things will be fully up and running before long. Here's to hoping we'll see a new version of BlackBerry App World hit devices as well. Keep reading for some more images and hit the link below to check out the newness for yourself.

Check out the new BlackBerry App World webstore

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Phil and Friends jam BlackBerry style

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

This one has been floating around the web for a while it appears, but Matthew brought it to our attention yesterday and I'm not sure how we missed it for so long. This is by far my favorite of all the BlackBerry themed songs we've posted thus far. Here we have Phil & Friends in and informal jam session singing about all that is BlackBerry. The song is super catchy and really well done, and once again sure to be stuck in your head for the rest of the day. Granted there is an iPhone floating around in the video, but since the song is so good we'll let them slide just this once. Check out the full video above and get your BlackBerry jam on :-)

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RIM begins BlackBerry developer video series - - First up is Paul Haenel

Many would say that application development is not one of the strong points of the BlackBerry platform, but in RIM's latest efforts they have taken to their YouTube account and begun a new series of videos. The series, Developer Stories, is aimed to give BlackBerry app developers some time in the spotlight to share their stories and explain to us why they love the BlackBerry platform. The series starts with Paul Haenel who tells us why he loves developing applications for BlackBerry and gives us a little bit of information behind his logic when he begins to write a new application. Be sure to check out the video above, and keep your eye out for more to come in this series.

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Tots for the BlackBerry PlayBook helps teach your kids about letters and numbers


We've seen many apps and games on the PlayBook that are geared towards children. I'm guessing developers are focussing on the Play in PlayBook. Honestly, a good tablet is a tablet that the whole family can share and enjoy. If you need another excuse to put a PlayBook in the hands of your child, then have a read. The Tots application helps your kids learn their letters and numbers and spelling, match upper and lower case letters and help them practice writing letters and numbers. It currently offers two themes; dinosaurs and flowers. It also has 4 different games to choose from – a whack-a-mole type game, catch letters to spell a word, write numbers and letters and associate upper case letters with their lower case versions.

To aid in the learning process, Tots provides both visual and audio positive reinforcement with each correct answer. The dangling light bulb in the right corner can be turned on or off to activate or deactivate in-game hints. The background music plays with simple childish levity that gives a fast paced feel to the game play. Isn't it great when a game helps educate your child even when they don't know it (or don't want to be)? Tots is available for $2.99 from BlackBerry App World.

More information/download Tots for the BlackBerry PlayBook

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Play UK now taking pre-orders for the BlackBerry Bold 9900

As the wait continues for the BlackBerry Bold 9900, it seems UK retailers are pretty much set to roll this thing out even before RIM is. We've seen Vodafone UK give us a walk-through, Amazon UK list a white BlackBerry Bold 9900 and now Play has the device listed for £519.99 sim-free (no contract) on pre-order. The date listed for release is August 12, but Play has been known to change launch dates on the fly -- sometimes, without letting those who have pre-ordered know. So, it's a wait and see scenario if you're planning on placing a pre-order. Thanks, Dave!

Check out the pre-order listing on Play

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From the Forums: 9900 vs Torch 2, Photo Studio in public beta, and Fireworks video from the PlayBook

It was a pretty quiet weekend around here, with Canada Day on Friday and Independence Day here in the US yesterday. We hope you all had a great weekend, whether you celebrated either of those holidays or not. Have you checked out the forums yet today? If not, now's as good a time as any, so get too it!

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 emails BlackBerry App World 3.0 Upgrade Notice to Vendors

RIM is gearing up to roll out a new version of BlackBerry App World! Developers were notified today that changes to the Vendor Portal are happening this week. Phase one is starting July 6th with the Vendor Portal going down for maintenance from 2am - 6am EST, so there will be no access for developers to make submissions or changes to their products. During this time there will be two new fields added in: Short description and Feature Image.

  • Short Description: This is your feature description or your one line sales pitch. Please provide a “short description” of each of your items to make your app more discoverable. We support multilingual short descriptions so you can make your sales pitch more local and relevant to better attract users who speak more languages around the globe.
  • Feature Image: You can now upload a featured app image. This is required if you want your application to be considered for feature. It will make your application much more discoverable. Image Specifications: 1920 x 1186 pixel .PNG file.
If you don't currently have items for sale in BlackBerry App World, this probably isn't very exciting news for you. However, keep in mind that this is the first step towards the rest of us getting some much needed updates to App World. Of course, no word on when exactly we'll be seeing those changes, or what they are, but they are indeed coming. What additions and changes do you want to see come to BlackBerry App World? Let us know in the comments. Thanks Dave!

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BlackBerry Dev offers his take on developing for BlackBerry and why he does it

While everyone else was busy discussing the open letters sent to RIM execs and concentrating on the all the doom and gloom surrounding the situation -- one BlackBerry developer took it upon himself to write up his own open letter. Not to make the situation worse, but in an effort to show people it's not as bad as some would have you believe.

“Letter from Outer Space” was written up by a developer named Ekke over at his personal blog -- Ekkes Corner and having been a long-term BlackBerry developer Ekke highlights the many reasons he sticks with BlackBerry development and his thoughts on all these letters from purported RIM employees. Ekke touches on a lot of things in his letter and even offers his outlook on the future of RIM in a portion he titled "RIM – Research in Motion in Transition", quite fitting really.

If you've not read the letter as of yet, and are tired of all the dramatic horror stories then it is certainly a suggested read. As each day passes, more people are ready to put the final, final nail in RIM's coffin but Ekke offers a his perspective from the outside looking in -- something that more developers and users should be doing. 

Read the full version of “Letter from Outer Space”

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BlackBerry Convenience key - TO THE MAX

Imagine this. You're at a crosswalk waiting for the light to change. Suddenly, three men (though one of them might be a lady, it's kind of hard to tell with the ski masks) wearing ski masks burst forth from a nearby bank. They make a dash for a black 1986 Chevy Caprice. You have just one chance, one small opportunity to save the day. Pulling your BlackBerry forth from its protective holster, you press the convenience key, instantly opening the camera. A second press focuses and snaps a picture of the car (and its unmasked occupants) just before the vehicle tears away. When you get that photo to the police, you'll be a hero. Those bank-robbing thugs are going to get a little justice - BlackBerry style.

Yeah, that doesn't happen too often. In my experience, it is a rare time indeed that I need to take a picture at a moment's notice using my smartphone. That's why my convenience key was long ago relegated to other functions. Out of the factory, the convenience key on your BlackBerry is set to open the camera. For some that's perfect; for me, that key could be doing so much more. 

In my humble opinion, the secret to good Convenience key use is to avoid having it start your most used apps. Think of the five or six (or even ten - it's your BlackBerry) apps you use the most on your smartphone. Chances are, no matter if these are grouped at the top of your All pane or scattered about your BlackBerry,, you can find those most-used apps pretty darn quickly. Why set a key to do what you can already do easily?

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RIM demos BlackBerry Balance in new video

  [ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

Back during BlackBerry World when RIM announced BlackBerry Balance there was nothing more then a press-release given explaining that the services were now available to IT admins. RIM has has posted up a video giving everyone a look at what, exactly BlackBerry Balance can do for them. You'll not be making use of this on your personal device but, if you are attached to a BES through work you may start to see some usage of it on your device now.

Via: BerryReview

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BlackBerry Torch 2 (9810) looks to be arriving on AT&T next month

For a while now we've been hearing that the BlackBerry Torch 2 9810 would likely arrive to carriers before the BlackBerry Bold 9900. While that remains to be seen, the evidence supporting that suggestion does keep adding up and the above image showing an August release does make sense.

That said; one thing that doesn't make sense in the grand scheme of things is the fact that the device is listed as being the BlackBerry Torch 4G. The BlackBerry Torch 2 has a max of HSPA 14.4Mbps as we've seen in many reviews and even the previously leaked spec sheet. If we had to take a wild guess here, and assuming it does arrive as the BlackBerry Torch 4G -- it's just more smoke being blown in our eyes by AT&T, just like every other carrier the labels HSPA+ as 4G.

Source: Android Central

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Put some OS 7 on your BlackBerry with 70 by AG Designs & Graphics - 35 copies up for grabs!

If you're getting tired of waiting for those OS 7 devices to finally land and want to spice up your current device, 70 by AG Designs & Graphics can help you out. This custom theme gives you the look and feel of OS 7 without the wait. You'll get the new full-color icons, sweet wallpapers and the totally look and feel of OS 7. 70 is available for most devices in the CrackBerry App Store for $1.99.

Contest: We have 35 copies of 70 to give away. Just leave a single comment on this post to enter. Contest ends this Sunday at midnight. 

More information/download of 70 by AG Designs & Graphics

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Vodafone DE lists BlackBerry Bold 9900 as coming soon

Vodafone seems to be the winner in the "coming soon" race with the BlackBerry Bold 9900. Vodafone DE in Germany now has listed the upcoming device on their coming soon page. While there is no release date listed (as has been the case in other sightings) it's still a step in the right direction. Nothing big noted along here as the site just lists the specs of which we already know but no preorder or other info. There is a sign up page to be notified when things start moving along however. Hit the link below to check it out.

Check out the BlackBerry Bold 9900 at Vodafone DE

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EPUB Reader updated to version 1.1, steps up its game


A few days ago, I reviewed two e-Book readers for the BlackBerry PlayBook, EPUB Reader and PlayEpub. Both applications seemed lacking in one way or another, but both live up to their claim of letting you read EPUB format books on the PlayBook. In that review, I mentioned a few things that I thought should be improved upon. The latest release of EPUB Reader improves upon a few things.

In this latest version, the endless scrolling through pages is gone; it was one of my biggest complaints about EPUB Reader. Now, the app flips pages like most e-readers. Touch the right or bottom side of the screen and the page moves forward; touching the right or top sides of the tablet returns to the previous page. Adding a little pizzazz, the pages are animated as they "turn." The animation provides all-important feedback, reminding you which way the pages are going. On the surface, this may seem trivial, not all-important. In practice, it's quite another story.

In an odd twist of events, PlayEpub has also been updated (to version 1.0.20). During my brief look through the app, I didn't notice anything incredibly different. I was really looking forward to reading properly formatted books on PlayEpub, but that wasn't in this update.

All in all, I'm really glad to see both of these applications updated, even if only behind the scenes. Reading books on the PlayBook is an enjoyable experience, preferable to reading physical books for some. With these updates, the developers signal their intentions to continue to improve upon these BlackBerry PlayBook applications. I love to read, and with these apps, I love to read on my BlackBerry tablet.

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Dropbox for BlackBerry updated to v1.0.49.1

Dropbox for BlackBerry has been updated again, this time to v1.0.49.1. Along with typical bug fixes, this update also brings with it a new layout and the addition of a Favorites tab. No more searching through folders everytime you need that logo or the 'good' pictures of the kids; just add them to your Favorites and they're available at the click of a button. As always, the Dropbox app is free, and available through BlackBerry App World.

For more information and to download/update Dropbox for BlackBerry

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Hungry Kitty, a memory matching game for your PlayBook, not about Garfield

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

I like chicken, I like liver. PlayBook, PlayBook, please deliver. Wait…that isn't right. Talking with a few of the PlayBook reps on tour, the game Hungry Kitty was mentioned as a favourite. Hungry Kitty was developed by odd fractions – a division of QTECH software. I had downloaded it earlier, as the icon for the game resembled the Chesire Cat- at least to me it did. Fashioned for feline fanatics, Hungry Kitty is a memory match game – where you find fish of similar shape, colour and pattern in order to feed your virtual tabby. You won't actually see the cat eat the fish, but I assume it's a feeding frenzy off screen. The fish are hiding within or behind bubbles. Pressing on a bubble pops it, revealing a fish. As with most matching games, only two fish can be seen at a time. The game offers three levels of difficulty, depending on how much time you have to waste or your skill level.

I will warn you that whether you like the accompanying music or not…it WILL get in your head. The various difficulty levels will keep almost everyone entertained, no matter their age. At times, the animation was a bit laggy, especially while exploring other portions of the game besides the actual gameplay (such as the "Who Made This" section). Hungry Kitty is available for free from BlackBerry App World.

More information/download Hungry Kitty for the BlackBerry PlayBook

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