BlackBerry News and Reviews

QuickView Pro - Find out if that email/SMS is worth looking at without going to your inbox

So I'm waitng for an email from our fearless leader here at CrackBerry and am passing the time watching some YouTube videos. When my email notification finally goes off I immeadiately scramble to open my inbox. Drat! It's just an email from my mother with another "funny" story about my nephew. Those of us who have the BlackBerry Style 9670 already have a built in pop-up feature for the outer screen letting us preview an email or SMS when our device is closed. Now with QuickView Pro, by AHazDesigns, you can see who the incoming message just came from & if it's important enough to read right away.

You even have the option of changing the color and size of the pop-up. QuickView Pro is available for pretty much every BlackBerry (OS 4.5 or higher) and is supported by all carriers & countries. Grab a copy today and quit wasting your precious time on spam messages!

More information / download of QuickView Pro via BlackBerry App World
More information / download of QuickView Pro via CrackBerry App Store

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Part-Time Scientists looking to take QNX to the moon

When RIM invested into QNX it wasn't just for their BlackBerry Tablet OS. As has been noted many times, QNX has been around for quite some time and is found in many places today -- from cars, elevators, medical instruments and even defense and security applications. RIM knew this and has no intentions of disrupting QNX's current operations. In fact, it's something that is often overlooked when referring to RIM and their recent dramatic demise headlines. QNX was an investment for RIM that extends well beyond the BlackBerry Tablet OS space. Apparently everyone forgot that QNX was quite a profitable company on it's own and they are now a part of RIM.

Now, a group named The Part-Time Scientists is hoping to take QNX to the moon with their entry into the Google Lunar X Challenge.  QNX's role here? The Part-Time Scientists have chosen QNX as the OS their rover "Asimov" will run due to it's strengths in real time operations. They've been working on the robot in their spare time in hopes to claim a portion of the $20 million prize for landing their rover on the moon and have it send information back to earth. That prize, jumps to $30 million if the rover survives the extreme conditions of the moon and can capture images of the Apollo landing site. Needless to say, we wish them all the best on their mission -- they're currently among the top 5 of the 30 entrants that are most likely to succeed on their mission and that alone is something to be proud of.

Visit The Part-Time Scientists website for more info

Source: On Q - The QNX Blog

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TweetCaster for BlackBerry enters beta stages

Although Seesmic may have given up their efforts for the BlackBerry platform that doesn't mean there isn't plenty of other developers out there ready to go ahead and fill their void. Tweetcaster has now re-launched their Twitter client for BlackBerry in beta form. Yes, I say re-launched because the app they released before was scrapped in favor of a new UI and additional features such as multiple account support, image uploads and list integration.

You can download the app now for free but it will cost you a Tweet basically promoting the release of the new application. If you're into checking out new Twitter apps, give this one a go and let us know how it's working for you all.

Learn more and download TweetCaster for BlackBerry

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Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, and Google Talk extracted from OS 7.0.0.176

Earlier today OS 7.0.0.176 leaked for the unreleased BlackBerry Bold 9900. While this OS as a whole isn't useful for, well, anyone at this point, there are people out there that can dissect an OS and get useful bits out of it. As a result, we now have leaked versions of some popular IM apps, namely Google Talk, Windows Live Messenger, and Yahoo Messenger. They are all v2.5.85, and only tested on BB6+. Here's the deal… if you decide to try these out, backup your device first. Install these at your own risk, and if something goes wrong, don't blame us. With that said, let us know how they work for you in the comments below or in the forums! Thanks for posting this in the forums lyricidal!

Download Windows Live Messenger v2.5.85 (OS6+)
Download Yahoo! Messenger v2.5.85 (OS6+)
Download Google Talk v2.5.85 (OS6+)

Discuss more in the forums

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Leaked OS 7.0.0.176 for the BlackBerry Bold 9900

While most of us still aren't lucky enough to have a BlackBerry Bold 9900 to call our own, there are some out there already living it up with the latest device. Here is another of only a few leaks that we've seen for the BlackBerry Bold 9900, this one in the forum of OS 7.0.0.176. Granted not many will have a chance to play around with this OS (no it won't work on your Bold 9000 or any other device) some can hopefully put it to good use. If you are a lucky Bold 9900 owner be sure to drop a comment here and let us know how it is for you, then toss the device in a box and email me for my address :-)  Thanks again!

*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 7.0.0.176 for the BlackBerry Bold 9900

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Fixmo Web Messenger out of beta, now available in the CrackBerry App Store

 

The name Fixmo has been seen around CrackBerry.com quite a few times; whether it’s been the ever evolving Fixmo Tools application or the tethering Fixmo Extend. Last month, Kevin informed us that Fixmo had entered a BlackBerry Messenger desktop client into public beta – aptly named Fixmo Web Messenger. Once installed on your BlackBerry smartphone, you can access the Fixmo site to log in. Using any browser, you can use Fixmo Web Messenger to access BBM and OMG and LOL to your hearts content. Both Mac and PC are supported. Features include:

  • BlackBerry Messenger from any web browser on PC or Mac (flash support required)
  • Secured communications between the web browser and the BlackBerry device to ensure your communications remain safe
  • Access the Fixmo Web application through either: the Fixmo website, the Fixmo Web Messenger iGoogle gadget or the Fixmo Web Messenger Facebook application
  • Browser "Pop-out" option to always keep BBM visible on your PC
  • New incoming message alert - browser tab "flashes" when new BBM comes in, so you can keep your BlackBerry on silent.

Now it’s a little tricky when navigating the Messenger application in the browser – you have the menu and back button that work well, but I found the scrolling buttons to be unresponsive at times. It can handle both one on one or group messaging. There was a lag when it came to the display, as well. My BlackBerry would respond almost instantly to the commands executed from the browser, but the browser display would be roughly 2 to 3 seconds behind. The application is still a great way to be a little more discreet when using BlackBerry Messenger. Fixmo Web Messenger is currently on Sale for $2.99 (from $4.99) at the CrackBerry AppStore. A free trial is also available.

More information on Fixmo Inc
More information/download Fixmo Web Messenger

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How Do You Use Your BlackBerry: How do you carry your device?

  How do you carry your BlackBerry Smartphone?survey software  

Throughout the years I've always seemed to change up the way I carry my BlackBerry. I started out using a belt-clip holster when I first had my 8830WE. From there I moved on to a leather pocket pouch with my Curve 8330, then slowly moved away to just a simple skin case and carried my device in my pocket. The last few years now (back to when I first got my Bold 9700 I'd say) I've pretty much migrated to not using a case at all and just carrying my device in my pocket (pants, jacket or whatever is easiest). I'll admit that many times when I'm out my BlackBerry never actually leaves my hand, but when enough is enough I'll tuck it away in a pocket for a minute or two until I feel the need to check it again.

So what is the best carrying solution for you? Do you use a holster of some sort? Carry your device in your purse/briefcase? Are you a "holder" or does your pocket work just fine? Understandably lots of you will have some variations as to how you carry your device, so choose the poll option that best suits you. Be sure to leave a comment letting us know why you do what you do. Thanks rrrebo!

Have a suggestion for a How Do You Use Your BlackBerry poll? Check out this forums thread for more.

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Connect Facebook, Twitter, and BBM to your BlackBerry Contacts

 


I think we can all agree that a BlackBerry has one primary purpose: communication. Text messages, emails, and that wonderful keyboard all come together to make the BlackBerry a hub of communication. In these new days of social media, those aren't the only way to talk to others. Facebook, Twitter, and BlackBerry Messenger are just three newer ways to connect to the world around you.

The contacts application on your BlackBerry isn't just a place to store your friends' and family's phone numbers and email addresses. Anniversaries, addresses, and birthdays are in there too, but that's not what I'm talking about. Using the official apps for Twitter, Facebook, BBM, etc., you can link people you know from these social applications to their contact on your BlackBerry.

"Oh, cool." you think to yourself as you throw confetti ironically into the air. "Yay," you add. Hold off on the ironic confetti-throwing and sarcastic cheers for a moment, this is actually pretty cool. Linked to Facebook, Twitter, or BBB; your contacts' pictures can be updated with their avatar from those services and app.  Opening the person's BlackBerry contact gives you a quick look at the person's last few tweets, emails, or wall posts. After finding your contact - in the address book or through universal search - a touch of a button is all that is required to instantly message a contact in a variety of ways. See? Not too shabby; read on to find out how.

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When Jim met Mike

The Co-CEO team at Research In Motion is a bit unusual. Very few companies try the multiple-CEO route; even fewer of them actually succeed. The two Co-CEO's of RIM, Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsille form two halves of a whole. Each of them complements the strengths of the other. As Jim characterizes, "My job is to get the money. Mike's job is to spend it. "

When Mike and Jim met, it perhaps wasn't under the best of terms. Around 1990, Research In Motion had been doing a bang-up, awesome job on making control cards for Sutherland-Schultz. The cards simulated the conditions on an assembly line and let operators see how a new machine would function before actually installing it on the line. Sutherland-Schultz bought so many of the cards that RIM's annual revenue exceeded $1 million for the first time.

That's when Sutherland-Schultz decided perhaps it would be cheaper to just buy RIM rather than the cards. Of course, Mike L. would hear none of it; but he still came in to listen to what his biggest customer had to say. Jim Balsille, a vice president with Sutherland-Schultz, was brought in to make the happen. It was during these negations that Lazaridis came to respect Balsille. Mike came to a conclusion, he wanted Balsillie join RIM as a partner. Jim said no.

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Quick Review: BlackBerry Skin Case for PlayBook

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

If you're looking for a case to add some protection and style to your BlackBerry PlayBook, look no further than the BlackBerry Skin Case for PlayBook. This simple silicone skin holds tight to your PlayBook keeping the sides and back of the device safe from the daily grind. While it won't fully surround your PlayBook like other devices, it does keep it scuff free in most instances. Even with the skin on you can still fit your PlayBook in the standard neoprene sleeve as well, so you won't need to worry about finding a carry case for your device as well. Overall I think the BlackBerry SKin Case is a great one if you're looking for something simple. Available in Black Opaque, Sky Blue and Pure White there is one that will fit you just right.

More info / Purchase of the BlackBerry Skin Case for the BlackBerry PlayBook

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Notifier for BlackBerry - Forward notifications from your device to your computer via wifi!

I spend much of my day in front of the laptop, and my BlackBerry is always on vibrate. Because of this, sometimes I miss important calls as I just don't notice that when my device is vibrating. If this sounds familiar, maybe because you work in an office and your BlackBerry is tucked away in your desk or purse, you should check out Notifier for BlackBerry. This simple app forwards notifications from your BlackBerry to your computer via wifi.

Currently, notifications for incoming phone calls, SMS messages, and battery status are the only ones included, but hopefully more will be added in the future. All you do is purchase the BlackBerry app for $.99 and install it. You will also need the desktop portion of the app for Windows or Mac which you can install online from the developer's website. To set up the app, simply enter the IP address (displayed within the desktop client) into Notifier on your BlackBerry, and you're done! Alerts will be displayed on your computer screen as your device receives calls and SMS messages, and as your battery level drops. I can't wait to see more updates to this little app. BBM would be a great addition, for example.

For more information and to purchase Notifier for BlackBerry

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Contest Winners: MOTOROKR headphones, waterproof cases, Fightin' Words, HeartBeat, Word GO!, and Nav!

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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Dropbox for BlackBerry updated to v1.0.39.34

After a bit of a meltdown on Sunday Dropbox has recovered and is back up and (securely) running. Their BlackBerry app has again been updated, this time what looks to be some minor bug fixes. Whether the "fixes" are related to their secutiry breach we're not sure, but better safe than sorry right? No change log this time around but it doesn't look like anything major has changed (if you sport something let us know in the comments). You can grab the update free from BlackBerry App World at the link below. Thanks to everyone that sent this in!

More information/download of Dropbox for BlackBerry

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Official OS 5.0.0.1082 for the BlackBerry Storm 2 9550 released by Appalachian Wireless

It's been a really long time since the BlackBerry Storm 2 9550 saw an OS update. I mean, a REALLY long time. Well that streak has ended as forums member lyricidal let us know that Appalachian Wireless has officially released OS 5.0.0.1082. It's available to download from the link below, so dust off Desktop Manager and give it a go! Of course, be sure to back up your data before you load it and if Appalachian Wireless is not your carrier you'll need to delete the vendor.xml file. Let us know in the comments or in the forums what changes you find!

Download OS 5.0.0.1082 for the BlackBerry Storm 2 9550
Discuss findings and fixes in the forums

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Leaked: OS 6.0.0.600 for the BlackBerry Torch 9800

Fancy a new leak for the BlackBerry Torch? Of course you do. It took a while but here is OS 6.0.0.600 for the BlackBerry Torch 9800. No list of what, exactly has changed as of yet but you all know what to do. Pick it apart and let us know in the comments and in the forums what the deal is. Good, bad, ugly? We wanna know.

*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 the leaked OS 6.0.0.600 for the BlackBerry Torch 9800 (Mirror)
Discuss more in the CrackBerry forums

Thanks, you know who!

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BlackBerry Tablet OS v1.0.6 now available

It was only a few days ago that we let you all know that v.1.0.6 of the BlackBerry Tablet OS was headed to the BlackBerry Beta Zone for developers to test out. Well, looks like testing went well as that release is now available for all to download. As noted on the Inside BlackBerry Blog, changes include:

This latest version of the BlackBerry Tablet OS includes support for Adobe® Flash® 10.3 and support for Adobe® AIR® 2.7 software. This means that with this update you should experience even better performance for Flash videos than before, and be able to access new applications that are being built with Adobe AIR 2.7 software. For all the developers out there, be sure to check out our post on the Inside BlackBerry Developer’s Blog.

Today’s update also incorporates the Adobe Flash Player updates as noted in Adobe Security Bulletins APSB11-12 and APSB11-18, which addresses issues that can potentially affect any PC, tablet or other device with an operating system that supports Flash. While there are no known reports of any BlackBerry PlayBook tablet users being affected by these Adobe Flash issues, we (as always) encourage all BlackBerry PlayBook users to update to the newest version of the BlackBerry Tablet OS. For more information about what these security updates mean to the BlackBerry PlayBook please see our security advisory.

Have at it, the download is available now when you check for software updates on your BlackBerry PlayBook. When completed, reboot and give it a run through -- don't forget to drop some comments here on the blogs and let everyone know how it's running for ya. Keep reading for more on the update.

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Safely remove the memory card from your BlackBerry

There's a lot of memory installed in my BlackBerry. The Torch 9800 comes with 4 gigabytes of internal memory, and I have a removable 16 GB microSD card installed as well. Until recently, those cards were rather full. My BlackBerry goes where I go, so I usually have it filled with movies, music, ringtones, and anything else that strikes my fancy. My smartphone has so much memory available, I've stopped carrying USB thumb drives. Why would I when my BlackBerry can hold so much?

The Mass Storage mode on the BlackBerry is an extremely useful tool. Using a standard micro USB cable, I can attach the device to any computer and use the smartphone as an external drive. Since the BlackBerry uses standard USB drivers to connect, modern computers have no trouble connecting to and using the memory card(s) on the smartphone. Your BlackBerry will appear as one or more removable drives; you're able to transfer data to and from the device just like you would with a USB flash drive.

When my BlackBerry is attached to the computer as a drive, I'm a fanatic when it comes to that whole Safely Remove Device thing on Windows PC's; I'm sure there's a similar function on Mac's. I always worry about delayed writes or something else causing problems with my memory card if I unplug it too early. It's happened to me before, so I try to be careful.  Before detaching my BlackBerry from the computer, I always make sure to check that it's safe to do so.

So what happens when you want to remove or replace the microSD card from within your BlackBerry? Though some may argue this a useless step, I find it's a good idea to turn off my removable memory card first. That way, I can be certain that no data will be read or written as I remove the card. The process is slightly different depending on your OS.

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Seesmic dropping support for BlackBerry smartphones

Although Seesmic has been around on BlackBerry for a while now, I'm guessing the constant onslaught of RIM in the past few days may have helped just a little with triggering the blog update from the Seesmic developers. As posted on their blog:

Effective June 30th, Seesmic will discontinue support for Blackberry in order to focus development efforts on our most popular mobile platforms: Android, iOS and Windows Phone 7.

We encourage those effected by this change to try out Seesmic for Android, iOS and Windows Phone 7, as well as Seesmic Desktop and Web.

Sincerely,

Team Seesmic

Ouch! Personally, I've never been a user of Seesmic on my BlackBerry -- I always felt their BlackBerry efforts a little underwhelming and I really can't remember the last time I saw a Seesmic for BlackBerry user in my Twitter timeline. That's not to say they don't make great apps because they really do, Seesmic is my preferred Twitter app on Android but for BlackBerry their offerings weren't all that great. Any Seesmic for BlackBerry users out there going to miss the support?

Source: Seesmic / Blog

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RIM updates screen resolution information for developers, inadvertently announces new BlackBerry devices

For developers, updating their applications to new devices can be easy but when new screen resolutions are introduced that task does indeed become a little bit harder. A prime example of this is when we were at BlackBerry World, Kevin, Adam and I tested out Angry Farm on the BlackBerry Bold 9900 to see if it would play any better with the new processor. Given that Angry Farm was not optimized for the Bold 9900 some portions of the game didn't fit the screen. The of course was because the BlackBerry Bold 9900 had a larger screen resolution then what the game was set to display.

So in short, developers will need to update their apps in order to make sure they work on the 9360, 9810, 9850, 9900 and 9930. Wait -- what? 9360, 9810, 9850? Yeah, Research In Motion just inadvertently outed the new BlackBerry Curve, Torch 2 and Torch 9850 via their own BlackBerry Developers blog. Although to their credit they are still listed as simulator models. However, we already know what they are due to all the previous leaks so I guess the real question here is -- when are you going to officially announce these devices RIM? You know, since even the simulators are now available and all.

Source: Blackberry Dev Blog; BlackBerry Device simulators

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Rumor: Verizon Wireless to unveil new tiered data plans July 7th?

Word around the web has been hinting at Verizon Wireless bringing some changes to both their family and data plans. Now it seems that July 7th might be the big day for these changes to go into effect, with tiered data plans and data + tethering plans. Supposedly at this time just for new customers and possibly current customers that are up for renewal, the new plans are shaping up to look something like:

Data plans:

  • 2GB - $30/month
  • 5GB - $50/month
  • 10GB - $80/month
Data + tethering plans:
  • 4GB - $50/month
  • 7 GB - $70/month
  • 12 GB - $100/month
So it looks like tethering is $20 extra per month for an additional 2GB of data. Additional data beyond your plan allotment will cost you $10/GB and tablet data plans will change to $30 for 2 GB. If this information plays out to be true, and you're looking at switching carriers, will it affect your decision regarding which company you go with?

*UPDATE* Android Central now has some more details posted up.

Source: Droid-Life

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