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BlackBerry News and Reviews

Pick up the trash with Space Junk for the BlackBerry PlayBook

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

If you're looking for a good, inexpensive time killer on your BlackBerry PlayBook, look no further than Space Junk. The game is simple but will draw you in and keep you coming back for more. Space Junk is great for kids of all ages with it's great graphics and fun gameplay. The premise is simple - guide your rocket through space in an effort to collect all of the junk floating around. As you collect more and more your score goes up but your speed increases as well. Avoid crashing into planets and asteroids and be on the lookout for mind-warping black holes and tricky lost astronauts. Space Junk is available in BlackBerry App World for just $0.99. Check out the video above to see it in action.

More information/download of Space Junk

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From the Forums: Show off the BlackBerry PlayBook browser with We Choose the Moon!

CrackBerry member Maxxberry shared in the forums an awesome website for showing off the BlackBerry PlayBook's browser. The site is called We Choose the Moon and honors the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. It's chock full of flashy goodness, and really shows what the PlayBook is capable of on content-rich websites. Not only that, the site is really interesting! My daughter and I watched Apollo 11 launch into space, and spent quite a bit of time looking through the media, learning about the shuttle and mission - all on my PlayBook.

We Choose the Moon: Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Lunar Landing

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Twitter for BlackBerry v2.0 updated in the BlackBerry Beta Zone

Twitter for BlackBerry has again received an update in the BlackBerry Beta Zone. Some new UI tweaks and enhancements keep the goods coming in this round. RIM took in tons of customer feedback and has pumped out a new beta version (which sadly I've yet to find in the Beta Zone myself) with great new features. Updates in Twitter 2.0 include:

  • Color Refresh: This update features a lighter color scheme consisting of light blue with a shade of white. This new, smooth color scheme makes it easy to follow where you are in the timeline and has been incorporated throughout the app.
  • Compose a Tweet: It's all about options! By default, the Tweet composer is "hidden" from the Home timeline but accessible from the new "Compose Tweet" bar located below the nav bar as displayed in Option 1 below. Clicking the "Compose Tweet" bar will bring up the Tweet composer at the bottom of the screen, similar to if you're composing a Tweet via the Menu or by using the same hotkey that you would use to compose an email message from the BlackBerry message list (for example, in English, the hotkey is ‘c' if using a QWERTY keyboard). Alternatively, you can choose to display the Tweet composer as a static fixture at the top of the Home timeline (see Option 2).
  • Trending Topics now with local trends support: A Trending Topics icon has been added to the nav bar and now includes local trends support. Local trends helps you keep in touch with the trends in your area while on-the-go with the Twitter app.
  • My Profile: Now you can access your profile quickly and easily from the nav bar (or the Menu). And, you'll notice that the icon is personalized with your profile picture to better help you identify the account that you're logged into (teaser: this feature will be especially helpful should we include multi-account support in a future release. #justsayin =D).
  • Performance Enhancements: Last but certainly not least, we've included some performance enhancements to improve the overall usability of the app.

Twitter for BlackBerry should be showing up in the BlackBerry Beta Zone today for registered users (if you don't see it now keep checking back). If you're not yet registered, head to the link below to get started.

Register for the BlackBerry Beta Zone

Source: Inside BlackBerry

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Best Buy kicks off summer with the BlackBerry PlayBook

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

Best Buy is kicking off summer with a big push on tablets. While they stock quite a few so consumers have their choice, it's good to seem them pushing the BlackBerry PlayBook as well. This time the PlayBook gets it's own spot (which I caught on TV last night) and is shown off doing what it does best. Nothing super special in the ad but I'm still a big fan of seeing commercials for RIM products since they have been so lacking the past. Check out the full commercial above.

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Live and Lost with BlackBerry? Chances of survival are good

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

One day you find yourself in a strange place. All you have with you is a Blackberry Torch, a small amount of cash and your wits to get you through the week. For some, that sounds like an extended version of a great weekend. I recently stumbled upon a short series in which musicians based in the UK experienced just that, back in the Fall of 2010. Using the items listed above, and with help only from their fans, they had to make the trek to a gig within a week. The series starred Example, The Wanted and Professor Green, while on the Live and Lost tour - and only 6 episodes were produced. I wish I had found this sooner, but you can check out the episodes on Youtube.

They don't know how they'll get where they need to go. They reach out to fans, or vice versa, through their BB (using Facebook, Twitter, BlackBerry Messenger, etc). It was an interesting concept, but it didn't really show the true power that we all know the BlackBerry has. Yes, there are countless shots of the Torch, but no shots of any native or third party apps used. Or even true talk about how great the BlackBerry is at keeping them connected with fans. You know, they should do something like this more often. You actually don't need any celebrities or musicians on tour; drop regular people in the middle of nowhere and have them try to survive with cash and a BlackBerry. Now that would be a challenge. In fact, if RIM wants to do something like this again, I'm officially in!

Live and Lost with BlackBerry episode guide

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Kiddo Plus: An engaging app that will keep your child entertained while they learn

Kiddo Plus by Spice is a great educational tool for your kids (suggested ages are 0 to 5 years old), that teaches children the basics in several categories using vivid images, animation, music and on-screen interaction. If you're looking for a great game for your kids under 5, this in one to check out. Features include:

Flash cards: for ages 0-3:

  • Alphabet
  • Numbers/Counting
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Means of transport
  • Animals and birds

Activity Mode: for ages 3-5:

  • Alphabet: Guess the starting letter of objects shown.
  • Counting: Count the number objects on the screen.

This app comes pre-loaded with a 'Child Lock' that prevents accidental key presses, unwanted calls or data-loss even if you leave the device unattended with your child. I use this app to work with the kids in my daycare as well as one on one with my youngest child. Now that the app is also available for the PlayBook (no activity mode or child lock as of yet for the PB but it is listed as coming soon) it’s a nice addition to my lesson plans.

I suggest downloading the FREE version (has less categories) before paying for the Plus version to make sure it works on the device plus you can see if it’s an app the catches your child’s attention.

For more information / download of Kiddo Plus
For more information / download of Kiddo (free)

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Quick Tip: How to dial phone numbers that contain letters on your BlackBerry device

I'm a bit ashamed to admit my ignorance, and I'm sure my fellow CrackBerry writers will take immense joy in rubbing this in later, but for the sake of it possibly helping others, here I go. I had no clue how to dial phone numbers that contained letters in them like 1-800-COMCAST on my BlackBerry device until today. I ran across an app in BlackBerry App World that you enter the number like Comcast's and it gave you the numerical equivalent. I was so excited that I immediately thought to do a review on it and searched CrackBerry to see if that app had been covered before. Low and behold, on the main page in a Q&A submission (back in 2007) was an even easier way to dial those app needed! If you're like me and have no clue how to dial numbers containing letters, keep reading and you'll see how easily it's done!

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BlackBerry theme roundup for June 23, 2011 - Win 1 of 50 free copies of Aquilles by Raypho Themes!

We have 50 copies of Aquilles by Raypho Themes to give away this week! 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, send it in! Drop an email to themeroundup[at] for consideration. In the meantime, check out this week's picks and enter to win a free copy of Aquilles by Raypho Themes! Contest details after the break.

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Foursquare for BlackBerry updates to v1.9.97 - Link your AmEx card to your account and reap the benefits!

Foursquare for BlackBerry has just updated to v1.9.97 and has an exciting new feature. You can now link your Foursquare account to your American Express card for more rewards! Simply link the accounts, check in on Foursquare at participating merchants and tap "load to card" in the special, then pay with your AmEx card. On your next AmEx statement, you'll see the credits applied from the specials. 

From the Foursquare blog:

Last March, we rolled out a small test with American Express: link your AmEx and foursquare accounts, spend at least $5 at a local merchant in Austin, and get a $5 savings applied directly to your monthly statement. When we launched, the response was overwhelmingly positive. So, after SxSW, we sat down with American Express to plot the future.

Today, we’re happy to announce that the partnership is going national. Across the whole country, at select merchants, you can now check-in with foursquare, pay with your American Express card, and get big savings on your monthly statement.
More businesses are going to be joining soon, and we’ll share those as they go live. Redeeming these Specials is a totally effortless experience. If you’re a cardmember, link your accounts now to start saving!

They are kicking off the new features with specials at H&M (Spend $75, get $10 back) and Sport Authority (Spend $50, get $20 back) nationwide, as well as some restaurants in New York. This service is effortless to use as you don't have to clip coupons or even show your phone to a cashier; credits are automatic. Full details can be found on the Foursquare blog, including instructions on linking your American Express card to your Foursquare account. 

Full details and instructions on the Foursquare blog
To download Foursquare for BlackBerry v1.9.97

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DSB Design presents Zipper - A free theme for your BlackBerry Bold 9650/97xx!

I stumbled across this free theme in the forums the last night, and had to share it with you guys. DSB Design has released Zipper for the BlackBerry Bold 9650/97xx on BB6. This aptly named design is built around the unique home screen, featuring what else - a large zipper, which appears to be opening up your wallpaper. Yes that's right, you can still change out your wallpaper, giving even your old favorites a new feel. The four icon dock is hidden, as well as the weather slot, giving you a total of five icons on the home screen. Speaking of icons, these are those hot OS7 icons we've been seeing lately, and they look great. If you download this free theme, be sure to leave DSB Design a nice review for his efforts! You can also post your screenshots and other feedback in the forums.

To download Zipper for your BlackBerry Bold 9650/97xx

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RIM releases updated BlackBerry WebWorks SDK for PlayBook Tablet OS

RIM has announced today that they have introduced v2.1 of the BlackBerry WebWorks SDK for the BlackBerry PlayBook Tablet OS. This release adds new APIs and application functionality which developers can easily leverage to create WebWorks applications that deliver a richer, more interactive end user experience. The new APIs include more ways for developers to accomplish more within their PlayBook applications including:

  • More Ways to Monetize: With support for the BlackBerry In App Payment API developers can now include In App Payment Services as part of their applications. This enables them to sell digital goods directly from their BlackBerry PlayBook applications.
  • More Ways to Integrate: Developers can now further integrate their applications with the functionality of the Tablet OS for PlayBook and can create new BlackBerry experiences that leverage the PlayBook's professional grade features. Among the new APIs that enable deeper integration are the Camera API for taking pictures/video taping from within the WebWorks applications with the PlayBook's powerful dual HD cameras; the Microphone API which developers can use to activate the capability to record audio with the PlayBook's microphone; the Identity API provides applications with the ability to retrieve information about the BlackBerry PlayBook PIN; and the File IO API which gives developers the possibility to read, copy and write files onto the Tablet OS file system.
  • More Development Choices: In addition to JavaScript, many Tablet OS WebWorks APIs can now be called using AJAX which allows for increased development flexibility for developers who prefer a RESTful or URI implementation.

To help developers with a smooth transition to version 2.1 of the BlackBerry WebWorks SDK, RIM has also updated the API Reference Guide and included an additional mechanism to call some of the WebWorks APIs. To learn more about how to get started and download the latest WebWorks SDK for Tablet OS.

More information/download of WebWorks SDK for Tablet OS

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Weekly Accessory Roundup - Win a SanDisk 16GB microSD card for your device

You could win a SanDisk 16GB microSD card for your device! Keep reading for details.

With all the flashy accessories out there now, the importance of an SD card is sometimes overlooked. Whether it is music, videos, pictures, or all your personal documents, these cards let us take all of our favorite data with us everywhere. Most BlackBerry devices do come with an SD card, but its usually 2GB or less - and for most of us thats just is not enough. The SanDisk 16GB microSDHC Card will take care of that problem.

The SanDisk 16GB microSDHC Card is a great solution for your media needs. On average it can store around 4,000 of your favorite songs, or 10,000-14,000 pictures. This is 8 times the capacity of the standard SD card that is included in most BlackBerry devices. The more storage you have the better. Using a memory card will keep all of your media files off of the device memory, allowing your device more free space for applications, and helping it to run better. Some users can get by with a small 2GB card, but if you want to maximize your storage, you really can't go wrong with 16GB (or even 8GB most times).

Overall a 16GB sd card is a must for most BlackBerry users. The high capacity will meet even the most hardcore users needs. Personally I have been using the SanDisk 16GB card for almost 8 months, and it has met all of my media needs. SDHC cards are compatible with most late model BlackBerry smartphones. You can pick it up at the CrackBerry Store for $59.95, a fair price for the amount of storage you get, and length of time this card will last.

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The Grammar of BBM


In these times of ever-shortening missives of 140 characters or less, people are cramming more and more information into less and less space. This shortening of words and phrases can lead to disastrous consequences. Take this text message for example, "n e ice cream left?" You'll notice that the person texting has used the exact same number of characters to type "n e" as he would have to type "any." This young texter now looks like a complete fool and faces banishment from his humble seaside village.

We of the Society of People Who Wish Everyone Could Just Use the Same Words but It's Probably Not Going to Happen Because Honestly? Who's Going to Listen to Us? Societies (it's a big society) have put together this handy guide to the proper use of the noun and verb forms of BBM.

BBM - Noun - acronym for BlackBerry Messenger, a highly popular messaging app exclusive to the BlackBerry smartphone

BBM - verb - to send a message via BlackBerry Messenger or to BlackBerry Message (where Message is a verb)

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Bank of America App updated to v3.0.26 - no more web browser!

Oh happy day! Finally Bank of America, N.A. shows some love to it's BlackBerry users! With the new upgrade to v3.0.26 available on BlackBerry App World, BofA users will no longer be sent to a URL link to access their accounts. This new update is an actual app similar to what has been available for other platform users for quite some time now. Within the app you now have the ability to view & pay bills, transfer money between accounts & search for banking centers/atms.

When you go to find the app via App World on your phone, it is the old version, v1.1.0 (at least on my BlackBerry it is) which will still be the version that takes you to a URL site. I couldn't get App World to show me the current version. I tried downloading the mobile app via BofA's website and got a "download failed" message. So far, the only way I've seen to get the new v3.0.26 is to download it on your computer and then sync to your device. Still no app for the BlackBerry PlayBook but I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

More info / download of Bank Of America Mobile Banking App

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ShortcutMe version 5.5 released, on sale for 50% off today only

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

They aren’t called convenience keys for nothing. They are what they are; convenient. Some models have one, but the lucky ones have two. They provide a one click access pass to an app, commands and more. The video above gives you a taste of what ShortcutMe 5.0 offers. ShortcutMe 5.5 continues to provide a doorway to multiple options, depending on the number of times you click on the convenience key. It’s not just a simple ‘click to access’ option either – you can use macros to create shortcuts to launch an application, as well as manage user interaction (navigation, selections, etc). This definitely puts a new spin on what we consider convenient. Think of the time you will save by eliminating steps in everyday actions you do on your BlackBerry. What would you do with your extra time? Well, you could use that additional time to visit

New features in 5.5:

  • New macros are added, including: Launch, PasteFromCB (clipboard), Unlock and Call
  • Scheduled Launching based on days of the week (Schedule a shortcut to launch at a specific time of a specific day of the week)
  • Increased number of Scheduled Launching shortcuts to 10
  • Scheduled Launch Shortcut after a device reboot (Allows to launch a shortcut at a specific time after a device reboot)
  • Added SCM_CommonConfig, SCM_ScheduledL, SCM_SystemMenu, SCM_AddNewApp, SCM_DirectLaunch(Create a shortcut, a multiclick shortcut, or a BB system menu to open a specific page of ShortcutMe)
  • Added "Set Category Color" menu Item (Allows setting the color for all items in a Category by one click)
  • Removed Options_Sub2Page, Options_SubPage, AirPlaneMode_Toggle (All of these can easily be created by user using macros)
  • Added Duplicate menu item (Allows duplicating/copying a shortcut)

For today only, ShortcutMe is available for 50% off (regular price is $4.99- you do the math!). You can pick up ShortcutMe from the CrackBerry App Store

More information/download ShortcutMe for BlackBerry smartphones

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UberSocial for BlackBerry gets updated to v1.20

The popular Twitter app UberSocial for BlackBerry has gotten a big update today! Version 1.20 has quite a few bug fixes as to be expected, but they have also added in some neat features. The first of those is called The Inner Circle, which allows you to add people to an exclusive timeline. You can set separate notifications for this timeline too, so you'll never miss out on the tweets you want to see. The Uber team has also added DealBox, which is a new feature that shows you customized deals near you. When new deals are available, a notification will appear on the icon in your Uber Bar. They have also added in support for Twitter's new photo service, authentication requirements, and enhanced image viewing and handling.

All-in-all it looks like a worthwhile update. Head on over to the link below for the full change-log and to download UberSocial!

Check out the change log and download UberSocial for BlackBerry

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Check out AV by AIM - Free video chat on your BlackBerry PlayBook, including group support!

Looking for a video chat option that you can use for BlackBerry PlayBook to computer chats? Try out AV, a new video chat service from AIM. Since it's browser based, there is no need to install an app. Simply browse to the website on your PlayBook or computer, agree to the terms, and click Start. You're given a URL to share with up to 3 of your friends. Send the URL to whoever you want to video chat with, they agree to the terms, and you're instantly connected! There is no set up and no account is required. You can invite friends instantly via AIM or Facebook, or use the old fashioned copy/paste method.

This is a great option for those of you that don't have a PlayBook but have a computer, or vice versa, or if you want to have group chats with your other PlayBook owning friends. The site is still in beta, but from the tests I've done it works really well, so give it a try and let us know what you think in the comments below!

To get started with AV by AIM

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Quick Tip: How to modify the e-mail signature on your BlackBerry device

A couple of months ago we ran a poll asking you if you kept the standard email signature inserted after every outgoing message. Some said they enjoyed bragging about owning a BB, others thought it was a great way to let people know they weren't on their computer, while a few refuse to use it. My personal belief is that there are some people you don't want seeing that "Sent via BlackBerry by" line at the bottom. I'll give you a little hint: my boss who sends messages to my personal email. Let's just say when a person calls in sick they technically should be working from home. 

That's why there are two ways BIS users can add/modify their email signature after they initially setup their email account. You can either login to your carrier's BlackBerry Internet Service site on your computer or access directly from the BlackBerry device. Now you'll be able to create a signature that is more in tune with whatever you enjoy.

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A closer look at the new Verizon Wireless data plans

Our friends over at Android Central got their hands on all the details of the upcoming changes to Verizon Wireless data plans this morning. If you're still a little confused about what the changes are and how they will affect you, hopefully this will give you the answers you're looking for. It looks like what it boils down to is if you're currently enjoying unlimited data for $29.99/month with your 3G or 4G LTE smartphone, you can continue to do so. If you aren't, you either have two weeks to make that switch, or miss out on it forever. We'll list the main changes for you below, and you can hit up Android Central for an in-depth look at the materials they received.

  • $30 for 2GB with $10/GB overage
  • $50 for 5GB (this also includes business e-mail at no additional charge) with $10/GB overage
  • $80 for 10GB (this also includes business e-mail at no additional charge) with $10/GB overage
  • Mobile hotspot access will cost $20 a month for 2GB of data
  • EXISTING CUSTOMERS- That have our $29.99 unlimited data plan WILL BE GRANDFATHERED IN, they will keep their unlimited plan after 7/7/11
  • EXISTING CUSTOMERS- That current have the unlimited data WILL BE ABLE TO UPGRADE AND KEEP the unlimited data feature (No known end date on this as of this moment)
  • EXISTING CUSTOMERS- That add lines post 7/7/2011, will NOT be able to choose the $29.99 unlimited data feature
  • NEW CUSTOMERS- Any customer that sets up service from now, until 7/7/2011 WILL BE ON, AND WILL BE GRANDFATHERED into our $29.99 unlimited data package
  • NEW CUSTOMERS- Any new customer that set up service AFTER 7/7/2011, WILL NOT be able to choose the $29.99 unlimited plan
For full details from Android Central

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How Do You Use Your BlackBerry: What's your data flavor?

  What type of data plan do you prefer?survey software  

So in the blogs, you don’t really hear too much about BlackBerry data plans. Sure we talk about devices, accessories, applications and such, but we don’t spend too much time on what makes the BlackBerry magic happen (most of the time) – the data plans. These plans have definitely come a far way from what they originally offered. 2006-ish brought us blockbusters like the Pursuit of Happyness, The Da Vinci Code and super amazing data plans like a whopping 200MB of data for a measly $100 per month. All joking aside, not everyone leans on a full data package in order to feed their BlackBerry addiction. Many carriers offer plans dubbed BIS Lite (email and instant messaging apps only) or BIS Social (instant messaging and social networking apps only) that seem to be more than enough access for some. There are even pay-by-the month options, which are similar to pay-as-you-go plans.

I'm comfortable with having a good old regular, full BIS accessible, data plan and use WiFi at work and home. What type of data plan do you use? Do you have full BIS or are you more of a BIS Lite or Social type? Are you pay by the month? Or are you like our own Yousif, who doesn’t even have BIS available and relies on WiFi and such to get through the day? Pick an option for the poll that describes your access. Don’t forget to leave a comment that tells us what you are using and why.

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

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