BlackBerry News and Reviews

BlackBerry PlayBook Tablet OS 1.0.6 hits beta zone for developers

Don't get too excited on this one just yet, but it looks like some BlackBerry Beta Zone developers are receving the following email with information on an upcoming OS update to 1.0.6. The update will be available to select developers so they can prep their apps for the upcoming update.

On behalf of Research In Motion®, we are pleased to tell you about an exclusive Preview Program focused on providing developers a chance to test their applications on BlackBerry Tablet OS v1.0.6.

The goal of this program is to ensure that your AIR 2.7 and Flash 10.3 applications are optimized and ready for the BlackBerry Tablet OS v1.0.6 release. Please read this entire notice, as it contains key information about your participation in this program.

This program is only available to a select group of BlackBerry PlayBook developers; as such we are very interested in hearing your comments and experiences.

No word on what will come with the new update, but we can hope since it's being run by some devs first that it has some action-packed stuff to go along with it. Again - looks like only a select set of developers will be getting this, so fingers crossed for a public release soon. We'll update if we find out anything else on this one. 

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How to turn your BlackBerry PlayBook into a world clock

 

There's no reason to go out and get an application to help you keep track of the time around the world; your BlackBerry PlayBook can do that for you. Using the PlayBook's clock application, you can add as many clocks as you'd like to it. It takes a little preparation ahead of time, but what you end up with is a customized bank of clocks that quickly gives you the information you need.

Our CrackBerry bloggers are spread out over the world and over several time zones, sometimes making communications difficult. At the suggestion of our very own Michelle, I added several additional clocks inside the Clock application. With a glance at their local time, I can figure out if it's too late to message Bla1ze (no) or if it's too early to call Isaac (yes).

Start by figuring out what the time is in your far-off city. A quick Google search will give you the time, and you'll use this to set your clock. Open the Clock app on your PlayBook. Swipe down from above the top of the screen to open the menu. Touch New Clock to add a new Clock. You'll get the chance to name your clocks; instead of labeling them with the name of a city, I labeled them as the people I might need to contact.

Set the time zone so that the time on your clock matches your Google search. It may take some fine tuning and you may have to do an internet search to find that Arizona doesn't observe Daylight Saving Time. Once you've matched your time, you can choose an analog (with hands) or digital clock. Touch the face of the clock to save your changes.

Add as many clocks as you like to keep up with friends, family, co-workers, Twitter followers, and anyone else around this enormous (and small) world of ours.

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BlackBerry World 2011 video shows off conference highlights

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

Ever since my first conference way back when, I have always looked forward to BlackBerry World (formerly know as WES) each year. I get a chance to talk to people in the BlackBerry circle I don't see often as well as hear about new things coming down the road. In the past there have been plenty of device announcements at the conference so it's definitely an exciting time of the year for BlackBerry. As we look back on this years conference, we did see some good things and it was certainly a great few days. We had the announcement of the BlackBerry Bold 9900 / 9930 (which needs to be released already!!!!) along with some great demos and of course free PlayBooks for all attendees. While we wished there was a bit more (we ALWAYS want more though) in the way of devices and new updates for the BlackBerry PlayBook (native email and Android apps please!) it was still a success in my book. If you haven't made it out to BlackBerry World or The BlackBerry Developer conference, it really is a fun and productive time for those in the BlackBerry space. The above video shows off some highlights of this years conference, so if you weren't there in person check it out and you can get a better idea of just what goes down. Now announce the Bold 9900 already RIM!!!! :-)

Check out all of CrackBerry's BlackBerry World coverage

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How precious is your BlackBerry PIN?

For quite a while now, we’ve seen BlackBerry ads focusing on the power of BBM. One that stands out is what many like to call BBM Flirt. I don’t know if it’s me, but I couldn’t see myself walking up to a complete stranger and asking for their PIN (I know my wife would have something to say about it). As soon as I think about that, I then wonder how many times I’ve added someone from the BlackBerry community to BBM and I have never even met them. I think many of us are like that. We use BBM to keep in touch with colleagues, friends and family –people that we’ve come to know and trust in some way or another. The idea of someone I don’t really know, having something, as unique as my BlackBerry PIN, scares me; especially if I was single. What if it didn’t work out? Sure you could delete them from BlackBerry Messenger, and ignore future invitations, but they can still send PIN to PIN messages (very creepy). It’s easier (and more cost effective) to switch phone numbers than to buy a new BlackBerry.

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Official OS 6.0.0.576 for the BlackBerry Torch 9800 from Bharti Airtel

Happy Monday to all the Torch 9800 users. From Bharti Airtel we have a fresh official release of OS 6.0.0.576 for you. This one had leaked a while back but now is an official release from a carrier, so if you were holding off on installing now you can comfortably give it a go. You can check back in the forums to see whats new in this version. As always, use caution when installing any OS on your device.

Download OS 6.0.0.576 for the Torch 9800
Discuss more in the forums

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Keep up with your investments on your BlackBerry using recently updated Stocks+ v1.3!

If you like to keep a close eye on your investments, what better way than by using your BlackBerry? BerryBlowApps has developed a great app just for this, called Stocks+. With Stocks+ you can display your stocks on your home screen. As the application updates in the background, the stock information on your wallpaper changes, so you always have up-to-date information right in front of you. You can specify pop-up, sound, LED, and vibration alerts for a change in stock value, difference between average of the day and current value (in %), and difference between 52 week average and current value (in %). You can also backup and restore your stocks and alerts.

BerryBlowApps let us know that they have just released an update to Stocks+, bringing it up to v.1.3. They've added a lot with this update, so if you already own the app you'll want to be sure to update it. If you don't own Stocks+, you can pick it up for $4.99, or download the free 10-day trial and give it a spin.

New features for this release are:

  • Company related news. Get the latest company news and updates in stock info screen.
  • New sort order for stocks list. Analyze stocks dynamic with new sort order. Set sort by "Change" to view the best changes.
  • Set Home Screen background. If you use Home Screen widget you can specify background image from your own pictures.
  • Backup/Restore to SDCard Use Settings commands Backup/Restore to SDCard to save application data at any time.

For more information/screenshots and to download Stocks+

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Contest winners: Vulkano Flow, charging dock, FokClear, NextGen, and YouMail!

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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Bye bye GPSLogger, say hello to GPSLogger II

A GPS Application for BlackBerry Smartphones

 

2 Years (and 1 week) ago we reviewed the GPSLogger application. Matthias (emacberry.com) originally developed the application in order to record your movement. Speed, elevation, direction, path; almost everything was captured effortlessly. In fact, GPSLogger didn’t just capture current values, but track and graph the values recorded at each interval throughout your trek. It even included a compass mode, import/export GPX and KML files, night mode viewing, and the ability to keep logs of POI along the way.

Now I speak of it in past tense because GPSLogger has been succeeded by GPSLogger II. Completely rewritten, it adds a slew of impressive functionality. Through BBM6 integration, GPSLogger II allows you to share your location (or direction) with your BBM contacts automatically. Now that’s definitely a new way to stay connected through BBM. No need to ask where they are, you’ll be able to tell instantly. Keep in mind that this feature is only available to BBM6 beta testers for now. If you aren’t one of them, you can still enjoy the following new features:

  • Append Logging
  • BlackBerry Maps
  • Additional (multiple) Views
  • Emergency Alerts
  • Sharing Location (email)
  • Configurable Status Bar
  • Additional new Keyboard shortcuts
  • Elevation plausibility check
  • Additional information: The climb in percen and the average speed over the last minute
  • The Distance Alert [GPSLogger: Special Options]

You’ll also be happy to know that, despite all of these new features now available, GPSLogger II is free. Check out the new features in detail after the jump.

More information/download GPSLogger II for BlackBerry smartphones

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Keep your BlackBerry dry this summer with a waterproof case!

Do you need a waterproof case for your BlackBerry? Keep reading to see how you can win one!

Yesterday Joseph looked at what can be done as a remedy if your BlackBerry gets an accidental dunk in liquid. I know accidents happen, but what if you could take an extra step and to prevent your BlackBerry from taking an unexpected bath? If you're headed to the beach for some sun, or out on the lake for a day of fishing, or taking the kids to the water park, you don't have to leave your phone behind. There are some great options out there for keeping your device safe and secure, and I'm not talking about a ziploc baggie. Keep reading to see what some of those options are!

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CrackBerry Reminder: What you may have missed this week


BlackBerry PlayBook OS v1.05.2342 update coming soon - addresses Flash fix issued by Adobe

*Update: The OS update appears to be live for most people now, so if you're not one of those that already has it because you've been sitting there pushing "Check for updates" since this post went up, you can check it now and get to downloading!*

RIM dropped word tonight that an OS update for the BlackBerry PlayBook will be available shortly to address a vulnerability identified by Adobe regarding Flash:

Earlier this week, Adobe issued an update for Adobe Flash Player, which addresses an issue that affects all systems running Flash. As such, a new version (version 1.0.5.2342) of the BlackBerry Tablet OS will soon be available to all BlackBerry PlayBook tablet users, which contains an updated version of Adobe Flash Player within it. This free update can be downloaded over-the-air from your BlackBerry PlayBook. While there are no known reports of any BlackBerry PlayBook users being affected by the Adobe Flash issue, we encourage all BlackBerry PlayBook users to update to this newest version of the BlackBerry Tablet OS.

Those curious about the Adobe vulnerability can look here for more info. Flash 10.3 should be hitting the PlayBook soon, but we likely won't see it in this update (will still be on flash 10.2, though based on Adobe's bulletin I'm guessing we'll see 10.3 sooner rather than later). Keep in mind this isn't just a PlayBook thing... we're talking flash pretty much everywhere. It's great to see RIM be able to push out an update so fast (go #TeamQNX!!).

Discuss this  in the CrackBerry BlackBerry PlayBook forums

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BlackBerry Torch 9850 coming to Sprint in August

The last we saw of the BlackBerry Torch 9850 / monaco was on a Sprint inventory sheet alongside the BlackBerry Bold 9930. While the BlakBerry Bold 9930 had a date at that time, the BlackBerry Torch did not. Now though, that inventory documentation appears to of have been updated and looking at the list now shows the BlackBerry Torch 9850 as arriving in 8/21/11. In some related information, we've also been hearing that the device most likely will turn up without those physical buttons we saw previously but that's not 100%. Alas, dates can and often do change but we've got our fingers crossed.

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A BlackBerry, an iPhone and an Android device go for a swim – what to do when your smartphone gets wet

Water and electricity do not mix. All those electrical components and doodads inside your BlackBerry are carefully insulated… with air. Air is a wonderful insulator; it doesn’t conduct electricity. Otherwise, we’d all get horribly shocked every time we went to unplug a lamp. Water conducts electricity; poorly, but it does. When your smartphone gets dunked in water, all those carefully insulated bits and pieces can short out and damage your BlackBerry.

So what is there to do if your BlackBerry (or other smartphone for that matter) gets wet? I’m not talking about a few sprinkles of rain; I’m talking full-on, dropped it in the river wet. Should you turn it on right away? Put it in the oven? Let it dry overnight? The folks over at Yahoo! News were wondering the same thing. Would any smartphone come back to life after going for a swim?

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Will.I.Am pulls out his BlackBerry Torch on stage for a little help with some lyrics

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

No stranger to the CrackBerry blogs, Will.I.Am. is a well known BlackBerry user and RIM spokesperson. He's performed at WES (now called BlackBerry World Conference), appeared at various product launches, and even had a BlackBerry PlayBook in a Black Eyed Peas music video before it was available for purchase.

The Black Eyed Peas were in France this week, and appeared on French TV show Taratata, performing a mash-up on stage with Belgian artist Stromae. During the song, you can see Will.I.Am pull his BlackBerry Torch out of his pocket, referring to the screen for a good portion of the song. There was speculation about what exactly Will.I.Am was doing, but in an interview following the song it's all made clear. It was their first time performing the song, and as such he didn't know the lyrics well. With so many songs floating around in his head, how can you blame him? And seriously, how awesome is it that he pulls out his BlackBerry to read those lyrics? You can check out the interview after the break. The interviewer asks about him pulling out his phone starting around the 9:40 mark in the video, and Will.I.Am discusses a bit about technology and how it plays into his life and their songwriting.

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Comb Over Charlie - fun for your BlackBerry PlayBook

 

At first, Comb Over Charlie appears to be less than it actually is. The graphics, though beautifully rendered, are simple; looking like they were drawn by Napoleon Dynamite or Demitri Martin. Comb Over Charlie has two controls: float and fire. Sound effects are minimal and perhaps a bit cheesey. The "ouch" sound made by the giant at the end of each level is a good example. Imagine a giant fish making a tiny ouch sound.

It is precisely all of this "cheesiness" - the graphics, the sound effects, and even the music - that make Comb Over Charlie so much fun to play. Comb Over Charlie is not your typical hero. Charlie...well, he has a bit of a hair loss problem and tries to make up for it by sporting a rad combover. The other fish have always made fun of him for it. Now the tables are turned, Charlie is taking matters into his own fins.

The game has only two controls: float and fire. Floating in just the right space is actually rather challenging. As Charlie swims along, you'll need to touch the right side of the screen to make him float. Releasing your finger, Charlie will fall. Using a combination of floating and falling, Charlie must aim and fire his bubbles at the other fish. It's harder than it sounds.

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PaperPlane for BlackBerry PlayBook updated with all new levels!

PaperPlane by BBThemes is one of the best selling games for the BlackBerry PlayBook to date, and for good reason. The simple concept combined with smooth gameplay and awesome graphics pave the way for hours of entertainment as you try to best your score with every throw. As Kevin let you know back in May, BBThemes was working on plans to expand the game with the addition of more levels. I'm happy to report that three brand spanking new levels are now available for PaperPlane.

To download these levels absolutely FREE, simply open up the app on your BlackBerry PlayBook. On the lower left corner you will see icons for each level, and all you need to do is tap them each to download. Now you can play the classic office level, or expand your throws to the graffiti covered city streets, an urban rooftop at night, or take your chances on a winter day on the slopes. From the video sneak peek we were given back at the end of April, it looks like there is at least one more level in the works. If you don't already own PaperPlane, you can pick it up for just $.99 in BlackBerry App World.

For more information/screenshots and to purchase PaperPlane

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Adobe AIR SDK for BlackBerry PlayBook updated to v1.0.2 bringing minor fixes and additions

It's been a couple of months since we saw the last update to the Adobe AIR SDK for the BlackBerry PlayBook, but it seems that RIM slipped out an update (bringing us to v1.0.2) at the end of May without us noticing. It doesn't appear that there are any dramatic changes or additions, which is likely why RIM didn't send this one out with a bunch of fanfare, but an update is an update nonetheless, and at least we get a change log with it. Read on after the break for a list of additions and fixes, and to download the update, hit the link below. 

For more information/download the Adobe AIR SDK for the BlackBerry PlayBook

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An in-depth look at the features of BlackBerry Messenger vs. iMessage

Yesterday, we gave you all a head to-head look at BlackBerry Messenger vs. iMessage. Where it was meant to be a quick look at things we never really got to show off some of the additional settings and user customizable options for each of the messaging applications instead, we concentrated on just the general functionality of each. Today, we're going to break it down a little bit more and do a comparison of sorts and let you all decide on which you'd rather use.

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Mobile Nations Podcast: Episode Zero

Introducing our cross-platform podcast, the state of the union for Android, BlackBerry, iOS, webOS, and Windows Phone!

Mobile Nations is our brand new podcast, bringing together the heads of state from Android Central, CrackBerry.com, PreCentral.net, TiPb.com and WPCentral for full on round-table action. This week Phil, Kevin, and Rene discuss new Gingerbread phones, iOS 5 and iCloud, Playbook updates, and Apple stealing back. This is Mobile Nations!

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Slide Show Maker puts your images to music. Warning: tender moments may occur

 

When looking at images on your BlackBerry, you may have noticed the View Slide Show option. Your images you have stored are panned through with style. That’s…pretty much it. Oh, wait, sorry. From the options menu you can only change the interval from 4 to 8 seconds between images.

What slideshow maker does is give you more options to manage the slideshow experience. First off, you can choose each and every image to be included in the slideshow. Another slide you can manage is the title slide; in which you can customise the text and colours. Once that is done Slide Show Maker takes you to a screen where you can choose 5 sound clips to accompany your slideshow. Unfortunately, you cannot choose any music files of your own. After you select the sound clip the slideshow is then uploaded to the Cloud (yes, I also said “to the Cloud”, as well). It only takes a few seconds for the upload process to complete. At this point, you can then share your slideshows by email or on Facebook. I can’t view any created slideshows on my BlackBerry at all – I can only share. If I could somehow add my own sounds, change the interval between images and view slideshows whenever I wanted, I could be a happy man. Slide Show Maker is available for $2.99 from the CrackBerry AppStore.

More information/download Slide Show Maker

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