BlackBerry News and Reviews

Slick theme from WJD Designs - 25 copies to be won!

Slick is the newest theme creation from WJD Designs. As with all of WJD's themes, Slick is totally custom and features icon set alterations of red, green, blue, and yellow. These icons are also animated and bounce when you scroll through them. This theme also sports a very slick wooden dock, and is very wallpaper friendly.

Overall, Slick is a very nice theme, and great way to spruce up your device, giving it a cool, custom look. You can pick it up at the CrackBerry App Store for $2.99. It is compatible with the 9000,95xx, 96xx, 9700, and Torch 9800.

Contest: We have 25 copies of Slick to give away. Just leave a comment on this post to enter. Contest ends this Sunday at midnight PST. Please only leave one comment, multiple entries wont count.

More information and purchase of Slick

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BlackBerry App Roundup for May 20, 2011 - We have 50 copies of Paddle Ball 3D to give away!

50 free copies of Paddle Ball 3D up for grabs! Keep reading to enter!

Welcome to this week's BlackBerry App Roundup! This week we have 50 copies of Paddle Ball 3D by Dekerta Software to give away! We have searched high and low and found some neat apps to share with you this week, so head on past the break to check them out and enter the contest! If you have an app you want to see featured in the roundup be sure to check the end of the post for information on submitting it to us.

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Step up your music trivia game with Quizzical Music for the BlackBerry PlayBook

My head is full of what some would consider useless knowledge, one of those things occupying space in my brain is some obscure music trivia so, when I spotted Quizzical Music in BlackBerry App World I had to give it a go just to see how I'd fair. If you've not had a chance to take a look at Quizzical Music on your BlackBerry PlayBook yet, it's a pretty basic application but it has some great features built into it.

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Review: SOTI Pocket Controller-Pro 8 – Now with Bluetooth Support and Notifications

SOTI Pocket Controller-Pro for BlackBerry is one of the few productivity apps I consistently rely on day to day. For me it’s more than just the ability to use BBM from my desktop. Need to capture a tricky screenshot for a 101 that no other app will get? Check. Want to type on a regular keyboard instead of the small keys of the BB? Check. Peace of mind that it looks like I’m being productive at work when I’m actually on my BB. Che….Alright you caught me red handed. That’s the beauty of Pocket Controller; it lets you stay focused on the task at hand without having to constantly stop to check your BlackBerry.

That being said, I can’t tell you how excited I was to learn it’s been updated to version 8.0. This version includes even more amazing productivity features and bug fixes. So let’s break each down one by one and hopefully I won’t be caught goofing off at work. If you’re unfamiliar with SOTI Pocket Controller-Pro you can check out my original review.    

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Leaked OS 6.0.0.576 for the BlackBerry Bold 9700 and Curve 3G 9300

One more for the road! Curve 9300 users get another update as well as those with the Bold 9700. OS 6.0.0.576 is the latest leak, so do what you do and get to installing. Be sure to leave a comment here or swing by the forums with your findings. As usual - use caution when installing any OS.

*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 6.0.0.576 for the Bold 9700
Discuss more in the forums

Download OS 6.0.0.576 for the Curve 3G 9300
Discuss more in the forums

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Leaked OS 6.0.0.570 for the BlackBerry Pearl 3G 9100/9105

Here's one for the Pearl 3G users. OS 6.0.0.570 has leaked and is ready for the taking. This one is fresh so be sure to cruise by the forums if you do install and let us know whats good, bad or ugly. This one is good for both the 9100 and 9105, so you have no excuses! As always, use caution when installing any OS on your device.

*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 6.0.0.570 for the BlackBerry Pearl 3G
Discuss more in the forums

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RIM vs the World - An infographic

A never ending topic of discussion I see on Twitter and the CrackBerry forums, among other places, revolves around which mobile platform is the "best". I really don't believe there is a definitive answer to this question, as what is perfect for me, may not be perfect for you. And there really isn't anything wrong with that. Competition between brands is healthy, and without it, what would drive RIM or Apple or anyone to improve their platform, and keep bringing us the next bigger and better thing? Take a look (after the break) at the infographic that Geekaphone has put together for some interesting, at-a-glance information about RIM in the past and the present, what sets BlackBerry apart from the others, and comparisons between the "Big 3".

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Meet the PlayBook events heading to Europe

If you happen to live in the EMEA and are a developer interested in going hands-on with the BlackBerry PlayBook all while learning a thing or two about porting your apps using Adobe tools, then RIM is looking for you. In fact, they're coming to you:

We are delighted to announce our exclusive BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet developer and business seminar series in association with Adobe®, which we’ll be taking on the road across the EMEA region. At our exclusive – and free! – half-day event, you’ll get hands-on access to our new tablet and find out everything you need to know about developing a multi-screen strategy for a client, converting your existing Adobe® Flex or Adobe® AIR® apps, or turning your ideas into successful, revenue-generating reality.

The event comprises two parallel sessions, one business-focused and one technology-focused, and technical teams from Research In Motion® and Adobe will also be available to answer your questions.

24th May – Johannesburg

26th May – Dubai

2nd June – Madrid

14th June – Milan

You'll want to make sure you sign up early as spots are going to be limited but, it's a great oppurtunity for those in the EMEA region. Plus, as noted by RIM there will be more cities added to the list at a later time, so if you can't make out to any of the currently listed -- chances are you may be able to make it to another later on.

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Review: SixTools for BlackBerry smartphones

More power. It’s not just the Tool Man that’s looking to tweak and tinker in order to achieve that goal. Some do it with fewer explosions (and a lot less grunting). Admit it, when you get a new gadget that you love, a voice in your head will, without fail, say something along the line of “Yeah…it’s cool..but…I wish I could…(insert awesome tweak idea here)!” Don’t fight it, it will happen without fail. Some choose to ignore it, others strive to attain it. Want an example? Try checking out BlackBerry App World or the CrackBerry App Store- they’re called applications.

Take the SixTools application for example. Recognizing what is available in OS 6 it adds “what if” and “how about” through shortcuts, alerts, sounds and more. Those who weren’t completely satisfied with what OS 6 offers, should take a look at the functionality this application provides. I’d suggest you put down the welding gun or duct tape and have a read on.

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Having issues restoring your AutoText entries when updating your OS? Check out AutoTextBackup!

If you've updated the OS on your BlackBerry anytime in the last few months, you've most likely run into the issue of not being able to restore your AutoText entries at some point. It seems that somewhere along the line, RIM decided to change things up and rename the well known AutoText to Word Substitution and kink up things all over. AutoText has a big problem with restoring itself to the Word Substitution database when restoring an OS, so unless you have an old backup of your AutoText, you have to manually enter all the entries again (see more in this thread). To the rescue is the free app AutoTextBackup. The app does just as the name implies - backing up your AutoText entries so you can easily restore them after an OS install. AutoTextBackup is totally free to use, but it is kind of new so be sure to swing by the forums and leave a comment if you try it out.

More information/download of AutoTextBackup
Discuss more in the forums

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Leaked OS 6.0.0.570 for BlackBery Bold 9780 and Curve 3G 9300

Happy Friday to the Bold 9780 and Curve 9300 owners. We have a fresh leak to start the day and get things rolling right. OS 6.0.0.570 is floating around the interwebs and ready for a good home. Reports seem good on this one so far, so get out those USB cables and get to downloading. As always use caution when installing a leaked OS. Hit the forums for more discussion.

Download OS 6.0.0.570 for the Bold 9780
Discuss more in the forums

Download OS 6.0.0.570 for the Curve 9300
Discuss more in the forums

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TweeTwo and TweeTwo Dark released by BBThemes!

Twitter 2.0 was released for BlackBerry by RIM today, and with it came a great new UI, among other things. BBThemes has been hard at work since the Twitter update hit the beta zone and they have designed a sexy new theme to reflect the look of the Twitter app. Dubbed TweeTwo, it comes with sharp gray and white icons with blue highlights on dark backgrounds. The home screen features minimal banners and a hidden dock of 6-8 icons (depending on device) and hotspots and shortcuts throughout. You can choose between 2 versions, TweeTwo and TweeTwo Dark, which has darker backgrounds in the messages applications. It's a beautiful and well crafted theme you will be proud to use whether you are a Twitter user or not.

TweeTwo was created using the newly released Theme Builder Gold, and currently supports BlackBerry 9650, 97xx, and 9800 with more devices being released in the next few days. You can pick up TweeTwo or TweeTwo Dark on sale for $1.99 (will be $2.99 regularly).

For more information/screenshots and to purchase TweeTwo

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Jeeosuite Connector for the BlackBerry PlayBook released

We've mentioned Jeeosuite a few times here on the blogs, and many of you all out there have been making use of the the WiFi portal app on your BlackBerry devices for quite a while and now -- you can also make use of it on your BlackBerry PlayBook as a companion app to that of the BlackBerry version.

Jeeosuite Connector for the BlackBerry PlayBook is now available in BlackBerry App World, combining the use of Jeeosuite on your BlackBerry and on your PlayBook you can access all of Jeeosuites functions right from your BlackBerry PlayBook.

More information/download of Jeeosuite Connector for the BlackBerry PlayBook

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LittleBrother - The zero power consuming tracking solution updated

eMacBerry has just taken the time to let us know that Little Brother, their tracking solution app has received a pretty hefty update. The update in question covers a lot of features that were requested through user feedback so, if you're a Little Brother user you'll want to grab the latest from the eMacBerry website. If you're not quite yet familiar with Little Brother -- have a look at our previous posts here to get a better understanding of how the app works. Read on past the break for the full changelog and download link.

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Amazon now taking pre-orders for the BlackBerry PlayBook arriving June 1

Although the BlackBerry PlayBook has popped up on Amazon before, that was through third part retailers -- often times charging a pretty high markup cost on the total price. Now though, Amazon themselves are taking pre-orders for all currently available models with an expected shipment date of June 1. This is the first time online sales have taken place aside from your local brick and mortar stores so it'll be interesting to see how many people opt to go with Amazon. As expected, pricing remains the same across the board but you'll get free shipping, which is always a bonus. Thanks, rbenjamin!

Pre-order your BlackBerry PlayBook On Amazon

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Quick Review: Canucks app for BlackBerry smartphones

 

Ah the Stanley Cup playoffs. It’s an exciting time of year to say the least. Who am I rooting for? The Vancouver Canucks of course. This year, you can associate the Vancouver Canucks with the phrase “this is what we live for”. I guess that same phrase can apply to hardcore BlackBerry users, as well. Over the weekend, I was lucky enough to win a pair of tickets to the first game of Round 3. My son had a blast; I think I’ve created another Canucks fan (and a future BlackBerry abuser to boot).

To keep on my favorite team (the Canucks, in case you forgot) I would check out Twitter for updates and read up on them in Sports news. A few weeks back, I installed the Canucks app. Through the app, users can stay up to date on their team and access videos, message boards, images, etc. Push notifications will remind you that it’s game day and give you updates on the scores after each period. The home screen will display a new message icon (the Canucks logo), reminding you to open up the app to see the message. The Main screen is alive with stats and options. The app gives you game analysis by period, goal and penalty. The Player Pulse section makes sure you have your favourite players stats at hand. The ever scrolling Recent Updates section is rolling through news, trivia, photos, video links and more. Standings will tell you how the Canucks and the rest of the NHL teams are doing. The social feeds let you see what people are saying on Twitter.

The included Rogers Arena map will display the sections and locations of stores/concessions. Are you ready to get your game on? From within the app, you can access the TicketMaster site or call regarding ticket packages. The app was developed by using the Orchard Mobile Framework from Atimi Software – the same Framework used to power the Calgary Flames app (iOS). It’s easy to navigate and offers quite a bit of information in such a confined space. I had a few problems with the application. It can only be used in landscape mode on my Torch – so no portrait mode support. Only a handful of BlackBerry models are listed as supported: 8900, Bold (9000, 9700, 9780), Tour 9630 and Torch 9800. I also found this app to be a somewhat heavy drain on battery life, but probably because it works so hard to harness the awesomeness of the Canucks. You can pick it up, for free, from BlackBerry App World. Pics after the jump.

More information/download the Canucks app from BlackBerry App World

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BlackBerry 101: Importing picture folders on BlackBerry 6

Whether you are upgrading your current device from a 5.0 OS to a 6.0 version, or you upgraded to a new device completely which is running BlackBerry 6, odds are that when you made the change not all of your picture folders were showing by default. When I made the switch the same happened to me, and I was rather nervous thinking the information was lost, but it wasn't and once the device is plugged into the PC it is all visible. Instead of moving the media into a folder that is showing, getting these additional folders to show is quite simple.

  1. Open your pictures application
  2. Press menu
  3. Scroll to import pictures
  4. Select folders which you want to show
  5. Accept the changes
Pretty simple process, and then all your folders will be showing again. If at any point you want to hide that entire folder you can simply do the same process except this time you will remove the check mark which will remove it from public view. We have previously taken a look at how to hide and show single pictures, but this is an easy way to do it for the whole folder now. Enjoy!

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Watch TV on your BlackBerry PlayBook with HBO GO & MAX GO

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

Anytime between 8 am to 5 pm, the sounds coming from my TV are usually that of My Little Pony or Bubble Guppies thanks to my 4 yr old taking possession of it. I usually try to cram as many of my DVR shows in as possible during her naptime but with so many to catch up on, it can take me weeks to get caught up. Now, thanks to my subscription to HBO through my cable provider (I have Comcast), I can catch up on shows & movies via my BlackBerry PlayBook. Cinemax also appears to have the same setup going on. 

According to both the HBO GO & MAX GO websites, BlackBerry devices are not listed as being compatible. I'm here to tell you that doesn't appear to be correct. As you can see in the video above, I had no problem running the HBO GO website content on my PlayBook. I don't subscribe to Cinemax so I was unable to test that one out. For anyone who does have Cinemax and has tried it out, comment below and let us know if it works! Hopefully more of the premium channels will follow suit and have sites like these available soon.

More information of HBO GO
More information of MAX GO

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BlackBerry Theme Studio 6 Gold release coming today

BlackBerry theme developers got a nice surprise from RIM today -- BlackBerry Theme Studio 6 Gold release will be made available for all through the BlackBerry downloads page. Although developers have been pushing new themes out for quite some time now, the Theme Studio used to create them was still labeled beta. The latest version has plenty of changes listed for it:

  • Support for the latest BlackBerry devices, including the BlackBerry Torch 9800 and BlackBerry Style 9670 handsets, and BlackBerry 6.
  • Support for theming BlackBerry 6 features such as graphic popup menus, plus the addition of BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), Facebook, and Twitter feeds to Today screens.
  • New productivity features allow you to batch update all of the graphics in a theme automatically. You can also change fonts across multiple phone screens automatically. Also, BlackBerry Theme Studio continues to be compatible with popular graphic design tools such as Adobe Photoshop and Corel Paint Shop Pro.
  • A Background Wizard makes it easy to add dynamic wallpapers to your theme. Options include date-based or time-based changes (to highlight a special holiday or change images by the time of day), and slideshow backgrounds (to cycle through your favorite photos).
  • A new user interface lets you click on any item on the preview and directly edit its settings. This allows faster editing and a shorter learning curve, plus you can select multiple items to change them all at once.
  • A new export option makes it easier to offer themes through BlackBerry App World. The export packages all of the correct files and settings into a single zip file, ready for upload to BlackBerry App World.

All sounds rather promising right? If you're a theme developer, you've no doubt already hit the download page -- if not, you can do so now using the link below. 

Download BlackBerry Theme Studio 6

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Review: Powermat Wireless Charging System for BlackBerry Curve 8500/9300 Series

One lucky reader will win a PowerMat Charging System for the BlackBerry Curve 3G!  Read on for details. 

Despite that we live in 2011, battery technology has - for the most part - seen only marginal advancement, leaving us gadget-hungry and digitally-dependent mobile users with little choice when it comes to long lasting battery life. But a conscious decision does not guarantee anything: I sometimes get laughed at for my decision to use a BlackBerry Curve over something like an HTC Desire or Apple iPhone. Yes, they do have Angry Birds (for now), but when it comes to battery life, they all become silent - nothing beats good ol' BlackBerry.

That's not to say that the BlackBerry never needs to be charged.  But when it's time to plug in, it would be nice to have a more convenient way to charge my BlackBerry - whenever that may be.  Sure you could choose a car charger or a charging pod, but what if you want to recharge without wires?

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