BlackBerry News and Reviews

How to turn your website into a BlackBerry PlayBook App in THREE Minutes with the WebWorks SDK

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

During our BlackBerry World Developer podcast with RIM's Chris Smith and Mike Kirkup, we talked about the different development options available for the BlackBerry PlayBook and some of the factors developers will want to look at in deciding which SDK to use.

For mobilizing website content onto the PlayBook (and BlackBerry Smartphones for that matter), the BlackBerry WebWorks development kit is relatively powerful and easy-to-use option. How easy? Check out the video above and you'll see Tim Neil from RIM whip together a basic app in 3 minutes. Impressive. While the PlayBook's web browser does a solid job of loading, I'm starting to think it's time we build a kick ass CrackBerry app for the PlayBook. What do you guys and gals think?

Learn More About the BlackBerry Tablet OS WebWorks SDK

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Twitter for BlackBerry reaches v2.0 - Available at the BlackBerry Beta Zone

Today, some of you Twitter users are in for a treat. Available for most BlackBerry Beta Zone users is Twitter for BlackBerry The update brings a brand new and very attractive interface, and seems to make better use of your BlackBerry's screen real estate. Other new features include:

  • Redesigned Navigation Bar
  • New Compose Tweet Button
  • Single Search Screen
  • External Notification- New app header shows you notification from other apps like email, BBM, etc.
  • New Black/Chrome Color Scheme

Overall this is a great update, adding a lot of features. So if you are a Beta Zone user, head on over and check it out. Hit the break for more screen shots.

Download T4BB v2.0 at the BlackBerry Beta Zone

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Cars @ BlackBerry World: Jaguar w/ BlackBerry Integration and QNX Concept Corvette

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

Adding some additional flare to BlackBerry World's Solution Showcase exhibition hall this year, a couple of hot cars touting awesome infotainment and computer systems graced the show floor. In the above video, you can check out Jaguar's factory available setup, which runs a QNX dashboard display and was demoing a beta of Connect and View, which will be available in 2012 models from Jaguar and Land Rover. Be sure to watch the demo above and you can check out the full press release lower in this post (note: The RealVNC BlackBerry integreation shown in this video is still in beta - the frames per minute will be much higher upon official release). 

And below you can check out the QNX Corvette that was on display, where I get a great walk through of how QNX can be used in cars today, and also get a look at what it is coming tomorrow. Remember the article I wrote on how I wished my BlackBerry PlayBook could integrate deeply with my car? Turns out that's not a wish! With a QNX-based tablet talking to a car running QNX computers, the integration CAN go real deep.  Awesome stuff here. Video below.

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New Demo Video Showing off the Android App Player on the BlackBerry PlayBook!

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

On Tuesday we posted a video demo of Android Apps running on BlackBerry that was given during the BlackBerry World 2011 keynote. Getting into a bit more detail and giving us another look, RIM's blog has posted a followup video which again walks through the premise behind Android app support on BlackBerry and shows off the Android App Player in action. Check out the video above and be sure to drop a comment with your thoughts!

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BlackBerry Bold 9900 coming soon to Vodafone UK

If you happen to live in the UK and are looking to get your hands on the sexy new BlackBerry Bold 9900 as soon as possible then Vodafone UK has the hookup. Shortly after the T-Mobile US announcement Vodafon went ahead and placed the BlackBerry Bold 9900 on their coming soon page. No release dates have been posted as of yet, nor pricing but -- right now, you can sign up for updates and know exactly when Vodafone UK is ready to release. In the meantime, be sure to check out all of our previous BlackBerry Bold 9900 coverage, including and up close and personal hands-on and general first impressions.

Sign up for BlackBerry Bold 9900 updates from Vodafone

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BlackBerry Java SDK v7.0 to be made available soon

Now that the BlackBerry Bold 9900 series has been announced, along with BlackBerry 7 a whole subset of features are going to be rolled out. While the environment itself is not much of a stray from the current BlackBerry smartphone SDK it does offer a whole new set of API to make use of as well as, a whole new subset of features in which developers can leverage to make their applications better. Looking at the new features developers will have have access to:

  • OpenGL ES 2.0, taking advantage of the new graphics chip, allows you to create games rich in compelling graphics.
  • Window Manager API, also taking advantage of the new graphics chip and increased device horsepower, allows you to overlay OpenGL or any other UI component on top of anything you want, including camera and video.
  • Compass APIs, taking advantage of the new magnetometer sensor, allows you to determine the device’s orientation and direction. When combined with Window Manager API, enables the creation of augmented reality applications.
  • Near Field Communication (NFC) APIs, taking advantage of the new NFC radio, allows you to read and emulate virtual tags and create rich solutions for payment and m-commerce.
  • Video capture APIs updated with support for HD video recording, taking advantage of the improved camera, allows your application to provide the user with the same high end media experience they get from the core apps.

Quite a wide array there but -- that's not all that is coming with the new SDK, make sure you jump on past the break for more items that are geared toward deeper integration with in apps.

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Video Demo of Multiplayer Quake III Action on the BlackBerry PlayBook - Easy to port POSIX games to BlackBerry Tablet OS!

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

The Native Development Kit for the BlackBerry PlayBook's BlackBerry Tablet OS hasn't been released to the public just yet (see our BlackBerry Developer Podcast for more details), but when it becomes available we should see a plethora of games become available. Developers can take any game developed for a POSIX environment and easily bring the code over to the QNX OS. From there it's just a matter of tweaking controls for the PlayBook's user interface and sizing graphics for the appropriate resolution.

In this video recorded at the Ask the Experts booth at BlackBerry World, we get an explanation of how easy it was to port Quake III over to QNX via the NDK and of course we get to see some multiplayer first person shoot em up action. Check it out! 

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Steve Ballmer talks Microsoft + RIM, BlackBerry + Bing at BlackBerry World 2011 (video)

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

One of the big surprises this year at BlackBerry World 2011 took place during Tuesday's keynote presentation, when Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer took to the stage. In the video above you can watch Ballmer's full presentation where he talks about Microsoft working with RIM to enhance the cloud-based services available to BlackBerry, with a primary focus on Bing.

If you want to skip the talking and get to the goods, you can jump to 7m35s for a video depicting where Microsoft and RIM want to go with Bing on BlackBerry, and to 10m35s for a live demo of some of the new Bing on BlackBerry features that they already have working (including location awareness and search right from the locked homescreen - swipe to search). 

All in all, I really like where RIM is going here. The more we can get our BlackBerry devices doing the better. My only hope is that while Microsoft + RIM are going to work closely to bring more cloud-based experiences to BlackBerry handsets, that users who may not be Bing fans can turn off these core OS integrated services if they choose too. I like having the option of using all of these Microsoft services, but I don't want to be forced to.

Be sure to watch the video above and be sure to sound off in the comments with your thoughts. Do you like the direction things are going here??

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Poynt introduces pairing for BlackBerry PlayBook - Connects BlackBerry Smartphones to BlackBerry Tablet (video)

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

One of the cool things about the BlackBerry PlayBook is the BlackBerry Bridge functionality which allows you to connect your BlackBerry tablet to your BlackBerry smartphone. This concept of having two devices working together vs. having your tablet and smartphone as distinctly different experiences is one that gets a lot of CrackBerry readers excite.

That being the case, it was really cool to see Poynt come up with a pairing solution for the BlackBerry PlayBook and BlackBerry Smartphone by their own design by tapping into the push services that RIM offers. You need to check out the video above to see it in action - it's pretty awesome! The end result is that after you pair your phone to the tablet, the apps are essentially connected. You can have Poynt closed on our smartphone, and from within the PlayBook's Poynt app place phone calls, make reservations (it'll add them to the calendar on your phone), etc. Cool stuff.

Be sure to watch the video above and check out the video below. You can grab Poynt from BlackBerry World for free. Great job Poynt!!

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The BlackBerry Bold 9900 / 9930 Battery

A closer look at the all new JM1 1230mAh battery featured in the new BlackBerry Bold 9900 / 9930 Smartphone

Need a spare battery for your BlackBerry Bold 9900/9930? Get it at!

During our indepth hands-on with the BlackBerry Bold 9930 at BlackBerry World 2011, we pulled the battery cover off the device and saw a new battery that had a grey and blue wrapper on it. It turns out that particular device was a slightly older engineering unit that didn't feature the final production battery. To clear things up and make sure we got it right, we went back for another look at the new touch Bold and took some photos of the production JM1 battery as you can see in the photos above and below.

Low on battery life? ShopCrackBerry is #1 for BlackBerry Bold accessories!
9900/9930 Spare Battery More Bold 9900/9930 Charging Solutions

The JM1 battery is 1230mAh, which is a bit smaller in capacity than the 1550mAh MS1 battery that's been used in the Bold 9000 and 9700/9780. The footprint of the battery is about the same, but the JM1 is definitely thinner as you can see in the comparison shots below. During our press briefing session this week on the device I asked about RIM's expectation of battery life on the 9900 / 9930, seeing as there's a smaller battery but a higher performing processor, and RIM seemed very confident in the battery life. RIM's always put battery life as priority, and they haven't sacrificed the user experience here - so expect the device to power you through a full day of work and play. With the new Bold being the thinnest BlackBerry to date they needed to go with a slightly thinner battery. And for power users who eat through batteries regardless, the good news here of course is that you can always buy a spare battery and swap it out if you need to - I'm glad to see RIM still allowed for a removable battery on the new Bold.

Learn More / Buy BlackBerry Batteries

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BlackBerry World 2011 Podcast - Talking App Development with Chris Smith and Mike Kirkup of Research In Motion

It was an action packed Monday and Tuesday in Orlando at BlackBerry World 2011, and things proved just as busy on Wednesday (lots of BB World posts in the hopper for us to get up). Following up our video look at how RIM plans to make TAT tools available to 3rd party developers, we sat down with Chris Smith and Mike Kirkup from RIM to do a deeper dive into the BlackBerry app development story.

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BlackBerry PlayBook Native Email and PIM App Demo Video from BlackBerry World

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

By now, we all know Research in Motion has a native email client and PIM interface up and running on the BlackBerry PlayBook, they demoed some of it for us during the BlackBerry World keynote and needless to say we were pretty stoked to see it in action but, it left us wanting a little bit more of a preview. Luckily, it being BlackBerry World and all -- Research In Motion has been taking the time to go ahead and show off email and PIM on the  BlackBerry PlayBook to give us all a better look at what is up and coming soon. Check out the video above and of course, drop some comments with your thoughts on it.

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BlackBerry PlayBook 101: Video Chat

[ youtube link for mobile viewing ]

BlackBerry Video Chat is here! That holy grail once denied to we BlackBerry users is finally within our grasp, at least for PlayBook users. With an update to the PlayBook OS delivered in the wee hours of the morning, those owners gained the ability to see and talk to people hundreds of miles away. All from a device that weighs less than a pound.

Connecting to another PlayBook user is meant to be easy; all you'll need is their BlackBerry ID. Once you've opened the Video Chat application, touch New Contact (located in the upper left). If you want to add a person as a contact, enter the BBID and a nickname if desired. You can also choose a picture from your PlayBook or bridged BlackBerry to serve as that person's avatar. Click done (in the upper left) to save that person as a contact.

To start a call, simply touch that person's name in your contact list. The call will start automatically. The person being called will get a notification and the option to answer, answer without video, or decline the call. If you're unavailable for a video call, set Video Chat to Do Not Disturb. Touch the white circle in the upper left to activate; it will turn red when Do Not Disturb is on.

It would be wonderful if all of this worked perfectly on day one; unfortunately, there have been some glitches.

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Press Release: RIM Announces Wireless Achievement Award Recipients

Press Release

RIM Announces Wireless Achievement Award Recipients

Waterloo, ON - Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ: RIMM; TSX: RIM) today announced the recipients of this year's Wireless Achievement Awards at BlackBerry® World™ 2011.

The Wireless Achievement Awards are presented to customers who are doing business in new and innovative ways with BlackBerry products and services. These customers have mobilized corporate systems to help increase performance, impact the bottom line and simplify life for their employees.

A list of all finalists follows below, along with a brief summary of information and results provided by each award recipient. The awards fall into four categories: Attendee Choice, Business Impact, Innovation In Private Sector, and Innovation In Public Sector.

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BlackBerry PlayBook OtterBox Defender Case Drop Test!!

We drop test the BlackBerry PlayBook OtterBox Defender Case!

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

If you're the type of person who beats the heck out of your gadgets, OtterBox always offers maximum protection while still allowing the device to be accessible for everyday use. And for RIM's first tablet they have released the OtterBox Defender Case for the BlackBerry PlayBook that is definitely rugged and will help keep your PlayBook in pristine condition.

We visited the OtterBox booth at BlackBerry World 2011 and had some quick fun drop testing the Defender Case. As you'll see from the video above, the Defender Case takes the beating while the PlayBook keeps on playing. The case definitely adds some bulk and mass to the PlayBook, but if you plan to use your PlayBook in less than friendly environments this is definitely a case you'll want to check out. It retails for $69.95 but you can get it for less from And don't forget, we have free shipping on orders of $50 or more (within continental US). Follow the link below for more details.

Learn More / Buy the OtterBox Defender Case for the BlackBerry PlayBook

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First Look: How the technology behind TATs apps will be implemented on the PlayBook & made accessible to 3rd party developers!

Sneak Peek at the BlackBerry PlayBook NDK that will allow developers to tap into powerful effects via TAT's engine

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

During BlackBerry World 2011 we had the opportunity to sit down with Chris Smith, Sr. Director of the BlackBerry Development Platform, and Rasmus and Karl from the The Astonishing Tribe, to get a look at how RIM plans to utilize TAT's creativity on the PlayBook AND ALSO make the technology that enables the creativity available to 3rd party developers via the PlayBook's Native Development Kit so they too can create PlayBook apps with stellar effects in minimal time. Be sure to watch the video above to get filled in on all the details and see some basic demonstrations of how developers will be able to benefit from TAT. 

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BlackBerry DevCon 2011 registration now open

Although we're still going through BlackBerry World in Florida, during the general session keynote today Senior Vice President, Business & Platform Marketing, at Research In Motion, Jeff McDowell announced that registration for BlackBerry DevCon is now open. This year, the event will take place in San Francisco on October 18 through 20.

Some of the demos, such as TAT that we've looked at from BlackBerry World are slated for arrival at DevCon so, if you're looking to get in on the action early head on over the DevCon registration page. If you're unable to attend DevCon Americas, there is still DevCon Asia and Europe as well. Check out the DevCom 2011 Americas page for more details.

Visit the BlackBerry DevCon page for more details

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Contest winners: Bluetooth headsets, OtterBox Defender for BlackBerry Playbook, Shadow of 6, and Cute Puppies!

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) 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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Official OS for BlackBerry Torch released by Vodafone DE

In the midst of all the excitement coming from the BlackBerry World Conference, Vodafone DE has released OS for BlackBerry Torch owners. The last official OS we saw for this device was not long ago in the form of from Bell. As this new OS was never leaked, we're interested in knowing how it performs for you so if you choose to install it let us know in the comments or in the forum what changes you see. Thanks rroyy!

Download BlackBerry Torch OS from Vodafone DE

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Xobni for BlackBerry updated to v2.0.28 - New features, UI updates, bug fixes and more!

Award winning contact management app Xobni for BlackBerry just got a HUGE update! The team has been hard at work over the last couple of months, compiling feedback and suggestions and evolving their app to the next level. Not only are there some expected bug fixes, but they also added in new features, functionality, and UI updates for both the free and paid versions. Check out the full change log after the break (it's long!) and to download hit one of the links below.

For more information and to download Xobni from the CrackBerry store
For more information and to download Xobni from BlackBerry App World

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