BlackBerry News and Reviews

Don't like eating your vegetables? Neither does OmnomBot

OmnomBot

If you (still) don't like eating your vegetables you're not alone. OmnomBot isn't the biggest fan of them either, but he has trouble avoiding them on his own. Through this fun PlayBook game from the creators of Auqalux - your job is to help OmnomBot by not letting him eat his vegetables. The game play is plain and simple, and if you're at all a fan of arcade style gaming then this one is for you. You'll be judged on how high you can score and reaction time so it's not for those looking for a more slow-paced experience. OmnomBot is available now in BlackBerry App World for $1.99. More images after the break.

More information/download of OmnomBot

O2 not carrying BlackBerry PlayBook due to 'end to end customer experience'

BlackBerry PlayBook O2

Although today is launch day for the BlackBerry PlayBook in the United Kingdom, one major carrier won't be taking part in the fun. O2 has decided to pass on the tablet and simply won't be selling the device. The company has been reaching out to customers to let them know stating "unfortunately there are some issues with the end to end customer experience". While there are no plans to sell the PlayBook for now, it doesn't totally rule out offerings in the future for this or other RIM devices. So unfortunately if you were looking to O2 to snag your PlayBook today, you'll have to venture elsewhere to pick one up.

Source: Engadget

BlackBerry PlayBook arrives in the UK

BlackBerry PlayBook UK

If you're in the UK, the wait is now over and you can finally get your hands on the BlackBerry PlayBook. I know you'll be eager to get the box opened and get started with your shiny new device, and to help you along the way we've got a whole host of BlackBerry PlayBook 101's, tips, tricks and how-to articles here on CrackBerry. Take a moment to check them out to get you on your way to become an expert on the PlayBook. And if you haven't already, be sure to check out our full BlackBerry PlayBook review.

Here's a few links on helping you to get started

BlackBerry PlayBook Setup
BlackBerry PlayBook Tips and Tricks
BlackBerry PlayBook Gestures and Navigation

You can also check out the BlackBerry PlayBook 101 articles as well as find lots of help in the CrackBerry forums from users and abusers.

The BlackBerry PlayBook is currently available from Carphone Warehouse, Currys, PC World and Amazon UK. Prices start at £399 for the 16GB model, £479 for the 32GB and £559 for the 64GB model. On Amazon however, the 16GB model can be purchased for £359.

If you have any tips and tricks of your own, sound off in the comments or in the CrackBerry forums.

RIM to report Q1 2012 financial results today - We'll be live blogging the earnings calls at 5pm ET

Research In Motion

So this will be the first time in CrackBerry's history where we'll be living blogging a RIM earnings call, but we're going to do it up this evening for a couple of good reasons. For one, on the last couple of calls some newsworthy tidbits have surfaced - like on the last one where Jim Balsillie confirmed the rumor I reported earlier about BlackBerry 6.1 being rebranded to BlackBerry 7. The second, and more important reason, is that RIM is increasingly entering a sink or swim state. While they continue to do pretty well internationally, in the United States the demand for BlackBerry has definitely been dropping (I don't even want to think about how long it's been since I've written a review for a new BlackBerry Smartphone), and unfortunately for RIM, Wall Street is located in the US. RIM's stock price has been sinking these past few months, and the answers given by RIM's top people to questions asked on tonight's call will have an impact on how things look for RIM going forward.

You can actually listen to the call live (click here for details), and on the live blog we'll giving our thoughts on what we hear. To add some commentary to our live blog from the street's perspective, I'm going to be bringing on Chris Umiastowski (former RIM analyst for TD) for good measure. We'll have an open live chat going as well, so it'll be fun. 

Ok, that's it. Be sure to grab some popcorn and be here at 5pm ET! Whether the results are good or bad, I'm sure it's going to be one heck of an interesting earnings call! 

Is BlackBerry Messenger the reason for the decline in texting?

BBM BlackBerry Torch   Do you still use SMS or just BBM/IM?Market Research  

Before I became a BlackBerry addict, my way of communicating regularly with friends, family and colleagues was through SMS. I had to make sure that my mobile phone contract came with a text bundle. This was the case for many people I know. Now, however, I own a BlackBerry and so do many of my friends and family, so I hardly text as we communicate via BBM. I've still got the text bundle but I hardly make a dent in it anymore. It seems I'm not the only one in this boat as it looks to be the case with a lot of people, particularly in the 15-24 year old age bracket. This is according to a recent report made by Mobile Youth, a consultancy who carry out research on the mobile usage of young people for mobile operators, consumer electric brands and the like. Their report suggests that Instant Messaging apps are causing a decline in the number of text messages being sent and BBM is at the top of the list.

Mobile Youth director, Graham Brown says, "We've seen SMS usage fall among young people and the main driver is BlackBerry." Their report predicts that over the next two years there will be a 20 percent drop in SMS usage in certain parts of the world. These include UK, Indonesia and South America.

I can see this being the case in the UK, just by walking around the university campus, or even the high street you'll students and teenagers tapping away at their BlackBerry devices. I forever hear BlackBerry ringtones and notifications going off here and there and to be honest it doesn't look to be slowing down. With networks offering cheap deals on pay as you go there's no surprise. And with the recent news of Apple bringing iMessage to the iPhone, we could see other regions seeing a decline in text messaging too.

Any thoughts? Do you still text? Or is it all about instant messaging? Sound off in the comments.

Tag: 

iSpeech Translator for BlackBerry AND the BlackBerry PlayBook

iSpeech Translator for BlackBerry and the BlackBerry PlayBook 

From the people who brought you DriveSafe.ly, the application that speaks your text messages, comes iSpeech Translator. Yes, friends, the iSpeech Translator is available for the PlayBook and any BlackBerry smartphone that runs OS 1.0 and higher, in any country, on any carrier. Unless your BlackBerry is half a decade old, you too can run iSpeech Translator. Even better, iSpeech offers a free, fully-functional version of the app.

Okay, enough of the infomercial. iSpeech Translator is an easy to use application that's designed to make it easy get good translations on the go. In my own experience, the app is rather accurate in its translations, free from the simple errors you often see in machine-translated language. Even native speakers (who speak English as a second language) agree; iSpeech Translator is remarkably accurate.

The really amazing ability of this app is its voice-to-voice translations. After granting permission to use the microphone(s), you can simply speak the words you would like to be translated. iSpeech Translator can understand 7 languages, including English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Italian. Want that translation read aloud? The translating app can "speak" 18 of them. For the more than 30 other languages, you can get simple text-to-text translations.

TouchUp Pro Photo Editor updated to v2.3.11

TouchUp Pro Photo Editor

We've looked at TouchUp Pro Photo Editor in the past but with each and every update put out by the folks at esDot Development Studio -- the application continues to improve. What started as a bare bones photo editor has now grown into a full blown photo editor for the BlackBerry PlayBook allowing such things as filters, cropping, red eye reduction and much more.

The latest update brings TouchUp Pro to v2.3.11 and addresses some stability issues within the app as well, takes advantage of the latest BlackBerry PlayBook OS additions. TouchUp Pro is available in BlackBerry App World right now for only $2.99 with a free trial being offered as well --give it a shot, if you're looking for a great photo editor for the BlackBerry PlayBook

Download TouchUp Pro Photo Editor from BlackBerry App World

New device switch and data saving features coming to BlackBerry 7

BlackBerry Setup

If you've taken the time to poke around the BlackBerry Torch 9850 simulator you've no doubt noticed it was running OS 7.0.0.144 and as we mentioned when it leaked, that OS and the simulator does have some goodies hidden in it. One of those goodies is a new "Device Switch" and data saving features.

In the past, you had to go ahead and hook your device up to BlackBerry desktop manager in order to go get a full back up of your device or switch to another while transferring your device info. BlackBerry 7 looks to ease some of that pain by allowing you to do everything on device with the use of your available SD card storage. Head on past the break to see exactly how it is done.

Video First Look: Building a BBM avatar using the new official BlackBerry Avatar Builder

[ youtube link for mobile viewing ]

If you're not one to try out new apps without first off getting a quick look at them then, we've got you covered for the new BlackBerry Avatar Builder applications that are now available in BlackBerry App World. Built for guys and girls go ahead and watch the video above to get a better look at the app and to see how avatars are built using the application.

To learn more about BlackBerry Avatar Builder

New Official BlackBerry Avatar Builder lets you build custom BBM Avatars - Available for Download in Guy and Girl Editions!

BlackBerry Avatar Builder  BlackBerry Avatar Builder

Coolness! I didn't see this one coming. Research In Motion just dropped two new fun apps into BlackBerry App World for us to install on our BlackBerry Smartphones. Avatar Builder Guys Edition and Avatar Builder Girls Edition allow you to make awesome avatars on your BlackBerry. If you want a custom sweet BBm avatar, look no further.  Here's the official verbage:

Want to create your own BBM avatar?

Create and customize an avatar to look just like you or anyone you want it to be! Choose your eyes, hair and your go-to outfit. Then throw in a few accessories, such as your earrings or yoga mat. Feel like you need a change? That's just fine. Edit your avatar anytime to match your mood or style. Have fun with thousands of different looks, right at your fingertips.

When you're done, save it, share it, set it as your BBM picture then make another one.

That's it! The cost is free, so what are you waiting for? Go and download it at the links below. We'll follow up soon with a hands-on video look.

Download Avatar Builder Guys Edition
Download Avatar Builder Girls Edition

BlackBerry Mobile Voice System 5 for Avaya Phone Systems Now Available

 BlackBerry MVS 5

Following up on their announcement at BlackBerry World this year, RIM has announced that BlackBerry MVS is now available for Avaya Phone Systems. The release of MVS 5 is available in North America and the UK for systems using Avaya Aura 6.1, Avaya Communications Manager, Avaya CS1000 Communication Server, Cisco Unified Communications Manager and Mitel Communications Director.

BlackBerry MVS 5 brings together the desk phone and smartphone to enable employees to securely and cost effectively make and take desk phone calls practically anywhere in the world on their BlackBerry® smartphones. Calls can be made over cellular or Wi-Fi networks with automatic, prompted or manual handoff between these networks based on employee or administrator preferences.

Employees use the same phone interface on their BlackBerry smartphones that they use for cellular calls and enjoy the convenience of single number reach, extension dialing and ad hoc conferencing.

Companies benefit by having smartphone calls managed and controlled by BlackBerry MVS 5 and routed through the company's phone system for potential savings on long distance and international roaming charges, and adherence to company policies and regulatory compliance requirements.

For more information head to blackberry.com/mvs

CrackBerry's 2011 Father's Day gift guide

Father's Day Gift Guide

Father's Day is fast approaching folks and if you're anything like me, you're probably scrambling for ideas on what to get for your husband or father. All of us here at CrackBerry.com want to help ease some of the stress in finding that perfect gift so we decided to put together some suggestions of the must-have/want items. In the guide below you will find many options that have been pulled from the forums as well as suggestions from fellow BlackBerry users.

Weekly Accessory Roundup - Win a pair of MOTOROKR S305 Bluetooth Stereo Headphones!

Contest: Listen to music and take calls effortlessly with Motorola MOTOROKR S305 Bluetooth Stereo Headphones! Leave a comment to win!

MotoROKR S305

I never used to pay much attention to what kind of headphones I used. Whatever I happened to have with me was good enough, and I never spent a lot of money on them, knowing that they would probably get lost or broken before long anyway. I never really enjoyed using earbuds, as most don't fit my ears well, and I hate being so restricted in movement due to being attached to my device. It's pretty well known that I'm also not the most coordinated person, and trying to keep from yanking the buds out of my ears or pulling my BlackBerry off the desk was never easy.  

I really didn't know what I was missing all that time, until I tried out a pair of MOTOROKR S305 Wireless Stereo Headphones. These headphones were only my second venture into the realm of bluetooth, the first having been a brief encounter with the BlackBerry Visor Mount Speakerphone, so I was excited. Reading through the instruction booklet, I quickly got the headphones paired to my BlackBerry and within a few minutes I was rocking, literally! The music sounded great, and I felt so free! No more cords to get tangled in, and my BlackBerry could feel safe with no fears of me pulling it off the desk at any random moment. The MOTOROKRs are comfortable to wear, and I often forget I have them on. If you'd like to see how they stack up against some other popular headsets (the Plantronics BackBeat 903, the LG HBS-250, and the MOTOROKR S7-HD) you can check out Joseph's head-to-head review. You can pick up the MOTOROKR S305 headphones and check out the rest of the selection at ShopCrackBerry.com!

 See all Bluetooth Stereo Headphones for BlackBerry

Drome - a local Canadian search application, world domination soon?

Drome

The word ‘drome’ is an odd one – it’s one of those words that has many different meanings. It could refer to a place to race or run, or could refer to something that moves together. It’s also a name of an application by Taste My City. Like many Local Search Applications, Drome can handle looking for Movies, Nightlife venues, Coffee shops/Internet Cafes, Hotels, Points of Interest and Restaurants. Depending on the city, you can also receive coupons for many locations via email. Your location is determined by GPS location, cell site or by manual input. Drome offers a few extras, depending on which type of search you are performing. When looking at bars and/or restaurants some locations may have an accessible menu and additionally list forms of payment accepted. For all entries, they at least have a mapped location and a phone number to call. Looking through the movies section, you can check out trailers, show times, galleries, reviews, plot synopsis and more. Extra options include options to add entries to your calendar/address book, various search or filter options and access to a favourites list.

At this point, Drome is only available in specific Canadian cities; Greater Toronto & Southern Ontario, Greater Vancouver Area, Montreal & Laval, Calgary, Ottawa, Quebec City, Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Halifax. Cities in the UK and US will hopefully be announced soon. According to their website, there are plans to expand to Europe, Australia, Asia, Africa and more. Drome still has some promise, but I still prefer Poynt as I can also see weather information, have the option to use Google Maps and have the ability to purchase tickets through the app. Of course, time will tell what Drome will bring to the table. If you want to check out Drome, you can get it for free from BlackBerry App World.

More information/download Drome for BlackBerry smartphones

Dolby files lawsuit against Research In Motion regarding audio patents

Dolby Digital Logo

Dolby Laboratories today has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Research In Motion regarding audio patents. Dolby claims that RIM employs their patented technologies in BlackBerry smartphones and the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet without any licenses. RIM and Dolby have been unable to reach an agreement regarding the usage, however nearly all other major smartphone makers have licensed with Dolby. The patents cover "highly efficient digital audio compression technologies which allow manufacturers and consumers to provide and enjoy high quality audio while using extremely limited amounts of transmission and/or storage space for such audio." Dolby is asking RIM to halt the use of the unlicensed technology as well as compensate for past use.

Source: Business Wire
Via: Phonescoop

Official OS 6.0.0.576 for the BlackBerry Bold 9780 from Orange Poland

BlackBerry 6 Logo

BlackBerry Bold 9780 users get another OS today to help with those mid-week blues. From Orange Poland we have OS 6.0.0.576 ready to go. This one is official but no new of whats new and improved just yet. If you do install, be sure to hit the forums and let us know what you find. As always, use caution when installing this or any OS. Now go get it!!

Download OS 6.0.0.576 from Orange Poland
Discuss more in the forums

Mobile Nations podcast now available for subscription and download in BlackBerry Podcasts app!

Just search for 'Mobile Nations' within the BlackBerry Podcasts app on your BlackBerry Smartphone or PlayBook. Be sure to subscribe!

Mobile Nations Podcast now available for download!

The subject line on this one says it all... you can now download and listen to our new Mobile Nations podcast directly on your BlackBerry Smartphone or BlackBerry PlayBook from within the BlackBerry Podcasts app!

What is Mobile Nations? In case you missed our original blog post introducing Mobile Nations, the 411 is that it's our new cross-site, cross-platform podcast that brings together the "heads of state" from each of our sibling sites. Think of it as the United Nations gone Mobile! We'll still be doing all of our platform-specific shows independently from CrackBerry, Android Central, TiPb, PreCentral and WPCentral as we normally do, but in addition we'll also be recording on a bi-weekly basis the new Mobile Nations show. If you liked our Smartphone Round Robin podcasts of the past when all of our managing site editors got together, you're going to love the Mobile Nations podcast. But instead of once a year, we'll be doing this baby up bi-weekly!

The idea came to us this past Friday morning and we recorded our pilot episode that afternoon, so everything is under construction right now (new logo, site, intros, etc. all to come), but if you love podcasts you'll want to listen to Episode Zero asap and be sure to give us feedback on how you want to see the show evolve. We'll be recording Episode 1 next Friday, June 24th. Don't miss it!

LinkNote organizes notes on the BlackBerry PlayBook

LinkNote

I find that although I’m quick to take notes on the go, I’m not the best at organizing them. Some days, my desk at the office looks like a stack of post-its had a fight with a fan and lost. Sometimes, on my BlackBerry PlayBook or smartphone, I make notes, numerous notes that may pertain to each other, but are never truly grouped together. Trying to decipher what it was you were trying to do isn’t a really efficient way to spend your time. LinkNote for the BlackBerry playbook not only provides a fantastic way to organize your notes, but also enables you to locate specific information quite easily. As the name suggests, you can link your notes to related notes, as well as to projects, contacts and more – as updates are made available. It’s not only notes that can be linked; entire projects are able to be linked to other projects, as well. The most recent version of LinkNote is 1.0.6, which provides the following updates: 

  • Added Configuration menu with ability to create backup of the database to the Documents folder and ability to restore previous backups
  • Added Help screens with help content
  • On-screen keyboard opens automatically when editing an item

While not as fast as quickly mashing out the details on your virtual keyboard, using LinkNote will reduce the frustration of trying to find any previously mashed information. On the left side of the screen you can see a list of entries for either Notes, Projects or Contacts (depending on which one you are looking at). The contents of each entry are then seen in a rather large viewing pane. To the right are (potentially) tabs that indicate if the entry is linked to anything. Tapping on a tab allows you to access the linked items. It’s fairly straight forward, but impressively powerful. So far, I like what LinkNote has brought so far and I look forward to see what future updates bring us. LinkNote is available for free from BlackBerry App World.

More information/download LinkNote for the BlackBerry PlayBook

BlueBox for BlackBerry PlayBook rolls out v1.2

BlueBox for BlackBerry PlayBook rolls out v1.2

BlueBox has finally rolled out their latest update for BlackBerry PlayBook owners looking to access their DropBox accounts. Now sitting at v1.2 BlueBox has become a great alternative to a official DropBox application. Granted, out of the gates it was totally rough around the edges but with a new UI now in place, the ability to zip and unzip files as well as an well inetgrated file browser -- BlueBox is getting better with each release. If you've tried BlueBox in the past and were'nt happy with it, then by all means -- give it another go. This round of bug fixes and overall enhancements has done the app well.

Download BlueBox for the BlackBerry PlayBook

BlackBerry Torch 9850 (Monaco) device simulator leaked!

BlackBerry Torch 9850

If you fancy playing around with a BlackBerry Torch 9850 we have bad news -- you can't as of yet. But, you can now grab the device simulator and get as close as possible to the real thing for now. Given that this is a brand new device, meaning it's not from the Bold, Curve or even really the Torch series as we know it -- there is sure to be some surprises within the simulator. Most notably, the new keyboard layout is something to be on the look out for.

Since everyone always asks "What is this for?" when we post this kind of stuff -- it's a device simulator for BlackBerry developers to test their apps on. If you're not a developer or just generally have no interest in playing with a device you can't yet physically touch -- this isn't for you. Cool? Alright then, hit the links below to grab the install file.

Source: N4BB

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