BlackBerry News and Reviews

Meet the PlayBook events heading to Europe

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.

Review: SixTools for BlackBerry smartphones

SixTools

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.

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

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

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

BlackBerry 6

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

TweeTwo and TweeTwo Dark released by BBThemes!

TweeTwo 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

Jeeosuite Connector for the BlackBerry PlayBook released

Jeeosuite Connector for the BlackBerry PlayBook

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

LittleBrother - The zero power consuming tracking solution updated

Little Brother

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.

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

BlackBerry PlayBook On Amazon

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

Quick Review: Canucks app for BlackBerry smartphones

Canucks app 

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

BlackBerry 101: Importing picture folders on BlackBerry 6

Import Picture Folders

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!

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

BlackBerry Theme Studio 6 Gold release coming today

BlackBerry Theme Studio 6

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

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. 

PowerMat

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?

Keep up with the Preakness on your BlackBerry

Preakness for BlackBerryPreakness for BlackBerry

If you're going to be checking out the Preakness this weekend you'll certainly want to be "in the know". Having you BlackBerry with you will let you easily keep up with everything Preakness in one handy app. Preakness for BlackBerry will give you a site map of Pimlico, news releases, Tweets, blog information and much more. You can also find wagering information and get up to date changes and replays of the races all season long, with results and official payouts for every live racing card. Check it out for free in BlackBerry App World.

More information/download of Preakness

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Nomad Analytics for BlackBerry Smartphones brings Google Analytics data to the palm of your hand

Nomad Analytics for BlackBerry  Nomad Analytics for BlackBerry

The folks from Grupo83 let us know about their new Google Analytics app for BlackBerry Smartphones, which as you might expect, I was eager to try out. For $4.99 in App World, Nomad Analytics brings your website's Google Analytics data to the palm of your hand.

Main features of Nomad Analytics include:

  • Ability to select any of the sites linked to your Analytics account
  • Easy and intuitive menu navigation interface
  • Nice line and pie charts to easily provide main information graphically
  • Data and graphs on daily, weekly and monthly basis for all the information provided
  • Selectable date format
  • Available in English and Spanish. More languages to come.

As for the data reported, it includes the usual overload of stats for the things Google analytics users would expect, including: overview, sources, countries, keywords, content, browser, operating systems, languages, networks and mobile connections. For BlackBerry users who manage a website and want to know how their site is doing when away from the computer, it's definitely a welcome app have to have installed. 

It still needs a bit of tweaking though. I actually found the login field to not be friendly to a long email addres (took me forever to actually login as my address was longer than the input field and the cursor went all crazy when it ran past the visible field). Also, the reporting seems to be limited in terms of date ranges. The daily view shows today's data, while weekly and monthly show you the past seven and 31 days including the current day (which I dislike it defaulting to that as the current day usually contains partial data - I'd rather it default to the previous full day on those reports). Also, it doesn't appear that there is currently anyway to run reports for specific data ranges, which is too bad, but I guess that's what the full version of analytics is for. At least Nomad Analytics does give you a good snapshot of where things are on your website right now. For more info and to purchase, you can grab it from App World at the link below.

More Info / Download Nomad Analytics for BlackBerry Smartphones

Install BlackBerry Bridge via Desktop Manager

BlackBerry Bridge

Update: It looks like RIM may have pulled this knowledge base article - we'll try to see what's up but for now it looks like the OTA soultion may still be the best bet.

If you're a BlackBerry PlayBook owner that hasn't yet installed BlackBerry Bridge for whatever reason, RIM has made the files available for installation via Desktop Manager. This means that AT&T users who still haven't jumped on the OTA download of the Bridge app can grab the software straight from the source and install to their device from a PC. AT&T still has no sign of making BlackBerry Bridge available to customers anytime soon, but at least users can still get the software through various methods. If you're worried about AT&T catching up with you for using this method - don't be. Hit the link below for more info.

Install BlackBerry Bridge using Desktop Manager
Install BlackBerry Bridge OTA to your device

Source: BerryReview

Twitter 2.0 for BlackBerry now available

Twitter 2.0 BlackBerry

First announced at BlackBerry World and then released in the BlackBerry Beta Zone earlier this month, Twitter 2.0 is now officially available. The app will be rolling out to users via BlackBerry App World over the next 24 hours, so if you don't see it now keep checking back. In addition to an overhauled UI, Twitter 2.0 features a redesigned navigation bar, single search screen, new app header (for better external notifications) and more. Twitter is free to download and available for most devices. Hit the link below to download.

More information/download of Twitter

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A quick look at Sudoku Pro for the BlackBerry PlayBook by blueinc multimedia

Sudoko Pro by blueinc multimedia

Are you a fan of Sudoku? Or maybe you always wanted to try it, but never got around to it? Blueinc multimedia has developed an awesome Sudoko app specifically for the BlackBerry PlayBook called Sudoku Pro. This version of the popular number puzzle game features 9 X 9 and 16 X 16 grids, 4 levels of difficulty, auto-hinting and more! Displayed on a beautiful background with pleasing colors, it is sure to give both the novice and the seasoned puzzler hours of fun.

I tried out the free version, which gives you 10 days to play to your heart's content. Some of the options are disabled, such as loading a saved game and different difficulty levels, but that is to be expected in a trial and is nothing that hinders gameplay at all. Sudoku Pro is laid out really nicely, with the game board on the left of the screen and all the options on the right. Playing is simple, and requires little explanation, though a help screen is available if needed. There is a little status bar at the bottom that tells you how many squares you have left to fill and how long you've been playing the current game, which is nice. The developers are planning many updates in the near future including custom backgrounds, score sharing, new puzzles, and portrait mode.

For more information/screenshots and to download the trial of Sudoku Pro
For more information and to purchase the full version of Sudoku Pro for $4.99

RIM sells through 250,000 BlackBerry PlayBooks according to RBC

BlackBerry PlayBook

If you're looking for any sort of numbers regarding BlackBerry PlayBook sales then you should be looking in the direction Mike Abramsky, General Manager at RBC Capital Markets. According to Abramsky, RIM has sold approximately 250,000 units since it's retail launch back on April 19. If these numbers are in anyway accurate that means the BlackBerry PlayBook has had faster adoption then that of the Motorola Xoom and if sales continue as estimated by Abramsky, then RIM will have sold 500,000 PlayBooks in the first quarter and a total of 3 million units in 2011.

So what does all this mean for BlackBerry PlayBook buyers, owners? Well first off, you're proving all the pundits wrong -- people REALLY do want a 7" tablet and the numbers are proving it. Secondly, despite all the harsh reviews and lame comments about a power button that many folks don't even use -- RIM is doing just fine with the BlackBerry PlayBook. And finally, we can all look forward to more developers hopping on board to work on the BlackBerry PlayBook and help make the BlackBerry eco system better as a whole.

Even if the numbers here are little off, as they often times can be -- that doesn't take away from the fact the outlook for the BlackBerry PlayBook and RIM has now changed if, only even slightly. Realistically, I'm not a numbers guy -- nor do I pretend to be but I do know the potential is there for RIM to make even greater penetration in the tablet space. They've got a good run out of the gates, and now they need to keep that momentum going.

Source: Business Insider

BlackBerry theme roundup for May 18, 2011 - Win 1 of 50 free copies of Reflex by Gray Matter Themes!

Enter to win a free copy of Reflex by Gray Matter Themes! Details below!

BlackBerry theme roundup

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! Send an email to themeroundup[at]crackberry.com for consideration. In the meantime, check out this week's picks and enter to win a free copy of Reflex by Gray Matter Themes! Contest details after the break.

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