BlackBerry News and Reviews

Rookie Rocket for BlackBerry by Fabian Heuwieser now available!

Fabian Heuwieser has brought us some excellent and essential apps over the past few years. He has now ventured into the game genre, and his first release is called RookieRocket. In this game you have to steer a rocket through obstacles and collect stars. When you touch an obstacle, it pushes you down unless you can pass it. By collecting the normal stars, the speed does not increase, if you miss a normal star, the speed increases. When you get too fast, collect slow-down stars. And then there are tricky little stars that flip left-right, so when you move left your rocket goes right! The stars also give you points when you collect them. Check out the video of Rookie Rocket in action after the break.

Both touch screen and non-touch screen devices are supported, and when playing on your Torch or Storm you can use the touch screen to move your rocket. Within the game you have settings for slow or fast and to invite a friend to challenge your score. Statistics are also available such as total time spent playing and high score. Rookie Rocket is fun for kids and adults alike, and will surely be on your list of most played games. You can pick this game up for just $.99 in the CrackBerry store or in BlackBerry App World for your 8330/50i, 85xx, 89xx, 9000, 91xx, 93xx, 95xx, 96xx, 97xx, and 9800. Fabian is also working on a version for the BlackBerry PlayBook, so if you'd like to be kept up to date future developments be sure to go check out Rookie Rocket on Facebook.

For more information and to purchase Rookie Rocket from the CrackBerry store
For more information and to purchase Rookie Rocket from App World

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How Do You Use Your BlackBerry: Do you keep the standard email signature?

  Do you keep the standard email BlackBerry signature?customer surveys  

One of the issues that used to bother users most (and probably still does) is that pesky email signature you get when adding email addresses. Sent From My BlackBerry (or some incarnation) shows after all your emails - some users don't mind it while others can't stand it. I personally go with no signature, but I know many like to go with Sent from my CrackBerry or something else that is more personal. You can always just blank it out or change it up, but we want to know how many of you actually do that. So our quetsion today is: Do you use the standard BlackBerry email signature or change it up to something else. Cast your vote in the poll above, then leave a comment telling us what you do. Thanks Alicia!

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CrackBerry guide to wireless bill slashing apps: Part 2

Part 2: monitoring your usage with apps from developers and carriers

Welcome to part 2 (finally) of the CrackBerry Guide to wireless bill cutting apps; or “How to afford to keep your BlackBerry and your high usage habits”. I’m glad to see you still have your BlackBerry. For some, you have made some sacrifices in order to keep feeding the addiction. Now that I think about it, I guess the same can be said for most addictions –harmful or not. This is the one addiction I have and am most proud of it; and I have the wireless bill to prove it. If you recall part 1 – we had a look at applications which offer discounted rates on international calls and even cheap (or free) long distance.

You can always go further, like we do in part 2. Some carriers give you access to your current usage, so you know where you stand. There are also some decent apps that offer a different twist on this type of control. In this case, they do most of the monitoring for you; so you can focus on other ways to save money. So while you’re clipping coupons, have a read.

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Leaked OS 6.0.0.534 for the BlackBerry Bold 9700

It seems like not so long ago we were anxiously waiting for OS 6 to pop up for the Bold 9700, and since then we've had plenty of leaks and some official releases. Here is another today in the form of OS 6.0.0.534. This one is shiny and new so if you install be sure to leave a comment and hit the forums with your findings. As always, use caution when installing a leaked 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 6.0.0.534 for the BlackBerry Bold 9700
Discuss more in the forums

Source: N4BB

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New BlackBerry Bold Touch hands-on photos

Here is some more phone news to get your mind off the BlackBerry PlayBook for a bit. Adding to the upcoming line of new BlackBerry smartphones is the BlackBerry Bold Touch. Last week we saw the BlackBerry monaco up close and personal, so now we get a chance to see more of another device we can't wait to try out for ourselves. The Bold Touch looks good - It's sporting OS 6.1 with both a touch screen and full QWERTY keyboard. It has yet another new battery and Mobile Hotspot Mode among other things, and hopefully will be on the list of device announcements (that should include the new Curves, BlackBerry Torch 2 and BlackBerry Touch) at BlackBerry World next month. Be sue that we're gearing up on the Bold Touch accessories front as well. More photos below.

BlackBerry Bold Touch Key Specs: 
  • Dimensions: 115 x 66 x 10.5mm
  • Processor:
    • Montana / CDMA: Qualcomm 1.2GHz CPU
    • Dakota / GSM: TBA...
  • Radio:
    • Montana / CDMA: 800/1900 MHz EvDO Rev A with Receive Diversity (PCS Only); Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE; Dual Band UMTS (HSPA 7.2/5.76) 900/2100MHz
    • Dakota / GSM: Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE; Tri Band UMTS
  • Display: 2.8" diagonol - VGA 640 x 480, resolution 287dpi
  • Camera: 5mp - Flash - Image Stabilization - HD Recording (720p)
  • Navigation: Capacitive Touch, Optical Trackpad
  • Keypad: Wide QWERTY - Physical Send, End, Escape, Menu, Right Side Convenience Key, Volume Control
  • Memory: 8GB - 768MB RAM - up to 32GB MicroSd Card
  • WiFi: 2.4 GHZ b/g/n - 5GHz a/n - Mobile Hotspot
  • Connectivity: Micro USB - Bluetooth - NFC
  • Sensors: Magnetometer - Accelerometer - Proximity

Source: BGR

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Canada Post releases BlackBerry app

If you frequently ship packages in Canada, then you have no doubt dealt with Canada Post. Using their services has now become more convenient when you're away from the computer, as they have just released a free BlackBerry app! From this app you can both track packages and locate nearby Canada Post locations via entering a postal code or using your current GPS coordinates. I like that when you track a package you can save the tracking number within the app so you can keep an eye on it without having to keep re-entering the number. According to the press release Canada Post released today, they also plan on adding features in the near future such as Find a Postal Code.

The Canada Post app is available for free and is compatible with most BlackBerry smartphones running OS 4.5 and higher. It is only available for download in Canada.

For more information and to download Canada Post from BlackBerry App World

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Control your Sonos music system from your BlackBerry with Tiggit Controller

If you have a Sonos music system in your home you know how sweet it can be. What could be sweeter is being able to control it from your BlackBerry, and Tiggit Controller helps you do just that. The app helps you search your stored music or find music from popular services like Spotify and Pandora to find tracks and add them to your playlist. Tiggit Controller also features a new control UI from previous versions as well as alarm and sleep mode features for controlling your system. View your queue complete with album art, and control everything including play, pause, shuffle, repeat, set volume, balance and more. The app is available in the CrackBerry App Store for $19.99. Check out the full press release below.

More information/download of Tiggit Controller for BlackBerry

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Shazam updates to v2.8 - Grab it in BlackBerry App World

Popular music discovery app Shazam was just updated to v2.8.0 via BlackBerry App World. This update (from v2.7.0) brings with it the ability to upgrade to Shazam Encore with an in-app purchase as well as improvements to and redesign of the tag screen.

If you are unfamiliar with Shazam, it's an application for discovering, buying, and sharing music. Say you hear a song playing, and you have no idea what it is or what band it is. Open up Shazam and let it listen, and it will identify the song for you. From there you can purchase the song, share tags with friends, read reviews and much more. It's a really popular app and compatible with most BlackBerry smartphones in most countries. Shazam is free to download but the free version limits the number of songs you can identify per month to five.

For more information and to dowload/upgrade Shazam via App World
To discuss the upgrade in the forums

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Radio Shack BlackBerry PlayBook launch details

Radio Shack is listed as one of the BlackBerry PlayBook launch partners and as such, reps have started their training for the launch today. The above image outlines the launch day plans -- nothing really out of the oridinary is listed here but the info does show the insurance that will be available to those picking one up. Also if you happen to feel the need to return your BlackBerry PlayBook you'll also want to take note of the 15% restocking fee that will be charged. Oh, the other thing to note here -- it looks like Radio Shack is keeping these bad boys locked up until release time and only very few PlayBook specific accessories will be available. There goes my hope of scooping one up early.

Thanks, for sending this in -- you know who. ;)

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Invite only BlackBerry PlayBook launch event Thursday April 14th in New York City

This one just came into the tip line and it looks like things are gearing up on the BlackBerry PlayBook launch front. It's been over 6 months since the PlayBook was first announced and I'm sure RIM has been working overtime on this one and are ready to let loose for an evening. As we close in on launch day, RIM is holding an invite only event next Thursday in New York City to kick things off. Not much is noted in the invite but it's a safe bet there will be plenty of food, drink and PlayBook demos for those that are lucky enough to get an invite. At under two weeks until launch a party to celebrate the release is long overdue. 

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Sprint charging for BlackBerry PlayBook tethering?!

We just got a pretty interesting image sent to us via the CrackBerry tips line and quite honestly, it leaves us wanting some more details. It's no secret that Sprint will be releasing their 4G enabled BlackBerry PlayBook this summer but according to the info above it looks as though they'll also be selling the WiFi only version come April 19. That however, isn't really the biggest piece of news here.

The real news is the info on the side that we can't really make out. But, looking closely at it -- it appears Sprint is looking to add a BlackBerry PlayBook specific plan for tethering your device. Details have been slim on how, exactly carriers were going to handle the tethering data and for the most part, we knew we'd see some carriers try to charge for it and unless we're missing something from the info here it looks as though Sprint is jumping on that ship.

When it comes down to it, tethering on your PlayBook shouldn't be an extra charge -- it uses your already existing BlackBerry data plan so charging for tethering seems rather silly. Granted, you do have to have a plan on most carriers if you wish to tether a computer from your BlackBerry but if their is a extra data plan associated to the cost of the PlayBook on top of what you already pay for your BlackBerry then carriers have just stripped the PlayBook of great selling feature. Of course, we're hesitant to say too much here since we can't see the full details based on this image but hopefully we'll have more details soon. Let this be a note to other carriers planning the same, not cool.

*UPDATE* - Better shot of the details is past the break for you all

Thanks, Gilligan793 for sending this in!

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Quick Review: BlackBerry Protect

While there are tons of security/backup apps out there for BlackBerry, RIM has finally decided to make the choice easier for most users and release their free BlackBerry Protect application. The app is a simple tool with a good amount of features, although it could stand to pack in a bit more. The basis of BlackBerry Protect is that of a backup utility. You can backup your contacts, calendars, tasks, memos, browser bookmarks and text messages. Seems like a bit of an arbitrary mix and we would definitely like to see more options for email messages, profile settings and options among other things. Secondly, BlackBerry Protect has a great web utility in case your device is lost or stolen. You can locate your device via GPS, sound a loud ringtone, send a message to be displayed on the screen as well as lock and wipe the device. Again, some things that would be good here would be more features to protect your SIM card as well (a thief could easily remove your SIM rendering the location features useless). All in all I really like BlackBerry Protect but I do think there is a lot of room for improvement. If you're on a BIS you can grab it free from BlackBerry App World.

More information/download of BlackBerry Protect

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BlackBerry App from OverDrive Enables Direct Library eBook Downloads

Ever wish you could borrow EPUB ebooks and read them right on your BlackBerry? Well with the free OverDrive Media Console you can do just that. This new app lets you find a local loibrary, browse titles and wirelessly check them out using a library card. You can read them right on your BlackBerry, and they automatically expire so you never have to worry about returning them. The app is available free from the OverDrive website and will be in BlackBerry App World in the coming weeks. Keep reading for the full press release.

More information/download of OverDrive Media Console for BlackBerry

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CrackBerry Poll: What are the top THREE things you plan on using your BlackBerry PlayBook for?

What are the top THREE things you plan on using your BlackBerry PlayBook for?survey software

Back when the iPad 2 was nearing it's official launch, our friends at TiPb.com ran a poll asking their readers what they currently used their iPads for. On that poll you could select as many answers as you wanted, so the results were fairly well spread out as you could imagine, though web browsing, email and casual gaming took top spots.

As we near the launch of the BlackBerry PlayBook, I've been wondering myself as to how I'm going to work the PlayBook into my daily routine. I've had both an iPad and iPad 2 since they became available, and on Apple's tablets have mainly found myself using them for around-the-home or on-an-airplane killing time use... some relaxed web browsing while watching tv, some casual gaming (curse that Angry Birds!) and probably my favorite thing to do on the iPad is read books via the Kindle app or browse magazines (Watch Time has a great iPad edition). The smaller 7" size of the PlayBook has me thinking it'll be a device I take with me out of the house on a much more regular basis, and as such I can't help but wonder if my usage patterns will change and what they will be? If I have the PlayBook with me when I'm away from my home or office, I can actually see myself doing a lot of productivity work on it and also using the device for a lot more things as it'll simply be with me that much more. 

So I'm sure you'll do a LOT of things on your BlackBerry PlayBook, but what I think will make this poll most interesting is knowing what you think your top THREE uses of the PlayBook will be. You can select up to three options on the poll above before you cast your vote. And once the PlayBook is on the market for a little bit we'll run this poll again to see how actual use compares to perceived use. 

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Weekly Accessory Roundup - Win a retractable USB cable for your device!

Contest: Enter to win a retractable USB cable for your device! Keep reading for details.

One accessory that is often forgotten about, but more important then we really realize is the USB cable that comes with our BlackBerry devices. Sure we always think we will have one when we need it, but has that new OS ever leaked and you began downloading, and then looked for a USB cable to install it, only to realize that you didn't in fact have one with you? A simple solution to your problem could be to add a USB cable to each location that you travel to, but who really wants to buy that many. The best solution to be found is to simply add a Smartphone Experts retractable Micro-USB cable to your bag that is carried around, and you will never be in that sticky situation again.

The Smartphone Experts Micro-USB retractable cable is an extremely smart purchase for anyone who is on the go, and has experienced a tangle of their cords. Simply pull the 2 ends apart if you need to make the cable longer, and then pull them a little further when you want to retract them. At only 4.5 inches long when wound up, it expands to two feet in length when opened, allowing it to fit just about anywhere, even if your pocket if you wanted. Whether always on the road, or just an occasional traveler, this is a must have accessory for anyone who needs to connect their device to a computer to charge or have some fun with the OS.

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The benefits of RIM’s expanded App Ecosystem

The announcement that the BlackBerry PlayBook would support Android applications was a big one - no question. However some of the details were/are still up in the air for a lot of users, both consumers and developers. While we may not have all our answers until we actually try things out on our own, Inside BlackBerry has shed some light on things and how it will benefit both developers and consumers. Some good stuff in here that helps clear things up a bit, but you can be sure we'll answer all your questions once we have our hands on a PlayBook (bring on April 19th!!). Keep reading for more on what the expanded ecosystem means for you.

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BlackBerry PlayBook Presenter Mode demoed at BlackBerry Dev Day, Toronto


The other day Research in Motion held one of their BlackBerry Developer Days in Toronto. At that event, Mike Kirkup was on hand to give some demos of the BlackBerry PlayBook. While we knew the BlackBerry PlayBook was capable of a presentation mode experience we've never really seen it demoed inquite this fashion -- in the video above Mike walks us through watching a video that is subsequently displayed on the larger screen and on the BlackBerry PlayBook at the same time, while Need for Speed runs in the background.

Nothing really fancy about that but, as presentation mode gets enabled -- the video is still playing on the larger screen while, Mike can then pull up Need For Speed or any other application for that matter -- on the BlackBerry PlayBook. If you've been wondering why, exactly you'd want a video playing in the background as you were doing other thingswhile watching previous demos of the PlayBook -- this should clear things up as it's a prime example of a use case scenarion for such a thing. Pretty awesome, give a board room presentation and play some games. ;)

Thanks, Dave for sending this in!

Discuss more in the forums

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Official OS 6.0.0.448 for BlackBerry Bold 9700 from T-Mobile

While BlackBerry OS 6.0.0.448 for the Bold 9700 has been out in various forms for a little over a month now, T-Mobile is finally officially releasing it to their subscribers. We've had a few reports of people receiving emails from T-Mobile over the past couple of days stating the following:

The new BlackBerry 6 operating system software is now available as a free update for your BlackBerry® Bold™ 9700 smartphone. BlackBerry 6 includes many enhancements including a rich new browser, expanded messaging capabilities, enhanced multimedia and a redesigned interface that's powerful and easy to use. From your computer, go to www.t-mobile.com/bbupgrade and follow the on-screen instructions to get the software update. 

So if you are a T-Mobile customer that hasn't installed BlackBerry 6 on your device yet, either because you don't like installing leaks or you were waiting for the official from your carrier, head on over and check it out at the link below. If you'd like to take a look at what other 9700 users have been saying about this OS before you make the leap, you can read through the forums and then make your decision. Thanks to everyone that sent this in!

Download OS 6.0.0.448 for the BlackBerry Bold 9700 from T-Mobile
Discuss more in the forums

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Perfecto Mobile gives free access to its MobileCloud to BlackBerry developers

OK full disclosure - I'm not a developer; I have not written a line of code since 1988.  Now with that out of the way, Perfecto Mobile has extended access to its MobileCloud platform to BlackBerry developers for free.  If you're unfamiliar with Perfecto's MobileCloud, it's a development platform that gives you access to devices without the need to install the simulator on your computer.

As my disclaimer says I'm not a developer but this sounds like a pretty handy tool to have access to.  With the multiple types of devices a developer has to accommodate for when developing an application not needing to have multiple simulators running on your computer would be a real asset.

The MobileCloud platform also allows you to test your application across multiple networks in various geographic regions.  Currently their devices are located in Canada, USA, UK, France, India and Israel.  I can see the many benefits of this ability.

More information on the Perfecto MobileCloud

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BlackBerry theme roundup for April 6, 2011 - 25 copies of C point 1 to give away!

You could win a free copy of C point 1 by C_86 Themes! Keep reading to find out how!

Hey everyone, welcome back to the BlackBerry Theme Roundup! We are trying something a little different with the theme roundups starting this week. Instead of a random selection of themes, we picked a topic and found themes related to that topic. This week, we chose OS Replica themes. Next week we will be on the lookout for themes for Mother's Day, so if you have developed one 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 C point 1 by C_86 Themes! Contest details after the break.

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