BlackBerry News and Reviews

Contest: 50 free copies of Kino by Pootermobile up for grabs, and 3 t-shirts!

If you're looking for a fun and colorful theme, built with quality and packed full of function, then you need to check out Kino by Pootermobile! I really don't know where they get all these fun ideas for themes, but they never fail to impress me. The moment I installed Kino on my Torch I was immediately transported to the beach… well ok, not literally, but the sand-like background and blue dock full of whimsical icons made me feel like I was there. The unobtrusive clock at the bottom rests on a puffy white cloud that's just peeking up onto the screen. As you scroll along the vertical dock, a blue bubble with a little bounce lets you know what icon you're on. By far my favorite part of Kino is the little helper, Poots. He's a little red-faced BlackBerry Bold that shows you how to use each of Pootermobile's themes. In Kino, Poots appears on your screen, riding a unicorn!! And if that's not your thing, no worries because you can hide them in one motion.

Kino is available for $3.99 and compatible with BlackBerry 89xx, 9000, 91xx, 95xx, 96xx, 97xx, and 9800. Keep reading after the break for contest details! You could win a free copy of Kino, or a TWP t-shirt!

For more information/screenshots and to purchase Kino
To check out Pootermobile's other themes

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BBM 101: How to scan a barcode

BlackBerry Messenger is a great way to communicate, no matter the subject. With Delivered and Read notifications, you always know where you are in the conversation. By now, you've probably seen the BBM Flirt commercials. Just like in the video, it's easy to add new contacts just by scanning the BlackBerry PIN barcode. One BlackBerry will be the scanner while the other will show a barcode; it doesn't matter which you are. A new contact will be added to both phones.

Show your PIN: Get your BlackBerry ready by showing your PIN barcode. From BlackBerry Messenger, open the menu and select "Show My Profile." It's probably somewhere near the bottom. Under your actual PIN is a button marked "Show." Clicking this will show your barcode. Your phone is ready for scanning.

Scanner: Again, from BlackBerry Messenger, open the menu and select "Invite Contact." Don't be fooled by that "Scan a Group Barcode;" You want "Invite Contact." From the choices, select "Invite by scanning a PIN barcode." You'll most likely get a short animation explaining what you're about to do. Click continue to start. Just position your BlackBerry so you can see the scannee's barcode through your phone's camera. You may need to move the BlackBerry closer and further away until the camera gets a good picture.

Once the scanner has a good shot of the barcode, BlackBerry Messenger takes care of the rest. The camera shuts off and a new contact is added to BBM. The only thing left for you is to start chatting.

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Save the fluffy bunnies from incineration - Bunny Rescue by Vimukti Technologies

A game doesn't have to make sense to be fun. For example, in Bunny Rescue by Vimukti Technologies, cute white fluffy bunnies are falling out of chutes in the ceiling, destined to be charbroiled on the incinerator below. It's up to you to bounce them up into the air to save them. Why are evil robots dropping bunnies into an incinerator? I have no clue, but you can believe I spent a good deal of time trying to save their furry little butts from getting toasted.

Bunny Rescue has several modes of game play. In Bail the Bunny mode, your goal is to bounce the bunnies out of the windows on either side of the incinerator and presumably out to safety. It's harder than it sounds because the bunnies are like bouncy balls and don't always go out the window on the first attempt, and before you know it you have multiple bunnies shooting around the room. Scores are determined by number of bunnies saved.

Timed mode is a bit easier. Your goal is to keep the bunnies in the air as long as possible. Again there can be multiple bunnies, and the windows aren't open so they're all ricocheting around in the tiny room like crazy (assuming you can keep them from hitting the floor). Timed mode has a few different difficulty levels. Kid mode was especially fun as there is only one bunny to keep in the air, and you get special items falling that help your rescue efforts. Two that I saw are a balloon that floats your bunny for a few seconds, and a grill that covers the floor so the bunny can bounce off safely. Score in timed mode is determined by length of time you can keep your bunny alive.

I enjoyed playing Bunny Rescue. The graphics are clear and sharp, without any extra frills to get in the way or slow it down. I had no lag while playing on my Torch, which is good because those bunnies are fast!  You can pick up Bunny Rescue for $1.99 in the CrackBerry store for your BlackBerry Torch or Storm. You can check out a couple more screenshots after the break.

For more information/screenshots and to purchase Bunny Rescue

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Calendar Wallpaper by MMMOOO

I get frustrated when I need to quickly see a calendar with the current month and I have to fumble around opening the BlackBerry calendar and switching back and forth between applications. Wouldn't it be neat to have a calendar right on your home screen so you can easily view it? Now you can have just that. MMMOOO has developed an application called Calendar Wallpaper that pushes the current month's calendar right to your home screen. You can customize it with different colors for weekends, current day, current week, and general color. You can also choose to have a solid color background or use an image on your device, and if you're the type that likes to plan ahead, you can choose to show two months instead of one.

I like this app and think it's useful, however there are a few additions I would like to see in future updates. For example, if you frequently switch wallpapers, you may not want to use Calendar Wallpaper unless you plan on changing them manually from within the app. It would also be great to be able to choose where on your screen the calendar appears. As it is now, there is only the one option. This could overlap other elements on your home screen, depending on what theme you are using. These are only minor issues however, and easy to work around, if they affect you at all.

Calendar Wallpaper is just $.99 and available for BlackBerry 8330/50i, 85xx, 89xx, 9000, 91xx, 93xx, 95xx, 96xx, 97xx, and 9800. There is also a free trial available, so you can check it out before you purchase. 

For more information/screenshots and to purchase Calendar Wallpaper

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More video tutorials for the BlackBerry Touch (monaco) extracted



[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

Although some of the videos from the BlackBerry Touch have previously appeared, not all of the videos for the BlackBerry Touch (monaco) tutorials were able to be extracted. But, that hasn't really stopped folks from trying and as such -- those that remained unseen are now available. Again, not a whole to see in the videos but they're pretty cool either way. Now all we really need is some official confirmation and release dates to set our minds at ease. Although, RIM requesting the previous videos to be removed kind of serves as confirmation in my personal opinion. Jump on past the break for more.

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CrackBerry Twitter Contest: Your Chance to Win a BlackBerry PlayBook just by following us on Twitter and Tweeting a message!

We've already given away a few BlackBerry PlayBook IOUs to lucky CrackBerry contest winners, and as we approach the April 19th launch date we're giving our audience yet another chance to win a BlackBerry PlayBook. This time we're going to get fancy and do it up social media style on the twitters.  

HOW TO ENTER: For your chance to win a BlackBerry PlayBook, all you need to do is login to your twitter account, make sure you follow @crackberry, and from there tweet/retweet the following phrase:

Follow @crackberry and RT this message for your chance to win a BlackBerry #PlayBook! http://crackberry.com/win-playbook 

PRIZE: The lucky winner will get a 16GB Wi-Fi BlackBerry PlayBook!

OTHER DETAILS: The contest is open from now until April 19th, 2011. We'll announce the winner the day the PlayBook is released. Entry is open worldwide. Only non-private accounts can participate (need public tweets). We're using a tweet contest service provider to administer the tracking, and the lucky winner will be pulled at random.

That's it. Easy peasy. If you're already on the twitter go ahead and tweet the magic phrase and you're good to go. And if you're not on twitter yet, well, now is the time for you to register (click here to download Twitter for BlackBerry). You'll have beginner's luck on your side. Good luck to everyone, and spread the word!

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Quick Review: Six dot X theme for BlackBerry

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

Last week we saw OS 6.1 pop up for some unreleased devices. Inside the latest icons for OS 6.1 were unearthed and magically turned into what is now Six dot X. This latest creation comes from BBThemes and is the closest you can get to OS 6.1 on your device (for now). Nothing major will change from your stock theme, but Six dot X provides a fancy new look with all new icons for native apps. The icons break from the old colorless style to new spiffiness. They now sport some color and give things a much different look. While you can expect to see more of them when OS 6.1 starts hitting devices, you can check out Six dot X on your current device while you wait it out. Check out the video above for a quick look then hit the link below to purchase.

More information/download of Six dot X

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The CrackBerry.com Guide to CrackBerry.com - Part II: AppVerse

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

As a writer for CrackBerry.com, I download a lot of apps. All too frequently, I'll read a review here on the blog and immediately purchase the app. With Fixmo Tools, I didn't even finish the article. That's the power of reading a review from someone whose opinion you trust. Still, there are an incredible number of apps in the CrackBerry.com App Store; and it simply isn't possible to review them all.

It's these other apps that cause a bit of a conundrum. Apps are usually not free, and no one likes to pay money for a dud. In the before-time, sometimes the only reviews for an app were anonymous user reviews. Some were insightful and helpful. Others were not. Jumbled together in a mish-mash of anonymity, it was not always easy to get a clear idea of an app's potential.

Today, there's AppVerse. People know each other on AppVerse. Reviews link back to the author so you can see more by that person. You can follow people and be followed; find out what new apps are being reviewed by the people you know. Most importantly, AppVerse challenges people to write informative reviews. People can comment on your reviews. Folks can mark them as helpful or otherwise. When you review an app with AppVerse, it means something.

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Clearing up the PlayBook Confusion: BlackBerry Bridge vs. Internet Tethering

As I read through forum threads and check out blog post comments both here on CrackBerry and on other websites, I am noticing there is still a lot of confusion surrounding a few specific aspects of RIM's first tablet. Hopefully RIM's PlayBook marketing efforts will clean up the mess as we near launch, but in the meantime I'll do my best to help the cause. I already addressed the no native email, calendar, contacts at launch issue here, and in this post we're going to clear up the misunderstandings between Internet Tethering and the BlackBerry Bridge on the BlackBerry PlayBook and answer some of the big questions regarding both. Here we go!

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Review: Unique Autosport Pocket Pouch for the 9650 -Enter to win one of your own!

Want to win Unique Autosport Pocket Pouch for the 9650 from CrackBerry.com? Keep reading for contest details.

I'll be the first to admit, I am not always as careful as I should be with my BlackBerry 9650, and this is probably a large part of the reason that I continually look for a case to put on the device. While I have explored options such as the Otterbox Commuter, and a few others, often times I prefer the feel of a naked device, which leaves me with the issue of how to protect it, when not in my hands and being used. The predicament I was in led me to think that maybe a leather holster was the best bet, and the Unique Autosport Pocket Pouch was the one that jumped out at me.

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Leaked OS 6.0.0.524 for the BlackBerry Curve 3G 9330

One more this morning goes out to the Curve 3G 9330 users. This leak comes in the form of OS 6.0.0.524. Not much is known on this one just yet, so if you are a 9330 owner be sure to let us know what you find out. Use caution when updating your device.

*OS Disclaimer - Please Read: Keep in mind this is NOT an official release and as such is not supported by RIM or your Carrier. If you choose to install, do so at your own risk and only if you're comfortable in the process of upgrading and downgrading your device software. It is quite normal during operating system development for certain features to be crippled or disabled while others are tested, and these beta builds often reflect that. They are not always better. Depending on your BlackBerry comfort level, it may be best for you to wait for community feedback on a build before deciding to download and install for yourself or simply wait for the next official release. If you require support, you will find it in our CrackBerry forums via our extremely knowledgeable community base - do not contact your carrier or RIM for Beta OS technical support (their first course of action will be to advise you to downgrade to a supported OS). *

Download OS 6.0.0.524 for the Curve 9330
Discuss more in the forums

Source: BBH-Plus

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Leaked OS 6.0.0.526 for the BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300

One for the Curve 3G 9300 users today as well. Leaked OS 6.0.0.526 has been leaked and is good to go. Not many reports in on this one just yet, so if you are a 9300 user get to installing and let us know. As always, use caution when installing any OS on your device.

*OS Disclaimer - Please Read: Keep in mind this is NOT an official release and as such is not supported by RIM or your Carrier. If you choose to install, do so at your own risk and only if you're comfortable in the process of upgrading and downgrading your device software. It is quite normal during operating system development for certain features to be crippled or disabled while others are tested, and these beta builds often reflect that. They are not always better. Depending on your BlackBerry comfort level, it may be best for you to wait for community feedback on a build before deciding to download and install for yourself or simply wait for the next official release. If you require support, you will find it in our CrackBerry forums via our extremely knowledgeable community base - do not contact your carrier or RIM for Beta OS technical support (their first course of action will be to advise you to downgrade to a supported OS).*

Download OS 6.0.0.526 for the Curve 9300 
Discuss more in the forums

Source: BBH-Plus

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Leaked OS 6.0.0.526 for the BlackBerry Bold 9780

Happy Monday Bold 9780 users. Here is a fresh OS leak to start the day off with. OS 6.0.0.526 has popped up and is ready for download. Early reports say that this one looks to be a bit zippier than the last few, so if you have some free time this morning why not give it a go. As usual, use caution when installing any OS on your device.

*OS Disclaimer - Please Read: Keep in mind this is NOT an official release and as such is not supported by RIM or your Carrier. If you choose to install, do so at your own risk and only if you're comfortable in the process of upgrading and downgrading your device software. It is quite normal during operating system development for certain features to be crippled or disabled while others are tested, and these beta builds often reflect that. They are not always better. Depending on your BlackBerry comfort level, it may be best for you to wait for community feedback on a build before deciding to download and install for yourself or simply wait for the next official release. If you require support, you will find it in our CrackBerry forums via our extremely knowledgeable community base - do not contact your carrier or RIM for Beta OS technical support (their first course of action will be to advise you to downgrade to a supported OS). *

Download OS 6.0.0.526 for the BlackBerry Bold 9780
Discuss more in the forums

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Contest winners: Schlage LiNK system, PlayBook accessory, bluetooth headsets, and tons more!

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)crackberry.com and we'll be sure to get you taken care of. Please be patient as some emails may take longer than others to arrive. Hit the jump for the full list - congrats to all the winners!

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Best of Smartphone Experts, 3 April 2011


A brief look at the BlackBerry PlayBook boot screen

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

If you've been following all the BlackBerry PlayBook action in the forums then you'd know that in Ontario some Research In Motion reps have been hanging out at some of the Best Buy and Future Shop locations demoing the BlackBerry PlayBook for anyone interested. Some of our forums members have decided to swing by those locations and scoop up some hands-on time with the device and gather up some info.

Courtesy of Doug1010, the above video is of the bootup sequence from the PlayBook -- something we meant to capture in previous hands-on but slipped our minds. Either way, as we get closer and close to launch date it's fun to read through some of the details everyone is finding out about the PlayBook and I'm personally sticking to my thoughts that the BlackBerry PlayBook has a lot of features we've not seen nor likely will see until its release.

Discuss more in the forums

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Quick Review: BlackBerry Leather Holster for the Torch 9800

Want to win a BlackBerry Leather Holster for the Torch 9800 from CrackBerry.com? Keep reading for contest details.

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

When it comes to my BlackBerry, the addiction is so strong my friends think I’m Gollum from Lord of the Rings. However, they don’t know the whole truth as to why the device never leaves my grasp. I’m going to let you guys in on a little secret. I suffer from chronic klutziness. Yes it’s true, as much as I hate to admit it. When out with friends if something is spilled, dropped, or knocked over it’s usually me they laugh and point to first. To further embarrass myself, I’ve walked into fire hydrants, slipped on ice, tripped over my own two feet (those darn pockets of air), and had a nail go through the outer display of my first flip phone when I knocked into a stockroom door. While I may not look like Michelle Pfeiffer, think of me as the pre-Catwoman Selina Kyle. When manufacturers sit down to design cases, there must be a picture of me on the wall.

If you suffer from the same affliction, then you understand what I go through day after day. I live knowing I am my BlackBerry’s own worst enemy. Just take my 9700. The one day I didn’t use the holster, it flew out of my hands onto the concrete next to a pile of mud. So you can understand my utter frustration at the Torch not including one. What was I to do? The only answer is the BlackBerry Leather Holster. There’s no way around it, the BlackBerry leather holsters are reliable and fit perfectly by my side or in my pocketbook no matter where I go or what I do. The clips are strong, sturdy and don’t become flimsy over time which is exactly why I love them. Plus, none of my devices have ever suffered a fatal injury when dropped in the OEM holster. I’m a firm believer in showing, not telling, so check out the video above and pick one up today at the ShopCrackBerry.com.

Purchase a BlackBerry Leather Holster for the Torch 9800

We review it; you could win it!

Want to get one of these for free from ShopCrackBerry.com? Just leave a comment to this article letting us know how you would use this BlackBerry Leather Holster. Why would this product be right for you? Contest ends this Sunday at midnight PST. Please only leave a single comment.

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CrackBerry Reminder: What you may have missed this week


Leaked OS 6.0.0.526 for the BlackBerry Torch 9800

We've been hearing a lot of rumors about the .5xx builds for devices and now 6.0.0.526 has finally leaked online for all you BlackBerry Torch users out there. Not sure what has changed in the OS exactly so by all means, feel free to rip it to shreds and break it all down for us the the CrackBerry forums. Remember though, back up your data before loading this up folks.

*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 6.0.0.526 for the BlackBerry Torch 9800
Discuss more in the forums

Source: BBH-Plus

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Next Dual Pack and Nintaii by Mobigloo on sale!

Two popular games from Mobigloo are on sale right now! Nintaii and Next Dual Pack are both challenging puzzle type games for BlackBerry that will provide you with hours of entertainment. Both games are available for most every BlackBerry smartphone with OS 4.2 and higher and are on sale for just $.99 each (regularly $4.99!).

Next Dual Pack is currently the #1 paid app in BlackBerry App World! In this game, your goal is to match cubes on the playing field by color and shape until they disappear. Sounds easy, but it's actually quite challenging. You get 128 levels to work through, so don't expect to breeze right through and be done in a day.

Nintaii is one of my favorite games for BlackBerry. The objective of the game is to tumble a rectangular block through each stage and deposit it into the square hole at the end. Switches, road blocks and arrows are located in many levels. With 100 levels in total, this game will also keep you occupied for quite some time. Nintaii has a free trial available as well.

For more information and to download Next Dual Pack from the CrackBerry store
For more information and to download Next Dual Pack from App World

For more information and to download Nintaii from the CrackBerry store (touch)
For more information and to download Nintaii from the CrackBerry store (non-touch)
For more information and to download Nintaii from App World

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