BlackBerry News and Reviews

BlackBerry Desktop Manager for Windows and Mac updated

With the lanch of the BlackBerry PlayBook just around the corner now I was wondering when we'd see an update roll out for BlackBerry Desktop Manager. As it turns out, today is the day for it. Both, Windows and Mac versions of BlackBerry Desktop Manager have updates available as of now although, the Windows version seems to be more aliigned for the BlackBerry PlayBook. If you go to check for software updates you'll find v6.0.2.42 budle 43 available for Windows and Mac users will find v2.0.1 build 14 which is said to provide important fixes and improvements, and support for 64-bit mode. You can run software update or head on over to the BlackBerry website to download either version.

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Geek Fun: Hooking the BlackBerry PlayBook up to a TV and Controlling it with a Bluetooth Keyboard and Mouse!

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

One of the cool bonus features I discovered while working on CrackBerry's BlackBerry PlayBook Review was the device's support for a Bluetooth Mouse. I had assumed a Bluetooth keyboard would work, which it does, but was really shocked to see the PlayBook pair with my Apple Mighty Mouse (for those wondering if you can use your BlackBerry phone's keyboard to type on the PlayBook, that doesn't seem to be the case from what I've figured out so far). With a Bluetooth mouse paired, a cursor pops up on the PlayBook's display and you can navigate the PlayBook without having to touch it with your fingers at all.

What's the usage case here? Well, it's sitting on couch with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse and having your PlayBook hooked up via HDMI on a big screen tv, which is exactly what I did in the video above. Party time! Also, without having the software keyboard taking up precious real estate when typing now, in browser apps like Facebook chat become more user friendly. I think the longer term goal of course is to make BlackBerry a powerhouse in mobile computing (they're no longer just a Smartphone maker). Having mouse support built-in is huge for this. You have a tablet for leisure mode, or when you're on the go, and at the office you hook it up to a mouse, keyboard and monitor and get your work done. 

Note, it took me a while to figure out the process for bezel gestures with a mouse (jump to 5 minutes into this video to see how excited I get when I do finally figure it out). To gesture on the PlayBook with a Bluetooth Mouse connected, you click and hold down on the right mouse button when at an edge or corner of the display, and swipe back towards the middle of the screen. Update: ACTUALLY, all you have to do is RIGHT MOUSE click when near an edge and it will do the gesture. No need to hold down and swipe. Briliant!!! Spread the word on that! 

While this might not be a feature PlayBook owners put to use every day, it's definitely a cool feature that once again showcases the underlying power of the QNX-based BlackBerry Tablet OS. Check out the video above.... it felt like I was making history with this one. :)

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Weekly Accessory Roundup - Win the case of your choice for your device!

Contest: Leave a comment telling us which BlackBerry Case you'd like from ShopCrackBerry.com and you could win it!


There is such a wide variety of cases out there for BlackBerry devices and that means pretty much "something for everyone". Cases not only help us express our personality, but also protect your device from the daily bumps and brusies. From your basic skin case all the way up to the insane protection of an OtterBox, there are loads to choose from. So youre mission this week is to leave a comment letting us know which case available at ShopCrackBerry.com you'd like to call your own. Be it a silicone sleeve, snap-on hard case or something stylish, let us know what and why (and be sure to include your device) and it could be yours!

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BlackBerry PlayBook vs. Apple iPad 2 Web Browser Comparison

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

One of the videos I put together for our BlackBerry PlayBook Review was a head to head web browser comparison of the BlackBerry PlayBook vs. Apple's iPad 2. As you'll see in the video, the PlayBook holds up pretty well against the iPad 2. The BlackBerry PlayBook of course supports Adobe flash, which means you can visit a whole of websites and do a whole lot more things on the PlayBook's web browser that you simply cannot do on the iPad. Within websites like Facebook, on the PlayBook you can play videos from within your updates stream, use Facebook chat and even play Farmville. The 7" display can make things a little tight depending exactly what you're doing, but for the most part you can access and use the full internet. Also worth noting is that the PlayBook will ship supporting Flash 10.2 vs. the 10.1 version RIM initially announced on the device. The first software build on my review unit still showed flash at 10.1, but an OS upgrade brought with it 10.2. Good stuff.

The downside of flash support is that it does add a little bit of page load time to websites that might not use flash in their content, but make use of it in their advertisements. I found quite a few sites where the iPad 2 would beat out the PlayBook's page load time by a few seconds, but if we then disabled Flash and did the test again (with cache cleared of course) the PlayBook would be equally quick and in some cases faster. I also have compared my PlayBook to my old iPad classic, and the PlayBook tends to beat the original iPad pretty consistently. With pages fully loaded, I find the experience to be a bit smoother still (panning, zooming, etc.) on the iPad 2, but it's pretty darn solid on the PlayBook as well.

All in all, it's definitely the best web browser on a BlackBerry device to date, and I think it's just going to keep getting better. Check out the video above!

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BlackBerry PlayBook Reviews Roundup!


If you were planning on buying a PlayBook, are you more or less excited after reading the reviews?customer surveys

Last night at 9pm EDT the embargo lifted and the interwebs filled up with BlackBerry PlayBook reviews. You'll definitely want to check out CrackBerry's BlackBerry PlayBook Review if you haven't done so yet, and to save you some time from searching we've roundedup the other PlayBook reviews we've come across so far (if we've missed any, drop the links in the comments).

All in all the final summary points across the majority of the reviews were pretty consistent, though there was definitely a mix in the tone of the reviews. Some of the reviews had a more positive outlook, mainly praising the PlayBook's hardware and making note of the raw power of the QNX-based operating system and what it will allow RIM to do with the BlackBerry platform moving ahead, despite what it may be lacking at launch. Other reviews focused mainly on the negative, being the lack of native email, PIM and quality 3rd party apps at launch. I tried to take a straight out unbiased and honest approach on our review, highlghting the goods along with the bads. In addition to reading the CB review, I'd definitely recommend checking out Anandtech's review - it is also very indepth and comes at the review from more of a technical analysis of the hardware and QNX OS. I also thought Sascha Segan's PCMag review, while quite a bit shorter, hit a lot of great points.

Looking through some of the comments from CrackBerry readers on the review and in the forums, it seems that most folks that have been wanting to get a PlayBook are still set on it, some more than ever. A few are going to cancel their pre-orders and wait till they can play with it in stores before making their final decision.  I have to say, the more I use the PlayBook the more the form factor is growing on me. While working on a review your mindset is very critical and you're not really having "leisure time fun" on the device, as you have a deadline you're working toward. After my review was published last night I kicked back on the couch and straight out just played with on the PlayBook, browsing the web shooting off emails from the Bridge. After three hours of non-stop playtime, I didn't want to put it down and go to bed (Miss CrackBerry is already worried I'm addicted to it). That being the case, I'm thinking this really is going to be the start of a long-lasting friendship.. err... addiction..

More BlackBerry PlayBook Reviews

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Pre-order the BlackBerry PlayBook from Radio Shack

Trailing the line of originally announced retailers that have offered up the BlackBerry PlayBook for presale is Radio Shack. They have finally made the device available for order, however currently looks to only have the 16GB version for $499. You won't get it any earlier than the 19th, so if you already ordered elswhere no need to cancel in favor of The Shack. As to why they only have one version available we're not quite sure. Hit the link below for more.

Pre-order the BlackBerry PlayBook from Radio Shack

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FourPlay for the BlackBerry PlayBook updated with checkins, photos and more

While we haven't jumped too far into all the BlackBerry PlayBook apps that are out there (and there are plenty), you can bet come next week they'll be flowing in like crazy. New PlayBook owners will want to fill up their tablets with the best apps from the start, and from the looks of it, FourPlay will be one of the most popular. We did take a look at FourPlay when it first popped up, but being an avid foursquare user I'm super excited to try this app out. FourPlay has been updated and now includes checkins which were sadly lacking when first submitted to BlackBerry App World. The app is shaping up to be the go to for foursquare on the PlayBook, so add it to your list of downloads. It's totally free and will keep you in the loop when you're out and about with your PlayBook. Check out the video above for more.

More information/download of FourPlay for the BlackBerry PlayBook

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BlackBerry Touch promo video leaks out

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

Not to be left out of all the fun, the BlackBerry Touch video also got posted up for everyone to see. Again, leaving very little to the imagination remaining about the device in question here. Needless to say, not that the BlackBerry PlayBook is here -- we're ready for this batch of BlackBerry smartphones.

Source: N4_BB

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BlackBerry Bold Touch promo video leaks out

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

Of all things remaining that could have possibly leaked for this device -- this pretty much takes the cake in our opinion. In any event, the bove video is what is reported to be the promo video for the yet-to-be announced BlackBerry Bold Touch. Enjoy it while you can folks, we're guessing this one won't last very long on YouTube. Of course, by all means -- drop some comments on what you think about the direction RIM took with it.

Source: N4_BB

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BlackBerry PlayBook Review

Officially announced in September of last year, the long-awaited BlackBerry PlayBook was released on April 19th 2011, with a starting price of $499. It featured the all-new BlackBerry Tablet OS, the PlayBook sports a 7" display that makes this tablet more portable for everyday use than Apple's iPad. With the addition of the BlackBerry PlayBook 2.0 Software released on February 21, 2012 -- the PlayBook gained native email, calendar and contacts, the ability to run Android applications and much more.

With solid hardware specs, an operating system that utilizes a gesture-based user interface to deliver true multitasking capabilities and a web browser that supports Adobe Flash, on paper the PlayBook appears to have the raw talent to be a contender. Heck, it even won the first ever Tablet World Series before it was ever released. But pre-release hype is one thing and real-world performance is another. RIM hopes to leverage their success in smartphones and emerge as a major competitor in the tablet game when it steps up to the plate. Does the PlayBook have what it takes to crank out a homerun? Read our full review to find out!

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BlackBerry Torch 2 gets another hands-on look in latest video

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

Just in case the BlackBerry Touch wasn't enough or you prefer the BlackBerry Torch style a little more, the same folks who posted up the BlackBerry Touch video have also gone hands-on with the BlackBerry Torch 2. Another device we expect to hear more about come time for BlackBerry World but for now we've got videos to hold us over.

Discuss the video in the CrackBerry Forums

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BlackBerry Touch 9860 shows itself in another video

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

What once was seemingly heavily guarded is no longer. The BlackBerry Touch 9860 has been popping up all over the place and in various countries. That of course, leads us here to believe quite a few test units have been shipped off to folks which can only mean launch is pretty much around the corner. With BlackBerry World taking place in May this year, we're expecting to hear more then -- until then, enjoy the above video.

Discuss the video in the CrackBerry Forums

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Uploading videos to YouTube from your BlackBerry

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

Every minute of every day, we upload over 35 hours of video to YouTube, that's over 18 million hours uploaded each year. We increasingly enjoy sharing bits of life with others and the world. Whether it's a video of Grandma's 85th birthday or that dog that runs into the wall when he wakes up, your BlackBerry smartphone makes it easy to capture, preserve, and share those moments.

We've covered the basics of using the video camera on your BlackBerry, no matter if you're using BlackBerry OS6 or OSFive. After you've filmed your masterpiece, what do you do with it? Does your video get moved to your computer? Perhaps you send your video to a friend's phone with BBM or as a "text" message. Some videos simply fade away; filmed and forgotten. Lost amongst a sea of ones and zeros.

Bring those videos back to life. Share them on YouTube. If it was good enough for you to film, it's probably good enough for YouTube. Granted, not every video is appropriate for the video sharing site; my independent film, "10 Minutes of the View Inside My Shirt Pocket," wasn't very popular. But don't let my incomplete success dissuade you from uploading your own cinematic work.

OS6 users have it easy with the ability to upload videos built right into the operating system. OSFive users don't have it quite so simple, but there are a few workarounds.

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RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis walks off of BBC interview

During an interview with the BBC this week, RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis ended the session prematurely when asked a simple question on the recent security issues regarding the Middle East. BBC reporter Rory Cellan-Jones asked Lazaridis about the situation to which he responded:

"You implied that we have a security problem, we don't have a security problem ... we've just been singled out, because we're so successful around the world. It's an iconic product, used by business, it's used by leaders, it's used by celebrities, it's used by consumers, it's used by teenagers, we were just singled out." 

Obviously upset by the question, Lazaridis promptly ended the interview saying "it's over ... you can't use that Rory it's just not fair." The issues surfaced late last year when several countries including India, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates called BlackBerry use a "security risk". It was thought that a resolution in the matters had been reached, but apparently it still sits as a sore subject for RIM. What are your thoughts? Sound off in the comments!

Watch the clip from the BBC

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BlackBerry PlayBook hits Staples weekly ad - Still available April 19th

In case there was still any question as to whether the BlackBerry PlayBook would be available in Staples stores next Tuesday, let us ease your mind. The image above is a page from Staples weekly ad for next week, showing off the 16GB version of the BlackBerry PlayBook. The ad states (as we already knew) that the device will be available for in store purchase on April 19th. If you are itching to get your hands on one you can still pre-order from Staples (or a bunch of other retailers) and have it shipped to your door, or you can take your chances finding one in store next week.

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RIM introduces BlackBerry trade-up program in Canada

RIM has announced that its BlackBerry trade-up program is now available in Canada. The program was originally introduced in the US earlier this year. Through this program, customers who purchase a new, eligible BlackBerry are qualified to receive money back for trading in their existing eligible device. Users can receive up to $120 back when trading in an old device.  If you're looking to trade-up and get a new device, head to blackberrytradeup.com for more info and a list of eligible devices.

More info on the BlackBerry Trade-up Program

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Fill It by SolverLabs - A new puzzle game for BlackBerry

Who doesn't like a challenging puzzle game now and then? They keep your mind active and can help pass time when you're stuck in line or in a waiting room. Fill It by SolverLabs is this sort of game for your BlackBerry. You have a simple objective: take the assorted shapes from the left and fill the grid on the right, making sure none overlap and they are all used. It sounds so easy, right? It is at first, but as you work through the 100 levels they increase in difficulty, ensuring that you keep that brain working! Game play is timed, in case you beat all the levels and want to go back through and want to challenge your previous attempts. Fill It has both a free (ad supported) and paid version (which costs just $.99 and has no ads). You can pick either up today in BlackBerry App World for most BlackBerry smartphones.

For more information/screenshots and to download Fill It (free, with ads)
For more information/screenshots and to purchase Fill It (ad free)

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BlackBerry theme roundup for April 12, 2011 - Easter edition, plus 50 free copies of Spring Story by BB-Freaks!

You could win a free copy of Spring Story 3D Animated by BB-Freaks! Keep reading to find out how!

Hey everyone, welcome back to the BlackBerry Theme Roundup! This week we are focusing on Easter themes! 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 Spring Story 3D by BB-Freaks! Contest details after the break.

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BreakingNews for BlackBerry now available - 50 copies up for grabs!

A few weeks back we checked out the beta for BreakingNews and were totally impressed. This cool little app tosses up a scrolling news ticker on your homescreen, allowing you to get breaking news without ever jumping into an app. You can set up your own RSS feeds (up to 5) and display up to 20 headlines from each. Set the refresh rate anywhere down to 5 minutes and quickly check out the articles in your BlackBerry Browser with a few key taps. All in all a great app if you want to keep up with news on the go. You can grab it on sale for $2.99 in the CrackBerry App Store.

Contest: We have 50 copies of BreakingNews to give away. Just leave a single comment on this post to enter. Contest ends this Sunday at midnight PDT.

More information/download of BreakingNews

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BlackBerry PlayBook 101: Using BlackBerry App World on the PlayBook

BlackBerry PlayBook 101: Using BlackBerry App World on your BlackBerry PlayBook

BlackBerry App World is the go to for apps on your BlackBerry smartphone as well as your BlackBerry PlayBook. While you've surely been using App World on your phone for quite some time, you'll find both similarities and differences in App World for the BlackBerry PlayBook. All the same features are there - including categories, featured and top lists - but some things are a bit different as well. So if your curious to know just how to use BlackBerry App World on the PlayBook, check out this tutorial to get you started.

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