BlackBerry News and Reviews

BlackBerry PlayBook Gestures and Navigation

BlackBerry PlayBook 101: BlackBerry Tablet OS Gestures and Navigation for Getting the Most out of your BlackBerry PlayBook!

Once you fire up your BlackBerry PlayBook for the first time you most likely won't have many issues navigating around the OS. When it comes to just what gestures and "swipes" you can do however, things may get a bit tricky. but that's a good thing. Without gestures you're forced to put all of your options on the screen, which takes up real estate. With gestures, you can maximize the display's real estate for apps (you get a lot more out of a 7" display with gestures than if you didn't have them) as you can swipe in your options, display the status bar (view notifications) and even jump between apps and close them with simple movements. It's powerful and fun.

In this tutorial you'll find a complete list of all the navigation swiping and gestures you can use to get where you need to go and do the things you want to do within the BlackBerry Tablet OS and applications.

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The Core: Coming soon to the BlackBerry PlayBook

We're about to see an explosion of games happening on the BlackBerry PlayBook and while I'm sure Kevin is concerned over whether or not Brick Breaker is going to be ported over, some of us would like to see a more updated version of it make its way there. Enter, The Core which dubs itself as a cross between Brick Breaker and the throwback arcade game Asteroids. The game is set in space and the object is to use your spaceships to smash into the Core of the planet and destroy it. As you destroy the planets you get to advance through the levels. Jump on past the break for some more screenshots of The Core in action, expect it in BlackBerry App World soon. 

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BlackBerry PlayBook Setup

BlackBerry PlayBook 101: Setting up the BlackBerry PlayBook Tablet

When your BlackBerry PlayBook arrives, the first thing you need to do is set it up. Knowing is half the battle, so in this tutorial we'll walk through the basics of getting your new BlackBerry PlayBook up and running. The setup wizard is very straight forward and easy to use, and as you might imagine covers the basics of setting up your date and time, connecting to a WiFi network, connecting to a BlackBerry via the BlackBerry Bridge (assuming you own a BlackBerry Smartphone, not that you need one to buy the PlayBook) and more. Keep reading for the full tutorial!

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Pinball Deluxe for BlackBerry now available free!

Update: Looks like this was just a limited promotion over the weekend - it still showed in App World today however, so our apologies. You can still grab the paid version of Pinball Deluxe here.

We first saw Pinball Deluxe back in May of last year and to date has been the only game I have actually kept installed on my Torch. The simple, smooth gameplay makes it a great time killer with awesome replay value. If you're at all a fan of pinball then this is the game to have. If you didn't pick it up before, you can grab it free from BlackBerry App World. It works on most devices (the play on the Torch is the best by far) and will soon become one of your favorites as well I'm sure. Features include:

  • Plunger, Flippers, Bumpers, Targets, Roll-over, Slingshots, Ramps, Mini-Games, Captures, Nudge/Tilt, etc...
  • Realistic Physics
  • Smooth animation at over 25 fps
  • Unlock the Haunted Mansion and play with 2 balls!
  • Access the Arcade section and play "Truck Attack"
  • Play the "Mirror House", a mini Pinball with reverse controls
  • Customs sounds and vibration

Check out the video above then head to the link below to pick it up for yourself. It's free so you have no excuses! Go now!!

More information/download of Pinball Deluxe Free

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Developers: Which OS do you build for?

If you're a BlackBerry application developer who is building apps for the BlackBerry OS then it is pretty crucial to know where the majority of your potential users are. That said; Research In Motion has just put some great charts outlining data that puts a few things into perspective.

You'll need to know which OS' the majority of your users are going to be working off of. Much of that decision will be based off of the fact whether or not your app will be that of a free one or a paid one. If you are working on paid app, then of course you'll not want to be working on an OS that is no longer supported and most people downloading apps are only making use of free ones. You would want to target the audience with current supported OS' and the one where paid apps leading over top of free apps to maximize sales and leverage use of the newer system integrations and tools.

The landscape for BlackBerry Developers as we know it is changing -- with the launch of the PlayBook we're getting amplified look at the way BlackBerry Development is headed. But until then, knowing which BlackBerry Smartphone and audience to cater to is still a big part of day-to-day operation in developing BlackBerry apps. Head on over to the BlackBerry Developers page to get a further look at the numbers.

Choosing a target OS to develop for

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The Joy Of Tech takes on the BlackBerry PlayBook


I've always enjoyed reading the Joy of Tech comics. They're always good for a laugh so figured we'd share this one with you since it's pretty releative to our other content. Kick Monday off with some laughs and try not to take things so seriously. Besides, Monday is only one day and that means we are one day closer to the launch of the BlackBerry PlayBook!

Source: The Joy Of Tech

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Official OS for the Pearl 3G from Telus Mobility

Here you go Pearl 3G users. Telus has officially released OS for the taking. It's been a bit since we've had an official release for the Pearl 3G, so if you're on an older leaked or official OS then get to downloading. Not many reports in on what's new in this version yet, so head into the forums and post your findings. As always use caution when updating your device OS. Thanks rroyy.

Download OS for the BlackBerry Pearl 3G from Telus
Discuss more in the forums

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BlackBerry Desktop Manager 6.1 is on the way

It's really a no brainer that BlackBerry Desktop Manager will be release by the time the new OS 6.1 handsets arrive (well hopefully anyway), but whether or not we'll see it available before then remains to be seen. The updated version of the software will most likely remain intact while adding some small updates and fixes. The one added feature to note is the ability to forget a previously synced device. Not much else to report on the software just yet, but it probably won't be long before we see a leaked version pop up somwhere.

via: BGR

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Contest winners: Seidio extended battery, Ventev PowerCELL, OtterBox case, and 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) 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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Life in the (BlackBerry) Cloud

As much as I've resisted joining it, I must admit: life inside the cloud is great. Online storage means I never have to worry about losing important files, and I can access them from anywhere connected to the internet. The other day, my laptop computer conked out on me: Blue Screen of Death, corrupted files, the works. I called Tech Support to get the "magical" code that will let me perform a factory reset on the laptop. Right before the guy finally released this sensitive information, he asked if I had done a backup of all my important files.

All of my important files are saved in my DropBox. All my passwords are locked up with Last Pass. All my bookmarks and favorites are automatically updated and shared between my browsers. Why would I need to run a backup? Rather than explain all of that, I just said, "It's fine." A short while later, my computer is up and running.

Thanks to DropBox and LastPass, I'm back - fully restored - in less than a day. What I really like about both of these programs is their BlackBerry applications. Using DropBox on my ‘Berry, I can download any of my files. LastPass on my smartphone means I use only one password amongst all my internets; copy and paste takes care of the rest. Head on past the break to learn more; I'll even show you a couple of alternatives.

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CrackBerry Reminder: What you may have missed this week

Contest: Colorful Serious by BB-Freaks - We have 50 copies up for grabs!

BB-Freaks continues to delight BlackBerry owners with their creative and functional themes. One of their latest creations is called Colorful Serious. This theme brings a burst of color to your home screen with sharp graphics that really stand out. As always, the icons used in this theme are top-notch and flow well with the theme without being distracting. Numeric battery and signal meters and a fun but easy-to-read font add even more style. The dock holds 8-12 user defined icons depending on your device, and hides with a single keystroke. Grey menus and buttons finish out the look. Overall it's a very nice looking theme, and will look great on your BlackBerry wether you use it during work or play.

Colorful Serious is available for $4.99 and is compatible with BlackBerry 9000, 96xx, 97xx, 85xx, 89xx, 93xx, 91xx, 95xx, 9670, and 9800 (OS 4.6 - 6.0)

For more information/screenshots and to purchase Colorful Serious

Contest: BB-Freaks has sent us 50 copies of this theme for you guys! To enter just leave a comment below. Please be sure you have one of the compatible devices listed above. One entry per person please, contest ends Sunday at Midnight PST!

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BlackBerry First Steps: Mass Storage Mode - Using your BlackBerry as a portable flash drive


Every day, thousands will pick up a new BlackBerry. For a good many of them, this will be their first BlackBerry; maybe even their first smartphone. We've all had that first day; poking and prodding a new BlackBerry, trying to figure out how it works. This series aims to make that process a bit easier. 

As BlackBerry users we're constantly on the go. Chances are you've probably used a flash drive to carry files for school, work, or play. Why not use your BlackBerry? Media cards have become a must-have accessory for mobile devices and offer more than just space for music and pictures. Transform your device into a USB drive and quickly drag and drop files directly to and from your microSD/microSDHD card using Windows Explorer.

It's all very quick and automated with help and reminder messages along the way.  With our own helpful messages, CrackBerry presents our guide to the mass storage mode on your BlackBerry. 

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My personal BlackBerry journey - From case to bare, and back to the case

Want to win an Otterbox Commuter case from Keep reading for contest details.

I wanted to share with you guys my personal journey. No, it's not mind blowing or earth shattering but rather a little insight into my love/hate relationship with BlackBerry cases. Maybe you or someone you know can relate to my story. And to help you with your case issues, we're going to give one lucky reader their choice of OtterBox case for BlackBerry! Check out the contest details at the end of the post.

In the beginning...

I got my first BlackBerry about three years ago. I use T-Mobile, and chose a Curve 8320, my GoldBerry, and I was hooked from day one. I had no clue how to use it, and still remember the first time I tried sending a picture via BBM, and how confusing it was. After having my BlackBerry for a few weeks, I began to see little scratches on the battery cover, and decided I should try to do something to protect my new little friend from further damage. I headed to the mall and hit up the T-Mobile store (at the time still quite naive to accessories and how to find them cost effectively) and ended up with a black skin case that hugged my Curve and gave me a little peace of mind.

Anyone familiar with the first Curve series knows that battery pulls were a way of life, and crucial to keeping the dreaded hourglass off my screen. (Again, this was before I knew what I know now, aka alt + shift + delete to reset.) I wasn't fond of having to remove the case what seemed like constantly to pull my battery, but I knew it was the prudent thing to do if I wanted to keep my device from having any more blemishes. Time went on, and for the most part I kept to the plan and Goldie kept her skin on.

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RIM acquires tiny Hippos mobile web development team

While no huge press release announcement came with this news it's certainly newsworthy in our opinion. RIM has acquired yet another company dedicated to development and more specifically, mobile web development. Granted, the name may not sound familiar to a lot of people but tiny Hippos is the company behind the Ripple Mobile Environment Emulator, a tool designed to test and debug cross-platform mobile applications.

The intent here of course, is to bring BlackBerry support to the Ripple and as such offer developers another set of tools to be able to debug and test their applications when preparing them for release on the BlackBerry Platform. Although I'm sure over time tiny Hippos role will certainly be expanded within Research in Motion, much like we've seen from their previous acquisitions.

Source: Inside BlackBerry

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BlackBerry App Roundup for March 25, 2011 - 50 free copies of Tips & Tricks to give away!

Welcome back to this week's BlackBerry App Roundup! Wow what a week this has been! CTIA didn't bring us much on the BlackBerry front, but finally our questions are answered regarding Android apps running on the PlayBook and we have a release date! Who is excited?! We sure are, you can count on that. This week our contest is courtesy of Sferical. They have a new app called Tips & Tricks that they just released, and they sent us 50 licenses to bestow upon you lucky folks. Note: We are now including the App Roundup contest winners with our usual weekly contest winners post, so make sure you check there Monday to see if you won last week. We have searched high and low and found some neat apps to share with you this week, so head on past the break to check them out, enter the contest, and see the winners from last week's contest!

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Has your inkwell run dry? The AP Stylebook for BlackBerry gives you a refill

I have to be honest with you; some days it’s difficult to put two words together. These days seem to coincide with the days my brain decides to bubble, lose molecular stability and then decides to ooze out of my ears. It’s at that point when anything I decide to write begins to sound like the ramblings of a mad man, who also has issues spelling korektlee...I mean correctly. Thank goodness I have my better half to point out every. single. mistake. I. make. (love you!).

Besides dealing with writer’s block, as well as spelling/grammatical mistakes, it’s also helpful to get a grasp on what impact you are making with your words of wisdom. Why are you writing about it? Who are you looking to reach out to? Where should you be sharing your valuable insight? It’s a lot to think about – when you’re already thinking about what to write. The other day, the Associated Press unleashed an application they call “an essential tool for writers” – The Associated Press Stylebook mobile. It’s designed to help you find your voice, through guidelines. The 2010 AP Stylebook includes:

  • A new Social Media Guidelines section, with information on using tools like Facebook and Twitter, as well as 42 separate entries on such terms as app, blogs, click-throughs, friend and unfriend, metadata, RSS, search engine optimization, smart phone, trending, widget and wiki.
  • New terms like; Great Recession- referring to the 2007-08 economic downturn that was the worst recession since the Great Depression, and tea party, for the conservative political movement, along with new entries for Alcoholics Anonymous, Bluetooth, Blu-ray, bondholder, Breathalyzer, flu-like, GED, International Space Station, mic -as the shortened form for microphone, hard line, high-five, Taser, thumbs-up and Ultimate Fighting.
  • The change in AP style from “Web site” to “website”

The app normally costs $24.99, but is discounted to $19.99 for early adopters- who will get the 2010 app, plus a free upgrade to 2011 this spring.

Pricing for the AP Stylebook is high, but if you’re looking to separate yourself from the rest of the pack, it may be worth a look. Check out the press release after the jump.

More information/download the AP Stylebook from BlackBerry Appworld

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CrackBerry Poll: How do you feel about RIM's Announcement to Support Android Apps on the BlackBerry PlayBook?

Do you think RIM has made the right move to support Android apps on the BlackBerry PlayBook?online surveys

RIM's announcement yesterday regarding the expansion of the application ecosystem for the BlackBerry PlayBook brought with it the big news that Android Apps (specifically Android 2.3 apps for the time being) will be supported on the BlackBerry PlayBook. This doesn't mean that RIM is working with Google to bring Android marketplace to BlackBerry, but rather that developers who have made Android apps can sign up as BlackBerry App World developers (which is now free of charge) and distribute their apps to BlackBerry PlayBook owners via App World. Developers will have to repackage, code sign and submit their Android apps to BlackBerry App World, but the process should be pretty simple for any current Android app developer should they choose to. These android apps will then run on the BlackBerry PlayBook via an "App Player" in a "sandboxed" environment on the PlayBook. This is the same process that will also allow current BlackBerry Smartphone java apps to run on the PlayBook. The Android App Player will be demoed at BlackBerry World in May, and will become available this summer to PlayBook owners - so it won't be there on the April 19th launch date.

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Official OS for the BlackBerry Bold 9000 Curve 8900 and Curve 8520 from AT&T

AT&T has dropped a few new official OS versions today for the Bold 9000, Curve 8520 and Curve 8900. OS is ready for download for all three devices. While it's not OS 6, it's still an updated offiical OS. You can snag it from the AT&T software download site via the links below. As always, use caution when installing any OS on your device - official or not. Head to the forums with your findings! Thanks rroyy.

Download OS for the Bold 9000
Discuss more in the forums

Download OS for the Curve 8900
Discuss more in the forums 

Download OS for the Curve 8520
Discuss more in the forums 

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Get your foursquare on with FourPlay for the BlackBerry PlayBook

While there have been loads of apps submitted to BlackBerry App World thus far waiting to find a good home on a BlackBerry PlayBook, only a few stand out. The awesomely named FourPlay is one of those and definitely on the top of my want list when I get my hands on a PlayBook. The app works with foursquare APIs to bring you what is now the best foursquare experience on the Playbook. FourPlay gives you the ability to access your friends checkin stream, view pictures from checkins, view and leave comments, see venue information and more. While the app is fully functional and ready to roll, it does have some more features (like checkins) coming as well. It looks to be the best bet for foursquare users from the get go, so when you have a PlayBook (if you don't already) you'll want to check it out free in BlackBerry App World.

Read more at FourPlay

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