BlackBerry News and Reviews

Review: Seidio Innocase Active Holster and Seidio Innocase Active Case for the BlackBerry Torch 9800

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

A couple of weeks ago, I realized it was time to replace my old case. I'd never let my BlackBerry go anywhere without one, but this case was looking pretty ratty. I knew I wanted something to protect against my arch-enemy, gravity, as well as everyday dings and scratches. I found what I was looking for in the Seidio Innocase Active Case. Trouble is, I hate carrying by BlackBerry in a pocket. That's where the companion holster comes in to play.

The Seidio Innocase Active Holster is specifically designed to securely hold your BlackBerry while it is protected by the Case. Using these two products, I get the security of a case with the convenience of a holster. Featuring a strong multi-direction belt clip and sleeper magnet, the holster comes with the best securing clip I've ever used. Using not one, but two springs; the holster firmly holds your BlackBerry in place and is easily opened when it's BlackBerry time.

Researching the Case, I found a number of people who claiming it caused their BlackBerry to lock up. This happened to me as well; the case just holds too tightly to the body of the phone. By carefully stretching out the case around the exterior buttons, I was able to prevent it from happening again. It's also useful to put the flexible inner bit on before adding the outer shell. This is certainly a situation where "tight and secure" is both a good and bad thing.

From Seidio comes an amazing pairing of products that combine to give me the ultimate in convenience and protection. It certainly saved me from a cracked screen when my Torch landed face-down on concrete last week. With the holster, I can have my BlackBerry ready to go faster than you can say "CrackBerry.com."

Contest: Want to get one of these for free from ShopCrackBerry.com? Just leave a comment to this article and tell us about the worst time you dropped your BlackBerry. Contest ends this Sunday at midnight PST. Please only leave a single comment. One lucky winner will get this shipped direct from ShopCrackBerry.com. 

More information/purchase Seidio Innocase Active Case for Torch 9800
More information/purchase Seidio Innocase Active Holser for Torch 9800
All Seidio products at ShopCrackberry 

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CrackBerry Birthday Contest: Win the case of your choice from OtterBox!

We keep on rolling with the birthday goodness. Next up we have some cases courtesy of OtterBox. As in previous years, 10 lucky winners will receive the case of their choice from OtterBox. This means you can choose from any of their great line including the Defender series, Impact series and Commuter series cases. They are available in a variety of styles for most devices and are certainly the "go to" case for maximum protection.

Contest: To enter to win 1 of 10 cases just leave a single comment on this post. Contest ends Sunday March 13th at midnight PST. 

See all OtterBox cases at ShopCrackBerry.com 

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BlackBerry App Roundup for March 4th, 2011! Win 1 of 25 copies of Blink!

Howdy and welcome to the weekly app roundup! Is it true? Can it really be true?! Do we finally have a release date for the PlayBook? Now that I think about it, it’s pretty close to my son’s Birthday. It’ll make the perfect present. So what if he’s turning 4, I can look after the PlayBook until he’s a bit older…right?

Today, we announce the winners of the US Holidays 2011 giveaway and also give you the chance to win one of 25 copies of Blink! Have a rootin’ tootin’ weekend! Giddy up!

Freebies of the Week: Uppidy, TVOKids Polka Dot Shorts, Curling Stats

In Case You Missed It: Holiday Inn, Mobiola xPlayer

New This Week: Toddler Letters, FridayMoviez, Food Journal (PlayBook)

Cool at BlackBerry App World: Garmap for Mobile

Contest: Win one of 25 copies of Blink!

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CrackBerry Birthday Contest: Bellshare brithday blowout!

 

Bellshare has been kind enough to kick in tons of apps for our readers to end our Birthday week. We have a total of 700 copies of their apps up for grabs so we'll make a bunch of readers very happy. Its plain and simple and breaks down like this:

That's a lot of apps!  Bellshare has some of the best BlackBerry utliities out there, so if you haven't checked them out before, you certainly need to. Drop a comment on this post to be entered to win!

Contest: To enter to win one of Bellshare's apps just leave a single comment on this post. Contest ends Sunday March 13th at midnight PST. 

View all Bellshare apps in the CrackBerry App Store

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BlackBerry 101: The ABCs of Speed Dials

Speed dials are a convenient way to access your most frequently dialed contacts without going through the address book. Plain and simple, they allow you to press as few keys as possible. Stay connected with friends and family with just a simple touch of a button. So for those of you who are new to BlackBerry here is a rundown of assigning and using speed dials on your device.

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CrackBerry Birthday Contest: Win a combo case for your BlackBerry from Seidio!

 

Still going strong in our birthday celebration we have some cases to give away as well. Seidio has offered up 10 combos for any device for our readers. Winners will be able to choose from Active, Rugged or Surface so you can find one that suits your needs. The combo includes both the holster and case for your device so you'll have a great setup when on the go. Seidio is also running a Name Our Case promo where you can win some great stuff like an iPad and more. Just head to  seidio.com/nameourcase for details.

Contest: To enter to win a Seidio case combo just leave a single comment on this post. Winners will be chosen at random, contest ends Sunday March 13th at midnight PST. 

Check out all Seidio products

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LiveProfile for BlackBerry nears release; Servers upgraded in anticipation

I have never really been into any of the cross-platform, BBM-like instant messaging services. But LiveProfile is the one that I have been waiting for. I have used it for iOS and Android and must say, it is my 2nd favorite IM client, behind BBM of course. The app features familiar sent, delivered, and read notifications, "is typing a message", as well as a PIN system for adding friends (although you can scan your address book for email addresses of current users). You will also get the usual amenities like status updates, online availability, and file transfers. For months their site has shown it's availability for BlackBerry as "Coming Soon" and it looks like later this week the wait will be over. The official LiveProfile Blog had this to say:

In anticipation for our BlackBerry launch this week we began to upgrade our infrastructure to handle the flood of new users.

It's nice to see a company upgrade their servers before releasing their app, instead of crashing them and then upgrading. I really look forward to the app's release. I dare say it is the most instant of the instant messengers out there. I just hope they don't pull a kik. At least they don't have any former RIM employees on their staff, that I know of. Hit the break for some pics of the app.

More information on LiveProfile's website

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CrackBerry Poll: What Twitter app are using on your BlackBerry these days (and why!)

What Twitter app are you using on your BlackBerry these days?survey software

It wasn't all that long ago that the official Twitter for BlackBerry app didn't exist and us BlackBerry users had no choice but to seek out and use a third party twitter client (see our ultimate twitter cilent roundup). And even with T4BB now out and getting a lot of use, I still see a lot of BlackBerry tweets coming from third party apps like UberSocial (formerly UberTwitter), and I know I personally use SocialScope (which is still in beta).

So I'm curious to know, CrackBerry Readers, which Twitter app is your favorite these days, and why? Vote on the poll above, and then let us know in the comments why a particular app is your favorite. Is it that Twitter for BlackBerry is good for basic tweeters and UberSocial wins the power tweeter award? Or do you favor one over the other for another reason? Have you used one app the whole time, or have you swapped between them and picked your favorite? Or maybe you just hate twitter altogether and think it's stupid (that's ok, tweeters won't be offended). Wherever you're at with the twitter, we want to know. Oh, and don't forget to follow @crackberry (and i'm @crackberrykevin). I'm curious to see the poll results and comments on this one, so have at it!

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BlackBerry PlayBook coming to Bell Mobility

While Rogers confirmed they'd be carrying the BlackBerry PlayBook for quite some time now, the majority of other carriers in Canada have not really had too much to say. Bell however, might as well have just confirmed the device on their network through no doing of their own. The Source's latest flyer contains the "coming soon" ad you see above. Considering the Source only sells Bell products there is no way it's a slip up. Sadly, the details stop there though. No date or pricing has been noted but now that its been outed I'm sure more details will follow along soon.

Source: MobileSyrup

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Spec Comparison: BlackBerry PlayBook vs. Apple iPad 2 vs. HP Touchpad and Android Tablets

After Apple's media event yesterday, the stage is now *relatively* set for the 2011 tablet wars. RIM has the BlackBerry PlayBook, Apple has the iPad 2, HP (formerly Palm) has the TouchPad, and there are a bunch of Android 3.0 tablets in the mix like the Xoom, Optimus Pad and Galaxy Tab 10 (and I'm sure we'll see a whack load more of Android tablets before the year is through). The chart above nicely sums up where things stand right now and while I think it's hard to declare a "winner" here based on the tale of the tape, one thing that is certain is there will be no lack of options for enterprises and consumers looking to pick up a new tablet in the near future.

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BlackBerry Messenger coming to Android and iOS?!

It looks like the wait may finally be over. BGR is reporting that RIM may finally be making it's BlackBerry Messenger service (BBM) available to both Android and iOS devices. This is a huge step (be it good or bad) for RIM that will leave non-BlackBerry users rejoicing. Sources state that the service may require a one-time or recurring fee and will be a stripped down version of what BlackBerry users know and love. Other platform devices may not be able to send files, images or location information. With plenty of other cross-platform messengers like Kik floating around, BBM is the obvious choice for a unviersal messenger. Back in November we asked if you thought BBM on other platforms was a good idea. Over 23,000 voted and 56% said they thought it would be a good thing, while only 38% said the contrary. The Android version is said to launch before the years end, but not much other information is known for now. You can be sure we'll see what we can find out.

Source: BGR

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Uppidy lets you store your SMS messages for free

If you've been searching for a way to keep track and backup your SMS messages - search no more. Uppidy is a free service (currently in beta) that lets you store your SMS messages on their secure servers. No longer will you have to worry about losing messages should you misplace your device or have something happen to it. All of your messages will be safe and sound on the Uppidy servers. View the messages in real-time and search to find just what you're looking for. If this sounds like something you may need, check out Uppidy from the link below. It's free for now but once it leaves beta you never know :)

More information/download of Uppidy for BlackBerry

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BlackBerry Protect rumored launch dates emerge

It's been quite some time since we posted our intial preview of BlackBerry Protect. While it's been in the BlackBerry Beta Zone all this time, it's only been available for a limited amount of users. With it being there we've heard plenty of times that it's coming soon but there has never been a date associated. The latest rumors however have an area-specific rollout happening by way of open beta on the following dates;

  • March 5th (North America / Latin America)
  • March 19th (EMEA)
  • April 2nd (Asia Pacific)

We won't hold anyone to those date but a complete roll out would be great to finally see happen. Anyone waiting to get their hands on BlackBerry Protect still or have you moved on to one of the many alternatives now available? Let us know in the comments folks.

Source: N4BB

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Official OS 6.0.0.436 for the Blackberry Bold 9650 from Alltel

Here's one for the Bold 9650 users. Altell has released OS 6.0.0.436 today for public consumption. While it isn't really a huge jump (or much of a jump at all) from the last official OS for the 9650, new is new right? It looks to be good from early reports, so get out the USB cables and have at it. Be sure to hit the forums and post your findings. Thanks rroyy

Download OS 6.0.0.436 for the Bold 9650 from Alltel
Discuss more in the forums

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Facebook for BlackBerry officially updated to version 1.9.0.27

Update: Looks like some users are seeing verison 1.9.0.28 while some aren't seeing any update at all. If you don't have it yet, keep checking back. We're told it should be available for all in the next few hours. 

Facebook for BlackBerry has finally received another official update. The latest version fixes some of the issues that have been causing problems for a few weeks now. The newest version is 1.9.0.27 and seems like a pretty solid update. New features/updates include:

Email Notification Improvements
Previously, if you turned on email notifications using the Facebook.com website, then logged out and logged back into Facebook on your BlackBerry smartphone, your email notification settings would be turned off. Now, with Facebook for BlackBerry smartphones 1.9.0.27, email notifications are left enabled if you change email notification settings using Facebook.com, then log out and log back in to Facebook on your BlackBerry smartphone.

Background Polling
Previously, if you set the background polling option to Never, then logged out and logged back into Facebook for BlackBerry smartphones, the polling setting would be set to 10 minutes instead of Never. This issue has been corrected so the background polling option will remain at the Never setting.

Photo Upload Freeze Fix
In the past, users may have seen their BlackBerry smartphone freeze when sending a photo to Facebook from the Media folder on their BlackBerry smartphone. This issue has been corrected by this maintenance release so no further freezing should occur.

The new version should be available in BlackBerry App World but it looks like it's not yet showing for all users. Head over to the link below and see if it is showing for you. Be sure to leave a comment and let us know!

More information/download of Facebook for BlackBerry

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CrackBerry Birthday Contest: Win an IOU for a BlackBerry PlayBook!

Leave a single comment to this post for your chance to win an IOU for a BlackBerry PlayBook!

What birthday celebration would be complete without a grand prize? The pièce de résistance?!? Well we have just that - a BlackBerry PlayBook!! Ok, well maybe we don't actually have a BlackBerry PlayBook, but we're still giving one away! In continuing the celebration of our 4th birthday, we're giving away an IOU for one BlackBerry PlayBook. Whenever RIM gets it together and releases it (early April-ish?), we'll send you one right out of the gate.

Enter Contest: Leave a single comment on this post to enter to win an IOU for a BlackBerry PlayBook. Contest ends Sunday March 12th at midnight PST. Good luck!

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BlackBerry PlayBook set to launch April 10th?

According to BGR, the BlackBerry PlayBook looks to be somewhat on schedule and set to launch April 10th in the US in at least some retail channels. While we originally were told by RIM the device would be out and about by the end of March (aka it would launch sometime in Q1 2011), we'll definitely settle for April. As we knew already it looks like it will be sold in retailers like Staples and Office Depot among others, as well as via carriers. Details are pretty sparce at the moment, but with the date just over a month away we should (hopefully) get some more info soon.

Source BGR

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Contest: Win 1 of 50 copies of Ciel by Raypho!

*Update* Raypho is so excited by the feedback on Ciel, he has given us 20 more copies for you guys, bringing the total up to 50 themes to give out! Thanks Raypho!

Ever since I got the BlackBerry Torch, I've had trouble finding themes I like and can stick with for any amount of time. There have been a few that I like, thankfully and Ciel by Raypho is definitely one of them. From the moment I installed it, I knew it was a keeper for me. Raypho has included a hidden dock (with 6 - 10 icons depending on device) and hidden today area on the home screen as well as a dedicated weather slot and shortcuts to the clock, connections, and profiles. I love the icons in this theme as well as the semi-transparent menus and dialog boxes. All in all it is a really classy theme, and runs smoothly on my BlackBerry Torch.

Ciel is available on sale right now for $3.99 (normally $5.99) and is compatible with the BlackBerry Bold 9000, Bold 9650, Bold 9700, Bold 9780, Curve 8330, Curve 8350i, Curve 8520, Curve 8530, Curve 8900, Curve 8910, Curve 8930, Curve 8980, Curve 9300 3G, Curve 9330 3G, Storm 9500, Storm 9530/9530T, Storm2 9550/9520, Torch 9800, Tour 9630 (OS 4.6 - 6.0).

Contest: Raypho has sent me 50 copies of Ciel to pass on to all you theme lovers out there! You know the drill. Leave a comment below to enter. One entry per person please, and the contest ends this Sunday at Midnight PST!

For more information/screenshots and to purchase Ciel

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Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express app for BlackBerry now available

If you're a road warrior and Holiday Inn or Holiday Inn Express is your hotel of choice, you'll be happy to know that apps for both have just been released for BlackBerry smartphones. The apps are your travel companion, giving you hotel details and locations worldwide. View and cancel reservations, find locations, view Priority Club Rewards and much more. The apps are both 100% free and great to have when on the road. Grab them from the links below.

More information/download of Holiday Inn app
More information/download of Holiday Inn Express app

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Mobiola xPlayer for BlackBerry updated to version 2.0

The multimedia player application known as Mobiola xPlayer was recently updated to 2.0. xPlayer has been around for quite a while, in fact it was one of the first applications I’ve ever reviewed on CrackBerry. It originally, and continues to, offer multimedia management options above and your beyond what your BlackBerry currently can. Yes, that means going past shuffling songs, listening to podcasts and creating playlists. With this application you can also open the door to over 100 predefined radio stations. Both podcasts and radio stations can be accessed through WiFi, direct TCP, BIS or BES. Rather than focusing on flashy looks, it brings functionality and control. Check out what SHAPE Services brought to the table with version 2.0:

  • Full support for OS 6.0 devices
  • Dropbox integration: if you have a Dropbox account, you can log in to your Dropbox directly from xPlayer, add files to playlist from Dropbox, manage playlists with Dropbox files and playback mp3 files directly from Dropbox. You don't need to download them. It's recommended to use Unlimited data plan or WiFi connection to playback files from your remote Dropbox. To create a Dropbox account, go to www.dropbox.com.
  • SHAPE Services split xPlayer into xPlayer (LITE version with Ads) and xPlayer Pro (with 7 days trial)
  • SHAPE Services cut prices to xPlayer Pro to $9.99.

More information/download xPlayer 2.0
Check out the original xPlayer review

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