BlackBerry News and Reviews

Take a look at BlackBerry Mobile HotSpot and tethering for OS 6.1

Back when the leaked 2011 road map came out we saw some of the details about BlackBerry Mobile HotSpot and how Research In Motion was expanding upon their devices tethering abilities. After that, not much more information leaked out. Today though, some newer slides detailing the process and what it will all look like have appeared online. Personally, I'm glad to see RIM rolling this feature out finally, since its been known to be arriving since back when the BlackBerry Storm 9570 was outed for the first time. Nice to know that feature didn't die with that device. Jump on past the break for some shots of the UI and further details.

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CrackBerry Podcast 065: PlayBook, PlayBook, Apps, Phones, PlayBook and More!

We recorded Episode 065 as a LIVE podcast and as promised are following up with the .mp3 download of the show so you can listen to it at your convenience. All in all it went pretty well! With the launch of the BlackBerry PlayBook drawing near, we spent a lot of time talking about RIM's first tablet. I debrief on the NYC Playbook media event I attended, and talk about some of the new little things observed there (notification in top left corner of display, freezing apps when minimized, etc.).

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PSHD from Hedone Design - A theme designed for gamers and everyone else!

If you frequent the CrackBerry blogs, then undoubtably you have seen themes from Hedone Design. They've produced many popular themes, and one reason they are so well received is the incredible attention that is paid to every detail of their work. The latest release from Hedone Design is called PSHD, and is their homage to Sony and the Playstation interface. If you have experience with the PS3, then I'm sure you recognized this right off without me telling you.

The home screen experience on PSHD closely mimics that of the PS3. Five columns across your screen give you access to different categories of icons. Favorites is the first, and allows you to place your choice of icons under it. The next column is Media, third you have the Phone column, Web is the 4th column and Utilities is the last. That's a total of 20 icons (25 on non-touch devices as each column has an additional icon) within easy reach on your home screen, yet placed in a way that doesn't clutter it up. The battery meter is custom and changes from green to red as your battery level drops. Keyboard shortcuts are also included.

PSHD is a great theme, sure to please both gamers and those of you who just like having something unique and easy to use on your BlackBerry. I want to point out that this theme is fast, as it was entirely hand coded, ensuring a flawlessly smooth user experience. You can grab it today for $6.99 in the CrackBerry store for your BlackBerry Bold 9000, Bold/Tour 96xx, Bold 97xx, Curve 8350i, Curve 85xx, Curve 89xx, Curve 93xx 3G, Storm 95xx, and Torch 9800 (OS 5.0 - 6.0 only.)

For more information/screenshots and to purchase PSHD

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RIM working on their own video conferencing app for the BlackBerry PlayBook

If you've looked around the BlackBerry PlayBook homepage lately then this may not come as a huge surprise -- and really it shouldn't as the real news here isn't that the BlackBerry PlayBook has the ability to do video conferencing. But rather, that Research In Motion is working on their own application that enables video conferencing on the BlackBerry PlayBook instead of relying on a third-party developer such as Skype or say Qik to do it for them (though nothing would prevent third parties from developing these apps on their own as well).

As noted by our friend Al Sacco in a recent interview he had with RIM's VP of enterprise strategy, David Heit, Research In Motion has been working on a peer-to-peer video-conferencing app similar to that of Apples FaceTime video chat and is expected to have it available soon and presumably on the BlackBerry PlayBook at launch.

No indication was given if and, or when we may see it on the BlackBerry smartphones but as the article states, it appears to be a BlackBerry PlayBook specific app only at this time as none of the current BlackBerry smartphones can even make use of the feature. Hit up the source link for the full details of the interview.

Source: PCWorld

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Leaked: OS 6.0.0.499 for the BlackBerry Curve 9300!

Wow, three leaks so far this evening! Now all you BlackBerry 9300 owners can join in with updating your OS to 6.0.0.499 like the 9700 owners are. Give this OS a go and let us know how it works out for you either in the comments below or in the forums. Remember, back up your device before loading.

*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 6.0.0.499 for the Curve 9300
Discuss more in the forums

Source: N4BB

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BlackBerry security breached at Pwn2Own 2011

This year's Pwn2Own event is well underway in Vancouver. The yearly event takes the best White hat hackers and challenges them to exploit computers and operating systems so that their vulnerabilities may be shared with the owners of those operating systems in an effort to make them more secure. In previous years, Research In Motion has stood its ground but this year results are now in for BlackBerry. The news however, isn't the best. This year, a BlackBerry Torch running OS 6.0.0.246 was successfully exploited using the long awaited WebKit browser. The browser exploit allowed Vincenzo Iozzo, Willem Pinckaers and Ralf Philipp Weinmann to gain access to all contact information as well as the image database. Research In Motion's director of security, Adrian Stone was on hand to confirm the exploit and made the following statements about it:

“It happens. It’s not what you want but there’s no such thing as zero code defects,” in addition to that statement Stone also advised that RIM's security team would analyze the date to see if it was a true zero-day flaw and if so, then a fix would created and then rolled out to carrier partners so that end-users get it. This situation of course assumes that it hasn't already been fixed in a later revised OS. But that could not be confirmed at the time.

Given that Research In Motion doesn't use any underlying security in its OS such as ASLR or DEP and others do, it is something that Research In Motion is looking to be adding at a later time. When asked about the security within BlackBerry devices Vicenzo Izzo noted “The advantage for BlackBerry is the obscurity. It makes it a bit harder to attack a system if you don’t have documentation and information," which leads into the fact that WebKit while Open Source, is an Apple derived product with lots of detailed information about it being available to all.

Source: ZDNet

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Leaked: OS 6.0.0.499 for the BlackBerry Bold 9700!

Hey BlackBerry Bold 9700 users, let's not let the Torch owners have all the fun! OS 6.0.0.499 has leaked for your device, so if you're into that sort of thing go ahead and give it a go. As always, back up your device data first please. We'd hate to see you lose anything. Let us know what you see that is new and improved, and hop on over to the forums to discuss it further!

*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). *

To dowload OS 6.0.0.499 for your BlackBerry Bold 9700
To discuss fixes and findings in the forums

Source: N4BB

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BlackBerry Wallet v1.2.1.2 released - New UI and features added

It's been quite some time since the initial release of BlackBerry wallet. In that time, a few revisions have been made to the application but nothing substantial. That being the case, the latest version has just been released and places it at v1.2 and brings a whole new UI revamp as well as some extra features not in the originally released version.

Features

  • Save time by automatically filling in forms with credit card information, billing addresses, shipping information and more
  • Use BlackBerry Wallet to store and retrieve reward program numbers and info
  • Enter and retrieve account info for logging into your favorite shopping websites
  • Advanced password security keeps your credit card and billing information protected
  • Add and retrieve gift card or loyalty program information to accumulate points, rewards
With the new functions added, this update should make BlackBerry Wallet a bit more useful in the long run if you have a need for such an app. You can download the latest version from BlackBerry App World now. That version was updated as of yesterday but the web based download still shows an older version.

Download BlackBerry Wallet v1.2.1.2

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Leaked OS 6.0.0.486 for the BlackBerry Torch 9800

Oh Torch leaks, it's been a while since we had one that's for sure. The last leak was for 6.0.0.450but here we have 6.0.0.486. Give it a go and let us know in the comments and in the forums about what's good, and what's bad. Remember, be sure to back up your data before loading this one up.

*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 6.0.0.486 for the Torch 9800
Discuss more in the forums

Source: N4BB

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BlackBerry PlayBook hits the FCC showing 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB versions

Well, this a nice surprise that ultimately brings us one step closer to seeing an actual release date. The BlackBerry PlayBook has now appeared at the FCC in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB versions. Oddly enough, it appears to be the WiFi only version. Of course, not much else other then it having appeared there is revealed due to the confidentiality request filed but as history dictates that means further announcements are just around the corner.

Source: FCC, via: Engadget

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BreakingNews for BlackBerry enters open beta - Get a scrolling news widget for your homescreen

I'm a big news consumption guy when it comes to my BlackBerry. I like to have everything at my fingertips so I don't miss a beat. I follow loads of news sites on Twitter and also have RSS feeds pumped to me nonstop. Having a scrolling "widget" on the homescreen is something I've wanted for ages but didn't think we'd ever see. Well our good friend Shao has proven me wrong with the beta release of BreakingNews. The app is brand new and currently in open beta, but it already looks to be a best seller. The premise is simple - enter a few RSS feeds, choose your options and let the good times scroll. BreakingNews shows a ticker on your homescreen and runs through the RSS feeds, showing you the latest news. Currently you can choose the display options like border and font color, set the refresh interval as well as enter up to 5 different feeds. Already a winner in my book, you can get in on the open beta via the forums thread below. Check it out!

Check out the BreakingNews open beta in the CrackBerry Forums

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CrackBerry Live! Podcast Episode 065

Status: The live podcast has ended. The recording will be posted soon in case you missed it!

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JeeoSuite logo contest - Design the best logo and win a $75 ShopCrackBerry.com gift certificate!

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

Wifi web portal JeeoSuite has taken off since it was first announced. With JeeoSuite you can perform tons of functions on your BlackBerry over Wifi via your PC. Browse files, locate your phone, take screenshots and much more. The setup is a breeze and it is sure to become a favorite app in no time.

Currently being new, JeeoSuite is missing out on one thing - a logo. Here is your chance to help out the guys at mblware. All you need to do is design an original logo for JeeoSuite, and you could win a $75 ShopCrackBerry.com gift certificate and a copy of JeeoSuite Pro. Sound easy? Here are the details:

  • All work must be that of the designers
  • Logo's will be judged by mblware's staff
  • The larger DPI the better (for use in marketing materials)
  • Logos may be submitted to us via http://logo.jeeosuite.com
  • Winner will receive a $75 shop.CrackBerry.com coupon, and a free version of JeeoSuite Pro

So get out your pencils, pens, crayons or whatever and start designing. Check the video above for a quick look at JeeoSuite and head to the link below for more info.

Check out more on JeeoSuite

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Word Sleuth for BlackBerry by Carbide Software

If you're looking for a good word puzzle game, you should check out Word Sleuth by Carbide Software. This is the classic word search game you've been playing since you were a kid - find each word from the list in the jumble of letters. Word Sleuth has 4 game modes including timed arcade style modes. With three difficulty settings, 9 puzzle sizes (from 8x8 to 16x16), 30 categories and a total of over 8500 words, players from beginner to advanced should find plenty here to amuse. Board colors and patterns are customizable, and you also have options for sounds, music, and vibration.

Word Sleuth is available for just $.99 and is compatible with most BlackBerry smartphones.There is also a demo version available for download that allows you to play 10 games for free!

For more information/screenshots and to purchase Word Sleuth
To try out the demo version of Word Sleuth

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The BlackBerry PlayBook PIN debate continues

Depending on whom you ask the BlackBerry PlayBook could or could not have a PIN attached to it. Most folks when asked will likely tell you the BlackBerry PlayBook has no PIN on it but when you ask some PlayBook developers they'll tell you it most certainly does as the BlackBerry PlayBook SDK and tools have a spot for a BlackBerry PIN. The above image was taken from the video released earlier today and shows a PIN in Desktop Manager. Either way, we've seen both cases in the past through various videos and demonstrations so again, we're all left wondering if there is more to the story here.

Could it be that the WiFi only versions may not make use of a BlackBerry PIN and only those with 3G and 4G modems will have that access -- or is this something we'll see later on? Will all PlayBooks get their own PIN without needing to bridge connections from a BlackBerry smartphone? If so that could mean we'll start seeing BBM, email and various other BlackBerry PIN specific services enabled on the PlayBook without the need for a BlackBerry smartphone. In any event, I'm guessing right about now we'd all just settle for some release dates and pricing structures.

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7digital Music Store and BlackBerry Podcasts apps get shown off on BlackBerry PlayBook

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

Following the announcement of the 7digital Music Store heading to the BlackBerry PlayBook, the Inside BlackBerry Blog has posted up a great video showing off the app. BlackBerry PlayBook Product Manager Ryan Biden takes us on a quick tour of the app on the PlayBook. Much like its handheld counterpart, the 7digital Music Store lets you check out tons of artists and albums and you can easily purchase songs with one click. Any items that have been purchased can instantly be played via the media player on the PlayBook. All of your purchased items are stored in the cloud so you can go back and forth between the PlayBook and your smartphone without a hitch.

We also get a look at the BlackBerry Podcasts app which will be installed on the PlayBook at launch. It looks amazing in its current state and should be fun to play around with. You can search and subscribe to podcats, and when the app is launched it will automatically download the latest episodes. The app handles video, HD video and audio podcasts. Also noted is that you'll be able to use BlackBerry Desktop Manager (as expected) to transfer media to the PlayBook. 

Definitely some great info in the three-minute video so sit back and check it out!

Source: Inside BlackBerry

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Angry Farm for BlackBerry Video Review (with Comparison to Angry Birds on iPhone/iPad)

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

A few weeks ago I wrote an open letter to Rovio asking and pleading for them to do up a version of Angry Birds for BlackBerry. They did reply with some half good, half bad news... that Angry Birds wouldn't be hitting BlackBerry Smartphones on the existing BlackBerry OS (no plans), but that Angry Birds on the PlayBook was a definite possibility. That being the case, I was obviously very excited to see the folks at Smarter Apps release Angry Farm for BlackBerry Smartphones, a game that has a LOT of similiarities to Angry Birds... 

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Weekly Accessory Roundup: Stream your music with a BlackBerry Music Gateway - Leave a comment to win one!

Enter to win a BlackBerry Music Gateway - keep reading for details!

BlackBerry users don't immediately think "music" when firing up their device, but lets face it, most of us want it all in one place so we don't have to carry extra devices. Playing music on your BlackBerry may be annoying at first, but once you get it squared away you can rock out anytime you want with the help of some great accessories. The coolest (and one of my long time favorites) is the BlackBerry Music Gateway. This nifty little accessory lets you stream your music via Bluetooh to external speakers so you can jam almost anywhere. I use it in my house connected to an external speaker, and can carry around my device in my pocket without worrying about having to go to a specific spot in the house to change the track or volume. I've even managed to get it working in my car so I can bring my music on the go.

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CrackBerry LIVE Podcast Getting Recorded Tomorrow (Thursday March 10th) at 2pm EST!

Requests for us to do up a LIVE podcast here on CrackBerry have been coming in since.. well.. since we recorded our first podcast back on February 11th, 2008. After three years of fighting it, I'm finally giving in and tomorrow we'll be doing our first live show. It'll be audio only (with a chat room so you can all talk amongst yourselves and ask us questions, tell us to stay on topic, etc.) and you'll be able to find the live podcast right here as the top story on the CrackBerry blogs.

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How do you use your BlackBerry: Do you use the LED for notifications on your device?

  Do you use the LED for notifications?Market Research  

I know this one sounds like a bit of a "duh" question, but I know there are actually users who don't use the LED indicator for notifications. I've been through phases where I just got plain tired of seeing the LED flash, and since I checked my device so often anyway, figured I didn't need to have it on. Now I actually use BerryBuzz for BBM, SMS and a few other apps but still don't have an LED set for emails. Weird huh? So do you use the LED? Do you hate it? Do you use a 3rd party app (like BerryBuzz) I'm curious to know if I'm alone in my protest of the LED, so cast your vote in the poll above then leave a comment letting us know what works for you.

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