BlackBerry News and Reviews

Review: OtterBox Commuter Series Case for BlackBerry Style 9670

We all know that the name OtterBox means quality protection for our devices. The new OtterBox Commuter Series case for the BlackBerry Style 9670 is no exception. I was very excited when I heard OtterBox was making a case for the 9670 & couldn't wait to get my hands on one. I've previously purchased several cases for my other BlackBerry devices and trust the OtterBox name to deliver on it's protection guarantee. I know there isn't a whole slew of BlackBerry Style owners out there but for those of you who are rocking this nice little device read on for the full review & see the pics (sorry there isn't a video this time, my camcorder met with an untimely demise). Keep reading for my review.

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BlackBerry Protect Hands-On Review

As a BES user there have been many benefits that BES people take for granted.  Unfortunately the BES is not a solution for everyone, there are IT requirements that must be considered when deploying a BES.  Although with the launch of BES Express and Google extending Apps support for BESx the entry bar has been lowered, operating a BES Express still requires some tech knowhow and some people just don't have the time or desire to become a BES Admin.

What is nice is that RIM has slowly begun extending the wireless sync experience on BIS to become closer to what the BES user's experience is similar to.  A while back we saw BIS updated to offer wireless calendar sync for Google and Live users.  I'm certain Adam and many others applauded this new feature because it made the need to use "Google Sync" tool obsolete.  This tool was terrible and I hope to never see it again.

Another great feature of BES is is data backup.  The BlackBerry automatically backups over the air (OTA) and therefore does away with the need to do manual backups with the Desktop Manager software.  Backups you don't have to think about are the best kind.  And now with BlackBerry Protect the OTA backup comes to the BIS user.  So without further delay lets look at this new product.

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Starbucks Card Mobile now available for the BlackBerry Torch 9800

The Starbucks Card Mobile app made its full debut a few weeks back however it lacked Torch support. In an announcement via Twitter Starbucks let the world know they have finally added support for the Torch 9800. If you haven't seen it before, Starbucks Card Mobile lets you purchase drinks using only your BlackBerry. Just enter the info from your Starbucks card and you're able to track your balance, rewards and purchase drinks at pretty much every Starbucks location. The app is totally free - to download just text "GO" to 70845.

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Contest Winners: iGrip Charging Dock, Seido Case, ThinkOfMe, Graffiti Six, and Ciel!

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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More hints on BlackBerry PlayBook training at Staples emerge

When we first heard news of the BlackBerry PlayBook being sold at Staples locations, their plans for employee training were set for March 16th. Some new details today from more internal docs shows that training modules for the PlayBook are scheduled for availability on March 30th. The training modules are made available to employees before a product launch. What does this mean? Hard to say for sure really. According to the print, employees will have up to 30 days from the course launch date for completion. So that being said, doing the math that puts the Staples launch date no sooner than April 29th. That doesn't necessarily mean the PlayBook won't launch before then, just that Staples most likely won't see it any earlier. The same most likely goes for Office Depot as well. I guess we'll see if the April 10th rumor still holds true (for those that say it won't launch on a Sunday - don't forget both the Tour and Style showed up on a Sunday). 

Via: Droid-Life

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CrackBerry Birthday Contest: Win a Custom Painted Colorware BlackBerry Torch, Bold 9780 or Pearl 3G!

Leave a comment to this post for your chance to win a ColorWare BlackBerry Torch, Bold 9780 or Pearl 3G. Details below...

ColorWare has been helping us celebrate our birthdays since we turned one year old, so there's so way we'd turn four years out without giving CrackBerry readers yet another chance to win a custom painted BlackBerry. Courtesy of ColorWare, this year the lucky winner will get a brand new BlackBerry Torch 9800, Pearl 3G or Bold 9780 with their choice of color scheme. Let me say that again... you get to choose the device AND the custom color scheme. Want to go patriotic with a red, white and blue Bold 9780? How about a CrackBerry orange Torch 9800? You can choose whatever you want - the design is totally up to you! Be sure to follow the link at the bottom of this post to jump over to ColorWare's site where you can test the color options in their Design Studio.

Contest Details: To enter to win, just leave a single comment on this post telling us what color scheme and device you'd choose. Contest ends this Sunday March 13th at midnight PST. Good luck!!

Create a custom design at Colorware

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Free BlackBerry PlayBook offer for developers extended to March 31st 2011

The free BlackBerry PlayBook offer for developers has again been extended through the end of the month. Developers who create and submit apps to BlackBerry App World before March 31st will be eligible for a free BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. To get in on the action, you'll just need to submit an app according to the contest guidelines.

Developers who create a qualifying application for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet prior to its initial North American release are eligible for a free BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. The main criterion to qualify for the free BlackBerry PlayBook tablet offer is to have a qualifying application accepted into BlackBerry App World, subject to certain Terms and Conditions.

Note: New BlackBerry App World Vendor Guidelines have removed the requirement for a notarized proof of identity for individuals. To allow individuals time to register and qualify for the free BlackBerry PlayBook offer, the offer has been extended to March 31, 2011.

You can submit multiple BlackBerry PlayBook tablet apps into BlackBerry App World, but each BlackBerry App World vendor will only qualify for one free BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. Apps will need to meet the BlackBerry App World Vendor Guidelines."

So if you haven't created an app yet you still have a few weeks to give it a shot. If you have already submitted an app, why not do another? Hit the link below for more.

Free BlackBerry PlayBook offer for developers

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Blackberry theme roundup for March 7, 2011 - Win 1 of 25 copies of OSi6 by BB Design Worx!

Contest: Win one of 25 copies of OSi6 by BB Design Worx!

It's a fresh new week and we're back with the BlackBerry Theme Roundup! Have you created a theme you want to see featured here, or given away in a contest? Did you find a treasure that you want to share with the CrackBerry community? Have a favorite theme developer you want the spotlight to shine on? Well quit wasting time and send us an email at themeroundup[at] In the meantime, check out this week's picks, and enter to win a free copy of OSi6 by BB Design Worx!

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Cross-platform messenger Kik raises $8M and still going strong - Which message service do you use?

What cross-platform messenger do you use?survey software  

We haven't heard much from Kik lately aside from their ongoing court battle with RIM. The cross-platform messaging service was once the latest and greatest messenger for smartphone users, but it has since left the spotlight (at least on the BlackBerry end) while it sorts out things with RIM. In their first big break since getting things rolling, Kik has raised $8M in funding from RRE Ventures, Spark Capital, and Union Square Ventures. The latest additions to the iOS and Android versions of Kik include both photo sharing as well as group chat for up to ten people. It feels like Kik gets more like BBM with every update.

Poll: Do you use Kik or another cross-platform message service to chat with your non-BB friends? Vote in the poll above and leave a comment with your thoughts below. 

Source:  TechCrunch

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Great feature or just plain annoying? Shift and delete erases your message in BlackBerry Messenger

  Shift and delete erases your message in BBM - do you like this "feature"?survey software  

When it first started happening I thought it was just a fluke, but then as it happened more and more it became super annoying. When using BlackBerry Messenger I (as well as many others) discovered that hitting "shift + delete" in BlackBerry Messenger magically erases your entire message. Now, while I appreciate RIM tossing in some quick actions like this, I'm pretty sure this one could have been left out. I highly doubt there are too many times when someone wants a quick key combo to delete a whole message in BBM. Highlighting and pressing delete usually does the trick for me. I honestly have lost count at this point as to how many times I've accidentally used this combo and dumped an entire message.

So has this happened to you before? According to a few users in the forums it happens all the time, and not one of them thinks the "feature" should be there. Cast your vote in the poll then hit up the thread below and let us know!

Discuss more in the forums

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KFlicks Netflix manager for BlackBerry

If you're a Netflix user you no doubt apprecaite the ability to update your queue from your smartphone. Sometimes you see a preview and aren't near a computer, or maybe you just want to browse the latest movies while riding the train or waiting in the doctors office. If Movela Netflix Queue Manager is a bit out of your price range or too "beefy" for your liking, KFlicks may be the solution. The latest Netflix manager gives a slimmed down view of everything you need. You can browse titles, see recommendations and add titles to both your instant and disc queues. Overall a great way to use Netflix on the go. While it doesn't actually stream titles, it gets most else of what you need to do done. KFlicks sells for $1.99 in the CrackBerry App Store.

More information/download of KFlicks

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Pageonce partners with H&R Block so you can track your tax refund

Pageonce is one company you should look at first when looking to turn your BlackBerry into the perfect personal assistant. I know I know – it’s hard to top as it is. At CrackBerry, we’ve definitely brought you multiple, in-depth looks into what they offer. Check out my review of Pageonce. They continue to put you in touch with your bill and your financial situation; including managing what you can do with your money. On top of this, you can also keep tabs on your wireless usage and any travel details (flight status, weather, etc) – the perfect itinerary.

Today, some exciting news came down the pipeline. Just in time for (dun dun dunnnnn) Tax season, Pageonce announces a partnership with tax gurus H & R Block. Through the Pageone application, users can keep an eye on their tax refunds (especially the important detail of when they will receive it).This is available to users in the US only – and to those who are H & R Block At Home clients. With this solution that is now available, you should have some sort of alleviation of stress (and hopefully a good chunk of cash) coming your way. The Pageonce application is available in a free and premium version. The Premium version, valued at $6.99, offers real time flight information, an experience free of ads and password protection for privacy. Check out the official press release after the jump.

More information/download the free version of Pageonce
More information/download the premium version of Pageonce (Pageonce Pro)

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CrackBerry Reminder: What you may have missed this week

QNX breaks down some of the BlackBerry PlayBook inner workings for us

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

QNX was on at hand at Embedded World 2011, as such they were giving off demos of the BlackBerry PlayBook and the whole QNX ecosystem of devices. The video above gives us a rather revealing walk-through of the BlackBerry PlayBook while highlighting a lot of the technical aspects of the OS that interests many folks out there.

While Research In Motion has given plenty of demos thus far, something about watching an interview from QNX employees always seems to more outward with their explanation of how things work and what to expect in the future. Check it out. Some of the questions asked and ultimately answered, really might have been passed over if this was a Research In Motion demo.

Source: ARMDevices

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BlackBerry at SXSW - What may we see?

With SXSW (South by Southwest) set to kick-off on March 11 we're starting to see a lot of promotion for the events happening and we can't but notice some of them are being sponsored by Research In Motion. We're definitely expecting some PlayBook news to come from the event and more likely then some lead-up announcements before the event opens up. While we'll have to wait for the official news to start rolling, Research In Motion is sponsoring the Foodspotting - Street Food Fest so that may be a precursor to seeing a Foodspotting app demoed for the BlackBerry PlayBook.

While Mobile World Congress gave us a look at EA games demos and demos from TAT on the PlayBook, Apples announcement of the iPad 2 makes SXSW a great venue for Research In Motion to announce some of the further news we're all waiting for surrounding the BlackBerry PlayBook -- such as an announcement on price or availability.

If you look around there are hints being dropped about a PlayBook release party but assuming that doesn't happen just yet, what are things are you all hoping may come from Research In Motion at SXSW? Let us know in the comments or in the forums.

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BlackBerry 9900 outed via UAProf document?

If you've been following BlackBerry pre-release devices for a while now you'll know the BlackBerry 9900 is a number that has been referenced on many occasions in the past. The only problem with that is that its reference alone leads down a long path of both real and fake devices. Most of which are touch based, Bold iterations. The latest usage of the BlackBerry 9900 is massive step forward to everyone seeing a device bearing those numbers become a reality. 

As we saw on the BlackBerry 2011 Roadmap the "Bold Touch" or BlackBerry Dakota (GSM) and BlackBerry Montana (CDMA) are now in the works and the referenced but never used BlackBerry 9900 now has a UAProf document to go along with it. When looking at the document you can note it was created on February 23. Previous to that, and shortly after the BlackBerry 2011 Roadmap leaked out the document never existed. I know because I checked looking for this exact UAProf to reference to, the server only returned errors. The fact that it is now there, only leads me to believe we're one step closer to seeing the BlackBerry Dakota show up fairly soon.

*UPDATE* As PacFu noted in the comments, this could also be the BlackBerry Torch 2 given that it states QWERTY rather then virtual as shown on what is presumed to be the Monaco / Monza also now listed as the BlackBerry 9850.

Source: N4BB

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Leaked Software Roadmap Shows BIS 4.1 and BlackBerry 7 Are Coming!

There's nothing better than leaked BlackBerry info on a Saturday! These new 2011 BlackBerry Software Roadmap slides (more below) show off some interesting details. Most of it is pretty basic and what you'd expect - updates to apps including Facebook, Twitter, Ticketmaster, Social Feeds, App World, BlackBerry News, etc.. Ugrades to BIS are also coming.

The most exciting item listed on the Roadmap above of course is the one coming last in the year, and that is BlackBerry 7 core integration. Though no other information is provided, you almost *have to assume* BlackBerry 7 would be the jump from the traditional BlackBerry Operating System we know and love (and occassionally hate on) to the QNX-based operating system that is used to power the BlackBerry PlayBook's BlackBerry Tablet OS. It makes sense RIM would go with a branding jump from 6 to 7 for a BIG OS change like that in BlackBerry Smartphones (especially considering we're about to see the move from BlackBerry 6 to 6.1). But who knows. It's early days and RIM has a lot of work ahead of them in pushing the PlayBook to market and building up that platform so it works in BlackBerry Smartphones as well. But damn... I have goosebumps. BlackBerry SEVEN. Exciting stuff. :)

Source: N4BB

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Contest: Win 1 of 25 free copies of Graffiti Six by 9of13 Theme Assimilations!

After a six month hiatus, 9of13 Theme Assimilations is back in the theme game with Graffiti Six. This cool theme is decked out with custom graffiti icons and fonts throughout and is available in four different colors (red, green, blue, and purple). Graffiti Six also features the newly popular text clock, which I think looks awesome with this style of theme! This one is definitely worth checking out.

Graffiti Six is available for $3.99 in the CrackBerry store, and is compatible with Bold 9650, Bold 9700, Bold 9780, and Torch 9800 all on BB6 only.

For more information and to purchase Graffiti Six

Contest: To celebrate his return, 9of13 wants to give you guys some free themes! If you are on one of the devices listed above and want to enter to win one of 25 free copies, leave your comment below. One entry per person, and the contest ends Sunday at Midnight PST.

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Review: iGrip Charging Dock for the BlackBerry Torch 9800

Want to win an iGrip Charging Dock for the Torch 9800 from Keep reading for contest details.

Been looking for a safer way to handle your BlackBerry while in the car? Most anywhere you live now, there are restrictions on how you can use your cellphone while operating a motor vehicle. Infractions can result in fines and/or points on your license. But there are accessories out there to help make your drive easier, as well as keep you legal. The iGrip Charging Dock is a great accessory to display, charge, and safely mount your BlackBerry Torch 9800 while in your vehicle. Whether you are streaming music to a visor mount, or just making phone calls via bluetooth, this stylish accessory will help you handle all your BlackBerry needs while on the go.

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BlackBerry Protect now available (open beta) in North America and Latin America

RIM just let us know that the long talked about BlackBerry Protect app/service is now available to users. We took a detailed look at this wayyy back in July 2010, so check out our BlackBerry Protect Preview to get up to speed.

BlackBerry Protect is a free application that allows users to wirelessly backup, restore and locate their BlackBerry smartphone. In the event that their BlackBerry smartphone is misplaced, lost or stolen, BlackBerry Protect provides features like: remote device wipe, remote device lock, ‘Lost and Found' screen, locate device on a map, remote activation of the BlackBerry smartphone loud ringer, and wireless device backup and restore. 

Key features of BlackBerry Protect include:

  • Remote Device Management:
    • Remote wipe
    • Remote lock and ‘Lost and Found' screen
    • Remote activate loud ringer
    • Cell Tower and GPS device tracking
  • Over the Air (OTA) Backup and Restore:
    • Contacts and Calendar
    • Memos and Tasks
    • Browser Bookmarks
    • Text Messages
  • Administration:
    • Based on BlackBerry ID system
    • Web-based End User portal
    • Operator Call Center access

If you want to give it a try, you can find the BlackBerry Protect app within the Test Center in BlackBerry App World (note for some users it may take up to 24 hours for it show up) and you can head to to download, login to the web interface, and for more info.

Talk about BlackBerry Protect in the CrackBerry Forums

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