BlackBerry News and Reviews

Review: Photo Translator for BlackBerry

Sometimes things can get lost in translation. When travelling to a foreign country, not everything is presented in a tourists own language. You always hear tips, specific phrases or the advice to pack a translation book or even hire a local guide. While you’re looking into classes, or costs, there’s one more thing you should take a look at - your BlackBerry. It’s the perfect travel companion anyway. Think about it- you would use it to capture memorable photos and video, maintain your travel itinerary and (depending on WiFi access, or your data plan) keep in touch while travelling via email, BBM or social networking. What if your BlackBerry camera could do more? As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words… perhaps even worth a thousand translated words?

Near the end of last year, a call for BlackBerry toting lab rats was made for some testing. Don’t worry, no lab rats were harmed during the testing process (that I know of anyway). Photo Translator will capture an image and translate the text for you, whether you are home or abroad. You’ll feel less like an idiot the next time you find yourself staring at a menu where you can’t see anything that resembles a burger and fries. Let’s have a look.

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Contest Winners: Accessories, MiniFrames, Social, and Show Me the Images!

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)crackberry.com 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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BB-Freaks celebrates their 1 year anniversary with free themes, sales, and a contest!

Win 1 of 50 copies of Blue Smoothy by BB-Freaks! Details after the break!!

Popular theme developers BB-Freaks let me know that they are celebrating their one year anniversary this month, and to celebrate and say thank you to all of their fans, they released a free theme! This is an awesome theme with great features and like you would expect from BB-Freaks, the layout is unique and interesting. Six pre-defined app icons at the top of your screen and a banner that includes easy-to-read meters are just the start. The Anniversary theme also features a slide-out hidden dock with 8 customizable slots in text, giving this theme a lot of function, without sacrificing any wallpaper real estate. This theme is compatible with BlackBerry 89/96/97xx, 9000, 95xx, and 9800, OS 4.6 - 6.0.

Not only has BB-Freaks put this theme out for free, they have also placed all of their 130 premium themes on sale for just $1.99 until February 18th! Check them out at the link below, and stock up now while they're on sale. For more information/screenshots and to download the BB-Freaks Anniversary theme
To see all of BB-Freaks themes, on sale now

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Leaked slides show off BlackBerry PlayBook accessories and pricing

Update: BlackBerry PlayBook Cases and PlayBook Accessories Now Available at ShopCrackBerry.com!

Some leaked internal slides from RIM popped up today showing a variety of BackBerry PlayBook accessories compelte with pricing. We saw most of these live and in color back at CES, but while they were all on display we didn't get much more info on pricing or availability. The slides show most of the PlayBook cases and sleeves as well as the charging pod, rapid charger, mini Bluetooth keyboard and revamped Bluetooth music gateway. Overall a pretty good look at what to expect for accessories on launch day. Keep reading for more images.

Read more on official PlayBook pricing and availability

Via: BGR

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BlackBerry Messenger 6.0 coming soon with loads of new features

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

Carrying on with the great RIM news flowing out of MWC today we have word that BlackBerry Messenger 6.0 is on the way. While it won't get too much of an overhaul on the UI side, there will be a bunch of great new features that will better integrate BBM with other apps on your device. You will be able to interact with other users in games, media players, ebook readers and much more. From within the app you can send a chat invite to other users and then chat with them via BBM through the app. From the looks of it you'll be able to send much larger files (think images and audio) over BBM now as well. Developers will be able to get at the new goods in March, and if all goes as planned the new version should see a rollout to all users some time around May.

Source: bbnews.pl

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Press Release: Adobes confirms Flash 10.2 coming to BlackBerry PlayBook

Today Adobe issued a press release on the strong adoption of both Adobe AIR and Flash on mobile devices. While we won't be seeing full Flash integration on current BlackBerry smartphones anytime soon, we will have the PlayBook to look forward to. Adobe confirmed that Flash 10.2 will be available on the BlackBerry PlayBook and Flash 10.2 includes support for Stage Video which "delivers much improved video performance through optimizing hardware acceleration on mobile devices, desktops and TVs. Stage Video decreases processor and memory usage while enabling higher frame rates and improved video quality." Definitely one of the many things to look forward to on the PlayBook!

Press Release

Adobe Reports Strong Mobile Adoption of Flash Player and AIR; High Expectations for 2011

Company Showcases Performance Advancements with Flash Player 10.2

BARCELONA, Spain--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--At Mobile World Congress, Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) announced that developers and content publishers can now deploy Adobe® AIR® applications to more than 84 million smartphones and tablets running Android and iOS. Thousands of applications have been created and made available on Android Market and Apple's App Store to date. By the end of 2011, Adobe expects more than 200 million smartphones and tablets to support Adobe AIR applications. For examples of popular AIR applications for Android and iOS, visit m.flash.com.

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Never forget a thing with Home Screen Notes for BlackBerry

If you're looking to be more organzied and your BlackBerry Tasks app isn't quite doing the trick, maybe it's time for something new. Home Screen Notes for BlackBerry aims to help you out. Essentially a Post-It note for your homescreen, the app lets you easily add reminders or quick notes and stick them right on your BlackBerry homescreen. There are loads of options ranging from automated notes to custom fonts and colors. I can see this helping me out as I'm not a huge fan of using Tasks and love the idea of having notes right in front of me. You can grab Home Screen Notes on sale for just $0.99 through Tuesday.

More information/download of Home Screen Notes

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RIM acquires Gist - Expect Improved Social CRM, Online Contact Management and Professional Networking on your BlackBerry

We've seen RIM make a lot of strategic acquisitions in recent months, and today they announced another one on their BlackBerry blog.... Gist.  If you're not familiar with Gist, probably the best thing to do is check out the What is Gist? in 90 seconds video above. Essentially it helps to aggregate and manage all of your important contacts into one place.

To get a look at Gist today, you can jump over to Gist.com and take a tour. As for what Gist will mean tomorrow now that they're part of RIM, I guess we'll have to see.... but it should mean an improved contact management experience. Our guess is a much improved contacts list that would house all of your contacts feeds and information from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and the like. If you want to get an early start you can register for Gist and see what it's all about. I wonder who we'll see RIM acquire next?

Source: Inside BB / Gist Blog

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Video Demo of the new BlackBerry Travel App

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

If you're in North America, the UK, or Spain you can already download the newly-announced BlackBerry Travel app from App World and give it a go for yourself (see our original BlackBerry Travel App post for full details and download info). If you're not in those regions and want to see what you're missing, or if you just want to see it in action before you download, then check out the video above. Live on location at Mobile World Congress 2011 in Barcelona, Spain, we got a good look at the BlackBerry Travel app by the folks at WorldMate, who have put a ton of hard work into this app over the years.

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CrackBerry @ Mobile World Congress 2011: BlackBerry Booth Video Tour

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

Our CrackBerry correspondent Ewan MacLeod is on hand at Mobile World Congress 2011 in Barcelona, Spain, and to give you a taste of what you'd see at RIM's BlackBerry booth if you were there in person he grabbed 2m28s of the experience on HD. Check out the video above for a quick look at RIM's massive booth. While they do have plenty of phones on hand at the event, the big interest is in the new BlackBerry PlayBook. 

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CrackBerry @ Mobile World Congress 2011: Quick Hello from Mike Kirkup (and another Need for Speed demo!)

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

It wouldn't feel like CrackBerry was at Mobile World Congress unless we got a quick hello from RIM's Director of Developer Relations, Mike Kirkup. Check out the video above for his quick hello message (I always love how excited Mike is - I think he loves BlackBerry as much as I do!) and below you can watch the video Mike refers to, which is RIM's own hands-no demo of Need for Speed on the BlackBerry PlayBook. Awesome stuff!

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New BlackBerry PlayBook Video - showing off Need for Speed, Tetris and more!

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

Mobile World Congress 2011 is now in full swing, and as we hoped Research In Motion has the BlackBerry PlayBook on hand and for the first time is showing it off in Europe. I'm not at MWC this year in person, but our good friend Ewan MacLeod is on site covering the show for us and the first thing he did was rush to the BlackBerry booth to get an update video on the BlackBerry PlayBook. Last week RIM announced that EA's Need for Speed and Tetris would come preloaded on the PlayBook, and sure enough we got a good look at it. Check out the video above to see Need for Speed, Tetris and more live and in action. Hawt!! 

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Press Release: RIM Announces Two Additional BlackBerry 4G PlayBook Models For LTE and HSPA+ Networks

Mobile World Congress 2011 is now here and to kick off the show RIM has made a number of announcements, the biggest one being the addition of two more BlackBerry PlayBooks to RIM's tablet family. Joining the already-announced WiFi PlayBook and WiFi + WiMax PlayBook (Sprint 4G), today RIM has announced that LTE and HSPA+ versions of the PlayBook are on the way too. There's no specific word on carriers, or pricing or launch date, but ya know... at least we know they're coming and likely to a carrier near you. Hopefully the wait won't be too long! Keep reading for the full press release.

Press Release

RIM Announces Two Additional BlackBerry 4G PlayBook Models For LTE and HSPA+ Networks

MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS, BARCELONA, SPAIN--(Marketwire - Feb. 14, 2011) - Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ:RIMM)(TSX:RIM) today announced plans to launch two additional BlackBerry® 4G PlayBook tablets during the second half of 2011, featuring support for LTE and HSPA+ high speed wide area wireless networks.

"The BlackBerry PlayBook tablet is already being widely recognized for its superior performance, rich web experience, enterprise readiness and deep support for web standards and open development tools. We are now building on the BlackBerry PlayBook's many advantages with support for additional 4G networks that will allow enhanced business opportunities for carriers and developers and unparalleled mobile experiences for users," said Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO at Research In Motion.

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Press Release: RIM Announces BlackBerry Travel App - Download it Today for Free!

WorldMate has long been one of those must-have apps for traveling BlackBerry executives (it's also been on installed on the BlackBerry of pretty much every RIM executive I have ever interviewed), so maybe we shoudn't be surprised to see RIM announce today a FREE travel app for BlackBerry made in partnership with WorldMate. The new all-in-one BlackBerry Travel app provides users with a number of great benefits and features:

  • Stay informed on flight changes & cancellations.
  • Get seamless integration with emailed itineraries - the app automatically grabs your info.
  • Find the best places to eat and shop with Yelp®.
  • Quickly search & book hotels right from the app.
  • Get recommendations for items you may have forgotten or booked incorrectly.
  • Be prepared with 5-day weather forecasts & a currency converter.
  • Share your travel plans with friends, family & colleagues by email or on LinkedIn®.

The app also features a desktop component that allows users to book flights and car rentals, as well as print and edit itineraries, from their computer. You can learn more about the app at blackberry.com/travel and download it today in beta from App World. Note: The BlackBerry Travel app is only available in North America, the UK and Spain as of right now - it will roll out to more countries with time. Keep reading for the full press release.

Download BlackBerry Travel (beta) from App World

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Press Release: RIM Announces Plans to Provide Carriers with new BBM Mobile Gifting Platform

I didn't see this one coming, but I like it! Today at Mobile World Congress 2011, RIM announced a Mobile Gifting Platform that works via BlackBerry Messenger and App World. Check out the press release below for full details. Pretty awesome!

Press Release

RIM Announces Plans to Provide Carriers with new BBM Mobile Gifting Platform

New mobile gifting platform will integrate with BlackBerry App World and carrier billing systems to allow BlackBerry subscribers to instantly gift airtime, apps and other carrier services from one subscriber to another using BBM

MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS, BARCELONA, SPAIN--(Marketwire - Feb. 14, 2011) - Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ:RIMM)(TSX:RIM) today announced plans for an innovative mobile gifting platform for carriers that will allow one authorized BlackBerry® subscriber to use their post-paid or pre-paid account to conveniently, securely and instantly approve and pay for airtime, apps or other carrier services requested by another BlackBerry subscriber.

The innovative BBM mobile gifting platform will integrate with BlackBerry App World and carrier billing systems and allow the gifting requests and approvals to be handled directly between the BlackBerry subscribers using BBM (BlackBerry® Messenger) with transactions that are secure, authenticated and non-repudiable. The platform will also allow carriers to more easily sell airtime to BlackBerry prepaid subscribers (for the subscriber's own use).

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Press Release: Research In Motion Makes Lead Commitment to Second BlackBerry Partners Fund

Press Release

Research In Motion Makes Lead Commitment to Second BlackBerry Partners Fund

WATERLOO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 14, 2011) - Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ:RIMM)(TSX:RIM) and the BlackBerry® Partners Fund today announced that RIM is making a lead commitment to BlackBerry Partners Fund II, a new US$150 million independent venture capital fund focused exclusively on mobile computing. BlackBerry Partners Fund II is expected to launch in June 2011 and will have a broader international mandate than the first Fund.

"We are very pleased with the positive impact of the first Fund on our mobile ecosystem and we look forward to BlackBerry Partners Fund II bringing additional resources and support to mobile innovators in a broader range of international markets," said Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO at Research In Motion.

"We are very fortunate to have RIM as an anchor investor and partner in our Fund and greatly anticipate expanding our reach and the geographical scope of Fund II," said John Albright, Co-Managing Partner of BlackBerry Partners Fund.

The first BlackBerry Partners Fund was established in 2008 in collaboration with Research In Motion, Thomson Reuters, Royal Bank of Canada and a roster of high profile investors. The Fund has made 13 investments to-date in mobile start-ups in Canada, the United States, Israel and Ireland. The Fund brings capital, resources and domain expertise to the partnerships it forms with exceptional entrepreneurs around the world who are shaping the future of the mobile eco-system.

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Press Release: BlackBerry App World Now Available In Over 100 Markets

Press Release

BlackBerry App World Now Available In Over 100 Markets

Discover, download and enjoy a wide range of applications from BlackBerry App World, now available in 27 additional markets

WATERLOO, ONTARIO and BARCELONA, SPAIN--(Marketwire - Feb. 14, 2011) - Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ:RIMM)(TSX:RIM) today announced that BlackBerry App World™ is now available in 27 additional markets worldwide. With today's announcement, BlackBerry App World is now available in 101 markets. BlackBerry App World allows customers to discover, download and enjoy a wide range of mobile applications for their BlackBerry® smartphones.

BlackBerry smartphone users are downloading more than 2 million apps per day from BlackBerry App World on average and there are over 20,000 BlackBerry apps available today. RIM continues to support developers in order to provide apps that leverage the many advantages of the BlackBerry platform and deliver best-in-class mobile experiences.

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Foursquare for BlackBerry updated - Now with photos

Good news for you Foursquare users out there. Foursquare for BlackBerry was just updated, now supporting photos. You are now able to check-in to a venue and add a photo, as well as submit a photo to the venue you are checking in to. They also announced that they will be adding the ability to comment on check-ins via BlackBerry. This feature should be available within the next week or so. Thanks @MrCippy !!

Download the latest version of Foursquare for BlackBerry

Source: Foursquare

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BlackBerry at Mobile World Congress 2011

Mobile World Congress is getting underway in Barcelona, Spain this week and RIM is there in full force! A new website just went up titled BlackBerry at Mobile World Congress 2011 where it looks like they plan to post all sorts of information from the event as it becomes available. One of the RIM Twitter teams (@BlackBerryScene) has already started sending out pictures of the booths as well, which is always fun to see! Of course, CrackBerry will be bringing you all the news as it breaks, so keep your internet right here. What are you hoping to see from MWC11?

To check out RIM's MWC11 site click the link below. Pictures of the booth after the break!

BlackBerry at Mobile World Congress 2011

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CrackBerry Reminder: What you may have missed this week


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