BlackBerry News and Reviews

TextPics – Creative SMS, Email, IM and PIN art for your BlackBerry

TextPics by Adorno is now available for BlackBerry smartphones and is a great way to liven up your messages beyond the standard symbols and smileys on your device. It uses ACSII characters to create pictures or art in an SMS/MMS, Email, IM, or PIN. If you're not familiar with ACSII art, its basically a text version of a picture and was widely used before pictures could be embedded or transmitted in messages. Back in college, my friends and I would send each other emails filled text versions of birthday cakes, cartoon characters, holidays and anything else that could be converted and love the fact that I can send them again with this app.

TextPics comes with a variety of categories (Animals, Bunnies, Celebration, Food, Halloween, Weapons, People, Romance, and Other) that includes over 150 images to be copied into a message. Users can wish a friend a Happy Birthday with a personalized cake, tell that special someone they love them with a rose, or send a scary skeleton for Halloween.

Using the app is as simple as scrolling through each of the categories, choosing the TextPic you want, pressing the trackball/trackpad or touch the screen to copy to the clipboard, and pasting into the desired application. The great thing is you can copy and paste the images into your AutoText or Word Substitution list to quickly access at any time. The only thing I did notice is that sometimes a symbol within a couple of the TextPics rendered as emoticons in PIN or SMS messages.

If you're worried about distortion when texting to devices that use other platforms, I had no issues when sending messages to my non-BlackBerry friends except for one whose phone placed the contact name on the first line of text. The one thing I hope will be included in the next update is the ability to send directly from within the application itself.

TextPics are a fun and entertaining way of sending art in your texts and email to everyone you know when you want to express yourself in an innovative way. TextPics is available at the CrackBerry app store for $3.99 for all devices running OS 4.6 and higher and is currently on sale for $0.99 (at the time this was written).

More information/download of TextPics

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Urbanspoon debuts as next BlackBerry App World commercial

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

We saw the first BlackBerry App World commercial nearly two months ago with Pageonce, and now we have the next in line with the newly-updated Urbanspoon app. The second in the BlackBerry App World series again shows off a "super app" put through daily use. This is only the second video as far as the app commercials go, but if the BBM spots are an indicator there should be many more down the line. Not much else to say about this one so just watch the video an see for yourself :-)

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Your Life on PlayBook hits Facebook

RIM has fired up another cool Facebook app, this time to promote the upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook. The Your Life on PlayBook app runs through your Facebook page and gathers up all your information for a pretty cool display. View your photos, status updates and other happenings from 2010 on the virtual PlayBook interface. Kind of a neat idea but it's definitely no QNX. If you're a Facebook user hit the link below to check it out.

Check out Your Life on PlayBook on Facebook

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Contest Winners: Accessory Roundup and Stellar by RJ Designs!

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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Visiting or live in Indonesia? Be sure to download the Love Indonesia app for BlackBerry!

DevCon Asia is now over, but we still have a lot of CrackBerry Kevin Goes to Indonesia posts left to come over the days ahead (the hotel internet seems to hate me uploading HD movies so I have a backlog of posts to get up - thx for the patience!).

While at Devcon Asia, I had the chance to get a briefing from the folks behind Love Indonesia. Roll back to November 2010 and you'll remember that Love Indonesia was named the Supers Apps Challenge regional winner for the Asia Pacific. A web portal -- loveindonesia.com -- with a companion BlackBerry app for on the go location-based access, I've definitely found the Love Indonesia app to be extremely handy while touring around.

One of the big messages at DevCon Asia this year was the opportunity in the localization of apps, and Love Indonesia is a great example of this. It really is a full-featured app covering everyhing from restaurant and shopping directories to news, info and traffic. Love Indonesia's newsest feature is Love Coupons, and you can guess what that's about! Click on over to App World at the link below for more info and to download. If you live in or are visiting Indonesia, you'll definitely want to download this app!

Download Love Indonesia for BlackBerry

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FileScout now fully integrated with Dropbox

Long time fans of FileScout will likely already be aware of this but for those of you out there who may be making use of Dropbox and have not as of yet, not heard of Filescout this should be of some interest. FileScout has recently been updated to include support for Dropbox and is now listed on the Dropbox website as an official plugin for the BlackBerry application. As a plugin to Dropbox, FileScout now makes sending and recieving files from your Dropbox account easier then ever before. You can hit the break for the full changelog and see more about how FileScout integrates with Dropbox. If you're looking to get started with FileScout and Dropbox just click on the source link for the download.

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DragonRAD Beta Program now open to developers looking to build applications for the BlackBerry PlayBook

BlackBerry PlayBook developers have been presented a lot of tools to help get their applications into the hands of users come launch time for the PlayBook to launch. Recently, the DragonRAD team has opened up their cross platform development tools to assist with that process as well. DragonRAD is aiming to bring a better, faster way of developing applications that will help you get your development work completed in a more timely manner then that of existing tools already offered. The DragonRAD team is dedicated to making their platform one of the easiest out there to use and are pretty excited about being able to offer it up to BlackBerry PlayBook developers:

“We believe the Playbook will be a game changer in many industries,” said Julian White, CEO of Seregon. “Our decision to support the PlayBook demonstrates our level of commitment to the BlackBerry platform. With the upcoming launch of the DragonRAD beta program, developers will be able to quickly and easily build native applications for the PlayBook, in addition to other popular mobile platforms.”  

If you're currently working on a BlackBerry PlayBook application for entry or if you're planning to do so in the near future, you should give DragonRAD a look. Time and ease of use is always a factor when working with developmental tools and DragonRAD knows this. As such, they've made a great environment help foster those needs.

Click here to learn more and sign up for the DragonRAD beta

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CrackBerry Reminder: What you may have missed this week


Urbanspoon gets an update - Now compatible with BlackBerry 6

Urbanspoon is a great website for people that enjoy eating out. You can check out restaurant reviews from food critics, bloggers, and everyday people. In 2009 Urbanspoon released a free app for BlackBerry to help people like me, who can never seem to decide where to eat. It's a simple concept. First you enter the area you want to search for restaurants or let Urbanspoon use your GPS location. Once it finds that area, it presents you a slot machine type interface with 3 tumblers. The first is for the neighborhood or area, the second is the type of cuisine, and the third is cost. You can choose for any of these categories to be locked, for example if you ONLY want Japanese restaurants to show, you would highlight that option and then click the little lock below. After that you can click or shake your device (depending on what BlackBerry you have, of course) and the tumblers spin. The application randomly chooses an area, cuisine and price range for you look at. If you click on the name of the chosen restaurant you can get details such as contact info, maps, and you can even open up the mobile version of the website which will take you directly to the reviews and information for that restaurant.

It's a fun app that can help you make some very important decisions like what to have for lunch Tuesday or where to take that blind date your friend hooked you up with. Best of all, it's FREE and there is a version for all devices running OS 4.2.1 or higher, and was recently updated to include devices on BB6. Urbanspoon is supported in Canada and the US as well as Australia and the UK. Pick it up today at the link below!

For more information and to download Urbanspoon from BlackBerry App World

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Upcoming RIM webcasts: Develop using the BlackBerry WebWorks SDK for BlackBerry Tablets

Following RIM's announcement of BlackBerry WebWorks for Tablet OS, they are back with a new 4-part webcast series starting February 1, 2011. This one focuses on porting existing apps as well as developing new apps for the BlackBerry PlayBook. According to the summaries of the sessions they will cover everything from getting started developing to effectively managing resources to migrating between platforms, and everything in between. Each session will focus on a different set of topics related to the WebWorks SDK, and will end with a live Q&A. The presenters are Adam Stanley and Prosanta Bhattacherjee, both Application Development Consultants at RIM.

This looks like a great opportunity for anyone looking to develop for the BlackBerry PlayBook, and it's totally free to attend! So mark your calendars, set your alarms, do what you have to do if you're interested in checking out the webcast. They will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays starting February 1, 2011 at 2 PM EST. Check the links below to get registered and for full details on what will be presented.

Information on BlackBerry WebWorks SDK for Tablet OS
Register for the webcasts

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More images of the BlackBerry Dakota, Apollo, Monaco and Torch 2 posted

Research In Motions 2011 device line up has spilled out onto the web and while we got glimpses of it previously, the full on images have now been posted. Whether you're looking to be picking up a brand new Bold (Dakota), a new Curve (Apollo) or even looking to put yourself in a newer, faster BlackBerry Torch 2 it should be a good year for RIM all around. What about the Storm 3? Well we're still not sure RIM will even be keeping the Storm brand at this point but that device is looking pretty awesome and it's nice to actually have something more then just one individual picture to refer to when speaking about it. Personally, I like the code names Monaco and Monza better for it.

RIM hasn't strayed far from their current line up in the way of looks; they certainly have extended in the specs department providing if what we have seen thus far makes it to market. As we know, RIM has taken a lot of heat in the past for having their device specifications lower than those of others but this should level the playing field a little bit when people are looking at specs and nothing more. It should be an interesting year what with the PlayBook launching and now these new devices. Hit the break for some more images of the Dakota, Apollo and Torch 2.

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BlackBerry App Roundup for January 14th, 2011! Win 1 of 25 copies of Hypoxia Media Player!

Howdy and welcome to the weekly app roundup! If there truly is ‘no rest for the wicked’, then Kevin must be one evil dude. No sooner than returning from CES, Kevin is off representing CrackBerry in Indonesia at the first ever BlackBerry Dev Con Asia. And here I am stressing about my daily commute…

Today, we announce the winners of the imgEdit 2.0 giveaway and also give you the chance to win one of 25 copies of Hypoxia Media Player! Have a rootin’ tootin’ weekend! Giddy up!

Freebies of the Week: Spend Smart Coupons, Forms, Cue

In Case You Missed It: Dipdive, SearchCalendar

New This Week: MyFriendTweeter, My Fashion for BlackBerry, SecureX

Cool at BlackBerry App World: MyLocker

Contest: Win one of 25 copies of Hypoxia Media Player!

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Weekly Accessory Roundup - Save up to 75% on top accessories; Win an on sale accessory of your choice!

Contest: Win an on sale accessory of your choice! Details Below.

Looking to pickup some top-selling accessories for your device but not sure where to start? We have just the thing. In our new On Sale section at ShopCrackBerry.com you can score some amazing accessories for your device at incredible savings. Save big on charging pods, batteries, cases and much, much more. if you've been holding off on buying a much needed accessory, check out all the great deals we have with savings up to 75% off!

See all the On Sale items at ShopCrackBerry.com

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Review: Think of Me for BlackBerry

With the start of a new year, I decided that I wanted to keep tabs on everyone's birthdays & anniversaries so I could send a card (and on time for once) or a text at the very least. I've been manually entering everyone's special days into my address book as well as setting a reminder in my calendar. As you can imagine, it has been a bit time consuming. Today I was introduced to the BlackBerry application ThinkOfMe. At the price of a $1.99, I decided to give it a try. The creators over at 4People Software have saved my fingertips! ThinkOfMe was one of the Regional Selectees in the 2010 BlackBerry SuperApp Challenge and I can see why others love it so much.

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More details on the BlackBerry Storm 3

As if all the crazy device info that showed up yesterday on the Torch 2, dakota and apollo wasn't enought. Today we have some more info on the rumored BlackBerry Storm 3 as well. BGR landed some more details of the next-gen device and the specs look pretty amazing as it stands now. These images do look just like the in-the-flesh device we saw a while back as well. Not only will the device have an 800x480 display, it also has a trackpad among other things. Specs include:

  • 1.2GHz processor
  • 3.7-inch 800 x 480 capacitive display
  • Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE
  • Tri-band UMTS/HSPA
  • 5-megapixel camera with 720p video recording
  • 8GB eMMC (storage for apps and data), 512MB of RAM
  • microSD slot
  • Magnetometer
  • Proximity sensor
  • Accelerometer
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • 2.4GHz b/g/n and 5GHz a/n Wi-Fi + UMA
  • 3G Mobile hotspot
  • Optical trackpad
  • 1230 mAh battery
  • BlackBerry OS 6.1
  • OpenGL ES 2.0

Again, most of these devices are still just rumors at this point, so take all the info for what it's worth. Still some very exciting stuff. Go Team BlackBerry!

Discuss more in our Storm 3 (monaco) forum 

Source: BGR

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RIM announces BlackBerry Developer Days in Atlanta and Dubai

RIM has announced dates for the first two BlackBerry Developer Days for 2011. They will be held in Atlanta on January 18 and in Dubai on January 26. These events benefit developers who are looking to for the tools and knowledge to create great apps for the BlackBerry platform. The events will also include a session for developing Adobe Air apps for the BlackBerry Playbook.

Whether you're new to mobile applications or an experienced developer, BlackBerry Developer Days are designed to give you the tools and know-how to successfully create and market apps on the BlackBerry platform. Experts will take you through the latest technical platform advances and market opportunities for your apps.

Also, if you're interested in learning more about the new BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, a session on developing Adobe AIR applications for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet will be new to the agenda for upcoming dates.

If you're a developer available on any of these dates why not register now. Don't miss out. Spaces are limited.

Click here to sign up for the Atlanta BlackBerry Developer Day
Click here to sign up for the Dubai BlackBerry Developer Day 

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Fake of the Week: Knockoff BlackBerry Storm sports touchscreen, analog TV, dual SIM and a trackball!

 

This is probably my favorite fake so far. For all those Storm users that have been wanting a touchscreen AND a trackball - this is for you! This fake was spotted on eBay and sports a dual SIM, analog TV, touchscreen, GPS, Wifi and a trackball. It does have a pretty stylish design and looks to be fairly thin as well. No BBM or the like on this device, but if you're looking for something to change things up a bit then look no further. Check out the full details on eBay. Keep reading for more images. Thanks John!

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BlackBerry Pearl Flip shows up on Transformers: Prime

On Sunday, I sat down with my son to watch the first episode of Transformers: Prime on Teletoon, in Canada. He loves Transformers and, as a father should, I take part in his interests. Okay, who am I kidding? I think I may have been a little more excited about it than he was. There's nothing like a little of the standard father–son-Autobot-Decepticon time. Between scenes of robots kicking ro-butt, we also saw the introduction of three human characters, as well. At one point the Jack Darby character was talking to his Mom on his cellphone, I caught a quick glimpse at its keyboard and realized it looked just like a BlackBerry Pearl Flip. Again with the third character, Miko, got a call from her parents, this time the Pearl Flip was in plain sight – in pink. It was hard to see which phone the second character was using though. So maybe I shouldn't pay that much attention to detail when watching a cartoon. Maybe I shouldn't have been watching at all. That being said, I think it, out of all of the devices out there, the Pearl Flip was their choice. Perhaps they are trying to say that even with the Pearl Flip, there is "more than meets the eye".

Check out the episode at veoh.com

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BlackBerry Torch 2 details emerge

Just in case the other two device leaks weren't enough for you, how about some details about the BlackBerry Torch 2? Well, alright then. The BlackBerry Torch which was released not all that long ago now looks to have a successor already in the works. Realistically, the updated specs look more along the lines of what the first BlackBerry Torch should have been considering many folks took issue with how little of an advancement the original BlackBerry Torch was. Have a look at whats been detailed for the BlackBerry Torch 2:

  • 1.2GHz processor
  • Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE
  • Tri-band HSPA 14.4Mbps
  • 3.2-inch VGA 640 x 480 capacitive display
  • 8GB built-in memory
  • 512MB RAM
  • Bluetooth 2.1
  • GPS
  • NFC
  • 5MP camera with flash
  • Magnetometer
  • 1300 mAh battery
  • BlackBerry OS 6.1
  • OpenGL ES
  • 14.6mm thin

So if you're unhappy with your current Torch maybe the BlackBerry Torch 2 is more fitting for you? These are the specs we have been wanting. Sure, there is no dual core listed there but 1.2GHz is nothing to shake a stick at. While specs and all that are great to look at the real question remains with the OS though. Does OS 6.1 make use of the new specs and hardware? Sticking a 1.2GHz processor in there doesn't really mean much if the OS is not optimized to make use of it. We'll find out soon, as noted in the source link Research In Motion is tracking Q3 for the release of the Blackberry Torch 2.

Discuss more in our new Torch 2 forum 

Source: BGR

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CrackBerry Poll: Do you use Social Feeds in BlackBerry 6?


Do you use Social Feeds in BlackBerry 6?survey software  

While at CES last week I was talking to Kevin about different apps and we realized that neither of us use the Social Feeds app, leading us to wonder just how many users do. Social Feeds first popped up on the Torch and BlackBerry 6, and is simply an easy way to view Twitter, Facebook and IM apps all in one easy feed. I personally wasn't a fan as the only included apps I use are Twitter and Facebook, and I didn't want them both running in one feed (just a matter or preference). So our question today is this -- do you use the Social Feeds app in BlackBerry 6? Cast your vote in the poll above then leave a comment below letting us know why you do or don't.

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