BlackBerry News and Reviews

BlackBerry Pros at CES 2011: Lara Spencer interviews Piers Morgan

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

The BlackBerry Pros interviews conducted by Laura Spencer were a popular event at CES 2011. We previously showed you the interviews with Adrian Grenier, Olivia Wilde, and Common and here is the fourth installment, Piers Morgan. You may recognize Piers from America's Got Talent and Britain's Got Talent or from his appearance on The Celebrity Apprentice. It's a pretty short interview, but it's obvious he loves BlackBerry, and is excited about the PlayBook! I like how he throws in "love what you do" towards the end as well. Where have I heard that before? ;)

Video Credit

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Google Maps for BlackBerry updated to v4.5.2

One of my personal favorite and most used apps for BlackBerry, Google Maps, just got an update to v4.5.2.  We aren't seeing a changelog posted so our guess is that this is just a bug squishing release. The previous version was 4.5.1 which we saw released back in October of last year. If you notice any significant changes drop a comment below, or discuss your findings in the forums! To download the update head over to m.google.com/maps on your BlackBerry. Thanks to everyone that sent this in!

To download Google Maps for BlackBerry
To discuss this update in the forums

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Weekly Accessory Roundup - Win a Ventev PowerCELL for your BlackBerry!

Contest: Win an Ventev PowerCELL for your device! Details Below.

I picked up a Ventev PowerCELL a while back to use with my BlackBerry Torch, and I have to say I absolutely love it. I was kind of down and out when I jumped from the Bold 9700 to the Torch and didn't have the same battery life. I explored some charging solutions and even carried a spare battery for a while, but then I came across the PowerCELL. It weighs next to nothing and is small enough to carry in a pocket or bag. Just charge it up ahead of time and it provides plenty of juice when you're device runs low. It comes with multiple adapters including mini USB and mircoUSB for BlackBerry devices. Available for just $54.95 from ShopCrackBerry.com. Keep reading for details on how to win one of your own!

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Honey, I shrunk the picture - AutoResize for BlackBerry

ToySoft Development recently released an application to aid the shutter bugs of the BlackBerry world. One of the biggest problems with taking pictures on the BlackBerry is the size of the image. As weird as it sounds, even as I type it, but size does matter. Snickering aside, the only power we have over the images on our BlackBerrys is setting their size before they are captured. On my Torch, I can choose between 2592 x 1944 and 640 x 480. The images are stuck at the same size until you upload them to your computer. Hang on, I’m going to throw out a cheesy “or are they” out there…

ToySoft’s AutoResize application allows you to create a resized image of existing images, as well as images you are in the process of taking. It then saves the resized image on your SD card, without removing or replacing the original image. Now you have a smaller sized image handy that can be emailed without having to worry about data usage. Depending how incriminating the image is, the recipient may be thankful for the smaller image popping up on their screen.

Features

  • Automatically resize picture when you take a picture with the Camera
  • Set different resize from 1024x768 to 320x240
  • Save in JPG with different compression setting or PNG format
  • Notify you when the picture is saved
  • Can enable and disable resizing pictures taken with the Camera app
  • Integrates with the Media and Files applications for manual resize. You can select a predefine size or enter a custom size to resize
  • Resized pictures are saved into a different folder on the SDCard. Original picture is never deleted
  • Compatible with BlackBerry OS5 and OS6

You can pick up AutoResize for $0.99 from the CrackBerry App Store

More information/download AutoResize for BlackBerry

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Use your BlackBerry to make purchases at Starbucks across the US!

Back in September we let you know that Starbucks was testing out their new mobile card app in limited markets. It looks like their testing went well, because starting Wednesday, January 19, the app is going official across the US. What does this mean for you? Just enter your Starbucks Card number and your BlackBerry Tour, Curve or Storm becomes your Starbucks Card. You can register your card, check your balance and track the Stars you earn toward free beverages through My Starbucks Rewards.

And here’s the coolest feature: you can pay for your drink using the Starbucks Card Mobile app! Enter your card number and your device will display a barcode you can use as your Starbucks Card to make purchases. Mobile Pay is available at more than 7,500 Starbucks stores, including all Target Starbucks stores, in the United States. To download Starbucks Card Mobile for your BlackBerry, text GO to 70845.

I hope Starbucks expands the availability of the app to more BlackBerry models and other countries, and soon! There is a huge chunk of market out there they are missing out on with the current limitations. If you are a Tour, Curve, or Storm owner in the US will you be trying out the Starbucks Card Mobile app?

Source: Mashable

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BlackBerry Style 9670 headed to Alltel?

It looks like Alltel may soon be offering the BlackBerry Style 9670 for its customers. While the device isn't yet showing in their BlackBerry listings, they do have the software for the device available for download. It's not the first time we've seen an "oops" on pushing software live too soon (and surely not to be the last) but it's a good sign that the device may pop up fairly soon. This is the same OS that Sprint has officially offered for the 9670, but no other official details to tag along with this one so we'll see if anything turns up. Thanks Steve!

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BlackBerry Bold 9780 now available from WIND Mobile

The BlackBerry Bold 9780 has finally made its way to WIND Mobile. If you're looking to pick up the non-contract device, you can grab it now for $450.00. You'll have to choose one of the basic plans and matching BlackBerry plan, but it's a good bet if you don't like being tied down to a contract. The Bold 9780 sports BlackBerry 6, a 5MP camera, GPS, Wifi, Bluetooth and more. Head over to WIND for more details.

Check out the BlackBerry Bold 9780 at WIND Mobile

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Worth Ave Group - A new way to insure your BlackBerry

We all love our BlackBerry smartphones, but what happens when the unthinkable occurs? What if you drop your prized possession and it breaks into a million pieces? What if you go to set your BlackBerry down in the cupholder in your car, but you realize all too late that there is a cup of coffee there? What do you do when these unfortunate events happen?

Well, you have a few options, but I want to tell you about a new option I just recently learned about at CES. 

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RIM and Indonesia reach mutual agreement on pornographic content filtering

RIM has promised on Monday that it will meet Indonesia's request to filter out pornographic content on BlackBerry smartphones in the next couple of days, as stated by a spokesman of the Indonesian government. As Indonesia is both home to the world's greatest Muslim population and a massive amount of BlackBerry smartphone addicts, RIM's commitment to abide by the country's requirements is pretty much a given. RIM Managing Director of Southeast Asia, Gregory Wade, has stated that talks with the six Indonesian service providers about the matter have already been initiated and that the issue will be resolved with mutual satisfaction. And, as per the request of the Indonesian government, RIM is also going to set up local server in the country.

Indonesia is not alone in discussing such matters, though. Kuwait had also asked a similar favor back in August, 2010. Although RIM promptly agreed to block 3,000 pornographic Web sites at the request of Kuwait's communication ministry, it should be noted that Kuwait did not threaten to suspend BlackBerry services as certain other Middle Eastern countries did. But still, in either case, I am very happy to see RIM's active willingness to engage in these affairs and provide everyone affected with an amicable solution. Keep it up, Waterloo!

Source: Mercurynews

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Leo Laporte shows off a BlackBerry PlayBook on Live! with Regis and Kelly

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

Live! with Regis and Kelly had a segment today on some of the best gadgets shown at CES 2011. Leo Laporte brought several devices to talk about, and one was the BlackBerry PlayBook! Although we're still wondering who he had to wrestle at RIM to get one.

Check out the video above to see the segment. The PlayBook is the first device he talks about and is covered in the first minute of the video. Some of the other gadgets he talks about are pretty cool too so you may want to stick around for the full 7 minutes to see the rest.

Source: Live! With Regis and Kelly

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AT&T 3G compatible BlackBerry PlayBook on the way; LTE version soon after?!

Just in case you thought Research In Motion was only giving the love to Sprint when it came to cellular enabled PlayBooks, new rumors have now popped up suggesting that an GSM version compatible with AT&T and Rogers 3G bands is tracking very nicely as well. Also suggested is that shortly after the release of the 3G enabled version will come a Verizon LTE enabled version. Research In Motion has announced a Q1, 2011 timeframe for the WiFi enabled version with the Sprint 4G version arriving in the summer but has been quiet when referring to other carrier announcements.

If all these new rumors pan out, that means we should see the WiFi version ordering start in February, shipping in March with the 3G version showing up late March or April. No mention of ship dates for LTE, only that it would come after the 3G release. Only fair to note however, these are still rumors. Nothing has been confirmed but time will tell. While we wait, check out our BlackBerry PlayBook review.

Source: CIO

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BlackBerry Swiss Army Knife - a program for advanced users

 

BlackBerry Swiss Army Knife (BBSAK) is a tool; just as a hammer and a thermonuclear reactor are tools. Placed in the wrong hands, they can cause destruction. Similarly, using BBSAK can render your BlackBerry inoperable. That being said, BBSAK is also a tool for fixing that. If you carefully - and I cannot stress that enough - follow instructions, it should always work properly for you. If you do not feel comfortable in poking and prodding the innermost guts of your BlackBerry, then BBSAK is not for you.

BlackBerry Swiss Army Knife is a Windows application (sorry Mac users) for controlling your device when BlackBerry Desktop Manager just isn't enough. It comes jam-packed with features designed to let you modify your BlackBerry in ways that the DM just wasn't created to do. Backup third-party apps, load alternate OS builds without the hassle of uninstalling and installing them from your computer, screen captures, and more. BBSAK really is an all-in-one tool; and it's completely free.

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Funny: Woman falls into fountain at mall while texting

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

This one popped up a few days ago and I think its one that is worth seeing. We all know the dangers of texting while driving, but this video shows the danger involved in texting while walking. This woman at a Pennsylvania mall is apparently so oblivious while she looks at her phone that she walks right into the wall of a mall fountain, trips over it and ends up soaking wet. Afterwards, she simply gets up and strolls off like it never happened. I have to say if I ever get to this point I may consider not taking my BlackBerry out in public (or going out in public at all). Check out the full video above for a few laughs.

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Sprint adding $10/month fee to all smartphone users upgrading or adding new lines

If you're a Sprint user who is looking to upgrade or start a new line of service with a smartphone then Sprint has some bad news for ya. Previously something that was initially only charged on Sprints HTC EVO 4G Android device and then later all 4G devices on Sprint, a $10/mnth data charge is now being placed onto all smartphone activations. When it first started being charged many felt it was a "4G tax" as the only devices that it was being charged to ran on Sprints 4G network. Sprint advised this was not the case and stated it was a charge implemented for network upgrades and such. In their press release today, they backed those statements up by making it applicable to all smartphone devices as defined by Sprint:

"devices with robust operating systems bringing the full function of mobile applications and programs to life including Blackberry, Android, Windows Mobile, Palm, and the Instinct family of devices"

Keep that in mind if you're currently a Sprint customer and are close to upgrading or adding a new line. Also makes me wonder what, when released the 4G BlackBerry PlayBook will fall under?

Source: Android Central

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Registration opens for BlackBerry World 2011

If you're planning on attending BlackBerry World this May, today is the first day of open registration. The conference formerly known as WES will be held in Orlando Florida from May 3rd through the 5th. Attendees can register until February 25th at the early bird rate and save $400 off the full conference pass ($2,199). Also as a new offer this year, attendees that can't make it for all three days can register for a one-day pass ($599 USD) for Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.

The Crack Team will be there in full force so you should be too. The conference will have plenty of keynotes, over 100 breakout sessions, hands-on labs, BlackBerry training and much more. To register now head to blackberryworld.com/register.

Register now for BlackBerry World in Orlando Fl. 

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BlackBerry theme roundup for January 18th, 2011 - 50 copies of Evy to give away!

Contest: Win one of 50 free copies of Evy by BB-Freaks! 

It's theme roundup time! I bet you're all excited to see what we've found for you this week. Two popular theme developers both brought out free themes for everyone in the past week or so which is super cool. You can read about those after the break. Enjoy the themes, and don't forget to read all the way to the end for details on the contest. This week we are giving away Evy by BB-Freaks.

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BlackBerry 101 - BlackBerry Messenger Groups

 

Back in October, we ran a poll to see just how many BlackBerry Messenger groups you belonged to. Surprisingly, out of nearly 10,000 votes, the vast majority of our readers don't use BBM groups at all. And that really is a shame.

You already know that BBM is a great communications tool, but did you know it could be more? BBM groups extends that simplicity of communication to an entire group of people. Instantly share photos, chats, and project lists with up to 30 participants.

We'll show you three real-world examples of how I use BBM groups; and then how to use them for yourself.

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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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