BlackBerry News and Reviews

More BlackBerry PlayBook questions answered - multitasking, moving homescreen icons, menu options, etc.

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

We're making a list of all of the BlackBerry PlayBook questions you have and will work today on getting them answered, but in the meantime we recorded this little follow-up vid yesterday taking another look at some of the features and UI elements on the BlackBerry PlayBook.

Multitasking - RIM is really pushing true multitasking as one of the features that sets the PlayBook apart as a professional tablet. In a lot of the video demos you see a movie still running as you jump into another app. In the video above we see the PlayBook definitely has the horsepower to handle a bunch of open apps.

A BlackBerry experience with no Menu Key - BlackBerry Smartphone users live and die by the BlackBerry button, or menu key (the one to the left of the trackball/trackpad). That's where all of your menu options are that allow you do things beyond what you can see on the display. In the video above, we take a look how the new OS handles this. Suffice to say, it's a pure touchscreen experience. Option elements are either presented via a button, such as the edit pencil on the homescreen for when you want to re-arrange homescreen icons, or are swiped in, such as when you're in the web browser and want to jump between open tabs. It's definitely a different sort of BlackBerry experience.

Keep those questions coming in the comments... and we'll keep coming back with more answers!

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Bring in the New Year with a buy 1 get 1 deal from SmrtCase

We're a week into 2011 and things are starting to settle down again. The holidays are over and we're mostly back to the grind. If you're finding out that BlackBerry case you got for Christmas isn't cutting it (or you just flat out need a new case) look no further than SmrtCase. These guys come in two different styles -- the SmrtCase Glide and SmrtCase SmrtWallet. Both double as a "BlackBerry wallet" and let you carry your ID, credit cards and more right on your device. The Glide is a hard shell that clips on your device, while the SmrtWallet is a leather wallet that you slide your device into.  Both very cool options if you're looking to slim down what you carry when you venture out of the house.

To take advantage of the buy 1 get 1 deal, just head to SmrtCase and pick your two items. Then use the code YEARDEAL at checkout to receive the discount. Thats it! Get going!!

Check out the Glide and SmrtWallet from SmrtCase 

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CES 2011 Super SPE Podcast!

For BlackBerry fans, CES 2011 is ALL about the BlackBerry PlayBook and we're bringing you that content as best as we can (still lots more to come). But if you're curious about what's happening outside of BlackBerry, you'll want to listen to our Smartphone Experts Super Podcast where we talk about all the mobile news coming out of the show.

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Review: Quit Smoking Tracker for BlackBerry by Vimukti Technologies

 

Happy New Year folks. Hope you all enjoyed the parties, the drinking, and of course, watching the ball drop in Times Square. Now that you've all recovered, it's that time of year where we make a list of resolutions of what we plan to accomplish or what nasty habit we want to break. While we all have the best intentions, it can be difficult to keep some of those resolutions. For example, my co-worker has been trying to quit smoking for the past four years. He gets to the three month mark and lo and behold he's back full time. So what better way to make that stop smoking resolution stick than by downloading Quit Smoking Tracker? It's an application that's sure to keep you in line the whole year long.

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Video Demo: Pairing your BlackBerry Smartphone with BlackBerry PlayBook via BlackBerry Bridge

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

Following up on our BlackBerry PlayBook Review yesterday, today we were finally able to see the paired BlackBerry Smartphone/PlayBook experience, which allows you to use your PlayBook as a big screen for your BlackBerry phone. The BlackBerry bridge is carried out via bluetooth, and the means for pairing is really simple. You'll download a BlackBerry Bridge app onto your phone from App World. On your tablet, you'll tap the options icon on the top right corner of the PlayBook (the gear) and from there will be an option to display a barcode. You'll scan the barcode of your PlayBook with your BlackBerry and that will pair the two devices. From there, you can run BlackBerry Messenger, your calendar, emails (and maybe more??) from your PlayBook. Check out the video above to see it in action! (note, we do the BBM pairing at the very end).

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A Quick Video Tour of the BlackBerry Booth at CES 2011

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

CES2011 is a big show for RIM this year, with the BlackBerry PlayBook being their point of focus. For all those who wish they could be there but can't, I figured you'd like to see a quick first person tour of the BlackBerry booth. It's a bit ADD, but you'll get the jist of it. Enjoy!

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First Look: BlackBerry PlayBook Cases

BlackBerry PlayBook Cases are now avabile at ShopCrackBerry.com!

You knew this was coming - there's always a part of me that gets excited when I see cases for new devices (or even new cases for old devices). Along with all of the insane BlackBerry PlayBook goodies being shown off here at CES 2011, BlackBerry has a huge line of cases ready to roll with the PlayBook. There are loads of styles including the BlackBerry Neoprene Sleeve, BlackBerry BookBinder, BlackBerry Zip Sleeve, BlackBerry Envelope case and BlackBerry Hard Shell case. Overall great to see such a variety will be made available at launch so there will be plenty to choose from. Keep reading for more images. 

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First Look: BlackBerry PlayBook Charging Pod

Aside from the BlackBerry PlayBook itself, the thing I was most excited to see (thus far) is definitely the BlackBerry PlayBook Charging Pod. We didn't get the greatest look at it since it's behind RIM's "don't touch me" glass, but seeing it up close is good enough for me. There isn't a lot to it obviously, but it still looks pretty sweet. It holds the PlayBook on a slight angle so it makes for a great "nightstand" device or for watching movies while in the charger. Very cool stuff. No word on pricing yet but we're pretty sure it will be available at launch of the PlayBook, which means you'll definitely be able to pick it up at ShopCrackBerry.com.

Buy the BlackBerry PlayBook Charging Pod Now at ShopCrackBerry.com

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More BlackBerry PlayBook promo videos from RIM!

Following up on Kevin's post from earlier, here are two more BlackBerry PlayBook videos from RIM: Your Portable Life and Striking Power. I really like the one with the cowboys. ;) All this advertising lately is very encouraging to those of us waiting anxiously for any indication of just when the PlayBook will be released. Check out the videos after the break and make sure to stay close for more coverage from CES 2011!

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Step it Up: New BlackBerry PlayBook Promo Video from RIM!

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

A new BlackBerry PlayBook promo video has popped up on the BlackBerry youtube channel. You can check it out above. CES 2011 is definitely ALL ABOUT the BlackBerry PlayBook for RIM, and the PlayBook's multitasking capabilities is one of the traits of the device RIM is really pushing (it fits with the "professional grade tablet" branding). Lots more PlayBook content is on the way, so stay tuned for that. We'll do our best to track down some phone info as well, but in the meantime it's all about the BlackBerry PlayBook. Enjoy the video!

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BlackBerry App World 2.1 beta now available in the BlackBerry Beta Zone

We've been expecting a new BlackBerry App World to be released sometime soon and now it finally has been made available. BlackBerry App World 2.1 beta is now in the BlackBerry Beta Zone. Although it may not be available to all users as of yet. The list of what's new is rather interesting as Research In Motion seems to be covering a lot of the usability features of BlackBerry App World:

  • In-app Payments - App World 2.1 includes support for in-app payments.  How does this change the way you interact with certain paid applications as a developer or as a consumer? 
  • Filtered Featured Items - Once you open this latest version of App World, you'll notice that Featured Items are seemingly more relevant to you.  Well, we decided to change this functionality based on the feedback we received from you during the App World 2.0 Beta Program.  Featured Items are now filtered by carrier and country to ensure that you are presented with the most relevant apps as soon as you open App World. 
  • Extended BBID Login Session - We heard what you had to say during the App World 2.0 Beta Program last summer and decided to make some changes to the BBID functionality in App World.  With this latest release, a single BBID login session lasts for 20 minutes, making it easier for you to download and install as many apps as you'd like in one go.  Please remember that during the 20 minute BBID login session,  you will not be prompted again for your BlackBerry ID to complete a purchase.  If your BlackBerry smartphone gets in the hands of someone else, they could make a purchase that you’re not aware of.

If you have a BlackBerry Beta Zone account you'll want to login and try the new version out. If you don't have an account you can try your luck and sign up for one today. Thanks Dave!

Click here to signup for the BlackBerry Beta Zone

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Official OS 6.0.0.380 for the BlackBerry Bold 9700 now available from Vodafone Essar Limited

In the words of Navin R. Johnson: "The new phonebook's here! The new phonebook's here"! Finally the wait is over and we have an official carrier release of OS 6.0 for the BlackBerry Bold 9700. This one comes to us as 6.0.0.380 from Vodafone Essar Limited. This is the first of what wil hopefully be many official carrier releases, so if you're a 9700 user get on it. Hopefully it runs smooth and isn't buggy, so drop a comment in the forums with your findings. Hit the link below to download.

Download OS 6.0.0.380 for the BlackBerry Bold 9700
Discuss more in the forums 

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Press Release: BlackBerry 4G PlayBook Coming to the Sprint 4G Network this summer!

It's looking like CES 2011 is definitely all about the BlackBerry PlayBook. Following up on our BlackBerry PlayBook review coverage, Sprint and RIM have officially announced that the BlackBerry 4G PlayBook will be available from Sprint this summer. I'm sure a lot of BlackBerry fans on Sprint will be excited for this one. The press release is below for full details.

Press Release

BlackBerry 4G PlayBook Coming to the Sprint 4G Network 

New 4G Tablet to Deliver Unmatched Power and Web Performance - Available Exclusively from Sprint this Summer

January 6, 2011 - CES 2011, Las Vegas, NV - Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ: RIMM; TSX: RIM) and Sprint (NYSE: S) today announced plans to launch a new BlackBerry PlayBook tablet model featuring connectivity to the blazingly fast Sprint 4G network. The BlackBerry 4G PlayBook will be the first BlackBerry PlayBook model to include wide area wireless connectivity, featuring Sprint 4G to give customers download speeds up to 10 times faster than 3G1. This new 4G model is expected to be available from Sprint in the summer.

The BlackBerry 4G PlayBook is a professional-grade tablet that's set to redefine the possibilities of mobile computing, giving users an ultra-portable design with industry leading performance, uncompromised web browsing, true multitasking and HD multimedia, as well as advanced security features and out-of-the-box enterprise support. Together, the BlackBerry 4G PlayBook and the Sprint 4G network will provide a high performance platform that will enable a mobile services revolution for both application developers and customers.

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BlackBerry PlayBook Review

** Check Out CrackBerry's Updated Official BlackBerry PlayBook Review **

A Hands-On Pre-Release Review of the BlackBerry PlayBook

I've FINALLY gone hands-on with the BlackBerry PlayBook and thus it's time for me to report back with my initial review and impressions of Research In Motion's first tablet device featuring the all-new QNX-based BlackBerry Tablet OS. The time I had to prep this post to go live for the embargo was tight and we'll have even more opportunities throughout CES to play with the PlayBook, so I'm going to keep this initial review as concise as possible and we'll likely add to it over the days ahead. Oh, and as for those questions of pricing and release date, those are still TBA, though RIM is still sticking to their Q1 release which means you'll be able to buy a PlayBook before the end of March.

This isn't just another new BlackBerry we're talking about here... the PlayBook is ALL new for RIM. Suffice to say, the way too long review will be coming once we log some real hours on it. But in the meantime, we still have a lot to say (hint: it's pretty awesome!!), so start reading!

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Official CrackBerry Walk Through of the BlackBerry PlayBook!

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

Research In Motion has officially lifted the consumer curtain off of the BlackBerry PlayBook. BlackBerry PlayBook tablets will be on hand at the CES RIM booth for attendees to play with this week, but we were able to get our hands on it a day early. Prior to me holding the PlayBook for the first time, we first had Ryan Bidan, Sr. Product Manager for the BlackBerry PlayBook team at RIM walk us through the device and the BlackBerry Tablet OS experience. Be sure to check out the video above for all the details and action, and from there you'll definitely want to check out our more in-depth BlackBerry PlayBook Review

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Gadget Porn: CrackBerry Kevin holds the BlackBerry PlayBook for the First Time - It is Love at First Touch!

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

If you're a gadget guy (or girl!), you know there is no experience more awesome than getting to play with that latest and greatest device you have been hearing about for so long for the first time. The months of rumors and build-up lead to high expectations, and there's that excited nervousness/awkwardness as you embrace the device for the first time. There are so many things you want to do that you just don't where to begin.... but you know where I'm going here... I FINALLY popped the PlayBook's cherry berry! (vulgar, I know, but I just had to go there). 

The last time I was this nervous/anxious/excited going hands on with a new BlackBerry device for the first time was with the BlackBerry Storm (that was a big departure/risk for RIM - and we know how that one unfolded). I didn't get that encounter on video, which knowing that device's history was probably for the better, but with the PlayBook we hit the record button. Check out the video above to see me touch the PlayBook for the first time and give it a bit of a walk through. The verdict? For that you can check out our more in-depth BlackBerry PlayBook review, but I can honestly say I'm even more excited for the arrival of the PlayBook after having used it than I was before. It was love at first touch!

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BlackBerry PlayBook Photo Gallery

 

The BlackBerry PlayBook has not been camera shy since it was first announced at the BlackBerry Developer Conference back in September 2010, but at that time we had to do our CrackBerry photos and videos with the PlayBook embedded in glass. With CES 2011 now upon us, we can FINALLY get our own hands on the first tablet from Research In Motion. There are lots of photos below, so scroll down for a good look. When you're done, be sure to check out our more in-depth BlackBerry PlayBook review!

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BlackBerry PlayBook presence felt in a big way at CES 2011

Although not typically a huge event for Research In Motion, those that are on the ground in Las Vegas are sure to have felt RIM's presence there this year. With huge ads like the one in the pic above all over the place it's now wonder Research In Motions stock prices are on the rise at the moment. Folks are excited to see the BlackBerry PlayBook and although the ad assumes we want to look at the PlayBook more importantly, we want to touch and as the name implies-- play with it. At this point it's still not really know what Research In Motion has in store for CES but clearly, the BlackBerry PlayBook plays a huge role. We'll know more tomorrow when the main convention hall opens up for everyone.

Image Source

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First PlayBook application now available in BlackBerry App World!

Everyone is anxiously awaiting news on the BlackBerry PlayBook and one of the most common questions is "When is it being released?" While we still don't have a date confirmed on the actual release of the device, it looks like developers are making use of the available tools and designing applications for consumers to download once it's available.

The first application to be accepted into BlackBerry App World for the PlayBook is called Memory4Kidz. Listed as a free download this is Flashcanon's version of the classic memory game that every one knows and loves. His description: "Memory4Kidz is a simple memory game that allows children to focus on the basics of colors, numbers and shapes by choosing the appropriate game type. Parents can also sit with their kids and help them learn along the way."

Jason Fincanon saw that RIM was offering a free BlackBerry PlayBook to developers that came up with an application and had it published in BlackBerry App World before the PlayBook release, and decided to jump on it. While visually the game could use a little polishing, I think it's awesome that Jason was able to develop a game and have it accepted so quickly. His efforts show what a little determination and a great incentive program can do.

You can check out Memory4Kidz at the link below. It is currently showing as a free download, compatible with only the PlayBook. No word on whether it will be a free app once the PlayBook launches. I wonder how soon it will be before more apps start popping up in App World? With the launch slated for "early this year" it's definitely time to start seeing them. After all, what fun is a new tablet with no apps? What applications are your must haves for the PlayBook?

To check out Memory4Kidz in BlackBerry App World

Source: PlayBook Daily

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Contest: Win a great theme from BB-Freaks! 100 codes for Besty and ReVo available!

Contest: Win one of these outstanding BlackBerry themes by BB-Freaks!

BB-Freaks has come out with a couple of great new themes to share with you. Besty and ReVo are both excellent choices for your BlackBerry if you are looking for a professional theme with that special touch of something extra.

ReVo is designed for those of you who want a simple yet unique theme. The home screen brings you a tabbed layout. Hit the first tab and your wallpaper shows. The second tab is home to 8 today entries and 7 customizable icons, and the last tab is actually a short cut to lock your device! (Some devices may require a password to enable locking, depending on your OS.) Battery and signal meters are displayed digitally, and I really like the futuristic font on this one.

Besty is a theme that at first glance seems quite straightforward but upon further inspection you see there is more here than meets the eye. The bottom banner holds all the usual elements, again with digital battery and signal meters. But, what's really cool is you can change the color of the bottom dock. You have 7 colors to choose from so you are assured you will find the perfect one for you. Add to this a hidden dock with 8 today entries and 8 customizable icons and you have a theme that is sure to please. Besty also has a free trial available, which you can find at the link below!

Besty and ReVo are both available for $4.99 in the CrackBerry store and are compatible with BlackBerry 89xx/96xx/9700 on OS 4.6-5.0. ReVo is also available for the Storm series. Grab them today at the links below.

For more information/screenshots and to purchase Besty
For more information/screenshots and to purchase ReVo

Contest: BB-Freaks wants to help you guys ring in 2011 with a free theme you will return to all year long. They have given us 100 codes good for either of the themes listed above. To enter to win one of these codes, just leave a comment below. Only one entry per person please, multiples won't count. Contest ends this Sunday at Midnight PST.

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