BlackBerry News and Reviews

BlackBerry App Roundup for December 31st, 2010! Win 1 of 10 copies of Holidays 2011 Edition!

Howdy and welcome to the weekly app roundup! We’ve corralled some apps we reckon you folks want to take a gander at. So how did everyone make out? Was a certain, portly gift giver good to you? Just remember that it isn’t all about presents, you greedy varmit. Today, we announce the winners of the Trillian giveaway and also give you the chance to win one of 10 copies of Holidays 2011 Edition! How’s that for timing? Have a rootin’ tootin’ weekend! And a Happy New Year! Giddy up!

Freebies of the Week: Vulkano Player, Oopost, Newegg Mobile

In Case You Missed It: autoTRADER, Ringtone Remix

New This Week: PhotoDial, Cellphone Tracker, GPS Tool Plus

Cool at BlackBerry App World: Navita Sports

Contest: Win one of 10 copies of Holidays 2011 Edition!

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BlackBerry 101 - Application permissions

Know thy permissions; Know thy BlackBerry.

 

Just about every time you install a new application on your BlackBerry, you're asked to set permissions. Long ago, Research In Motion decided that only the BlackBerry end user would be able to decide how apps would interact with the smartphone. Unlike some other device creators, there are no code signing or other workarounds to granting the permissions. Only the user or the BES administrator can choose to allow permissions.

Without certain permissions, your new app will not run on your BlackBerry. But what permissions should be granted? Should you give Trusted Application status to your newly installed program? Should I give it access to my personal data? These are important questions to ask.

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GoPlay by Hedone Design - a hot new PlayBook replica theme

Everyone is itching to get their hands on RIM's latest venture the BlackBerry PlayBook. No date has been set firmly for its release, with the expected time frame being early 2011. The closest we can come at this time to having a PlayBook is installing a PlayBook replica theme on our current BlackBerry smartphones. There have been several of these released, each one doing their best to simulate what the look and feel of the PlayBook may bring to us.

The latest of these themes is called GoPlay, brought to you by none other than Hedone Design. Known for their impeccable attention to detail, Hedone Design has done a fantastic job bringing the PlayBook UI to your BlackBerry. Your home screen gives you fast access to a total of 15 icons: five fixed icons in the top section of your screen (Messages, BBM, Browser, Pictures, Music, and Videos), five user selected icons under the Frequent tab and five under the Favorite tab. The theme runs smoothly with no lag and all graphics are crystal clear and sharp looking.

If you are one of the many many people waiting anxiously for the BlackBerry PlayBook to be release, or if you just really like the look of BB6 and want a theme to reflect that (whether you currently run BB6 on your device or not) you will definitely want to pick this theme up. It is currently on sale until the end of the year for just $3.99 and is compatible with BlackBerry 85xx, 89xx, 9000, 91xx, 95xx, 9700, and 9800. All devices must be running OS 5.0, with the exception of the Torch 9800.

For more information/screenshots and to purchase GoPlay

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imgEdit by Toysoft updated to v2.0

Back in July we let you know about a new image editing application from Toysoft Development called imgEdit. This app is handy for anyone that enjoys taking pictures with their BlackBerry, but maybe wants to do a little editing before sending it off to grandma. Well good news! ImgEdit has been updated to v2.0, and it's on sale for just $3.99 right now! The entire user interface has been given an overhaul, and in my opinion the whole app is now much easier to use and very intuitive.

From the developer:
You can use imgEdit to manipulate the image such as rotating in 90, 180 and 270 degrees, flip and mirror the image, add special effect such as GreyScale, Sepia, Negative, Emboss, Scatter and many more effects. If the image is too big to send via email you can resize the image, add custom text, import a frame image to put around the image. For advanced users you can use the RGB and HSB feature to alter the color of the image. An added bonus is the Warhol effect. Changes in the image can be saved in JPG format or email to anyone.
ImgEdit integrates with the Media, Files and Camera application. Take a picture with the camera app and edit the picture right there. ImgEdit is available for BlackBerry devices running OS 5.0 and 6.0. For more information check out the links below!

To download the free trial or purchase imgEdit
To read more about imgEdit in the CrackBerry forums

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Tronic theme from WJD Designs - 25 copies to be won!

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

Tronic is a newer theme from WJD Designs, that has recently been updated to support the Curve 8900, and Torch 9800 due to popular request. The theme is visually striking, and packed full of customization. Tronic features control of how many icons rows you have, custom battery and signal meters as well as a "mesh wallpaper" that keeps the surrounding interface when personalizing your wallpaper. The overall look of the theme is brilliant and totally custom, and for some reason reminds me of a certain movie.

Tronic is available for $2.99 at the CrackBerry App Store, and available for the Storm 95xx, 96xx, 8900, 9700, and Torch 9800.

Contest: We have 25 copies of Tronic to give away. Just leave a comment on this post to enter. Contest ends this Sunday at midnight PST. Please only leave one comment, multiple entries wont count.

More information and download of Tronic

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Review: autoTRADER for BlackBerry

One of Canada’s leading marketplace for buying and selling vehicles, autoTRADER, was made more readily available as a Blackberry application a couple of months ago. Anywhere you are, you can whip out your BlackBerry and scour through listings to find the car of your dreams; like you need an excuse to pull out your BlackBerry anyway. If you find one that sports a Mr. Fusion, a flux capacitor and has the ability to fly, I strongly suggest you pick it up right away. Read on for more.

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Last chance to get in on December's Follow CrackBerry Contest: Win a BlackBerry HS-700, Overboard headphones or USB power plug

Follow CrackBerry in December for a Chance to Win These Awesome Prizes...


BlackBerry HS-700
Micro USB Power Plug Overboard Headphones
follow on youtube to win! follow on twitter to win! follow on facebook to win!

You gotta love the Ongoing Follow CrackBerry Contest... you get a chance to win great prizes each month just for following CrackBerry on youtube, twitter and facebook!

With just a day and a few hours left before the end of 2010, you still can get in our on contest this month for some great prizes. If you aren't already, you'll want to make sure you're following us on all of YouTube, Twitter and Facebook so you get a shot of winning all three. We have some great prizes again this month so make sure you get in on the action before it's too late. We'll be announcing this months winners in just a few days, so stay tuned. Visit the follow crackberry contest page for full details.

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Tata DOCOMO introduces new plan for BlackBerry customers

Tata DOCOMO has announced a new plan for both its pre- and postpaid BlackBerry customers. The new plan, dubbed BlackBerry Unlimited, allows customers to experience their BlackBerry smartphones to the fullest without limitations, i.e. unlimited Internet browsing, unlimited e-mail, unlimited social networking and unlimited access to BlackBerry App World. And that is not all - with the new plan, Tata DOCOMO will also provide customers in select areas an additional quota of 300MB data allowance for free!

Should that not sound convincing yet, the BlackBerry Unlimited plan will cost you a mere Rs 399 (less than 9 USD) per month. Although Tata DOCOMO's selection of BlackBerry smartphones leaves a lot to be desired, the new plan is a solid, but also an affordable deal. Or at least, I believe it to be an affordable one. Say, how much do you currently pay for the luxury of having a BlackBerry smartphone every month? Please leave a comment, I am eager to see the numbers!

Source: bbin.in

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RIM Official Statement Regarding Rumors of Poor Battery Life on the BlackBerry PlayBook

Wow. RIM has wasted no time in squashing the rumor that popped up the other day about rumored poor battery performance on the upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook. So says RIM:

"Any testing or observation of battery life to date by anyone outside of RIM would have been performed using pre-beta units that were built without power management implemented. RIM is on track with its schedule to optimize the BlackBerry PlayBook's battery life and looks forward to providing customers with a professional grade tablet that offers superior performance with comparable battery life." 

The original story/rumor traces back to Kaufman Brothers analyst Shawn Wu who claimed the battery life wasn't yet up to par with the Samsung Galaxy Tab or Apple iPad, which could see the launch of the PlayBook delayed until May. Looks like this isn't the case (I actually held off on blogging that original story as I didn't think it was an accurate statement and to be honest have way more faith in my sources than Wu's). Awesome to see RIM put this out there just like that. They obviously have a lot riding on the PlayBook and new QNX-based BlackBerry Tablet OS. So far everything about both the hardware and software has been really positive, so I'm glad they killed this negativity immediately.  

PlayBook Release Date Update: As for the release date of the BlackBerry PlayBook, which is the big question on everyone's mind right now, hopefully we'll learn more next week at CES in Las Vegas. CES is the biggest electronics show of the year, and CrackBerry will be there reporting back the news. We've already seen the PlayBook show up at Developer sessions, so we're hoping to see it next week in Vegas for ourselves finally. RIM promised first calendar quarter delivery, which gives them until the end of March to deliver it without being late. Personally, I'm *hoping* RIM will kick off the marketing efforts for the BlackBerry PlayBook with a half-time commercial at the Super Bowl.  Think about it... Black Eyed Peas are the half-time act (RIM loves the BEP), and football is all about having a playbook. It would be the perfect place to start advertising. The Super Bowl this year is February 6th, which is coming up fast. If I'm right on this theory, RIM would have to start actually selling the device not too long after the advertising starts. Worst case, by end of March, but hopefully sooner. All I know is that if April 1st hits and I don't own my own PlayBook, I'm gonna be pi$$ed!

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Telus confirms BlackBerry 6 coming to the BlackBerry Curve 3G in January

When it comes to openly discussing device updates often times carriers tend to be rather slim on details. Not Telus though. Least not in this case. Telus Twitter support as you can see above has confirmed the BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300 will see a BlackBerry 6 update although, the BlackBerry Bold 9700 remains a mystery. Good fur Curve 3G owners. Not so good for BlackBerry Bold 9700 owners. Of course, you could always just load a leak for either device if you're impatient.

Source: Twitter

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Customize your BlackBerry's homescreen with Fancy Widgets - On sale through December 31st

Fancy Widgets is a cool little app that brings the widgets of other platforms to your BlackBerry device. It features an automatic wallpaper switcher, integration with BerryWeather and the BlackBerry Calendar, and many other nice visual tweaks. The BerryWeather integration (as pictured above) alone makes it a must have, in my opinion. Fancy Widgets really does add some nice customization to your device, and I have yet to see another app like it for BlackBerry.

You can pick up Fancy widgets on sale for $2.99 (40% off) at the CrackBerry App Store, until December 31st. It is compatible with device running OS 5 and up.

More information and download of Fancy Widgets

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The coolest gift I received for Christmas this year - BlackBerry Monopoly!

It's not easy to do Christmas shopping for the BlackBerry geek who already owns every BlackBerry (and accessory and app) and electronic gadget he wants. I'm not sure how she did it (she wouldn't tell me, but I'm assuming she found this on ebay), but Miss CrackBerry came through big time this year with a BlackBerry gift I had no idea even existed - BlackBerry Monopoly!

When I talk about BlackBerry games, I normally mean it in the form of an app you install on your device, but that's not what you're looking at here. This is straight up Monopoly the board game, done BlackBerry style! There are BlackBerry phones for tokens (gotta love that BlackBerry 7210!), all sorts of different BlackBerry markets for properties, and the Innovation and Connectivity cards are just brilliant (WES fees due - pay $50!). Based on what some of the cards say, I'm guessing this was more of a RIM employee/partner corporate gift than ever meant to be seen by consumers, but damn, I think they should release this one for real! There are lots more photos below, so check them out.  

So that's the coolest gadget-related gift I got for Christmas this year.  What was yours? Sound off in the comments!

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Ever wonder what is inside the insides of your BlackBerry?

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

Tear down videos are nothing new for smartphones - we've seen most of the newer BlackBerry device models get ripped apart to their bits, but have you wondered what actually is inside those bits? The folks at Kidela.com, a communications company with connections to rare earth miner Stans Energy Corp., produced the above video which gets into some of those details. Check out the video above! In the video they focus on rare earth elements (see wikipedia page) which are the metals actually used in specific components within a BlackBerry. It's pretty science geeky, but also pretty cool to know that it's Europium that makes the color red in the LCD screen (Terbium makes green and is responsible for the backlighting in the phone) or that Yttrium is used in the camera. So the next time your teacher yells at you for snapping photos of your friend on your BlackBerry in chemistry class, just let the teacher know you're doing an experiment with rare earth elements. ;)

Source: Kidela.com

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How do you use your BlackBerry - What are your brightness settings?

What is your backlight timeout?customer surveys   What is your screen brightness?online survey  

Checking through the forums today I came across this thread about screen brightness. It gave me the idea to toss up a two-part poll here to get some better numbers. Mixed in with the tons of settings on your device, the brightness level is one that many users tweak right off the bat. There are various settings, and when bundled with the backlight timeout it gives users variable control over the display. Changing these up can help out a great deal with battery life as well. So weigh in on this one and lets see what the majority says. What do you have your backlight brightness and backlight timeout set to? Cast your vote in both polls above and let us know!

Discuss more in the forums

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HTC Incredible by EThemes now available for Storm and Torch! 75 free copies up for grabs!

One of the top selling themes in the CrackBerry store is called HTC Incredible by popular designer EThemes. It's no wonder people love this theme. It looks..well, incredible, and has a ton of great features. This HTC clone theme is sure to please anyone that likes the look of the Android UI, but loves their BlackBerry too much to switch devices.

From a previous review by Mike:

A stunning theme, every element of it has been skinned or created custom to give an authentic look and feel to it. The homescreen banner includes the trademark huge clock, as well as a weather slot, and the icon set matches perfectly. The bottom bar launches Contacts and Compose, and the homescreen allows for 6 user-defined icons. Two menus are integrated into the homescreen, one providing access to utility functions such as the Clock, Manage Connections, etc, and the other accessing the hidden Today screens. Hotkeys add another touch of function, making this a highly useful theme, while maintaining a high level of visual appeal.

Ely wrote in to let me know that HTC Incredible was recently updated to be compatible with the BlackBerry Storm and Torch! The theme is on sale now for just $.99 and is compatible with the BlackBerry 89xx/96xx/9700, 95xx, and 9800. To celebrate these additions, and to help ring in your new year with style, EThemes has offered up 75 copies of HTC Incredible to give away!

Contest: To enter to win your free copy of HTC Incredible by EThemes, just leave a comment below. One entry per person please. Winners are drawn this Sunday at Midnight PST. Good luck!

For more information on the changes and to purchase htc Incredible in the CrackBerry store

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BlackBerry theme roundup for Dec 28, 2010 - 50 copies of Core by jmerhi up for grabs!

Well Christmas has come and gone and the new year is literally just days away. In 2010 the CrackBerry theme roundup brought you over 250 themes, and we intend to keep it up in 2011! We can't do it without you guys though, so keep sending in tips for themes you would like to see showcased. Developers, keep developing! Hopefully the new year will see some exciting releases from RIM, and with those releases, themes for devices that as of yet have none. I know my fingers are crossed! Have a safe and happy New Year's everyone!

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Contest: 10 copies of SOTI Pocket Controller-Pro for BlackBerry up for grabs

Pocket Controller-Pro is a device application and desktop software that together provide increased productivity for business professionals and consumers alike in their everyday tasks. It allows you to use your keyboard, mouse, and monitor to control your BlackBerry with its easy to use interface through Wi-Fi or USB. Crammed with not one, but ten features, it will give your overworked thumbs a rest:

  • Real-Time Remote Control (e.g. BBM from your Desktop)
  • Presentation Tools
  • Training Tools
  • File Synchronization
  • Service Book Support
  • Explore Tool
  • Task List
  • System Information
  • Screen/Video Capture
  • Printing

Pocket Controller-Pro is available at the CrackBerry app store for $35.99 and comes with a 4-day free trial. The device application is compatible with all devices running OS 4.6 and higher while the desktop software is compatible with all PC's running Windows 2000 - Windows 7.

Contest: The good folks at SOTI Inc. are offering us ten registration codes for the desktop software to give away to the CrackBerry readers. To enter simply leave a single comment on this post. Contest ends this Sunday at midnight PST. Please remember that multiple entries will not be counted. Good luck!

More information/download SOTI Pocket Controller-Pro for BlackBerry OS 4.6 and 4.7
More information/download SOTI Pocket Controller-Pro for BlackBerry OS 5.0 and above

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Body Glove Snap-On Case for BlackBerry Torch 9800

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

In my pursuit of the best BlackBerry Torch case I came across the Body Glove Snap-On Case for BlackBerry Torch 9800. The case works the same as most of the other snap-on cases we have seen, but has a different feel to it as well as a cool "kickstand". The case fits on snug and is easy to grip, and you can choose to use it either with or without the included kickstand/belt clip. This one gets a good rating due to the fact that it is multi purporse and can be used in a few different ways. I did struggle a bit with the stand at times (if you don't get it to go the right way the device just falls over -- as you can see in the video I struggled with it quite a bit at first) but once you get the hang of it you'll be fine. If you don't need the clip, just pop it off and you're left with a flat back on the case. Overall a good buy if you're a Torch user especially if you watch many videos and need a good home for your device. Available at ShopCrackBerry.com for $24.95. Check out the video above and keep reading for more images.

 This Case
 More BlackBerry Torch Cases
   

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FontCollection v1.6 by Almoko - Customize your BlackBerry with different fonts!

Almoko has released a new app called FontCollection for your BlackBerry. Personally I was super excited when I saw this in the CrackBerry store, because I love fonts and the chance to add some cool new ones to my BlackBerry was intriguing. Usually you are stuck with the stock fonts on your device, or if you change themes, the font that the theme developer used. With FontCollection you can browse through more than 60 fonts, right on your BlackBerry! You install the fonts you want, and then access them through your Options menu. FontCollection is available for just $.99 in the CrackBerry store and is compatible with devices running OS 5.0 and BB6.

Important notes:

  • All fonts in the FontCollection are free for commercial usage.
  • English fonts only are supported at this moment.
  • BlackBerry OS 5.0+ supported.
  • Small footprint
To purchase FontCollection in the CrackBerry store
To read more about the app in the forums

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TimmyMe Tim Hortons location finder now available for BlackBerry Bold 9780; still waiting on Torch support

BlackBerry Bold 9780 owners who are fans of Tim Hortons (or Timmy Ho's as I like to call it) will be happy to hear the the TimmyMe app is now available from App World for the 9780. Unfortunately, Torch owners are still waiting for support on this one (it seems in installing the TimmyMe .jad on the Torch that the app works fine in landscape, but things get cut-off in portrait mode). If you're not familiar with TimmyMe, it takes advantage of your BB's GPS to offer up these features:

  • Automatically detects your current location and provides nearby restaurant information and addresses
  • Can provide a map to your selected location
  • Contains the most current Restaurant information
  • Finds stores with a drive-thru
  • Provides a notepad to save your friends orders 

Most Tim Hortons addicts know every location within 25 miles of home/work, but if you're traveling it's definitely a handy app to have if you can't get through the morning without your Double Double. You can visit TimmyMe.com for more info, and grab the app from App World at the link below. And hopefully Torch support is will be available soon.

Download TimmyMe for BlackBerry from App World

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