BlackBerry News and Reviews

Setting up Facebook for BlackBerry

Do you have the need to poke your friends? Feel like sharing the ins and outs of your day? Want to read about your friends' farms and mafia? Then Facebook is the application for you. As one of the most popular social networking sites today, and a BlackBerry Super App, Facebook is compatible with BlackBerry devices running OS4.5+. Setting up the application is quick and painless and you can create an account in a matter of minutes.

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Cyborg theme updated with support for non-touchscreen devices - 50 copies to be won!

Cyborg is a very nice theme from Cocky Culture that was recently updated to support non-touchscreen devices. The theme features custom icons, homescreen layout, and really brings a unique look to your BlackBerry smartphone. My favorite customization in the theme is the actual cyborg head. The mouth moves as you scan through your icons, and the eyes dim and fade as your battery drains. Overall its a really cool, completely custom theme that is sure to make your BlackBerry stand out.

You can pick up Cyborg on sale at the CrackBerry App Store for $1.99. It is available for the 8500, 8900, 9100, 9300, 9500, 9600 and 9700 series devices.

Contest: We have 50 copies of Cyborg 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 Cyborg

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VLC Remote Control for BlackBerry

Control your VLC media player over wifi using your BlackBerry

VLCRemoteControl rates quite high on the Geek Coolness scale. The application lets you control VLC media player wirelessly over your home network.  VLC Media Player is a separate program that runs on your computer. It is designed to play any type of audio or video that you throw at it. VLC has the ability to accept commands over the internet; VLCRemoteControl uses that ability to great coolness.

I imagine this app would be perfect for folks who don't sit in front of their computers. This is not as odd a circumstance as you might think. Many people - including myself - use a computer to watch videos on their TV's and listen to music through their entertainment system. VLCRemoteControl allows me to control any computer in my house running VLC media player.

The trouble is, it doesn't work all of the time.

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A look back at things we were told the BlackBerry "will never have"

I have fond memories of all the BlackBerry devices I've used over the years.  Back in the summer of 1998 my first RIM device was called the 'interactive messenger' -- it was similar to the BlackBerry device but had a couple of interesting features that were quite popular; "text-to-voice" and "text-to-fax" allowing you to compose a message and have it delivered by fax or by Stephen Hawking via phone.

As with any product that exists the people are never content with what they have and always want more, and I am certainly no exception.  Last week I was having drinks with a friend and was showing off my BlackBerry Torch and all it's BB6 goodness, and I started thinking about how far RIM has come in the BlackBerry world.

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BlackBerry Style 9670 now officially available from Bell Mobility

Been holding out for the other large CDMA carrier in Canada to get the BlackBerry Style? If so, you can now head on over to the Bell Mobility website and pick up the all new BlackBerry Style for only $49.95 on a new 3-year contract. of course, if you're not looking to lock yourself in like that you can opt for the 2-year at 349.95 or 1-year at $374.95. And finally, you avoid that whole contract mess by ouright purchasing the device for #399.95. Don't forget, we gave the BlackBerry Style a pretty good run through in an earlier review so be sure to have a look at that before hitting up the Bell site. 

Click Here To View The BlackBerry Style 9670 On The Bell Mobility Website

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Review: Alarm Clock

When one alarm isn't enough... Alarm Clock!

I admit it; I don't like to get up in the morning. I once accused a friend of lying about the existence of 5:00 a.m. I have even been known to set upwards of four alarms to make sure I get up on time. The alarm on my BlackBerry works just fine, but I need more. I need multiple alarms to wake me up.

Alarm Clock fulfills that need and so much more. An infinite number of alarms and alarm profiles allow me to completely customize when, how, and how often my alarm will sound. And gives me control over just how long that snooze will last.

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Official OS 5.0.0.807 for the BlackBerry Curve 8350i now available from Telus

If you're still rocking an 8350i you'll be happy to know that Telus has officially released OS 5.0. Not the biggest news, but if you're work-issued device is your old standby then the upgrade is ready to roll. You can grab it officially from Telus right now and keep your device running strong. As always, use caution when installing any OS. Download from the link below.

Download OS 5.0.0.807 for the BlackBerry Curve 8350i

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SmartWiFi now 50% off - 25 copies to be won

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

SmartWiFi is a great app to save battery power on your BlackBerry. It combines your WiFi data and location (by using cell towers) to determine your WiFi hotspot locations. When you are not in these locations, SmartWiFi will turn your devices WiFi off. This saves a tremendous amount of battery, that would normally be spent searching for a WiFi signal.

If you use your devices WiFi frequently, SmartWiFi is a must, especially if you find your devices battery not making it through the day. It is now on sale for $4.99 (normally $9.99) at the CrackBerry App Store. It is compatible for all devices running OS 4.6 and up.

Contest: We have 25 copies of SmartWiFi 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 SmartWiFi

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RIM renames WES as BlackBerry World conference

We kind of saw this one coming, and in an official announcement today RIM has rebranded the Wireless Enterprise Symposium (WES) to BlackBerry World. A very fitting title given the history of the conference. It is definitely worldwide and the past few years we've seen our fair share of device announcements (maybe a Storm3 this year?!) and more. The conference will still hold the same breakout sessions, hands-on labs and certifications as in the past, while incorporating more from other areas of the BlackBerry platform as well. Attendees of BlackBerry World will be able to:

  • Hear the most current information about the BlackBerry solution, new application partners, and roadmaps for the future
  • See live demonstrations of the BlackBerry solution at work
  • Get answers from BlackBerry experts to develop value-driven wireless solutions, as well as carriers and vendors who can help provide valuable wireless research information
  • Meet and connect with key executives who are making the BlackBerry solution part of their business planning, and the industry leaders who are shaping the future of global wireless technology
  • Get training on the BlackBerry platform, with additional opportunities for technical certification
The flagship BlackBerry conference will be entering its tenth year and will be held from May 3-5 2011 in Orlando FL. Registration opens in January. For more check out blackberryworld.com.

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How do you use your BlackBerry: Do you use Views in BlackBerry 6?

Torch Users: Do you use views in BlackBerry 6online survey Do you use views in BlackBerry 6survey software

It's been a much debated topic at CrackBerry HQ and beyond. Some users find the new views in BlackBerry 6 to be extremely useful, while some find them to be extremely pointless. Depending on your device (touchscreen or not) and how you use it, you may find that they are more a hinderence than help. On my Torch I tried to use them (and like them) but it was a no go. Now that I'm on my Bold 9780 I find them even less usefully and fairly annoying. As Kevin said in his Bold 9780 review, a big issue is that you actually scroll across views when you don't want to which just kind of sucks in general.

So our question today CrackBerry Nation is this -- do you use views on your BlackBerry 6 device? We want to see first off how many of you actually use the views, and second what the difference is between touchscreen and non-touchscreen devices. Cast your vote in one of the polls above and leave a comment letting us know why or why not and what device you are using. Make sure you vote in the correct poll - there is one for Torch users and one for non-Torch users. Lets hear it!

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Now Available Exclusively from Smartphone Experts: Unique Autosports and Killer Paint Cases for BlackBerry!

Following up on the exciting news this week that free shipping is now available on orders of $50 or more from ShopCrackBerry.com (within continental US), our e-commerce team is excited to announce a new exclusive to our Smarpthone Experts stores. Now available from ShopCrackBerry.com are a variety of high-quality leather cases for BlackBerry Smartphones that feature designs by Mike Lavallee (Killer Paint) and Will Castro (Unique Autosports). Anybody into cars is going to know both of these names and companies very well.

The unique designs are not simply painted on leather as is common in the industry, but are applied using an innovative, patented process developed by Keru which uses a microscopic polymer to bind the ink to the leather. Think of it as tattooed leather - the designs are extremely durable, hold their color, and won't scratch or peel off. Perfect for a BlackBerry case. You can follow the links below to see the full collections which are available for a number of devices in both side pouch and top pouch styles. 

View All Unique Autosports Cases for BlackBerry
View All Killer Paint Hell Bent Cases for BlackBerry

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Mobile check capture for BlackBerry coming soon to a bank near you

BankServ anounced today that it's mobile capture service for checks now supports the BlackBerry platform. The service has been available to iPhone users for a few months now and finally has made its way to BlackBerry. The service lets you snap a picture of a check using the camera on your device and submit it electronically to your bank.

"After the iPhone version of Mobile Check Capture got such a warm reception, expanding to other mobile OS platforms was a natural next step. There are several other mobile operating systems with established user bases in the millions," said BankServ vice president Danne Buchanan, who heads the company's Payment Solutions division. "BlackBerry's focus on the business client base makes it a particularly attractive fit for our check capture app -- and we anticipate that the demand for mobile banking technology is something that is going to exist across all mobile operating systems." 

Now that the service is available it will be up to your bank or financial institution to implement it. As of now it doesn't look like any banks support the app via BlackBerry, but hopefully it won't be long before they start jumping in. Head to bankserv.com for more info.

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ShowMe! Fotos by WiMEM Inc - One-step photo sharing solution

ShowMe! Fotos by WiMEME is a handy uploader app that quickly sends photos to multiple photo sharing sites at the same time (including Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, etc) with a touch of a button. Instantly share photos with friends, family, and followers anytime, anywhere without the hassle of using different applications by storing each site's mobile upload email address. Have fun by adding different colored frames or by including a caption all from the main screen. Simply add or take a new photo, make your changes, and hit send to upload via your BlackBerry email account.

Features:

  • One Step Photo Upload and Sharing with Friends.
  • Automatic distribution to Facebook, Flickr, Ning, Twitpic, Evernote and other photo sharing sites.
  • Capture the moment and communicate with easy photo captioning. Add a subject and description to your photo and send.
  • Stylish Commemorative Framing. Select from a number of styles and color options.
  • Store and forward technology using BlackBerry® eMail. Internet/browser access not required. If you are out of a reception area, queue up your photos and they will upload when you are back in range. If you device supports it, works with WiFi too!
  • BlackBerry® contact list integration.
  • Browse and use past photos.

ShowMe! is available for free at the CrackBerry app store and is compatible with non touch devices running OS 4.6+.

More information/download of ShowMe! Fotos

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Dear RIM Santa: All I want for Christmas is better calendar sync

To begin, I love my BlackBerry and yes I would consider myself a fanboy of sorts.  The BlackBerry was my first connected to the web device going back to my beloved 950 and it's AA-battery.  Unlike some device fanboys, I'm secure enough to point out when I believe there is a shortcoming in the feature list. 

We're always reading about people's wish lists for the BlackBerry. Some want cooler apps like Angry Birds and others hope for a cross platform BBM client. I'm not going to lie Angry Birds is near the top of my list and if it isn't on the PlayBook I'm calling it DOA; but for my money there is a bigger and more important on my wish list for Santa Claus this year.

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Copy2Contact for BlackBerry now available for OS 6

Ever since I moved to the Torch I've had a heck of a time getting my Copy2Contact registered.  For some reason the program was just not cooperating for me and once the trial expired the program has been dead in the water.  I've been in contact with their tech support several times with no good results.  This morning I received an email from their support with good news.

You're receiving this message because you recently wrote us about problems unlocking Copy2Contact on your BlackBerry device. We've traced the issue to a bug in OS 6 and have confirmed a solution to the problem. It was frustrating but we're relieved to finally know what's going on! You can read about it on our blog post. Please let us know if you have any questions.

I followed the steps in the blog post and once again my Copy2Contact is now working. What is Copy2Contact you may ask?

Simply, it allows you to take any contact related information from say an email, copy it to the clipboard and create an address book entry immediately.  Unlike Xobni which continuously updates the Xobni address book with data captured from incoming and outgoing emails; Copy2Contact allows you to create a new contact in the native BlackBerry address book which you may have synchronizing with Outlook or Gmail.

As a busy person on-the-go I don't have time to manually enter peoples data into an address book entry so Copy2Contact has been a staple application from several years, and I was feeling a quite lost without it.  The email from their support department put a great big smile on my face.  I recommend you try this app if you have not ever used it.  It's available in the CrackBerry App Store for $9.99, if you value your time with any dollar value than $9.99 is worth every dollar.

For more information on Copy2Contact from the CrackBerry App Store

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BGR goes hands on with the BlackBerry PlayBook

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

In addition to our BlackBerry PlayBook video from earlier today, BGR got to check it out as well and delved a bit more into some unanswered questions. Here we get a near ten-minute look at the PlayBook in action and I have to say it keeps getting sweeter. Everything as of now looks so smooth and we can only hope it will be even better come launch. Some highlights include:

  • The entire bezel is used for navigating. Swipe the sides to get around system-wide. The top is available for specific actions within applications
  • Media playback is amazing. Start music in the media app (or Pandora/Slacker?) and drop it to the background as it continues to play. Same goes for videos as they will continue to play in the background when minimized
  • There are "views" much like BlackBerry 6 for navigating that can be swiped through
  • Swipe to move between views and apps, flick up to exit an app
  • Looks like you can open the keyboard by swiping up from the bottom left on the bezel

Overall some very cool stuff in what is probably the best look we've had at the device so far. No look at the web browser yet, but surely much more to come on this so don't go too far. We'll have plenty more in the coming weeks!

Source: BGR

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CrackBerry Holiday Gift Guide - Stocking Stuffers

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse; The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that St Nicholas would appear -- with BlackBerry Stocking stuffers!

With the holiday’s fast approaching you’re more then likely planning on buying some cool smart phone gifts to get your special someone. The CrackBerry.com Accessory Store has got you covered this holiday season!!! Remember if you’re on a tight budget this year (I am!) We got some great stocking stuffers to please every smart phone loving soul.

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Review: GPS Ski Maps for BlackBerry

SNOW! You love to play in it and you hate to shovel it. In the lower mainland of BC, we don’t (typically) get as much snow as I did when I lived in Northeastern Ontario, but there are some pretty amazing locations in BC where you can enjoy many winter activities – both outdoor and indoor (by the fire...wink wink, nudge nudge). BC is known for its many, beautiful ski resorts. Ok, before you think that I’m actually working in Travel and Tourism, let me get to the point. When looking for a place to travel to, you would probably want to check out maps and any kid of information you can see about the tracks or even the resort itself.

With this in mind, an application that you should check out is GPS Ski Maps, formerly BerrySki. GPS Ski Maps provides in-depth information on hundreds of resorts from across Canada, the USA and Europe. You can also record and view your runs for future analysis; whether you want a trip, season or lifelong summary of your skiing or snowboarding history. Let’s take a look at what GPS Ski Maps has to offer.

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Use BlackBerry App World as a QR code scanner

 

Many people want a barcode scanning app that can read codes in the wide world and report on the best deals around.  But some just want to read QR codes.  Quick Response codes are the black and white, checkered squares you see in the CrackBerry app store and at the BlackBerry App World website.  While there are many options for scanning a barcode, they all require you to take a picture of it.  A process that I fail at more often than not.

The barcode scanner in the BlackBerry App World application (try saying that three times fast!) is different.  Rather than taking pictures, App World processes the live feed coming from the video camera.  Just press the menu key and select "Scan a Barcode."  Hold your smartphone up to the code and wait a few moments.  You'll soon get a message asking if you want to follow the link.  Presuming of course, the QR code is for a website.  

Using the App World scanner, you can process any QR code.  I use the scanner to get App World or CrackBerry App Store links into my phone.  It's much faster than sending an email to myself.  And with a BlackBerry smartphone, you know that's saying something. 

Thanks to sutriat for originally pointing this out to me

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Live Hands-On with the BlackBerry PlayBook!

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

As promised, we're bringing you back some footage from today's Meet the BlackBerry PlayBook developer sessions in NYC.  Here's video number one of the BlackBerry PlayBook. As we have seen in other videos, things are looking pretty smooth on the BlackBerry PlayBook. It's great to see RIM and Adobe out there working with the development community - let's hope there are a ton of apps for launch! We'll be replacing this with an HD version of the video shortly and should hopefully have another clip or two before the day is done.  Big thx to our on-site correspondent!

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