BlackBerry News and Reviews

Pregnancy Pal for BlackBerry - Track weight, time contractions, and more

When you're pregnant, you just want everything to be as simple as possible. Pregnancy Pal from hayes.mobi is not only a useful tool to help track your pregnancy, it's also easy to use. With this app on your BlackBerry you can input your weight and it calculates your gain or loss and compiles the data in an easy to read log. If you enter your due date, Pregnancy Pal will place a countdown on your home screen in the message indicator area, as well as in the app itself. I think the coolest feature, and one I personally haven't seen before in a BlackBerry app, is the contraction timer function. It works like a stop watch in that you push start when the contraction begins and stop when it ends. Pregnancy Pal will not only time the contraction, but also the frequency and duration of each, and list all of them in a log. No more guessing at how long or far apart your contractions are. You can also customize the sort of both the contraction log and the weight tracker to suit your need.

Obviously this isn't an application for every BlackBerry owner out there. However, if you are expecting a baby, Pregnancy Pal would be very useful to have. Available for most devices, you can pick this one up for $2.99 in the CrackBerry app store.

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Research In Motion now showing off the BlackBerry Style before it hits stores

Now that the BlackBerry Style is all official, Research In Motion and Sprint have been taking the device on the road and showing it to folks even before it gets into stores. Probably something that should have been done at DevCon but, hey we're not judging here. The fine folks over at Engadget had a NYC meetup and had the chance to get a little close with the BlackBerry Style. Of course, we'll be giving the device a full run through shortly here on CrackBerry but the lighting in the above picture does show off the device rather nicely. Be sure to check out the full spec sheet, image gallery and press release we previously posted if the 9670 is your Style.

Source: Engadget

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Official OS 5.0.0.972 for The BlackBerry Pearl 3G released by Pelephone

BlackBerry Pearl 3G owners, if you're looking for a new OS to check out that's higher then any leak out there for your device then you'll want to grab the latest official OS from Pelephone. OS 5.0.0.972 has gone official and is now available for download. Of course, if Pelephone is not your carrier you'll want to delete your vendor.xml file but, after that you'll be good to go. Are any of you Pearl 3G owners out there just wishing BlackBerry 6 would drop for your device just as much as the BlackBerry Bold 9700 owners? Just curious, if so comment and let us know.

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Google Maps for BlackBerry v4.5.1 released

Google Maps is one of my favorite, free BlackBerry applications and I'm guessing a lot of you all out there use it as well. Google, notorious for not offering any change logs has now updated Google Maps to version 4.5.1. Current users can grab the download from Google Maps mobile link and get upgraded today. If you spot any changes within the app be sure to let us know in the comments. The only thing I noticed in a brief check was that it seemed to lock onto location faster but, that could just have been my area as well.

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Vodafone UK bringing BlackBerry Bold 9780 in black and white with OS 6.0.0.294 preloaded

The pricing for the BlackBerry Bold 9780 on Vodafone UK has been known for a while but, as a reminder for those who may have missed it. Vodafone UK will be giving away the BlackBerry Bold 9780 on tariffs starting at £35/pm (24 months) but if you want no contract pricing, you'll be looking at £400. One thing though that was only rumored, was that Vodafone may or may not be offering more than one color. We now know for sure that the device will come in white and black when it launches and that it will launch with OS 6.0.0.294 as that was the OS officially approved by Vodafone UK. Who has their pre order trigger finger ready?

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Hypoxia media player now BlackBerry 6 compatible

Fans of Hypoxia that are also BlackBerry 6 users will be glad to see this arrive. Hypoxia, the media player that not only plays music and videos from your network, but is also capable of streaming to devices has been updated for BlackBerry 6. Aside from being a great standalone media player, Hypoxias ability to stream that media to a wide array of devices is really the key feature. With Hypoxia you can:

  • Stream From: Your home, or work network using supported apps like Windows Media Player, TVersity and more with Hypoxia!
  • Stream To: All of your supported upnp devices like: Xbox 360, Windows Media Player, or another BlackBerry! 

With other features such as full skinning support, Twitter integration and custom playlists and more, Hypoxia is an all around awesome media player. The application does cost $7.99 but, if getting the most of the media on your device is what you need then Hypoxias fits that area nicely. Be sure to read the full list of features and information available in the CrackBerry App Store. Oh and if you do decide to pick it up, make sure you grab the CrackBerry skin that was designed for Hypoxia via their website download. The skin was designed by Mr. Mike Hepples, himself. :) 

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LinkedIn for Blackberry updated to version 1.5.0.8

For business professionals, LinkedIn is a valuable tool and resource for communication, much like BlackBerry smartphones. Now, BlackBerry users using a BlackBerry 6 compatible device can download the latest release and get in on the action as LinkedIn has just updated to include support for BlackBerry 6. They have also included a new profile layout for users as well, as mentioned on the site:

  • Profile Design Refresh: Viewing member profiles is the #1 activity users do today in the application. We’ve re-designed the profile completely to make it easier to see and interact with all the information on it, while also adding two new features. We’ve been asked by many users for the ability to view the connections of the people they are connected to, as well as to see who they have in common with people on the site. Those new features are now available right at the top of the profile.

In addition to the BlackBerry 6 compatability and the new profile layout, LinkedIn has also acknowledged that some users are unhappy wih how the app actually closes. Rather, how it doesn't close as it's always running in the background. While it's not in this release, the fix for it will be coming in a later release. But, at least they have now acknowledged that it is an issue and will be addressing it as soon as possible. Thanks Dave Peckens for letting me know!

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Sccope - Price comparison app now available as a free download

We've covered Sccope a couple times now and we even gave them the Editors Choice Award at this years CrackBerry Awards. Now, just in time for the holiday shopping you can grab Sccope for absolutely no charge. Sccope has some great features built in to make shopping this holiday season a whole lot easier:

  • Identify the best possible deals from hundreds of top retailers with comprehensive product searches and barcode scanning – Enter the product name in the search bar or take a picture of the product’s barcode to compare 10 million different price points
  • Make wish lists, share deals with friends, and receive special offers
  • Track prices and get alerts for out-of-stock items
  • Purchase products directly from your BlackBerry smartphone
  • For a limited time, shoppers can also take advantage of special offers from Staples and GNC by becoming a fan of the SCCOPE Facebook page

If you've yet to explore Sccope now is the best time. Everyone likes to save money, especially during the holiday season.

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Crackberry guide to weather apps

Become a mobile Weather Personality with these weather apps!

Your Mom always said to dress for the weather. Of course that occasionally meant that you were forced to dress for -40 Celsius weather, even if others were out in their bathing suits. At least you’re prepared for a sudden snowfall…in the dog days of Summer. Despite all of our technological advances, our daily plans (for the most part) are still dependent upon the forecast. Out here, in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, we typically expect the cold, rainy season soon. This year, we are expecting a colder, snowier time…sigh.

So how do you weather the weather? Do you leave it to chance? Stick your head out of the window? Devote your eyes and ears to the cheesy local TV weather personality? Oh, of course, you use your BlackBerry! But now you have to decide to make use of an app or the internet. Well you know where I stand. Welcome to the CrackBerry Guide to Weather Apps! We take a look at some of the most popular applications available that help you choose between flip flops or rain boots. Let’s see which apps fellow BlackBerry Users and Abusers have chosen.

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Bubble Burst - An entertaining game for your BlackBerry

Tafasa is back again with another entertaining game for your BlackBerry. Bubble Burst is a color matching game where you try to score big by popping the largest set of the same color bubbles. The more bubbles in your set, the more points you earn. Bubble Burst has four different modes to choose from: Standard, Shift, Continuous, and Megashift. While each mode has the same basic gameplay, each has a variation to keep things interesting. You also have the option to turn the colored bubbles into white shapes on a black background which is ideal if you are color blind. You can save statistics such as high score, average score and number of games played for each mode.

Bubble Burst has a paid and a free (advertisement supported) version, and supports most all devices. I tried out the free version on my BlackBerry Torch, and while the ad is there at the bottom of the game screen, I really didn't even notice it. I know some of you out there can't stand ads at all, so if you prefer your game without, you can pick up the full version of Bubble Burst on sale for $0.99 in the CrackBerry store.

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Contest: MegaHorn by ToySoft - Win one of 30 free copies!

Sometimes you just need to make some noise. Whether you like to play jokes on your friends, or just need to get someone's attention, MegaHorn from ToySoft is sure to help you. With 20 air horn sound effects to choose from, you are sure to find just the right one for whatever your needs are. Included sounds are:

  • Long Horn, Short Horn, Train Whistle, Tug Boat, Fire Truck, Police Siren, Police Siren2, Intruder Alert. Tornado Siren, Warning Siren, Alarm Clock, Smoke Alarm, Phone Ringing, Buzz, Heart Monitor, Pager Beep, Dog Whistle, Car Honk, Temple Bell Fox NFL Theme

You can adjust the volume and/or stop the selected sound while it's playing, and navigation is very simple. MegaHorn works on all BlackBerry smartphones running OS 4.3 and above, including BB6 and touchscreen. MegaHorn is just $.99 in the CrackBerry store, and there is a free trial available also.

Contest: ToySoft has been kind enough to give us 30 free copies of MegaHorn to pass on to our readers. Leave us a comment below to be entered. Multiple entries won't be counted, and winners will be chosen randomly at midnight PST. Good luck! 

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BlackBerry Messenger 5.0.1.41 now available for download

Research In Motion has quietly rolled out another release of BlackBerry Messenger. Previously seen in some leaked OS 5.0.1.41 is now available in BlackBerry App World and via direct download. No change log has been issued for the release which, is really getting kind of annoying since Research In Motion used to be one of the few to actually issue change logs. So that said, we're sure it's just bug fixes and overall a maintenance release but, let us know in the comments if you spot anything different.

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In a world of proprietary and open source software, where does BlackBerry fit?

As I was crawling the Web for BlackBerry news, I ended up at our sister site, Android Central. I stumbled on this interesting article called ”What does 'open' mean to us?”, which discusses the state of open source and its relation to the Android platform. Being a loyal Linux hacker, I simply could not let this slip away – someone going by the name eric6052 commented on the article at Android Central saying, and I quote, ”I would like to see a similar article on all the SPE sites”. I shall make the first step for CrackBerry. So, what does 'open' mean to us?

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Bring your favorite FM stations to your BlackBerry with TuneIn Radio

If you have dabbled around with any other operating systems and enjoy listening to music on your device, odds are that you have already had an experience with TuneIn Radio. This application is near the top in its respective category on both iOS and Android, and today it is available for all via a free download on your BlackBerry device. With over 50,000 radio stations, music streams and podcasts from around the world there is sure to be choices that will appeal to everyone. By default the application will use your devices WiFi and / or GPS signal to determine which stations would be considered local AM/FM to your position and display those as well as give an option to search for different stations if wanted.

If you enjoy music, and want an application that will deliver you a huge variety of music at any time while on the go, this is a must have. TuneIn Radio will launch with a $0.00 price tag and a few ads throughout the application, and can be downloaded directly to your BlackBerry device running OS 4.5 and higher here. Go check it out, and be sure to let us know what you think of it!

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RIM enables purchases through the BlackBerry App World website

We've known since around September 9th that this was coming but, until now BlackBerry App World has remained unchanged. At some point, Research In Motion has changed up the BlackBerry App World website and you can now purchase and download apps directly from the BlackBerry App World website. In addition to purchasing and downloading the apps, you can also adjust your My World account so that it syncs with your BlackBerry smartphone. If you delete an application online, that deletion will be reflected on your device.

You'll be required to download a Windows installer in order to get everything to work right but, that's minimal considering what you can do with it once installed. However, at this time it appears that using Windows is the only supported method as it advises me on my MacBook that I'm using an unsupported OS. When it comes to paying for your apps, you have a few choices as well. You can choose PayPal, Credit card or carrier billing provided your carrier supports it. Pretty cool overall, the ability to sync your apps with your device is pretty awesome. Give it a shot and let us know what you all think about it.

Hat tip: BerryReview

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BlackBerry Style 9670 Product Manager, Randy Carson interviewed

A lot of folks were surprised to see the BlackBerry Style arrive. While the device is not evolutionary it certainly carries well, it's own Style. Some folks love the device while others, simply do not like the design at all. The good folks over at the Inside BlackBerry blog though, have taken the time to interview Randy Carson. Randy, is the product manager for the BlackBerry Style and lets us know some of the finer details about the device and how it all came together. One take away from the article that I found interesting:

What do you think will stand out when people first use it?

One thing I hear all the time is the difference between seeing photos and descriptions of the device and actually holding it in your hands. When you see and hold the BlackBerry Style you will immediately notice the elegant, premium design. Once the people start to use the BlackBerry Style smartphone, they will be amazed with the browser and other features of BlackBerry 6 – it’s familiar to longtime BlackBerry smartphone users, but also easy for those who are using a smartphone device for the first time

That question holds a lot of weight for me. I've never been too impressed with the overall look of the device and while it's now starting to look better, I'm still holding my final take on the device for when I actually get to hold one. What do you all think now? Has the look of the device grown a little on you or are you still in the "I need to see the device and hold it" phase, like I am? I know some of you all out there already pre ordered.

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Contest: Boss by AHazDesigns - Win one of 25 free copies!

Boss is the newest theme from AHazDesigns and as you would expect, it is pretty awesome. I was really impressed with the animations on this one; though they are somewhat simple, there is a lot of function packed into them. Two sliding docks on the right hand side of your home screen are accompanied by a slide out today section on the left. The custom meters are a bit larger than most themes offer, so you can tell at a glance where your device stands in regards to battery and signal strength. An easy-to-read font and large bright icons round out the functionality of Boss making this theme one you can feel comfortable using daily.

Keep reading and check out the video on this one because the pictures just don't do it justice. And when you're done, make sure to leave your comment below to enter to win one of 25 free copies of Boss from AHazDesigns. Contest ends this Sunday at midnight PST so get your entries in!

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Rate Your Day - A simple way to keep track of your days

Did you ever wish you had a simple way to keep track of your good days and bad days? Almoko has created a simple application called Rate Your Day just for this purpose. This app not only lets you rate your day up to 5 stars, but it also lets you add a short comment for each day. You can share your daily ratings with your friends via Twitter for BlackBerry and/or FaceBook for BlackBerry with the click of a button. You can even compare your daily ratings with other users based on your Zodiac sign.

Rate Your Day is really a cute app and a fun idea. It can also have a practical use, for example if you need to keep track of your moods over a period of time. And because all of your data is stored on the web, you don't have to worry about your history being lost if you need to delete the application from your device. When you reinstall it, all of your indormation is right there. On top of all this, Rate Your Day is completely free, and has no ads.

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BlackBerry Podcasts app updated to v1.0.0.48

If you're a fan of the BlackBerry Podcasts app you'll want to refresh your BlackBerry App World and see if the update is available. Posted today, BlackBerry Podcasts now sits at version 1.0.0.48. We don't have any idea as to what, exactly has been changed within the application but, we'll leave that to you guys. If you spot anything new let us know in the comments and while you're at it, be sure to grab the latest CrackBerry podcast.

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Breaking: RIM Co-CEO Jim Balsillie responds to Steve Jobs comments made during Apple earnings call!


left: Apple iPad; right: BlackBerry PlayBook... the tablet wars are heating up!

It looks like the tech game is starting to turn into a bit of a tech soap opera thanks to El Jobso. Following up yesterday's comments by Steve Jobs dissing 7" tablets, Research In Motion's Co-CEO Jim Balsillie has fired back.

Here's the official word from Jim Balsillie:

"For those of us who live outside of Apple's distortion field, we know that 7" tablets will actually be a big portion of the market and we know that Adobe Flash support actually matters to customers who want a real web experience. We also know that while Apple's attempt to control the ecosystem and maintain a closed platform may be good for Apple, developers want more options and customers want to fully access the overwhelming majority of web sites that use Flash. We think many customers are getting tired of being told what to think by Apple. And by the way, RIM has achieved record shipments for five consecutive quarters and recently shared guidance of 13.8 - 14.4 million BlackBerry smartphones for the current quarter. Apple's preference to compare its September-ending quarter with RIM's August-ending quarter doesn't tell the whole story because it doesn't take into account that industry demand in September is typically stronger than summer months, nor does it explain why Apple only shipped 8.4 million devices in its prior quarter and whether Apple's Q4 results were padded by unfulfilled Q3 customer demand and channel orders. As usual, whether the subject is antennas, Flash or shipments, there is more to the story and sooner or later, even people inside the distortion field will begin to resent being told half a story."

- Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO at Research In Motion (RIM)

Nicely said Jim. I like that RIM isn't taking any of this crap sitting down and is firing back. Anybody want a used iPad? I don't think I want mine anymore... I can't wait for RIM to release the BlackBerry PlayBook

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