BlackBerry News and Reviews

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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Official OS 5.0.0.973 for the BlackBerry Storm 2 9520 from Vodafone UK

A few of weeks ago we saw OS 5.0.0.973 leaked for the Storm 2 9520, now Vodafone UK has released an official version. So for those of you who prefer to install official OS releases, have at it. When on the download page scroll down to the bottom, it’s the last link.

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BlackBerry Bold 9780 appears on Vodafone NL website

Seems the BlackBerry Bold 9780 carrier information is now flowing nicely, the device has just shown up on the Vodafone NL website as coming soon and appears to be available for pre order. Looking at the price points it shows the device will be available for € 0.00 when combined with a plan of at least € 17.50 on a 2 year contract. The off contract price currently shows as € 509.00. Thanks @alex3305

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Official OS 5.0.0.983 For The BlackBerry Bold 9650 released by CBeyond

While Verizon recently updated their BlackBerry Bold 9650 to OS 5.0.0.975 CBeyond, a regional carrier has pushed ahead of Verizon and has now released OS 5.0.0.983 for the BlackBerry Bold 9650. Not exactly sure what's better about this release if anything but, I do know it's one step closer to an official BlackBerry 6 version. Give it a shot and let us know in the comments what you think.

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Official OS 5.0.0.983 for the BlackBerry Storm 2 9550 released by Inland Cellular

Hey, we missed this yesterday but BlackBerry Storm 2 9550 owners who weren't happy with the latest leak, you may want to check this official release out. OS 5.0.0.983 has popped up on the Inland Cellular website and is available for download. Judging from the already existing feedback in the forums this is a pretty good release for your device. Of course, be sure to back up your data before you load it and if Inland is not your carrier you'll need to delete the vendor.xml file. Let us know in the comments how it's working out for ya if / when you load it.

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CrackBerry Poll: Steve Jobs says 7" is too small... for a tablet. What do you think?

  Steve Jobs says 7" is too small...for a tablet. What do you think?Market Research

Seriously. I probably own more Apple products than the average hardcore Apple fanboy, and despite being BlackBerry addict #1 still have a lot of respect for Apple and Steve Jobs. That dude is smart. But at the same time, I'm starting to think he's getting a little crotchety in his old age. Between antennagate and yesterday's Apple earnings call, El Jobso is making a habit out of really smack talking on the competition, which is a bit tactless and classless if you ask me (besides, that's what Smartphone Experts podcasts are for!).

If you missed what was said, jump on over to our sibling site TiPb.com for the blow by blow (Steve on Google's openness, Steve on RIM, Steve on 7" tablets, live earnings call notes). Long story short, Jobs said RIM is going to have to fundamentally reinvent themselves if they want to catch up to the momentum Apple and Google have. I don't disagree with that, but I do think QNX is that reinvention and the BlackBerry PlayBook is the first product of what I like to think of as the new RIM. But Steve even harped on the PlayBook (indirectly) by bashing all 7" tablets. Steve's argument is that while you may think a 7" tablet should offer 70% of the experience of a 10", it doesn't - it's more like 45% because of the diagonal measure. Steve says for a great app experience you need 10 inches, and that simply increasing resolution of a 7" tablet isn't the answer. Steve's conclusion on 7" tablets is that he feels they're all going to arrive DOA and that manufacturers will be learning the hard way that they need to make a 10" tablet for round 2. Why don't you tell us how you really feel, Steve? :)

While I don't disagree with Steve's logic on why a physically bigger screen is better, I do disagree in his thinking that a device like the PlayBook is doomed before it starts. I think RIM is doing a smart thing by labeling the the BlackBerry PlayBook as the first Professional Tablet. Put it this way - the only time my iPad leaves my house is when I'm traveling and going to be stuck on a plane for a few hours, because the thing is too big to carry around with me (not to mention I still feel like a douche bag to pull it out in public). With the PlayBook small enough to slide into my inside coat pocket, I think it'll get a lot more play. Don't get me wrong, I am a fan of the iPad, so I'm really curious and hopeful that the BlackBerry PlayBook delivers a compelling user experience. I have high expectations for what RIM had better deliver in the PlayBook.

Since when has RIM ever been about making only one form factor of product? RIM is all about choice. Just look at their lineup of form factors for BlackBerry Smartphones. With the PlayBook hardware finalized, wouldn't it be safe to assume RIM is already laying the design work for another tablet? Maybe a bigger one for consumers since the first one at 7" has been christened as a professional tablet? Doing the professional tablet first gives RIM time to build up their QNX app catalog, so it's full of apps for when a 10" PlayBook 2 (or whatever they call it) gets announced. It's not that RIM is making a mistake in building a 7" tablet. It's that they're starting off by differentiating themselves in a way that will allow them to carve out a niche and capitilize on their historical strengths, and from there will broaden out their product offering.

Anyways, vote where you stand on the size matters issue above, and sound off in the comments!

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Texas Hold'em King Live - Get in on the open beta today!

For as long as I've been buying BlackBerry devices I have always played Texas Hold'em King. It's been preloaded onto most of my BlackBerry purchases over the past few years and has seen many versions released over that time. Now going into it's 4th release, Magmic Games has decided to take Texas Hold'em to a whole new level by making it a totally online, multiplayer game for BlackBerry. With new features added, Texas Hold'em King live is shaping up to be a great release and now, you can get in on the beta before it's final release. Check out the new features:

  • Fast, Smooth and Fun:  This is the fastest poker game available for BlackBerry. Our quick speeds and easy to use interface ensure that you’ll spend more time taking down pots.
  • Automatic Table Selection: We'll pick the most appropriate table for your Bankroll, Experience and Speed - All you have to do to start playing is press "Play."
  • Slick, Easy-to-Use UI: Our new and improved user interface is designed for high resolution devices providing vivid colors and smooth animations. Poker actions are easy to use and are inspired by BlackBerry's own home screen.
  • Unlock Achievements: Earn over 35 unique achievements that will reward you for winning pots, playing hands and getting lucky. We'll continue to add new and exciting achievements with each free content update.
  • Stylish Avatars: Choose from over 30 unique Avatars, our high-resolution, full detail avatars are sure to make an impression. We'll continue to add more avatars with free content updates.
  • Free Content Updates: THK Live is designed to be easy to update. We'll be able to push out new and exciting features and new content as a direct downloads.
  • Chat 2.0: We’ve dedicated a lot of time and effort to create the best chat system in a poker game. You’ll be able to quickly and conveniently taunt or praise your opponents without missing a hand.
  • Table Themes: Prepare yourselves to play on white sand beaches, or in the High-Roller rooms at a luxurious casino. With Table Themes, you’ll be able to change the look and feel of your poker experience.
  • Pretzil and other Social Media: Connect with friends and integrate with your social networks. 

The best part? The beta is free to download and play. The only thing is that when the game does go official Magmic will be resetting all Bankrolls, Achievements Earned and Player Statistics in order to ensure a level playing field. The download is available from BlackBerry App World today, then you just create an account you're all set.

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BlackBerry Bold 9780 arriving on Bell November 2nd

Here is something sure to please many folks out there. We finally have some confirmation of the BlackBerry Bold 9780 arriving on another carrier other than Virgin Mobile. As the above information shows, Bell Mobility is all set to launch the BlackBerry Bold 9780 on November 2nd. The pricing for the BlackBerry Bold 9780 is set at $499.99 but that's not subsidized in anyway and no details were given on what exactly, the subsidized pricing would be.

Source: BGR

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KidsABC by ToySoft - Teach your child the alphabet on your BlackBerry

Toysoft has just released a fun little game called KidsABC that is designed to help you teach your child the English alphabet through pictures and sound. Each letter has been assigned a colorful picture with a corresponding animal. You can choose to have the application read the letters out loud, or you can use it with the volumn turned off as a way to quiz your child. You can use the easy on screen controls to navigate forward and backward through the alphabet, and touchscreen is also supported. What a great way to entertain your toddler and teach them letters and animals when you're stuck in line at the bank or in a waiting room. Pick this one up today for only $.99 in the CrackBerry store.

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Calling all established and aspiring app developers... Enter the DragonRAD 14-Day App Challenge!

When we blogged about the beta of dragonRAD back in August it got a lot of interest from the CrackBerry community, generating a ton of downloads of Seregon's powerful app development tool that makes developing for BlackBerry easy. Following up on that initial success, dragonRAD is throwing an app challenge out at the CrackBerry development community to see who can build the best app using their software. Note - if you want some guidance in using dragonRAD, they have a Webinar coming up on Oct. 27 titled "How to Build an App in 30 Minutes Using DragonRAD" (register here). Read on for the full challenge details... let's see those awesome apps!

DragonRAD 14-Day App Challenge Contest Details

Description: Contestants have 14 days to build any mobile business app using DragonRAD and submit it for a chance to win a Free 1-Year License of DragonRAD. The app can be for internal use or one intended for resale.

Starts: Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ends: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 (Last day for app submission). The winner will be announced on Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Prize: 1-Year Paid Subscription of DragonRAD License ($4,900 value). Plus CrackBerry will throw in some Cracky prizes to the winners and runners ups.

This allows you to build and deploy an unlimited number of apps to an unlimited number of users. More details at www.dragonrad.com/pricing

How to Enter:

  1. Sign Up (http://www.dragonrad.com/user/register)
  2. Download DragonRAD (www.dragonrad.com/download)
  3. Use the word "Contest" for the Software License Key
  4. Start Building!

The app will be judged internally by DragonRAD and will be based on the following criteria:

  • Uniqueness - innovative and creative use of DragonRAD technology
  • Usability - intuitive and easy to use
  • Business Value - solves a business need
  • Integration - use of native device features (GPS, Camera, Media, etc.)

Submission Details: Users must send the app URL to contests@dragonrad.com on or before Tuesday, November 2 2010 at 11:59pm EST to be eligible to win.

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Contest Winners - SLATE, Mr. Number Pro, AppLock, Player For YouTube, and Accessory Roundup!

Here are the winners from last weeks round of contests. If you won you will be receiving an email either directly from us or the retailer/developer directly in the next few days. If for some reason you don't receive an email within 7-14 days (be sure to check your spam/junk folder just in case, and verify your registered address associated with your CrackBerry account) you can email us at sitesupport(at)crackberry.com and we'll be sure to get you taken care of. Please be patient as some emails may take longer than others to arrive. Hit the jump for the full list - congrats to all the winners!

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BlackBerry theme roundup for October 18, 2010 - Halloween Edition!

Contest: Enter to win the official John Carpeter's Halloween theme!


Halloween is fast approaching, and that means it's time for the CrackBerry Halloween Theme Roundup! I searched the forums looking for as many free Halloween themes as I could find for you guys, so I hope if you're getting in the Halloween spirit you will find something you like in the post below. There are a few premium themes as well that were sent in to the tip email so I have included those. Enjoy this week's picks!

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HootSuite for BlackBerry released - download the free public beta

HootSuite for BlackBerry has finally been released in beta form to the public. It was back in July that it was first announced and users were asked at that time to sign up for the beta. Now today, Hootsuite is sending out notifications that the application has indeed gone into public beta and is now available for download. If you've signed up for the beta you should get a link soon and if not, well then you can just use the link below to get started. Keep in mind though if you download, it is a beta and you should file feedback with any concerns you have so that the Hootsuite folks are aware of it and can improve the app over time.

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Review: BerryMail for BlackBerry

I swear - if I get one more email about me being an heir to some overseas dead relative’s fortune, I’m going to scream. It seems as though unwanted email messages sometimes find a way to sneak through the guarded borders of your precious inbox. What’s worse is when that email is pushed to your BlackBerry. There you are in a meeting, a theatre, or having a romantic evening-You are already fighting your BlackBerry addiction; trying to stay in the moment. Then you feel the vibrating alert of a new message. INCOMING!! You succumb once again and sneak a peek. Then anger begins to fester, as you realize you risked getting caught, only to find an email promising to help you enlarge a specific part of the human anatomy (some of you even more upset at being bothered, as you don’t even have the part to begin with!).

BerryMail provides its services which include being another filter and managing the emails that see the light of day on your BlackBerry. It makes sense to manage filters directly on your BlackBerry – seeing how you are on the go anyway.

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WordPress for BlackBerry updated To v1.4.4

Wordpress for BlackBerry just issued their latest update. Version 1.4.4 is now available for download from the Wordpress website directly or from within BlackBerry App World. If you're not seeing it in BlackBerry App World as of yet, that just means it's still making it's way through to your area but, the Wordpress direct download will work if you cannot wait. This release mainly addresses issues on the BlackBerry Torch and improving Wordpress for that device but, does have a few overall changes that will make it better no matter what device you are on.

Updates and Changes:

  • Rotate uploaded photos.
  • Better integration with BlackBerry Torch 9800.
  • Fixed the media uploading issue on the 9800. It requires AtomPub to be enabled on your blog.
  • Fixed an issue that would sometimes occur with long post titles.
  • Fixed issues with orphan categories.
  • Fixed issues with the blog shortcut icon which would appear too big sometimes.
  • Minor bug fixing. 

Current users will be alerted of the update within the application, the links below will take you to the download if you do not already have Wordpress installed.

Source: @WPBlackBerry

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