BlackBerry News and Reviews

Help efforts in the Gulf with mobile app from MapTheSpill.org

If you have been looking for a way to help aid the efforts in the Gulf, MapTheSpill.org has a free mobile app available. With the app users can send report logs, upload photos and map their locations. The information is gathered through MapTheSpill.org for public viewing in hopes of better understanding affected areas.

"Map the Spill provides an opportunity for individuals who are being affected by the oil spill to get the word out on the real-time repercussions as well as the collective clean-up efforts," said Rich Rudow, general manager of Trimble Outdoors. "Map the Spill empowers citizens in a way never done before, so entire communities can be a part of the reporting and clean up. Now individuals in the Gulf Coast can have an opportunity to take part in the oil spill story as it unfolds." 

The app is free an currently available for download from the link below. We're not 100% sure what devices are supported, but the website states it is good to go for 16 devices. It should be popping up in BlackBerry App World soon as well.

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eBay app for BlackBerry out of beta and into more countries

The eBay app first popped up late last year in beta form, but we haven't heard much about it since. Today RIM announced the app has finally made its way out of beta and is also available in six countries (in addition to North America) including France, Germany, Australia, Italy, Spain and the UK. With the eBay app for BlackBerry, users can browse items, place bids, check activity and more. The app also integrates with your BlackBerry calendar so you don't miss a thing. Other features include:

  • Daily Deals - View limited time bargains on popular items, where items are often over 50% off the original price and include free shipping
  • My eBay - Access personal eBay activity including Watched items, Bids, Sales, Saved Searches and Favorite Sellers
  • Member Messages - Receive and reply to messages and emails sent through My eBay
  • Payments - PayPal account users can purchase items within the application
  • Re-List Items - Re-list items for sale when current listing ends with no sale
  • Sort Search Results by Distance - Sort search results by distance from location (up to 1,200 miles)

The eBay application is available as a free download for all devices in supported countries.

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Last chance to get in on June's Follow CrackBerry Contest: Win a Jabra Stone, BlackBerry Visor or Plantronics BackBeat

Last chance to enter to win these awesome prizes...


Jabra Stone
follow on youtube to win!


BlackBerry Visor Speakerphone
follow on twitter to win!


Plantronics BackBeat
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!

June's Awesome Prizes: For June we're mixing up the prizes so 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:

Wicked prizes hey? If you're already following/subscribed to us then there's nothing more for you to do. You're entered. If you're not, then get on it! We'll announce the winners here on the blogs next week as well as July's prizes. Visit the follow crackberry contest page for full details.

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Friendly reminder: BlackBerry Dev Con 2010 is only three months away; Don't forget about the Super Apps Challenge!

We're just under three months away from the start of the 2010 BlackBerry Developer Conference, so I figured the timing was right to get a little reminder up here. If you're thinking about going, you can jump over to the dev con website to learn more about all the fun and games and parties  (and developer sessions that'll help take your apps to the next level of course!) that are planned for this year's event.

2010 BlackBerry Developer Super Apps Challenge: This year the BlackBerry Partners Fund is looking for anyone who is building super apps. Be it an application which you feel is already a super app or a new app you are currently working on. They want to see it. The challenge is set. The stakes are over $1.5 Million worth of prizes and includes developer services from leading industry partners, featured placements on BlackBerry App World, marketing programs from Research In Motion and much more. So what are you waiting for? If you are a BlackBerry developer who is delivering super apps, you'll want to take on the BlackBerry Developer Fund's 2010 Super Apps Developer Challenge. The full list of contest prizes, eligibility and requirements are available on the BlackBerry Partners Fund website, just click the link.

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Carbonite mobile application for BlackBerry - Access your backed up files from your device

When first announced over a month ago, Carbonite for BlackBerry was only working on a select few devices/OS versions. We got word today that the app has been updated and now supports the Pearl Flip, 96xx, 89xx, 83xx, 85xx, 9000, 9700 and Storm. If you are a Carbonite user, this app is a great one to have on your device. It allows you to access all of your backed up files on the go so you never have to be without your documents, photos or media. Features include:

  • Browse: You can browse the directory structures on all of your Carbonite-backed-up computers.
  • View: Bring up PDFs, photos, music and video files, Excel, Powerpoint, Word documents and other text files can be opened and viewed right on your BlackBerry.
  • Share: You can forward any file via email, right from your phone.

The app is free to download from carbonite.com/blackberry, and Carbonite accounts are available for both PC and Mac starting at $54.95/year. Hit the links below for more.

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Default Ex and Plus - Two great new themes from AG Designs & Graphics - 100 copies to be won!

We have seen plenty of OS 6-like themes lately, as more and more devs jump on the clean look and smooth appeal of what we have seen in the blogs. This hit my inbox this morning, and I have to say, it's a solid looking theme.  Two versions are available, completely identical except for the fact that one version has the OS6 precision icons and one has a full set of custom icons. The resemblance to most of the OS6 clones stops there though as the developer has taken the function in a completely different direction from what we have seen. Scrolling right slides more icons into view and scrolling down reveals a hidden dock. Clickable banner items have been added, with shortcuts to the standard Manage Connections, Messages, Clock and Calendar all able to be accessed. For touchscreen devices there have been 4 hidden docks incorporated, launched via various "buttons" located on the homescreen. To see the theme in action, you can check out the YouTube video created by the developer at the link below. Available in the CrackBerry App Store for all devices running OS 4.6 and up. PLUS is $1.99 with the "default" icons and EX is $2.99 and includes the custom set.

Contest: We have 100 copies of Default EX and PLUS to give away! Just leave a comment on this post to enter. Contest ends this Sunday at Midnight PDT. Please only leave one comment, multiple entries won't count.

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More BlackBerry Curve 9300 pics arrive. This time in a interesting shade of purple

Salomondrin has taken a few moments to get some snaps of the next generation Curve. This time it was once again, T-Mobile branded but now sporting a lovely shade of purple. No idea if this is a color that T-Mobile will launch with or not but if we had to guess we'd say it's likely to happen. All that said, Salomondrin has noted that he'll be doing a walk through of this device and two others sometime soon so, here's to hoping he's found a magical Storm 3 and we'll all get a look at that.

Source: Salomondrin

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Hulu has arrived on iPhone/iPad, will we see a BlackBerry version?

When Steve Jobs proclaimed that there would be no flash on the iPhone, iPod or iPad it really left a lot of folks wondering about how exactly, most of their video content was going to be delivered. As it turns out, the video experience on those devices is simply put, doing quite well. One key player that folks were concerned about was Hulu. Well, as of yesterday Hulu is now available on the iPhone/iPad no problem at all.

Now with the announcement of Hulu being released for those devices, BlackBerry users are left to wonder if it will eventually be available to them. When signing up for a Hulu preview invite, you are asked if you are a BlackBerry user so maybe this is a sign of things to come? As of now, Bitbop is certainly going to lead the pack on streaming video content for BlackBerry but again, if Hulu arrives will users adopt it? Better question, who thinks Hulu will actually see the light of day on a BlackBerry device? Sound off in the comments folks.

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Dragon for Email for BlackBerry Review

Dragon for Email for BlackBerry Smartphones

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

Have you ever found yourself trying to compose an e-mail but fumble so much with the keyboard that the text looks more like an alien language than actual words? Well, welcome to my world. Whether it be sending out messages for work or writing e-mails to friends I have no patience to type everything out. It just seems too SLOW. Well thanks to a friend from the train and my favorite blackberry blog site I downloaded a free dictation app called Dragon for E-mail. Finally, a hassle-free way of writing e-mail messages by simply speaking and having the app process and translate the audio into text.

Nuance's Dragon for E-Mail is as simple as the motto on their page: Press, Speak, Send. The app is embedded directly into each e-mail so no additional steps or clicks are necessary. How cool is that? With all the time spent reading crackberry, visiting facebook, listening to slacker and, of course, something called a job, anything that frees up time is hands down a winner in my book.

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Telenav GPS Navigator for BlackBerry Review

Telenav for BlackBerry Smartphones Takes to the Road and Gets Reviewed!

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

One integral part of blackberry smart phones that I use quite often is the GPS feature. However, finding the right navigation application has always been a challenge. The built in Blackberry Maps might suffice for some but for me that wasn't enough. Blackberry Maps doesn't have turn-by-turn, voice guided directions, which is actually missing on all those free GPS applications like Google maps. Then there are the many paid GPS navigation applications like Telmap Navigator and Garmin Mobile that do offer features similar to standalone GPS units. One of those is my now favorite TeleNav GPS Navigator. After using Garmin for so long, I have decided in the last week to try out TeleNav Navigator to see what all the hype was about. With features like full voice guided navigation, automatic rerouting and voice recognition search, it's easy to understand why it's Crackberry's choice as the best GPS navigation program for 2009. Let's take a look at some of the key features in-depth to see why.

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Quick Tip: Keyboard shortcuts in the native Clock application for BlackBerry

Last week we did a quick post on the native Clock app for BlackBerry where I re-discovered the built-in timer. While there are tons of keyboard shortcuts through the BlackBerry OS in Messages, Media Player and Browser apps, I had no idea there were a few within the clock as well. In addition to pressing the trackball/trackpad to get to the set alarm screen, as HolderBBcb pointed out in the comments, you can easily navigate between the clock, timer, bedside mode and stopwatch with the clock app by pressing C, T, B and S respectively. Just a cool tip that helps to speed things up a bit and adds to the quick shortcuts of other native BlackBerry applications. Are you a BlackBerry shortcut wizard? Leave a comment and let us know of any of the lesser known ones you use and think others may find useful. 

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LendingTree launches free Mortgage Rate Finder app for BlackBerry Smartphones

 

LendingTree Mortgage Rate Finder is a new BlackBerry app that aims to help you get annonymous loan offers wherever you are. Simply enter your criteria into the app, and instantly receive up to 30 different customized offers from lenders. Click the offer you like, and the lender will contact you to get started. Features of the app include:

  • Completely FREE App, Completely FREE offers
  • Search anonymously
  • Customized rates based on your loan profile
  • Search as often as you would like
  • One click to be contacted

The app is also totally private. Your personal information will only be transmitted if you choose to be contacted regarding a loan. LendingTree Mortgage Rate Finder is available as a free download from BlackBerry App World.

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Queen Elizabeth dropping by RIM on July 5th - What device should she be using?

  What device do you think HRH should be using?online surveys  

Queen Elizabeth is set to drop by RIM HQ in Waterloo on July 5th as part of a brief trip to Canada. She will be receiving a tour of RIM's production line and then be returing to Toronto later in the day. If she's lucky she might snag a pre-release 9800 (or something even better?) before she heads off, or maybe just get a closer look at BB6 before it rolls out. 

HRH started using a BlackBerry a few years back, but surely she has upgraded since. While we don't know for sure what device she uses, we want to know what device you think she should be using. Cast your vote in the poll and leave a comment letting us know why. If you think it's something other than what we have listed, don't vote and leave a comment letting us know what device and why.

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Review: Baby GO! for BlackBerry Smartphones

Baby GO! is a safe child entertainment/educational application for your BlackBerry. They’re so cute! Their eyes twinkle when they spot a new and exciting thing. The look of absolute joy emblazoned across their drooling little faces, as they get their new toy in their hands, is so adorable. Am I talking about a baby or a BlackBerry user? Both actually. It seems as though the BlackBerry screen just catches a child’s eyes and won’t let go- they’re compelled to touch it. In the past, I’ve installed all types of media for our son when he was younger. The fear of drool/water damage was always in the back of my mind, so we usually held the BlackBerry for him. Now that he’s older, it’s time for him to be more interactive with the BlackBerry. While drool is no longer a factor, I worried about him changing or deleting items or worse- accidently emailing Kevin and saying “ejtna4lt4nrdfgbsdf,m.gnet3”.

Baby GO! provides your child with hours of entertainment. They are taught letters, numbers and animals, without having access to any other BlackBerry functions. It’s great to have when in a pinch; I’ve seen it used while in line for a sale. Anyone with a child in their lives should check this out.

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Contest winners: Caller ID Reader, OtterBox, Documents To Go and LeatherBB

Only a few contests this week, but fear not because more are on the way. We've been super busy sorting out all our CrackBerry Idol's but we'll sneak in some freebies in between. If you want to run a contest of your own, hit up editorial(at)crackberry.com for more info. Full list after the jump - congrats to all the winners.

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Pinball Deluxe for BlackBerry Review

Game Time! Review of Pinball Deluxe for BlackBerry Smartphones

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

Alright kids, grab your cherry sodas and throw some change at the jukebox its pinball time!! If you're an avid follower of CrackBerry.com you've already heard great things about the extremely popular game, Pinball Deluxe. The two flippers, a reassuring shake of the bumpers and the rapidly ascending score counter proves that simple is often the most addictive. If you're on the lookout for an alternative to BrickBreaker as your go to vice to pass the time, read on cause were covering all the ups, downs and bumpers of a game you've probably already mastered!

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Podtrapper for BlackBerry Review

A Better Way to Get Podcasts – PodTrapper

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

Think fast. What's a podcast? Wikipedia tells us it's "a digital audio or video file that is episodic; downloadable; programme-driven, mainly with a host and/or theme; and convenient, usually via an automated feed." For most of us, it's a video or an MP3 where our respected hosts ramble on about Important Topics, sometimes for hours on end. It's something to listen to on the way to work, while washing the dishes or killing time between classes. Podcasts are entertainment; bliss for our otherwise unoccupied ears.

But that bliss comes to a screeching halt when you consider just how user-unfriendly it is to get podcasts on to your BlackBerry. Oh sure, you could find your podcasts on the internet, download them to your computer, plug your BlackBerry into the USB port, and then transfer them. You could use a pod catcher like Juice, but you're still stuck transferring the files. Heck, there's even a service that lets you call in and listen to your podcasts over the phone. Or you could simply get PodTrapper and sleep easy, knowing all of your latest ‘casts will be on your BlackBerry when you wake up.

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Need a reason to workout this summer? Introducing the CrackBerry + Gym Technik 60 Day Fitness Challenge!

The 60 Day Fitness Challenge Begins July 1st! Read all about it below!!!

Time for another CrackBerry contest.... but this one is a little bit (ok, a LOT) different!

Introducing the first-ever BlackBerry Fitness Challenge! CrackBerry has teamed up with Gym Technik and for 60 days we're going to focus on using your BlackBerry to help you get in shape and stay in shape. We've got different ways to win and tons of awesome prizes up for grabs, so just keep reading for all the details. The contest officially begins July 1st, so you have a couple days to think on it and get prepped. And while yours truly can't technically win any prizes, I'm really gunning to win the community vote for best before/after transformation, SO THIS THING IS ON!

Whether you're a fitness junkie, a health nut, or more like me and aspiring to drop a few pounds and get a little leaner (and need an excuse to make sure you don't eat/drink too much or get lazy on the workouts this summer), then this fitness challenge is for you. As long as you have a BlackBerry, you can take part. Keep reading for all the details. I hope to see LOTS of members of CrackBerry Nation get involved. BRING IT!

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CrackBerry Idol update: Round 1 Kicks Off Today - 24 BlackBerry app reviews coming your way over the next two weeks!


Dieter, Georgia and Craig.. our own Randy, Paula and Simon of sorts!

If you tuned into the CrackBerry Idol audition videos we ran on the blogs here (check out parts I, II, III, IV and V) you already know the competition is heating up big time. We have a lot of talented individuals entered into the competition, each coming at the challenge with a unique perspective and a lot of passion. It's stil anybody's game. 

Now that you have all seen the audition videos and know the competitors, it's time to move onto Round 1 of CrackBerry Idol - the BlackBerry App review.  Each contestant has prepared a fullout review of their app or game of choice, complete with video, screen caps/photos and write up. We have 24 reviews (Finza had to drop out of the competition - so not 25) in the queue and we'll be posting 2 each day (taking Sundays off) until we've run them all on the blogs. We did a random draw for the order of post appearance (kind of crazy, but first up for the app review was also the first app for the audition posting order). Our CrackBerry Idol judges will give their feedback on each review in the first comment to each post, and the community can follow up with their thoughts.

Once all of the BlackBerry App Reviews have been run on the blogs, we'll do a recap post accompanied with the community voting, so you can cast your vote for who you'd like to see advance into the next round. 10 contestants will move onto Round 2. Keep it locked to CrackBerry for more Idol fun. This is gonna rock!

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BlackBerry Frenemy #1 gets a serious update; Apple iPhone 4 Review (sound off!)

Read TiPb.com's Full Review of the Apple iPhone 4 >>

I still think of CrackBerry.com as a relatively young website, having only launched in February 2007. Of course RIM/BlackBerry have been around a lot longer than that, but as young as I like to *think* we are, we definitely have more grey hairs than Apple when it comes to the smartphone game.  We've always considered the iPhone to be BlackBerry's #1 frenemy since the original iPhone was announced, and that friendly rivalry has continued over the years as we've seen the iPhone's annual update get released to the public. With both BlackBerry and the iPhone excelling somewhat at opposite ends of the spectrum of smartphone needs/capabilities (remember our Smartphone Hierarchy of Needs?), every new iPhone and BlackBerry releases brings the two closer, addressing more of the gaps that each has had.

I haven't had a chance to go hands-on with the iPhone 4 yet (will pick one up when it hits Canada to see just how I personally like it), but it definitely appears to be the biggest leap forward since the original iPhone. The hardware design is pretty industrial (looks good to me), the display and cameras look solid and just as BlackBerry users always have their heads down while walking and typing in public, I can already see the Apple addicts who are going to be walking around with their outreached arms in front of their heads facetime chatting (watch out!).

CrackBerry iPhone 4 Sound Off: So where do you stand on Apple's iPhone 4? If you're a BlackBerry user and haven't been enticed by the any of the previous iPhones, does the iPhone 4 now have something that grabs your attention? Are you a BlackBerry person no matter what? Is there anything you wish your BlackBerry had that the iPhone now offers? Or is there something about your BlackBerry that would make you think about the iPhone more if Apple had it? Or maybe you're now a BlackBerry + iPad person... is there even a draw towards having a BlackBerry + iPhone/iPod touch anymore when you could have a BlackBerry + iPad?  Sound off in the comments and let us know where you're at on Apple's current mobile offerings.

Apple iPhone 4 Review: Rene has reviewed the heck out of the iPhone 4 over at our sibling site TiPB.com (with some of Dieter's help on the video!). Be sure to check out their iPhone 4 Review if you want the skinny on Apple's  latest creation.

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