BlackBerry News and Reviews

Is PIN to PIN messaging secure?

** 18 Jun 2010 Update: We posted this article a few days ago (for a few minutes it was live) but we took it down temporarily after some comments were added by community members questioning it. We wanted to double check and follow up with the supporting data; after some additional research we have verified the information in this post is correct. If you have any questions on it, leave it in the comments and we'll do our best to address them. **

If I had a nickel every time I've been asked the question "Is PIN-to-PIN secure?" then I could quit my day job and write for CrackBerry full time. In my day job this has come up constantly from all types of BlackBerry users. It's a very good question... it seems secure, doesn't it?

The simple answer to this question is YES & NO. PIN-to-PIN is encrypted using Triple Data Encryption Standard (Triple DES). PIN-to-PIN security is very controversial topic. For sure, it's far more secure than regular email because the "internet tubes" are not part of the message path the way they would be in an email message. In the case of PIN-to-PIN the message flow looks like this:

  • Sending BlackBerry Handheld to Wireless Network
  • Wireless Network to RIM Relay
  • RIM Relay to Receiving BlackBerry's Wireless Network
  • Wireless Network to Receiving BlackBerry Handheld

What's interesting is that BlackBerry Messenger works the PIN protocol and nobody's ever asked if that was secure.

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Be your own mixologist with bartending apps for your BlackBerry Smartphone

With summer fast approaching the grills (or barbeques) will be firing up on the weekends and the margaritas will be flowing. While you are entertaining you'll certainly want to have an arsenal of drinks at your disposal. If you didn't get a chance to read Bartending for Dummies and you're not a seasoned bartender like I am (no seriously, I am) then the best bet is a great app on your BlackBerry. There are tons available in the CrackBerry App Store - each with various recipes and features. You should definitely have one (or more) at the ready for when someone asks "Hey, whats in a pink lady?". Hit the jump for a roundup of the best ones we could track down, and always remember to drink responsibly.

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Verizon Wireless issuing Bold 9650 as warranty replacement for Tour 9630 (for me at least)

To say I had trouble trying to get an early upgrade to the Bold 9650 would be an understatement. Numerous phone calls and various tactics led me nowhere. I was issued a review unit (that sadly has to be back in two weeks) so I was eager to get my upgrade so I would have a Bold 9650 to use. Although I've since gotten over my new toy envy, I still wanted the device. Well yesterday I was tipped off to this thread in the forums, where a good number of members were saying they had been issued a Bold 9650 as a replacement for their busted Tour 9630. Being that my device was still under warranty, I figured I'd give it a whirl myself.

After calling I was connected to a super nice rep who kindly asked what I needed. I told him how my Tour trackball was crap and wouldn't scroll left or right. He said we'd have to do some tests and asked if I had made a backup. I told him I backup regularly, and he said "great" and started to instruct me on how to perform a "hard reset" (device wipe) of my device but I stopped him. I told him I had done the factory reset and even installed the software update issued earlier in the week and that I still had the same problem. He said that "fit the bill" and began to process my warranty replacement. As he went along, an alert popped up and he told me I'd be very happy with the result. He explained that they were out of inventory for the Tour 9630, and instead would be issuing a Bold 9650 as my replacement. What luck :-)

So in the end, my Bold 9650 is on the FedEx truck and should be here any minute. I'm not sure if the devices are new, but I can't imagine the stock is big enough to have refurbished units just yet. My broken Tour will have to go back within 10 days, but I do get to keep my upgrade. Overall I can't really complain - I'm getting the device for free and that's that. So if you are holding onto your Tour with a busted trackball, you might be in luck if your device is still under warranty. 

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Rogers drops BlackBerry Bold 9700 pricing to $99.99 for now

Been itching to get ahold of a new BlackBerry on Rogers but been holding out for the inevitable price drops? Now is your chance if you are looking to pick up a BlackBerry Bold 9700 in either original black or summertime white. Rogers yesterday dropped the price from $149.99 down to $99.99 on 3 year term. You might want to act fast though, this promo pricing is set to end on July 1st according to a few sources.

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Official OS: 5.0.0.602 For The BlackBerry Bold 9700 released by AT&T

Seems as though the BlackBerry Bold 9700 is getting OS love from lots of carriers these days. While not on par with that of folks on Rogers in Canada, AT&T has just released their latest approved OS. 5.0.0.602 is now officially available via their BlackBerry downloads page. If you're still running the stock OS on your 9700 for AT&T you'll want to look into this one. Thanks cc999!

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Introducing CrackBerry Canada - The #1 BlackBerry Accessory Store for Canadians!

Calling all BlackBerry users north of the border... the day sooo many of you have been waiting for has finally arrived!

We're happy to announce the opening of CrackBerry Canada - our Canadian BlackBerry accessory store. The web address is http://ca.crackberry.com and you can also get there by typing CrackBerryCanada.com into your browser (easy to remember) or clicking on the CrackBerry Canada link located at the top right corner of our main US/international store.

With our CrackBerry Canada store warehouse physically located within Canada, shipping is now provided by Canada Post (different options available) and FREE SHIPPING is offered on orders over $60. With no shipments crossing the border, you no longer have to worry about things like duty charges either. And as you may expect, all pricing and transactions are conducted in Canadian dollars (paypal supported too!!). 

We have a pretty good selection of our most popular BlackBerry accessories in stock for the store opening and will be ramping up our selection and inventory levels over the weeks ahead, so be sure to check out it often and spread the CrackBerry Canada word!!

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CrackBerry guide to mobile banking on your BlackBerry Smartphone: Part 1

Your BlackBerry helps you make money in business. Your BlackBerry also helps take money away from you with your carriers data plans. Easy come, easy go. Why not have your BlackBerry help you keep tabs on your money, as it enters and exits your bank? Your BlackBerry is designed to make your day-to-day easier right? Sure, you can juggle your wallet, bank card while tele-banking, but there’s no fun in that. While TV informs us that the iPhone has numerous Bank applications, you and I both know that, we users are far from powerless.

If you are standing in line at your bank while reading this, you might as well step out of it now. This article is the first of a two part series of articles that will serve as the ultimate guide to BlackBerry Banking. As time goes on, we will be adding more and more apps and launchers as they are developed. For now, put your wallet in my hands, seriously.

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Official OS: 5.0.0.743 For The BlackBerry Bold 9700 released by Rogers

Not feeling loading leaked OS' on your 9700? That's cool. We now have an official version of OS 5.0.0.743 for you all to upgrade to if you have a BlackBerry Bold 9700. Get to it, if you've been holding out. This OS seems to be pretty solid based on my usage from the leaked version.

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How do you use your BlackBerry series: Storm Users - SureType or full QWERTY?

  How do you type on your BlackBerry Storm?online survey  

This week we have one just for the Storm users. Everyone tweaks their device to their liking, moving icons and fixing settings. I see people out and about all the time using a Storm device, and I can't help but wonder how they type on the device? I'm sure some find SureType easier, just as some find the full keyboard easier. So our question this week goes out to all the Storm owners - what is your PRIMARY method of typing on your BlackBerry Storm? SureType in portrait mode, full QWERTY in portrait mode or full QWERTY in landscape mode? Cast your vote in the poll and leave a comment letting us know why.

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Register Now: HP & RIM Webinar on mobile printing solutions for the BlackBerry

Are you a BES user that has a need to wirelessly print from your BlackBerry? If you said yes, here is something that may be of interest to you. HP ePrint Enterprise is an enterprise-class cloud printing solution that makes it easy to print documents directly from your BlackBerry smartphone. Employees can print to any of their company's network of printers from anywhere in the world.

Join Sridhar Solur, HP Laboratories and Mike Kirkup, Director Developer Ralations, RIM on June 30th at 9:00am PT as they present the free webinar, "Mobile printing strategies for the enterprise: Find out how HP and RIM are making it easy to securely print from BlackBerry smartphones." 

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Bitbop on demand TV - Coming soon to a BlackBerry near you

A few weeks back we first saw Bitbop show up in beta form. Many users were able to get in on the fun and check things out, but for those of you who didn't we have good news. Yesterday I had the chance to talk to some folks at Bitbop and was told that it will be coming in the next week or so. The app is coming along nicely and should be a big hit. Bitbop is a very cool app that lets you stream a ton of TV shows right to your device. You can stream shows over Wifi or 3G, or download to your device for later viewing. There will be a 7-day free trial available, and full service will run you $9.99/month. We'll let you know as soon as it is available, but for now check out the video below for more.

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Cheer on your team and annoy the crap out of your friends with free vuvuzela app

* Update - FIXED. Got a new OTA link from the guys... should work better now for downloading! *

If you've been watching the World Cup, you most certainly noticed the vuvuzelas blowing away in the background. If you haven't been watching the World Cup, your ears thank you. The vuvuzela is basically just a long stadium horn used by fans to cheer on their respective teams. They blow the horns for the entire length of the match, and although annoying at first, you really do get used to hearing them after a while.

If you can't make it to South Africa to get in on the fun, you can bring the vuvuzela with you wherever you go with Vuvuzela for BlackBerry. The app is the epitome of simple - start/stop and volume. If you're at a sporting event (think kids baseball game) bust this app out and see how the crowd reacts. It gets super annoying after about 10 seconds, so use at your own risk. Download free OTA (OS 4.3+) from the link below. 

Via: miblackberry

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What's coming in BlackBerry App World 2.0

Yesterday I attended a BlackBerry App World event in New York City, and while there was no huge announcement, I did get a chance to check out BlackBerry App World 2.0 in person. The long-overdue update will include some great new features, some of which we noted yesterday. Perhaps the biggest is the addition of carrier billing. Users will be able to choose to bill the app to their carrier (providing it is supported), PayPal or credit card. There is also a new feature called BlackBerry ID that allows you to easily take your account from one device or another. As many of you have found at first hand, you can currently only use App World on a set number of devices before it won't let you download apps (Bla1ze knows this well). With this new feature, you will be able to login to App World and use it on whatever device you choose, so if you swap devices often you won't have a problem.

The layout of items within App World has been tweaked now as well. Added are Newest Items and Top Themes categories, and you will be able to view items and simply scroll sideways to change categories. So you can easily go from new apps to top selling to top themes just by swiping sideways, and the app will remember your position in each category. In the "My World" section of App World you will also have a Pending Downloads area which will house items that you have marked for download from the app or web.

Overall some good things on the way with the new release. Still no official word on when it will be available, but we're hoping for sometime in the next few weeks. This is a much needed update so we'll welcome it with open arms. Unfortunately my photos tunred out a bit blurry, so thanks to Al Sacco for letting me borrow some of his. Some more shots after the jump.

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U.S. Open 2010 Golf Championship - Catch all the updates from your BlackBerry

With all the news surrounding the FIFA World cup, news from the U.S. Open 2010 Golf Championship has kind of been a little left behind. For Golf fans out there, this is one of the premiere events. With that in mind, it's only fair of us to point out that the U.S. Open does offer up a mobile version of their website to fulfill the needs of golf fans everywhere. Sure, it's not a dedicated application but it works quite well and the layout looks great on BlackBerry devices. If golf is your thing keep it in mind. The U.S Open runs from June 14th till the 20thin Pebble Beach, California.

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Magic 8 Ball for BlackBerry answers all those tough questions - 50 copies to be won!

Magic 8 Ball is an application that will bring you back to the late 80's, and answer all those tough questions for you. Simply think of your question, click "Ask the 8-Ball" and the Magic 8 Ball will give you your answer. The application has all the same responses as the original toy (10 positive, 5 negative, and 5 hazy).  Overall the app is a lot of fun, passes the time, and even makes decisions for you if you so choose. You can pick it up at the CrackBerry App Store via the link below.

Contest:  We have 50 copies of Magic 8 Ball 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. 

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BrickBreaker Guide includes tips and tricks for everyone's favorite game

Waaaaay back when we posted the Ultimate Guide to Kicking BUTT at BrickBreaker! and it was a big hit with the CrackBerry crowd. The guide had some great walkthroughs that explained how to be the best at BrickBreaker. Well Pierre dropped us an email over the weekend to let us know that he has finished his BrickBreaker Guide which also has some "high score secrets" as well as tips for each level. The guide will certaintly help you out if you have the time (and patience) so if you're at all a BrickBreaker fan, you should definitely check it out. Between the two of these guides you have no excuse not to have an insane high score. Be sure to post a comment so we can see who has the best!

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Trillian for BlackBerry beta updated to v1.0 Build 215

Since we first posted about Trillian for BlackBerry many users have downloaded it and given it a test drive. Not all was perfect with the app though for some out there, many users reported some issues which is often the case when beta apps hit mass consumption. Trillian has recognized the problems, thanks to feedback and has now released the latest beta build for everyone to download. Lots of bug fixes have been implemented here. Full list below:

  • 'Auth' contacts should be in offline group
  • AutoText support
  • BIS connection problems
  • Can't add accounts once signed in
  • Constant Red LED
  • Double spacebar & auto caps support
  • Fix LED speed to mirror standard speed
  • Hide avatars and other internal images from BB Media app
  • LED color support
  • List control not exposing expand/collapse menu options
  • Usernames with "_" aren't being allowed but should be
  • Improvements to battery usage 

Hopefully, all these bugfixes will lead to a better all experience for end users. That said, if you checked out the beta previously and were not happy maybe give this build a shot and if it works out better for you.

Source: Cerulean Blog

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Contest: Thumbplay Music application - 30 3-month subscriptions up for grabs

When looking for the latest and greatest way to get music on your BlackBerry there are loads of options. Streaming apps like Pandora and Slacker come to mind, but there are also apps that give you direct on-demand access to artists and albums. Thumbplay does just that, and quite possibly better than anyone else. With Thumbplay Music, you can find the music you want, when you want it. You can listen even when you're offline, and build your own personal music collection on the fly. The full service runs $9.99/month, but we have 30 free 90 day subscriptions to give away. Just leave a single comment on this post to enter. Contest ends this Sunday at midnight PDT.

Please note: You MUST have a US phone number and live in the US to use the Thumbplay Music. The service currently supports the 96xx, 9000, 9700, 8900, 95xx and 85xx series. 

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BlackBerry Theme Lab - An awesome resource for theme developers

Something we've never really focused on here on the blogs was developer resources for making your own BlackBerry themes. Sure, we always let folks know what's going on in regards to new releases and such of BlackBerry Theme Builder but, lots of folks out there want to know where to find more resources to make their own BlackBerry themes. One site that has been given a lot of attention as of late is BlackBerry Theme Lab. While still getting started, the folks over at there have a good thing rolling. Stealing a portion of their about page lets us know what they are all about:

"This website was created to help everyone who is interested in making their own theme the way they always wanted. With everything you will be given here, you will now have the opportunity to do so without having to purchase themes or trying to hunt down a free one you want to try."

With free icons, tutorials and more BlackBerry Theme Lab is a pretty fine place to find some of the tools needed to make your own BlackBerry Themes. With free and paid solutions available, they are bringing resources to the table and making them available for all. Whether you're a new learner or casual theme builder, ya might wanna check em out. Now, if you'll excuse me --I'm off to create a theme. :)

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Made Simple Learning Bold 9650 and Bold 9700 videos and book now available

Made Simple Learning now has video tutorials available for the BlackBerry Bold 9650 as well as a book for the Bold 9650/Bold 9700 series devices. With these tools, users can get to know every aspect of their new BlackBerry and figure out what's what. You won't be left in the dark as you use both VideosNow and VideosToGo to get the in's and out's of your BlackBerry.

Right now you can the videos for just $9.98 by using the coupon code 107055D6C6. Just head to Made To Simple Learning before June 30th and enter the code at checkout. Code does not apply to printed material.

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