BlackBerry News and Reviews

Official OS Released for the BlackBerry Storm 9530 from Bell Mobility


It looks like Bell Mobility is the latest to jump in on the official 5.0 fun. The tip line was on overload this morning with reports of the official release. OS is now available for download for the Storm 9530 from Bell Mobility. Glad to see that the update has finally landed for Bell users, and hopefully more carriers will drop 5.0 for other devices in the near future. This is an official release, but as always use caution when upgrading your device. Hit up the link below to download. Thanks to everyone that sent this in!

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eBay For BlackBerry Updated: Additional Devices Now Supported

The official eBay for BlackBerry application saw a little bump in versions for the the first time since it's release back in November. Seems some may not have gotten the BlackBerry App World push update for it yet, but in any case if you look in BlackBerry App World now you should see that eBay was updated from from version to Luckily, this time around there is an actual change log within the description of the application its self which states:

This version supports additional devices such as the 8520, 8230, 8350 and 8530 models to widen our beta user base. Minor usability issues and some visual fixes were addressed. Passwords with special characters (e.g. $ & *) are supported. The new version will support 9700, 9520, 9550 and 9530 users shortly.

Interesting changelog with some great changes. Nice to see security updated and a broader range of devices supported. However, a few discrepencies in it as well considering the above picture was taken from a BlackBerry Bold 9700 which according to the log isn't supported with version as of yet. BlackBerry App World did allow me to install it, so I say go ahead and grab it if it's showing for you.

[ BBOS ]

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Are "Push" Services RIMs Strength And Weakness?

Is "push" both a blessing and a curse?(online surveys)  

When it comes to email any BlackBerry user will tell you that they love their BlackBerry smartphone for how fast they can get email. RIM has been doing "push" email for a long time now and has  become the leader in that area - No doubt about that. Only now is the smartphone market catching up to BlackBerry and it sure as heck still has a long way to go as of yet in the area of push.

As much as we love our push email and applications, with the recent outages I can't help but wonder if the strong point RIM has made with BlackBerry is also a weakness of the service. Think about this for a second. While other Platforms such as iPhone, Android and Windows Mobile do have some push capability for the most part, they also have "pull" capability at the same time built directly into their individual OS'. If the iPhone push services go down at any point, which they do, you can still pull your email into your device using your carrier data. The same goes with Android and Windows Mobile as well. The power of being able to pull email is not given to BlackBerry users due to the fact RIM is always touting the push benefits with email and even apps more and more.

BlackBerry users however, are well, kind of stuck for the most part. Sure you may be able to use the GMail application to check your GMail or your browser to access some other popular POP3 accounts, but that's assuming those items are working as well. As we know, some applications use RIM data services and some applications use your carriers data network. This area becomes fragmented as to which apps will work on your BlackBerry if there is a RIM outage. As RIM moves forward more and more with push applications, again I have to wonder, is push a benefit but also a hinderence to the the BlackBerry offerings at times? Should BlackBerry users have the ability to pull their data if they do so choose? Cast your vote and let us know, then sound off in the comments and tell me if you think I'm crazy or if you see my point.

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Wallpaper Shuffle Now Supporting OS 5.0 Devices

Fabian Heuwieser has updated one of his best selling BlackBerry applications to support all OS 5.0 devices. Wallpaper Shuffle as you may remember, was an application first for the BlackBerry Storm and later the BlackBerry Tour that allowed you to swap out your wallpapers at a timed interval. Effectively, ensuring you never get bored of seeing just one wallpaper all the time while having minimal impact on battery life. With the latest update you can now get Wallpaper shuffle on any device that is running os 4.7 and higher. From now until January 25th you can pick it up for only $1.95 in the CrackBerry App Store.

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New BlackBerry Apps for Lotus Quickr and Connections Take Enterprise Collaboration and Social Networking to New Level

IBM's big annual Lotus Conference, Lotusphere, is taking place right now in Orlando, Florida. Research In Motion is on site as they always are, not only as a sponsor but as great contributors to the event. This year, RIM brought some new and updated business collaboration tools with them to show off that should prove to be a big hit with enterprise folks in the form of new and updated BlackBerry apps for Lotus Quickr and Lotus Connections.

This past Friday I got a run-through of these applications from Valerie Wang, who is Manager, Enterprise Product Management for RIM. While BlackBerry BIS consumers may not be familiar with IBM's Lotus software, there is a good chance those who received their BlackBerry from the company they work for and are running on a BES are. As you can imagine, there is a big overlap between IBM's and RIM's biggest customers out there in terms of organizations that have a lot of BlackBerry Smartphones installed and who are running Lotus, so RIM's focus here and IBM's distribution of the product is a natural fit.

Lotus Quickr is all about enterprise document colloboration - so right from your BlackBerry you can securely share, download, modify, upload documents and files from your device with team members. Lotus Connections is kind of like Facebook for enterprise, allowing you to access Lotus Connections profiles, bookmarks, communities, activities, blogs and more straight from your device. You can even view the chain of command so you know who reports to who and so on. The bigger the company, the more compelling this type of solution gets. What's also cool here is that these apps are running through what's called the SNAP server (Social Networking Application Proxy) which allows for CIOs and IT admins to actually see how these applications are getting used within the organization. Cool stuff.

I've BARELY scratched the surface here. For more info, you can check out the press release below, but better yet, jump on over to to view the demos. 

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Enter To Win 1 Of 15 Epik Cases For Your BlackBerry Smartphone

The folks over at reached out to us a few days ago and let us know they were interested in having a contest for the CrackBerry nation wherein they were wanting to give away and Epik case and one screen protector to 15 lucky CrackBerry members. 

What can we say? We're love contests and enjoy giving back to the community whenever possible so, lets do it up. Leave your comments here to win 1 if 15 Epik cases and a screen protector from Supported device are 8300, 8500, 8900, 9000, 9500, 9550, 9630 & 9700. Just let us know any stories or incidents you may have had where a Epik case would have come in handy. Drop your new BlackBerry even before you had a chance to buy a skin? Maybe it fell in a snow bank as you stumbled out the bar? Let us hear it folks. Contest will run until Friday with the winners chosen by Monday, January 25th. Thanks to the folks at Degasis for offering this up. One entry per person folks, all duplicate entries will be ignored. Good luck to you all

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Twinkler Software 20% Off Sale

In honor of Martin Luther King Day, Twinkler Software is having a 20% sale on all of their great apps. Today only you can pick up AddContactX, AddOnis, InstantLog, NotifyX, SendX and WiFi Hero for 20% off. Not the biggest savings, but still a good discount if you've been waiting to pick up one or more of these apps. All the prices are discounted in the CrackBerry App Store, so jump in and pick up one (or all) of these awesome apps before the day is over!

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CES 2010: Hallmark Mobile Greetings for BlackBerry Lets You Send eCards to other Smart and Feature Phones

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

Over the weekend I found a couple last vids on the ole HD camera from CES 2010 worth getting up here on the CrackBerry blogs, one of which is about Hallmark Mobile Greetings. You can watch the quick walkthrough above and can download the Hallmark Mobile Greetings app for BlackBerry from App World for free. Once installed, you can browse through a bunch of mobile greetings and customize and send them (only from the US right now) to your friends / colleagues / family via SMS. The receiver is prompted to install the Mobile Greetings app onto their device, and Hallmark has been good enough to provide the app for pretty much every smartphone and feature phone out there. Once the receiver installs the app and views their card, the sender is then charged 99 cents with the expense being added to their monthly phone bill by the carrier. 

All in all, pretty cool. Yet another way to communicate via smartphones and I'm sure many people out there will put this to use. What do you think? Going to be sending some Hallmark Mobile Greetings in 2010??

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CES 2010: Video Demo of Kodak Wireless Printing for BlackBerry Smartphones

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

Kodak was on hand at the BlackBerry booth CES 2010 demoing their new app for BlackBerry that allows you to print documents wirelessly from your BlackBerry. Check out the video above to see the demo. Cool stuff. Yet another thing you can do with your BlackBerry. :) Only potential downside here is that the integreation is via Documents2Go, so if you're one of those people who uninstalls it to save app space you likely won't be taking advantage of this. 

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Review: PrimeTime2Go on the T-Mobile Bold 9700

Some of you may remember the review I did of PrimeTime2Go last year. The service has been progressing since last May, and now comes pre-loaded on the T-Mobile Bold 9700. PrimeTime2Go offers over 60 prime time programs, and comes with a carrier billing option on the T-Mobile Bold 9700 for $9.99/month. Unfortunately, there are still very few BlackBerry models supported by the service, but more devices are being added as they can be supported.

As of my last review, PrimeTime2Go was still in its infancy, and was experiencing some growing pains. As of this review with the T-Mobile Bold 9700, it seems that they have worked out some of their intial bugs, and made the software more usuable.

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MyWeather Mobile for your BlackBerry Smartphone

There have been many weather applications going around recently, MyWeather Mobile is another good one. At $3.99, MyWeather Mobile is a bit cheaper than most feature rich weather applications, and also has a free, lite version. The application gives you current sky conditions (including wind chill/speed/direction, dew point, humidity, precipitation, and barometric pressure), personalized city selection, as well as your 7 day forecast. MyWeather Mobile also uses Microsoft Virtual earth, allowing you to pan, scroll and zoom the animated radar to a variety of points of interest, making it the best radar on a BlackBerry that I have seen. Another nice feature is the 36 hour trend graphs, giving you detailed information on recent conditions and precipitation. Overall I think MyWeather Mobile is a good application, is priced very well, and has one of the best animated radars out there. However, it is lacking that wonderful BerryWeather homescreen integration. MyWeather Mobile is only available in the U.S.A. and is compatible with the 9530, 9550, 83xx, 81xx, 9000 and coming soon to the 9630 and 8900. Click the links below to download via BlackBerry App World.

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Best of Smartphone Experts, 17 Jan 2010

Another Data Outage For BlackBerry Users?

*UPDATE*- Things seem to have been restored back to working order*

Reports are rolling in, the forums are filling up and yes, we appear to have another data outage on our hands. While all confirmations have been vocal from customer care reps Rogers and T-Mobile have stated that RIM is having an issue at the moment with no current ETA for a fix. Last outage was attributed to BBM and all users were advised to upgrade to the newest BlackBerry messenger. This time, we don't know as of yet but one thing is for sure, it's getting kind of old. Let us know in the comments folks if you are having some issues and sit tight, while we wait this one out.

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BlackBerry Tour2 9650 Appears In CelleBrite System

Some information for those out there that are awaiting the release of the BlackBerry Tour 2 aka 9650 aka Essex. If you have been holding out for the Tour 2 your waiting may soon be over as rumors abound claim the Tour 2 should be arriving anytime soon now. Be it this month or next, that window of release is there as a rumor.

A often used indicator for this is when devices get loaded into CelleBrite. CelleBrite can be used as a collaborative POS system, but also has the capability to allow transfer of contacts to and from wireless devices. It's used by quite a few carriers in their stores. This time around though, seeing the Tour 2 loaded up in there and given its source, being that of a Verizon tipster, it's safe to say that this one came from within Verizon. That's all we have for now folks but as the day gets closer we're sure well see some more release information pop up.

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Free Binary Clock Application For The Geek In You

Chances are, if you can read a Binary clock you have no problems with being called a geek. Phrenck, has taken care of your geekiest time needs with his latest app. The free binary clock is now available for download and is supported by any BlackBerry smartphone with a color screen. The "pulsating" dots allow for accurate time reading but just in case you get lost, pressing the menu key will bring up your values to cheat with. If you wanna learn more about how to read a binary clock you can check out the WikiHow article.

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CrackBerry Reminder: What You May Have Missed This Week

Some good stuff this past week. A few more videos from CES, as well as our first "CrackBerry Radio" show this year and some more Smartphone Round Robin goodness. A fair amount of contests this week as well to spread some joy to the CrackBerry Nation. We hope everyone is making the most of 2010 so far - stay tuned for loads of new stuff from our end in the coming weeks. If you didn't get a chance to see what went down the last few days, hit up the links below and check out all the happenings.

What You May Have Missed

Contest Reminder

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Berry Holiday 2 Theme Rebranded to CB2 Theme - Still Free, Tweaked Up and Now Available for all BlackBerry Models

Remember the free Berry Holiday 2 theme we gave away before Christmas? Well it's back! Rebranded from Berry Holiday to CB2 and coming with a default wallpaper that works year round (though you can always change that up with our free wallpaper gallery), Zach from Z Man Designs has tweaked up the theme (fixing any issues some users had) and has now made it available for ALL BLACKBERRY device models, including the Pearls and older Curves, 8800s and even the 8700 (be sure to check the OS requirements on the product page to make sure your device is compatible - ie, 8700 needs OS 4.5). Keep in mind this is a new theme, so if you're already running Berry Holiday the CB2 theme will install separately.

Just like Berry Holiday 2, CB2 features three hidden docks. When they're all minimized the homescreen is very clean with the CrackBerry fuel/battery gauge standing out nicely in the middle. From there you can scroll up for your core shortcuts and then back down the outer to icons to bring up the customizable side docks (Storm users can check out the hot spot chart). It'll take a couple minutes to get used to it. For devices running OS 5.0 the CB2 theme features nice transitions. Overall, it's a really nice looking theme. Follow the link below to download FOR FREE. Thanks again Z Man!

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Smartphone Round Robin Catch-Up: Windows on BlackBerry First Impressions; Palm on BlackBerry Final Review

The Smartphone Round Robin continues... and while I'm playing with the iToy this week (final review coming before end of weekend, see first impressions video here) there's some great BlackBerry coverage for you all to check out. 

Dieter was tied up with CES, so like me was a little late in getting his last review up. Dieter really gave the BlackBerry Bold 9700 and Storm2 some good thought in his final BlackBerry review, so you'll definitely want to jump over to and check it out if you haven't done so yet. There's some shocking and unexpected twists in this one... he praises the Storm2's keyboard and RIPS into our beloved BlackBerry Messenger. Read it here.

And this week it's Phil who's rocking the BlackBerry Bold and Storm2. If you missed his hands-on impressions video, you can check it out here. Be sure to give him a hand on his CrackBerry forum thread and keep your eyes on our Round Robin latest updates page for his final review. 

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BlackBerry 101: How To Clear Your Address Book Database

With a title like that I'm sure some of you out there are asking why would I want to clear my address book? Well, let's face it even though BlackBerry does a good job of contacts synchronization through Outlook and various other methods, unless you are on a BES it has a tendency to wreak havoc on occassion.

Duplicate entries, missing email addresses or just general chaos can happen. This is a quick and easy guide to show you how to remove your whole contact database without removing wanted items such as calendar entries or needing to wipe your whole OS. 

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Blurts Updated to Version 1.1 - 50 Free Copies to Give Away

We have posted a few times on the application Blurts. If you haven't heard, it is an application that connects your BlackBerry and PC via bluetooth, allowing you to view email, sms, and incoming call alerts directly on your PC. Along with its current features, Blurts has added the following:

  • SMS message threading with chat history and ability to have more that one SMS window open at once
  • Option to split messages larger than 160 characters into multiple messages
  • Capture of images from your BlackBerry's screen
  • Option to auto lock PC once Blurts disconnects
  • Now supporting Broadcom Bluetooth drivers
  • Importing of your BlackBerry's address book for alerts
  • Contacts photo will display from address book when receiving an alert
  • 2-Way transfer of clipboard
  • Non-English characters now supported
  • Location of alert on desktop is now customizable

If you're looking to give Blurts a go, they also have a trial version, however it does not include all of the new features features. The application is compatible with all devices running OS 4.2.1 and higher.

Contest: We have 50 copies of Blurts 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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