BlackBerry News and Reviews

Get Druglord Wars For Only $1.49 Until January 19th

After having won the CrackBerry award for best game of 2009 and sitting in the top downloads of BlackBerry App World for a while. There is no doubt that Druglord Wars is a fan favorite and hugely popular game among BlackBerry users everywhere. In celebration of winning the CrackBerry Best of 2009 award, Epic Applications has reduced the price of Druglord wars to just $1.49 from now up until January 14th. That's over 70% off of the original price. Big thanks to Epic applications for the sale.

We here at CrackBerry also want to send birthday wishes out to Laura (Epic Applications founder Derek's girlfriend) who also helps out and well ... lets Derek live despite his obvious BlackBerry and gaming addictions. Happy birthday Laura!

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Review: BAQ Tracker Mobile for BlackBerry

13, 846. That’s the estimated number of fatalities that involved impaired driving in 2008 in the United States. That’s roughly 38 deaths daily. For lack of a better term, it’s a sobering thought. It’s a simple decision that could change the lives of many forever, including your own. Now I’m not one to tell you what to do; I leave that up to you and your own judgment. All I’m going to say is if you are planning to drive and you are even slightly questioning yourself, then you should find another way home. Sometimes, that inner, sober voice inside you may have a hard time being heard. The loud music and flashing lights could distract you from the decision at hand.

Think of BAQ Tracker mobile application as a megaphone for that inner voice. It’s a discreet and simple way to monitor your alcohol consumption or a loved ones consumption. With real-time representation of your calculated blood alcohol quotient, BAQ Tracker will take the guessing out of the question: “How much is too much?”

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Official OS 5.0.0.425 for the BlackBerry Storm 9500 Released by A1

Another carrier getting in on the fun with this latest OS release that popped up in the forums yesterday. A1 (does anyone else want steak?) has just released OS 5.0.0.425 for the BlackBerry Storm 9500. We haven't seen an official OS for the 9500 since Vodafone dropped one a few months back, so you may want to give this on a shot. Direct download link is below so get to it. If you find anything new and exciting be sure to leave a comment and let us know.

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BlackBerry Quick Tip: Using Posterous As A Mobile Blogging Platform

Some of you may already have heard of or be using Posterous. For those of you who might not, I'm going to give you a quick run down of what Posterous is, and how it can help you out if you are looking for a way to run a blog or just interact with your social networks from your BlackBerry.

First off, Posterous is as they describe it. Dead simple to use. You just simply fire off one email to a specified address and you are already set to go as they will reply back with a URL that is yours to use. (yourname.posterous.com, after set up or you can use a custom domain name) You instantly have a "blog" set up for you, which you can customize as you see fit. The service allows for interaction with a ton of social networks and already existing platforms such as Twitter, Flickr, Wordpress, typepad and many more which allows you to "auto post" anything you send to Posterous to any of those places. Minimal set up required and you have a complete mobile blogging platform to work off of.

Have a pic you want to share on Twitter? Send it to Posterous using the email on your BlackBerry to the address Posterous gives you and it's instantly posted to your Posterous account and Twitter account at the same time. Posterous will accept just about anything you send at it and know what to do with it. Videos, Music and even picture galleries are all set up for you automatically just by email alone or with an app such as vPost. If running a personal blog or sharing stuff on the go is something you are looking for, you'll want to check Posterous out for sure.

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Contest Winners: BlackBerry Presenter, Carrier Unlock & Griddler

Just about two weeks into 2010 and going strong. This week we had the big BlackBerry Presenter announcement and heard loads of cool news from CES. Hopefully 2010 will have some great things in store for the CrackBerry Nation. Just a reminder to developers and retailers - if you'd like to run a contest of your own in the blogs, just shoot an email to editorial(at)crackberry.com to set something up. Thanks to everyone that entered, and congrats to all the winners!

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BlackBerry Theme Builder Webinar Today

*UPDATE- Webinar is now complete. All files including video will be posted in the next 24 hrs*

As we mentioned a little while back, Research In Motion will be holding a BlackBerry Theme Builder webinar today at 2pm EST. If you are at all interested in designing and possibly even selling your themes in BlackBerry App World you'll want to register and sit in on this one for sure. It's a chance to learn from the experts who helped build BlackBerry Theme Studio and learn how to maximize it's potential.

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BlackBerry Curve 8910 Pictured Looking Identical To "Atlas"

As we mentioned, over at BerryReview Ronen got his hands on the above pic of the BlackBerry Curve 8910. After our intiial posting of the device being registered with the Bluetooth SIG we speculated that it was most likely the unreleased BlackBerry "Atlas" that has shown it's face before but was never released.

With the new pic showing up seems that speculation was pretty much on target as it looks identical to all the pictures we have seen of the so called "Atlas". No 3G, 8900 keypad, 256mb, 624mHz processor along with a 3.2mp camera and finally, a trackpad and  just like a 9700 without the Bold keyboard as was all outlined in the spec sheet we have also seen previously. Putting all the latest news together, the specs, the pictures  all seem to lead to an official number branding of what was formerly known as "Atlas" which once again, we do not feel is intended for the North American market.

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Palm webOS, Pre and Pixi from the Perspective of a BlackBerry User, Smartphone Round Robin

Between New Year's celebrations and CES 2010 in Vegas last week, my final Palm review is coming at you about 10 days later than it should. There's a side benefit though. Last week at CES 2010 Palm announced that the Palm Pre Plus and Palm Pixi Plus will be arriving at Verizon in the weeks ahead, so I now have much better perspective of where things are at and going for Palm than I would have had if I had this up when I should have. And with holidays and CES now behind us, the Smartphone Round Robin is back into full swing so stay tuned for lots more fun. If you've lost track of what's going on, be sure to check out the latest updates page to catch-up on who has what and so on. Read on for the review!

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BlackBerry Curve 8910 Shows Up In Bluetooth Registration But What Is It?

*Update: Looks like Ronen was able to snag a photo of the actual 8910 unit. All of this kind of came out of nowhere today, but hopefully we'll get even more details very soon. Head over to BerryReview to check it out.*

Over at Unwiredview today it was revealed that the BlackBerry Curve 8910 had been registered with the Bluetooth Special Interest Group and the application was available for all to view. This information while interesting, leaves a few things unanswered. What we can tell from the above information is currently it's running OS 5.0.0.360 with a platform version of 5.2.0.25 and it is indeed branded as the BlackBerry Curve 8910 no doubt there as that report clearly out lines that. But what exactly is it? New device or possibly one we have already seen in the past?

Now while the thought of a new device is always great to have, we do have to take a step back and remember that the BlackBerry Atlas does exist and has yet to see an actual release. That device, was to arrive with a 480x360 screen, no 3G and was not intended for the North American market so we'll just have to and wait and see what the rest of 2010 brings us. 3G has become a big factor for users here in North America and Europe but many providers in other countries are not concerned about 3G and with RIM expanding even further globally a EDGE or Enhanced EDGE device could fair quite well. Food for thought regarding the BlackBerry Curve 8910 if nothing else.

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CES 2010: Thumbplay Unveils New Music App for BlackBerry Smartphones - Sign Up for the Private Beta

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

Back in August we blogged about Thumbplay's new BlackBerry Music Store app that appeared in App World. That first app was essentially an mp3 music store for BlackBerry, and while it was a nice clean and functional application, it was really a beta for Thumbplay and actually is no longer in App World. However, at CES 2010 last week Thumbplay unveiled the BlackBerry Private Beta for their new Unlimited Music App, which to me looks like a pretty compelling offer for music lovers. Be sure to check out the video above for a walk-through demo and the official press release below.

Essentially, for $9.99/month, you'll gain access on both your computer and smartphone to Thumbplay's massive database (millions of songs & growing). You don't "own" the songs, but can create your own playlists and stream whatever you want to listen to whenever you want to. You can also take advantage of autoplaylists, or if you want to own a particular song you can buy it at anytime directly. Be sure to check out the full details below - there's wireless syncing of playlists and a number of other features.

The official release should be soon, but if you want to try and get in early you can apply for the private beta at music.thumbplay.com. I'm always surprised at how many similar yet different models of streaming music are now available out there. I think this is one of the pricier of the bunch (Rhapsody is more at $14.99/mo), but also seems to be one of the most complete in terms of what you get - basically every song you can possibly want to listen to, on demand. Not bad! So what do you think? Sound off in the comments!

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CES 2010: Been Wondering What Happened to Unify4Life? BlackBerry Remote Products Now Zentral Home Command

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

Remember Unify4Life? We've been talking about them on the CrackBerry blogs for a while now, going back to their initial launch at WES 2008 where they unveiled the "BlackBerry Remote" that allowed you to control your home entertainment system wirelessly from your BlackBerry. They added follow-up products, like the the "BlackBerry Garage Door Opener" to the mix as well but never really seemed to come out of beta phase and hit the market in a big way... that is until now.  Last week at CES we gained understanding of what's going on. Unify4Life is now working with Audiovox and is bringing all of the products to market under their Acoustic Research division under the brand Zentral Home Command. Watch the video above for a first-hand look and you can check out the official press release below.

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CES 2010: PowerMat's To Be Released PowerPak Wireless Charging Solution is Freak'n Awesome!

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

Ok ok... so the number of companies starting to offer wireless charging solutions for smartphones is growing (it's already becoming a little overwhelming to be honest) but after leaving CES 2010 in my opinion it's the folks at PowerMat that are leading the charge. Their original 2009 PowerMat solution was already compelling and sold over 700,000 units in no time, but it's their upcoming PowerPak system that is going to blow the doors off the wireless charging market for smartphones.

Check out the video above. With their new PowerPak for BlackBerry (also to be available for a bunch of other manufacturers and devices), the standard OEM battery door remains on the device. Instead, they're replacing the manufacturer's battery with one of their own that has the magical inductive charging technology built into it. Seriously. This is something I've been hoping RIM would do (like Palm does with their Touchstone), but PowerMat is doing it now. Well, not quite now... it'll be available in June, but they had the pre-release stuff at the show working just fine by the looks of it. What I love about this solution is that it doesn't exclude existing accessories, like the bedside charging pod or cases and skins from being used, as the battery door does not change. Awesome, awesome, awesome. Can you tell I'm excited? Like seriously. Wicked. Need it NOW.

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CES 2010: Slacker 3.0 Arriving Soon With Support For Canada Included

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

While attending CES 2010 we took the time to get an up close and personal look at the new Slacker 3.0. Many new changes have come to Slacker Radio with the latest version, as you can see from the video above, 3.0 includes a revamped interface, better caching implementation as it can now be done wirelessly and has also laid claim to better overall battery life while using the updated release.

We are also glad to say now that the new Slacker will be arriving in Canada as early as this week (so we were told). Yes, you read that right - Slacker will be available in Canada (finally!) with the 3.0 release. The only word of a release date announcement at CES was that Slacker 3.0 is coming as soon as Wednesday or Thursday for Canada, and it should be another week or two before it hits the US.

Canadian users will get a 30 free trial with premium accounts starting at $4.99 a month or $3.99/month USD for a full year paid up subscription. Also, there will be a 14 day trial on caching for the US version on 3.0, but you will need to upgrade to a premium account to keep that feature active. Check out some screenshots after the jump.

[ Video Court. Of @nanpalmero / BBCool ]

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Location Based Mobile Clipboard App Dynamic Legend Seeking Beta Testers

 

Currently in early beta stages, Dynamic Legend is a location based clipboard that allows users to create a "legend" on the web, and bring the information along on your BlackBerry. When searching on the web via a pc, we typically find information we'd like to have for later reference on the go. Instead of entering the info into memopad or emailing it to yourself, Dynamic Legend lets you create a legend from the web, and using the free BlackBerry app, quickly access it at your destination. This can be useful for any number ot things including destination meetings, house hunting, garage sales, festivals and more. When you need to access the previously entered information, just enter the key (provided when creating a legend) in the app on your device and the information will be instantly pulled up. You can even add context information such as time and place.

Dynamic Legend is still in beta, so there may be some bugs/issues with the app but it seems to be working well thus far. If you'd like to try it out,  head to dynamiclegend.com/load/legendviewer on your device to download the application. Then check out dynamiclegend.com to get going and start creating legends.

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Unlock, Lock & Start Your Car from Your BlackBerry with Viper SmartStart

I've always been a big fan of the remote starter I had installed in my car a few years ago. Being able to start it up from my living room in the heart of winter is a great thing. When I saw the rumors on Viper SmartStart, I was excited to say the least. The app allows users to take their technology geekness to the ultimate level, allowing you to lock & unlock doors, pop the trunk, sound the alarm and start the vehicle all from a simple interface. The app will be free in BlackBerry App World, but the hardware for your car will set you back anywhere from around $300 to over $600, and after the first year the service will run you another $30/year. Some systems are already compatible with SmartStart, so you'll just need to get Viper's upgrade module (which will still cost you more than it should). As much as I'd love to rush out and get one of these hooked up, I think the price is a bit out of my range for the time being. I don't really see this being totally mainstream. While we'd all love to start out cars with a click of the BlackBerry, it just isn't likely that many will shell out the cash for system like this. Drop a comment and let us know what you think.

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'The Germinator' Cleans Your BlackBerry with Cyber Clean

If your like me, you have your BlackBerry in hand throughout the day and it tends to get dirty or greasy. At CES I happened to stumble upon the Cyber Clean booth, where they were demonstrating their cleaning product. Cyber Clean's flubber-like material is very easy to use. Simply press the material firmly down on your BlackBerry, peel off, and watch the dirt strip away. I have used other cleaning products in the past for my BlackBerry, but this by far has been the most impressive, leaving my device feeling as clean as the day I bought it. Cyber Clean also works great on most electronics, especially keyboards since the material can reach into the spaces between each of the keys. Their product is available in a few different model and pricing starts around $5.99.

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Best of Smartphone Experts, 10 Jan 2010


CrackBerry Reminder: What You May Have Missed This Week


CES 2010 - Introducing the Cignias NAO Symphony Music System




Cignias is a relatively new company in the sound system business, but they have made an outsanding product. The NAO Symphony is a small music system that allows users to stream music wirelessly via Wi-Fi or bluetooth. BlackBerry users can also control an iPod docked to the system via the MusicNAO and PodNAO apps currently available in BlackBerry App World. Here are some additional specs:
NAO Symphony and NAO Symphony Noir Features:
  • Plays music wirelessly from iPhone, iPod touch* and BlackBerry smartphones
  • Wi-Fi support via direct connection or through the home network
  • Stereo Bluetooth (A2DP) support
  • Wirelessly control docked iPod with a BlackBerry smartphone
  • Full access to playlists, albums, artists, genres, etc from docked iPod
  • Intuitive color LEDs for navigation
  • Integrated performance equalizer
  • Auxiliary input
  • 50 watt speaker system
  • Smartphone battery conservation
  • 2 high performance 4" speakers and 2 1" tweeters
I'll have a full review posted in the coming days about the unit itself. Check out Cignias.com for more information

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SchlageLiNK Introduces New Features at CES 2010



Schlage is back this year at CES and has a few new offerings up their sleeves for the SchlageLiNK system. You may remember that we first learned of the SchlageLiNK system last year at CES, and then we posted a full review of the system just a few months later.

This year Schlage introduced a partnership with Alarm.com that will enable greater whole house control when integrated with a SchlageLiNK system. I spoke with Colin Murray from Alarm.com and he gave me a brief walk-through of the system. The system they will offer through one of their local distributors will tie in to the SchlageLiNK lock, and when you enter your door code, your alarm will arm or disarm depending on whether you are locking or unlocking your door. Like Schlage, they will have a web portal and a BlackBerry app that you can use to control your system. Fee's have not been set yet, and release is about 2-3 months away. We'll keep you updated as more information becomes available.

Also new from Schlage is a Home Energy Management system. Many of us suffer from high energy bills, and wish we could lower them. This new solution from Schalge uses additional Z-Wave components at various parts of your home to monitor your energy consumption. A new web interface is being created, and will allow the user to see energy consumption and what that energy is costing them, and help create a budget to help lower your energy use. 

All in all, I think Schlage has some great things in store for us in 2010 and you can count on CrackBerry.com to keep you posted on the new developments. 

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