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BlackBerry News and Reviews

Shameless Plug - CrackBerry: True Tales of BlackBerry Use and Abuse Available on the Amazon Kindle

* Update - to those in the comments asking for it, I posted the link to the straight .pdf version. *

Have a New Year's Resolution to get your BlackBerry use under control? Get an Amazon Kindle for Christmas? If so, then just type the word "crackberry" into your Kindle and you can pick-up CrackBerry: True Tales of BlackBerry Use and Abuse. This is not a BlackBerry how-to book, but rather a book full of real-life stories of BlackBerry use gone too far as well as lots of tips and tricks to get your smartphone use under control (even though it was written for BB, the strategies are good for anybody who can't put down their mobile device).

The paper back copy of this book came out in November 2008, and the Kindle version actually was released in May of 2009, but of course it was only since I personally picked up a Kindle this Christmas for myself (contributing to these sales stats I guess) that I even realized it was available in Kindle-format! The Kindle version actually sells for $6 less than the paperback.

All in all, if you're one of those hardcore BlackBerry users you should appreciate it - it's kinda funny, slightly disturbing and actually has some really helpful and useful information. Definitely take the BlackBerry Addiction quiz. And one of these days we'll have to follow up with an updated version - so if you have good stories to share jot them down and be ready to send them in for when we do a call for stories.

I guess now all we need is that Amazon Kindle for BlackBerry app to get released! :)

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A Quick Look at Using Bedside Mode on your BlackBerry

One of the most forgotten features in the BlackBerry OS has to be Bedside Mode. This feature was first introduced on the BlackBerry Bold 9000 and is on all devices featuring version 4.6 > software. Many users swear by it, while others don't even know it exists. There really isn't much to setting it up, but it can come in handy if you're like me and use your device as an alarm clock or don't turn it off when you go to sleep (but let's be honest, what BlackBerry addict does?). Bedside Mode is a great way to tweak your device with some quick settings that will activate when the device is charging. You can choose to disable the LED, turn off radio, dim the screen and more. The device will automatically enter Bedside Mode when a charger is attached, and if you're at your desk or in a car or anywhere you don't want to activate the feature, you can easily exit simply by pressing the back button. Check out the video above for a quick look at setting up and using Bedside Mode on your BlackBerry Smartphone.

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Review: Case-Mate Barely There Case for BlackBerry Storm2

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

[ Forums member moviemogul gave us a this great video review of the Case-Mate Barely There Case for the Storm 2. This video comes from our Community Reviews forums. Post your review and if we promote it to the blogs you'll receive a coupon for free accessories or apps. While we don't currently have the Barely There Case for the Storm 2, we should have it in stock in the near future. Check out all of the Case-Mate cases at ShopCrackBerry.com. ]

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Contest: 75 Free Unlock Codes from Carrier Unlock

Carrier Unlock is again offering up some free codes to the CrackBerry Nation. The codes will be for Rogers, AT&T, T-Mobile USA, Verizon, Cincinnati Bell, Centennial, Cellular One, and Suncom. As an added bonus, with the coupon code CB the above carriers can be unlocked for just $6.99 during the contest, or the code will take $3.00 off any of the other products Carrier Unlock offers. Head over to carrierunlock.com for more info or to purchase. Just leave a comment on this post to enter the contest - ends this Sunday at Midnight PST. Please only leave one comment, multiple entries won't count.

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ÜberTwitter Beta-6 Now Available For Download

CrackBerry's Best Twitter App Of 2009 award winner ÜberTwitter has released their latest version of the popular Twitter client for all to download. The list of changes in the Beta-6 release is rather large and includes a bunch of highly requested changes that will be surely welcomed among ÜberTwitter and Twitter fans alike. Full list of changes is available after the jump. 

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New GStyle Magazine Theme Now Available For Free

I've always enjoyed reading some of the articles over at GStyle Mag - they're always funny and informative. This post though is not about their great articles. Rather, it's about the new theme they had designed for them by CockyCulture, who we know from their previous theme creations. GStyleCity is now available as a free download for everyone. Currently the theme supports Blackberry Bold 9700, Bold, Curve 8900, Curve 85xx, Tour, and Storm models.

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Research In Motion CEO Jim Balsillie Named Business Newsmaker of the Year for 2009

As the Canadian Press proclaims, Research In Motion's co-CEO, Jim Balsillie, has been named business newsmaker of the year. Jim and his team at Research In Motion had its ups and downs but still came out of 2009 looking pretty good if you ask me. The Canadian Press announcement focuses more on Jim's attempted Phoenix Coyotes take over purchase this past year, moreso than his involvement with Research In Motion and the making of BlackBerry Smartphones.

In any event, a lot of 2009's news segments were indeed dedicated to much of what Balsillie was up to on all fronts be it the NHL, BlackBerry outages or just simply Research In Motion's stance in the wireless market. Jim Balsillie made plenty of headlines in 2009 and the award seems quite fitting to me. Congrats on the award Mr. Balsillie, but as a BlackBerry user I can only hope there will be less outages in 2010 for news outlets to report on.

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BlackBerry Theme Builder Webinar Reminder

Are you a theme builder? Maybe you want to take up theme building? Well, Research In Motion will be holding another webinar aimed at developers who want to learn more about the processes and tools used. BlackBerry Theme Builder 5.0 will be at the forefront of some of the information shared and with access to the webinar available to all you can pick up some tips from the experts on how to build, customize and profit from your work. The webinar will be held on January 12th, 2010 at 2PM EST, be sure to sign up.

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Best of Smartphone Experts, 3 Jan 2010


ATT's New Commercial: Funny... And Familiar! Can You Say BlackBerry Messenger Stress Test Deja Vu?!

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

AT&T started airing a new Luke Wilson commercial promoting their 3G Network and since it went live we've received a bunch of emails on the tip line alerting us to it. Why? Because the premise of the commercial will be all too familiar to regular CrackBerry readers. Remember our BlackBerry Messenger Stress test? Watch the video above and you'll know what we're talking about (see our BBM 5.0 stress test aftermath video below). Solid commercial AT&T! We won't bug you for any royalty checks, but how about you send 20 BlackBerry Bold 9700s to us for the idea inspiration and we'll hold a contest to give them away to our readers?! Sounds like a GREAT way to start off 2010! :)  Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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CrackBerry Reminder: What You May Have Missed This Week


All SmrtApps 50% Through January 3rd

*UPDATE- All fixed up, add any item $4.99+ then add SmrtMonitor and then apply code*

The folks at SmrtGuard are celebrating the New Year with a BIG sale. From now until January 3rd you can get ALL of their applications at 50% off - no coupons needed. This includes SmrtGuard (all plans), SmrtAlerts (aka PeeKaWho), SmrtPhotos, SmrtTweak, SmrtZodiac, and more! There are a total of 12 applications to choose from. This is a great opportunity to pick up some very cool apps at a great price. For more information, check out the entire SmrtApps prouct listing.

As an added bonus, if your total purchase is over $4.99, you can use the coupon code 'THANKYOU!' to get the new SmrtMonitor app totally free!

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Make Resolutions Stick with BlackBerry Applications

Congratulations, you made it to 2010! With any luck, your BlackBerry survived as well. If not, go out and purchase another one. You're going to need it this year, as it's going to help you keep the resolutions you made. It looks like both RIM and I came up with ideas of which apps to look out for (I think we agreed on only one). It's time to start following through on the promises you made to yourself and your BlackBerry is waiting to lend you a hand. After the jump, you will find a list of common resolutions and application solutions. Maybe you have others that we haven't considered. If that's the case, let everyone know what you use to help keep yours a success.

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BlackBerry App Roundup for January 1st, 2010!

Happy New Year Everyone! Let's kick 2010 off right with a look at some apps you may want to load up on your BlackBerry. Covered in the first BlackBerry App Roundup of 2010 are the following titles:

Freebie of the Week: CrackBerry Launcher

In Case You Missed It: buzzd Updated, SmrtMonitor, Help I Crashed My Car

New This Week: New Year Greet, Guitar Trainer, SMS Statistics, PBA Bowling 2, Vorino Battery, InstantLog

Cool at BlackBerry App World: Navita Translator

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Grooveshark - Another New Streaming Music App for your BlackBerry Smartphone

Grooveshark is a music streaming application that compares to Pandora and Slacker, but also differs from them.  Let me start out by saying that Grooveshark is not free if you wish to use on your BlackBerry, it requires a VIP pass that costs $3 per month. That being said, it is worth every penny in my opinion.  The application does have features like radio stations based off of your favorite music, but is not totally centered around it.  You can simply play any song you wish instantly, then search for your next song/album an "add/add all after current song" which really gives you the feeling of total control over your music.  Grooveshark also features multiple custom playlists, favorites, and making songs accessible offline for those places where your service is not so good.  Overall I think Grooveshark is a great app that sets itself apart from the rest with its song and album playing features.  It  is available for all BlackBerry's running OS 4.2.1 and requires a 3G/Wi-Fi connection to stream/cache music.  As an added bonus Groveshark is available in Canada and (from what I can tell) most countries as well. You can download directly to your device from grooveshark.com. If you give it a try, be sure to share your thoughts in the comments.

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Say hello to SAM and MO on Twitter

Is it just me, or did Christmas just rush by? If you were brave enough to venture into the malls, you would have been able to see just how busy cell phone stores were. Those sales reps, though extremely busy, were probably pretty happy with the business they were receiving. January and February mark a quiet time in sales. Sure, you will see activity in the same stores, but nothing like it was in the previous quarter. Now is the perfect time to hone your skills and prepare for the New Year. The BlackBerry smartphone does sell itself for the most part, but there are consumers who look for the confident and knowledgeable sales rep behind them. A few months ago, Rogers Wireless came up with a way to reach out to their sales reps. Not just through training material or sales meetings, but through Twitter. Say hello to SAM and MO.

@SAMBlackBerry is “all about Social networking, Applications and Messaging.”

@MOBlackBerry is “all about Multimedia and Organization.”

Now do you see where the names SAM and MO fit in? It’s an interesting concept, as they tweet about various applications, accessories and what they have done using BlackBerrys. In my opinion, more helpful tips could be tweeted in order to offer more value to their followers (who must be approved, I may add). I guess the same could be said about my own. My feelings were hurt a little bit, as they stopped following me for some reason. I won’t be too mad at MO though, as he does follow CrackBerry! At the time that this article was written, they only had 23 followers each. Alright Rogers reps, step up and start following these two.

Oh and in the mean time, make sure you are following CrackBerry as well, for the latest in BlackBerry news and to get help fro our amazing Twelper team.

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Happy New Year from CrackBerry.com! All the Best in 2010!

if you don't see any new blog posts up for a while, it means we had a VERY good New Year's eve...

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CrackBerry Best of 2009 Awards Winners Announced!

December 31st is here which means it is time to officially announce the winners in our CrackBerry.com Best of 2009 Awards. The voting concluded at midnight last night and we dropped audible word of the winners in our 2009 Year End Podcast this morning. Below you'll find the winners in each category accompanied with their award graphic (the winners can feel free to use the graphics on their sites!). We'll follow up soon with a full breakdown of the voting results (takes a while to chop the images out from the system and turn them into an article) but we made a couple of runner-up notes here and there where the race was tight and you can listen to the podcast for more details of how things unfolded until we get the follow-up post live.

Huge Congratulations go to the winners and all of the nominees. 2009 was a great year for BlackBerry and we can't wait to see what will be nominated in the 2010 CBAs.  

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CrackBerry Podcast 044: 2009 End of Year Special Edition Show!

There's only one day in the year when you can truly record a year-end show, and that's December 31st. Craig, Adam, Bla1ze and myself jumped on the podcast line for nearly 90 minutes this morning to look back at the year that was 2009. We reflect on some of the highs and lows, work through all the new BlackBerry Smartphones that hit the market over the year with our take on each of them and start looking ahead to BlackBerry in 2010.

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BlackBerry Application Development - Getting Started

2009 was a HUGE year for BB development. It started with BlackBerry App World, and has steadily snowballed from there. At DEVCON, RIM broke the news on several stunning new additions to the BB development world, highlights being Open GL, the 5.0 API library, and Widgets. With New Year's fast approaching, addicts the world over are looking forward to 2010 as a banner year for development. I am totally pumped to see the offerings brought forward this year by the development community as a whole.

Are you excited at the possibilities? Interested in getting involved, or maybe know someone who is? Perhaps you're already a developer, and you've been thinking about developing for BB? We would love to see what you can do! I would love to see our developer community grow, producing more and better apps for us to toy with.

To get you started, I'm going to compile the best of the links for developers from RIM, and finish off with some reference materials to give you a place to learn from. I'll start with Java apps, then cover Widgets. More info after the jump.

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