BlackBerry News and Reviews

InstantLog for BlackBerry Smartphones Logs Calls, SMS Messages, and Emails - 25 Free Copies

Twinkler Software's new BlackBerry application InstantLog saves all your vital communications to your BlackBerry's calendar.  The user can define exactly what to log, with options like all incoming calls, outgoing calls, missed calls, emails, and SMS messages.  You can select which one of your calendars you would like your info logged to and even record your different types of info to multiple BIS or BES calendars.  Twinkler Software also added a privacy feature, allowing you to add email/SMSaddresses to a blacklist that will never be logged.  Whether you are a business user looking to record important communication or just want to save info from your personal life, you may want to check out InstantLog.  It is available for $3.99 at the CrackBerry App Store and compatible with all devices running OS 4.6 and up.  A free trial is also available.

Contest: We have 25 free copies of InstantLog 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 won't count.

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BlackBerry App Roundup for December 25th, 2009!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all! I hope everyone out there is doing just fine this Christmas morning. It's time to sit down, relax, maybe have some rum and eggnog and basically chill out for the rest of the day. Hopefully you make the roundup a part of your day as well. Covered in the roundup this week are the following titles:

In Case You Missed It: New CrackBerry.com Website Launcher, Loopt Now Available on the Storm, Fandango for BlackBerry Now Available, Kayak for BlackBerry Updated, Gym Technik for the Storm

New This Week: AppClock, Battery Charging Screensaver, Calculator Mega Pack, HotkeyManager, WoWBerry

Cool at BlackBerry App World: SmartShopper

Freebie of the Week: Flixster

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CrackBerry ColorWare Holiday Contest Winners Announced!

Ho Ho Ho... CrackBerry Santa is in the House and with him he's brought some prizes for the lucky winners in our CrackBerry ColorWare Holiday Contest. For those of you who entered and didn't win, don't be too mad... at least we have the CrackBerry Holiday theme and CrackBerry.com launcher as some sweet gifts to keep you occupied until our next kick-but contest comes around (and that's never to far away). And now to the lucky winners.....

Grand Prize: a ColorWare BlackBerry Bold 9700 and Accessory Super Bundle
missginacandy Runner-Up Winners: A ShopCrackBerry Accessory SuperBundle (device of choice)
neuor, djnoodles, HollyDay, lovetobebold, Skinnygirl

BIG CONGRATS go to all the winners. We'll be emailing you in the next day or two to get your prizes. And BIG THANKS go to ColorWare for hooking us up with the Grand Prize. Lots more contests coming up in 2010, so keep it locked to CrackBerry.com!

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Bell Releases BlackBerry Curve 8530 At The Low Price Of $49.95

Right on schedule. As previous reports have come through for us. Bell Mobility has launched the BlackBerry Curve 8530 just in time for the boxing days sales that happen in Canada. You can pick up the BlackBerry Curve 8530 for $49.95 on a three year contract. Other pricing below.

  • 2-year contract: $249.95
  • 1-year contract: $349.95
  • No Contract: $399.95

You can head on over the Bell Mobility website for the full details. If the site isn't your thing you can pick up the BlackBerry Curve 8530 in Black or Royal purple in stores tomorrow.

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Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!


Free Download Of All You Need Is Love From The BlackBerry Commercials

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

We've all seen the various BlackBerry commercials with the song playing in the background. Today, Research In Motion has posted the "All You Need Is Love" download for your BlackBerry and PC as a free download for all. Go grab it folks and add it to your holiday music collection. If you're interested in the history behind the Beatles song, check out the info on Wikipedia.

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BlackBerry Bold 9700 OS 5.0.0.423 Officially Released By Bell Mobility

I guess Bell Mobility was in the giving spirit this morning. Previously. we have seen many OS leaks for the BlackBerry Bold 9700 and now, we have an official build of 5.0.0.423 arrive with it never having seen a leak. Grab it folks, let us know in the comments if you find any fixes or bugs and let us all hope it maintains that awesome battery life.

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iPhone User on BlackBerry and Round Robin BlackBerry Podcast, Smartphone Round Robin

Yup, Christmas is upon. The holidays are here. Things are even quiet on the smartphone news front (everybody is saving their stuff for CES which happens at the beginning of January in Las Vegas). But on the Smartphone Round Robin front things are as busy as ever. My Windows Mobile review will be up on the blogs before this weekend is through.

This week it's our pal Rene Ritchie of TheiPhoneblog.com who is getting down and dirty with the BlackBerry Storm2 and Bold 9700. If you haven't seen it yet, you can jump over to tipb to watch his BlackBerry First Impressions Video. Rene also posted a thread in the CrackBerry forums to get some help and feedback from our community. Be sure to post on this thread daily for your chance to win a new BlackBerry of choice! Full contest details here.

Round Robin BlackBerry Podcast: If you're a regular CrackBerry podcast listener, you neeeed to listen to this. Our pal Mickey over at The Cell Phone Junkie ran a very-special BlackBerry-focused podcast this week. He recently reviewed the AT&T BlackBerry Bold 9700 from AT&T and the show also features our Round Robin Podcast discussion on BlackBerry. Listen Now >>

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Get All mblware Apps for 30% Off Through Friday

Chad let me know that all mblware applications are on sale for 30% off through Friday. All the apps are available for under $3 for the sale, so no excuses for letting this one slip by. The sale includes ContactOrder, BlackBook, mblVault, mblStats, faceRate and ShakeItUp. I have to say if you are big on privacy, the BlackBook/mblVault combo is hard to beat. To check out the apps, head over to the CrackBerry App Store. 

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It's Christmas Eve! Be Sure To Track Santa On Your BlackBerry with Google Maps

Continuing the ongoing tradition started in 1955 Norad will be heading up the efforts to track Santa as he reaches out to the world bearing gifts and eating all our darn cookies. You can of course, stay up to date on the big guys location through the Norad site but once again Google has stepped up to the plate and offered their services to help Norad spread the word.

Using Google maps and Google Earth you can know exactly when to head off to bed so you don't end up as a last minute addition to the naughty list by being awake when Santas sleigh rolls into your tow..err, roof. You can grab Google maps mobile for your BlackBerry and when you need to know Santas location just search "Santa" and you'll get those GPS readings.

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Pandora For BlackBerry Updated To Version 1.1.3

Shout out to Twitter folks for letting us know about a new Pandora update the other night. Seems this one actually has a lot of fixes and new features in it. The Pandora folks gave us the run down in the forums.

New Features

  • Support for account upgrades to Pandora One via the mobile device
  • Faster startup time, especially for listeners with lots of stations. One test with 100 stations showed startup time going from 14.25 seconds down to 8.2 seconds.
  • Station list sort order is now saved
Bug Fixes
  • Fixed volume-change issues triggered by some third-party apps, such as Vlingo
  • No more 8-hour session limit
  • Tour popup menus sometimes would act strangely

If you had any issues with the previous builds, you'll wanna grab the latest version for your device.

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CrackBerry Awards 2009: VOTING NOW OPEN - Cast Your Votes for Your Favorite CBA Best of 2009 Nominees!

Cast Your Votes on the Polls Below! Polls Close @ Midnight!

* Update: December 30th - LAST DAY TO VOTE! The polls close tonight at midnight. *

Following up on our announcement of the nominees for the Best of 2009 CrackBerry Awards, or CBAs as we like to call them, the time has come for the CrackBerry Community to place their votes! Below you'll find outstanding nominees to vote on in a bunch of different categories. We had to draw the line somewhere, so went for major categories falling under BlackBerry Accessories, Apps and Devices. This is already a big jump up from our 2008 awards and we've left some room to grow for 2010.

Place your votes below! If there's a category that doesn't feel relevant to you personally or you don't have a clue who to vote for, feel free to skip on to the next category that floats your boat (err.. makes your BlackBerry vibrate?!). Note - I'm going to disable the comments on this post. Want to keep things on track to voting - there was plenty of discusion on the nominees post and they're will be plenty more once the winners are announced!

The voting will close end of day on December 30th, and we'll be announcing the deserving winners here on the blogs on New Year's Eve. From there, as we kick off 2010 we'll follow up in more detail on each of the winners to make sure we start the new year off right, by looking back at the best of 2009. Congratulations and good luck to all of the nominees! Happy voting everyone!

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Bell Launches Visual Voicemail For Their BlackBerry Offerings

While plenty of US customers are already enjoying their visual voicemail services, Canadian carriers have yet to enable it on their end (except TELUS). Bell Mobility has made the jump though. BlackBerry users can now sign up for a free 30 day trial of visual voicemail where after the 30 days is up you are expected to pay $8/mnth for the service.

Now, take under consideration other carriers offer it for free I have to wonder if Bell will at some point yank that pricing. As it stands now, supported devices are BlackBerry Bold 9700, BlackBerry Tour 9630, BlackBerry Curve 8330, BlackBerry Pearl 8130 and BlackBerry 8830. Your turn Rogers, learn from Bells mistake and give it to your customers for free. 

[ Mobile Syrup ]

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December 22nd BlackBerry Outage Timeline and Overview of Events, According to BoxTone

Our friends at BoxTone hit us up with an email earlier today with some information of how things played out yesterday from both their and their customers' perspective. We've talked about BoxTone lots of times here before on CrackBerry - they focus on enterprise companies that have a LOT of BlackBerry Smartphones running and provide monitoring and managements services. An afternoon like yesterday is where their services really make an impact. Here's what they told us (all times EST):

  • Between 3:00 and 4:00 PM - Problems with BBM and BIS internet browsing reported around the web (I personally experienced around 3:30 PM).
  • Between 6:30 and 7:00 PM - The problem extended to BES email, preventing the delivery of BES emails to and from BlackBerry smartphones. At each of our customers, BoxTone detected a greater than normal quantity of users with messages pending, based on our learned baseline of what is normal for each server and carrier, and immediately generated a warning alert our customers before the flood of user calls (Sample email alert below). BoxTone also placed all affected BES and Carriers in a Critical state on our customers' Operations Dashboards (depicted by the red dots next to each BES and carrier). The steady growth in Pending Messages beginning around 6:45 is annotated in the attached screenshot and continued until the issue was resolved early this morning. From our monitoring data, it appears that BES were able to communicate with the RIM NOC throughout the outage; however, the NOC was unable to deliver messages.
  • At approximately 12:09 AM, BoxTone detected a brief disconnect in the SRP connection of each BES to the NOC; it appears RIM reset the NOC SRP connection to complete their fixes. Following this reset, delivery of BES mail resumed.
  • By 2:45 AM or earlier, BoxTone detected that most of our customers had returned to their normal (baselined) service levels, and that the backlog of pending mail had been delivered. BoxTone generated notifications informing our users that their service levels had returned to normal and updated the status of the BES and carriers to Normal.

Pretty interesting stuff. Big thanks to Mitch and the BoxTone team for sharing it with us. You can learn more about their services at BoxTone.com.

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BlackBerry Gets Its Own Social App Store with Mplayit

One major problem with BlackBerry applications in my experience is to actually reach out to a high percentage of BlackBerry users. Almost all of my friends and family now have a BlackBerry (thanks to my influence) but have yet to take full advantage of its capabilities. They see simple games/applications on my device and ask "where do you get those?". Most all of them have BlackBerry App World on their device but have not even realized its existence. Facebook is one of the most popular social networking sites out there, with users ranging from young kids to grandparents. With the implementation of mobile app downloads from mplayit, users can share applications easier than ever. Mplayit CEO Michael Powers:

"BlackBerry outsells the iPhone month after month, but most BlackBerry users still have a hard time finding great apps, we help them tap into their social network to discover apps they'll love and recommend to their friends."

Integration with Facebook's huge network can only do good for the BlackBerry platform, and I am excited to see where this takes it. In addition to downloading BlackBerry applications from Mplayit/Facebook, you can also share what you downloaded and your thoughts on it in your timeline with a simple click, as well as other sharing options. So if your a Facebook user and you want to share your favorite BlackBerry apps, click the link below and spread your BlackBerry love.

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Wheres My Phone - Alert Your BlackBerry When Its Lost

In the ever growing application market, its hard to find just one application to perform a specific task. Wheres My Phone is an application similar to SmrtGuard in that it locates and helps to recover your lost BlackBerry Smartphone. By simply sending an email containing a command you can remotely trigger an alarm (even if your device is on silent), turn off the alarm, check your battery, have your device report your GPS location, and even call you back to possibly hear where your device might be located. Your BlackBerry will also display your contact info so that once it is found, the finder can contact you easily (a preset password will need to be entered to unlock device). This is a good application for those who want to protect their precious Berry. It has a leg up on the competition with its one time fee (no monthly/annual dues), but does lack in features when compared to SmrtGuard. Wheres My Phone can be purchased at the CrackBerry App Store for $3.99 and is compatible with all devices running OS 4.2 and up.

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AT&T Bold 9700 Movie Lets You 'Stay One Step Ahead'

Never before in my life have I felt like more of a secret agent than I did today. Granted it was only for a minute or two, but it was pretty cool. While nothing more than a frack'n sweet commercial for AT&T and the Bold 9700, Stay One Step Ahead, lets you be a part of a movie (more like a commercial) featuring you, the Bold 9700 and of course "the network". In my opinion a very cool ad campaign, onestepaheadmovie.com connects to your Facebook account and runs through a short video that actually features you (it pulls info from your Facebook account). While connecting to Facebook may be a drawback for some, its actually pretty cool to watch the video (and kind of freaked me out when I saw my picture on the screen). So if you have a few minutes to kill this morning, you should definitely check this out. So what are your thoughts - marketing genius or total waste of time? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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AppClock - Realtime Analog Clock on the Homescreen

Whether you're a traveler, have family/friends in different areas of the world, or just would like to keep track of different time zones, you may want to check out AppClock. The application consists of 2 analog clocks that are placed on your BlackBerry's home screen. The icon display options include city name, month/year, day/month, and my personal favorite city+time. You can also customize each of these icons with one of its 11 included skins, which helps in differentiating your 2 time zones. If your looking for real time updates from around the world you can download AppClock on sale at the CrackBerry App Store for $0.99 (50% off) until December 27th. AppClock is compatible with OS 4.7/5.0 and supports all custom themes.

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Review: Ascendo DataVault v4.5.3

There's nothing like discovering you have a "compromised" card while in line, trying to purchase groceries or gifts. It's both embarrassing and worrisome. The mind may wander, as you begin to wonder what else has been compromised. Not everyone can remember dozens of passwords; some may stick to less than half a dozen. Think about it: you have email accounts, work logins, multiple social network accounts, banking information, wireless accounts, even your CrackBerry account! Perhaps you, yes you, use a single password, the ONE password...to rule them all! Um, actually, that's not the best idea. What you need is a powerful and organized way to manage everything that is for your eyes only.

Marc from Ascendo Inc has been in contact, letting me know about the updates made a little while ago to their password manager, DataVault. You may recognize the name from a review I did back in 2008. To meet with the demand of the customer, Ascendo Inc has worked quite hard to enhance upon an already impressive password manager. That being said, let's take a look what the newest version of Ascendo DataVault has to offer.

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Classic Paperboy Game Hits BlackBerry App World

Talk about a throw back to the classics. I remember playing Paperboy on my old NES and loving it. Now, thanks to Elite systems I can relive those times right on my BlackBerry. Yes, that's right, they have released the officially licensed version for BlackBerry smartphones which is now available via BlackBerry App World for only $4.99. Most devices are supported with the exception of touch screen devices and seemingly the Bold 9000. But, I've come to not really trust the online compatability list and check from my device instead. If Paperboy was one of your favs growning up check it out.

[ BBCool ]

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