BlackBerry News and Reviews

Kindle For BlackBerry Coming Soon

The news itself really isn't that new. As good friend of CrackBerry, Al Sacco mentions in his article the news of Kindle on BlackBerry is rather old now having first shown up on CrunchGear back in October. What is new however, is the fact Amazon has now updated their webpage to show that it is indeed "coming soon". Not exactly sure when that means it will be released but we know it's closer now then it was back in October. As Al points out, there is other apps out there such as eReader and MobiPocket but the Kindle services are more widely used then those offerings and they do not support the Kindle format. Will be exciting to see how Kindle on BlackBerry will be, as we know it has really taken off on the iPhone platform.

[ CIO

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Nationwide BIS Outage Reported for Most Carriers

*Update* - 2:30pm ET - It looks like BIS is slooooowly starting to come back to life. Some blackberry.net emails are coming through, but it looks like thats about it for now. A statement issued by RIM says they have isolated the issue, and are in the process of restoring email to all users.

The tip line is going to explode - it looks like BIS email is down for most carriers across the US and parts of Canada. No one is receiving email, but it appears that browser, BlackBerry Messenger, voice and SMS are still working however. No reports of exatcly when things went down or when they'll be up and running. Keep it here and we'll report anything as it pops up. Jump into the forums for more discussion.

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Verizon Users Only Showing Bing As Their Search Engine Choice?!?

Some strange happenings on the Verizon front at the moment. The CrackBerry tips box is getting full of users who seem to be having their search engine options stripped from their web browsers, leaving Bing as the only choice for search engines to use. The CrackBerry forums and even the official Verizon forums all show signs of this happening, seemingly for no reason at this time. So, do you have all the regular options? Or is Bing the only choice you have on your device browser? Let us know if the comments.

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PayPal Releases Free Send Money Application for BlackBerry Smartphones

Finally, after the announcement this morning and the long wait. You can now grab the download of the new Paypal "Send Money" application. The application it's self is a rather large download as you can see from the pic, rolling in at 1.6MB. The PayPal application is free to download and use, and is available on BlackBerry App World in Canada, USA, UK, France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Ireland, Portugal and Australia. Let us know what you think of it in the comments folks, it looks like a great app so far.

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BlackBerry Storm2 Teardown - Get a Good Look at the Touchscreen's Heart and Soul

Forums member TBacker posted a great thread giving a cool look at the inner workings of a BlackBerry Storm2. Some repairs were needed, so he took apart the device and snapped some photos along the way. There are loads of great images to look at, and we get a good glimpse of what goes down on the inside. He evens points out all the bits and pieces inside the device so we can see where everything is. Jump into the forums and check out the full thread and all of the images. I wouldn't recommend that anyone pops their device apart just to see what makes it tick, but if you have a good reason to, why not document the process :-)

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WeatherEye Launches New Beta And Is Looking For Feedback

WeatherEye has posted a new thread in the CrackBerry forums introducing their new WeatherEye Beta. The application brings a number of changes with it, which from my testing so far are great to see.

  • New WeatherEye design
  • WiFi Connectivity
  • Ability to add multiple cities
  • Radar maps
  • Hourly forecast
  • GPS locator
With the release of the beta to the public WeatherEye developers are actively hanging out in the forums and gathering feedback from users on how to possible better improve the application as well as catching any bugs before full on release. Give it a look and help them out with making a great app even better. All OS' 4.2.1 and higher are applicable here. Thanks to Phishgirl3 for the heads up.

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Gear Up for the Holidays with BlackBerry Wallpapers, Ringtones, Themes and More

The days of December seem to go by faster and faster, and those key holidays are right around the bend. You've decorated your house, busted out the Christmas music and tackled the mall, so the only thing left is to deck out your device with some holiday media. We have wallpapers, ringtones and themes galore to get you flying in the holiday spirit. Our own michaelwpg has even offered to customize your own "cheesy holiday avatar" with a Santa hat or custom trimmings. And you'll want to stay tuned because we're fixing up our free CrackBerry Holiday Theme from last year and will be dropping a fresh new one in the next few days (this one is so wicked you might just find yourself wanting to use it year round!). Check out the links below, and grab up some holiday cheer so your Berry fits in with that Christmas Tree sweater Grandma made you.

Holiday Media: Ringtones | Themes | Custom Cheesy Holiday Avatar

Holiday Wallpapers: Storm | Tour, Curve 8900 & Bold 9700 | Bold 9000 | 83xx, 85xx, 87xx & 88xx

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Get Addictive Tower Defense for Only $3.99 and Enter to Win 1 of 10 Custom Coveroos

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

Legally Addictive Games is having a contest and sale for their highly popular and addictive game Addictive Tower Defense. If you haven't seen this app before, I would recommend watching the video above. This game is a wonderful time waster and features an online leaderboard, multiple maps/save points, and statistics tracking. Addictive Tower Defense is on sale for $3.99 (20% off) and is now compatible with all devices running OS 4.3 and higher.

Contest: Head over to the Addictive Tower Defense website, register and leave a comment to win 1 of 10 Coveroos which will be randomly drawn. You can increase your chances of winning by submitting a high score from the game directly (one score submission per map) as well. Contest ends Midnight EST  December 24th.

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BlackBerry from the Perspective of a Nokia User, Smartphone Round Robin


click the image above to see Nokia user Matt Miller go hands-on with BlackBerry

The 2009 Smartphone Round Robin is on in full force. While I'm living on planet Android, our Nokia-using friend Matt Miller of NokiaExperts.com is living the good life on BlackBerry. Be sure to click over and check out his initial BlackBerry hands-on video as he experiences both the Storm2 and Bold 9700. And if you want to give him a hand or some advice (and pick-up a chance to win a new device yourself) to ensure he's making the most out of these fine devices, you can post a reply on his CrackBerry forum thread.

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Hockey Scores for BlackBerry Updated To Version 1.5

A little while back we posted about Hockey Scores, a free application that offered hockey score upates right on your BlackBerry smartphone. Shortly after, I got a few emails from some folks asking where the app had gone as it no longer worked and was no longer available in BlackBerry App World. I reached out to Ebscer, to inquire what had happened to the awesome app and was advised it was no longer working and an update was well under way.

After a very short time, glad to say Ebscer has got the newly updated version (1.5) up and running  and in BlackBerry App World. Quite a few changes have been made such as the following:

  • Improved Battery Life
  • Face Off Percentage
  • Hits
  • Corsi Number
  • List of Goal Scorers
  • French Language Support
  • Font and Colour options 

Awesome work by Ebscer, great updates. As before, Hockey Scores is supported on all devices OS 4.6 and higher but a special note for Pearl flip owners can be found in the CrackBerry forums as well as further details about the update.

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WIND Mobile Launches, Changing The Canadian Wireless Market

Just the other day we covered WIND Mobile and gave the run down of their services. Today, launch day for WIND Mobile, we have learned even more about how they plan on operating and the changes they are gonna bring to the Canadian wireless market. Rate plans are now available for all to see and well, they are quite impressive when placed alongside those of the big 3 in Canada.

Starting at $15 and going up to $45 for Unlimited Nationwide calling WIND seems poised nicely to make their mark against others. Of course, we cannot forget data plans either considering WIND has launched with the BlackBerry Bold 9700 ($450 vs Rogers $599 no contract price), Data Cards and Windows Mobile devices. Data plans start at $15 and go all the way up to $55 for Unlimted Data card usage (BlackBerry Plans stop at $35 for Unlimited) WIND does have a fair usage statement as well, they have a 5GB cap but will NOT cut you off or charge you more for exceeding that 5GB they just claim they will throttle your speeds so as to not interfere with their quality of service for others. Not bad, glad to see they were upfront about it.

All in all, things are already looking great for WIND. Take under consideration the fact the influx of traffic after launch to their site took some parts offline. I think it's safe to say there is a great interest in WIND Mobile. No contracts, First month of service free, Nationwide calling and cheaper non contracted devices then other carriers. Yes, we think WIND Mobile will be just fine. Congrats go out to them on their launch.

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Video First Look: SmrtCase for BlackBerry Tour (coming soon for Bold 9700 and Storm2) | 5 Freebies to be Won!

Contest: FIVE SmrtCases for the Tour to be won! Leave a comment to this post letting us know how you'd put the SmrtCase to use for you...

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

The folks at SmrtCase sent me out a few samples of their new patent-pending SmrtCase Glide for the BlackBerry Tour, and I was so impressed with the design and utility that I just had to whip up a video and blog it up right away (plus get them to provide a few freebies to give away to CrackBerry Nation!). It's a simple concept, and it really works.

The SmrtCase Glide is a hard shell-styled skin case, not unlike those in terms of look and feel of those offered by Seidio or Incipio or Case-Mate, but it features one major innovation - the ability to store and easily access cards from in between the phone and case. Think business cards, metro pass, hotel room key, office swipe card, student id card or college pay for meals pass, etc.. SmrtCase introduced the concept a while back for the iPhone and have now brought it over to the wonderful of world of BlackBerry, starting with the Tour and coming soon for the Bold 9700 and Storm2. We've seen PhoneSlipper integrate the same concept on their BlackBerry case, but their design is a bit bulkier and uses a thicker/softer rubber that I personally am not as much of a fan of. The SmrtCase design is minimalistic and really holds onto cards securely, yet maintains easy access to them. Be sure to watch the video above for a hands-on look and more details.

Contest Details: We have FIVE SmrtCase Glides for the BlackBerry Tour to be won. Just leave a comment letting us know how you'd put the SmrtCase Glide to use for yourself and you're entered to win. Please leave only one comment (multiples not counted). Entry deadline is this Sunday at midnight pst. *

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EThemes Legacy - A Premium Classic Style Theme With A New Twist

Ely from EThemes sent me an email the other day letting me know his new theme was now available for the BlackBerry Curve 8900, Tour 9630 and Bold 9700 with a Bold 9000 version on the way as well. Legacy, is a classic style theme from when 4.5 was released. Back when "Crossbar" style themes were new. Ely has taken the time to give it a new twist by adding some nice transitions, customizing the icons and adding a Quick Launch slot, hidden dock and today screen. Right now you can grab Legacy for your 5.0 device for only $1.99 until December 19th and Ely has set up in the forums some more screenshots and wallpapers for you to download as well and no, the CrackBerry one is not standard it's just for the screenshot.

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Mobile Checkbook 4.0 Now Available

We got word today that Mobile Checkbook 4.0 is now available in BlackBerry App World. If you're not familiar with the app, it essentially is what the name implies, a mobile checkbook. With the application you can record transactions, reconcile balances and access other information. Anywhere you go, you can instantly update your checkbook so your records are always up to date. You can then export the data send it via email as an XLS or QIF file. New features include:

  • Mark Transactions as 'Cleared' and quickly view your Available Balance vs.
  • Cleared Balance
  • Schedule Recurring Transactions for any account
  • Easily 'Transfer Funds' between two Mobile Checkbook accounts
  • Enable PIN Code Protection for additional security
  • Choose from multiple currencies or add new currencies at any time

Mobile Checkbook 4.0 is available for $7.99 in BlackBerry App World.

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Get Your Free Holiday Wallpapers From MyBlackBerry Or Make Your Own With FaceBook

A few weeks back I was going to write an article about how Research In Motion never updates their BlackBerry Mobile site with new themes and wallpapers like they once did. As I was thinking of this I also was poking around the BlackBerry website and decided to log into MyBlackBerry and see what was new in there. After logging in I then realized where RIM was hiding all their new wallpapers.

MyBlackBerry has a great selection of wallpapers available for direct download to your device all of which are BlackBerry branded. Most recently they have updated the choice to include a bunch of holiday wallpers to choose from. As well, they have started up a FaceBook wallpaper generator where in you can creat your own wallpapers from your own images. Shame it's tied to FaceBook though, wasn't really wanting to sign up for that so I just used the CrackBerry wallpaper maker. Since you know, I already have a CrackBerry account. :)

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Contest Winners: Cellunlock, GelaSkins, ContactOrder and RingScheduler

Another week closer to the end of the year, and more contests come and gone. If you haven't yet, don't forget to enter our CrackBerry / TeleNav Giveaway - Win a One-Year Subscription to TeleNav and a $100 ShopCrackBerry.com Gift Certificate and our Holiday Contest: Win a Custom Painted BlackBerry Bold 9700 and More. We'll have some more great stuff to give away this week (as always), so if you didn't win this time around there are always more freebies on the way.

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BeeJive IM 2.0 For BlackBerry Released - Get It Today For 50% Off Regular Price

It's been a long road of beta testing for the BeeJiveIM team but, the day has finally come. BeeJiveIM 2.0 for BlackBerry smartphones is now available for purchase or as a free 30 day trial. If you were a beta tester the new features should be no surprise. But, for those of you out there that may have passed over the beta, new features are as follows:

  • Facebook chat: Chat with your Facebook friends while on the go, and see a record of your chats on facebook.com.
  • Clickable Twitter usernames: Click on a Twitter username in a chat to launch Twitter.
  • Refined and responsive UI: Take advantage of BeejiveIM’s custom-written user interface, offering speedy and responsive controls and a modern look-and-feel.
  • Voice notes: Instantly record and send voice messages to your IM contacts. Voice notes are perfect for on-the-go chatting, such as when you are walking down the street or need to get information to someone quickly and don’t have time to type.
  • GPS location: Send your current GPS location with a link to Google Maps, taking advantage of your BlackBerry's location features and adding a new location-aware element to your chats.
  • More chat styles: Customize your chat styles and colors and set different backgrounds and wallpapers.
  • File transfers with all IM services: Easily send, receive, and review file attachments, and see previews of images right inside your chat. 
  • Push notifications: Whether running in the foreground or the background, BeejiveIM will always notify you of new instant messages. 
  • Improved Battery Life:  Staying in touch with all your friends is now far gentler on your battery.
  • Support for the 5.0 OS and Storm:  BeejiveIM supports all BlackBerrys running 4.2.1+ and 5.X operating systems, including the Storm and Storm 2. 

Right now and through the holidays BeeJiveIM is on sale $9.95 for a device license and $14.95 for a user license. That's 50% off the original price of BeeJiveIM. Just be sure to check out the differences between the two options and as always, all versions get free upgrades. Full press release after the jump.

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Sprint Branded BlackBerry 9650 Essex Spotted

Looks like we have another showing of the BlackBerry 9650 Essex / Tour 2 in the CrackBerry forums.  This time, Matt_25 was able to grab these pics of the Sprint branded version (OS, no device logo) and post them for everyone to get a look at. Anytime we start seeing branded devices appear, such as we have with the Verizon and now Sprint versions you know that launch is nearing close.

For some, it may not be as close as we want it to be but that's the waiting game for CrackBerry addicts. If we had to take a guess on an official release for the Essex / Tour 2 we'd point it towards sometime in the New Year. We don't think it'll be here for the last minute holiday rush. Could be February or we wouldn't be surprised to see it even hit later, maybe in March. But again, that's just a guess. Two more shots after the jump, rest of the details can be found in the forums.

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Bell Set To Release BlackBerry Curve 8530 During The Holidays

The BlackBerry Curve 8530 is making its way across to all the CDMA carriers out there. This time, the folks over at MobileSyrup got the goods on the Bell Mobility in Canada release of the latest curve generation. No pricing or details at this time but according to the post Bell customers will be able to grab the BlackBerry Curve 8530 smartphone on December 26th. Odd day for a launch, boxing day and all but hey I do know a lot of people who wait till right after Christmas to buy their goodies simply based on the deals you can get.

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Role Call Tasks for BlackBerry Smartphones

If you're like me, you have a lot of daily tasks to keep track of which can make your life hectic and quite disorganized. Role Call Tasks is a helpful program ensuring that us busy (or forgetful) people get our to-do's organized effectively. When creating your tasks, you have options to add categories, date and time, status, priority, recurrence, and the task details for each item. When in the application you can choose to view by the category, date or what's due today which really makes finding and completing these tasks quick and easy. I have found that adding my monthly bills to this program really helps remind me when everything is due, and definitely stops me from forgetting them. Role Call Tasks is a very good application for those looking to keep all their tasks and bills organized in one program. The application also integrates with Outlook tasks and the BlackBerry calender. Role Call Tasks is compatible with OS 4.6+ and is available for $3.99 at the CrackBerry App Store.

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