BlackBerry News and Reviews

Drivesafe.ly Hits 1 Million Users Helping Keep The Roads We Drive On Safer - 25 Free Copies

Drivesafe.ly, the application which reads you emails and SMS messages to you while you are driving has hit a big milestone. 1 Million users are now putting Drivesafe.ly to work for them and making the roads a little bit safer for all. The application is great for those who need to have their information asap but not willing to put their and others safety at risk while driving.

Drivesafe.ly comes in two versions, free and premium with the premium version eliminating ad's that are played before hearing your messages. One thing to note though if you are planning on using the app, which I really wish Drivesafe.ly would make more obvious is that it will email the sender of every message read to let them know you are using Drivesafe.ly. Rather annoying if you do not adjust the settings.

Contest: We have 25 free copies of Drivesafe.ly to give away. Just leave a comment on this post to enter. Contet ends this Sunday at Midnight PST. Please only leave one comment, multiple entries won't count.

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T-Mobile Complete Offers Contract Free BlackBerry Devices

 

T-Mobile looks to be revamping all kinds of plans and devices lately, and their latest offering dubbed T-Mobile Complete just adds to the fun. The new program allows for contract-free devices, namely the Curve 8520. According to Engadget, you can grab the Curve 8520 for $299.99 or a Pearl for $149.99. The first month of service is including free, but you're on your own after that. The plans start around $59.99, so not a bad deal if you are weary of getting in on a contract. The T-Mobile Complete packages should be arriving in Best Buy and WalMart just in time for the holiday season.

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Hot New GreenTech Premium Theme From Hedone Design!

Since the release of the new Theme Builder 5.0 theme developers have been hard at working getting some new themes out the door. Hedone Design is no exception to that, the latest creation being GreenTech is the first Hedone Design theme to be completely made with Theme Builder 5.0. As always icons are nice and fresh, wallpaper is crystal clear and high res and transitions built into the theme are nice and smooth.

If you are using 4.x operating system must select 4.x versions. For more recent (5.x) operating system it is better to take 5.x theme as it includes features that until now were not used. GreenTech is available now for only $3.99 until Nov. 23rd and supports Bold incl. 9700, Storm, Tour and Curve 8900 devices and is available in Zen and TodayPlus versions.

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MeterBerry System Information Utility - 100 Free Copies

MeterBerry is one of the best tools a BlackBerry Abuser can have. The full-featured app gives you access to all the stats you could want about your device. Battery status, memory info and device statistics - its all here. You can see what goes on with your device so you always stay on top of things. Battery discharge rate, view your free application memory changes, show uptime, battery temparture and much more. Meterberry is the best tool you can have if you are a serious BlackBerry User. One of our top sellers, Meterberry is available in the CrackBerry App Store for $2.95, but we have 100 free copies 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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Colorware Now Offering "Parts Only" For The BlackBerry Curve 8900

ColorWare dropped us an email last night (sorry for getting this up so slow) letting us know about the availability of "Parts Only" ordering for the BlackBerry Curve 8900. This is a great service for those not wanting to have to send in their device to ColorWare and be without a BlackBerry until the order has been fufilled. Prices are still a little up there for some users, starting at $159 for the parts only option but for those who want true customization ColorWare is the way to go. Now the real question remains, when can we expect BlackBerry Storm2 and 9700 parts? ;)

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Color ID - LED Status Light Customizer for Email, Incoming Calls and SMS

 

Color ID is an app that allows you to customize your device's LED alerts for SMS, incoming calls and email from specific contacts on your BlackBerry smartphone. Its interface is easy to use and lets you choose from 10 different colors, as well as using 2 colors per alert if you wish. These color combinations can be applied to multiple contacts and are synched to your BlackBerry's address book. Color ID is a great way to customize your BlackBerry and make good use your LED. The obvious comparison to BerryBuzz will be made, but the two have different features (ie. BerryBuzz isn't for specific contacts) that set them apart. There is also a lite version that allows you to customize 2 contacts. Color ID is available for $5.99 in CrackBerry App Store.

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Leave It On Updated to v.1.5 - 100 Free Copies

If you've ever wanted to tweak your backlight settings for any apps like Google Maps, or just needed to leave the backlight on, Leave It On is your solution. The simple app lets you choose when and for how long to leave the backlight on for any application. You can set the light on while charging or plugged in via USB, or have it light up when messages come in. Features include:

  • Leave the backlight on automatically for up to 8 applications. Just launch the application and Leave It On will automatically keep the backlight on for you.
  • Keep the backlight on while charging, through USB, car charger or regular charger.
  • Low battery setting. Disable the backlight from staying on when the battery falls below a certain percent (configurable)
  • Set how long to keep the backlight on for, settings from 1 minute to 2 hours or never.
  • System wide "Leave It On" menu option so you can leave the backlight on at the click of a button
  • Turn on screen when a new SMS or Email arrives

Leave It On is on sale for $2.49 in the CrackBerry App Store through Sunday. We have 100 copies of Leave It On to give away. Just leave a comment on this post to be entered. Contest ends this Sunday at Midnight PST. Please only leave one comment - multiple entries won't count.

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iluvmybb contest - Short Video/Commercial Shout Outs!

Entry #12 -Two Different Kinds of Fruit

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

* Update - We got Eric's Special Time entry back up. Watch it below!!! *

This post is way overdue! Between the BlackBerry Developer Conference last week, and playing catch-up from being away this week, I'm a bit behind on our I Love My BlackBerry video contest shoutouts. Today we've got a couple of the funny short-commercials that were entered. Above you can watch Randall Brown's Two Different Kinds of Fruit video and below you can catch Brian Smith's I Have an App For That skit (this video always wins the award for Best Hair). There were two other entries that I absolutely LOVED in this category, but unfortunately the contestants yanked from youtube (leave your entries up... our final shoutout is coming tomorrow!).  Kudos goes to Entry #34 by Eric Hilliard for Special Time and to Entry #32 by Brad Cook for Unavoidable.

A note to contestants: Just to recap where things are at... the grand prizes winners have their BIG prizes en route to them already. Our finalists will be getting their $50 ShopCrackBerry coupon codes before end of day Friday. Our finalists and shout-out winners will be getting contacted about their custom CrackBerry coveroos before end of day Friday, and then everybody will who entered a video will be getting contacted about their Slacker and SmrtGuard and ShaoSoft and Dream Theme prizes before the end of the weekend. Thanks for the patience!

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BlackBerry Stress Test Part 2 - How Long Can The BlackBerry Bold 9700 Play Back and Stream Music?

We'll never forget Kevin's bold (pun intended) attempt to find out the true limits of BlackBerry Messenger with our original BBM Stress Test. His Bold 9000 exploded with Messenger requests and gave us a good look at what the application can handle. Well after spending 4 days listening to him go on and on (and on and on and on) about the great battery life of his Bold 9700, I have been searching for a way to shut him up once and for all (an impossible task, but I like to try). I do have to agree that the battery life on the BlackBerry Bold 9700 is nothing short of amazing. I didn't hold DevCon as a true test (thousands of BlackBerry Smartphones all using the same towers and Wifi all on top of each other) of battery life, but back on my home network I have not been disappointed. I pulled mine off the charger at 8am yesterday, and at Midnight I was only at 65% with normal usage. It's crazy good battery life for a 3G device - especially compared to the original Bold 9000.

Beyond improved battery life under normal device usage thanks to its re-written radio stack, we heard it through the grapevine (or is that blackberryvine) at DevCon that music playback on the BlackBerry Bold 9700 is also a wonderful and much improved thing. Apparently a LOT has happened under the hood to ensure that when the new Bold is playing or streaming music, that other device functions are really put to sleep to squeeze every minute of life possible out of the battery. According to the features page at BlackBerry.com, the 9700 can playback music for a whopping 35 hours. Kyle at BBCool took a stab at it and from his initial tests have proven the device to actually exceed this limit. So since we can't let the CrackBerry Nation down, I'm proposing "Stress Test Part 2" where I'll run the BlackBerry Bold 9700 to the ground both streaming music (Slacker? Pandora?) and via the built-in media player (MP3s from media card). To add some flair I'll even run my Tour and Curve 8520 side-by-side and see how they stand up.

So the question is this - what do you think is the best way to run the test? I think that running Slacker on all 3 devices with a full charge, radio (and Wifi) on with the same settings (screen brightness, profiles, no other apps running etc.) would give us a pretty good comparison (obviously won't be perfect). Drop a comment below and let us know what you think. We'll take a look through and decide what you all want to see, and put this to the test.

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New Premium RevBall Game For The BlackBerry Storm!

RevBall is a new game from the good folks at Nickel Buddy, LLC. It's a fast-paced paddle ball game that adds some unique twists to the standard format of paddle ball games. The object is to strategically hit the ball with your paddle to keep it from escaping the circular arena, which sounds a lot easier then it actually is.

Features:

  • Simple to learn, completely addictive.
  • Exciting animations, sound effects, and gameplay.
  • Countless hours of entertainment.
  • 3 difficulty levels and 5 bonus challenges.

RevBall is currently only available for the BlackBerry Storm series of devices (both Storm1 and Storm2) and is reasonably priced at only $4.99. Check out the video above to see it in action and more screenshots are available to view here.

Purchase And Download RevBall For Your BlackBerry Storm Series Device Today >>

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BlackBerry Storm2 9550 Now Available from Telus

Our CrackBerry Tip box was flooded this morning by happy canuks letting us know that the Telus BlackBerry Storm2 9550 is available on Telus' website. It's kind of interesting to see a carrier offering both GSM and CDMA-based smartphones... Storm2, Tour 9630... Bold 9700?? Tough Decision! 

The Telus BlackBerry Storm2 9550 sells for $199.99 on a three-year contract, $499.99 on a two-year contract, $549.99 on a one-year contract or you can pick it up for $599.99 off contract. If you're not yet familiar with the BlackBerry Storm2, you'll want to check out our BlackBerry Storm2 Review and BlackBerry Storm2 Features and Specifications page. 

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Berry Wars, Revamped And Renamed As Druglord Wars And Now On Sale For Only $3.99

Awesome news comes to us from Epic applications today. Druglord Wars (formerly Berry Wars), which was previously a number one top selling game in the CrackBerry store has gotten a new name and a new UI to go with it. For those of you all unfamiliar with Berry Wars it is an is an adventure game pitting you against the world of street dealers, crooked cops, and drug cartels in a battle for money and drugs. Starting off in debt, you will build your drug empire by visiting over 10 beautifully rendered cities, and fight attackers out to get you. New updates to the game include:

  • Global online leaderboard to compare your skills to the world
  • 17 drugs to buy and sell in 11 beautifully rendered cities
  • 18 weapons and storage containers to take down enemies and hold more drugs
  • Over 125 custom designed images just for BlackBerry
  • Save games and preview progress before resuming
  • Unlimited gameplay mode to see how far you can take your drug empire

This new version was beta tested right here in the CrackBerry forums with many users loving the new improvements to the game and UI. Currently device support is for OS 4.6 and up with 480x320 or 480x360 screens, but are planning to support 4.5+ with 320x240 soon. Right now you can grab the all new Druglord Wars for only $3.99, which would normally be $4.99 and check it out.

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RIM Security Chief Speaks About Smartphone Attacks

In an article posted by Reuters, Scott Totzke, RIM's vice-president of BlackBerry security speaks about the security of smartphones these days making some bold, but reasonable statements about where we could end up if we are not careful.

Totzke, along with Kevin Mahaffey, chief technology officer at Flexilis shared issues and concerns for the smartphone market both agreeing that users need to be more aware of what, exactly they are installing on their devices. Essentially, if warnings are not heeded in these areas your smartphones could be used in DDOS attacks. Totzke was quoted as stating "I think that's an area of concern," while Mahaffey stated "These are not telephones anymore. These are computers. So people are going to have all the problems on their phones that they have on their computers."

The smartphone market is growing massive and it has reached a point where security concerns are now going to be a huge factor with the amount of information and data users store on their devices. We have seen some "proof of concepts" lately wherein security has been breached on a multitude of devices and one can only hope that manufacturers are working hard to help keep their users safe and that users will utilize all offerings such as updates and patches.

So what's your take on it? As a smartphone owner, do you give any thought to security? Or do you just assume it's all good and keep installing apps like crazy?!

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Dancify and other DreamTone Packs from DreamTheme Offer Plenty of Ringtone Personalization for your BlackBerry

Recently DreamTheme launched 20 new personalization products across 3 new app categories. This week they have just released a new ringtone bundle called Dancify. The Dancify DreamTones app is a small app you install that gives you access to over 20 professionally recorded vibes you can then save as a ringtone. The DreamTones packs actually are composed of 7 or 8 tracks, with segments of different lengths to allow a bit more control over the nature of the ringtone you are interested in for assignment to different events on your BlackBerry. You can check out Dancify and DreamTheme's other DreamTones packs by listening to them at www.dreamtheme.com.

For those of you that have already bought the 'Unlimited Dreaming' package from DreamTheme, the Dancify DreamTones are now available to you at no charge. You can buy Dancify DreamTones, Unlimited Dreaming, or anything else from DreamTheme's catalogue here at the CrackBerry App Store. Use the code "Crack" to get an additional 15% off when purchasing through the CrackBerry App Store Client or Mobile App Store site!

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Leaked: OS 5.0.0.348 for the BlackBerry Curve 8520!

We saw OS 5.0.0.348 leak last week for the Bold 9000 and Curve 8900. This time it's the BlackBerry Curve 8520 that's getting some love. I can't wait for 5.0 to roll out officially for more devices.... it'll be happy times for many a BlackBerry user out there.

*OS Disclaimer - Please Read: Keep in mind this is NOT an official release and as such is not supported by RIM or your Carrier. If you choose to install, do so at your own risk and only if you're comfortable in the process of upgrading and downgrading your device software. It is quite normal during operating system development for certain features to be crippled or disabled while others are tested, and these beta builds often reflect that. They are not always better. Depending on your BlackBerry comfort level, it may be best for you to wait for community feedback on a build before deciding to download and install for yourself or simply wait for the next official release. If you require support, you will find it in our CrackBerry forums via our extremely knowledgeable community base - do not contact your carrier or RIM for Beta OS technical support (their first course of action will be to advise you to downgrade to a supported OS). Follow the links below for more information and instructions. *

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Verizon BlackBerry Curve 8530 Release Date Approaching!

We've seen that Verizon is planning on pushing the BlackBerry Curve 8530 out the door on November 20th according to the press release they put out a little while back now. The pricing for the BlackBerry Curve 8530 will be set at $99 after the $100 MIR and the above picture highlights some of the devices best features.

We've had the chance to go hands on with the BlackBerry Curve 8530 already in our review so be sure to give that a look before you decide on picking up the second BlackBerry device on Verizon to have WiFi. As an entry level device the BlackBerry Curve 8530 is a great introduction to the BlackBerry world and with Verizon offering it with 3G speeds it's even more solid then that of it's GSM version brother, the BlackBerry Curve 8520.

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Contest Winner: Unlock T-Mobile BlackBerry Bold 9700 from BlackBerry Emporium

The BlackBerry Bold 9700 is finally available from T-Mobile, and as promised we teamed up with BlackBerry Emporium to give one lucky member an unlocked T-Mobile device. We had tons of entries in this one, and the member walking away with a new device is kronosx1. Huge thanks to BlackBerry Emporium for providing the device for this contest. If you didn't win, keep it locked here as always since more contests are on the way and you could be the next lucky winner!

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AT&T BlackBerry Bold 9700 OS 5.0.0.296 Available For Download

With the launch of the BlackBerry Bold 9700 on AT&T for business customers RIM has finally posted the OS download for the device. AT&T is lagging behind in OS versions at this point, considering Rogers launched with OS 5.0.0.321 and T-Mobile launched with OS 5.0.0.344 and we already know RIM is well ahead of that as well with current OS sitting at 5.0.0.351 or higher. In any event, if you for some reason feel the need to reload your OS on your brand new AT&T 9700 the files are there for you to do so.

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Rove Mobile Admin Basics Contest Winners

We try our best to throw the Enterprise users some love when we can, and with our Rove Mobile contest we had 5 free Mobile Admin Basics licenses to give away. The winners were posted in the comments on the original post, but in case you missed it, here is a recap of the 5 winners. If you were one of the lucky ones and haven't received and email from Rove, contact roveit(at)crackberry.com to claim your license. Check out the winning entries after the jump.

Winnerskevandju, zaxxon, gm85, lund, jlsparks

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FileScout for BlackBerry Version 1.5.0.0 Released!

Fresh from being a finalist in the BlackBerry Developers Challenge, FileScout for BlackBerry has just been realeased and is now available for all to download. Matthias, the developer behind FileScout is always looking for ways to improve FileScout for the end user and is always open to suggestions for for making it better. This time around some nice changes have been implemented so be sure to have a look at the list:

What's new?

  • Display of thumbnails in search result (if thumbnail display is enabled and images are in the 'FileScout Image Cache')
  • Thumbnail- Options: New Button to generate all all thumbnails for all images on your device (incl. the SDCard) - this operation can take a while till it's completed - please be patient!
  • When resizing images to device resolution size you can now select to keep the aspect ratio of the original image. If this option is selected, then FileScout will cut (left & right or top & bottom) of the image so that it will fit to your device screen resolution.
  • User Defined resolution (image resizing) can be now be max 9999 pixel [but it's recommended not use more then 1200px]
  • Support for DesktopManager Backup & Restore (FileScout settings)
  • A '[W]' in the Screen Title indicating that the background threads (required for Search and other extended features) are still running (after FileScout is started) - once the threads are completed the '[W]'will disappear.
  • Integration in the RIMs FileExplorer Application: a 'Explore with FileScout' MenuItem is added
What's Fixed?
  • Search files in the current Directory only function fixed to be usable multiple times
  • Potential OutOfMemeory Error during start of FileScout (when the thumbnail store is getting too large)
  • Accessing OS5 System Folder for Bold, Bold2, Storm and Storm2, RIM confirmed that they made the System folder in OS5.x read only so files can only be viewed, not modefied.

As always, FileScout remains a donationware application so if you use it, enjoy it, please be sure to offer up a donation to Matthias for his hard work and efforts.

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