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BlackBerry News and Reviews

Contest Winners: WunderRadio, AddOnis/ProfilerPro, HS-500 Headset & Bold 9700 Accessories

A good variety of contests this time. Great apps WunderRadio, AddOnis and ProfilerPro. As well a BlackBerry HS-500 and some Bold 9700 Accessories. Don't forget we're in the midst of our iluvBB contest and only have a few more finalists to announce. Get a jump on this week as well with BerrySilent, Phone Slipper and even a Bold 9700 from Ringtone Expressions. Congrats to all the winners!

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Verizon to Launch New Curve as BlackBerry Curve2?!!

Between Storm2 and Bold 9700 posts, things were a little crazy on the blogs last week, but if you were catching everything you would have caught our Verizon BlackBerry Curve2 8530 Review on Friday. In that review I spent a lot of time (some would say way too much time) talking about the name of the new Verizon Curve. The box I received actually had the device labeled the "Curve 2" (with a space) while the About screen showed Curve 8530.

From there, I went on to argue that in a perfect BlackBerry world, calling this unit the Curve2 would make perfect sense in following the Storm2's branding, but that doing so totally ignores the fact the Curve 8900 (which features a better display and camera) exists on other carriers and would technically already be the Curve 2. Also, the fact that the original Curve 8530 codenamed "aries" didn't have WiFi but the latest units do, one could make the argument that it should really be the Curve 8550 just like the Storm2 is the 9550 vs. the WiFi-less 9530. Also seems weird that the rubber on the back below the camera would then say just Curve vs. Curve2. Does it really matter what they call it? Maybe not... but some of us crazy CrackBerries do care about these things. Check out the review for the full overkill rant.

As for the point of this post... well, in that review we posted one image from Verizon's Holiday Catalogue that showed the New Curve was coming, but BGR today followed up with the full catalogue that shows the new Curve and that it will be dubbed the Curve2. Definitely sounds better than Curve 8530 (am sure they'll sell more this way), but definitely is confusing from an overall BlackBerry brand marketing standpoint. 

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Boingo Mobile WiFi Launches for BlackBerry Smartphones

* Update - Looks like the BlackBerry Storm2 is supported too! Get Boingo Storm2 owners. *

Boingo Wireless, with over 100,000 WiFi hotspots around the world, today announced support for BlackBerry Smartphones beginning with the BlackBerry Bold, Curve 8900 and Curve 8320 (too bad they don't have it ready for the WiFi-equipped Storm2 yet, which hits stores tomorrow). I'm personally already a Boingo subscriber -- for $7.95/month it has been more than worth the money every time I'm stuck at an airport so I can get some work done from my laptop (not going to tether while roaming in another country) -- so this news is kind of exciting to me. Hopefully it will help reduce the stupidly expensive data roaming bills I often incur for my BlackBerry use when when traveling.

To learn more, you can check out the press release below and visit boingo.com. You grab the BlackBerry app at the link below.

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BigTinCan Crack It And Win Contest

BigTinCan is offering up a unique contest for the CrackBerry community. They have some great apps in store for the BlackBerry Developers Conference and in celebration are giving away 1000 copies of their awesome BuzzMe Pro app. The rules are simple - you need to figure out what the acronym BOPA stands for. Just head over to the contest page to take your guess. Entrants who get 3 words correct will receive a free copy of BuzzMe Pro, and entrants who get all 4 correct will be entered in a drawing for a free BlackBerry. That's all there is to it. The winners will be announced during the BlackBerry Developers Conference November 9th.

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Contest: 200 Free Copies of BerrySilent

Last week we checked out BerrySilent from BellShare and it seemed to go over well. A cool app for the Storm, BerrySilent allows you to silence your ringer or change profiles just by placing the device face down. Another great app in the long line from Bellshare, BerrySilent is available in the CrackBerry App Store for only $1.99 through Friday (regularly $3.99). If you're not quite ready to buy it, you're in luck. We have 200 copies to give away. Simply leave a comment on this post to enter to win 1 of 200 copies. Contest ends this Sunday at Midnight PST. Please only leave one comment, multiple entries won't count.

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Google Voice For BlackBerry Updated to Version 0.1.6

Google has made a bunch of new changes to the Google Voice system the past few days. Your mobile number can now be used with Google Voice and your carriers voicemail can also be integrated at this time. Some of these changes are probably the reasoning for the most recent mobile version update that Ronen at BerryReview was tipped about. Of course, Google does not provide us with any changelog so we can't be certain that's the reasoning for the update. In any event, it's there and ready to be download by all Google Voice for BlackBerry users. Let us know in the comments if you find any changes.

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Documents To Go For BlackBerry Updated To Version 2.0

Documents To Go is something all BlackBerry users should be aware of by now. With OS every since 4.5, Documents To Go has been preloaded on all devices by RIM. Many users have long since upgraded to the premium version that was offered, while many just chose to keep the basic functioning one on their devices for occasional use. Documents To Go is by no means a cheap application, with the premium version ringing in at $69.99. But for those of you who have seen the advantages of it, you might wanna check out the newly upgraded version 2.0.

The update brings some changes to the table that many users have been asking for such as wireless desktop syncronization and the ability to open password protected Office 2007 files. The only thing that may make you sway from buying it is the fact the upgrade is set at $29.99 alone, which is rather steep considering the cost of getting the premium version alone was over $70. If Documents To Go has been useful to you in the past, you may want to at least check out the free trial that is available and see if it's worth the investment to you.

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iluvmybb finalist - BlackBerry... A Love Story

Entry #69 - BlackBerry... A Love Story | View All Contest Video Submissions >>


[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

* keep in mind we're not announcing the ten finalists in any particular order - 3 more to come! *

We're into the home stretch in announcing the finalists in our I Love My BlackBerry video contest. Our seventh finalist is entry #69, titled BlackBerry... A Love Story. The vision and handy work of Michael Garcia and Elizabeth Bejarno, this is one hella-creative entry, playing off the mood and theme of an old Hollywood love story. Just hit play and watch. Pretty wicked, huh? You can find the story behind the video below.

Only three more entries left to get announced over the next two days before we get the community vote kicked off on Thursday (will run through the weekend to Monday night). If you've missed any of the finalist announcements so far, here's a recap of our first six so you can get up to speed:

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Service Pack 1 for BlackBerry Desktop Manager 5.0 Released

 

RIM doesn't often offer "service packs" for Desktop Manager (they usually just release updated versions) so we're not sure what this one entails. The software is listed as Service Pack 1 (5.0.1). Just some minor bug fixes and not a whole lot of upgrades in this release.

  • User interface for using your device as an IP modem
  • Support for new fields on the address book for your device
  • Enhancements to the synchronization process for organizer data
  • Support for Greek and Hebrew languages
  • Support for Windows(R) 7 

Head over to the BlackBerry Software Download page to update. Be sure to let us know if you find anything else new.

[ BerryReview ]

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Win a BlackBerry Bold 9700 & More from Ringtone Expressions and CrackBerry.com!


[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

CrackBerry and the folks from Ringtone Expressions have teamed up to bring you yet another chance to win a shiny new BlackBerry Bold 9700. We still have a few finalists left to announce in the iluvBB contest who are competing for their own chance to win a Bold 9700 or Storm (and more!), but if you didn't get in on that one you can have another go.

Contest Prizes and Overview: Ringtone Expressions wants you to create ringtones for special people in your life and doing so could win you the grand prize of a BlackBerry Bold 9700. 10 finalists will all receive a $50 ShopCrackberry.com gift certificate as well. Head over to the full contest page for all the details. You can enter now and the contest ends next Tuesday November 3rd at Midnight PST. Full rules are available here. Good luck!

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Bla1ze's Free Media Picks - Start Your Week Off Right!

In light of all the Storm news we decided to hold this back until today. No worries though, here it is for you all. The top FREE picks from wallpapers, themes, ringtones and even a few videos for everyone to enjoy. Check it out and stay tuned for next week folks. Until then, keep crackin'

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Halloween Radio Channel Is Back On Slacker For All Your Spooky Music Needs

Slacker Radio is geared up for Halloween. Be sure to check out their dedicated Halloween channel that is currently running. All the spooky music you can handle is being made available, everything from Michael Jackson's Thriller right down to the soundtrack from the Halloween movies can all be streamed to your BlackBerry Smartphone or over your PC. Great if you are in the mood for some spooky music on the go or hosting a Halloween party and don't want to have to worry about gathering up music.

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BlackBerry Swiss Army Knife Version 1.7 Released

The folks at RIMGeeks have been busy these days keeping their BlackBerry swiss army knife app updated. The latest version is now available for download and corrects a few issues found in version 1.6. A quick look at the change log reveals a few key improvements and fixes:

  • Auto Update Feature Now Included (upon load bbsak will check to verify you have the most current version install)
  • Compact view button now available in all expanded windows
  • Restore Apps completion popup now pops up at correct time
  • Some small speed tweaks also included with this version
BlackBerry Swiss Army Knife is great for advanced users who want more control over their device and what their OS loads or doesn't load for that matter. A great all around tool with awesome functions, stick to the rule of thumb though. If you're unsure of whast some of the operations are--better to not mess around with them or at the very least, check the CrackBerry forums for some more information.

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Phone Slipper Case Doubles as a Wallet - 20 To Be Won!

The last week or so I've been using the Phone Slipper on my Tour. For years I've opted to be wallet-less, carrying a few cards, my license and cash in my pocket. I've tried wallets, money clips and rubber bands but nothing seemed to do the trick. Countless times I've lost, misplaced or forgotten cards due to my ways, but I made due the best I could. A few months back I discovered the Phone Slipper and I was overjoyed. I carry my BlackBerry with me everywhere I go (duh, who doesn't?!) and to be able to carry my cards and ID right on the phone would be ideal. The Phone Slipper fits on snug like a regular silicone case, but the obvious difference is the "slit" in the side. You can easily put in a credit card, ID, business cards and more. I've found that I can fit just about 2 credit cards, my ID and a business card before it feels "bulky". The cards stay snug against the back of your device, and you can easily slide them with the help of the opening in the back. The build an overall deisng is great, and the only fear I have is that the slit will wear down over time with the constant rubbing of the cards (but only time will tell). The phone slipper sells for a very reasonable $9.95 (83xx) and $19.95 (Tour) and is available in black. The biggest downside is that it is currently only available for the Tour and 83xx series.

Contest: To enter to win 1 of 20 Phone Slippers, just leave a comment on this post telling us why you need one and be sure to include your device model (Tour or 83xx). Contest ends this Sunday at Midnight PST. Please only leave one comment - multiple entries won't count!

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inPulse Smartwatch for BlackBerry Smartphones Gets Official; Now Available for Pre-Order!

A week ago we dropped photos and some preliminary specs here on the "BlackBerry Watch" that has been speculated about in the blogosphere since May. And today, the inPulse smartwatch for BlackBerry gets official. As we reported previously, the inPulse smartwatch is not a BlackBerry Smartphone on your wrist, nor is it manufactured by Research in Motion (nor is RIM developing an accessory like this on their own - this is the "BB watch"). Rather, the inPulse smartwatch is manufactured by Allerta, a new Waterloo-based start-up focused on intelligent smartphone accessories, and works as a companion to your BlackBerry Smartphone to notify you of incoming BlackBerry messages/events.

inPulse smartwatch for BlackBerry Tech Specs & Key Features

  • 1.3" full colour organic light-emitting-diode (OLED) display
  • Bluetooth® v2.0+EDR
  • 150 mAh lithium-ion polymer battery
  • Glass lens and full metal body
  • 22mm interchangeable wrist band
  • Vibrating motor
  • Micro-USB port (for charging)
  • Over-the-air firmware updates
  • Dimensions: 51mm height x 38mm width x 12mm depth

Jumping over to the inPulse FAQ page reveals other key stats. Battery life is slated at ~ 4 days depending on use and can be recharged in about 30 minutes via standard microUSB cable. To use the inPulse wristwatch you must also install an app onto your BlackBerry that runs in the background. Cool feature - you can set the inPulse (clock, timers, multiple alarms) right from your BlackBerry. It can receive firmware updates wirelessly, and will work on all BlackBerry Smartphones running OS 4.3 and up.

As for price, the inPulse smartwatch rings in at pretty reasonable $149 USD. It's available for pre-order now (not taking payment yet but you can get on the waiting list), with the first consumer shipments scheduled for February 2010. For more info, you can check out the press release below, visit getinpulse.com for more product info and to pre-order, and check out the inpulse blog at inpulse.tumblr.com to stay on top of developments.

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Verizon Officially Announces the BlackBerry Storm2!

Here it is Storm2 chasers... the press release we have all been waiting for! And it looks like you won't have to wait long now to pick up a BlackBerry Storm2, with availability scheduled for October 28th - this Wednesday. As previously posted, Verizon Blackberry Storm2 pricing comes in at $179 on a 2yr contract after a mail-in rebate, but there's no mention of a BOGO promotion or upgrade incentive for Storm1 users... at least in the press release (if any of these promotions do exist, could be they'll roll into action in the near future). If you haven't done it yet, be sure to check out our BlackBerry Storm2 Review. Press release below.

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Verizon Officially Releases OS 5.0.0.328 For The BlackBerry Storm 9530!

Finally, the waiting and anticipation is over. Verizon has started pushing OS 5.0.0.328 to BlackBerry Desktop Manager for all Storm owners to install 24 minutes after we leaked it. If you haven't gotten the alert already it's time to fire up BlackBerry Desktop Manager Software (you too Mac users!) and see if it's there waiting for you. It's now up at http://vzw.smithmicro.com/blackberry/ as well.

OS 5.0 brings with it some significant changes to the OS and should correct a lot of issues some of you were having with your BlackBerry Storm 9530's and being an official OS you can load it without any worries of running beta software. Already got it loaded up? What do you think of it? How is it working for you? Let us know in the forums or in the comments. Now the question remains. How long will it be before we see other carriers hop on board and start releasing 5.0 for other devices?

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Tired of Waiting for Verizon to Make 5.0 Official? We Got It. Leaked: OS 5.0.0.328 (and .327) for the BlackBerry Storm 9530!

* Update 3: LOL.. that was fun for 24 minutes. LOOKS LIKE THE OFFICIAL IS UP! Check your Desktop Manager Software! *

* Update 2: Looks like megaupload is letting the file download again... keep tabs on the comments in case the link doesn't work for you anymore *

* Update: wow... looks like megaupload has some sort of attack system in place.  The .238 file got 243 downloads in about 30 seconds, and I think we must have tripped some sort of hacker attack alert as they've temporarily suspended the file (it's still in the account). Watch the comments below for download mirrors. *

So it's Sunday night, October 25th, and we know BlackBerry Storm 9530 owners are sitting on CrackBerry by the thousands waiting for Verizon to officially release OS 5.0.0.32x for the BlackBerry Storm 9530. Leaked info leading up to the this official release has been kind of weird... sometimes stating the official version would be 5.0.0.323 (which we already leaked the other day) and other times stating .328. Some info put the push at 7pm EST tonight, which has passed, the change log puts it at 10pm EST (any minute now) so in true CrackBerry fashion we've dug up the goods for you so you can get a head start. At the link below we've actually got two newer 5.0 builds... 5.0.0.327 and 5.0.0.328. They're both running the same platform version (4.2.0.128) so are likely near identical, so it's probably best to go for .328 but you can try them both out if you like.

The official Verizon release should drop any minute or hour now, so even hardcore Stormies shouldn't feel bad if at this point they want to hold out for the update to come through BDM. But if you want it now, you can grab the latest and greatest below!

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Best of Smartphone Experts, 25 Oct 2009


iluvmybb finalist - Romantic Evening Gone Wrong

Entry #70 - Romantic Evening Gone Wrong | View All Contest Video Submissions >>


[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

* keep in mind we're not announcing the ten finalists in any particular order - 4 more to come! *

If you watch all of the video submissions in our I Love My BlackBerry video contest, you'll find a handful of entries that went with a fairly literal take on BlackBerry love. Our sixth finalist, by Justin Brown, fits into that category and made a great video of it with some stellar and hilarious acting. Justin told us:

This video was filmed in West Paterson, NJ. It stars myself, Justin Brown, Susanne Madani, and of course Vanessa the BlackBerry Storm! This is just a hint on how much I love my BlackBerry. 

If there were Oscars for best actor and supporting actress actress in a Smartphone film or documentary, I think Justin and Susanne would definitely be nominated and be in the running to win. They own their roles in this one. Great job!!

Browsing through the comments to our previous finalist announcements, it looks like things are shaping up nicely for a tight race in the final community vote. In case you were wondering on the judging criteria, I instructed the judges to look at, in no particular order: entertainment value and impact, effort, originality/creativity, passion and stickiness. After watching 80 videos, the finalist videos should be the ones that really stand out in the brain hours and even days later. We left the rules on this contest pretty wide open (we were curious to see what kind of entries would result... and were pleasantly surprised!); so while high production quality is always nice, it wasn't a requirement to be considered a finalist here. In future video contests we'll maybe try it out with more rules (like you need to record the video on a BlackBerry). Four more finalists to be announced!

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