News

Google Calendar Now Syncs to Your BlackBerry!

GCal BlackBerry Sync

Now that's funny. Just yesterday I made a post that Mobiun was looking for Beta Testers to give their new Mobile Google Calendar sync app a try. AND TODAY...lo and behold, Google themselves have released their own solution! 

Fire up your BlackBerry browse and head on over to http://m.google.com/sync and install the Google Sync for mobile application. Once installed, simply click on the Google Sync icon, login to your Google Account and you're done. Your BlackBerry Calendar app will now always be synchronized with your Google Calendar. And in case you're wondering, it does work both ways - events created/edited on your handheld will sync back to your Google Calendar. THANKS GOOGLE!

Need Help? Get More Information on Google Sync >>  

Apologies for breaking blogosphere rules and reusing a graphic...but I just didn't see much point in changing it up in this case. :-) 

[ BBCool via MiBlackBerry

Wayne Gets a BlackBerry!

Wayne Rash eWeek

A few weeks back I posted a story that our buddy Wayne over at eWeek was in the market for a new smartphone and was seriously considering a Treo. The CrackBerry.com community responded and sent Wayne a ton of great feedback letting him know it would be a mistake not to consider a BlackBerry. That got Wayne thinking about BlackBerry, and that lead to today's great news... I'm DELIGHTED to say Wayne took delivery this morning of a new, shiny Gold T-Mobile BlackBerry Curve 8320!!!

Wayne's been on the quest for the perfect smartphone for his needs. I'm not sure if Wayne knows it yet (he's barely had time to charge it and play with it) but I know it... his quest is over! Enjoy the new BlackBerry Wayne. And if you need any tips or help, the CrackBerry Forums are only a click away.

And the 2007 Word of the Year is..... w00t!!!

2007 Word of the Year

Call this a nostalgia piece. It was about this time last year when Webster's Dictionary named "CrackBerry" the 2006 New Word of the Year. And while we were hard at work developing CrackBerry.com prior to that announcement, hearing that good news definitely put us into high gear on getting the site ready for launch (can you believe CrackBerry.com is still less than a year old?!).

The time has come for us to pass the accolade on, and this year's winner is "w00t," which is a "hybrid of letters and numbers used by gamers as an exclamation of happiness or triumph." For full details of why w00t was chosen (and to see the runners up), you can check out the Full Press Release. AND...yes, there is a w00t.com!

Rogers Rolls Out Voicemail to Text Services - $15/month for Unlimited Transcriptions

Voicemail to Text Services by Rogers

Rogers Wireless announced today a national rollout of Voicemail to Text services powered by SpinVox . Delivered on Rogers’ GSM network through SpinVox, the service gives on-the-go professionals quick, easy and convenient access to voicemail messages by accurately converting them to SMS and delivering them in real time to their mobile devices.

Rogers Voicemail to Text powered by SpinVox service is available this month in seven provinces, including BC, Ontario, Québec and the Atlantic provinces and is available in both English and French. The service will launch in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba in early 2008.

Rogers Voicemail to Text service will be available for $15/month for an unlimited number of conversions. The first month of service is free and setup is automatic. To learn more about Voicemail to Text, click here to watch an informative movie, and for more details on the service from Rogers, click here.

Voicemail to text services are a huge time time saver as it eliminates the need to dial-in to pick up voicemail. Instead, a transcript of the voicemail message is relayed via text so users can simply read the message wherever they are. I'm a big fan of the SimulSays service by SimulScribe, which is a BlackBerry-specific application and today it was JUST Announced it's Finally Available in Canada too (always good to see some healthy competition). You can get it for free until January 15th, 2008.

Smartphone Round Robin: Winners Announcement and Final Round Robin Wrap Up!

Smartphone Round Robin Winners Announcement and Wrap Up!

Drum Roll Please… and the Winners of the Smartphone Experts First Annual Smartphone Round Robin are…

RickMG has won himself a new Smartphone of choice and the Runners Up will each receive $100 to spend in one of the Smartphone Experts stores. You can click on the winners’ names above to see the comments that turned out to be the lucky ones in the final draw. It looks like RickMG is a long-time Treo user (currently on the Treo 755P). Hopefully he'll be smart and take this as the opportunity to upgrade his smartphone to a new BlackBerry! Dieter will be contacting the winners via their registered email accounts to get them their prizes. Congrats to all the Winners and a Big Thank You to everyone who participated in the event.

Smartphone Round Robin Wrap Up

And just like that, the Smartphone Round Robin has come to an end. It was an exciting month (well, I guess we stretched it out to more like six weeks) and a great learning experience. Spending time on the competition’s devices definitely broadened my knowledge and understanding of the smartphone world and from reading through all the Round Robin comments and forum conversations at CrackBerry.com and our sibling sites TreoCentral.com, WMExperts.com and PhoneDifferent.com I think I can safely say the entire smartphone community at large took benefit from the event. There will definitely be a Second Annual Smartphone Round Robin.

To read Mike, Dieter and Jennifer's final thoughts on the BlackBerry Curve 8310 and and some concluding remarks on the Round Robin, read on.

World's First Multi-Carrier BlackBerry Store Opens

BlackBerry Store

If I wasn't already going to Cuba in three weeks for a vacation I know what I'd be doing instead... taking a road trip down to Farmington Hills, Michigan to check out the world's first multi-carrier BlackBerry store!

While I like to think of CrackBerry.com as the online Mecca for BlackBerry Users, with only one of these concept stores currently planned this might be just be the offline equivalent (at least until we open up a physical CrackBerry store - now there's an idea!!!).

The BlackBerry Store from Wireless Giant is a multi-carrier store where BlackBerry smartphones from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless can be purchased and activated for use with BlackBerry® Internet Service and BlackBerry® Enterprise Server. The store also offers training services for both end users and IT administrators from companies and organizations of all sizes. Customers will also find a range of add-on software applications and personal accessories for their BlackBerry smartphone.

So whaddya think? Is it worth the trip to Farmington Hills? 

More Information and Discussion in the CrackBerry Forums >>

RIM Puts the Focus on Consumers at this Year's Consumer Electronics Show

RIM @ CES

The Annual Consumer Electronics Show is just around the corner, and from the sound of things RIM plans on making a splash with the 'consumer' market this year. Straight from RIM's mouth:

Think BlackBerry is only for corporate executives? Think again. Las Vegas will have a new kid in town at the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show! You can expect quite a buzz around booth #30333 in South Hall 3. Make plans to drop in so we can demonstrate all the ways BlackBerry can enrich your personal life. Whether it’s watching videos, listening to music, playing games, selecting devices and accessories that reflect your personal style, or taking advantage of a range of other capabilities, you’ll see that BlackBerry is not just for business anymore!

When it comes to Consumer BlackBerrys, I can't help but think of my girlfriend Erika's pinked up BlackBerry Curve. I hope RIM takes the time to at least change up the default backgrounds on the devices they're showing off at CES. Oh, and if you want Erika's Buttercup Powerpuff Girl wallpaper you can get it here.

My Girlfriend Erika's "Consumer" BlackBerry Curve

CES is the big daddy of electronic shows each year. I'm wondering hoping RIM uses the event to drop news about the rumored BlackBerry 9000 series of smartphones. Any bets? I guess we soon shall know! If you want to stay on top of RIM's activities at WES, you can sign up to receive email updates straight from the show.

Canada Gets FREE BlackBerry Pearls this Holiday Season

Free BlackBerry Pearl 8130CDMA-based Canadian carriers Telus and Bell are really going after Rogers this holiday season with a FREE BlackBerry Pearl 8130 promotion.

The catch? You need to be a new customer and commit to a 3-year plan of $45 or more per month before they hand you over the new phone. As Robb puts it, free in this case really means $1620 (at least) over the course of the next 36 months.

It's good to see some competition in Canada heating up for all of us BlackBerry users. Telus is offering a $15 email, web and IM only BlackBerry plan on the 8130 and Canada's GSM Monopoly Rogers followed suit with a similar offer for Pearl 8100 users. What would I like to see in 2008? Unlimited data in Canada for under $50 $40 $30 per month. I'm a Rogers user now, but the carrier that offers me unlimited data for a reasonable price is the one I will switch to. It's wishful thinking, but a Canadian BlackBerry Addict can dream, can't he?

Smartphone Round Robin: Back on the Crack and Loving It!

Back on the CrackBerry and Loving It!

It's Good to Be a BlackBerry User! 

Vive le BlackBerry! Wow, does it EVER feel great to be Back on the Crack again. The Smartphone Round Robin has had me going sans BlackBerry Curve for over a month, during which time I used the AT&T Tilt, Palm Treo 680 and Apple iPhone. And while I did manage to get over my initial BlackBerry withdrawal and survive the month on these other smartphones, coming home to my Curve quickly made me realize just how good us BlackBerry users have it. RIM got it right. They sell devices that just work – they are easy to use and get the job done fast and efficiently. BlackBerrys are the ultimate communication tool.

RIM can’t rest on their past successes though… there is still work to do. I come away from the Round Robin with a small wish list of things I want to see on future BlackBerrys, but the fact remains that out of the devices in the Round Robin, I think RIM has the best grasp of how a person actually integrates mobile technology into their daily lives. A device like a smartphone has to begin with everyday usability, and RIM has this equation solved better than anyone. It is the little things that put the Crack in CrackBerry, and because of that, RIM has by far the best foundation to continue building on as we see the next generation of smartphones begin to emerge. To see how I celebrated my return to the BlackBerry and for more final thoughts, Read On!

Don't forget, a comment to this post counts as an entry in the Round Robin Contest! Be sure you're logged in before you comment. The Round Robin comes to an end this Sunday, December 9th at Midnight, so get your final comments and forum posts in for your last chances to win a new Smartphone! Winner will be announced December 12th.

JetBlue, Yahoo, and Research in Motion Plan Free, In-Flight Wi-Fi Connections

JetBlue Wi-Fi

JetBlue, Yahoo, and Research in Motion plan to offer free, in-flight, Wi-Fi web connections for laptop computers and advanced cell phones.

The service will allow passengers to access customized Yahoo mail and Yahoo instant messenger services on their laptops or to access e-mails on Wi-Fi enabled BlackBerrys. According to a spokesperson for RIM, the first JetBlue flight offering the service will be on December 11.

I don’t know about all of you, but I’m not that excited by the ability to get my emails on the plane. Even being the hard-core BlackBerry fan that I am, I sort of enjoy unplugging from the world for a few hours and reading a book during the flight. Soon you won’t have an excuse to give up your connectivity.

## This Article Was Originally Published on AllBlackBerry.com

JetBlue, Yahoo and RIM Plan FREE In-Flight WiFi

WiFi coming to JetBlue

Cool! It seems that JetBlue, Yahoo and Research in Motion plan to offer free, in-flight, WiFi web connections for laptop computers and advanced cell phones. RIM made the announcement yesterday.

The service will apparently allow passengers to access customized Yahoo mail and Yahoo instant messenger services on their laptops or to access corporate e-mails on WiFi enabled BlackBerrys. According to a spokesperson for RIM the first JetBlue flight offering the service will be on December 11, on Flight 641 from New York to San Francisco.

I hope this proves to be an indicator that RIM is going to start putting WiFi in more and more BlackBerrys - right now the only modern generation Berrys to have it are the BlackBerry 8820, 8320 and 8120. I think WiFi has now become a smartphone must-have... it should be included on every BlackBerry released from now on. Too bad I never fly JetBlue. Airlines....are you reading this?

[ Source

CrackBerry.com Presents the Twelve Days of CrackBerry!

CrackBerry.com Presents the 12 Days of CrackBerry

* Update: 12 Days of CrackBerry Site and Official Contest Threads are open for business! Spread the CrackBerry word and good luck to everyone! *

I just couldn't keep this a secret any longer. We are getting ready to launch what I think will be the GREATEST BlackBerry Promotion EVER with CrackBerry.com's TWELVE DAYS of CRACKBERRY holiday giveaway. We'll be changing up the traditional lyrics as we go along and be giving away LOTS of BlackBerry prizes! Here's a little taste of what's coming:

On the First Day of CrackBerry,
My Favorite Site Gave to Me...
A Brand New (fill in the rest here)

We'll be rolling out the full contest details and opening it up for entry in the next 24 hours on Monday December 10th, but here's the basic overview...

  • Each day of CrackBerry will feature a different prize!
  • Prizes include BlackBerry Accessories, Software and maybe even a new BlackBerry Smartphone?!?! :-)
  • Winners will be announced during the 12 days of CrackBerry - the First Day of CrackBerry is December 25th with one winner announced, the Second Day of CrackBerry is December 26th with two more winners announced and that will continue right up until the Twelfth Day of CrackBerry on January 5th where there will be 12 more lucky winners! Sum it up! During the 12 Days of CrackBerry we will be giving away 78 Prizes to 78 Lucky Winners!
  • Registering to win will be easy and free! We're going to set up a 12 Days of CrackBerry forum, and there will be 12 Contest threads (one for each Day of CrackBerry). Each thread will feature a Poll and thread Topic/Question. All you need to do to get in for a day's prize is be logged into the site and make a post on that day's thread. We'll keep it fun and CrackBerry related of course. Post on all 12 contest threads and you'll be in for your chance to win on each of the 12 Days of CrackBerry.

Wireless Amber Alerts on your BlackBerry

This isn’t exactly new news, but I stumbled across it last night and decided it was important enough to post. Take a look at the picture below. The van pretty much says it all. Visit wirelessamberalerts.org and enter your phone number to receive wireless amber alerts for your local area on your BlackBerry.

Wireless Amber Alerts Van
Wireless Amber Alerts

The membership of CTIA-The Wireless Association®, The Wireless Foundation, the United States Department of Justice and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children came together to offer the Wireless AMBER Alerts Initiative.

How does the Wireless AMBER Alerts Initiative work?

An abducted child, age 17 years or younger, is reported to a local law enforcement agency.
If the abducted child case meets the recommended criteria, law enforcement issues an AMBER Alert and National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) is notified and provided with the information to include in the alert.

NCMEC formats the AMBER Alert message and sends it electronically to Syniverse.
Syniverse sends the AMBER Alert message to wireless carriers participating in the Wireless AMBER Alerts initiative.

Participating carriers send the AMBER Alert message, in text message format, to their subscribers that have opted in to receive the notices.

Go check it out here.

## This Article Was Originally Published on AllBlackBerry.com

Smartphone Round Robin: Apple iPhone Final Impressions

iPhone Final Impressions

Kicking It Up a Notch in the Smartphone Game 

Thanks to the Smartphone Round Robin, I have now been without my BlackBerry Curve for over a month! I started out with the Windows Mobile/AT&T Tilt and from there moved onto the Palm Treo 680. With the Round Robin beginning to wind down, I am finally finishing up with my last smartphone of the month, the Apple iPhone.

My iPhone Initial Impressions article received a lot of feedback from the CrackBerry.com community. It is very apparent the iPhone vs. BlackBerry match-up is a topic of great interest to both existing BlackBerry users and those in the market for a new smartphone. Observations and comparisons between the two devices arise frequently in the CrackBerry forums addressing the popular iPhone vs. BlackBerry debate.

Due to this interest, I’ve taken my time with getting this final impressions article up (Dieter actually wanted them up this past Friday!). For most of Round Robin I have been around home, “playing” with my new smartphones, which I think has worked ok in allowing me to find the strengths and weaknesses of both the Tilt and Treo 680. But it also means I was never too far away from my desktop computer which made coping without my BlackBerry a bit easier. But for the iPhone I wanted to ensure my final impressions were as complete as possible by giving it some real world use. Luckily, circumstances came up that allowed for this. I went out of town from Thursday to Monday night (kicking some butt in a curling bonspiel!) and though I did take my laptop along for the trip, I never took its power cord, which quickly forced me to rely on the iPhone for everything! So how did the iPhone hold up? Read on for my closing thoughts on the iPhone!!

Don't forget, a comment to this post counts as an entry in the Round Robin Contest! Be sure you're logged in before you comment. The Round Robin comes to an end this Sunday, December 9th at Midnight, so get your final comments and forum posts in for your last chances to win a new Smartphone! Winner will be announced December 12th.

New Pink 8130 Pearl on the Horizon?

New Pink 8130 Pearl on the Horizon?Rumors have it that a new pink edition of the 8130 BlackBerry Pearl are on the way.

I've whipped up a quick 'mockup' of the phone here to the right. As you can see it should be a hit with the ladies! (I would think?)

It would also be a tremendous fund-raiser for breast cancer and/or cancer awareness should RIM want to get into something like that.

The NHL used pink sticks in a few games last year... Why not raise money with pink blackberry's to raise money for a good cause? This really seems like a great win/win situation to me.

Just a thought. What do you think?

Discuss this in the forums >

[Source

BlackBerry 9000 Specs Revealed!

BlackBerry 9000 Specs RevealedOur friends over at BGR have revealed initial details of the 9000 series. Exciting stuff! Here's what we know so far:

Screen dimensions are going to be 480x320 / 320x480 depending on how you hold it! Looks to me that the device will be like the iPhone in that you can hold it portrait or landscape. Cool stuff. However, does this large display mean a touchscreen keyboard is built-in? No more tactile, easy to use keys? We'll find out soon I suppose...

The device will also have a gig of on-board memory and an Intel XScale processor. The processor is slightly faster than the one found on current iPhone models.

The 9000 will also have built-in GPS and WiFi.

We would also expect to find a built-in camera, but there are no details on that yet. No details on price either (of course).

Expectations have this unit up for sale in early 2008.

Discuss the BlackBerry 9000 in the CrackBerry Forums >

[Source

Blockbuster Movies on your BlackBerry

Blockbuster on your BlackBerryReuters had an article today that said movie rental chain Blockbuster Inc is in talks with all the major mobile phone makers about partnerships aimed at making it easier for consumers to watch movies on the go. This was according to Blockbuster Chief Executive James Keyes.

Keyes told the Reuters Media Summit he started watching movies on his BlackBerry after some help from a technical expert at Blockbuster and from Jim Balsillie. How come when I need technical support I can’t get Jim on the phone?

Keyes went on to say that Blockbuster is in talks with software companies about possible partnerships, but he did not name them. He also didn’t say how the whole thing would work.

But I love this concept. Let’s face it, it’s a pain to get a movie onto your SD card. Wouldn’t it be nice if I could peruse a movie catalog on my device, pay $4.99 and start watching it right away while I’m stuck in an airport somewhere?

## This Article Was Originally Published on AllBlackBerry.com

Exclusive: BlackBerry OS 4.3.1 Brings A2DP Stereo Bluetooth Support to BlackBerry Pearl 8100!!

A2DP on BlackBerry Pearl 8100A2DP on BlackBerry Pearl 8100

At the beginning of the month I published hands on proof that the soon to be released BlackBerry OS 4.3.1 would enable video recording on the Curve. In all the excitement surrounding that huge news, I neglected to notice a MAJOR improvement that OS 4.3.1 brought to my BlackBerry Pearl 8100 - A2DP Stereo Bluetooth Support!!!

Prior to OS 4.3.1, stereo bluetooth devices (like Motorola S9s or BluAnt Sonic Portable Speakers) would not work with my Pearl 8100. Installed the beta of OS 4.3.1 and Voila...they work!!!! 

Going the detective route and opening net_rim_bluetooth.cod in Notepad, a search for A2DP yields all sorts of listings, most notably the use of the net.rim.bluetooth.a2dp code library in the module.  The OS 4.2.1 version does not list this (it only has one listing for 'a2dp'), although it is found in all versions of OS for the 8300 series.  Further evidence to prove what my ears are already telling me! 

The newest BlackBerrys to hit the market have A2DP support - the BlackBerry Curves (8300, 8310, 8320) and the Pearl "2"s (8120, 8130) are all good to go for listening to streaming audio over bluetooth stereo accessories. But older BlackBerrys, like the Pearl 8100 and BlackBerry 8800 lack that support. It seems with OS 4.3.1 that will no longer be the case. I think it is fairly safe to say that all BlackBerrys with media card expansion slots will support A2DP once OS 4.3.1 is installed.

HUGE Kudos to RIM for its ongoing commitment their devices! The only question now is when are we going to see the OS 4.3.1 update get released? December is almost here... and OS 4.3.1 sure would be the perfect present for sooo many of us BlackBerry Addicts!

BlackBerry Made Simple for the BlackBerry Pearl Released!

BlackBerry Made Simple BlackBerry Made Simple has just released its newest book in their easy-to-read BlackBerry guide book series. This one focuses on the BlackBerry Pearl smartphone and includes material for the 8100, 8120 and 8130 BlackBerry smartphones.

Right now it's available as an e-book download for $25.99 from BlackBerry Made Simple, and will be available in a hard copy edition in the weeks ahead.

ShopCrackBerry.com currently carries BlackBerry Made Simple for Full Keyboard BlackBerrys and BlackBerry Made Simple for the 7100 Series and will have the new hard copy 8100 book as soon as it becomes available.

This guide book is unique in that it helps both Windows and Apple Mac users with all aspects of the BlackBerry Pearl. The book has over 1,000 screenshots that are carefully annotated to show the reader step-by-step instructions. Everything is written in plain English and includes steps on how to do just about anything with the Pearl. Enjoy!!

Google Maps now with MyLocation

Now Google Maps for BlackBerry allows you to see your location on a map, with or without GPS. The new feature is called “My Location“, and shows your position on the map with a little blue dot.

If you have a GPS-enabled device, Google Maps can just use your GPS coordinates if they are available. If not, they’ll take the information broadcast from mobile towers near you to approximate your current location on the map. How accurate is that location? Google claims an average accuracy of 1000m.

Check out this video to see how it works…

To find out more about google maps, check out http://www.google.com/gmm. Or, visit that same URL on your BlackBerry browser to download a free copy of Google Maps. 

## This Article Was Originally Published on AllBlackBerry.com

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